2017's Best Performing Non-Leveraged ETFs

Matt Thalman - INO.com Contributor - ETFs


The stock market had an amazing year in 2017, with the S&P 500 increasing more than 19.9%, but some Exchange Traded Funds performed substantially better. Most investors wouldn’t expect a large fund to outperform the S&P 500, unless they were using leverage, taking on outsized risk through trading in volatility, or investing entirely in international/developing markets.

But, surprisingly there were a few ETF’s that not only outperformed the S&P 500 but crushed it while just being mildly risky. Below is a list of a few of them and then an explanation as to why they performed well and whether or not their hot streak can continue in 2018.

Best Performing ETFs of 2017

While this list was intended to help investors find ETF’s which offered lower risk than one would find with leveraged ETF’s, the best performer still had a little more risk than most investors should be comfortable with. The outsized risk with ARK WEB x.0 ETF (ARKW) is that its largest holding is in the Bitcoin Investment Trust (GBTC), which makes up 6.71% of the fund. The next largest is Amazon.com (AMZN) making up 6.08% of the fund. Twitter (TWTR), Athenahealth (ATHN), 2U (TWOU), Tesla (TSLA), Netflix (:NFLX), NVIDIA (NVDA), Alphabet (GOOG)(GOOGL), and JD.com (JD) round out the fund top ten holdings. GBTC’s performance in 2017 was primarily the reason ARKW crushed the overall market, but moving forward investors shouldn’t bet on that continuing to happen.

Ever since the Bitcoin futures began trading on the CBOE and CME, the price of Bitcoin has stabilized. If you are considering buying ARKW, just know that you are taking on more risk than a typical ETF due to its exposure to Bitcoin, but maybe that is why you want to own ARKW. Personally, though if I were thinking about investing in Bitcoin, I would just invest directly into the crypto-currency, not muddy the waters with GBTC due to its pricing. Continue reading "2017's Best Performing Non-Leveraged ETFs"

Now May Be the Time to Buy Retail ETF's

Matt Thalman - INO.com Contributor - ETFs


A Wells Fargo analyst recently said retail has bottomed and now may be time to start buying into the sector. With a weak holiday shopping season, followed by poor retail numbers in January and February retail stocks have hit hard times.

Compound that with the need for clarity on a possible border tax and other political issues hanging in the background, uncertainty in the industry is high. But while high uncertainty leads to lower stock prices, it also brings opportunity for smart investors.

Currently we are seeing specialty retailers outperforming the big box retailers like Macy's, Kohl's, Sear's, and JCPenny's. The downsizing of the big box retailers is also a good thing for the smaller players since it gives shoppers fewer options to choose from. But as a whole, this downsizing is hurting the group's overall performance as share prices of the big names companies have been beaten up. Continue reading "Now May Be the Time to Buy Retail ETF's"

ETF's to Buy, to Sell, and to Watch in 2017

Matt Thalman - INO.com Contributor - ETFs


Now that we have rung in the New Year, now is a good time to take a look at your portfolio and make some adjustments. But, before you start buying and selling, you need to know what to buy, what to sell and what you should have on hold.

So with that in mind, let's take a look at a few Exchange Traded Fund's you may want to buy, a few you should sell, and a couple that you should have in your hold or watch list.

What To Buy

In 2016 one of the top performing ETF's was the Direxion Daily Regional Banks Bull 3X Shares (PACF:DPST). DPST rose more than 114% in 2016 due to its exposure to regional banking stocks, and of course is three times bullish leverage. And while most of the time I would tell you not to follow a trend from one year to the next, 2017 is going to be different. The banking stocks rose in 2016 for a number of reasons, but mainly because the economy grew stronger and interest rates rose.

There are no signs at this point indicating that neither of those trends will cease to continue in 2017, so ride this trend.

Ok, let's slow down and understand why this trend will continue to work. Continue reading "ETF's to Buy, to Sell, and to Watch in 2017"