Nasdaq Momentum Strategy
Rounding out the top 10 is one outlier, the PowerShares DWA Nasdaq Momentum ETF (DWAQ | B-46) with a 15.9 percent return. DWAQ's strategy of holding Nasdaq-listed stocks with strong price momentum was a winner so far this year, besting the cap-weighting scheme of the Fidelity Nasdaq Composite Tracking Stock (ONEQ | A-70), with a 9.2 percent return, as well as broader-stock-market ETFs, which were only up by single-digit percentages.
|Ticker||Fund||YTD Return (%)
as of 7/31/15
|PJP||PowerShares Dynamic Pharmaceuticals||22.98|
|DXJS||Wisdom Tree Japan Hedged Small Cap Equity||20.13|
|PTH||PowerShares DWA Healthcare Momentum||19.93|
|PBE||PowerShares Dynamic Biotech & Genome||18.72|
|DFJ||WisdomTree Japan SmallCap Dividend||17.59|
|DXJ||WisdomTree Japan Hedged Equity||17.34|
|HEDJ||WisdomTree Europe Hedged Equity||17.18|
|JPMV||iShares MSCI Japan Minimum Volatility||17.10|
|DWAQ||PowerShares DWA NASDAQ Momentum||15.88|
|DFE||WisdomTree Europe SmallCap Dividend||15.85|
Commodities Fuel Poor Performance
Just as the top-performing smart-beta funds of 2015 shared some similarities, so too did the bottom-performing funds. In fact, each of top 10 worst-performing ETFs shares one characteristic: They are commodity-related.
From energy to precious metals to soft commodities, smart-beta ETFs linked to a number of commodity sectors made an appearance on this list. That said, energy-related ETFs were at the bottom of the barrel, taking up seven of the 10 spots.