Earlier this week, ETF.com took a look at the best-performing ETFs of 2019. Today, we’ll run through the other side of the coin, the worst performers so far this year.
As one can imagine, with financial markets generally doing well this year, there aren’t that many ETFs outright cratering. Nevertheless, there is always something underperforming, and when you exclude leveraged, inverse and volatility products, you still end up with more than a dozen ETFs with losses exceeding 15%.
Here are those 15, with returns ranging from -16.5% to -33.1%:
Worst-Performing ETFs Of The Year (excluding leveraged/inverse/volatility)
|Ticker||Fund||YTD Return (%)|
|FNG||AdvisorShares New Tech and Media ETF||-33.14|
|SCIF||VanEck Vectors India Small-Cap Index ETF||-26.91|
|FCG||First Trust Natural Gas ETF||-25.93|
|GAZ||iPath Series B Bloomberg Natural Gas Subindex Total Return ETN||-25.85|
|PSCE||Invesco S&P SmallCap Energy ETF||-25.30|
|XES||SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Equipment & Services ETF||-24.43|
|OIH||VanEck Vectors Oil Services ETF||-21.24|
|XOP||SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF||-20.18|
|UNG||United States Natural Gas Fund LP||-20.15|
|NGE||Global X MSCI Nigeria ETF||-19.61|
|FXN||First Trust Energy AlphaDEX Fund||-18.22|
|IEZ||iShares U.S. Oil Equipment & Services ETF||-17.23|
|PXE||Invesco Dynamic Energy Exploration & Production ETF||-16.72|
|MJ||ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF||-16.52|
|PAK||Global X MSCI Pakistan ETF||-16.47|
Data measures total returns for the year-to-date period through Oct. 7.
Tech Bets Gone Wrong
When you consider that technology is the No. 1 sector in terms of performance this year, it’s a bit surprising to see a tech ETF headline on the worst-performers list. Bad bets placed by the managers of the AdvisorShares New Tech and Media ETF (FNG) caused it to lose more than 33% of its value this year. In fact, the actively managed ETF performed so poorly that it closed shop last week.
Not too many investors were sad to see it go. FNG only had around $10 million in assets under management on its last trading day.
If anything, FNG is a cautionary tale about active management. When it comes to these products, performance is going to be overwhelmingly dictated by the skill of the managers.