Best ETFs for 2024

Whether you're looking for best ETFs to invest in 2024 or ETFs trending on platforms today, we've got you covered.

An exchange-traded fund (ETF) lets you invest in a whole range of different investments in one fell swoop, but how do you choose the best ETFs to buy and hold?

There are over 8,000 ETFs globally, covering a range of markets and sectors. Finding the best performing ETFs to invest in now will depend on your long-term strategy and your personal style of investing.

To help you decide, here are some of the best performing ETFs for UK investors and the most popular ETFs today.

Best ETFs for 2024

Below are some of the best-performing ETFs available to buy now if you’re a UK investor. It’s always best to invest long-term, and these top ETFs have performed well over specific time periods.

You can look at the top ETFs from this year, over a one year period, or over 5 years – just click the different tabs to switch between timeframes. The percentage performance on display shows the growth of each ETF.

Table: sorted by year-to-date performance based on data from JustETF.com
IconFundYTD performance (to 7 May 2024)Link to invest
HSBC icon HSBC MSCI Turkey UCITS ETF USD (HTRY)37.32%Invest with Hargreaves LansdownCapital at risk
amundi icon Amundi MSCI Turkey UCITS ETF Acc (TURL)36.50%Capital at risk
iShares icon iShares MSCI Turkey UCITS ETF (ITKY)35.35%Invest with InvestEngineCapital at risk
amundi iconAmundi MSCI Semiconductors ESG Screened UCITS ETF Acc (SEMG)32.48%Invest with InvestEngineCapital at risk
HANetf Sprott Copper Miners ESG Screened UCITS ETF USD Acc (COPP)31.61%Invest with Hargreaves LansdownCapital at risk
Here are the best ETFs in terms of performance in the past year.
Table: sorted by 1-year performance based on data from JustETF.com
IconFund1-year performanceYTD performance (to 7 May 2024)Link to invest
global x iconGlobal X Blockchain UCITS ETF USD Accumulating (BKCG)89.56%-3.63%Invest with InvestEngineCapital at risk
amundi iconAmundi MSCI Semiconductors ESG Screened UCITS ETF Acc (SEMG)86.94%32.48%Invest with InvestEngineCapital at risk
hanetf icon HANetf Sprott Uranium Miners UCITS ETF Acc (URNP)85.85%15.96Invest with Hargreaves LansdownCapital at risk
vaneck icon VanEck Crypto and Blockchain Innovators UCITS ETF (DAGB)80.81%-4.28%Invest with SaxoCapital at risk
WisdomTree iconWisdomTree Blockchain UCITS ETF USD Acc (BKCN)75.12%3.72%Invest with InvestEngineCapital at risk
Here are the best ETFs in terms of performance in the past 5 years.
Table: sorted by 5-year performance based on data from JustETF.com. Updated 1 February 2024
IconFund5-year performanceYTD performance (to 2 April 2024)Link to invest
amundi icon Amundi MSCI Semiconductors ESG Screened UCITS ETF Acc (SEMG)227.19%34.32%Invest with InvestEngineCapital at risk
Invesco iconInvesco US Technology Sector UCITS ETF (XLKQ)220.66%16.03%Invest with BestinvestCapital at risk
iShares iconiShares S&P 500 Information Technology Sector UCITS ETF USD (Acc) (IITU)210.86%13.84%Invest with InvestEngineCapital at risk
Xtrackers iconXtrackers MSCI USA Information Technology UCITS ETF 1D (XSTC)197.18%13.10%Invest with iiCapital at risk
spdr iconSPDR S&P US Technology Select Sector UCITS ETF (GXLK)197.06%8.78%Invest with Hargreaves LansdownCapital at risk
Table: sorted by year-to-date performance based on data from JustETF.com
IconFundYTD performance (to 5 December 2023)Link to invest
vaneck iconVanEck Crypto and Blockchain Innovators UCITS ETF (DAGB)171.97%Invest with InvestEngineCapital at risk
global x iconGlobal X Blockchain UCITS ETF USD Accumulating (BKCG)162.80%Invest with InvestEngineCapital at risk
hanetf iconHANetf Grayscale Future of Finance UCITS ETF (GFOP)83.29%Invest with InvestEngineCapital at risk
hanetf iconHANetf ETC Group Digital Assets & Blockchain Equity UCITS ETF (KOIP)80.00%Invest with Hargreaves LansdownCapital at risk
WisdomTree icon WisdomTree Blockchain UCITS ETF USD Acc (BKCN) 65.64%Invest with iiCapital at risk

All investing should be regarded as longer term. The value of your investments can go up and down, and you may get back less than you invest. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. If you’re not sure which investments are right for you, please seek out a financial adviser. Capital at risk.

What are the best ETFs to buy in 2024?

It’s important to realise that the current best performing ETFs in 2024, may not necessarily be the best ETFs to buy and hold moving forward.

Past performance doesn’t dictate future results, and the top ETFs right now may not continue to grow at the same rate. Unfortunately, our crystal ball is out of service right now.

If you’re looking for the best ETFs for long-term growth, you may want to look outside of the funds that have already seen explosive growth in recent times.

Finding the best ETF to invest in will also depend on your goals, investing strategy, and risk appetite. Don’t pick an investment just because it’s been a top-performing asset over a short period. It’s always worth thinking about whether an ETF will be a good investment to buy and hold for years to come.

Case study: Jayden learnt about ETFs and after some research, built a profitable ETF portfolio

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Jayden Simmonds

London

I first learned about ETFs through a friend who was showing me his trading account and the multiple ETF's he had invested in covering things like real estate, currency and precious metals. I was confused at first, but with research and finding a good investment platform, I've been able to build up a portfolio of ETF's which I regularly invest in and have made a nice bit of profit from.

If there's one thing you'd tell a friend who's thinking of investing in ETFs, what would it be?

Research, research and more research. It's important that you understand exactly what you're investing in and understand the risks - but also the rewards that come with investing. Investing in a fund is definitely easier as there is less risk but you should understand the purpose of the fund and the stocks within it.

How to pick the best ETFs?

Picking the best ETFs is really just finding the one that suits your investing style best. You’ll also want to look at the goals of the ETF and performance. Our lists above can help you narrow down your search for ETFs — here are some of the next steps you could take.

  1. Work out what your investment style is. Do you want growth, dividends, or stocks in specific industries? This will help you narrow down your search.
  2. Decide if you’re looking for sustainable or ethical ETFs. If so, you could search “ESG“, “ethical” or “sustainable” in your ETF screener to find them.
  3. Look at the goals of ETFs. You can find ETF goals in the Key Investor Information Document. We’ve explained some of the information you’ll find on it below.
  4. Look at performance. Past performance isn’t an indicator of future results, but it’s always a good idea to check if the ETF is reaching its goals. This is something your chosen trading platform should have, but can also be found on the Key Investor Information Document.

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The Key Investor Information Document

This is a document of the key information about an investment, summarised into a few different sections. These are designed to be quick reads – at no more than 2 or 3 pages each, depending on the investment type, so they’re hardly competing with Harry Potter for page count.

The Key Investor Information Document is split into a few different parts:

  • Objectives and investment policy. This section tells you some information about how the ETF is managed, whether it is designed to track the performance of an index, the base currency, whether you’d expect to receive an income from dividends or if they’re reinvested.
  • Risk and reward profile. This section shows you how risky the ETF is. Higher risk has the potential for higher returns. You can also see any other risks involved in the ETF.
  • Charges. This shows any charges associated with the fund, including the ongoing charge, which is the fee that’s paid to the fund manager.
  • Past performance. Exactly as you’d expect, this is the performance of the ETF. If it’s tracking an underlying index, you may see the performance against the index.

How is the ETF market performing?

It depends on the ETFs and markets you’re looking at. Investing in ETFs overall has remained as popular as ever. In 2023, there was a great recovery for the US stock market and tech stocks, so ETFs tracking the S&P 500 or the Nasdaq performed well that year.

However, the UK’s flagship index, the FTSE 100 has remained relatively flat. So UK-focused ETFs may not have been top-performers. We can see in the best ETFs table above that some of the best performing ETFs to buy have been focused around:

  • Blockchain and cryptocurrency technology
  • Semiconductors
  • European stocks
  • Turkey

It’s important to remember that the performance of ETFs depends on the underlying investments.

What are the best ETFs to buy for beginners?

Usually, broad-market ETFs that track major indices like the S&P 500, the Nasdaq, or the FTSE 100. These investments can also often be the best ETFs for young investors or those looking to buy and hold ETFs for long-term growth.

Another great option for beginners is a global ETF that tracks stock markets from developed and emerging markets around the world. These index-tracking ETFs come with a degree of diversity, are simple to understand, and are usually cheap.

It can be best for beginners to avoid highly-specific ETFs that focus on complex themes or sectors (for example, junior miners, robotics, or biotech). These ETFs can involve more risk and are harder to grasp, but the flipside is that they can sometimes generate the best returns.

Expert comment: What is an inverse ETF?

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George Sweeney

Deputy editor

This type of ETF works a little differently. Rather than appreciating when the underlying assets grow, an inverse ETF goes up in value when a market or assets decline.

So, buying a FTSE 100 inverse ETF means that if the FTSE 100 index was to lose value, your investment would make money. But, if the FTSE 100 index went up, your ETF investment would lose money.

These ETFs are best left to experienced investors looking for short-term market declines. Also, they often involve leverage, which means borrowing money to maximise returns, or losses.

Bottom Line

As with all investments, the best for one person might not be the best for everyone. Take a look at our guide to choosing the best ETF above to help you find one that suits your investment style.

There are plenty of options available to choose between — most investment platforms have a stock screener that helps you narrow down your search, typically by performance, keyword and charges.

If you’re looking for a platform that offers ETFs, have a look at our table or head to our best ETF brokers page.

Frequently asked questions

Which broker is the best for investing in ETFs?

Based on our methodology, IG is the best broker for investing in ETFs because it has the widest selection of ETFs to buy. To find out best ETF brokers in different categories, visit our page.

Is it still possible to lose money while investing in best performing ETFs?

Yes, even though the best performing ETFs are highest-returning exchange-traded funds, it's worth noting that past performance is no guarantee of future success. If an ETF has performed well in the past, that doesn't mean it will generate similar returns in the future.

Which ETFs are trending on platforms now?

Here are the top 10 ETFs being bought on trading platforms today. To choose them, we've looked at the risers and most bought ETFs from the UK's leading trading apps and worked out which ones have seen the largest increase in trading volumes.

What is the best time to buy ETFs?

Trying to time the market is a near impossible task. If you're investing in ETFs to buy and hold for the long run, making regular investments is a great way of dollar-cost averaging.

This means that over time, your investments will smooth out. Sometimes you'll be buying an ETF when the price is high and other times when the price is low. If you wait for the best time to buy an ETF, you could end up waiting forever, sitting on your hands for the perfect moment that never comes.

If you want to buy an ETF now, start with a comfortable investment and increase your holding over time.

Which ETFs are best for young investors?

Broad market index-tracking ETFs that follow major markets and contain a diverse range of stocks are usually the best ETF option for young investors.

It depends on the investing experience and knowledge of the young investor. Typically, younger investors also tend to be beginners (or new to the market), which is why the best ETFs for beginners often translate well to younger investors.

Which ETF is the best to buy and hold?

Ideally, you should be looking to buy and hold whichever ETF you choose to invest in. This is going to be the best way to make sure that you get to profit from the long-term growth of the ETF investment.

Are ETFs good for beginners?

Definitely. Investing in ETFs is a great place to start for beginners. ETFs can be simple, cheap, and diverse. Not every ETF will suit every beginner, but they are one of the simplest types of investments for beginners to understand.

What are the best ETFs to buy during a recession?

Any ETFs focusing on recession-proof stocks or industries. The difficulty is that each recession is different. So, stocks that performed well in the last recession, may not do so in the next one.

The best way to find recession-proof ETFs is to either use multiple funds covering a range of markets and industries. Or, if you’re just using one ETF, ensuring it’s as diverse as possible. Diversification through a recession is the best tactic to minimise losses and hopefully maximise gains.

Are ETFs better than investing in individual shares?

In some ways, yes. ETFs are a much quicker and cost efficient way to invest in lots of different shares without the faff or costs of making every individual transaction.

The main downsides of ETFs against buying individual shares is that you don’t get a say in the individual shares that it includes. Of course, you can choose one that suits you closest, but it won’t necessarily match what you might’ve done if you did it yourself.

This article offers general information about investing and the stock market, but should not be construed as personal investment advice. It has been provided without consideration of your personal circumstances or objectives. It should not be interpreted as an inducement, invitation or recommendation relating to any of the products listed or referred to. The value of investments can fall as well as rise, and you may get back less than you invested, so your capital is at risk. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. If you're not sure which investments are right for you, please get financial advice. The author holds no positions in any share mentioned.

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