Rafferty Asset Management, LLC (“Rafferty” or “Adviser”), the investment adviser to the Funds, uses a number of investment techniques in an effort to achieve the stated goal for each Fund. For the Bull Funds, Rafferty attempts to magnify the returns of each Bull Fund’s index or benchmark for the relevant period. The Bear Funds are managed to provide returns inverse (or opposite) by a defined percentage to the return of each Bear Fund’s index or benchmark for the relevant period. Rafferty creates net “long” positions for the Bull Funds and net “short” positions for the Bear Funds. (Rafferty may create short positions in the Bull Funds and long positions in the Bear Funds even though the net exposure in the Bull Funds will be long and the net exposure in the Bear Funds will be short.) Long positions move in the same direction as their index or benchmark, advancing when the index or benchmark advances and declining when the index or benchmark declines. Short positions move in the opposite direction of the index or benchmark, advancing when the index or benchmark declines and declining when the index or benchmark advances. Rafferty generally does not use fundamental securities analysis to accomplish such correlation. Rather, Rafferty primarily uses statistical and quantitative analysis to determine the investments each Fund makes and the techniques it employs. As a consequence, if a Fund is performing as designed, the return of the index or benchmark will dictate the return for that Fund. Each Fund pursues its investment objective regardless of market conditions and does not take defensive positions. A Fund generally will hold a representative sample of the securities in its benchmark index. The sampling of securities that is held by a Fund is intended to maintain high correlation with, and similar aggregate characteristics (e.g., market capitalization and industry weightings) to, the benchmark index. A Fund also may invest in securities that are not included in the index or may overweight or underweight certain components of the index. A Fund’s assets may be concentrated in an industry or group of industries to the extent that the Fund’s benchmark index concentrates in a particular industry or group of industries. In addition, each Fund is nondiversified, which means that it may invest in the securities of a limited number of issuers. Each Bull Fund and Bear Fund has a clearly articulated goal which requires the Fund to seek economic exposure in excess of its net assets. To meet its objectives, each Fund invests in some combination of financial instruments so that it generates economic exposure consistent with the Fund’s investment objective. The impact of market movements determines whether a portfolio needs to be re-positioned. If the target index has risen on a given day, a Bull Fund’s net assets should rise, meaning the Fund’s exposure may need to be increased. Conversely, if the target index has fallen on a given day, a Bull Fund’s net assets should fall, meaning the Fund’s exposure may need to be reduced. If the target index has risen on a given day, a Bear Fund’s net assets should fall, meaning the Fund’s exposure may need to be reduced. If the target index has fallen on a given day, a Bear Fund’s net assets should rise, meaning the Fund’s exposure may need to be increased. A Fund’s portfolio may also need to be changed to reflect changes in the composition of an index and corporate actions like stock splits and spin-offs. Rafferty increases the Fund’s exposure when its assets rise and reduces the Fund’s exposure when its assets fall. To determine which instruments to purchase or sell, Rafferty identifies instruments it believes exhibit price anomalies among the relevant group of financial instruments to identify the more advantageous instrument. Each Bull and Bear Fund is designed to provide daily investment returns, before fees and expenses, that are a multiple of the returns of its index or benchmark for the stated period. While Rafferty attempts to minimize any “tracking error” (the statistical measure of the difference between the investment results of a Fund and the performance of its index or benchmark), certain factors will tend to cause a Fund’s investment results to vary from the stated objective. A Fund may have difficulty in achieving its daily target due to fees and expenses, high portfolio turnover, transaction costs and/or a temporary lack of liquidity in the markets for the securities held by the Fund.
Failing to identify big market moves resulted in vicious double digit losses. Focusing on ‘small stuff’ won't make a portfolio whole. It’s time to forget about the small stuff and focus on the next big moves to land a home run. If you are a go-getter, chances are you tackle any task with a full-steam-ahead attitude. Whole-souled involvement in a project however, can cause the “can’t see through the forest for the tree” effect. Clearing the mind often helps. This could be compared to being stuck in a labyrinth and getting help from someone with a birds-eye view of your situation.
When it comes to investing, it’s easy to get sidetracked by factors that seem important but in essence cloud your judgment. This article is designed to provide a “birds-eye view” of the current investment environment.
Right now for example, it’s earnings season. Not a day goes by where a company doesn’t either exceed or fall short of their earnings. The market rallied when Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC) beat estimates but dropped when Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) also beat estimates. What does that mean?
Small stuff distractions There is at least a hand-full of commonly used indicators and time wasters that could be filled away in the “don’t sweat the small stuff” drawer. None of them alone is bad per say, but they might keep you from focusing on what’s really important (more about that later).
Distraction No. 1: Stock picking Buying individual stocks is exciting but dangerous. One piece of bad news might send a stock tumbling (or vice versa). Hyped up stocks tend to fall harder and faster than the broad market. Numerous studies show that baskets of stocks (or indexes) perform better than stock pickers. Mutual fund managers are an outstanding specimen of stock picking under performance.
Not only are broad market indexes and sector indexes safer, they are also easier to predict. Back in October 2008 for example, the ETF Profit Strategy Newsletter marked financials as a “down-ward spiral with no stop-loss protection.” At the time, we did not know which companies would go under, but it was clear that ETFs like the Financial Select Sector SPDRs (NYSEArca: XLF) should be avoided.