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The Golden Target: Analyzing the Tracking Performance of Leveraged Gold ETFs

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  • Tim Leung
  • Brian Ward

Abstract

This paper studies the empirical tracking performance of leveraged ETFs on gold, and their price relationships with gold spot and futures. For tracking the gold spot, we find that our optimized portfolios with short-term gold futures are highly effective in replicating prices. The market-traded gold ETF (GLD) also exhibits a similar tracking performance. However, we show that leveraged gold ETFs tend to underperform their corresponding leveraged benchmark. Moreover, the underperformance worsens over a longer holding period. In contrast, we illustrate that a dynamic portfolio of gold futures tracks significantly better than various static portfolios. The dynamic portfolio also consistently outperforms the respective market-traded LETFs for different leverage ratios over multiple years.

Suggested Citation

  • Tim Leung & Brian Ward, 2015. "The Golden Target: Analyzing the Tracking Performance of Leveraged Gold ETFs," Papers 1501.02276, arXiv.org, revised Jan 2015.
  • Handle: RePEc:arx:papers:1501.02276
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Dirk G. Baur & Brian M. Lucey, 2010. "Is Gold a Hedge or a Safe Haven? An Analysis of Stocks, Bonds and Gold," The Financial Review, Eastern Finance Association, vol. 45(2), pages 217-229, May.
    2. K. Triantafyllopoulos & G. Montana, 2011. "Dynamic modeling of mean-reverting spreads for statistical arbitrage," Computational Management Science, Springer, vol. 8(1), pages 23-49, April.
    3. Chia-lin Chang & Juan-Ángel Jiménez-Martín & Michael McAleer & Teodosio Pérez-Amaral, 2011. "Risk management of risk under the Basel Accord: forecasting value-at-risk of VIX futures," Managerial Finance, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 37(11), pages 1088-1106, September.
    4. Alexander, C. & Barbosa, A., 2008. "Hedging index exchange traded funds," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 326-337, February.
    5. Casarin, Roberto & Chang, Chia-Lin & Jimenez-Martin, Juan-Angel & McAleer, Michael & Pérez-Amaral, Teodosio, 2013. "Risk management of risk under the Basel Accord: A Bayesian approach to forecasting Value-at-Risk of VIX futures," Mathematics and Computers in Simulation (MATCOM), Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 183-204.
    6. Smales, Lee A., 2015. "Asymmetric volatility response to news sentiment in gold futures," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 161-172.
    7. Stoyu Ivanov, 2013. "The influence of ETFs on the price discovery of gold, silver and oil," Journal of Economics and Finance, Springer;Academy of Economics and Finance, vol. 37(3), pages 453-462, July.
    8. Narat Charupat & Peter Miu, 2014. "A New Method to Measure the Performance of Leveraged Exchange-Traded Funds," The Financial Review, Eastern Finance Association, vol. 49(4), pages 735-763, November.
    9. Tim Leung & Ronnie Sircar, 2015. "Implied Volatility of Leveraged ETF Options," Applied Mathematical Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(2), pages 162-188, April.
    10. Tim Leung & Xin Li, 2015. "Optimal Mean Reversion Trading With Transaction Costs And Stop-Loss Exit," International Journal of Theoretical and Applied Finance (IJTAF), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 18(03), pages 1-31.
    11. Baur, Dirk G. & McDermott, Thomas K., 2010. "Is gold a safe haven? International evidence," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(8), pages 1886-1898, August.
    12. Dipak Ghosh & Eric Levin & Robert E Wright & The Centre for Economic Policy Research, "undated". "Gold as an Inflation Hedge?," Working Papers Series 96/10, University of Stirling, Division of Economics.
    13. Kevin Guo & Tim Leung, 2016. "Understanding the Tracking Errors of Commodity Leveraged ETFs," Papers 1610.09404, arXiv.org.
    14. Pauline M. Shum & Jisok Kang, 2013. "Leveraged and inverse ETF performance during the financial crisis," Managerial Finance, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 39(5), pages 476-508, April.
    15. Hunter Matthew Holzhauer & Xing Lu & Robert W. McLeod & Jamshid Mehran, 2013. "Bad news bears: Effects of expected market volatility on daily tracking error of leveraged bull and bear ETFs," Managerial Finance, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 39(12), pages 1169-1187, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Tim Leung & Brian Ward, 2019. "Tracking VIX with VIX Futures: Portfolio Construction and Performance," Papers 1907.00293, arXiv.org.
    2. Tim Leung & Brian Ward, 2018. "Dynamic Index Tracking and Risk Exposure Control Using Derivatives," Applied Mathematical Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 25(2), pages 180-212, March.
    3. Tim Leung & Raphael Yan, 2019. "A stochastic control approach to managed futures portfolios," International Journal of Financial Engineering (IJFE), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 6(01), pages 1-22, March.
    4. Guo, Kevin & Leung, Tim, 2017. "Understanding the non-convergence of agricultural futures via stochastic storage costs and timing options," Journal of Commodity Markets, Elsevier, vol. 6(C), pages 32-49.
    5. Bahman Angoshtari & Tim Leung, 2019. "Optimal dynamic basis trading," Annals of Finance, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 307-335, September.
    6. Nian Yao, 2018. "Optimal leverage ratio estimate of various models for leveraged ETFs to exceed a target: Probability estimates of large deviations," International Journal of Financial Engineering (IJFE), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 5(02), pages 1-37, June.
    7. Gregor Dorfleitner & Anna Gerl & Johannes Gerer, 2018. "The pricing efficiency of exchange-traded commodities," Review of Managerial Science, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 255-284, January.
    8. Tim Leung & Hyungbin Park, 2017. "LONG-TERM GROWTH RATE OF EXPECTED UTILITY FOR LEVERAGED ETFs: MARTINGALE EXTRACTION APPROACH," International Journal of Theoretical and Applied Finance (IJTAF), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 20(06), pages 1-33, September.

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