Best & Worst Smart Beta ETFs

August 06, 2015

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.

Find your next ETF

Reset All