WHAT ARE WE LOOKING FOR?
The stars and dogs among Canadian-listed exchanged-traded funds this year.
ETFs, which are mutual funds that trade like stocks, have grown in popularity thanks to their low fees and ease of buying and selling.
With the world's major stock markets in the red, it's interesting to see what kinds of ETFs are making money, and which are bleeding badly.
We checked the year-to-date returns to Aug. 14 of all ETFs listed in Canada to find the 10 best and 10 worst performers.
Barclays Global Investors' iShares ETFs mimic mainly traditional and also specialty indexes. Claymore Investments focuses on specialty indexes. And BetaPro Management has the Horizons BetaPro bull and bear ETFs, respectively offering double the daily gain and double the daily loss of the indexes or commodities that they track.
SO WHAT DID WE TURN UP?
The iShares Canadian Income Trust Sector ETF was the top performer with a 15.2-per-cent gain to Aug. 14. It is also the leader among all Canadian income trust equity funds.
This iShares ETF, which includes 60 trusts, benefited from the surging energy sector earlier this year; robust distributions of some of its members and takeovers. Canadian Oil Sands Trust, Penn West Energy Trust and Fording Canadian Coal Trust make up 30 per cent of this ETF. Fording, which is being acquired by Teck Cominco Ltd., has gained a whopping 149 per cent.
The HBP S&P/TSX Financials Bear + ETF, which effectively allows investors to sell short stocks in this sector, has risen 12.4 per cent. This ETF has made money as Canadian banks and other financials have been hit by the fallout emanating from the U.S. subprime mortgage mess.
And bond ETFs, which might seem boring compared to the potential of their equity peers, made up six of the top performers. The iShares Canadian Real Return Bond ETF was the leader with a 10.3-per-cent gain.
Among the dogs, the HBP S&P/TSX Global Gold Bull + ETF has plunged 35.3 per cent as gold stocks have headed south along with the price of the yellow metal.
The Claymore BRIC ETF, which invests in Brazil, Russia, India and China, was on a hot streak last year, but that's no longer the case. This ETF has plunged 21.3 per cent as stock markets, especially India and China, have taken a sharp tumble amid a global market meltdown.
While Brazil's Bovespa index was the best performer earlier this year among the major markets, it began losing steam in late May on falling commodity prices and concerns about rising interest rates.
Top and bottom Canadian ETFs
|Fund name||Category||(as of July '08) Assets ($-mil)||Latest MER||As of Aug. 14 % return YTD||% return (as of July 31 '08): 1 yr||% return (as of July 31 '08): 3-yr||% return (as of July 31 '08): 5 yr||% annual return 2007||% annual return 2006||% annual return 2005||% annual return 2004||% annual return 2003|
|Top 10 Canadian ETFs|
|iShares CDN Income Trust Sector Idx||Cdn. Income Trust Equity||151.7||0.55||15.2||13.7||6.0||-3.2|
|HBP S&P/TSX Financials Bear + ETF||Alternative Strategies||12.4||16.1|
|iShares CDN Real Return Bond Index||Cdn. Inflation Protected Fxd Inc.||125.4||0.35||10.3||13.4||1.2||-2.8|
|iShares CDN Energy Sector Index||Natural Resources Equity||595.3||0.55||8.6||10.1||12.3||25.4||10.6||4.0||60.6||29.5||24.2|
|HBP S&P/TSX Energy Bull + ETF||Alternative Strategies||7.5||7.1|
|iShares CDN Short Bond Index||Cdn. Short Term Fixed Income||750.8||0.25||4.3||6.9||3.6||4.6||3.7||3.8||3.0||5.8||5.4|
|iShares CDN Government Bond Index||Canadian Fixed Income||40.4||0.35||3.8||8.2||4.1|
|iShares CDN Bond Index||Canadian Fixed Income||940.8||0.25||3.6||7.3||3.7||5.6||3.3||3.8||6.1||8.0||6.2|
|iShares CDN Corporate Bond Index||Canadian Fixed Income||156.6||0.40||2.6||4.8||1.2|
|iShares CDN Long Term Bond Index||Cdn. Long Term Fixed Income||42.6||0.35||1.7||7.1||2.9|
|Bottom 10 Canadian ETFs|
|HBP S&P/TSX Global Gold Bull + ETF||Alternative Strategies||-35.3||-2.4|
|HBP S&P/TSX Energy Bear + ETF||Alternative Strategies||-27.5||-28.4|
|HBP S&P/TSX Financials Bull + ETF||Alternative Strategies||-24.2||-27.7|
|Claymore BRIC ETF||Emerging Markets Equity||179.8||-21.3||16.5||70.9|
|iShares CDN MSCI EAFE Index||International Equity||734.3||0.15||-19.0||-20.9||1.3||6.1||1.9||16.7||12.2||9.8||14.3|
|Claymore US Fundamental Index ETF||U.S. Equity||19.6||0.65||-14.8||-19.6||-2.9|
|iShares CDN Gold Sector Index||Precious Metals Equity||909.3||0.55||-13.3||9.1||21.1||14.0||-4.5||40.8||21.7||-8.9||13.8|
|Claymore International Index ETF||International Equity||29.8||-12.4||-15.4|
|iShares CDN SmallCap Index||Cdn. Small or Mid Cap Equity||27.5||0.55||-11.0||-16.9|
|iShares CDN S&P 500 Index||U.S. Equity||541.7||0.15||-11.0||-12.1||0.8||2.7||3.2||15.5||3.5||2.3||4.8|
© 2007 The Globe and Mail. All rights reserved.
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