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Regardless of your financial goals, you may occasionally want to make some changes to which ETFs you invest in. Diversifying your securities and stocks can give you exposure to areas in the market you might otherwise miss.
We update this page monthly to keep it accurate as the market shifts. Because the stock market is naturally volatile, some of these may have shifted since we last updated this page at the beginning of the month. The ETFs on this page are all US ETFs, and we ranked them based solely on their returns.
As of May 2021, the top performing ETFs so far this year are:
|Symbol||ETF name||YTD returns||Annual dividend yield|
|RETL||Direxion Daily Retail Bull 3X Shares||140.19%||0.01%|
|NRGU||MicroSectors U.S. Big Oil Index 3X Leveraged ETN||115.29%||0.00%|
|DPST||Direxion Daily Regional Banks Bull 3X Shares||108.05%||0.42%|
|NAIL||Direxion Daily Homebuilders & Supplies Bull 3X Shares||107.02%||0.00%|
|BNKU||MicroSectors U.S. Big Banks Index 3x Leveraged ETN||99.06%||0.00%|
|HIBL||Direxion Daily S&P 500 High Beta Bull 3X Shares||97.29%||0.01%|
|TPOR||Direxion Daily Transportation Bull 3X Shares||78.24%||0.03%|
|FAS||Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X Shares||78.16%||0.26%|
|GUSH||Direxion Daily S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production Bull 2x Shares||76.87%||0.11%|
|ERX||Direxion Daily Energy Bull 2X Shares||66.07%||1.83%|
Source: ETF Database
As of May 2021, the top performing ETFs over the last year are:
|Symbol||ETF name||1-year returns||Annual dividend yield|
|RETL||Direxion Daily Retail Bull 3X Shares||1027.85%||0.01%|
|HIBL||Direxion Daily S&P 500 High Beta Bull 3X Shares||504.45%||0.01%|
|NAIL||Direxion Daily Homebuilders & Supplies Bull 3X Shares||452.69%||0.00%|
|TPOR||Direxion Daily Transportation Bull 3X Shares||416.08%||0.03%|
|FNGU||MicroSectors FANG+™ Index 3X Leveraged ETN||404.56%||0.00%|
|SOXL||Direxion Daily Semiconductor Bull 3x Shares||322.77%||0.28%|
|URTY||ProShares UltraPro Russell2000||320.40%||0.15%|
|TNA||Direxion Daily Small Cap Bull 3X Shares||317.54%||0.02%|
|UMDD||ProShares UltraPro MidCap400||289.44%||0.01%|
|MIDU||Direxion Daily Mid Cap Bull 3X Shares||288.44%||0.03%|
Source: ETF Database
As of May 2021, the top performing ETFs over the last five years are:
|Symbol||ETF name||5-year returns||Annual dividend yield|
|SOXL||Direxion Daily Semiconductor Bull 3x Shares||2323.45%||0.28%|
|TECL||Direxion Daily Technology Bull 3X Shares||1337.18%||0.38%|
|TQQQ||ProShares UltraPro QQQ||1297.44%||0.00%|
|USD||ProShares Ultra Semiconductors||879.13%||0.06%|
|ROM||ProShares Ultra Technology||865.85%||0.00%|
|ARKW||ARK Next Generation Internet ETF||711.98%||1.26%|
|QLD||ProShares Ultra QQQ||663.03%||0.00%|
|ARKK||ARK Innovation ETF||556.18%||1.68%|
|ARKG||ARK Genomic Revolution ETF||451.06%||0.88%|
|FBGX||UBS AG FI Enhanced Large Cap Growth ETN||421.77%||0.00%|
Source: ETF Database
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With thousands of ETFs in the US exchange to choose from, finding the best ones that fit your portfolio and investing strategy can help protect you from loss. Some points to consider when deciding which ETFs are best for you.
(Want to know more about ETFs in general? Read this guide.)
There’s a direct correlation between high fees and an ETF’s overall performance. When fees are higher, returns tend to be lower and vice versa. There are two main costs involved when investing in listed funds: brokerage and management fees.
To find a platform that offers the lowest fees, you’ll first need to decide how much you want to invest in the fund and how many lump sums you’ll be investing over a year. If it’s just one lump sum, a platform that doesn’t charge an inactivity fee will be key. If you plan on frequently adding small amounts, the brokerage fee itself will be more important.
Brokerage fees range from around $0 to $5 per transaction and ETF fees range from about 0.05% to 2.5%.
Once you’ve considered the risks of investing in ETFs and worked out your financial goals, you can buy and sell units in an ETF like any stock on the stock market through a fund manager or an online trading platform.
To invest in ETFs through an online trading platform, you’ll need to do the following:
Business cycles, demographic trends and bull or bear markets can often last for years, so ETFs with strong momentum sometimes continue to perform strongly — and vice versa.
Comparing recent performance of ETFs can help inform your investment planning and provide you with ideas for where to invest your money. From there, continue to research your investment choices and be as thorough with the trading platforms and services you consider.
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