In the old days, investors who wanted to use leverage needed to take positions in the futures markets. Then leveraged ETFs came along.
These ETFs use leverage and futures, but they trade like stocks. An investor who invests in them can have exposure to leverage, but they don’t need to worry about the complexities and issues that come with trading in the futures market. The team that manages the ETF takes care of that.
SOXL is designed to return, before fees and expenses, 300% of the daily performance of the PHLX Semiconductor Sector Index. If the index is up 1%, SOXL will be up about 3%.
Aggressive investors who are bullish on gold could consider NUGT. It's designed to have returns that are 200% of the daily performance of the NYSE Arca Gold Miners Index, after fees and expenses. If the index gains 1%, NUGT should gain 2%.
Investors who are bearish on the market should consider SPXU. This ETF is designed to move three times the inverse of the S&P 500 Index. If the index is down 1%, SPXU should gain about 3%.