It was fun (not really) while it lasted, but America's habitual gamblers have finally grown tired of the theta sucking monsters known as uber-levered ETFs. End result: Direxion is announcing it is closing nine 3X levered ETFs.
The Board of Trustees of the Direxion Shares ETF Trust has decided to liquidate and shutter nine exchange-traded funds ("Funds") based on the recommendation of Rafferty Asset Management, LLC, the Trust's advisor.
Due to the Funds' inability to attract sufficient investment assets, Rafferty believes they cannot continue to conduct their business and operations in an economically efficient manner. As a result, the Board concluded that liquidating and shuttering the Funds would be in the best interests of the Funds and their shareholders.
The Trust will close the following Funds: Direxion Daily Agribusiness Bull 3X Shares (COWL), Direxion Daily Agribusiness Bear 3X Shares (COWS), Direxion Daily Basic Materials Bear 3X Shares (MATS), Direxion Daily BRIC Bull 3X Shares (BRIL), Direxion Daily BRIC Bear 3X Shares (BRIS), Direxion Daily Healthcare Bear 3X Shares (SICK), Direxion Daily India Bear 3X Shares (INDZ), Direxion Daily Latin America Bear 3X Shares (LHB) and Direxion Daily Retail Bear 3X Shares (RETS).
And to think they all had such memorable names...
What happens next:
Shares of the Funds will stop trading on the NYSE Arca, Inc., and will no longer be open to purchase by investors, at the close of regular trading on September 5, 2012. Shareholders may sell their holdings in the Funds prior to the closing date, and those transactions are subject to customary brokerage charges. Between the closing date and the liquidation date, shareholders may only be able to sell their shares to certain broker-dealers and there is no assurance that there will be a market for the Funds during that time period.
On September 12, 2012, the Funds will liquidate their assets and distribute cash pro rata to shareholders who have not previously redeemed or exchanged their shares. These payments are taxable and will include any accrued capital gains and dividends. Each Fund's net asset value will reflect the costs of closing the Fund as calculated on the liquidation date. The Funds will close when the distributions are complete.
The process of closing down and liquidating the Funds' portfolios, scheduled to take place between September 5, 2012 and September 12, 2012, will result in the Funds not tracking their underlying indexes and experiencing an increase in cash holdings. These developments may not be consistent with each Fund's investment objective and strategy.
Following the disappearance of 3x ETFs as an asset class we will see the exit stage left of 2x levered ETFs, then unlevered ETFs, especially if key ETF market maker Knight folds, then finally single name stocks, as nobody is left to trade anything or hold the bag, and as no incremental capital remains to be "invested" into the stock market by the greater fool.