The new 3x ETF’s–triple your pleasure — or pain


As you know, when I try to trade the trend of the QQQQ, I buy QLD (ultra long) or QID (ultra short) ETF’s.   These ultra   ETF’s are designed to move twice as much as the underlying index they track.   Well, less well known is that there now exist 3x ETF’s, designed to move three times as much as the underlying index. I knew about the recent emergence of these Direxion ETF’s, but was surprised to see how quickly they have caught on.   I have now located 16 of them, and 8 of them traded more than one million   shares each on the NYSE on Friday.   Here are the ones I have found.   Bull ETF’s: FAS, BGU, TNA, ERX, EDC, MWJ, TYH, and DZK.   Bear ETF’s: FAZ, BGZ, TZA, ERY, EDZ, MWN, TYP, DPK .   One can even trade options on most of these!   Remember, the leverage works both ways, they aim to go up or down at 3x the speed of the relevant index.   Still, if I have a good idea of the trend, these ETF’s may prove better than going to the casino and putting everything on black or red………..

Meanwhile, the GMI

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All indicators negative; 12th day of QQQQ short term down-trend


All of my indicators have turned negative again and I am back to cash.   I have considered buying some QID, but with my short term moving averages being flat, I will probably get repeatedly whipsawed as the indexes move above and below their averages.   However, at some point a real tradable trend will develop. There were 3 new highs and 138 new lows in my universe of 4,000 stocks on Friday.   Only 30% of the Nasdaq 100 stocks closed above their 30 day averages and the QQQQ   just completed the 12th day of its short term down-trend.

One of the GMI’s components tracks the percentage of “successful” stocks that hit a new high 10 days ago that closed higher today than they closed 10 days ago.   It is a useful indicator to see if break-out stocks are continuing to advance.   This indicator has been negative since late October,   largely because we rarely saw the required 20 new highs in a day.   You can see this indicator is still negative in the GMI table below….

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I’m up 1200%, as my fellow boomers and college students get screwed again; QQQQ in 17th day of short term up-trend; GMI: 2; GMI-R: 6; T2108: 83%; 10 IBD100 stocks at new highs

I escaped 2008 with a small loss in my account (-5%).   Not bad, compared to how the indexes did (down 35-40%), but not great, given that I did trade some short positions (with puts) during the year.   On December 24, IBD published a table listing the performance of the best growth mutual funds since April, 1994.   The top fund was up +382% since 1994.   My IRA account remains up a little more than 1200% (13x) since late 1994, so I do not feel that bad about my performance this year.   The key to my success is that I made money during the strong market rises and kept it, by being mainly out of the market during the major declines.   I might add that while I traded in my IRA during the huge declines in 2000-2002 and 2008, I avoided major losses in my university pension plan by transferring from mutual funds into a money market fund during these declines.   So, I have learned the painful lesson over my 40+ years of trading that the key to success is conservation of capital during the inevitable market down-trends.   These declines can be detected   long before they reach the panic phase when they become evident to everyone. I have developed rules for identifying the market’s trend early, that I post each market day in this blog, in the form of the GMI and GMI-R…..

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