I. What is leveraged ETF?
Leveraged ETF is a very popular financial derivative in the traditional financial market. It is a product that tracks the yield rate of underlying assets (for example, BTC) at certain times (3 times). For example, if BTC gains 1%, the net value of the corresponding 3 times ETF product will rise 3%, while the -3 times product will decrease -3%.
Leverage ETF is a perpetual product with no settlement day. Theoretically, its price will not completely approach zero, so there are no liquidation risks. Investors are able to buy/sell it at the secondary market at any time with no need for margin.
The value of leveraged ETF product is calculated in USDT. Its trading is very similar to spot trading. Leveraged ETF, essentially, is a fund in shares that are pegged with the return rate of the underlying assets at certain times. Investors are able to obtain yield times more than that of the underlying asset by trading leveraged ETF products. When the underlying assets fluctuate against the leveraged ETF you bought over a given threshold figure, the fund management party will rebalance the fund position to ensure the loss not exceeding a limited amount.
Simply put, investors are able to gain the yield of underlying assets at certain times by trading the corresponding leveraged ETF product, which is free of liquidation risks via control measures taken by the fund management agent.
MEXC now support 3 times long leverage (3L) and 3 times short leverage (3S). Users can check the leveraged ETF products by [Official website – Market – ETF Zone]
II. Advantages of leveraged ETF
Spot trading and no need for margin
Investors can trade leveraged ETF on MEXC with the same process of spot trading. There is no margin required, so no liquidation problem. Take purchasing BTC3L (3x long of BTC) as an example. Users only need to check the net value, select the proper price, and enter purchase quantity to buy BTC3L.
Compound-interest effect and risk limitation
The profit of the leveraged ETF product will be transferred to the principal automatically by the system. That is, if a user is gaining profit from the leveraged ETF he bought, the profit will be added to the principal in the next rebalance period (every day). As a result, the user’s position of the 3x leveraged ETF product will increase to gain a compound-interest effect.
Besides, leveraged ETF brings in a risk-control mechanism (refer to the details in the following part). For example, if BTC falls by 33%, the 3 times BTC long contract will be liquidated undoubtfully, while the leveraged ETF product BTC3L, through rebalancing mechanism, will not approach zero. There will be some assets left.
III. Price Mechanism of Leveraged ETF
Leveraged ETF, essentially, is a fixed-leverage fund that allows its investors enjoy the yield of an underlying asset at certain times each day. The fixed-leverage fund is managed by the platform or the certified fund manager. The platform will release the net value of the fund in real-time, to ensure transparency.
Theoretically, the net value per share is the fair price of the leveraged ETF product in secondary market. However, due to the volatile crypto market, there’s a possibility that the transaction price in the secondary market derivates from the fair price (net value) in a certain period of time, causing premium.
When a premium exists, there’s a profit opportunity in the secondary market, so the profit-earners will take the opportunity to gain earnings and remove the premium. As such, the transaction price back/near the fair price. For ordinary users, the order price you put shall not be too far away from the net value, or you may suffer great losses.
Here is the formula for calculating the net value:
IV. Rebalance Mechanism of Leveraged ETF
Generally, the rebalance will be performed at 00:00 (UTC+8) every day to avoid the enlargement of the gap between the portfolio's leverage ratio and the agreed ratio. When there is a sharp fluctuation, and the underlying asset ’s fluctuation exceeds a given threshold figure compared to the previous rebalance point (initially we set the threshold figure for 3x leverage short and long as 15%. In the future, if other leverages are available, the figure may be adjusted.), we will perform rebalancing to control the risk of the investment portfolio in time. The rebalancing is only for the party that has lost money in the volatile market. For example, if the BTC rises by 15%, we will rebalance the BTC3S product, and will not adjust BTC3L. Please note that when the market trend continues to rise or fall after rebalancing, user’s loss will be decreased, but if the market trend converses after rebalancing, the bounce of the product price may also become weaker than that before the rebalance is triggered.
Return Rate Dynamism
Take BTC3L (BTC 3x long product) as an example.
If the daily trend of the BTC in the spot market in four days is +10%, +10%, +10%, +10% respectively, the return rate of BTC3L will be 185%, higher than the 3 times of the return rate of BTC in the spot market (that is 44%);
If it is -10%, -10%, -10%, -10% respectively, the return rate will be -76%, lower than the 3 times of return rate of BTC in spot market (that is 35%);
If it is +10%, -10%, +10%, -10%, the return rate of BTC3L in four days will be -17%, underperform the 3 times of BTC’s return rate in four days of 2%.
Therefore, we can see that when it exceeds a rebalance period circle, the accumulated return rate of leveraged ETF product is unable to keep fixed leverage to that of the spot product. Specifically, under a single market trend (rise/fall), the performance of leveraged ETF will overtake the claimed leverage times (i.e. the accumulated increase amount of leveraged ETF product in the same direction will surpass the 3 times of return rate of the underlying asset, and the accumulated decrease amount of the inverse leveraged ETF product will be smaller than the 3 times of the underlying asset’s return rate). However, the performance of leveraged ETF product under fluctuating market will underperform the claimed leverage times.
V. Trading Fee of Leveraged ETF
The trading fee rate of leveraged ETF product is the same as the spot trading fee rate, which is 0.2%. Besides, we will charge a management fee for every time a leverage is made in a day (usually the fee rate is 0.1%, it may be adjusted based on the market performance) to pay the funding rate, trading fee and other necessary charges generated by the fund portfolios. The management fee will be manifested on the dynamics of net value. It is only charged at 00:00 (Singapore time). No fee will be charged if you do not hold the leveraged ETF product at the time point.
VI. Suitable Scenarios for Leveraged ETF
The best scenario for a leveraged ETF is in single trend market (rise/fall) because of the existence of the rebalancing mechanism. In such scenarios, the advantages of leveraged ETF are at their best play. But in fluctuating market (for example, rise and fall greatly), its advantages will be less prominent.
Therefore, on the one hand, predicting the right market direction is important for reducing investment risks, on the other judging whether it is the single direction market trend is also key to leveraged ETF product.
1. Leveraged ETF is an emerging financial product. The content above does not constitute investment advice. Please watch out for investment risks.
2. Leveraged ETF reduces the risks of liquidation, but in extreme conditions, there’s a possibility that the price will approach zero and be liquidated. Please pay attention to the difference between the order price and net value to avoid losses.