Back to top

Top Performing ETF Areas of 2020

Read MoreHide Full Article

2020 was a great year for the stock market and the ETF industry, as stocks, particularly in certain areas, surged even as the pandemic ravaged the economy. The Dow gained 7.3% last year, the S&P returned 16.3%, while the Nasdaq soared 43.6%, its best annual performance since 2009.

Tech was the best performing sector again, with a gain of 39%, while Energy was the worst, down 37%. Looking at the top performing areas of the market, there are three clear themes.

Solar and clean energy ETFs were the top performers last year as well, after a spectacular performance in 2019.  The cost of renewable energy generation has been falling in recent years with continued technological innovation, making it more competitive. Joe Biden’s victory has further boosted these stocks as he has pledged to spend $2 trillion to combat climate change.

The Invesco Solar ETF (TAN - Free Report) soared 235% while the Invesco WilderHill Clean Energy ETF (PBW - Free Report) and the First Trust NASDAQ Clean Edge Green Energy Index Fund (QCLN - Free Report) gained 205% and 184% respectively.

Three ARK ETFs—the ARK Genomic Revolution ETF (ARKG - Free Report) , the ARK Innovation ETF (ARKK - Free Report) and the ARK Next Generation Internet ETF (ARKW - Free Report) —were among the top ten best performing ETFs of 2020. They surged more than 150%. Cathie Wood has been a long-time bull on Tesla (TSLA - Free Report) , which is the top holding in ARKK and ARKW.

Areas like e-commerce and cloud computing were among the biggest beneficiaries of the trends driven by the pandemic. The Amplify Online Retail ETF (IBUY - Free Report) and the WisdomTree Cloud Computing Fund (WCLD - Free Report) gained 124% and 110% respectively.

Please watch the short video above to learn more about these ETFs.

(In full disclosure, Neena owns shares of IBUY and WCLD in the ETF Investor Portfolio.)

Want key ETF info delivered straight to your inbox?

Zacks’ free Fund Newsletter will brief you on top news and analysis, as well as top-performing ETFs, each week. Get it free >>

Published in