From the September 2009 issue of Research Magazine • Subscribe!

Marrying Long and Short

ProShares has introduced the Ultra Russell 3000 (UWC), UltraShort Russell 3000 (TWQ) and the ProShares Credit Suisse 130/30 (CSM) ETFs.

The first two funds are linked to the Russell 3000, a barometer of the total U.S. stock market while CSM is linked to the Credit Suisse 130/30 Large-Cap Index, which was developed by MIT finance professor Andrew Lo and Credit Suisse Director of Quantitative Research Pankaj Patel.

The 130/30 concept employs a hedge fund-like strategy of marrying long holdings with short.

A 130/30 fund will typically invest 130 percent of its assets in long positions, which increase in value if stocks rise, while 30 percent of the fund is invested in short positions, which benefit if stock prices fall. The strategy is often sold under the premise it can provide protection in down markets and add broader diversification.

The 130/30 strategy is still new and an unproven strategy in the world of ETF performance. Since its inception during the spring of last year, the First Trust Enhanced 130/30 ETN (JFT) has lost around half its value.

For investors that don't like the taxation and credit risk associated with ETNs, Fidelity Investments offers a 130/30 large cap mutual fund (FOTTX).

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

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