Most Loved And Hated ETFs Of 2019

International ETFs: Mixed Bag

While iShares Core MSCI EAFE ETF (IEFA - Free Reportgathered around $1.4 billion in capital in 2019, iShares MSCI EAFE ETF (EFA - Free Reportled the redemptions list with nearly $8.2 billion in outflows. Both ETFs offer exposure to a broad range of companies in Europe, Australia, Asia, and the Far East but tracks different index. IEFA is much cheaper than EFA, charging just 7 basis points in annual fees as against 0.32% in expense ratio for the latter.

Financial & Energy: Laggard Sectors

The ultra-popular ETFs targeting financial and energy sectors were hated by investors last year with Financial Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLF - Free Reportand Energy Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLE - Free Reportlosing $4.4 billion and $3.3 billion, respectively, in AUM. Though the financial sector struggled due to recession fears and declining yields in the first nine months of 2019, it saw a solid rebound in the fourth quarter on steepening yield curve and decent earnings.

Oil price was on a topsy-turvy ride sliding to bear territory in August from peaking in April. However, oil price recorded the highest yearly gains in three years with U.S. crude rallying 34.5% and Brent jumping 22.7% buoyed by Middle East tensions, dwindling inventories, and fresh OPEC output cuts. The volatility in oil price kept away investors from the energy ETFs.

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