The first half of 2019 was marked by investor jitters centered on slowing growth, trade wars and geopolitical risk, all of which led to a rush to safety in the form of fixed income ETFs. The first six months of the year were also marked by a healthy appetite for risk, with the S&P 500 penciling in new record highs, and its strongest start to a year in two decades.
This has been a market where just about everything seems to be working well. And ETF investors have put money to work across various asset classes and segments at a pace that now exceeds that of 2018’s.
Asset Classes (Year-to-Date)
|Net Flows ($, mm)||AUM ($, mm)||% of AUM|
|U.S. Fixed Income||66,813.19||686,404.03||9.73%|
|International Fixed Income||8,414.46||77,732.95||10.82%|
Even as the momentum tide lifts most boats, some ETFs have really delivered a performance punch year to date. The list of the top 10 best-performing ETFs couldn’t be more diverse.
Here are this year’s total return winners so far:
|Ticker||Fund||YTD Return||AUM (Millions)|
|TAN||Invesco Solar ETF||51.70%||$357|
|PBW||Invesco WilderHill Clean Energy ETF||39.20%||$170|
|GREK||Global X MSCI Greece ETF||38.00%||$378|
|ARKG||ARK Genomic Revolution ETF||37.65%||$429|
|PTF||Invesco DWA Technology Momentum ETF||37.60%||$210|
|AGT||iShares MSCI Argentina and Global Exposure ETF||36.70%||$26|
|UGA||United States Gasoline Fund LP||36.50%||$39|
|ARGT||Global X MSCI Argentina ETF||36.30%||$94|
|CHIS||Global X MSCI China Consumer Staples ETF||36.00%||$2|
|IPO||Renaissance IPO ETF||35.00%||$51|
Sources: FactSet, ETF.com; data as of July 1, 2019. ETNs and leverage, inverse ETFs excluded.
On this list, it’s not surprising to see the Invesco DWA Tech Momentum ETF (PTF) among the leaders. The tech sector has led the S&P 500 handily in 2019.
It’s also not too surprising to see the Renaissance IPO ETF (IPO) land on this list given how hot the initial public offering (IPO) market has been this year. IPO does a great job of capturing the top 80% of new IPO market cap by buying stocks within three months of their first listing.
But there are some more surprising winners here.
Renewable Energy Leads The Pack
The Invesco Solar ETF (TAN) and the Invesco WilderHill Clean Energy ETF (PBW) have delivered the strongest performance this year, boosted by single-security holdings focused on solar power.
The outlook for growing solar energy demand has buoyed the segment—recent legislation such as California’s new mandate for solar panels to be included in new homes beginning in 2020 is an example.