ETF Awards: Best, Worst and What to Watch in 2014

By Eric Balchunas - 2013-12-19T16:50:25Z

Photograph byTomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg

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Best ETF Launch

Cambria Shareholder Yield ETF (SYLD)

SYLD showed the ETF world that a small independent issuer could innovate, outperform and collect assets. With $170 million in assets, it became the second-largest actively managed equity ETF. SYLD returned 14 percent since its inception in May, four percentage points more than the S&P 500 in that period. It picks stocks based on the concept that equity “yield” doesn’t come from just dividends but also from share buybacks and paying off debt. After choosing 100 such high-yielding stocks, the ETF weights them all equally. 

The worst launch: the Global X Central Asia & Mongolia ETF (AZIA). With just $2 million in assets, it’s down 11 percent since its April debut.