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Retail investors try to pick oil bottom and fail

Floor hands work on an oil rig in the Bakken shale formation outside Watford City, North Dakota.
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Floor hands work on an oil rig in the Bakken shale formation outside Watford City, North Dakota.

Retail investors appear to have doubled down on oil as prices for the commodity approach a six-year low.

Last month, investors poured $821 million into the United States Oil Fund ETF (USO), which closely tracks the performance of WTI crude, according to ETF.com.

Similarly, the VelocityShares 3X Long Crude Oil ETN (UWTI), a leveraged product that provides three times the exposure to the swings in oil, saw inflows rise to $653 million, according to the web site.

Both exchanged traded products ranked among the top 15 funds with the highest money flows in July, along with familiar names such as the SPDR S&P 500 (SPY) and the iShares Russell 1000 (IWB).

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