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With a month to go, I thought it would be interesting to screen on what ETFs have done the best year to date. There are a bevy of ETFs (overkill) and many languish with puny volume and hence for even a moderate sized investors are difficult to move in and out of, so I had to devise some sort of cut off. Aside from daily volume, I like net assets under management - however Finviz.com does not have that choice as a parameter. Hence we're limited to volume; I used 100K.

Here is the list with some discussion below


Ticker Company Return YTD Volume
AGQ ProShares Ultra Silver 115.49% 851
BHH B2B Internet HOLDRs 68.89% 104
TQQQ ProShares UltraPro QQQ 63.49% 284
SIL Global X Silver Miners ETF 59.09% 445
SIVR ETFS Physical Silver Shares 58.33% 402
SLV iShares Silver Trust 57.98% 21,728
URTY ProShares UltraPro Russell2000 54.65% 104
GDXJ Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF 51.13% 2,217
EPU iShares MSCI All Peru Capped Index 50.56% 299
PALL ETFS Physical Palladium Shares 50.54% 263
DGP PowerShares DB Gold Double Long ETN 48.98% 1,023
THD iShares MSCI Thailand Invest Mkt Index 46.13% 293
DRN Direxion Daily Real Estate Bull 3X Shrs 46.07% 965
UGL ProShares Ultra Gold 45.86% 234
GXG Global X/InterBolsa FTSE Colombia 20 ETF 44.39% 151
MWJ Direxion Daily Mid Cap Bull 3X Shares 42.59% 139
IDX Market Vectors Indonesia Index ETF 41.24% 226
ECH iShares MSCI Chile Investable Mkt Idx 40.76% 313
TNA Direxion Daily Small Cap Bull 3X Shares 38.19% 11,761
URE ProShares Ultra Real Estate 36.85% 1,247
MVV ProShares Ultra MidCap400 36.45% 205
FDN First Trust Dow Jones Internet Index 35.02% 250
XRT SPDR S&P Retail 33.78% 10,561
EIDO iShares MSCI Indonesia Invstble Mkt Idx 33.09% 237
AMJ JPMorgan Alerian MLP Index ETN 32.73% 827
XXV iPath Inverse S&P 500 Vix S/T Fut ETN 31.25% 170
UWM ProShares Ultra Russell2000 31.16% 2,802
FRN Guggenheim Frontier Markets 30.35% 145
UYM ProShares Ultra Basic Materials 29.20% 1,411
EWM iShares MSCI Malaysia Index 29.00% 2,943


Note - the 2nd best performer of the year is an old school Business to Business (B2B!) Internet ETF (this is from the late '90s). So many companies that were once in this ETF went bust in the post-90s bubble that this ETF only holds 2 names - Ariba (ARBA) and Internet Capital Group (ICGE). Now that's old school.

Excluding that gem, and removing the "Ultra" ETFs from the conversation, we can see a lot of emphasis on metals (precious or otherwise - with silver the star) and foreign emerging markets; especially of the Asian and South American kind. It seems 2009 was the year of the 'BRIC' - whereas 2010 is the year if the smaller fry in the same regions.

The triple and double real estate funds (usually full of REITs) were a surprise to me, considering this group had a whopper of a year in 2009 off the March lows. XXV is a new name to me - essentially it bets against market volatility (usually expressed via VIX). What I am curious about if the structure of the fund is as faulty as that of the VXX ETF or if indeed it bets in the opposite direction of VXX and hence benefits from how poorly that ETF is designed.

Original article

Source: Top 30 'Liquid' ETFs