Worst Performing ETFs Of The Year

December 26, 2017

Soft Commodities Slide, Too

Energy wasn’t the only commodity group to lose steam in 2017. Soft commodities like sugar and coffee slid too. The iPath Bloomberg Sugar Subindex Total Return ETN (SGG) fell by 31.9%, while the iPath Bloomberg Coffee Subindex Total Return ETN (JO) lost 21.6%.

Improved weather conditions in Brazil helped ease the supply squeeze that sent sugar and coffee prices surging last year. The normalization of supply levels in the world’s largest producer of the two commodities brought prices down to where they were before last year’s spike.

Leverage Compounds Woes

Adding leveraged and inverse ETFs into the mix doesn’t change the picture much when it comes to the worst-performing funds. As bad a trade as betting on the VIX was, doing it with leverage simply made it even more devastating.

The ProShares Ultra VIX Short-Term Futures ETF (UVXY) and the VelocityShares Daily 2x VIX Short-Term ETN (TVIX) lost a whopping 94% each.

The same goes for betting on natural gas with leverage. The VelocityShares 3x Long Natural Gas ETN (UGAZ) dropped 88.4% this year.

At the same time, betting against areas of the market that were hot—with leverage—proved just as unhealthy for one’s portfolio. The Direxion Daily S&P Biotech Bear 3x Shares (LABD) shed 73%; the Direxion Daily Semiconductor Bear 3x Shares (SOXS) fell by 71.6%; and the Direxion Daily FTSE China Bear 3X Shares (YANG) tanked 61.9%. 

 

Worst Performing ETFs Of 2017 (all-encompassing)

Ticker Fund YTD Return (%)
UVXY  ProShares Ultra VIX Short-Term Futures ETF -94.22
TVIX  VelocityShares Daily 2x VIX Short-Term ETN -94.19
UGAZ  VelocityShares 3X Long Natural Gas ETN -88.43
VMAX  REX VolMAXX Long VIX Weekly Futures Strategy ETF -82.19
TVIZ  VelocityShares Daily 2x VIX Medium-Term ETN -74.94
LABD  Direxion Daily S&P Biotech Bear 3X Shares -73.03
VIXY ProShares VIX Short-Term Futures ETF -72.87
VIIX  VelocityShares Daily Long VIX Short-Term ETN -72.78
VXX  iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN -72.76
BOIL  ProShares Ultra Bloomberg Natural Gas -72.05
SOXS Direxion Daily Semiconductor Bear 3x Shares -71.6
GAZ  iPath Bloomberg Natural Gas Subindex Total Return ETN -65.3
TECS  Direxion Daily Technology Bear 3X Shares -62.2
YANG  Direxion Daily FTSE China Bear 3X Shares -61.86
EDZ  Direxion Daily MSCI Emerging Markets Bear 3X Shares -60.99
SQQQ  ProShares UltraPro Short QQQ -60.07
JDST  Direxion Daily Junior Gold Miners Index Bear 3X Shares -58.25
SSG  ProShares UltraShort Semiconductors -53.6
SDOW  ProShares UltraPro Short Dow30 -52.15
ZBIO  ProShares UltraPro Short Nasdaq Biotechnology -52.06

Note: Data measures the total return for the year-to-date period through Dec. 20.

 

Sumit Roy can be reached at [email protected]

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