What Are Leveraged & Inverse ETFs & ETNs & How Do They Work?

April 13, 2022
Learn about the complexities of leveraged and inverse exchange-traded products (ETPs) and their potential risks and benefits.
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This material is intended for informational purposes only and should not be considered a personalized recommendation or investment advice. Investors should review investment strategies for their own particular situations before making any investment decisions. 

All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market conditions. Data contained herein from third-party providers is obtained from what are considered reliable sources. However, its accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed. 

Examples provided are for illustrative purposes only and not intended to be reflective of results you can expect to achieve. 

Risks of Leveraged & Inverse Products

Leveraged ETPs (exchanged-traded products, such ETFs and ETNs) seek to provide a multiple of the investment returns of a given index or benchmark on a daily basis. Inverse ETPs seek to provide the opposite of the investment returns, also daily, of a given index or benchmark, either in whole or by multiples.

Due to the effects of compounding and possible correlation errors, leveraged and inverse products may experience greater losses than one would ordinarily expect. Compounding can also cause a widening differential between the performances of an ETP and its underlying index or benchmark, so that returns over periods longer than one day can differ in amount and direction from the target return of the same period. Consequently, these ETPs may experience losses even in situations where the underlying index or benchmark has performed as hoped.

Aggressive investment techniques, such as futures, forward contracts, swap agreements, derivatives, and options, can increase ETP volatility and decrease performance. Investors holding these ETPs should therefore monitor their positions as frequently as daily.

Investors should consider carefully information contained in the prospectus or, if available, the summary prospectus, including investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses. Please read it carefully before investing.

The information provided here is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered an individualized recommendation or personalized investment advice. The investment strategies mentioned here may not be suitable for everyone. Each investor needs to review an investment strategy for his or her own particular situation before making any investment decision.

Investment returns will fluctuate and are subject to market volatility, so that an investor's shares, when redeemed or sold, may be worth more or less than their original cost. Unlike mutual funds, shares of ETFs are not individually redeemable directly with the ETF. Shares are bought and sold at market price, which may be higher or lower than the net asset value (NAV).

Exchange Traded Notes (ETNs) are distinct from Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs). ETNs are debt instruments backed by the credit of the issuer and as such bear inherent credit risk. ETNs are not generally appropriate for the average investor. To find out more about ETNs, please read Exchange Traded Notes: The facts and the risks.

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