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The best ETFs in the US for 2022

See which US ETFs are the highest performing by revenue.

The ETFs on this page are all listed in the US, and we ranked them based solely on their returns. Given the volatility of the stock market, some of the ETFs listed here may have shifted since we last updated this page.

Best performing US ETFs so far this year

As of January 2022, the top performing US ETFs so far this year are:

SymbolETF nameYTD returnsAnnual dividend yield
MLPOCredit Suisse S&P MLP Index ETN29.55%0.00%
CLRGIQ Chaikin U.S. Large Cap ETF26.61%1.07%
FKUFirst Trust United Kingdom AlphaDEX Fund20.54%2.39%
DWUSAdvisorShares Dorsey Wright FSM US Core ETF20.20%0.17%
SMCPAlphaMark Actively Managed Small Cap ETF18.02%0.44%
NRGUMicroSectors U.S. Big Oil Index 3X Leveraged ETN10.79%0.00%
GUSHDirexion Daily S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production Bull 2x Shares8.66%0.06%
BNKUMicroSectors U.S. Big Banks Index 3x Leveraged ETN8.00%0.00%
WANTDirexion Daily Consumer Discretionary Bull 3X Shares7.57%0.00%
XESSPDR S&P Oil & Gas Equipment & Services ETF7.27%1.59%

Source: ETF Database

Best performing US ETFs over 1 year

As of January 2022, the top performing US ETFs over the last year are:

SymbolETF name1-year returnsAnnual dividend yield
NRGUMicroSectors U.S. Big Oil Index 3X Leveraged ETN191.24%0.00%
GUSHDirexion Daily S&P Oil & Gas Exp. & Prod. Bull 2X Shares151.85%0.06%
NAILDirexion Daily Homebuilders & Supplies Bull 3X Shares147.73%0.00%
DRNDirexion Daily Real Estate Bull 3x Shares146.98%0.71%
HIBLDirexion Daily S&P 500 High Beta Bull 3X Shares138.06%0.05%
BNKUMicroSectors U.S. Big Banks Index 3x Leveraged ETN133.59%0.00%
DIGProShares Ultra Oil & Gas127.61%2.04%
ERXDirexion Daily Energy Bull 2X Shares124.88%1.66%
FASDirexion Daily Financial Bull 3X Shares122.90%0.35%
DPSTDirexion Daily Regional Banks Bull 3X Shares119.10%1.90%

Source: ETF Database

Best performing US ETFs over 5 years

As of January 2022, the top performing US ETFs over the last 5 years are:

SymbolETF name5-year returnsAnnual dividend yield
TECLDirexion Daily Technology Bull 3X Shares1699.36%0.25%
TQQQProShares UltraPro QQQ1517.01%0.00%
ROMProShares Ultra Technology969.22%0.00%
USDProShares Ultra Semiconductors896.42%0.05%
QLDProShares Ultra QQQ746.08%0.00%
FBGXUBS AG FI Enhanced Large Cap Growth ETN534.08%0.00%
UPROProShares UltraPro S&P500477.38%0.04%
SPXLDirexion Daily S&P 500 Bull 3X Shares455.61%0.12%
ARKWARK Next Generation Internet ETF446.04%1.23%
CUREDirexion Daily Healthcare Bull 3x Shares418.73%0.01%

Source: ETF Database

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Picking the best ETFs for your situation

With thousands of ETFs 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.

  • Timeframe. Decide your investment timeframe and under what circumstances you’d consider selling.
  • Have a strategy. Think about if you can afford to take on a riskier short-term investment or if you prefer to be more conservative. If you prefer lower risk, you could also consider index funds.
  • Understand the product. Do your research of the listed fund. Download its prospectus and read through the details.
  • Check the returns. Look at the returns, including all fees over different periods of time. How has it performed over a one-year period? How has it performed over several years?
  • Understand the fees. Fees strongly influence your return on investment. Make sure the returns outshine the ETF’s management fees and pick a broker with fees that match your trading habits.
  • Talk to a financial adviser. If you’re not clear about an investment, how it works or its returns, contact a licensed professional to help you learn more.

A beginner’s guide to exchange-traded funds (ETFs)

Understanding an ETF’s fees

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.

  • Brokerage fees. Like with stocks, your broker may charge a transaction fee every time you invest money into an ETF. This fee comes down to which trading platform or brokerage you use.
  • Management fee. This is often displayed as the management expense ratio (MER), which is the percentage of your return charged as fees by the ETF’s fund managers. Normally, the more work a fund manager has to do to keep the ETF profitable, the higher the fee – though this won’t always be the case. This is why many active ETFs charge higher fees than index ETFs, which passively track an index.

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 management fees range from about 0.05% to 2.5%.

How to invest in an ETF

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:

  1. Search for a trading platform that suits your investment needs.
  2. Sign up by providing personal details, proof of citizenship and proof of ID.
  3. Log in to your trading account.
  4. Move money into your trading account through a bank transfer.
  5. Search for the ETF on your platform and place an order.

Bottom line

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.

Disclaimer: This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of futures, stocks, ETFs, CFDs, options or any specific provider, service or offering. It should not be relied upon as investment advice or construed as providing recommendations of any kind. Futures, stocks, ETFs and options trading involves substantial risk of loss and therefore are not appropriate for all investors. Trading CFDs and forex on leverage comes with a higher risk of losing money rapidly. Past performance is not an indication of future results. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before making any trades.

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