Biggest ETF Losers Of 2015

December 30, 2015

Emerging Markets Walloped

Outside of commodities, the other group to see big declines this year was emerging markets. A wide array of emerging market country ETFs fell precipitously this year, with Brazil leading the pack amid a brutal recession and political turmoil in the country.

The iShares MSCI Brazil Small-Cap ETF (EWZS | D-97) and the Market Vectors Brazil Small-Cap ETF (BRF | F-51) both tumbled by more than 47%.

Faring only slightly better were the Market Vectors Indonesia Small Cap ETF (IDXJ | F-61), down 42.7% for the year, the iShares MSCI Colombia Capped ETF (ICOL | D-82), down 41.6%, and the iShares MSCI All Peru Capped ETF (EPU | C-42), down 34.6%.

These select emerging market ETFs performed much worse than the broad-based Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets ETF (VWO | C-86), which "only" lost 17% thanks to relatively strong performance in emerging market heavyweights such as China and India.

Other Areas Of Pain

Commodity and emerging market ETFs were far and away the bottom of the barrel in terms of performance in 2015. In fact, the bottom 40 ETFs were all related to one of those two groups.

Only at No. 41 do you see something outside those areas: the Global X FTSE Greece 20 ETF (GREK | D-60), which lost 39%. That's followed by four VIX futures products at Nos. 54 to 57, such as the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (VXX | B-47), which fell by 36.5%.

The IQ Canada Small Cap ETF (CNDA | D-60) is another fund to make its way into the worst-performers list—at No. 70 with a 34% decline. Of course, its heavy weighting in energy and basic materials didn't do it any favors.

Finally, the iShares International Preferred Stock ETF (IPFF | C ) is another noncommodity/nonemerging market fund that put in sizable declines in 2015. With a 26.2% loss, that was enough to push it to No. 121 on the worst-performers list.

Editor’s Note: This article excludes leveraged/inverse ETFs.

Contact Sumit Roy at [email protected].

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