Best Performing Active ETFs

January 19, 2017

ARK Industrial Innovation ETF (ARKQ) – up 41.2% in the past 12 months

ARKQ is a global technology fund that focuses exclusively on companies the portfolio manager believes will benefit from new technologies and automation.

ARKQ is not a broad tech portfolio, but more of a cutting-edge tech portfolio. The segments found in this mix include 3D printing at 32% weighting; robotics at 27%; and autonomous vehicles at 27%, according to ARK Invest. The fund’s top holding is Tesla.

Launched in September 2014, the fund has $18 million in assets. It carries an expense ratio of 0.75%, and trades with an average spread of 0.19%. 

WisdomTree Brazilian Real Fund (BZF) – up 41% in the past 12 months

BZF is a proxy for the Brazilian real, attracting investors who want to express a view on that currency. The past 12 months, in general, have been good for strategies tapping into Brazil. The currency has strengthened thanks largely to an ongoing political shake-up there following the impeachment of former president Dilma Rousseff, and Brazilian equities have done equally well—the iShares MSCI Brazil Capped ETF (EWZ) is up 100% in one year.

BZF delivers exposure to changes in the value of the Brazilian currency relative to the U.S. dollar as well as real short money-market rates in Brazil primarily through currency forward positions. The fund currently has an income yield of 11%.

As WisdomTree describes it, BZF is designed to generate total return from “currency appreciation, implied yield of the Brazilian real, and potential income generated from U.S. money market collateral securities.”

BZF has $21 million in assets and comes with a 0.45% expense ratio. Notable here is the wide trading spreads, currently averaging 0.55%, according to our data. That puts the cost to own and trade this ETF at about 1%, or $100 per $10,000 invested. 

Charts courtesy of

Cinthia Murphy can be reached at [email protected].


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