Top performing (but risky) ETFs in 2018

Article Excerpt

With broad-based losses across all of the major investment classes, the year 2018 will not be fondly remembered by many investors. However, some ETFs defied the odds and generated spectacular returns. Here are three of the highest-returning ETFs of 2018. DIREXION NATURAL GAS BEAR 3X ETF $33.17 (New York symbol GASX) invests in futures and options that in combination provide three times the opposite return of the ISE Natural Gas Index. That means that the ETF should perform very well when natural gas prices decline and poorly when gas prices increase. Its MER is a very high 1.08%. For 2018, the ETF returned 149%. That made it one of the top-performing ETFs of 2018. However, since the launch in December 2015, the fund has lost 79% of its value. Natural gas prices are generally very volatile (including unpredictability due to weather-related demand), and the leverage used by the ETF adds to that volatility. That makes this ETF more of a gamble than an investment. We don’t recommend…

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