With 2012 drawing to a close, many of us will have already turned our focus to next yearâ€™s strategy. Â With this in mind, there are several ETFs that have drawn quite a bit of attention this year, and areÂ definitely worth looking at as we move in to Q1 of 2013.
1. Â Global X FTSE Nordic Region ETF (GXF) â€“ Many of the Nordic ETFs performed very well inÂ 2012, including both this one and the Global X Norway ETF (NORW). They are generallyÂ seen as a safer bet for investment than much of the rest of Europe, as the Scandinavians andÂ Finland enjoy relative security. GXF has managed an impressive 24 percent rise year on year,Â and with these countries still holding triple-A credit ratings, the outlook looks good for 2013. Â Be aware however, that Norway is heavily reliant on its oil industry, so we could see someÂ volatility.
2. iShares MSCI Belgium Capped Investable Market Index Fund (EWK ) â€“ Straight out of left-field is this Belgian offering. While the country had credit ratings slashed in 2011, and isÂ not the first stop for stability, this particular ETF was also boosted around 24 percent thisÂ year. Improvements in the average Belgian wage are likely to rally this ETF through 2013,Â in addition to an extremely successful year for Anheuser-Busch InBev. This particular stockÂ comprises of nearly a quarter of EWKâ€™s value, and enjoyed a 44 percent improvement thisÂ year. With nearly $6bn in 2011 profit, we see no reason for the beverage company to slowÂ down any time soon.
3. Â PIMCO Total Return Exchange-Traded Fund (BOND) â€“ This ETF hasnâ€™t even been around forÂ a year yet, having been created back in February, but itâ€™s already clear that it could be a starÂ in the making, enjoying an increase of more than 7%. With nearly $4bn in assets, this is theÂ largest actively managed ETF in the world, and has well outmatched its mutual fund brother,Â Bill Grossâ€™s famous Total Return Fund.
4. Â Market Vectors Morningstar Wide Moat Research ETF (MOAT) â€“ Another new ETF, and aÂ sturdy performer in 2012, this ETF focuses on moat companies; those that have a huge leadÂ over competitors. Itâ€™s certainly a niche ETF, with just 21 stocks in these kinds of companies,Â but you canâ€™t argue with a rise of nearly 7 percent. Facebook comprises a significant chunkÂ of this ETF, which could potentially prove to be a weakness in 2013, depending on theÂ companyâ€™s fortunes.
5. Â iShares MSCI Germany Index Fund (EWG) â€“ Possibly one of the riskier ETFs on this list, EWGÂ rose by around 27 percent this year, but 2013 performance hangs in the balance. ShouldÂ markets like China make some headway, and the Eurozone improve, it is likely that weâ€™llÂ see a very strong showing from Europeâ€™s powerhouse. German experts are warning of theÂ potential for recession however, so as with European forex currency trading it might beÂ worth seeing how things play out in Q1 first. It all depends on how much faith youâ€™ve got inÂ Europeâ€™s ability to rise out of recession.