10 Top-Performing ETFs of the Past Decade

10 Top-Performing ETFs of the Past Decade


In the past decade, we have seen “the king of all bull markets” in Wall Street. The run was the longest ever. Though Wall Street’s record bull run ended on Mar 12, 2020 on COVID-induced selloffs, markets again shrugged off all worries and are hovering around all-time high levels.
Fed’s massive stimulus, record-bottom rates, hopes for another tranche of fiscal stimulus, a divided Congress and the likelihood of a faster-than-expected rollout of coronavirus vaccine have been propelling the space.
SPDR S&P 500 ETF SPY gained about 267.8% during the past 10 years, SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF DIA advanced 235.6% and the tech-heavy Invesco QQQ Trust QQQ added 527% (as of Dec 7, 2020).

iShares PHLX Semiconductor ETF SOXX – Up 663.4%
Rising consumer spending on technology, a 5G boom, expectations of higher smartphone sales, the announcement of the phase-one U.S.-China trade deal and coronavirus-induced social distancing propelled the tech and semiconductor space (read: Semiconductor ETFs Up At Least 40% in 2020: More Gains Ahead).
SPDR S&P Biotech ETF XBI – Up 593.4%
Mergers and acquisitions, positive drug data and FDA approvals were the key catalysts for the space. In the past decade, FDA approvals for cancer therapies outdid endorsements for antibiotics and drugs used to treat central nervous system disorders and cardiovascular ills, which are also key therapeutic categories on their own.
Invesco Nasdaq Internet ETF PNQI – Up 532.8%
The past decade can easily be tagged as the emergence era for Internet usage, mainly in the emerging economies. The e-commerce wave has been helpful in lifting Internet stocks. The global Internet users were 23.5% of the total population at the end of December 2008, which has risen to 59% at the end of October 2020. The work-learn-and-shop-from-home trend amid the virus outbreak has also boosted the space in 2020.
Invesco QQQ Trust QQQ – Up 528.7%
The decade-long cheap money inflows and global economic improvement (before the virus outbreak) made growth stocks and the tech-heavy ETF winners last decade.

This is yet another fund that has been a beneficiary of the tech rally in the past decade. The sector overall has been thriving on exponential growth in enterprise cloud computing, cyber security, remote communications, video gaming and e-commerce to online payments.
Invesco S&P SmallCap Health Care ETF PSCH – Up 505.9%
Apart from technology, the healthcare sector is another area that has recorded solid growth in the past decade. Small-cap corners deserve special mention in this regard.

This is another space from the medical sector which has been exhibiting upbeat growth. The medical device industry is expected to log steady growth, with global annual sales forecast to grow at about 5% a year and reach nearly $800 billion by 2030 (per KPMG).
Vanguard Consumer Discretionary ETF VCR – 411.3%
A dovish Fed, low rates, cheaper oil since 2014, a decently growing U.S. economy, solid job growth (in the pre-COVID era), a soaring stock market, the resultant wealth effect, and upbeat consumer confidence helped the consumer stocks and this ETF.
First Trust U.S. Equity Opportunities ETF FPX – up 439.3%
The last decade has seen some huge IPOs including Alibaba (BABA), Facebook (FB), Snap (SNAP), Uber (UBER), Kinder Morgan (KMI), Citizens Financial Group, Inc. (CFG) and Snowflake (SNOW) made this fund one of the top performers.

As growth stocks prevailed over the value ones last decade, IWY gained materially. Low rates have been instrumental in pushing the fund higher.