With nine months of 2014 in the proverbial books, investors that actively follow exchange traded funds know at least one thing: This has been a particularly rough year for commodities funds, both in terms of performance (or lack thereof) and outflows.
There have, however, been some bright spots. The iPath Dow Jones-UBS Coffee Total Return Sub-Index ETN (NYSEArca: JO) and the iPath Pure Beta Coffee ETN (NYSEArca: CAFÉ) are two of the year’s top-performing non-leveraged exchange traded products of any stripe. The Teucrium Corn Fund (NYSEArca: CORN and the Teucrium Wheat Fund (NYSEArca: WEAT) have defied weakness in those commodities to add assets at an impressive rate even as investors scamper out of scores of other commodity funds. [These ETFs are Bucking Commodities Outflows]
Another commodities ETF that has proven somewhat sturdy is the First Trust Global Tactical Commodity Strategy Fund (NasdaqGM: FTGC). Just three weeks shy of its first anniversary, FTGC is already a $183.1 million ETF. That size is “a minor miracle for a commodity ETF. Collecting money in bad times is a good sign for up-and-coming ETF,” reports Eric Balchunas for Bloomberg.
FTGC lost $7.5 million in assets last month, a mere sliver of the $1.05 billion that departed U.S.-listed commodities ETFs and ETNs.
The First Trust offering is also proving that active management can work with commodities ETFs. Since debuting late October 2013, FTGC is down just 1.7% while the GreenHaven Continuous Commodity Index Fund (NYSEArca: GCC) is lower by nearly 7%.