March 10, 2020
I utilize leveraged and inverse funds in my overall investment framework. They offer inexpensive ways to either hedge or provide a possible momentum accelerator to my overall investment thesis. I understand the characteristics and risks of LI funds. I understand that the funds I allocate to LI funds may go to zero. Brokerage firms essentially limit the ability to apply margin leverage to these funds so my risk of losing more than my cash exposure is limited. My brokerage fund provides a maintenance requirement of 90%. If the SEC wants to further limit the use of these funds, a simply requirement to limit any use of margin would be my suggestion (maintenance requirement of 100%). If I want added leverage and am willing to suffer the premium cost, I can simply use options on LI funds - again understanding the risk of losing my entire investment. Prohibiting the use of selling naked options on these funds would make sense. I have never done this or even tried this, because given the risk and volatility of these funds, I would not want this much risk of volatility.
The use of LI funds in my own portfolio has dramatically limited my loss exposure in these past two weeks.
I also understand the erosion of comparative value of these funds held over time. The prospectus provided by these funds clearly outlines this risk. From a tax perspective, I have elected mark-to-market rules one of the entities I trade within, due to the fact that the likelihood of holding LI funds for longer than 1 year to gain long term capital gain tax treatment is unlikely.
I am a CPA by original background and training and am in my brokerage accounts each week assessing my short-term trading positions including any use of LI funds.
The Government (the SEC) role should be to implement laws and rules to protect me from others. Please do not engage in implementing laws and rules to protect me from myself. A simple signed acknowledgement statement of the risk should suffice.
If the SEC does elect to pursue rules to evaluate whether I am capable of evaluating the risks of using LI funds - please also provide a transparent process for investors and traders to challenge any contrary findings - including the qualifications of those making such judgments - and equitable restitution for inappropriate denials of access.
Furthermore, if the SEC does press forward and implement the proposed regs under 34-87607, please include rules that allow for prior use of LI funds would automatically qualify a person to continue trading LI funds.