Worst Performing ETFs Of The Year

June 29, 2022

[Editor's Note: This article is updated throughout the year with the most current market data. Click here for the previous edition.]

The first half of 2022 is shaping up to be the worst for U.S. stocks since 1970. The S&P 500 is currently down around 18.5% on a year-to-date basis, while the Vanguard Information Technology Index Fund ETF (VGT) has fallen by 26.7%. 

In such an abysmal year for stock market returns, the threshold for making this edition of the “Worst Performing ETFs of the Year” is really high. 

This time around we have two lists—one that includes inverse and leveraged exchange-traded funds, and one that doesn’t. To make the all-encompassing list, the cutoff was a loss of 64%; to make the narrower list without leveraged and inverse ETFs, the cutoff was a still-massive 50% loss. 

Both lists are located at the bottom of this article.  

Blockchain ETFs Dominate Worst Performers List  

Taking the unfortunate title of worst-performing ETF of the year so far is the Global X Blockchain ETF (BKCH)

BKCH got hit with a double whammy—collapsing cryptocurrency prices and plunging stock markets. Its basket of blockchain-focused companies—including Coinbase, Riot Blockchain and Galaxy Digital—were absolutely demolished this year. 

The ETF’s nearly 73% year-to-date decline was just ahead of competing crypto-focused ETFs, such as the VanEck Digital Transformation ETF (DAPP), the Viridi Bitcoin Miners ETF (RIGZ) and the Bitwise Crypto Industry Innovators ETF (BITQ)—all down more than 69%. 

Meanwhile, the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITO), which holds bitcoin futures contracts, is down a little over 55%, enough to put it at No. 15 on the worst performers list. 

Cannabis ETFs Plunge  

Crypto ETFs are one of two big groups to dominate the worst performers list; the other is cannabis ETFs.  

The Advisorshares Poseidon Dynamic Cannabis ETF (PSDN), the ETFMG US Alternative Harvest ETF (MJUS) and The Cannabis ETF (THCX) each tumbled more than 50% this year. 

BTIG analyst Camilo Lyon told Bloomberg that the slump in cannabis stocks has to do with a “regulatory recession,” in which cannabis reforms across the country had progressed slower than investors had expected.  

ARK ETFs Among Worst Performers  

While crypto and cannabis make up the majority of the 25 worst-performing ETFs this year, a few notable funds not tied to those categories popped up on the list. 

The one everyone will recognize is the ARK Innovation ETF (ARKK). Cathie Wood’s flagship fund is down 53% this year, enough to make it the 22nd-worst-performing ETF of the year. 

The ARK Fintech Innovation ETF (ARKF) and the ARK Next Generation Internet ETF (ARKW) also make appearances on the list. 

Finally, two of the hottest and arguably frothiest corners of the market in 2020 and 2021—SPACs and meme stocks—are also represented on the list. The De-SPAC ETF (DSPC) and the Roundhill Meme ETF (MEME) are down 63.7% and 51%, respectively. 

For a full list of this year’s worst-performing ETFs, see the tables below: 

 

Worst Performing ETFs Of The Year (ex. leveraged/inverse)

Fund Ticker YTD Return
Global X Blockchain ETF BKCH  -72.71%
VanEck Digital Transformation ETF DAPP  -72.34%
Viridi Bitcoin Miners ETF RIGZ  -70.08%
Bitwise Crypto Industry Innovators ETF BITQ  -69.35%
First Trust SkyBridge Crypto Industry and Digital Economy ETF CRPT  -68.57%
Invesco Alerian Galaxy Crypto Economy ETF SATO  -66.31%
Advisorshares Poseidon Dynamic Cannabis ETF PSDN  -64.64%
Global X Blockchain & Bitcoin Strategy ETF BITS  -64.03%
The De-SPAC ETF DSPC  -63.70%
Defiance Digital Revolution ETF NFTZ  -63.02%
Vaneck Bitcoin Strategy ETF XBTF  -57.57%
ARK Fintech Innovation ETF ARKF  -57.16%
AdvisorShares Pure US Cannabis ETF MSOS  -55.61%
ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF BITO  -55.47%
AdvisorShares Pure Cannabis ETF YOLO  -55.16%
Valkyrie Bitcoin Strategy ETF BTF  -55.11%
Defiance Next Gen Altered Experience ETF PSY  -54.21%
ETFMG US Alternative Harvest ETF MJUS  -53.89%
ARK Next Generation Internet ETF ARKW  -53.52%
Advisorshares Psychedelics ETF PSIL  -52.80%
ARK Innovation ETF ARKK  -52.64%
The Cannabis ETF THCX  -52.46%
Invesco Alerian Galaxy Blockchain Users and Decentralized Commerce ETF BLKC  -51.68%
Roundhill Meme ETF MEME  -50.97%

Data measures total returns for the year-to-date period through June 28, 2022. 

 

Worst Performing ETFs Of The Year (all-compassing)

Fund Ticker YTD Return
ProShares UltraShort Bloomberg Natural Gas KOLD  -86.75%
Direxion Daily Dow Jones Internet Bull 3x Shares ETF WEBL  -84.30%
MicroSectors FANG & Innovation 3X Leveraged ETN BULZ  -83.01%
Direxion Daily S&P Biotech Bull 3X Shares LABU  -79.14%
Direxion Daily Homebuilders & Supplies Bull 3x Shares NAIL  -78.66%
MicroSectors U.S. Big Oil Index -3X Inverse Leveraged ETNs NRGD  -77.89%
Direxion Shares ETF Trust-Direxion Daily Select Large Caps & FANGs Bull 2X Share FNGG  -76.97%
Direxion Daily Semiconductors Bull 3x Shares SOXL  -76.73%
MicroSectors Oil & Gas Exploration & Production -3X Inverse Leveraged ETN OILD  -76.32%
MicroSectors FANG+ Index 3X Leveraged ETNs due January 8 2038 FNGU  -75.41%
Direxion Daily Retail Bull 3X Shares RETL  -73.01%
Global X Blockchain ETF BKCH  -72.71%
VanEck Digital Transformation ETF DAPP  -72.34%
Direxion Daily Consumer Discretionary Bull 3X Shares WANT  -71.11%
ETFMG 2X Daily Alternative Harvest ETF MJXL  -70.15%
Viridi Bitcoin Miners ETF RIGZ  -70.08%
Bitwise Crypto Industry Innovators ETF BITQ  -69.35%
First Trust SkyBridge Crypto Industry and Digital Economy ETF CRPT  -68.57%
Direxion Daily Robotics Artificial Intelligence & Automation Index Bull 2X Share UBOT  -67.41%
ProShares UltraPro QQQ TQQQ  -67.15%
Invesco Alerian Galaxy Crypto Economy ETF SATO  -66.31%
ProShares UltraShort Bloomberg Crude Oil SCO  -65.85%
Advisorshares Poseidon Dynamic Cannabis ETF PSDN  -64.64%
Global X Blockchain & Bitcoin Strategy ETF BITS  -64.03%

Data measures total returns for the year-to-date period through June 28, 2022. 

 

Follow Sumit on Twitter @sumitroy2

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