Monday, May 4, 2009

Buying BGZ as a Hedge and Speculation

Originally posted at The No Buy List:

My portfolio is made up of plenty of high-beta stocks with questionable futures.... I am proud to hold 1000+ shares of ETFC. Other winners (note to reader: that's typed sarcastically) include AIG. Rounding out some other holdings are Penn Gaming and US Steel.

To hedge this exposure and to attempt to profit off of a market correction that I believe is overdue, I just purchased some shares of BGZ, one of Direxion's 3x ETFs. BGZ is 3x bear Large-Caps, so I expect it to more closely track the indexes (S&P 500/Nasdaq) than any of their other highly-leveraged instruments.

The Direxion products are widely criticized for destroying share value simply because of the details of how it leverages up performance, so holding it for forever isn't recommended. But with market strength today, I figured I'd buy it with a one- to two-week timeframe due to stock-market strength and the potential for forthcoming weakness (such as stress-test results released later this week).

As with any volatile instrument, I entered a stop-limit sell order to protect against huge losses. My stop-limit is currently at $38.50, which may be adjusted up if the shares move up as I think they will. My intended exit is roughly $50/share, which should happen if the market is down 2%/day for 3 days in a row.

So this is how I'm attempting to trade what I feel is current exuberance in the market... We'll see how well this method really works.

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