NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Equities have returned more than 30% in 2013, and many investors are trying to position themselves for the new year. Maybe your portfolio became a little unbalanced after the astounding broad market returns.
December's ETF redemption data gives us some insight into the minds of the big boys on Wall Street at year-end. The following data was sourced from IndexUniverse.com, an online research site that offers users many free tools for analyzing ETFs and indexes.
I used the ETF Fund Flows tool to determine the top 10 fund outflows for the month of December. The net outflows are ordered in descending order in millions of dollars. At the top of the list sits the SPDR Gold Fund (GLD), the most popular ETF for gold exposure. Over the last year, the value of SPDR Gold shares have dropped by an astounding 28%, gold's worst annual plunge since 1981.
Over the course of this year, investors began to lose faith in the gold trade. The improving economy, low inflation, and the equities rally really put a damper on the long gold trade, which had been extremely profitable over the last few years. Moreover, the Federal Reserve has committed to slowing its assets purchases. That is significant because quantitative easing has been a key point for many gold bugs since the start of the program.