From the most basic portfolio building blocks to specialized funds that give investors access to niche markets, ETFs cover them all, and with the constant launches and filings of new ETFs it is easy to forget about some “older” funds on the market. Although there are numerous new funds already in the pipeline, taking a step back and looking at the performance of ETFs that have been on the market for a while paints a vivid picture of just how far the industry has come [see also 5 Worst ETF Strategies Of The Last 5 Years].
This month marks the one-year anniversary of three offerings from issuers Global X, Direxion and RBS. Since December 2011, these ETPs have weathered poor market conditions and proved that their strategies are here to stay. Combined, these four funds have accumulated over $38 million and counting in total assets over the last year [see The 5 Most Important Chart Patterns For ETF Traders].
Below we check on the one-year performance of these ETFs:
FTSE Greece 20 ETF (GREK)
As Greece continues to struggle through economic recovery efforts and increasing supervision from other European nations, GREK allowed ETF investors to see just how volatile the country is. The index this ETF tracks offers unparalleled exposure, as it is comprised of the top 20 companies that are domiciled in, principally traded in, or whose revenues are primarily from Greece.
As far as first years go, GREK’s performance was a roller coaster ride, with a 200-day moving average of nearly 50%. Despite this, Global X‘s fund managed to end the the year with a 11% return. Investors who saw an opportunity to invest in June are having the best six months by far, with a 76% return since the fund bottomed out this summer [see also Get Rid Of Your Emerging Market Volatility Once And For All].
Direxion launched two new ETFs at the end of last year, both of which select 100 different stocks from either the S&P 500 or the S&P 1500 by Sabrient Systems. KNOW allows investors to isolate stocks in the S&P that Sabrient considers favorable based on corporate insider action instead of traditional cap weighting, while INSD takes this method a step further to limit any small or micro-cap companies from its list.
These funds have followed the total market trend pretty closely since inception, with KNOW exaggerating every gain and loss in the market while INSD reacts more slowly and has had lower returns than the S&P 500. Both ETFs have a heavy tilt towards financial services, but while KNOW focuses on technology and healthcare, INSD may feature less volatility by instead picking industrial and consumer defensive firms [see High Tech ETFdb Portfolio ].
NASDAQ-100 Trendpilot ETN (TNDQ)
RBS introduced its own “Trendpilot” product to the ETP universe, which tracks either the NASDAQ-100 Total Return Index or the yield on a hypothetical notional investment in three-month U.S. Treasury bills, depending on the relative performance of the underlying equity index. When the NASDAQ-100 Total Return Index is at or above its 100-day simple moving average, TNDQ goes long the underlying securities. However, if the same index closes below its 100-day simple moving average for five consecutive sessions, TNDQ automatically shifts exposure into short-term U.S. Treasuries [see also 101 High Yielding ETFs For Every Dividend Investor].
Until June, TNDQ did follow the NASDAQ 100, but as the index fell TNDQ switched to flat returning three-month U.S. Treasury bills, and subsequently missed the momentum regained in August. The trendpilot strategy cut the year-end return in half, but TNDQ will still return 8.66% for its long-term investors on its one-year anniversary.
Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.