4 Contrarian ETFs, For Better Or Mostly Worse

April 23, 2015

We’ve all heard that investors have a tendency to buy high and sell low because emotions get the best of them when markets turn south. But it seems that in the ETF market, that’s not often the case.


On the contrary, time and time again, we see massive creations on funds that bleed value.


Consider these funds:


These seemingly out-of-favor funds have actually been attracting impressive inflows so far this year.



Year-to-date, their performances have been a mixed bag. RSX, for instance has had a killer run, climbing more than 31 percent, while the SPDR S&P 500 (SPY | A-98) barely inched 2.65 percent higher. GDX has also outperformed SPY, but as the chart below shows, USO and GREK continue to hemorrhage. 




Russia as an investment theme has been largely out of favor given trading bans with the West and ongoing geopolitical instability in the region. And yet, investors poured more than $360 million in fresh net assets into the fund so far this year. In this case, buying in has paid off.


On the flip side is GREK, which has slipped more than 23 percent since the beginning of the year. But asset flows into the fund have already exceed $175 million so far this year.


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