5 min read
By Ron Koren, ETF Insider


In the vast arena of exchange-traded funds (ETFs), energy-focused funds capture a unique interest. Among these, the comparison between ERX (Direxion Daily Energy Bull 3X Shares) and OIH (VanEck Vectors Oil Services ETF) is often debated. Both ETFs offer exposure to the energy sector, but there are key distinctions that potential investors should understand. This article delves into the core differences and similarities between the two.

ERX VS OIH: Sectors and Top Holdings

ERX and OIH, at first glance, might seem similar due to their shared focus on the energy sector. However, a deeper dive reveals differences in their top holdings and sector concentrations.
ERX, being a leveraged ETF, aims to provide investors with a return that's three times the daily performance of the Energy Select Sector Index. This means it primarily focuses on the broader energy sector, including companies like ExxonMobil, Chevron, and ConocoPhillips. The nature of the fund makes it potentially more volatile, but it can offer higher returns when the energy sector is performing well. OIH, on the other hand, is more specialized. It tracks the MVIS® US Listed Oil Services 25 Index, concentrating on oil services companies. Its top holdings frequently feature industry giants like Schlumberger, Halliburton, and Baker Hughes. This ETF offers a more niche exposure compared to the broader energy focus of ERX.

ERX overlap ERX VS OIHERX overlap ERX VS OIH

ERX VS OIH: Capitalization Strategy

Capitalization strategy is a critical factor to consider when evaluating ETFs. Both ERX and OIH differ slightly in this regard. ERX, due to its leveraged nature, tends to prioritize larger companies in the energy sector. Its strategy is to amplify the daily returns, which means it leans towards stable, well-capitalized companies that can potentially generate consistent performance. OIH, in contrast, offers a blend of both large-cap and mid-cap companies within the oil services niche. Its capitalization strategy is more diverse, aiming to reflect the performance of the most significant publicly listed oil services companies in the U.S.

ERX VS OIH: Tracking and Exposure

The level of exposure and the efficiency with which an ETF tracks its underlying index are vital components for potential returns. ERX, being a 3x leveraged ETF, doesn't merely track the Energy Select Sector Index – it seeks to amplify its returns. As such, investors in ERX must be prepared for heightened volatility. This fund can provide thrice the daily gains of its index, but it can also suffer triple the losses. Its exposure is thus amplified, making it suitable for investors who have a higher risk tolerance and are looking for short-term trading opportunities.
OIH provides a more direct exposure to the oil services sector without the leveraged element. It closely tracks the MVIS® US Listed Oil Services 25 Index. Investors looking for a more stable, long-term investment in the oil services space might find OIH more in line with their objectives.


ERX and OIH, while both rooted in the energy sector, cater to different investment needs. ERX, with its leveraged approach, offers an opportunity for higher returns but comes with increased risk. It's best suited for investors who understand the nuances of leveraged ETFs and have a short-term investment horizon. OIH, being a non-leveraged ETF focused on the oil services sector, provides a more direct and stable exposure. It's a better fit for those looking to invest in the oil services space over the long term without the amplified daily volatility of leveraged funds.
In essence, the decision between ERX and OIH comes down to an investor's risk appetite, investment horizon, and specific sectoral interests within the energy domain.


  1. Direxion's official website (for ERX details).
  2. VanEck's official website (for OIH details).
  3. Yahoo Finance (for ETF performance and top holdings).
  4. Investopedia (for general ETF knowledge).

ERX ETF issuer
ERX ETF official page

ERX quote and analysis

Discover the top holdings, correlations, and overlaps of ETFs using our visualization tool.
Our app allows you to build and track your portfolio.
To learn more about the ERX Direxion Daily Energy Bull 2x Shares, access our dedicated page now.

Get started