From the August 2008 issue of Research Magazine • Subscribe!

August 1, 2008

Leverage, Inverse Offerings Expand

Rydex Investments has launched eight new exchange-traded funds on the American Stock Exchange.

The funds, known as RydexShares, will provide leveraged and inverse exposure to Select Sector indexes which are sliced parts of the S&P 500. Some of the sectors covered by the RydexShares ETFs are energy, financial, health care and technology.

"Financial professionals have shown significant interest in leveraged and inverse strategies for their potential to help capitalize on directional market moves or hedge an investment portfolio," says Carl Verboncoeur, Rydex Investments CEO. "As the pioneer of leveraged and inverse mutual funds, we're excited to bring new ETFs to the marketplace that offer unique leveraged and inverse exposure to the most widely traded sector indices."

The leverage long ETFs are the Rydex 2x S&P Select Sector Energy ETF (REA), Rydex 2x S&P Select Sector Financial ETF (RFL), Rydex 2x S&P Select Sector Health Care Select Sector (RHM) and Rydex 2x S&P Select Sector Technology ETF (RTG). These ETFs will aim for daily magnified exposure of 200 percent.

The leveraged short or inverse performing ETFs are the Rydex Inverse 2x S&P Select Sector Energy ETF (REC), Rydex Inverse 2x S&P Select Sector Financial ETF (RFN), Rydex Inverse 2x S&P Select Sector Health Care ETF (RHO), and Rydex Inverse 2x S&P Select Sector Technology ETF (RTW). These ETFs are designed to increase in value when their respective industry sector falls.

According to the prospectus, the RydexShares will charge annual expenses of 0.70 percent.

In related news, ProShares announced the debut of two additional inverse sector ETFs, the Short Oil & Gas ProShares (DDG) and Short Financials ProShares (SEF). The total number of sector-focused ETFs at ProShares is currently 26.

Also, the ELEMENTS S&P Commodity Trends Indicator Total Return Index ETN (LSC) began trading on NYSE Arca. The underlying index tracks the prices of a mixed portfolio of 16 commodity futures contracts. The index components are grouped into six sectors and each sector is represented on either a "long" or "short" basis, depending on recent price trends of that sector.

Commodity-related index funds have been leading performers so far this year. The iShares S&P GSCI Commodity Indexed Trust (GSG), which contains a broad basket of 24 different commodity futures, has surged 37.1 percent year-to-date.

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Ron DeLegge is the San Diego-based editor of www.etfguide.com.

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