Cocoa & Saudi ETFs Rally
Stripping out the leveraged, inverse and VIX products results in a list of top-performing ETFs that have smaller-but-still-stellar returns.
Commodity products, such as the iPath Bloomberg Cocoa Subindex Total Return ETN (NIB), the ETFS Physical Palladium Shares (PALL) and the United States 12 Month Natural Gas Fund LP (UNL) were all solidly in the green.
Meanwhile, even with the fallout from the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the iShares MSCI Saudi Arabia ETF (KSA) rallied 13.1% in 2018. Another Mideast fund, the iShares MSCI Qatar ETF (QAT), also did well, returning 20%.
Top-Performing ETFs Of 2018 (excluding inverse/volatility/VIX ETPs)
Tables data measure total annual returns for 2018.
Health Care Outperforms
Rounding out the top performers list was a handful of industry ETFs. With health care being the No. 1 stock market sector of the year, unsurprisingly, some funds targeting that group made the cut.
On the other hand, even though the technology sector as a whole fell in 2018, there were some niche tech ETFs that were positive. Those included the Invesco Dynamic Software ETF (PSJ), the SPDR S&P Internet ETF (XWEB) and the iShares Expanded Tech-Software ETF (IGV).
Rounding out the top performers list were two alternative ETFs. One is the AGFiQ U.S. Market Neutral Anti-Beta Fund (BTAL), which goes long low-beta stocks and shorts high-beta stocks—a market-neutral strategy that paid off in 2018’s risk adverse environment.
The other is the Pacer Trendpilot 100 ETF (PTNQ), a trend-following ETF that goes long Nasdaq-100 stocks when they are above the 200-day moving average and switches to cash when the 200-day moving average turns lower.