EGPT And Beyond: 2012’s Top ETFs So Far

September 28, 2012



It would be hard to miss the strong presence of biotech ETFs on this list. In fact, four out of five of the Top 10 list offers exposure to biotech:

  • Market Vectors Biotech (NYSEArca: BBH), +47 percent
  • First Trust NYSE Arca Biotechnology (NYSEArca: FBT), +41 percent
  • SPDR S&P Biotech (NYSEArca: XBI), +39 percent
  • iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology (NasdaqGM: IBB), +35 percent


Individually the companies in these funds are generally more volatile than, say, large drug companies. But owning many such companies in a fund offers inexpensive diversification that minimizes such risks.

This year's bull market has helped riskier health care investments, and so have an aging global population; the prospect of Obamacare fueling demand growth; and a spike in mergers & acquisitions.

Although FBT was ahead of BBH earlier this year, BBH with its global exposure has gained ground. BBH returned over 46 percent, whereas FBT, XBI and IBB returned 41 percent, 39 percent and 35 percent, respectively.

Real Estate

Last but not least, two ETFs focused on real estate in Asia—the Guggenheim China Real Estate ETF (NYSEArca: TAO) and the iShares FTSE EPRA/NAREIT Developed Asia Index Fund (NasdaqGM: IFAS)—squeezed into our top 10 list, returning 35 percent and 32 percent, respectively.

Government incentives and low interest rates have been strong incentives for homebuyers in Chinese and Japanese real estate markets.

It's possible that many of the funds on the year-to-date top returns list will still be on it at the end of the year. I'll circle back to have another look when the final 2012 numbers are in.


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