This article appeared at 10:34 a.m. EDT on RealMoney Sept. 17.
SAN DIEGO (RealMoney) -- From the "Now I've seen everything" department: USCF Advisers is launching a new ETF that invests in the stocks of companies that do 2-for-1 stock splits.
In its press release, the company says:
"The 2 for 1 Index idea is that a stock that splits may outperform expectations for a period of time. Investors and investment professionals have both been taught that stock splits really shouldn't impact a stock's performance, but there has been a lot of material published that demonstrates that stock splits, do in fact matter."
Yes, they do -- in a bull market, when all things rise, and when stocks that are split give the illusion of a bargain.
But, regardless of what the studies show, the reality is simple: Stock splits are an illusion. Nothing changes in a company's capitalization. Instead of having one stock at $50, you get two for $25. The market value of the company remains the same.
The idea behind splits, back in the old regulated days of commissions, was that small investors could get a better deal on buying a 100-share lot if the price was lower. In order to attract them, companies would do a split.
Since then, the concept of a split has translated into one of the last bastions (okay, not last!) of investment smoke and mirrors. It merely gives the illusion of making the stock more affordable. Yes, Apple (AAPL) has done it. So has Google (GOOGL) .