Has the bloom come off the inverse and the leveraged exchange-traded fund? "I think it really has,'' said Michael Rawson, ETF analyst for Morningstar.

The numbers seem to back him up. Assets held in inverse funds have fallen off for three years running. Morningstar has them at $16.2 billion, through the end of September. That compares to $18.3 billion at the end of 2009.

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