Watch These 5 ETF Winners in 2016


Watch These 5 ETF Winners in 2016We saw mixed performance across Wall Street in 2015, but one segment of the financial world had no such trouble: exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are simply booming.

Throughout 2015, rallies followed downturns, and vice versa, while stocks like Apple (AAPL) that could do no wrong during the summer now slump into the holiday season.

Not so for ETFs. Indeed, with the trading year nearly over, the industry (now worth over $2 trillion) set a record for the number of funds available to investors.

Over 225 new funds debuted during the year, a 38% growth rate from 2014’s 202 newly-minted ETFs.

Over the same period of time, assets under management grew by 5%, representing $214.6 billion in new money flowing into the coffers of incredibly happy fund managers.

With that kind of growth and those huge dollar signs out there, investors can expect continued growth and choices for 2016.

In the meantime, as the clock winds down on 2015, it’s a good chance to look at some of this year’s winners, focusing exclusively on performance as provided by

And while we’re at it, we’ll speculate just a bit on 2016, too.

Here are 5 ETFs that soared in 2015, and could well carry over as big winners into the new year…

Watch These 5 ETF Winners in 2016Direxion Daily S&P Oil & Gas Exploration 3X Bear (DRIP)
YTD Performance: +117.63%

With the oil and gas sector in a bit of a tizzy due to slumping crude prices, oversupply, a strain on fracking companies, and its services sector scrambling to find new sources of income, the sector is perhaps the last one where investors would expect to see any gains.

Here’s the secret to DRIP’s success: It’s an ETF that shorts the market it follows. Indeed, it’s a leveraged ETF that seeks to meet a 300% inverse performance of the S&P Oil and Gas Exploration & Production Select Industry Index.

Playing the downside of the oil and gas industry on a leverage basis paid off handsomely for DRIP this year.

For those investors with the stomach for highly-leveraged ETF sector plays, DRIP is a good bet for 2016.

Watch These 5 ETF Winners in 2016WisdomTree Japan Hedged Health (DXJH)
YTD Performance: +35.62%

With just 57 stocks in the portfolio, DXJH tracks the WisdomTree Japan Hedged Health Care Index.

Major holdings include Takeda Pharmaceutical Co., and Otsuka Holdings. Its entire portfolio of stocks are based in Asia.

Healthcare is just as important a sector in Japan as the U.S., and DXJH is well positioned for that growth.

Watch These 5 ETF Winners in 2016PowerShares NASDAQ Internet (PNQI)
YTD Performance: 21.55%

With 94 securities in the portfolio, PNQI tracks the NASDAQ Internet Index.

Internet software and services companies comprise the majority of the portfolio holdings, including Amazon (AMZN), Alphabet (GOOGL) and Facebook (FB).

With Netflix (NFLX) and Priceline (PCLN) also in the fold, it’s no wonder PNQI is one of the ETF leaders heading into the final lap of 2015.

Expect PNQI to see steady gains through next year, too.

Watch These 5 ETF Winners in 2016PowerShares S&P SmallCap Health Care (PSCH)
YTD Performance: 19.45%

With 74 securities in the portfolio, PSCH is concentrated on small-cap players in the booming healthcare sector, and tracks the S&P 500 SmallCap 600 Capped Health Care Index.

Holdings include Abiomed (ABMD) and Impax Labs (IPXL). No one security in the portfolio represents over 4.6% in total exposure.

PSCH has holdings across the spectrum of healthcare, including equipment and supplies, providers and services, and pharmaceuticals.

With healthcare a huge issue (and business) in the coming presidential election cycle, PSCH is well positioned for growth.

Watch These 5 ETF Winners in 2016iShares North American Tech-Software (IGV)
YTD Performance: 13.72%

With 64 stocks in the portfolio, IGV tracks the investment results of an index representing North American stocks in the software sector.

As might be expected, holdings start at the top with Microsoft (MSFT)Adobe (ADBE), Salesforce (CRM), and Oracle (ORCL) follow in line behind.

Interestingly though, none of those holdings represents more that 10% of the portfolio by itself, although collectively the group comes in at nearly 36% of the total.

For investors who believe in the continued growth outlook for the sector, IGV is not only a winner for 2015, but a potential star for 2016.

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