Eagle Daily Investor

The Top 10 Exchange-Traded Funds of 2014

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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.

We are very proud of our tuned-up version of Successful ETF Investing and we know you’re going to love it. Check out Successful ETF Investing right now, and see what you’re missing.

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.”

–David Brin

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.

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About Doug Fabian

Doug Fabian is the editor of the monthly investment newsletter Successful ETF Investing and is the host of the syndicated radio show, "Doug Fabian's Wealth Strategies." Taking over the reins from his dad, Dick Fabian, back in 1992, Doug has continued to uphold the reputation of the newsletter as the #1 risk-adjusted market timer as ranked by Hulbert’s Investment Digest. Doug published the book, "Maverick Investing," and has appeared as a commentator on CNBC, Fox News and CNN. He also has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Barron's and other publications.

View all posts by Doug Fabian →

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