The downturn in equity markets made for a lucrative start to 2022 for short sellers. A report from investment data firm S3 Partners revealed year-to-date through May 16th, short-sellers had raked in an astonishing $215.6 billion in market-to-market profits. After a robust market-wide summer rally, stocks seem to be cooling off once again. The major indices began today’s session with losses of 1% or more.
In times like this, a short position can reward handsomely. However, for many everyday investors, the risks associated with selling stocks are too steep to justify. While a stock can only fall to zero, it can climb infinitely, making the risk of loss on a short sale theoretically unlimited.
Today we’re featuring a unique approach to short-selling that allows investors to take a position inverse to a curated selection of large and mid-cap stocks. This approach appeals to bearish investors who are looking to reap the benefits of a position opposite potential losers but aren’t 100% focused on watching the market.
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The AdvisorShares Ranger Equity Bear ETF (HDGE) is unlike most products offering short exposure to domestic and international equity markets as it is an actively-managed fund that seeks to identify candidates for short selling based on forensic accounting and other quant-based methodologies.
The fund is making the most of a bad situation, posting positive returns as stocks continue to weaken. As an actively managed portfolio of individual components (versus a fund that’s inversely correlated to the market), HDGE offers the unique benefit of a time cushion in the event of a slow recovery, unlike a bear market or inverse fund where a market recovery would likely lead to an immediate loss in value.
The managers behind this fund have an impressive track record, and the fund has a wide variety of potential applications depending on an investor’s outlook for the U.S. market. The primary downside of this ETF is the hefty 5.2% expense ratio. The fund’s strategy also involves frequent buying and selling of securities, which may lead to a high portfolio turnover and, consequently, create a drag on returns.
Overall, HDGE enjoys a solid asset base and can be used as an alternative for ‘vanilla’ inverse equity funds. Its unique approach provides a solution for bearish investors who aren’t 100% focused on watching the market.
Should you invest in HDGE right now?
Before you consider buying HDGE, you'll want to see this.
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