Best ETFs for 2018: The Ultimate Choice of Top 50 ETFs For Your ETF Portfolio

Proj Omni: May 19, '18

Are you looking for the best ETFs to invest in 2018? Best performing ETFs, or perhaps best ETFs from the most popular fund issuers, such as Blackrock (iShares), Vanguard or State Street (SPDR)?  Also, good ideas for ETFs from various segments or categories (such as U.S. equity, developed and emerging markets ETFs or fixed income ETFs)?

If so, you’re at the right place.  In this Finstead Insights post, we’ll provide some good choices for investing in ETFs.  Our analysis is current as of May 2018, and here you’ll find some good ideas for investing in U.S. and international equity, large-, medium- and small-cap, fixed income, specialty (technology, healthcare, financial services, energy, and real estate) and commodity ETFs.

But first of all, let us agree on the definition of ‘best ETFs’. For us, those are funds that are popular among investors, demonstrated by assets under management north of $1 Billion, above-average returns (in their respective categories), and low expense ratios (typically below 0.5%).  

We won’t compare ETFs from different segments, e.g., U.S. large-cap and emerging markets ETFs.  The various segments should be treated separately because they represent different underlying themes.  But within a specific ETF segment, we’ll provide our top choices.

Since we’re not associated with any fund issuers, our perspective is relatively unbiased compared to what you may find elsewhere in the press.  If you’re a firm believer in Vanguard ETFs, feel free to scroll down to view relevant Vanguard ETFs. So let’s get started.  


U.S. TOTAL MARKET ETFs

First, we're going to look at U.S. total market ETFs.  Those are ETFs that represent the entire investable U.S. equity market.  There are two funds that stood out from the rest based on our analysis.  

#1 VTI Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF

VTI is a U.S. - Total Market ETF.

VTI underlying index is CRSP US Total Market Index.

VTI expense ratio is 0.04%.

The Fund seeks to track the performance of a benchmark index that measures the investment return of the overall stock market. The Fund employs a "passive management" approach designed to track the performance of the CRSP US Total Market Index.

VTI generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is 0.45%.

  • 3-month return is -5.22%.

  • 1-year return is 13.20%.

  • 3-year annualized return is 10.20%.

  • 5-year annualized return is 12.77%.

  • YTD return is -0.26%.


#2 VIG: Vanguard Dividend Appreciation ETF

VIG is a U.S- Total Market ETF.

The Fund seeks to track the performance of the Dividend Achievers Select Index that measures the investment return of common stocks of companies that have a record of increasing dividends over time.

VIG underlying index is NASDAQ US Dividend Achievers Select Index.

VIG expense ratio is 0.08%.

VIG generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is -0.93%.

  • 3-month return is -6.20%.

  • 1-year return is 11.56%.

  • 3-year annualized return is 9.93%.

  • 5-year annualized return is 10.73%.

  • YTD return is -1.50%.


U.S. LARGE-CAP ETFs

Now let's take a look at U.S. large-cap ETFs covering American stocks.  The term large-cap refers to a company with a market capitalization above $10 billion. Large-cap ETFs have stocks of large-cap companies as their holdings.  

Large-cap ETFs are most commonly associated with the following indexes: S&P 500, Dow Jones, Nasdaq 100, and Russell 1000.  The stocks within an ETF can be market-cap weighted or they could be equal weight.  

Most of the ETFs mentioned below are 'vanilla' large-cap ETFs; however, some focus on growth, while others focus on value.   

#3 SPY: SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust

SPY is a U.S. Large-Cap ETF.

SPY underlying index is S&P 500.

SPY expense ratio is 0.09%.

The Trust seeks investment results that, before expenses, generally correspond to the price and yield performance of the component common stocks of the S&P 500 Index.

SPY generated the following returns

  • 1-month return is 0.52%.

  • 3-month return is -5.79%.

  • 1-year return is 13.22%.

  • 3-year annualized return is 10.47%.

  • 5-year annualized return is 12.86%.

  • YTD return is -0.48%.


#4 IVV: iShares Core S&P 500 ETF

IVV is a U.S. Large-Cap ETF.

IVV underlying index is S&P 500.

IVV expense ratio is 0.04%.

The Fund seeks investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance, before fees and expenses, of the S&P 500 Index. Uses a replication strategy to try to track the Index, which includes approximately 77% of the market capitalization of all publicly traded US equity securities.

IVV generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is 0.35%.

  • 3-month return is -5.84%.

  • 1-year return is 13.30%.

  • 3-year annualized return is 10.53%.

  • 5-year annualized return is 12.93%.

  • YTD return is -0.49%.


#5 VOO: Vanguard S&P 500 ETF

VOO is a  U.S. Large-Cap ETF.

VOO underlying index is S&P 500.

VOO expense ratio is 0.04%.

The Fund seeks to track the performance of its benchmark index, the S&P 500. The Fund employs an indexing investment approach. The Fund attempts to replicate the target index by investing all of its assets in the stocks that make up the Index with the same approximate weightings as the Index.

VOO generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is 0.35%.

  • 3-month return is -5.79%.

  • 1-year return is 13.24%.

  • 3-year annualized return is 10.53%.

  • 5-year annualized return is 12.92%.

  • YTD return is -0.53%.


#6 QQQ: PowerShares QQQ Trust

QQQ is a  U.S. Large-Cap ETF.

QQQ underlying index is NASDAQ-100 Index.

QQQ expense ratio is 0.2%.

The Fund seeks to provide investment results that generally correspond to the price and yield performance of the component securities of the Nasdaq-100 Index.

QQQ generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is N/A.

  • 3-month return is N/A.

  • 1-year return is N/A.

  • 3-year annualized return is N/A.

  • 5-year annualized return is N/A.

  • YTD return is N/A.


#7 IWD: iShares Russell 1000 Value ETF

IWD is a  U.S. Large-Cap Value ETF.

IWD underlying index is Russell 1000 Value Index.

IWD expense ratio is 0.2%.

The Fund seeks investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance, before fees and expenses, of the Russell 1000 Value Index. Uses a replication strategy. The Index measures the performance of those Russell 1000 Index firms with lower price-to-book ratios and lower forecasted growth.

IWD generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is 0.32%.

  • 3-month return is -6.21%.

  • 1-year return is 7.29%.

  • 3-year annualized return is 7.50%.

  • 5-year annualized return is 10.33%.

  • YTD return is -2.67%.


#8 IWF: iShares Russell 1000 Growth ETF

IWF is a U.S. Large-Cap Growth ETF.

IWF underlying index is Russell 1000 Growth Index.

IWF expense ratio is 0.2%.

The Fund seeks investment returns that correspond generally to the price and yield performance, before fees and expenses, of the Index. Uses a replication strategy. The Index measures the performance of the large-capitalization growth sector of the US equity market.

IWF generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is 0.26%.

  • 3-month return is -4.99%.

  • 1-year return is 18.72%.

  • 3-year annualized return is 12.62%.

  • 5-year annualized return is 14.93%.

  • YTD return is 1.61%.


#9 VTV: Vanguard Value ETF

VTV is a  U.S. Large-Cap Value ETF.

VTV underlying index is CRSP US Large Cap Value Index.

VTV expense ratio is 0.06%.

The Fund seeks to track the performance of a benchmark index that measures the investment return of large-capitalization value stocks. The Fund employs a "passive management"-- or indexing --investment approach designed to track the performance of the CRSP US Large Cap Value Index.

VTV generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is 0.42%.

  • 3-month return is -6.39%.

  • 1-year return is 11.37%.

  • 3-year annualized return is 9.68%.

  • 5-year annualized return is 11.85%.

  • YTD return is -1.98%.


#10 VUG: Vanguard Growth ETF

VUG is a U.S. Large-Cap Growth ETF.

VUG underlying index is CRSP US Large Cap Growth Index.

VUG expense ratio is 0.06%.

The Fund seeks to track the performance of a benchmark index that measures the investment return of large-capitalization growth stocks. The Fund employs a "passive management"--or indexing--investment approach designed to track the performance of the MSCI US Prime Market Growth Index.

VUG generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is 0.27%.

  • 3-month return is -5.07%.

  • 1-year return is 15.67%.

  • 3-year annualized return is 11.20%.

  • 5-year annualized return is 14.02%.

  • YTD return is 1.41%.


#11 IWB: iShares Russell 1000 ETF

IWB is a U.S. Large-Cap ETF.

IWB underlying index is Russell 1000 Index.

IWB  expense ratio is 0.15%.

The Fund seeks investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance, before fees and expenses, of the Russell 1000 Index. Uses a replication strategy to try to track the Index, which includes approximately 80% of the market capitalization of all publicly traded US equity securities.

IWB  generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is 0.26%.

  • 3-month return is -5.60%.

  • 1-year return is 13.00%.

  • 3-year annualized return is 10.10%.

  • 5-year annualized return is 12.70%.

  • YTD return is -0.50%.


#12 IVW: iShares S&P 500 Growth ETF

IVW is a U.S  Large-Cap Growth ETF.

IVW underlying index is S&P 500 Growth Index.

IVW expense ratio is 0.18%.

The Fund seeks investment results corresponding generally to price and yield performance, before fees and expenses, of the S&P 500/BARRA Growth Index. Uses a replication strategy to track the Index. The Index is a subset of the S&P 500 Index and consists of firms with the highest price-to-book ratios in the Index.

IVW generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is 0.25%.

  • 3-month return is -4.74%.

  • 1-year return is 17.52%.

  • 3-year annualized return is 12.38%.

  • 5-year annualized return is 14.78%.

  • YTD return is 2.06%.


#13 DIA: SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF Trust

DIA is a U.S Large-Cap ETF.

DIA underlying index is Dow Jones Industrial Average.

DIA expense ratio is 0.17%.

The Trust seeks to provide investment results that, before expenses, generally correspond to the price and yield performance of the component stocks of the DJIA.

DIA  generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is 0.11%.

  • 3-month return is -7.16%.

  • 1-year return is 18.01%.

  • 3-year annualized return is 13.28%.

  • 5-year annualized return is 12.82%.

  • YTD return is -1.83%.


#14 RSP: Guggenheim S&P 500 Equal Weight ETF

RSP is a U.S Large-Cap ETF.

RSP underlying index is S&P 500 Equal Weight Index.

RSP expense ratio is 0.2%.

The Fund seeks to replicate as closely as possible, before fees and expenses, the performance of the equal-weighted S&P 500 Index. The Fund uses a passive management strategy to track the performance of the underlying index.

RSP  generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is 0.37%.

  • 3-month return is -4.92%.

  • 1-year return is 11.04%.

  • 3-year annualized return is 8.70%.

  • 5-year annualized return is 12.17%.

  • YTD return is -0.75%.


US MID-CAP ETFs

Now let's take a look at U.S. mid-cap ETFs covering American stocks.  The term mid-cap refers to a company with a market capitalization between $2 billion and $10 billion. Mid-cap ETFs have stocks of mid-cap companies as their holdings.  

As the name implies, a mid-cap company falls in the middle of the pack between large-cap and small-cap companies.

#15 IJH: iShares Core S&P Mid-Cap ETF

IJH is a U.S. Mid-Cap ETF.

IJH underlying index is S&P MidCap 400 Index.

IJH expense ratio is 0.07%.

IJH description: The Fund seeks investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance, before fees and expenses, of the S&P MidCap 400 Index. The Index measures the performance of the mid-capitalization sector of the US equity market. Uses a representative sampling strategy to try to track the Index.

IJH  generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is -0.33%.

  • 3-month return is -3.78%.

  • 1-year return is 9.79%.

  • 3-year annualized return is 9.31%.

  • 5-year annualized return is 11.69%.

  • YTD return is -1.12%.


#16 VO: Vanguard Mid-Cap ETF

VO is a U.S. Mid-Cap ETF.

VO underlying index is CRSP US Mid Cap Index.

VO expense ratio is 0.06%.

The Fund seeks to track the performance of a benchmark index that measures the investment return of mid-capitalization stocks. The Fund employs a "passive management" approach designed to track the performance of the CRSP US Mid Cap Index, a broadly diversified index of stocks of medium-size U.S. companies.

VO  generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is -0.19%.

  • 3-month return is -4.30%.

  • 1-year return is 10.83%.

  • 3-year annualized return is 7.97%.

  • 5-year annualized return is 11.84%.

  • YTD return is -0.23%.


#17 MDY: SPDR S&P Midcap 400 ETF Trust

MDY is a U.S. Mid-Cap ETF.

MDY underlying index is S&P MidCap 400 Index.

MDY expense ratio is 0.24%.

The Trust seeks to invest results that, before expenses, generally correspond to the price and yield performance of the component common stocks of the S&P MidCap 400 Index.

MDY generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is -0.36%.

  • 3-month return is -3.85%.

  • 1-year return is 9.50%.

  • 3-year annualized return is 9.07%.

  • 5-year annualized return is 11.45%.

  • YTD return is -1.18%.


#18 IWR: iShares Russell Midcap ETF

IWR is a U.S. Mid-Cap ETF.

IWR underlying index is Russell Midcap Index.

IWR expense ratio is 0.2%.

The Fund seeks investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance, before fees and expenses, of the Russell Midcap Index.

IWR  generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is -0.18%.

  • 3-month return is -4.20%.

  • 1-year return is 11.01%.

  • 3-year annualized return is 8.10%.

  • 5-year annualized return is 11.58%.

  • YTD return is -0.66%


US SMALL-CAP ETFs

Now let's take a look at U.S. small-cap ETFs covering American stocks.  The term small-cap refers to a company with a market capitalization below $2 billion. Small-cap ETFs have stocks of small-cap companies as their holdings.  

As the name implies, a small-cap company falls below large-cap and mid-cap companies.

#19 IWM: iShares Russell 2000 ETF

IWM is a U.S. Small-Cap ETF.

IWM underlying index is Russell 2000 Index.

IWM expense ratio is 0.2%.

The Fund seeks to track the investment results of the Russell 2000 Index which measures the performance of the small-capitalization sector of the US equity market.

IWM  generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is 0.98%.

  • 3-month return is -1.71%.

  • 1-year return is 11.69%.

  • 3-year annualized return is 9.71%.

  • 5-year annualized return is 11.80%.

  • YTD return is 0.80%.


#20 IJR: iShares Core S&P Small Cap ETF

IJR is a U.S. Small-Cap ETF.

IJR underlying index is S&P SmallCap 600 Index.

IJR expense ratio is 0.07%.

The Fund seeks investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance, before fees and expenses, of the S&P SmallCap 600 Index. The Fund uses a replication strategy to try to track the Index, which includes approximately 2.5% of the market capitalization of the US equity market.

IJR generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is 1.05%.

  • 3-month return is -0.86%.

  • 1-year return is 12.92%.

  • 3-year annualized return is 12.01%.

  • 5-year annualized return is 13.83%.

  • YTD return is 1.63%.


#21 VB: Vanguard Small-Cap ETF

VB is a U.S. Small-Cap ETF.

VB underlying index is CRSP US Small Cap Index.

VB expense ratio is 0.06%.

VB description: The Fund seeks to track the performance of a benchmark index that measures the investment return of small-capitalization stocks. The Fund employs an indexing investment approach designed to track the performance of the CRSP US Small Cap Index, a broadly diversified index of stocks of small U.S. companies.

VB generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is 0.37%.

  • 3-month return is -2.54%.

  • 1-year return is 11.27%.

  • 3-year annualized return is 8.81%.

  • 5-year annualized return is 11.70%.

  • YTD return is 0.09%.


#22 VBR: Vanguard Small-Cap Value ETF

VBR is a U.S. Small- Cap Value ETF.

VBR underlying index is CRSP US Small Cap Value Index.

VBR expense ratio is 0.07%.

The Fund seeks to track the performance of a benchmark index that measures the investment return of small-capitalization value stocks. The Fund employs a "passive management" approach designed to track the performance of the MSCI U.S. Small Cap Value Index.

VBR generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is 0.40%.

  • 3-month return is -3.57%.

  • 1-year return is 7.37%.

  • 3-year annualized return is 8.56%.

  • 5-year annualized return is 11.76%.

  • YTD return is -1.71%.


HIGH DIVIDEND YIELD ETFs

A high dividend yield ETF is an exchange-traded fund that seeks to provide high yields by investing in high-dividend-paying common stocks or REITs.  There are dividend ETFs that contain only U.S. domestic stocks and global dividend ETFs with an international focus.

Below are the top three high dividend yield ETFs by assets under management. 

#23 VYM: Vanguard High Dividend Yield ETF

VYM is a U.S. High Dividend Yield ETF.

VYM underlying index is FTSE High Dividend Yield Index Net TR US RIC.

VYM expense ratio is 0.08%.

The Fund seeks to track the performance of a benchmark index that measures the investment return of common stocks of companies that are characterized by high dividend yield.

VYM generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is 0.13%.

  • 3-month return is -6.66%.

  • 1-year return is 9.68%.

  • 3-year annualized return is 9.29%.

  • 5-year annualized return is 11.24%.

  • YTD return is -2.83%.


#24 DVY: iShares Select Dividend ETF

DVY  is a U.S. High Dividend Yield ETF.

DVY underlying index is Dow Jones U.S. Select Dividend.

DVY expense ratio is 0.39%.

The Fund seeks investment results that correspond to the price and yield performance, before fees and expenses, of the Dow Jones Select Dividend Index by using a replication strategy.

DVY generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is N/A.

  • 3-month return is N/A.

  • 1-year return is N/A.

  • 3-year annualized return is N/A.

  • 5-year annualized return is N/A.

  • YTD return is N/A.


#25 SDY: SPDR S&P Dividend ETF

SDY is a U.S. High Dividend Yield ETF.

SDY underlying index is S&P High Yield Dividend Aristocrats Index.

SDY expense ratio is 0.35%.

The Fund seeks to replicate as closely as possible, before expenses, the price and yield of the S&P High Yield Dividend Aristocrats Index. The Fund uses a passive management strategy designed to track the price and yield performance of the Dividend Index.

SDY generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is -0.35%.

  • 3-month return is -5.09%.

  • 1-year return is 7.58%.

  • 3-year annualized return is 10.53%.

  • 5-year annualized return is 11.24%.

  • YTD return is -3.24%.


GLOBAL EX-U.S. (ALL WORLD) ETFs

Global ex-U.S. ETFs cover stocks of companies outside the U.S., including both developed and emerging markets.

The top ETF (measured by assets) in the global ex-U.S. segment is VEU (see below).  

#26 VEU: Vanguard FTSE All-World ex-US ETF

VEU is a  Global Ex-U.S. Total Market ETF.

VEU underlying index is FTSE All-World ex-U.S. Net TR US RIC.

VEU expense ratio is 0.11%.

The Fund seeks to track the performance of a benchmark index that measures the investment return of stocks of companies located in developed and emerging markets around the world. The Fund employs a "passive management" designed to track the performance of the FTSE/(R)/ All-World ex USA Index.

VEU generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is 0.57%.

  • 3-month return is -5.19%.

  • 1-year return is 15.14%.

  • 3-year annualized return is 5.29%.

  • 5-year annualized return is 5.68%.

  • YTD return is 0.22%.


DEVELOPED MARKET ETFs

Developed markets are countries that are most developed in terms of their economy and capital markets.  The countries must be high income, but this also open to foreign ownership, easy to move capital and efficient when it comes to market institutions. 

The top 3 developed markets ETFs by assets under management are listed below. 

#27 EFA: iShares MSCI EAFE ETF

EFA is a  Developed Markets Ex-U.S. - Total Market ETF.

EFA underlying index is MSCI EAFE Index.

EFA expense ratio is 0.32%.

The Fund seeks to provide investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance of publicly traded securities in the European, Australasian and Far Eastern markets, as measured by the Index. The Index has been developed by MSCI as an equity benchmark for its international stock performance.

EFA generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is 1.52%.

  • 3-month return is -4.20%.

  • 1-year return is 13.89%.

  • 3-year annualized return is 4.94%.

  • 5-year annualized return is 5.72%.

  • YTD return is 0.61%.


#28 VEA: Vanguard FTSE Developed Markets ETF

VEA is a Developed Markets Ex-U.S. - Total Market ETF.

VEA underlying index is FTSE Developed All Cap ex US Index Net TR US RIC.

VEA expense ratio is 0.07%.

The Fund seeks to track the performance of a benchmark index that measures the investment return of stocks issued by companies located in the major markets of Europe and the Pacific Region. The Fund employs an indexing investment approach designed to track the performance of FTSE Developed All Cap ex US Index.

VEA generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is 1.27%.

  • 3-month return is -4.29%.

  • 1-year return is 14.85%.

  • 3-year annualized return is 5.72%.

  • 5-year annualized return is 6.33%.

  • YTD return is 0.26%.


#29 IEFA: iShares Core MSCI EAFE ETF

IEFA is a Developed Markets Ex-U.S. - Total Market ETF.

IEFA underlying index is MSCI EAFE Investable Market Index.

IEFA expense ratio is 0.08%.

The Fund seeks investment results that correspond to the price and yield performance of the MSCI EAFE Investable Market Index. The Underlying Index is designed to measure large-, mid-, and small-cap capitalization equity market performance and includes stocks from Europe, Australasia, and the Far East.

IEFA generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is 1.15%.

  • 3-month return is -4.16%.

  • 1-year return is 15.01%.

  • 3-year annualized return is 6.00%.

  • 5-year annualized return is 6.53%.

  • YTD return is 0.83%.


EMERGING MARKET ETFs

An emerging markets ETF is an exchange-traded fund that focuses on the stocks of emerging market economies, such as Latin America, Asia, and Eastern Europe.

The three emerging market funds below stood out from the rest because they attracted the largest amount of assets under management.

#30 VWO: Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets ETF

VWO is an Emerging Markets - Total Market ETF.

VWO underlying index is FTSE Emerging Markets All Cap China A Inclusion Index Net TR US RIC.

VWO expense ratio is 0.14%.

The Fund seeks to track the performance of the FTSE Emerging Markets All Cap China A Inclusion Index, that measures the return of stocks issued by companies located in emerging market countries.

VWO generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is -2.77%.

  • 3-month return is -8.17%.

  • 1-year return is 16.05%.

  • 3-year annualized return is 4.06%.

  • 5-year annualized return is 3.64%.

  • YTD return is -0.31%.


#31 EEM: iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF

EEM is a Emerging Markets - Total Market ETF.

EEM underlying index is MSCI Emerging Markets Index.

EEM expense ratio is 0.69%.

The Fund seeks investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance, before fees and expenses, of the MSCI Emerging Markets Free Index. The Underlying Index is designed to measure equity market performance in the global emerging markets.

EEM generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is -2.82%.

  • 3-month return is -8.05%.

  • 1-year return is 19.46%.

  • 3-year annualized return is 5.19%.

  • 5-year annualized return is 3.78%.

  • YTD return is -0.42%.


#32 IEMG: iShares Core MSCI Emerging Markets ETF

IEMG is an Emerging Markets - Total Market ETF.

IEMG underlying index is MSCI Emerging Markets Investable Market Index.

IEMG expense ratio is 0.14%.

The Fund seeks investment results that correspond to the price and yield performance of the MSCI Emerging Markets Investable Market Index. The Underlying Index is designed to measure large-, mid-, and small-cap equity market performance in the global emerging markets.

IEMG generated the following returns:

1-month return is -2.65%.

3-month return is -7.47%.

1-year return is 19.66%.

3-year annualized return is 5.58%.

5-year annualized return is 4.31%.

YTD return is -0.09%.


JAPAN ETFs

The top ETF (measured by assets) representing the Japanese market is EWJ (see below).  

#33 EWJ: iShares MSCI Japan ETF

EWJ is a Japan - Total Market ETF.

EWJ underlying index is MSCI Japan Index.

EWJ expense ratio is 0.49%.

The Fund seeks to utilize a "passive" or indexing investment approach, which attempts to approximate the investment performance of its benchmark index compiled by Morgan Stanley Capital International ("MSCI").

EWJ generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is -0.07%.

  • 3-month return is -3.65%.

  • 1-year return is 18.47%.

  • 3-year annualized return is 7.23%.

  • 5-year annualized return is 6.79%.

  • YTD return is 1.18%.


FIXED INCOME ETFs

Fixed income ETFs are a type of exchange-traded funds that exclusively invest in bonds. They hold a portfolio of bonds with different strategies, from U.S. Treasuries to high yields, and holding periods, between long-term and short-term.

#34 AGG: iShares Core U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF

AGG is a U.S. - Broad Market Investment Grade ETF.

AGG underlying index is Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Aggregate Bond Index.

AGG expense ratio is 0.05%.

The Fund seeks investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance, before fees and expenses, of the United States investment grade securities markets as defined by the Barclays Capital U.S. Aggregate Index.

AGG generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is -0.94%.

  • 3-month return is -1.28%.

  • 1-year return is -0.63%.

  • 3-year annualized return is 0.92%.

  • 5-year annualized return is 1.36%.

  • YTD return is -2.39%.


#35 LQD: iShares iBoxx $ Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF

LQD is a U.S. - Corporate Investment Grade ETF.

LQD underlying index is Markit iBoxx $ Liquid Investment Grade Index.

LQD expense ratio is 0.15%.

The Fund seeks investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance of a segment of the U.S. investment grade corporate bond market as defined by the GS $ InvesTop Index.

LQD generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is -1.57%.

  • 3-month return is -3.23%.

  • 1-year return is -0.04%.

  • 3-year annualized return is 1.95%.

  • 5-year annualized return is 2.24%.

  • YTD return is -4.42%.


#36 BND: Vanguard Total Bond Market ETF

BND is a U.S. - Broad Market Investment Grade ETF.

BND underlying index is Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Aggregate Float Adjusted Index.

BND expense ratio is 0.05%.

The Vanguard Total Bond Market ETF tracks a broad, market-value-weighted index of US dollar-denominated, investment-grade, taxable, fixed-income securities with maturities of at least one year.

BND generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is -0.88%.

  • 3-month return is -1.23%.

  • 1-year return is -0.53%.

  • 3-year annualized return is 0.94%.

  • 5-year annualized return is 1.34%.

  • YTD return is -2.45%.


#37 TIP: iShares TIPS Bond ETF

TIP is a U.S. Government TIPS ETF.

TIP underlying index is Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Treasury Inflation Protected Securities (TIPS) Index (Series-L).

TIP expense ratio is 0.2%.

The Fund seeks to replicate the Barclays Capital U.S. Treasury Inflation Notes Index. In order to achieve its objective, the fund will us a passive indexing approach.

TIP generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is -0.13%.

  • 3-month return is -0.17%.

  • 1-year return is 0.11%.

  • 3-year annualized return is 0.87%.

  • 5-year annualized return is -0.27%.

  • YTD return is -1.01%.


#38 BSV: Vanguard Short-Term Bond ETF

BSV is a Government/Credit Investment Grade Short-Term ETF.

BSV underlying index is Bloomberg Barclays U.S. 1-5 Year Government/Credit Float Adjusted Index.

BSV expense ratio is 0.07%.

The Vanguard Short-Term Bond ETF tracks a market-weighted index of US-government bonds, investment-grade corporate and investment-grade international dollar-denominated bonds with maturities of 1-5 years.

BSV generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is -0.22%.

  • 3-month return is -0.29%.

  • 1-year return is -0.57%.

  • 3-year annualized return is 0.60%.

  • 5-year annualized return is 0.74%.

  • YTD return is -0.77%.


#39 VCSH: Vanguard Short-Term Corporate Bond ETF

VCSH is a  Corporate Investment Grade Short-Term ETF.

VCSH underlying index is Bloomberg Barclays U.S. 1-5 Year Corporate Bond Index.

VCSH expense ratio is 0.07%.

The Fund seeks to track the performance of a market-weighted corporate bond index with a short-term dollar-weighted average maturity. The Fund employs a "passive management" - or indexing - investment approach designed to track the performance of the Barclays Capital U.S. 1-5 Year Corporate Bond Index.

VCSH generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is -0.11%.

  • 3-month return is -0.51%.

  • 1-year return is 0.10%.

  • 3-year annualized return is 1.35%.

  • 5-year annualized return is 1.48%.

  • YTD return is -0.85%.


#40 HYG: iShares iBoxx $ High Yield Corporate Bond ETF

HYG is a   U.S. - Corporate High Yield ETF.

HYG underlying index is Markit iBoxx $ Liquid High Yield Index.

HYG expense ratio is 0.49%.

The Fund seeks investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance of the U.S. dollar high yield corporate bond market as defined by the iBoxx $ Liquid High Yield Index. The Fund will invest at least 90% of its assets in component securities of its Underlying Index.

HYG generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is 0.48%.

  • 3-month return is -0.62%.

  • 1-year return is 2.25%.

  • 3-year annualized return is 3.36%.

  • 5-year annualized return is 3.25%.

  • YTD return is -0.57%.


#41 PFF: iShares U.S. Preferred Stock ETF

PFF is a U.S. - Corporate Preferred Stock ETF.

PFF underlying index is S&P U.S. Preferred Stock Index.

PFF expense ratio is 0.47%.

The Fund seeks investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance, before fees and expenses, of the S&P U.S. Preferred Stock Index. The Index measures the performance of a selected group of preferred stocks listed on the NYSE, AMEX and the Nasdaq Stock Market, Inc.

PFF generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is -0.71%.

  • 3-month return is 0.10%.

  • 1-year return is 0.49%.

  • 3-year annualized return is 3.25%.

  • 5-year annualized return is 4.15%.

  • YTD return is -1.08%.


#42 VCIT: Vanguard Intermediate-Term Corporate Bond ETF

VCIT is a U.S. - Corporate Investment Grade Intermediate ETF.

VCIT underlying index is Bloomberg Barclays U.S. 5-10 Year Corporate Bond Index.

VCIT expense ratio is 0.07%.

The Fund seeks to track the performance of a market-weighted corporate bond index with an intermediate-term dollar-weighted average maturity. The Fund employs a "passive management - or indexing - investment approach designed to track the performance of the Barclays Capital U.S. 5-10 Year Corporate Bond Index.

VCIT generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is -1.06%.

  • 3-month return is -2.32%.

  • 1-year return is -0.79%.

  • 3-year annualized return is 1.79%.

  • 5-year annualized return is 2.20%.

  • YTD return is -3.45%.


#43 BIV: Vanguard Intermediate-Term Bond ETF

BIV is a Government/Credit Investment Grade Intermediate ETF.

BIV underlying index is Bloomberg Barclays U.S. 5-10 Year Government/Credit Float Adjusted Index.

BIV expense ratio is 0.07%.

The Fund seeks to track the performance of a market-weighted bond index with an intermediate-term dollar-weighted average maturity. The Fund employs an indexing investment approach designed to track the performance of the Barclays U.S. 5-10 Year Government/Credit Float Adjusted Index.

BIV generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is -1.04%.

  • 3-month return is -1.53%.

  • 1-year return is -1.70%.

  • 3-year annualized return is 0.84%.

  • 5-year annualized return is 1.25%.

  • YTD return is -3.04%.


FINANCIAL SERVICES ETFs

The top ETF (measured by assets) in the financials segment is XLF (see below).  

#44 XLF: Financial Select Sector SPDR Fund

XLF is a U.S. Financials ETF.

XLF underlying index is S&P Financial Select Sector Index.

XLF expense ratio is 0.13%.

The Fund seeks to provide investment results that, before expenses, correspond generally to the price and yield performance of the Financial Select Sector Index. Under normal market conditions, the fund generally invests substantially all, but at least 95%, of its total assets in the securities comprising the Index.

XLF generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is -0.44%.

  • 3-month return is -7.37%.

  • 1-year return is 18.56%.

  • 3-year annualized return is 13.99%.

  • 5-year annualized return is 14.59%.

  • YTD return is -1.29%.


TECHNOLOGY ETFs

The top two ETFs (measured by assets) in the technology segment are XLK and VGT (see below).  

#45 XLK: Technology Select Sector SPDR Fund

XLK is a U.S. Technology ETF.

XLK underlying index is S&P Technology Select Sector Index.

XLK expense ratio is 0.13%.

The Fund seeks to provide investment results that, before expenses, correspond generally to the price and yield performance of the Technology Select Sector Index. Under normal market conditions, the fund generally invests substantially all, but at least 95%, of its total assets in the securities comprising the Index.

XLK generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is 0.06%.

  • 3-month return is -4.07%.

  • 1-year return is 22.12%.

  • 3-year annualized return is 17.39%.

  • 5-year annualized return is 18.35%.

  • YTD return is 2.68%.


#46 VGT: Vanguard Information Technology ETF

VGT is a U.S. Technology ETF.

VGT underlying index is MSCI US Investable Market Information Technology 25/50 Index.

VGT expense ratio is 0.1%.

The Fund seeks to track the performance of a benchmark index that measures the investment return of information technology stocks.

VGT generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is -0.02%.

  • 3-month return is -3.31%.

  • 1-year return is 24.45%.

  • 3-year annualized return is 18.16%.

  • 5-year annualized return is 19.94%.

  • YTD return is 4.00%.


HEALTHCARE ETFs

The top ETF (measured by assets) in the healthcare segment is XLV (see below).  

#47 XLV: Health Care Select Sector SPDR Fund

XLV is a Precious Metals Silver ETF.

XLV underlying index is N/A.

XLV expense ratio is 0.13%.

The Fund seeks to provide investment results that, before expenses, correspond generally to the price and yield performance of the Health Care Select Sector Index. Under normal market conditions, the fund generally invests substantially all, but at least 95%, of its total assets in the securities comprising the Index.

XLV generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is 1.06%.

  • 3-month return is -6.30%.

  • 1-year return is 10.61%.

  • 3-year annualized return is 6.30%.

  • 5-year annualized return is 13.40%.

  • YTD return is -0.16%.


ENERGY ETFs

The top ETF (measured by assets) in the energy segment is XLE (see below).  

#48 XLE: Energy Select Sector SPDR Fund

XLE is a U.S. Energy ETF

XLE underlying index is S&P Energy Select Sector Index.

XLE expense ratio is 0.13%.

The Fund seeks to provide investment results that, before expenses, correspond generally to the price and yield performance of the Energy Select Sector Index. Under normal market conditions, the fund generally invests substantially all, but at least 95%, of its total assets in the securities comprising the Index.

XLE generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is 9.49%.

  • 3-month return is -0.69%.

  • 1-year return is 12.51%.

  • 3-year annualized return is -0.85%.

  • 5-year annualized return is 1.42%.

  • YTD return is 2.87%.


REAL ESTATE ETFs

The top ETF (measured by assets) in the real estate segment is VNQ (see below).  

#49 VNQ: Vanguard REIT ETF

VNQ is a  U.S. Real Estate ETF

VNQ underlying index is MSCI US REIT Index.

VNQ expense ratio is 0.12%.

The Fund seeks to provide a high level of income and moderate long-term capital appreciation. The Fund employs an indexing investment approach designed to track the performance of the MSCI US REIT Index. The Index is composed of stocks of publicly traded equity real estate investment trusts (known as REITs).

VNQ generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is 0.82%.

  • 3-month return is -3.31%.

  • 1-year return is -3.88%.

  • 3-year annualized return is 3.09%.

  • 5-year annualized return is 4.56%.

  • YTD return is -7.42%.


COMMODITY ETFs

The top ETF (measured by assets) in the commodity segment is GLD (see below).  

#50 GLD: SPDR Gold Trust

GLD is a Precious Metals Gold ETF.

GLD underlying index is Gold Spot.

GLD expense ratio is 0.4%.

The Fund seeks to achieve the performance of gold bullion less the expenses of the Fund. The Fund is designed as a cost-effective way for investors to access the gold bullion market.

GLD generated the following returns:

  • 1-month return is 1.33%.

  • 3-month return is -1.91%.

  • 1-year return is -6.15%.

  • 3-year annualized return is 2.45%.

  • 5-year annualized return is 0.89%.

  • YTD return is -1.91%.

We hope you found our choice of the top ETFs for 2018 informative and helpful.  Note that these funds are suggested to you because of their relative popularity (demonstrated by total asset value), solid performance within their categories and low expense ratios.  And remember there is no guarantee that these funds will continue to perform well in the future.

If you have any questions or comments, send us an email at: hi [at] finstead [dot] com.

Comments (0)expand_more