Trading Costs and ETFs: FAZ and FAS

Includes: FAS, FAZ
by: IndexUniverse Europe

By Matthew Hougan

Addressing Paul Amery's recent blog posting, another issue with FAZ is that its vanishing share price ($4.40 per share) means that trading FAZ now has a significant cost.

Many professional investors in the United States pay a per-share fee to buy and sell securities. Sometimes it’s a penny a share, but more often it’s 2, 3 or even 4 cents a share.

Let’s take one of the lower numbers—two cents a share. Using that, a round-trip trade in the fund costs four cents per share.

But don’t forget spreads. FAZ and FAS are both extraordinarily liquid, often trading at the minimum possible spread of a penny a share. But if you add a penny spread onto both sides of a round-trip trade, you’re talking about 6 cents per share to buy and sell FAZ.

On a $25 or $50 ETF, 6 cents would be minuscule. But for an ETF trading at $4.40/share, 6 cents is 1.36%. To put it another way, trading $10,000 worth of FAZ now costs you about $136 round-trip!

Time for a reverse split?

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