The 2018 list of worst performing mutual funds and ETFs features several funds in the emerging and international markets sector, as well as securities related to gold, energy, and natural resources. A handful of these funds are habitual money pits, having appeared on similar "worst performing" lists in years past.
Many of the Top 20 worst performing funds of 2017 similarly were gold and energy-based, and this trend clearly continued in 2018.
2018 Worst Performing Mutual Funds and ETFs
| # | Fund or ETF Name | Symbol | 2018 Returns | 3-Yr Returns |
| 20 | First Eagle Gold A | SGGDX | -20.98% | 3.35% |
| 19 | SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF | XHB | -21.04% | -0.72% |
| 18 | Global X Robotics & Artfcl Intel ETF | BOTZ | -21.05% | N/A (No History) |
| 17 | VanEck Emerging Markets A | GBFAX | -21.42% | 3.79% |
| 16 | Natixis Oakmark Int'l A | NOIAX | -21.69% | 2.06% |
| 15 | Fiera Capital Emerging Markets Inv | RIMIX | -21.88% | 4.23% |
| 14 | iShares MSCI Europe Financials ETF | EUFN | -21.91% | -1.98% |
| 13 | PGIM Jennison Natural Resources B | PRGNX | -22.36% | -0.61% |
| 12 | Tocqueville Gold | TGLDX | -22.65% | 3.68% |
| 11 | VanEck International Investors Gold A | INIVX | -23.35% | 7.33% |
| 10 | VanEck Global Hard Assets A | GHAAX | -23.51% | -0.48% |
| 9 | Janus Henderson European Focus A | HFEAX | -24.07% | -7.13% |
| 8 | Xtrackers Harvest CSI 300 China A ETF | ASHR | -24.19% | -5.38% |
| 7 | Franklin Gold and Precious Metals A | FKRCX | -25.00% | 3.73% |
| 6 | KraneShares CSI China Internet ETF | KWEB | -26.78% | 3.86% |
| 5 | iShares US Home Construction ETF | ITB | -26.87% | 4.08% |
| 4 | Vanguard Global Captl Cycles Investor | VGPMX | -30.06% | 4.08% |
| 3 | VanEck Vector Oil Services ETF | OIH | -34.63% | -15.12% |
| 2 | Victory Global Natural Resources A | RSNRX | -35.23% | -1.33% |
| 1 | iShares MSCI Turkey ETF | TUR | -40.96% | -10.81% |
For instance, 2017's 11th-worst performing fund, Victory Global Natural Resources (RSNRX), produced even worse returns in 2018, vaulting to the second spot on the 2018 list. RSNRX experienced returns in 2018 of -35.23%, and -1.33% over its past three years.
PGIM Jennison Natural Resources (PRGNX) is another such 2017 worst performer (9th in 2017 at -2.59%) that makes a repeat appearance in 2018, at 13th, with a -22.36% YTD return (-.61% over the past three years).
Franklin Gold and Precious Metals (FKRCX) was eighth-worst in 2017 (-5.66% return) and seventh-worst in 2018 (-25.00%), while VanEck Global Hard Assets (GHAAX) was third-worst in 2017 (-8.68%) and 10th in 2018 (-23.51%).
To illustrate how far back the history of poor performance goes with some of these funds, consider that GHAAX and fellow worst performers FKRCX (Franklin Gold and Precious Metals), INIVX (VanEck International Investors Gold), PRGNX (Prudential Jennison Natural Resources), RSNRX (Victory Global Natural Resources), SGGDX (First Eagle Gold), TGLDX (Tocqueville Gold), and VGPMX (Vanguard Global Capital Cycles Fund, then known as Vanguard Precious Metals and Mining), also appeared on an ETF Worst Performers' list for 2012-2017 (all had negative five-year returns over that period).
iShares MSCI Turkey (TUR)—the worst-overall performer in 2018 with a -40.96% return—is a more recent entry, which means it has performed worse in a shorter amount of time. In 2016, TUR was the 15th-worst performer on the list of 20 worst three-year return funds. In 2018, TUR's three-year return reached -10.81%.
VanEck Vector Oil Services ETF (OIH) also appeared on the 2016 list, and just like the iShares MSCI Turkey ETF, OIH experienced a negative return in the double-digits; OIH's three-year return, as of December 2018, is -15.12%.
Others, like the Global X Robotics & Artificial Intelligence ETF suitably known as BOTZ, are newcomers to both the list and the industry alike. BOTZ's 2018 return was -21.05% and hasn't been around long enough to have a three-year return statistic.
If you have invested with any broker or financial adviser who has requested an unsuitable mutual fund or risky ETF in the poor-performing gold, energy, or natural resources sectors—especially in funds that have appeared on similar "worst-performing" lists in years past, such as FKRCX, GHAAX, INIVX, OIH, PRGNX, RSNRX, SGGDX, TGLDX, TUR, or VGPMX—and these investments have proven harmful to your interests or financial health, please call The Law Offices of Jonathan W. Evans & Associates at (800) 699-1881 for investigation and consultation.