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

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

Photograph by Vladimir Weiss/Bloomberg

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Best Niche ETF

Global X Guru Index ETF (GURU)

It was a tough year for hedge funds, which suffered bad publicity and bad performance, averaging only 7 percent (although some hedge funds aren’t trying to beat the market). Adding insult to injury, an ETF that picks stocks from hedge fund managers’ own quarterly regulatory filings ran laps around many of the funds it mimics, for a fraction of a hedge fund’s cost. GURU returned 41.7 percent while yielding 4 percent. This explains why it grew 150-fold from $2 million to $314 million. 

The Worst Niche ETF award goes to the Global X Uranium ETF (URA), which was down 25.4 percent. Uranium suffered from low demand and from announcements by countries such as Germany and France that they intend to phase out nuclear power.