Mispricing and Trading Profits in ETNs
Posted: 16 Sep 2012 Last revised: 15 Jul 2015
Date Written: September 14, 2012
We investigate whether a simple long-short weekly trading strategy based on mispricing among ETNs generates profits in excess of the S&P 500 over the sample period of June 6, 2006 to January 30, 2012. Ignoring transaction costs, liquidity, and short selling constraints we find the following. (1) mispricing is prevalent among ETN securities. We enter into 90 trades over our 295 week period using a mispricing threshold of 5% and requiring a minimum average daily volume of 20,000 shares. (2) Total returns to our strategy are significantly higher than the S&P 500, which had a total return of 3.70% over the same period. Our strategy generated total returns ranging from 9% to 110% over a mispricing threshold range of 8 to 14% depending on our minimum daily trading volume requirements. (3) Nearly all the trades and all the profits from our strategy come from the short side of our portfolio. This is consistent with previous empirical work demonstrating that ETNs are more likely to be overpriced than underpriced.
Keywords: exchange-traded notes, leveraged exchange-traded funds, tracking error, mispricing, ETNs, ETN, risk and performance, active management
JEL Classification: G10, G11, G12, G14
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation