ETFs with Positive Returns in 2008

by on October 13, 2014

The year 2008 was one of the worst stretches Wall Street had seen in some time. The Great Recession was in full force and caused major benchmarks to lose as much as 30% for the calendar year. But over that time, there were a number of securities and funds that came away with positive returns. While past performance is not indicative of future results, taking a look at a list of those that stood strong in the face of adversity may be a helpful exercise for the next correction.

Below, we have listed every ETF that had a positive return in 2008. Note that to be included, the ETF had to have completed the full calendar year, so this list does not include any funds launched in 2008:

ETF 2008 Return
UltraShort Semiconductors (SSG) 111% 
UltraShort Technology (REW) 95%
UltraShort Russell MidCap Growth (SDK) 94%
UltraShort Russell1000 Growth (SFK) 81%
UltraShort QQQ (QID) 77%
UltraShort Industrials (SIJ) 73%
UltraShort S&P500 (SDS) 60%
UltraShort Basic Materials (SMN) 56%
Extended Duration Treasury ETF (EDV) 55%
UltraShort MSCI EAFE (EFU) 49% 
UltraShort Russell2000 Growth (SKK) 49%
UltraShort Russell1000 Value (SJF) 48% 
UltraShort MidCap400 (MZZ) 47%
UltraShort Consumer Goods (SZK) 47%
Short QQQ (PSQ) 47%
UltraShort Dow30 (DXD) 46%
UltraShort Utilities (SDP) 39%
Short S&P500 (SH) 39%
Short MSCI EAFE (EFZ) 38%
UltraShort Consumer Services (SCC) 37%
Barclays 20 Year Treasury Bond Fund (TLT) 34%
UltraShort Health Care (RXD) 33%
Short Dow30 (DOG) 31%
UltraShort SmallCap600 (SDD) 25%
Short Russell2000 (RWM) 25%
SPDR Barclays Long Term Treasury ETF (TLO) 24%
UltraShort Russell2000 (TWM) 24%
JPY/USD Exchange Rate ETN (JYN) 23%
CurrencyShares Japanese Yen Trust (FXY) 23%
1-30 Treasury Ladder Portfolio (PLW) 21%
Short MSCI Emerging Markets (EUM) 20%
Barclays 10-20 Year Treasury Bond Fund (TLH) 19% 
Barclays 7-10 Year Treasury Bond Fund (IEF) 17%
Short MidCap400 (MYY) 16%
Barclays 3-7 Year Treasury Bond Fund (IEI) 13%
SPDR Barclays Intermediate Term Treasury ETF (ITE) 11%
Long-Term Bond ETF (BLV) 10%
Short-Term Bond ETF (BSV) 8%
SPDR Barclays Aggregate Bond ETF (LAG) 8%
Barclays Intermediate Government/Credit Bond Fund (GVI) 8%
Core Total U.S. Bond Market ETF (AGG) 8%
Intermediate-Term Bond ETF (BIV) 8%
Barclays Government/Credit Bond Fund (GBF) 8%
Barclays MBS Bond Fund (MBB) 8%
Total Bond Market ETF (BND) 7% 
CurrencyShares Swiss Franc Trust (FXF) 7%
SPDR Barclays Short Term Municipal Bond ETF (SHM) 6%
Barclays 1-3 Year Treasury Bond Fund (SHY) 6%
COMEX Gold Trust (IAU) 5%
SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) 5%
SPDR Barclays Intl Treasury Bond (BWX) 4%
DB USD Index Bullish (UUP) 4%
UltraShort Financials (SKF) 4%
VRDO Tax Free Weekly Portfolio (PVI) 3%
UltraShort MSCI Japan (EWV) 3%
UltraShort Russell2000 Value (SJH) 3%
iBoxx $ Investment Grade Corporate Bond Fund (LQD) 2% 
Barclays 1-3 Year Credit Bond Fund (CSJ) 2%
SPDR Barclays 1-3 Month T-Bill ETF (BIL) 2%
Barclays Short Treasury Bond Fund (SHV 2%
DB Gold Fund (DGL 2%
S&P National Municipal Bond Fund (MUB 1%
S&P New York AMT-Free Municipal Bond Fund (NYF 1%
S&P Cali Muni Bond (CMF) 1%

Follow me on Twitter @JaredCummans.

[For more ETF analysis, make sure to sign up for our free ETF newsletter]

Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.