Worst Performing ETFs Of The Year

April 09, 2019

Last week, we published lists of the top-performing ETFs of the year. A sizzling start to the year for the equity market translated into hefty double-digit gains for those funds, which included marijuana, China A-shares and oil ETFs.

Today we’re taking a look at the other side of the ledger, the worst performers. As usual, we have two lists: one that includes all U.S.-listed exchange-traded products and one that excludes leveraged, inverse and volatility products.

We had to strip out a whole bunch of ETFs to come up with the narrower ex-leveraged/inverse/volatility list. The vast majority of the products that performed poorly so far this year have a strategy of shorting (with or without leverage) areas of the market that have done well.

Without those products, it’s pretty hard to find ETFs that have cratered in 2019. In fact, with the exception of one fund, the other 19 worst performers each have losses of less than 10%. That’s not that bad.

 

Worst-Performing ETFs Of The Year (excluding inverse/leveraged/volatility)

Ticker Fund YTD Return (%)
BDRY  Breakwave Dry Bulk Shipping ETF -48.05
WEAT  Teucrium Wheat Fund -9.44
GRU  Elements MLCX Grains Index-Total Return ETN -6.44
FUE  Elements MLCX Biofuels Index-Total Return ETN -5.99
FXS  Invesco CurrencyShares Swedish Krona Trust -5.11
UNG  United States Natural Gas Fund LP -4.90
INCO  Columbia India Consumer ETF -4.33
VAMO  Cambria Value & Momentum ETF -4.10
CORN  Teucrium Corn Fund -4.05
TAGS  Teucrium Agricultural Fund -3.41
DBS Invesco DB Silver Fund -2.81
SIVR  Aberdeen Standard Physical Silver Shares ETF -2.45
SLV  iShares Silver Trust -2.41
FXE  Invesco CurrencyShares Euro Trust -2.27
USV  ETRACS CMCI Silver Total Return ETN -2.11
FXF  Invesco CurrencyShares Swiss Franc Trust -2.02
FXY  Invesco CurrencyShares Japanese Yen Trust -1.99
NIB  iPath Bloomberg Cocoa Subindex Total Return ETN -1.92
UAG  ETRACS CMCI Agriculture Total Return ETN -1.76
SLVO  Credit Suisse X-Links Silver Shares Covered Call ETN -1.57

Note: Data measures total returns for the year-to-date period through April 5.

 

Shipping ETF Tanks

The exception is the Breakwave Dry Bulk Shipping ETF (BDRY), far and away the worst-performing fund on our first list, with a 48.1% loss. BDRY is a one-year-old ETF that provides exposure to near-month dry bulk freight futures contracts.

Sagging prices for shipping commodities and futures curves in contango have taken a bite out of the fund, which only has $3 million in assets under management.

BDRY isn’t the only commodity-related ETF to take a dive this year. Agriculture products like the Teucrium Wheat Fund (WEAT), the Elements MLCX Grains Index-Total Return ETN (GRU) and the Teucrium Corn Fund (CORN) all made the worst-performers list.

Natural gas, silver and cocoa ETFs have also performed poorly so far in 2019.

Currency Losers

Outside of commodities, a few currency products made an appearance on the list. The Invesco CurrencyShares Swedish Krona Trust (FXS), the Invesco CurrencyShares Euro Trust (FXE), the Invesco CurrencyShares Swiss Franc Trust (FXF) and the Invesco CurrencyShares Japanese Yen Trust (FXY) each shed 2-5% in the year-to-date period.

Despite indications that the Federal Reserve is unlikely to hike interest rates this year, the U.S. Dollar Index has edged up in 2019, weighing on rival currencies.

The Unadulterated List

Putting leveraged, inverse and volatility products back into the mix results in a completely different list than the one we’ve discussed. BDRY is the only ETF to make a repeat appearance, but even its losses pale in comparison with that of other products such as the VelocityShares Daily 2x VIX Short-Term ETN (TVIX), the United States 3x Short Oil Fund (USOD) and the Direxion Daily S&P Biotech Bear 3X Shares (LABD), among others.

For the full list, see the table below:

 

Worst-Performing ETFs Of The Year (all-encompassing)

Ticker Fund YTD Return (%)
TVIX  VelocityShares Daily 2x VIX Short-Term ETN -65.83
DWT  VelocityShares 3x Inverse Crude Oil ETN -64.12
USOD  United States 3x Short Oil Fund -64.06
OILD ProShares UltraPro 3x Short Crude Oil ETF -63.72
WTID  UBS ETRACS - ProShares Daily 3x Inverse Crude ETN -63.45
LABD  Direxion Daily S&P Biotech Bear 3X Shares -61.34
SOXS  Direxion Daily Semiconductor Bear 3x Shares -58.12
UVXY  ProShares Ultra VIX Short-Term Futures ETF -55.43
DTO  DB Crude Oil Double Short Exchange Traded Notes -51.87
FNGD MicroSectors FANG+ Index -3X Inverse Leveraged ETN -51.20
DRIP  Direxion Daily S&P Oil & Gas Exp. & Prod. Bear 3X Shares -50.48
GASX  Direxion Daily Natural Gas Related Bear 3X Shares -49.23
TECS  Direxion Daily Technology Bear 3X Shares -48.36
SCO  ProShares UltraShort Bloomberg Crude Oil -48.09
BDRY  Breakwave Dry Bulk Shipping ETF -48.05
ZBIO  ProShares UltraPro Short Nasdaq Biotechnology -44.71
EVIX  VelocityShares 1x Long VSTOXX Futures ETN -44.29
SQQQ  ProShares UltraPro Short QQQ -43.93
ERY  Direxion Daily Energy Bear 3X Shares -42.75
PASS Direxion Daily Consumer Discretionary Bear 3X Shares -42.57

Note: Data measures total returns for the year-to-date period through April 5.

 

Email Sumit Roy at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter sumitroy2

 

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