NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The best bets in exchange traded funds invest in commodities and international stocks, according to TheStreet.com Ratings.
Of the 10 top-rated funds, six invest in stocks outside the U.S. and three target precious metals or coal. All the funds have "buy" recommendations, but three have earned our top grade of A-plus.
The PowerShares Global Progressive Transportation Portfolio (PTRP), the best-rated fund, has gained 17% in the past year. The fund advanced as shares of Maxwell Technologies (MXWL) and Westport Innovations (WPRT) doubled.
The second-best rated ETF, First Trust Health Care AlphaDEX Fund (FXH), which has climbed 12% in the past year, is positioned to benefit as health care reforms bring the company new customers. More than half of the fund focuses on health care products and services, while 36% is invested in drugmakers and biotechnology. Hot holdings include Tenet Healthcare (THC), Community Health Systems (CYH) and Intuitive Surgical (ISRG), which have risen by more than 40%.Despite all the hype surrounding alternative energy, coal remains a popular energy source. The PowerShares Global Coal Portfolio (PKOL) has increased 22%. Industry leaders Massey Energy (MEE) and Patriot Coal (PCX) have doubled in value this year. An economic rebound would boost demand for energy, making this an attractive ETF.