Thursday, August 7, 2008

More Inverse Stuff

Thanks goes again to Doug for pointing this out to me. The idea was could you short the ultra long and short the ultra short essentially offsetting your risk while earning some returns. Maybe you can. This graph (click on it to get a good look) compares to the returns of SPY (the S&P 500), SDS (the ultra short of the S&P 500), and SSO (the ultra long of the S&P 500). What you find is astounding. First in two years the S&P is right back to the same spot. S&P 500 return is zero. The ultra long has returned a -17% and the ultra short has returned a -7%. This does not take into account dividends.

What matters most in these ultras is consistency either going up or down. When it gets choppy value erodes quickly. So from August to February you had a steady trend up. No value was eroded and you maybe lost a percentage or two. The risk seems only if the market sticks in one direction. A black swan type event like nuclear fallout or something could be a problem. You will definitely create alpha though.

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