Natural Gas Leads Worst Performing ETFs of the Year

These funds have lost upwards of 75% of their value this year.

sumit
|
Senior ETF Analyst
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Reviewed by: Kent Thune
,
Edited by: Ron Day

With the S&P 500 up double digits in just the first three months of the year, most U.S.-listed exchange-traded funds followed suit to the upside.  

But not all of them. 

Many inverse ETFs, or those that move in the opposite direction of an index or individual asset, performed poorly during Q1. 

For instance, the T-Rex 2X Inverse NVIDIA Daily Target ETF (NVDQ), which moves in the opposite direction as Nvidia, lost nearly three-quarters of its value by betting against the market’s hottest stock. 

Funds that made leveraged bets on stocks that underperformed sharply, like the GraniteShares 2x Long TSLA Daily ETF (TSLR), also tumbled. TSLR was the sixth worst-performing ETF of the first quarter, with a loss of 52%. 

Shares of Tesla have performed the worst among the magnificent seven this year due to slowing demand for electric vehicles and increased competition from rival automakers.  

Another big loser during the first quarter was the ProShares Ultra Bloomberg Natural Gas ETF (BOIL), which shed 55%. 

This year, the price of natural gas sank below $2/mmbtu for the first time since 2020 amid an oversupplied market. 

Worst ETFs of Q1 2024 (Including Leveraged)

Name

Ticker

YTD Return

T-Rex 2X NVIDIA Daily Target ETF

NVDQ

-75.35%

GraniteShares 2X Short Daily NVDA Daily ETF

NVD

-74.32%

AXS 1.25X NVDA Bear Daily ETF

NVDS

-55.98%

ProShares Ultra Bloomberg Natural Gas

BOIL

-54.78%

GraniteShares 2X Long TSLA ETF

TSLR

-54.54%

T-Rex 2X Long Daily TSLA Target ETF

TSLT

-54.54%

ProShares Ultra Short Semiconductors

SSG

-51.53%

Direxion Daily NVDA Bear 1X Shares

NVDD

-47.71%

Direxion Daily Electric & Autonomous Vehicles Bull 2X Shares

EVAV

-47.46%

Direxion Daily Semiconductors Bear 3X Shares

SOXS

-44.22%

Data as of March 31, 2024.

If you strip out leveraged and inverse ETFs, Q1’s worst performing fund is also a natural gas ETF: the United States Natural Gas fund (UNG), with a loss of 28.2%. 

ETFs tied to Tesla, like the Kurv Yield Premium Strategy Tesla TSLA ETF (TSLP), and those tied to lithium, like the Sprott Lithium Miners ETF (LITP), have also lagged, with losses of 20% to 25%. 

So too have clean energy ETFs, like the Invesco WilderHill Clean Energy ETF (PBW), which shed 22% in the first quarter. 

Worst ETFs of Q1 2024 (Excluding Leveraged)

Name Ticker YTD Return 
United States Natural Gas Fund LP

UNG

-28.16%

Kurv Yield Premium Strategy Tesla TSLA ETF

TSLP

-25.31%

KraneShares European Carbon AIlowance Strategy ETF

KEUA

-22.93%

Yieldmax TSLA Option Income ETF

TSLY

-21.98%

Invesco WilderHill Clean Energy ETF

PBW

-21.90%

Sprott Lithium Miners ETF

LITP

-20.72%

iShares Lithium Miners and Producers ETF

ILIT

-20.11%

Global X Hydrogen ETF

HYDR

-18.38%

Defiance Next Gen H2 ETF

HDRO

-18.29%

First Trust NASDAQ Clean Edge Green Energy Index Trust Fund

QCLN

-17.76%

Data as of March 31, 2024

Sumit Roy is the senior ETF analyst for etf.com, where he has worked for 13 years. He creates a variety of content for the platform, including news articles, analysis pieces, videos and podcasts.

Before joining etf.com, Sumit was the managing editor and commodities analyst for Hard Assets Investor. In those roles, he was responsible for most of the operations of HAI, a website dedicated to education about commodities investing.

Though he still closely follows the commodities beat, Sumit covers a much broader assortment of topics for etf.com, with a particular focus on stock and bond exchange-traded funds.

He is the host of etf.com’s Talk ETFs, a popular video series that features weekly interviews with thought leaders in the ETF industry. Sumit is also co-host of Exchange Traded Fridays, etf.com’s weekly podcast series.

He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he enjoys climbing the city’s steep hills, playing chess and snowboarding in Lake Tahoe.