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Q1 2021: 30 ETF Winners And 20 Losers

Published 06/04/2021, 10:22
Updated 09/07/2023, 11:32

The first quarter of 2021 brought new highs to major indices. Meanwhile, as a result of inflationary expectations, the U.S. 10-year Treasury yield recently hit a 52-week high, prompting market jitters as a result of higher inflation expectations.

Today, we review ETFs that were either clear winners or losers in the first three months of the year. However, we have excluded leveraged and inverse ETFs from this list. They are better suited as short-term trades as opposed to long-term investments.

Several of the ETFs mentioned here could possibly inspire readers to put together long-term diversified portfolios within their risk/return parameters. The article should also remind investors of the importance of diversification as part of their personal investment objectives.

3 ETFs Following The 3 Major Indices

Before we move on to the winners and losers, let’s take a look at funds that give exposure to the three most followed US indices. Three ETFs deserve our attention:

SPDR® Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF Trust (NYSE:DIA), which tracks the Dow Jones Industrial Average—up 8.4% YTD (covered here)

SPDR® S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY), which tracks the S&P 500 Index—up 7.1% YTD (covered here)

Invesco QQQ Trust (NASDAQ:QQQ), which tracks the NASDAQ 100 index—up 3.4% YTD (covered here)

Compared to the second half of 2020, especially, the first quarter of the year has seen a decrease in appetite for tech shares and thus the tech-heavy ETF QQQ.

Q1 Winners... 

As for the best performers, we’d like to highlight 30 ETFs that have had positive returns so far in 2021. Understandably, it is not a comprehensive list. Given the upcoming earnings season, there could be volatility and profit-taking in some of these funds as investors take money off the table.

  1. Amplify Transformational Data Sharing ETF (NYSE:BLOK)—up 62.2% (covered here)
  2. Invesco S&P SmallCap Energy ETF (NYSE:XLE) (NASDAQ:PSCE)—up 62.2%
  3. SPDR® S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF (NYSE:XOP)—up 46.3% YTD
  4. AdvisorShares Pure Cannabis (NYSE:YOLO)—up 40.4% YTD (covered here)
  5. SPDR® S&P Retail ETF (NYSE:XRT)—up 39.2% YTD (covered here)
  6. Vanguard Energy Index Fund ETF (NYSE:VDE)—up 34.6% YTD (covered here)
  7. Wedbush ETFMG Video Game Tech ETF (NYSE:GAMR)—up 24.4% YTD (covered here)
  8. iShares Russell 2000 Value ETF (NYSE:IWN)—up 22.4% YTD
  9. First Trust SMID Cap Rising Dividend Achievers ETF (NASDAQ:SDVY)—up 21.3% YTD
  10. U.S. Global Jets ETF (NYSE:JETS)—up 20.9% YTD (covered here)
  11. Global X Copper Miners ETF (NYSE:COPX)—up 19.9% YTD (covered here)
  12. Global X U.S. Infrastructure Development ETF (NYSE:PAVE)—up 18.9% YTD (covered here)
  13. iShares MSCI Global Agriculture Producers ETF (NYSE:VEGI)—up 17.6% YTD (covered here)
  14. Vanguard Financials Index Fund ETF Shares (NYSE:VFH)—up 17.4% YTD (covered here)
  15. Invesco DWA Consumer Cyclicals Momentum ETF (NASDAQ:PEZ)—up 16.5% YTD
  16. iShares PHLX Semiconductor ETF (NASDAQ:SOXX)—up 16.0% YTD (covered here)
  17. VanEck Vectors Rare Earth/Strategic Metals ETF (NYSE:REMX)—up 15.9% YTD (covered here)
  18. iShares Russell 2000 ETF (NYSE:IWM)—up 14.2% YTD (covered here)
  19. Invesco S&P 500® Equal Weight Industrials ETF (NYSE:RGI)—up 13.1% YTD
  20. First Trust NASDAQ Global Auto Index Fund (NASDAQ:CARZ)—up 12.2% YTD
  21. ARK Autonomous Technology & Robotics ETF (NYSE:ARKQ)—up 11.9% YTD (covered here)
  22. JP Morgan BetaBuilders Canada (NYSE:BBCA)—up 11.8% YTD
  23. Industrial Select Sector SPDR® Fund (NYSE:XLI)—up 11.5% YTD (covered here)
  24. iShares Currency Hedged MSCI Eurozone ETF (NYSE:HEZU)—up 11.1% YTD
  25. Communication Services Select Sector SPDR® Fund (NYSE:XLC)—up 10.6% YTD (covered here)
  26. IQ 500 International (NYSE:IQIN)—up 10.5% YTD
  27. Vanguard Real Estate Index Fund ETF (NYSE:VNQ)—up 10.1% YTD (covered here)
  28. WisdomTree Global High Dividend Fund (NYSE:DEW)—up 9.9% YTD
  29. Vanguard Mid-Cap Index Fund ETF Shares (NYSE:VO)—up 8.6% YTD (covered here)
  30. SPDR® SSGA Gender Diversity Index ETF (NYSE:SHE)—up 7.1% YTD (covered here)

...And Losers

Below,  20 ETFs that have recently given up some of their returns from 2020. Those investors who are interested in buying the dips could possibly put them on their radar.

  1. Global X Cybersecurity ETF (NASDAQ:BUG)—down 9.6% YTD
  2. Global X Silver Miners ETF (NYSE:SIL)—down 9.5% YTD (covered here)
  3. SPDR® Gold Shares Fund (NYSE:GLD)—down 9.2% YTD (covered here)
  4. PIMCO 15+ Year U.S. TIPS Index Exchange-Traded Fund (NYSE:LTPZ)—down 8.7% YTD
  5. iShares MSCI New Zealand ETF (NASDAQ:ENZL)—down 8.4% YTD
  6. Global X MSCI China Information Technology ETF (NYSE:CHIK)—down 7.5% YTD
  7. VanEck Vectors Indonesia Index ETF (NYSE:IDX)—down 6.4% YTD
  8. ERShares Entrepreneur ETF (NYSE:ENTR)—down 5.7% YTD (covered here)
  9. Loncar Cancer Immunotherapy ETF (NASDAQ:CNCR)—down 5.5% YTD
  10. Global X Cloud Computing (NASDAQ:CLOU)—down 5.1% YTD (covered here)
  11. KraneShares MSCI China Clean Technology ETF (NYSE:KGRN)—down 5.1% YTD (covered here)
  12. First Trust NASDAQ Cybersecurity ETF (NASDAQ:CIBR)—down 4.5% YTD (covered here)
  13. Global X MSCI Argentina ETF (NYSE:ARGT)—down 3.9% YTD
  14. Invesco CurrencyShares® Euro Currency Trust (NYSE:FXE)—down 3.8% YTD
  15. iShares U.S. Treasury Bond ETF (NYSE:GOVT)—down 3.7% YTD
  16. iPath® Bloomberg Nickel Subindex Total Return(SM) ETN (NYSE:JJN)—down 3.0% YTD
  17. ARK Innovation ETF (NYSE:ARKK)—down 2.9% YTD (covered here)
  18. SPDR® S&P Biotech ETF (NYSE:XBI)—down 2.7% YTD (covered here)
  19. First Trust Global Wind Energy ETF (NYSE:FAN)—down 2.6% YTD
  20. Ecofin Digital Payments Infrastructure Fund (NYSE:TPAY)—down 2.7% YTD (covered here)

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