A third of the year is already in the books, and 2014 has been a year of surprises so far.
I mean, who would have predicted that long-term Treasury bonds would be so strong this year, with the value of the iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (TLT) up more than 11% year to date?
Another big surprise this year is the gains, particularly last month, in both energy and emerging markets. The table below shows the best-performing (non-leveraged) exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in April.
|Ticker||Name||April % Gains|
|TUR||ISHARES MSCI TURKEY ETF||9.31|
|FCG||FIRST TRUST ISE-REV NAT GAS||9.18|
|UNG||US NATURAL GAS FUND LP||8.72|
|XOP||SPDR S&P OIL & GAS EXP & PR||8.05|
|IPW||SPDR S&P INTL ENERGY SECTOR||7.99|
|UNL||UNITED STATES 12 MONTH NATUR||7.50|
|PXE||POWERSHARES DYN ENRG EXP PRO||7.42|
|FILL||ISHARES MSCI GLOBAL ENERGY P||7.34|
|EPU||ISHARES MSCI ALL PERU CAPPED||7.03|
|FRAK||MARKET VECTORS OIL & GAS FRACKING||6.88|
As you can see, emerging market standout Turkey topped the list of ETF performers, but the rest of the best (save for Peru) were all in the energy space. To be certain, there’s been a pronounced move higher in the energy space, and that’s a trend all investors should be watching closely.
As for the top-performing ETFs year-to-date, we’ve also seen a rotation toward emerging markets, energy and commodities. The table below shows the best of the best through the first four months of the year.
|Ticker||Name||YTD% (as of 4/30)|
|EGPT||MARKET VECTORS EGYPT INDEX||30.89|
|UNG||US NATURAL GAS FUND LP||28.32|
|GGGG||GLOBAL X PURE GOLD MINERS ET||26.29|
|GLDX||GLOBAL X GOLD EXPLORERS ETF||25.09|
|MES||MARKET VECTORS GULF STATES||22.40|
|EIDO||ISHARES MSCI INDONESIA ETF||21.19|
|DBA||POWERSHARES DB AGRICULTURE F||20.70|
|IDXJ||MARKET VECTORS INDONESIA SMA||20.67|
|USAG||UNITED STATES AGRICULTURE IN||20.37|
|SILJ||PUREFUNDS ISE JUNIOR SIL-ETF||19.54|
I doubt that very many market mavens thought that Egypt would be the best-performing sector in the market through the first third of the year, but that’s what’s happened. I also doubt that many had selected gold mining stocks as potential big winners.
The results here show that the most unloved sectors of years past often are the ones ripe and ready for new money flows and for outstanding performance. The key for you as an investor is to identify these trends, and then allocate accordingly.
Introducing the New Successful ETF Investing
After nearly four decades of helping investors make money, we know that delivering the best possible investment advice requires us to keep evolving and adjusting to the tools that the market provides. This is a philosophy that my father, Dick Fabian, held when he first started the flagship Fabian publication, and this is a philosophy that still operates at the core of our business.
Our belief is that ETFs will continue to dominate the investment landscape, and that means they also should be the primary vehicles in your investment portfolio. With that concept at the forefront, I am proud to introduce the new Successful ETF Investing.
Our newly redesigned, revamped and renamed publication will have an enhanced focus on ETFs. That focus includes new sections, new features and new portfolios to help both conservative and aggressive investors make more money.
What Power Attracts
“It is said that power corrupts, but actually it’s more true that power attracts the corruptible. The sane are usually attracted by other things than power.”
The great science fiction novelist is known for producing some great reads (“The Postman,” “The Uplift War,” “Infinity’s Shore”), but here he warns us about a problem that’s anything but fiction. You see, the nature of power (and specifically political power) tends to attract a certain type of corruptible person. Just beware of that view the next time you assess a proposed government policy, or the next time you put your faith in any politician.
Wisdom about money, investing and life can be found anywhere. If you have a good quote you’d like me to share with your fellow Making Money Alert readers, send it to me, along with any comments, questions and suggestions you have about my audio podcast, newsletters, seminars or anything else. Ask Doug.
In case you missed it, I encourage you to read my Making Money Alert article from on last week about how the slow-growing market reacted to the Fed’s latest monetary-policy decision. I also invite you to comment in the space provided below.