In an attempt to gain a competitive advantage, some investors have turned to exchange traded funds (ETFs) that utilize a 130/30 strategy.

Of the ETFs that enable one to gain exposure to this quantitative strategy, the ProShares Credit Suisse 130/30 (NYSEArca: CSM) has drawn the most attention.  Daniel Harrison of Index Universe analyzes this ETF in more detail and concludes that CSM has greater tracking error than the average S&P-weighted ETF, which translates into outsized gains compared to the index in certain markets.

Harrison states that CSM is attractive  because it can’t take a short position in a stock with a weighting of higher than 0.4% in the S&P, which in conjunction with an increasingly stable market environment, may enable advisors to give clients enhanced U.S. equity focus.

The 130/30 strategy in CSM uses financial leverage by shorting poor-performing stocks and buying stocks that are anticipated to have high returns. CSM tracks the Credit Suisse 130/30 Large-Cap Index.  The strategy uses a quantitative analytical system to rank all of the large-cap stocks in the U.S. market, then takes a 130% long position in the high-ranked stocks and a 30% short position in the low ranked stocks.

The ultimate goal of the strategy and the ETF is to generate alpha superior to that of a comparable long-only cap strategy over the long run and generate higher returns.

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