The Leveraged ETF Inefficiency in Trending & Range-Bound Markets: An Application Case Study for a 3x Leveraged Gold Miners ETF

  •  Vasiliki Basdekidou    


The main goal of this paper is to introduce the leveraged ETF die-down price action technical market anomaly (leveraged ETF anomaly), and then to discuss the temporal dimension and the subsequent (time-series) functionalities of this anomaly (temporal leveraged ETF anomaly). Our approach not only challenging the efficient-market hypothesis with regards to constantly declining leveraged ETF price action course, but also has a temporal dimension because it uses the Jesse Livermore’s “psychological time” as parameter in both functions: (i) “emotional control” for opening position at the beginning of an intraday or short-term move and thereafter for holding this position; and (ii) in “money risk management - exit policy” for closing position. Traditional fundamental analysis theories and technical analysis rules and approaches are not able to interpret the die-down (i.e. a constantly declining in a mid- and long-term basis) leveraged ETF price action course. Instead, a rational dynamic and temporal representative agent could explain and document better this anomaly and this is the case of this article (i.e. trading exploitation functionality). The presented research shows that the proposed temporal leveraged ETF anomaly accumulates profit entirely overnight in sideways and in choppy markets, while in a trending market the profit occurs intraday. These findings for the leveraged ETF instruments reject classical theories of trending and sideways markets returns. Hence, (i) in a sideways or in a choppy market, a well designed overnight-position return strategy based on temporal leveraged ETF anomaly; and (ii) in a trending market, a well designed daytime-position return strategy based on temporal leveraged ETF anomaly as well, could gain benefit at the expense of hedgers and long-term investors respectively. After back-testing our research in available 5-year data for the JNUG 3x leveraged ETF (gold miners juniors), we found that overnight-position speculators, in sideways or choppy markets, profit from the proposed temporal leveraged ETF trading strategy approach at the expense of hedgers; and daytime swing traders, in trending markets, profit from the proposed temporal leveraged ETF trading strategy approach at the expense of long-term investors.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.