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Below is an easy-to-read matrix of key ETFs highlighting the total return performance of various asset classes in 2017, over the last 5 years, and during the entire bull market that began on March 9th, 2009.
Looking at the entire bull market, most of the green is on the left side where the US-related equity indices and sectors are. The Consumer Discretionary ETF (XLY) is up more than any other ETF during the bull market with a total return of 604%. The Nasdaq 100 (QQQ) is up second most at +570%. The natural gas ETF (UNG) is down the most during the bull market, losing 95% of its value. The oil ETF (USO) is down the second most at –59%.
The Nasdaq 100 (QQQ) is up the most over the last 5 years with a gain of 155%, and it ranks sixth in 2017 with a gain of 34%. In terms of market cap, large cap indices did better than small and mid caps in 2017, while growth easily outperformed value. Energy and Telecom are the only two sectors down in 2017 (through Christmas). Outside of the US, emerging markets have had a banner year, with EEM up 35.5%. India is up more than any ETF in the matrix in 2017 with a gain of 37.5%, followed by China (FXI) at +35.65%. Russia (RSX) is up the least of any country ETF with a 2017 gain of just 3.8%.
Commodities are ending 2017 relatively flat. The oil ETF (USO) is slightly down on the year, while natural gas (UNG) is down 44%. Gold (GLD) has posted a nice gain of 10%, but silver (SLV) is up just 1.9%. Looking at Treasury ETFs, the 20+Year Treasury (TLT) has posted a total return of 7.4% on the year. Not bad for a “risk-free” asset!