The tally of best-performing funds is a mixed bag of volatility, mining and commodities strategies.
The first six weeks of the year have brought on a downward correction in the U.S. equity market following a stellar, record-breaking year in 2013. With that, we’ve seen a spike in volatility that reflects growing investor jitters as the Federal Reserve embarks on its second month of tapering.
Meanwhile, in commodities, several energy markets have found a strong footing on a record-setting winter in many parts of the country, and the downtrodden mining sector found new life in 2014.
It’s in that environment that these 8 ETFs stood out, delivering the best year-to-date returns so far.
The Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF (GDXJ) has seen total returns of 17.5 percent so far this year.
Precious metals mining ETFs—those that invest in the companies that explore and produce precious metals around the globe—are staging a serious bounce from what was a very difficult year in 2013. Most of them bled more than half of their value amid sinking gold and silver values.
Now there’s a growing perception that these mining stocks may have hit cyclical lows. A pickup in mergers and acquisitions in the space suggests valuations are attractive, which is pushing these stocks, and the ETFs that own them, higher.
GDXJ tracks a market-cap-weighted index of global gold and silver mining firms. Included in the index are small- and medium-capitalization companies. The fund has gathered $1.45 billion in total assets since inception, costs 0.55 percent in expense ratio, and trades with an average spread of 13 basis points, putting total cost of ownership around $68 per $10,000 invested.