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"

Political Policy Changes Redefining One Industry and Creating Massive Opportunity

Matt Thalman - INO.com Contributor - ETFs

This summer investors have witnessed firsthand how political policy changes can affect commodity and equity prices. In July both France and the United Kingdom announced it would ban the sale of diesel and gasoline powered cars by the year 2040. Other countries like Norway and India have set goals of even earlier dates to no longer have oil based vehicles sold by 2025 and 2030.
India had even taken it one step further and announced that not only will gasoline vehicles not be sold after 2030, but all gasoline vehicles will need to be replaced with electric and battery powered vehicles by that year.

The Netherlands wants to switch to electric vehicles by 2025 while Germany intends to make the change by 2030, but neither has set these plans in written law. But, the most notable announcement comes from China, a country that has over 300 million registered vehicles. Chinese authorities have not yet set a deadline for the end of sales of internal-combustion vehicles, but they have made it clear that they are working on a timetable.

While the U.S. and some of the other leading countries around the world have yet to come out and formally announce a date of when internal combustion engines will no longer be allowed, many believe there will come a day that all first world countries have such a ban.

So from an investing perspective, cashing in on this opportunity is simply just buying investments today and waiting. Continue reading "Political Policy Changes Redefining One Industry and Creating Massive Opportunity"