The VelocityShares Daily Inverse VIX Short Term ETN XIV, -92.58% was created to give traders an opportunity to bet against a rise in volatility — the calmer the markets, the more profitable the trade. And it’s been one of the best plays out there amid the bull’s long and steady assault on new highs.
All that changed, however, when the stock market began to seriously flame out last week. The ultimate gut-shot landed Monday when the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +2.33% was smacked with a record-setting retreat. The XIV dropped 90% after hours following the selloff, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake.
Nowhere was the pain more palpable than on Reddit’s “Trade XIV” group, which counts more than 1,800 members. One of them goes by the cyber-handle Lilkanna, and to say he’s had a rough stretch would be a huge understatement.
“I’ve lost $4 million, 3 years worth of work, and other people’s money,” he wrote in a post that’s garnering lots of attention. “Should I kill myself?”
First response: Absolutely not. Second: Show proof.
So Lilkanna posted this screenshot:
If he’s to be believed, wow. Brutal. How did it happen?
“I started with 50k from my time in the army and a small inheritance, grew it to 4 mill in 3 years of which 1.5 mill was capital I raised from investors who believed in me,” Lilkanna explained, adding that those “investors” were friends and family.
“The amount of money I was making was ludicrous, could take out my folks and even extended family to nice dinners and stuff,” he wrote. “Was planning to get a nice apartment and car or take my parents on a holiday, but now that’s all gone.”
Reddit can be an unforgiving place for those sharing tales of woe, but Lilkanna’s epic collapse struck a chord and the feedback, for the most part, was supportive.
“Hey man, I know others have said it but I’m here for you man,” Passively-Aggressive wrote. “It may seem like the end of the world but tomorrow is a new day.”
UNoobIPro echoed that sentiment. “Jesus dude, if you were able to turn 36k into 2.5 million (even with raised capital), you can make back all the lost money and then some,” he said. “You just have to learn from the lessons and give it time, you will make it back in no time. It sounds cliche as f**k but you know its true.”
And Silver5005 commiserated with his awful market experience.
“If you want to feel better I was short from the election of Trump all the way until 1/26/2018 and I basically ran out of money and liquidated the last of my account,” he wrote. “I sat through the most brutal bull market rally in history just to watch the crash begin a week later.”
The support seemed to ease the pain.
“Thanks for your kind words. Its always quite humbling to get shat on by random people,” Lilkanna responded. “It’s also EXTREMELY uplifting to be reassured by other people you don’t even know on the internet.”
Hopefully, words are enough for now, because a recovery in the XIV doesn’t look too promising at this point. Credit Suisse, the bank behind the security, announced Tuesday that February 20 will be the last day of trading before liquidation.
Well, they didn’t have any stop loss in place?
Guess they were not elite traders. Everyone on this forum uses stop loss, right?