5 Top-Performing Active ETFs In 2014

By
March 12, 2014
Share:

The ETF market is predominantly passively managed—of the 1,570 U.S.-listed ETFs today, only 84 are actively managed, with combined assets of around $15 billion.

Still, several active ETFs hold their own against passive funds, and some of the best performers are actually beating their indexed counterparts so far this year.

Below we list the five best-performing active ETFs so far in 2014, in ascending order.

5. The Pimco Build America Bonds Strategy (BABZ | B-69) is up 4.41 percent year-to-date.

BABZ invests in taxable municipal bonds publicly issued under the Build America Bond program. The portfolio of 33 securities is heavily allocated to revenue bonds and underweights general obligation issues, according to ETF.com Analytics.

Year-to-date, BABZ has seen returns of 4.4 percent, making it the fifth-best-performing active ETF.

But it’s worth pointing out that a similar index-based strategy, the PowerShares Build America Bond ETF (BAB| B-61), has now seen gains of 5 percent in the same period. What’s more, Pimco’s BABZ delivers slightly lower yield-to-maturity of 4.8 percent compared with BAB’s 5.5 percent. But it serves up lower sensitivity to interest rates.

“At 45 basis points, BABZ is fairly costly, but it’s the trading costs that investors should be aware of,” ETF.com Analytics says of the ETF. “The fund trades less than $200,000 on most days, with average spreads of 28 basis points—nowhere near liquid.”

The 33-holding bond fund, which came to market in September 2010, is currently delivering a 30-day SEC yield of 4.22 percent. The portfolio has an effective duration of 10.28 years and effective maturity of 19.25 years. BABZ has $20 million in assets under management.

BABZ_YTD_Perf-png

 

ETF.COM CHANNELS

Trying to figure out alternatives ETFs? Use our alternatives ETFs channel, library and ETF screener!

Want to learn more about smart-beta ETFs? Check out our smart-beta guide, essentials library and ETF screener!

ETF DAILY DATA

Investors pulled more than $5.4 billion from equity ETFs Thursday, Sept. 3, and added to U.S. fixed-income ETFs amid a choppy recovery.

'TLT' and a roster of fixed-income ETFs paced iShares' issuer-leading inflows Thursday, Sept. 3, as total U.S.-listed ETF assets hit $2.01 trillion.

ETF.COM ANALYST BLOGS

By Dave Nadig

With many ETFs currently trading well off fair value, what’s an ETF investor to do? Don’t panic.

By Matt Hougan

Out-of-favor funds can bring attractive returns.

By Matt Hougan

New data from Charles Schwab show that the death of mutual funds is happening faster than we thought.

By Dave Nadig

Grab the popcorn. Precidian just doubled-down on its nontransparent active ETF proposal with the SEC this morning.

ETF INDUSTRY PERSPECTIVE

By John Del Vecchio

An index that goes long financially sound companies and shorts the ones with problematic balance sheets.

By Dan Draper

The nature of retirement is changing. How can investors adapt?

By Invesco PowerShares

A more in-depth look at the smart-beta survey's results.