Active ETFs: Biggest Winners & Losers YTD

by on June 17, 2013 | ETFs Mentioned:

Active ETFs have grown in popularity over the last decade as a great alternative to the traditional assets. With the hands-on approach of a mutual fund but the aggressively cheaper price tag, these ETFs have been a strong hold in previous market conditions and today. With the end of the second quarter just around the corner, investors who are curious about this hybrid investment strategy should take a moment to look back at the best performing actively managed funds so far this year.  [For updates on the ETFs, sign up for the free ETFdb newsletter].

Below, we look at a handful of actively managed ETFs that have surpassed all others since the beginning of 2013:

  1. Guggenheim Active ETFsTrimTabs Float Shrink ETF (TTFS, C+) UP 21.98%: This fund’s goal is to generate long-term returns in excess of the Russell 3000 Index while avoiding the volatility that can arise in the index. By investing in stocks with liquidity and strong long term performance characteristics, TTFS has built the best returning, actively managed, portfolio so far in 2013 [also see Sector ETFs: Biggest Winners & Losers YTD].
  2. Concentrated Large Cap Value Strategy Fund (GVT, C) Up 20.19%: This fund invests primarily in U.S. companies with market capitalizations similar to funds in the Russell 1000. This small cap approach has paid off for Columbia Management, which has only five ETFs in its product portfolio.
  3. Madrona Forward Domestic ETF (FWDD, C+) Up 16.91%Another AdvisorShares Fund on the top, FWDD also provides a long term strategy for investors looking to play a major market index. This fund instead works on smoothing the volatility of the S&P 500, which has performed very well since the start of 2013 [also see 25 Things Every Financial Advisor Should Know About ETFs].

Below are three actively managed funds that have missed out the most over the past six months:

  1. Active Bear ETF (HDGE, C+) Down 11.74%: AdvisorShares manages both the best performing actively managed ETF, and the worst. Seeking capital appreciation through short sales of domestically traded equity securities, HDGE can be an outstanding hold during some market conditions. With the general upward trend of the market over the last six months, however, downside risk in the U.S. market has been low, which has brought down the returns of HDGE [see Free Report: How To Pick The Right ETF Every Time].
  2. Australia & New Zealand Debt Fund (AUNZ, A) Down 6.23%: One of the many WisdomTree international debt funds, AUNZ attempts to achieve high income and capital appreciation through investment in debt securities denoted in Australian or New Zealand dollars. Unfortunately for AUNZ, these currencies have fallen flat in 2013, suffering from the side affects of a weakening yen and slowing growth in China. 
  3. Emerging Markets Local Debt Fund (ELD, B-) Down 5.63%: This broad emerging market fund offers unparalleled exposure to local debt, which is denominated in the currencies of each country. In previous years ELD has seen outstanding returns, but with crucial emerging markets like Brazil, Mexico and China seeing an end to exponential growth, domestic investors have lost interest [see Turkey ETF (TUR) In Focus Amid Protests].

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Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.