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ETF Winners and Losers From Q1 2013

A roundup of the best and worst funds from the past three months

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Worst ETF (Low Volume): SPDR S&P Emerging Middle East & Africa ETF

StateStreetSPDR185YTD Performance: -9%

You would think it would be easy to find a loser from more than 1,000 ETFs. Surprisingly it isn’t, and not because there aren’t candidates. There are plenty, but most are either inverse funds, tied to the mining industry’s implosion or very low in volume.

Eventually I was able to decide on the SPDR S&P Emerging Middle East & Africa ETF (NYSE:GAF), which replicates the performance of the S&P Mid-East and Africa BMI Index. Down 9.9% through March 27, its $72.9 million in total net assets are 93% invested in South Africa, whose economy suffers from crippling unemployment. It seems Oscar Pistorius isn’t the only South African having a bad year.

Long-term, the African continent will achieve greater economic prosperity. In the short-term, not so much.

As of this writing, Will Ashworth did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.

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