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We are at the tail end of 2017, and keeping with tradition, it’s time to look back at the super-hot investing areas of the year. Trump trade was the name of the game this year, barring occasional policy uncertainty and nuke tensions related to North Korea. However, as the year progressed,
the optimism over tax cuts scaled higher. The economic data also came in upbeat lately.

The three popular funds, namely SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY - Free Report) , SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (DIA - Free Report) and PowerShares QQQ ETF (QQQ - Free Report) have gained about 17.4%, 22.2% and 29.3% so far this year (as of Dec 1, 2017).

Against this backdrop, below we highlight a few investing areas that were leading in the year (from an article published on Wall Street Journal and as per Thomson Reuters Lipper), and the winning ETF from every segment.

Science and TechnologyARK Innovation ETF (ARKK - Free Report) – Up 83.0% (as of Dec 1, 2017)

The year has been pretty upbeat for the tech sector with U.S.-based science and technology funds returning 37.3% in the year-to-date frame (as of Dec 1, 2017). Companies in ARKK include those that “benefit from the development of new products or services, technological improvements and advancements in scientific research (read: ETFs Riding High On Bitcoin Surge).”

InternationalAdvisorShares Dorsey Wright ADR ETF (AADR - Free Report) – Up 34.7%

The global economy paced up this year and is expected to maintain the momentum in the next. Many analysts expect global growth to touch 4% next year. If this happens, it would mark the strongest growth since 2011, in fact even higher than 3.7% growth that Goldman Sachs predicts for 2017.

Large-cap growthPowerShares Russell Top 200 Pure Growth Portfolio ETF (PXLG - Free Report) – Up 32.7%

Solid economic growth momentum, low rates despite multiple rate hikes and the likely passage of Trump’s tax cut bill added enthusiasm in the stock market this year. Plus, the global economy rebounded. This benefited large-cap stocks in a subdued dollar environment as the capitalization has considerable foreign exposure.

Financial servicesSPDR S&P Capital Markets ETF (KCE - Free Report) – Up 24.9%

Financial services also proved to be a nice bet in the year. Bets of tighter monetary policies and reverse QE along with an improving economy led to these gains.

Small-cap growthiShares Morningstar Small-Cap Growth ETF (JKK - Free Report) – Up 22.8%

After large-cap growth stocks, the small-cap space has exceled this year. No wonder, Trump trade and an upbeat U.S. economy have been fueling the factors behind this.

Average diversified U.S.iShares Core S&P Total US Stock Market ETF (ITOT - Free Report) – Up 17.1%

Almost all capitalizations shone in the year, helping this total market ETF post stellar gains (read: Solid ETF Asset Inflows Boost BlackRock Earnings).

Small-cap valueWisdomTree US SmallCap Earnings ETF (EES - Free Report) – Up 11.2%

Since the year can easily be attributed to growth stocks, value ETFs have underperformed growth ones in the year. Still, within the segment, EES emerged a winner (read: Earnings or Revenue-Weighted ETFs: Q3 Winners).

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