ETF Bracket Madness: The Championship

by on April 9, 2013 | ETFs Mentioned:

The Penultimate Pair took to the court last round, but there can only be one winner. The championship round commenced this week and a victor was crowned. The hard fought battle began with the 16 largest U.S.-listed ETFs, and each round was based on a number of factors that you can review here. Below, we outline your championship matchup and the long journey to victory [for more ETF news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].


The final matchup took place between #1 (SPY, A) and the #14 (VNQ, A). Though VNQ was seemingly outmatched, it was able to prevail in a 3-2 victory. SPY’s size and expense ratio bested its smaller competition, but VNQ took the three remaining categories to become an unlikely victor. In the Men’s NCAA tournament, no team seeded higher than eight has ever won the championship.

VNQ’s victory may seem surprising given its high seed, but a closer look under the hood reveals that VNQ had a lot going for it. For starters, the REIT fund has a strong yield, an attribute that notched one point in every single round in which VNQ participated. Another winning statistic has been VNQ’s solid three-year performance, which came in at over 70%, and also garnered a point in each matchup that VNQ faced. With the housing recovery picking up steam in recent years, it should be no surprise to see VNQ among the best performers.

The fund has also has a relatively low expense ratio of just 10 basis points and a surprisingly low 200 day volatility, allowing it to best all other funds in the tournament.

ETF Bracket Madness

Now that the tournament has been completed, you can download the final bracket here to get a full overview of how the challenge transpired. How did you do overall? Were you able to predict this upset and the victory of the #14 seeded VNQ? Let us know in the comments below.

Download the complete bracket.

Read the rules for the Bracket Challenge.

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Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.