2017's Best Performing ETFs So Far

This week we take a look at some of the top-performing ETFs of 2017.

We came up with two lists of funds that include every single ETF on the market; the other excludes inverse and leveraged exchange-traded products. There's no overlap between the two. If you shorted volatility, you’re a happy camper.

The all-encompassing list largely includes leveraged versions of the funds on the narrower list. The exceptions are three inverse VIX products on the list, the REX VolMAXX Short VIX Weekly Futures Strategy ETF (VMIN), the VelocityShares Daily Inverse VIX Short-Term ETN (XIV) and the ProShares Short VIX Short-Term Futures ETF (SVXY), each with gains of more than 106%.

Shorting volatility has been one of the top trades of the year as the CBOE Volatility Index wallows near record lows.

The tamer list, which excludes inverse and leveraged ETFs—and which some might consider more "investable"—is topped by the ARK Innovation ETF (ARKK), with a 71% year-to-date gain.

ARKK is one of two ETFs on the list issued by ARK Investment Management, a company that focuses on thematic ETFs with a "disruptive innovation" bent.

The fund holds companies that work in fields related to genomics, next-generation internet, and industrial innovation.

Internet Giants Buoy China ETFs

The two ARK ETFs aren't the only tech-focused funds to surge this year. The KraneShares CSI China Internet ETF (KWEB), the Guggenheim China Technology ETF (CQQQ) and the Emerging Markets Internet & Ecommerce ETF (EMQQ) are a trio of international tech ETFs that rallied hard in 2017.

Through the first nine months of the year, KWEB was up 63.9%; CQQQ was up 62.1%; and EMQQ was up 59.2%.

There's a lot of overlap between the holdings of all three funds. Each has the same top three holdings: Baidu, Tencent and Alibaba. These Chinese internet companies and others like them have skyrocketed this year thanks to soaring profits.

The WisdomTree China ex-State-Owned Enterprises Fund (CXSE), with a 64.5% year-to-date return, is another ETF on the top 10 list. Even though it provides broad exposure to the Chinese stock market (excluding government-owned firms), its biggest stakes are in the internet behemoths.

Once again, the top three holdings are Baidu, Tencent and Alibaba.

The one China ETF on the list that is a bit more distinct than the rest is the Global X China Materials ETF (CHIM). The fund, which is up 55.8% this year, targets the basic materials industry in China.

Top holdings include steel companies, specialty mining companies, aluminum companies and more.

Drew Voros can be reached at

More On

Worst Performing ETFs Of The Year

Value About To Outperform Growth

Why ‘ESG’ Bonds Better Than ‘Green’ Bonds

Take Our 5th Annual Survey

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

In This Story


Other Topics

ETFs Investing

Founded in 2001, is the world's leading authority on exchange-traded funds (ETFs). We deliver clear, independent and authoritative news, analysis and education about ETFs online at and in print with ETF Report.

Learn More