#3: United States
Click to EnlargeYTD Return: +20%
So much for the assumption that the biggest growth — and thus the biggest gains — are all overseas! A good chunk of this year’s global growth has actually been home-grown.
In 2013, the S&P 500 has notched 23 all-time highs, while it closed above 1700 for the first time ever late last week. For investors in the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY), that has meant a sturdy 20% year-to-date return.
One reason for the continued gains: The U.S. economy is steadily recovering, but not so fast that the central bank will likely stop its stimulus any time in the near future.
A few top performers in the SPY’s top holdings include tech giant Google (GOOG) and consumer staples stock Johsnon & Johnson (JNJ), which have booked respective gains of 28% and 35%. Of course, top holding Apple (AAPL), weighted at 2.9%, has been no help, contributing 13% losses so far this year.