Frequently Asked Questions on Performance and Pricing
- How should I assess whether a ProShares ETF is tracking its benchmark?
When evaluating the performance of any ProShares ETF relative to that of its benchmark, make sure to use the appropriate valuation measures, the correct benchmark and the correct timeframe.
Don't confuse market price with NAV. ETF performance is tracked using net asset value (NAV). But investors purchase and sell ETFs at market price. Although an ETF's market price, its NAV, and its intraday values (real-time estimates of NAV) are typically close, these values may differ—especially in volatile markets (see ETF Pricing Glossary). During the trading day the market price is usually close to the intraday value, and at market close it is usually close to the NAV, but these values may diverge.
The result: the performance you experience, which is based on market prices, can differ from stated performance, which is based on NAV. This difference arises because you may have purchased or sold your ETF shares at a premium or discount to the NAV.
In this respect, ETFs are just like stocks (they trade throughout the day) and unlike mutual funds (which trade once a day, at NAV). This ability to buy and sell throughout the day is one of the primary benefits of ETFs.
Assess geared ETFs on daily performance, not long-term performance. Each Short or Ultra ProShares ETF seeks a return that is 2x, 3x, -1x, -2x, or -3x the return of an index or other benchmark (target) for a single day, as measured from one NAV calculation to the next. Due to the compounding of daily returns, geared ProShares' returns over periods other than one day will likely differ in amount and possibly direction from the target return for the same period. These effects may be more pronounced in funds with larger or inverse multiples and in funds with volatile benchmarks. Investors should monitor their ProShares holdings consistent with their strategies, as frequently as daily. For more on correlation, leverage and other risks, please read the prospectus.
Evaluate the performance of geared ETFs on daily NAV-to-NAV changes. The only way to judge how well a geared ProShares ETF is tracking its benchmark is to calculate the percentage change in its daily NAV from one trading day to the next. Comparing this daily change to the daily change in the benchmark index over the same time frame will reveal how well a geared ProShares ETF has tracked. For more, see Geared Fund Performance: Understanding leveraged and inverse funds.
- Why do intraday values (IOPV/IIV) and market prices differ?
Intraday values are an intraday estimate of an ETF's value, based on the most recent prices of its underlying securities and other investments. Intraday values are generally updated every 15 seconds. Market prices, on the other hand, are determined by buyers and sellers on the open market, based on supply and demand and the underlying value.
- Why do NAVs and closing market prices differ?
NAV is calculated by a standard methodology (detailed in the prospectus), and is set when the markets for the ETF's underlying securities close. This is usually 4:00 p.m. ET, when equity markets close, but some ETFs calculate NAVs at other times, when their underlying securities markets close. NAV calculation times are noted on each ProShares ETF product page.
The closing market price is the recorded last price of the trading day, and is also influenced by supply and demand. Any ProShares ETF can trade as late as 4:00 p.m. ET during the normal trading day session. If it is thinly traded, however, its last trade can occur much earlier in the day. So, depending on the particular ETF and its underlying holdings—as well as trading volume and volatility—there may be differences between an ETF's NAV and its closing price.
- How can I track performance of ProShares during the day?
You can track intraday performance by using intraday values (also called the IOPV or IIV), which are basically intraday estimates of an ETF's NAV. Every ETF has a unique ticker symbol for its intraday value. See Finding ProShares Intraday Values.
- How can I track the day-to-day performance of ProShares?
To track day-to-day performance, you need to calculate daily NAV-to-NAV changes. For current daily NAV-to-NAV changes on any ProShares ETF, click on the Products link at the top of the screen, and then select the fund you are interested in from the list. For historical daily NAV changes on any ProShares ETF, go to the Resources page and click on the file labeled "Historical NAVs for all ProShares ETFs" in the ETF Data Downloads section.
- Where can I get information about ProShares' benchmarks?
ProShares.com includes descriptions and the latest quarter's holdings for all benchmarks. Click on the fund whose benchmark you are interested in on the Products page. For more detailed information, many of our index providers have websites that provide daily performance (for example, sector indexes can be found at www.djindexes.com). Note that some index providers restrict access to their websites. Bloomberg ticker symbols for indexes tracked by ProShares ETFs can be found on our Products page. If you have specific questions about one of our benchmark indexes and can't find the information, call us at 866-726-5125.
- Who is responsible for how my ETF trades are executed?
Your trading desk, your broker, or whoever places your trades is responsible for your trade execution. Note that ProShares does not act as a broker and therefore can't control the execution of your ETF trades.
- What should I consider about ETF trade executions before placing an order?
ProShares is not a broker and can't control your trade execution. But we can offer a few suggestions for improving ETF trade execution.
- Check with your trading desk or broker before you place your order, to ensure that you have up-to-date bid-ask information. Why? Your intraday values and market price quotes may be delayed by up to 20 minutes, depending on the quoting service you use.
- Use limit orders instead of market orders to increase the likelihood that you'll get the price you want. Unlike market orders, limit orders prevent your trade executing at a price that's significantly different from what you expected. Market orders don't allow you to control your purchase or sale price.
With a limit order, you specify your purchase or sale price—buy limit orders can be executed only at the limit price or lower, and sell limit orders can be executed only at the limit price or higher. If the market doesn't reach the limit price, the order won't be filled.
To learn more about limit and market orders, see Understanding ETF Liquidity and Trading.
- Before placing an order at the beginning of the day, make sure the ETF has started to trade. Although an exchange may officially open at 9:30 a.m. ET, not every ETF begins trading immediately. Some ETFs may begin trading as late as 9:45 a.m. ET. Prices quoted between the opening and the first trade may rapidly change when trading actually begins, and as a result there may be larger spreads between an ETF's market price and the price at which your trade is executed during this time. Consider waiting until 9:45 a.m. ET before placing your order, particularly a market order.
Spreads between an ETF's market price and the price at which your trade is executed can also be wider toward the end of the trading day. Use care when trading at this time.
- Why are CUSIP and CGS ISIN numbers missing from ProShares' data downloads?
Change to distribution of CUSIP Global Services data. CUSIP, CINS, and CGS ISIN securities identification data ("CGS data") is proprietary to CUSIP Global Services ("CGS") and the American Bankers Association. ProShares has entered into a distribution agreement with CGS wherein, effective August 1, 2015, we are no longer able to freely redistribute CGS data as part of our ETF data downloads.
If you have a CGS license agreement. If you or your firm have a CGS license and wish to continue receiving CGS data through ProShares, you can register for an account on ProShares Transmissions, our password secured website for data downloads. Please call ProShares Client Services at 866-776-5125 for more information or to get access to ProShares Transmissions.
If you have questions about your CGS license agreement, please email the CGS licensing group directly at CGS_licensing@cusip.com.
If you do not have a CGS license agreement. If you do not have a CGS license but wish to continue receiving CGS data from ProShares, you must first obtain a CGS license agreement.
Please contact the CGS licensing group at CGS_licensing@cusip.com for information about obtaining a license agreement.