2022 was a very tough year for investors, both big and small. All three of the major indexes ended the year down substantially. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell the least, just 8.8%. The S&P 500 dropped 19.4%, while the technology-heavy NASDAQ sank 33.1%.
2022 was the first year in four that the major industries ended the year lower. Inflation and aggressive interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve to combat persistent inflation weighed on the market as a whole but had a more damaging effect on technology stocks.
Out of the top-performing Exchange Traded Funds in 2022, two of the top five were ETFs that are short technology stocks, while two others were short Treasury Bonds.
It's not very often that the best performing Exchange Traded Funds are ones that had bet against an asset class or specific industries, but that was the type of year we had in 2022.
Let's look at the top five performing ETFs of the year and see what they had in common and if there is anything we can learn that will make us better investors in 2023 and beyond.
As mentioned, two of the top five best-performing ETFs were short, US Treasury bonds.
The best-performing ETF of 2022 was ProShares UltraPro Short 20+ Year Treasury (TTT) which rose 150.17%.
The third best-performing ETF was the ProShares UltraShort 20+ Year Treasury ETF (TBT), which increased by 93.29%.
Both funds were "short" or betting that they would decline in value, Treasury bonds that have 20 or more years until maturity.
The TTT was leveraged three times short Treasury bills. That means if a Treasury bill fell $1 and the TTT triple short leveraged fund had bet against it, TTT would be up $3. So for every $1 move lower Treasury bonds went, TTT was moving $3 higher.
The TBT fund was also short-leveraged, but it was only short two times. So if it were short a bond that fell $1, it would go higher by $2, not $3 like TTT. This also means that TBT carried lower risk than TTT, and still performed well in 2022. Continue reading "Best Performing ETFs in 2022"