Your Q1 ETF Scorecard

[interlocking Chinese and American flag puzzle pieces]

The first quarter of 2014 is history, and now it’s time to do a little review of the various sector exchange-traded funds (ETFs) to show how the market performed during the past three volatile months.

The first thing to note when looking at the performance table below of representative sector ETFs is that there was little actual movement in the major domestic equities such as the S&P 500, the Dow and the NASDAQ 100 in Q1. Despite a down January and an upbeat February, the markets are just about where they were at the start of the year.

 

Ticker Name Q1 2014 Total Return %
Domestic Equity
SPY SPDR S&P 500 ETF TRUST

1.70

DIA SPDR DJIA TRUST

-0.22

QQQ POWERSHARES QQQ TRUST SERIES

0.32

International
FXI ISHARES CHINA LARGE-CAP ETF

-6.75

EFA ISHARES MSCI EAFE ETF

0.16

EEM ISHARES MSCI EMERGING MARKET

-1.88

Bonds
TLT ISHARES 20+ YEAR TREASURY BO

7.64

AGG ISHARES CORE TOTAL US BOND M

1.77

BOND PIMCO TOTAL RETURN ETF

2.02

Commodities
OIL IPATH GOLDMAN SACHS CRUDE

3.72

GLD SPDR GOLD SHARES

6.45

GCC GREENHAVEN CONTINUOUS CMDTY

9.65

Internationally, we saw a big sell-off in the China stock market, but most of that damage occurred in the first 10 weeks of the year. During the past couple of weeks, stocks in China and in emerging markets have seen a marked comeback, as evidenced by the chart below of the iShares China Large-Cap ETF (FXI).

20140402-mma-fxi

Another notable performance point in Q1 was the spike higher in bond prices. While most pundits were expecting interest rates, i.e. bond yields to spike higher as the Fed continues to taper its bond buying, the opposite has actually happened. The 7.64% rise in the iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond (TLT) reflects rising bond prices in Q1. Then there was a big boost in the commodity space in Q1, with oil, gold and the major commodities indexes in general showing strong upside through the first three months of 2014.

Exclusive  PowerTrend Brief: Never a Dull Moment in the Increasingly Always On, Always Connected Society

The interesting, and somewhat counterintuitive, performance in Q1 highlights the unpredictability of markets. It also shows that  the conventional wisdom in the market is often wrong.

So, as an investor, what are the best ways to take advantage of the trends we witnessed in Q1? Right now, subscribers to my Successful Investing newsletter are benefitting from several of these counterintuitive sector moves with a combination of several ETFs. If you’d like to find out more about how you can get in on the current market’s moves, simply click here.

Hill on Action

“Action is the real measure of intelligence.”

–Napoleon Hill

I know a lot of smart people, but unfortunately, many of them live their lives paralyzed by inaction. You see, when it comes to real intelligence, I agree with Napoleon Hill, who says action is the most important metric. The way I see it, life is not a spectator sport, so whatever it is you want to do, take action and make it happen.

Wisdom about money, investing and life can be found anywhere. If you have a good quote you’d like me to share with your fellow Alert readers, send it to me, along with any comments, questions and suggestions you have about my audio podcast, newsletters, seminars or anything else. Ask Doug.

In case you missed it, you can read last week’s column on rebounding e-merging markets. I also invite you to comment about my column in the space provided below.

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