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If Your Ultra ETF Still Up 4 Hours After You Buy It, Consult a Doctor


Don't operate heavy machinery if you buy and hold these.

If this won't make a certain telepundit spit out that coffee, not sure what will.

"Direxion, a pioneer in providing alternative investment strategies to sophisticated investors, announced today that it will execute a 1-for-2 reverse split of the shares of Direxion Daily Mid Cap Bear 3x Shares after the closing of the markets on Wednesday, June 24, 2009. MWN shares will begin trading on NYSE Arca on a split-adjusted basis on Thursday, June 25, 2009."

No one's exactly sure why they picked MWN to reverse split first. It's a $33 stock, and it's way off the radar. But the implication is that more popular names -- like our friends FAS and FAZ -- will reverse split as well.

Clearly 2:1 won't do the trick for them; perhaps 10:1 would make more sense. Or better still, they could issue new ones from scratch. There was also some thought about creating new ones with longer reset periods -- say, one month, as opposed to one session.

But alas, that becomes problematic too, as we saw a month with a greater than 33.3% gain in financials as recently as March. In fact, last time we ran numbers, we saw that if Direxion had issued monthly FAS and FAZ when they issued the originals, FAS would be lower than it is now and FAZ would have gone under zero.

And in other news, FINRA has officially requested that Ultra ETFs now only sell with a warning label.

"The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has reminded brokers and registered investment advisers about their fiduciary duties when selling ETFs that offer leverage, are designed to perform inversely to the index or benchmark they track, or both. In a notice posted to its website earlier this month, FINRA reminded the brokers and advisers that these instruments are complex and typically unsuitable for retail investors who plan to hold them longer than one trading session.

"While such products may be useful in some sophisticated trading strategies, they are highly complex financial instruments that are typically designed to achieve their stated objectives on a daily basis. Due to effects of compounding, their performance over longer periods of time can differ significantly from their stated daily objective."

It goes on to note that if your Ultra ETF is still up 4 hours after you buy it, consult a physician. Don't operate heavy machinery if you buy and hold these.
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