Top Five Best (and Worst) Performing ETFs of 2013

Joel Anderson |

We already took a look at 2013’s best-performing ETFs in mid-October, then we followed up with those ETFs showing the worst performance in early November. We were watching all year, wondering what index funds would end up being the best (and worst) bets for the year.

Well, today is the day of reckoning. As 2013 comes to a close, we’ve got our final numbers in and here are your top five best and worst performing non-leveraged, non-inverse equities ETFs of the year.

The Best…

No surprises here, what was already cooking in October remained at the top of the list a month and a half later. And, while biotech had a hell of a year, it’s the green energy funds that dominate the top performers.

Guggenheim Solar ETF ($TAN)

Index: MAC Global Solar Energy Index

Expense Ratio: 0.65 percent

2013 Performance: 124.49 percent

The sun clearly shone on solar stocks as the market bounced back hard from a brutal 2011 and a not-as-bad-but-still-pretty-brutal 2012.

Market Vectors Solar Energy ETF ($KWT)

Index: Ardour Solar Energy Index

Expense Ratio: 0.65 percent

2013 Performance: 101.93 percent

Nasdaq Clean Edge Green Energy Index Fund ($QCLN)

Index: Nasdaq Clean Edge Green Energy Index

Expense Ratio: 0.60 percent

2013 Performance: 93 percent

Market Vectors Global Alternative Energy ETF ($GEX)

Index: Ardour Global Index

Expense Ratio: 0.62 percent

2013 Performance: 69.05 percent

iShares U.S. Broker-Dealers ETF ($IAI)

Index: Dow Jones U.S. Select Investment Services Sector Index

Expense Ratio: 0.48 percent

2013 Performance: 63.35 percent

Our lone non-green energy entrant is the IAI, which tracks the investment services industry. Though, in a year when the S&P 500 is up almost 30 percent, it probably shouldn’t come as a surprise.

The Worst…

And the worst ETFs all have a theme: precious metals miners. It was a rough year for gold bugs and people holding silver, and it was an worse for companies that mine for the precious metals.

Gold Explorers ETF ($GLDX)

Index: Solactive Global Gold Explorers Index

Expense Ratio: 0.65 percent

2013 Performance: -62.3 percent

Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF ($GDXJ)

Index: Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners Index

Expense Ratio: 0.54 percent

2013 Performance: -61.03 percent

PureFunds ISE Junior Silver ETF (SILJ)

Index: Not linked to a specific index.

Expense Ratio: 0.69 percent

2013 Performance: -54.78 percent

Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF ($GDX)

Index: NYSE Arca Gold Miners Index

Expense Ratio: 0.52 percent

2013 Performance: -54.77 percent

This is among the five most actively-traded ETFs.

Pure Gold Miners ETF ($GGGG)

Index: Solactive Global Pure Gold Miners Index

Expense Ratio: 0.59 percent

2013 Performance: -53.82 percent


DISCLOSURE: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, and do not represent the views of Readers should not consider statements made by the author as formal recommendations and should consult their financial advisor before making any investment decisions. To read our full disclosure, please go to:


Symbol Name Price Change % Volume
FABP Farmers Bancorp (Frankfort IN) 49.52 0.00 0.00 0
QCLN First Trust NASDAQ Clean Edge Green Energy Idx Fd 14.70 -0.01 -0.07 9,909


Emerging Growth

CMX Gold & Silver Corp.

CMX Gold & Silver Corp is an exploration stage company. The Company is engaged in the acquisition, exploration and development of silver and copper/gold properties in the USA.

Private Markets

BioSculpture Technology, Inc.

BioSculpture Technology, Inc. (“BST”) is a commercial-stage medical device manufacturer of liposuction surgical instruments for surgeons. It offers the FDA-cleared Twin Cannula Assisted Liposuction ("TCAL") Airbrush Liposculptor II® controllers, Airbrush®…

MyForce, Inc.

As parents, we constantly worry about the safety of our loved ones. The media bombards us with incidents from across the nation school shootings, frequent assaults on campuses, and crimes…