News Analysis date published New: 
Monday, July 23, 2012 - 14:30
New Date created: 
Tuesday, July 24, 2012 - 08:33
New Date last updated: 
Monday, July 23, 2012 - 14:30

This Recession-Proof Fund Could Double Your Money

Monday, July 23, 2012 - 2:30pm

Doubling your money on a single investment is a great accomplishment by any standard. But doubling your money in less than a month are the trades that legends are made of. Although that might sound like something best left to hedge-fund wizards like Jim Rogers and Paul Tudor Jones, there is a unique investment opportunity setting up right now that could easily double in the next 30 days.

I'm talking about the ProShares Ultra VIX Short-Term ETF (Nasdaq: UVXY), an exchange-traded fund (ETF) that seeks to replicate, net of expenses, twice the return of the S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures index for a single day. Shares of this ETF jumped from $12.57 to $24.22 from May 1 to May 18, almost doubling in price on just an 8% decline in the S&P 500 from 1,405 to 1,278. Take a look at the near 100% gain in less than three weeks in the chart below.

Daily chart-UVXY vs. S&P 500

But in the past six weeks, as you can see on the chart, UVXY has been beaten into the ground as the S&P 500 has climbed a wall of worry, gaining more than 8% to almost fully recover from May's

9% decline. But looking forward, this bullish movement in stocks doesn’t look sustainable even a cursory glance at recent data provides clear evidence that the global economy is slowing and headed for a recession.

Weak economic data abound
The biggest threat to the global economy remains the mess in Europe, where bond yields in core nations like Spain and Italy continue to signal major financial distress. This means the market remains highly skeptical of the European Central Bank's ability to manage the crisis and enforce austerity on its deficit members. And even if austerity were to work and take hold, less spending from large euro-zone governments would be a big drag on an already weak global economy.

China also continues to show signs of weakness. The largest emerging market in the world and huge source of international sales and earnings for the S&P 500 reported second-quarter gross domestic product growth of just 7.6%, its slowest pace in three years. This puts it on track for its slowest full-year growth since July, 1999.

Slower GDP growth is also taking root in the United States, which has been a relative bright spot in an otherwise dreary global economic scene. Three days ago on July 16, Goldman Sachs once again lowered its second-quarter GDP-growth projection, falling two tenths of a point to 1.1% on weaker-than-expected retail sales and manufacturing data. Second-quarter earnings are also signaling distress, with slower sales growth and margin compression setting the stage for slower earnings growth.

So with the macro economic data looking far worse than one month ago as stocks continue to rally, the stage is set for another meaningful pullback. And the best way to profit from this scenario is with UVXY. With an average trade volume of 5.8 million shares, this ETF has plenty of liquidity to soak up orders from even the biggest institutional traders. It also has a tight bid-ask spread that enables investors to secure cost-effective order execution. And with an expense ratio of 1.56%, this ETF is less expensive than its lone peer, the VelocityShares Daily 2X VIX Short-Term ETN (Nasdaq: TVIX).

Risks to Consider: UVXY has at times traded at a premium to its net asset value (NAV) as investors bid prices higher in anticipation of future gains. As it stands, that premium is marginal and non-threatening at about 80%. But buying shares at a sharp premium to NAV presents substantial risk in the event the premium collapses and reverts back to normalized levels.

Action to Take --> Stocks have seen big gains during the past six weeks in spite of a string of weak data that suggests the economy is headed back into a recession. This has once again set the stage for a pullback as the market recognizes the threat of a recession. A 10% pullback in the S&P 500 would send ProShares Ultra VIX Short-Term ETF back above $14, more than a 100% gain from current levels.

Michael Vodicka does not personally hold positions in any securities mentioned in this article.
StreetAuthority LLC does not hold positions in any securities mentioned in this article.

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