When Effect Leads Cause: Nikkei 2x Levered ETF Activity Up 1158% YTD
"If you think it is going to rise, you may as well double your return," is the risk-schmisk perspective one Japanese strategist notes, that appears to permeate every aspect of investing nowadays. If ever the herding recency-bias-based mentality was evident it is Japanese ETFs (which as everywhere in the world have become the primary liquidity driver - along with futures - of the underlying stocks on every exchange in the world). The double-levered Nikkei 225 ETF in Japan has seen trading activity rise an incredible 1158% year-to-date (while the broad Topix index has only seen a more 'normal' 17% rise in the same period). While institutional volume still dominates, individual investors (enamored of the crack-up boom in equities this year) have piled in like never before with 28% of Japan's trading volume now retail. This won't end well.
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