15 Most Volatile ETFs

March 01, 2016

Wild Swings In Unleveraged Products, Too

Of course, leveraged ETFs aren't the only products more volatile than SPY. There are also plenty of unleveraged products that have seen much higher volatility than the broad U.S. stock market, such as the iPath Global Carbon ETN (GRN). Its one-year volatility reading of 97.7 means it's been almost 10 times as volatile as the S&P 500. GRN is a thinly traded ETN that tracks the global carbon credit market.

Meanwhile, the VelocityShares Daily Inverse VIX Short-Term ETN (XIV) and the ProShares Short VIX-Short-Term Futures ETF (SVXY) are two other products for which wild swings are the norm. One-year volatility for the pair is currently north of 60.

The two have ample liquidity and a combined $1 billion in assets, making them well-suited for traders looking to make quick bets on volatility. Incidentally, these are among the best-performing products of the year, as betting against the VIX has paid off handsomely.

Related volatility products that provide long exposure to the VIX are also on the most volatile list. The VelocityShares Daily Long VIX Short-Term ETN (VIIX), the ProShares VIX Short-Term Futures ETF (VIXY) and the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (VXX) each have one-year volatility readings above 58.

Outside of volatility products, ETFs tracking gold miners and energy producers are among the most volatile in the market. The VanEck Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF (GDXJ), the PureFunds ISE Junior Silver ETF (SILJ) and the iPath Bloomberg Energy Subindex Total Return ETFN (JJE) all have one-year volatility readings in the 47-57 range.

For a complete list of the most volatile ETFs, see the tables below:


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