This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

The Best ETFs of 2008

Semis on Shaky Ground

Running neck and neck with SDK is the UltraShort Semiconductor ProShares Fund (SSG), which is up 96.0% in 2008. It is worth noting that Intel (INTC) accounts for nearly 40% of this ETF's weight. With shares of Intel retreating 39.7% in 2008, this fund was a big winner.

Intel wasn't the only chipmaker that experienced adversity in 2008 though. It was tough sledding for most of the industry. "Many semiconductor companies had over 50% of their sales coming from emerging market countries," said Eric Aanes, president of Titus Wealth Management. "The economic slowdown in the emerging markets enhanced the sell-off in these stocks."

Aanes believes that chip stocks are positioning for a recovery. "Many stocks in the sector are trading at 11 to 15 earnings, which is historically low," he said. "Tight cost controls will preserve profitability for top-tier companies. This sector will be one of the early sectors to lead us out of a defensive mode."

A Flight to Safety, Treasuries

In terms of non-inverse, non-leveraged ETFs, the top two performers in 2008 have been the Vanguard Extended Duration Treasury ETF (EDV) and the iShares Barclays 20+ Year Treasury Bond Fund (TLT). Year to date, these ETFs have experienced respective returns of 55.1% and 33.8%.

Kevin Mahn, portfolio manager for the SmartGrowth Mutual Funds notes that these ETFs have benefited from investors becoming more risk averse. Mahn's SmartGrowth Lipper Optimal Conservative Index Fund (LPCAX), which is a fund of ETFs, is down only 7.5% this year. "At the end of Q3, TLT was only up 2.0%," he said. "The bulk of its gains came in November. I think this trend can be attributed to a flight to quality."

Mahn isn't sold on the notion that that these two ETFs will be able to maintain such strong momentum over the course of 2009. "Money that is on the sidelines in these funds right now will likely be moving into equities in 2009," he said.

2 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 17,098.45 +18.88 0.11%
S&P 500 2,003.37 +6.63 0.33%
NASDAQ 4,580.2710 +22.5760 0.50%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs