What Is an Inverse ETF? A Review

by Susan Paige
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Inverse ETFs are a type of Exchange Traded Funds that are completed by using certain derivatives. The ultimate motive is to profit from declines in the value of underlying benchmarks. The plan of inverse ETFs is to return the exact opposite performance of a specific index.

Capitalizing in inverse ETFs is comparable to holding various short positions, which involve borrowing securities and swapping them with the hope of repurchasing them at a lower price. To read more on the same, check the web.

Inverse ETFs let investors make money when the underlying index declines or the market, but without having to sell anything short. This review will look at inverse ETFs in detail, including the different types of inverse ETF’s accessible in the market today and their advantages and shortcomings as well.

Understanding Inverse ETFs

Several inverse ETFs utilize day-to-day futures contracts to produce their returns. A futures contract is used to buy or sell an asset or security at a set price and time. Futures allow investors to take a gamble on the direction of a securities price. Inverse ETFs’ use of futures contracts will enable investors to make a bet that the market will decay.

If the market falls, the inverse ETF increases by roughly the same percentage as the minus commissions and fee from the broker. Inverse ETFs are not enduring investments since the derivative contracts are purchased and sold every day by the fund’s supervisor.

As a result, there is no means to assure that the inverse ETF will match the long-term performance of the stocks or index it is tracking. The frequent trading often surges the fund expenses, and some inverse ETFs can carry expense ratios of 1% or more.

Inverse ETFs became a penchant for traders in countries like Hong Kong who were initially shorting stocks to seek bearish situations. They favoured this since shorting specific stocks posed various risks on many levels. It was also costly at times to short stocks as a trader would unavoidably have to borrow on margin or end up reimbursing high fees for the borrowed money.

Another cause why inverse ETFs have become a favourite to many traders, especially those who do put options, is because primarily, they had to trade the alternatives in a restricted time frame. They were under so much burden to beat the lapse period. However, with ETFs, there is no such pressure. A trader can hold the inverse ETF for a prolonged period hence posing as a better option than put options.

Advantages of Inverse ETFs

ETFs do not necessitate investors to hold margin accounts. This provides excellent ease, especially for investors who want to enter short positions. Investors can pick those ETFs that profit from the drops in the broad market indexes. An instance of such a full market index is the Russell 2000 and NASDAQ 100.

Another benefit that inverse ETFs have is the fact that some concentrate on a specific sector. Hence, as an investor, you can select a particular sector of choice out of the following: the agricultural sector, financial sector, energy sector, and consumer products.

The expenditure ratios of inverse ETFs are less than 2% which is quite favourable and can be bought by anyone that has a brokerage account

Inverse ETFs also can be used as a hedge to portfolios against the impact of falling prices.

Disadvantages of Inverse ETFs

The first shortcoming can be consequent of the high expense ratios. This is because Inverse ETFs are dynamically managed funds. But, if you embrace inverse ETFs for a short while, you are better off.

Inverse ETFs are likely to disappoint in the long run. You are better off shorting stocks or index funds.


To sum it all up, like with all investment tools, you need to have a good understanding of inverse ETFs even to consider using them for trade purposes. It is also crucial to note inverse ETFs are best utilized in the short term.

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