Quantcast
Featured Image

The year 2018 has been rocky for equities with SPDR S&P 500 ETF SPY losing 3.1% (as of Dec 14, 2018), SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF DIA shedding about 2.7% and Invesco QQQ Trust QQQ gaining only 1.6%.

Resurfacing global growth worries, nagging trade tensions between the United States and China, constant volatility in the oil patch and a flattening yield curve in the United States have invoked recessionary fears.

Against this background, investors and fund managers had to be prudent with the changing dynamics of the market. And in order to do so, several investors resorted to active ETFs. An actively managed ETF does have a benchmark index, but managers may alter sector allocations, market-time trades or shift from the index constituents if they consider appropriate, per investopedia.

Investors should note that active funds are arguably expensive as these involve research expenses associated with the manager's due diligence and additional cost in the form of a wide bid/ask spread beyond the expense ratio.

Still, there has been a surge of actively managed ETFs lately. Actively-managed ETFs have been outperforming the passive ones as the average year-to-date returns for the passively-managed funds are negative 6.5% this year while the figure for the actively-managed ones is negative 3.74%.

Below we highlight some top-performing active ETFs of 2018 that breezed past the S&P 500 (as of Dec 14, 2018) (read: Will Active ETFs Rule Ahead? ).

AdvisorShares Dorsey Wright Short ETF DWSH - Up 18.7%

The fund is actively managed with an investment focus that involves buying securities that have appreciated in price more than the other securities in the investment universe, and holding those securities until they underperform (read: October Traditionally Most Volatile: ETFs That Gained ).

iShares Evolved US Healthcare Staples ETF IEHS - Up 13.2%

The fund looks to offer access to U.S. companies with healthcare staples exposure. The expense ratio is pretty low at 18 bps a year. The fund is heavy on Unitedhealth Group (15.16%) followed by Abbott Laboratories (5.44%) and CVS Health Corp (4.58%).

Reaves Utilities ETF UTES - Up 11.7%

The fund targets the utility sector and charges 95 bps in fees. Nextera Energy takes 15.57% of the fund, while DTE Energy takes 8.39% of the portfolio.

ARK Innovation ETF ARKK - Up 8.3%

The fund provides thematic exposure to all sectors of innovation. The securities in ARKK offer the best risk-reward opportunities from ARK's innovation-based themes, while providing less volatility. The fund charges 75 bps in fees.

ARK Web x.0 ETF ARKW - Up 8.0%

The fund seeks long-term growth of capital. It is an actively-managed ETF that invests primarily at least 80% of its assets in domestic equity securities and U.S. exchange traded foreign equity securities of companies that are relevant to the fund's investment theme of Web x.0. It's expense ratio of 0.75%.

WisdomTree Bloomberg US Dollar Bullish ETF USDU - Up 7.1%

The fund looks to provide total returns that exceed the performance of the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index. It charges 50 bps in fees (read: Is the Uptrend in Dollar ETFs Over? ).

ClearBridge Large Cap Growth ESG ETF LRGE - Up 4.3%

The fund seeks to achieve long-term capital appreciation through investments in large-capitalization companies with positive ESG attributes that have the potential for high future earnings growth (read: 5 ESG ETFs Outperforming the Broader Market ).

Invesco Multi-Strategy Alternative ETF LALT - Up 3.6%

The fund seeks to achieve positive total returns with low correlation to the broader securities' markets by investing in a combination of equity securities, financial futures contracts, forward currency contracts and other securities. The expense ratio is 0.98% (read : 5 Long/Short ETFs to Play in Market Crash ).

Want key ETF info delivered straight to your inbox?

Zacks' free Fund Newsletter will brief you on top news and analysis, as well as top-performing ETFs, each week.  Get it free >>


Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report

SPDR-DJ IND AVG (DIA): ETF Research Reports

ARK- WEB XO ETF (ARKW): ETF Research Reports

ARK-INNOVATION (ARKK): ETF Research Reports

WISDMTR-BB USDB (USDU): ETF Research Reports

PWRSH-MS AP (LALT): ETF Research Reports

REAVES UTIL ETF (UTES): ETF Research Reports

NASDAQ-100 SHRS (QQQ): ETF Research Reports

SPDR-SP 500 TR (SPY): ETF Research Reports

CLRBG-LCG ESG (LRGE): ETF Research Reports

ADVSR-DRSY WS (DWSH): ETF Research Reports

ISHR-EUS HLT ST (IEHS): ETF Research Reports

To read this article on Zacks.com click here.

Zacks Investment Research

Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report



The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of NASDAQ, Inc.

Related Articles