7 Best Leveraged ETFs for February 2024

Leveraged ETFs have the potential for high rewards, but they also carry high risk.
Alana Benson
By Alana Benson 
Updated
Edited by Arielle O'Shea

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Leveraged ETFs promise big rewards, but the risk may outweigh them. If you're looking to include leveraged ETFs in your investment portfolio, it's a good idea to approach them with caution.

Best-performing leveraged ETFs

Here are some of the best-performing leveraged equity ETFs. Note, as with any investment, those performing well today may not be performing well tomorrow.

Ticker

Name

5-year return

USD

ProShares Ultra Semiconductors

50.37%

FNGU

MicroSectors FANG+™ Index 3X Leveraged ETN

48.17%

TECL

Direxion Daily Technology Bull 3X Shares

47.98%

FNGO

MicroSectors FANG+ Index 2X Leveraged ETNs

45.92%

ROM

ProShares Ultra Technology

37.49%

TQQQ

ProShares UltraPro QQQ

36.75%

SOXL

Direxion Daily Semiconductor Bull 3x Shares

35.89%

Source: VettaFi. Data is current as of market close on Feb 1, 2024. Data is intended for informational purposes only.

Leveraged ETF definition

A leveraged ETF is an exchange-traded fund that tracks an existing index, but rather than match that index’s returns, it aims to increase them by two or three times.

» Looking for general ETF data? Check out a list of the best ETFs in terms of performance.

For example, say you had a traditional ETF that tracked the S&P 500 index. If the S&P 500 increased in value by 1%, your ETF would likely also increase by about 1% because it holds most of the same companies the index tracks.

But if you had a leveraged S&P 500 ETF, that 1% gain could be magnified and instead be a 2% or 3% gain. While that’s great if the market is going up, it’s not so great if the market is going down. If the S&P 500 lost 1%, you could lose 2% or 3%.

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How do leveraged ETFs work?

So, how do leveraged ETFs achieve those impressive returns (or magnified losses)? Leveraged ETFs borrow money — typically from a bank or investment firm — and invest that money into contract investments, such as futures or options. These types of investments are highly speculative and can pay out big. But they can also lose big.

If the leveraged ETF you’re investing in is using a high-risk strategy, it’s possible that your losses could exceed the amount you invested.

By contrast, if you invest in a traditional ETF, you won’t lose more than the amount you invested — and losing that entire investment is relatively rare with traditional ETFs.

Leveraged ETFs are very risky and should be approached with caution.

Leveraged ETF expenses

Leveraged ETFs tend to have much more expensive fees than traditional ETFs. Leveraged ETF expense ratios can float around 0.95%. That’s a high price tag compared to most passive ETFs, which can have expense ratios as low as 0.10% or 0.20%.

Leveraged ETFs may also charge interest and transaction fees, which can reduce your overall return.

Learn more

Neither the author nor editor held positions in the aforementioned investments at the time of publication.
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