10 Best-Performing ETFs of the Last 10 Years

2023's AI hype continues the decade-long dominance of tech ETFs.

kent
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Research Lead
Reviewed by: Ron Day
,
Edited by: Kent Thune

It probably comes as no surprise to investors that every one of the best-performing exchange-traded funds in the last 10 years comes from the technology sector, the top four of which are within the semiconductor space, as 2023 continued the decade-long tech sector dominance on exuberance over artificial intelligence.

In addition to semiconductor ETFs, our updated list of top ETFs is rounded out by diversified U.S. tech sector funds as well as global tech ETFs. 

The 10 Top-Performing ETFs of the Last 10 Years 

To arrive at our final list of the 10 best ETFs in the last 10 years, we started with a universe of over 3,000 ETFs and used our ETF screener to sort by 10-year return. This top 10 list excluded ETFs that engage in alternative strategies, such as leveraged ETFs. All of the top-performing ETFs in the last 10 years came from the technology sector, and four of those were semiconductor ETFs. 

The decade of dominance from semiconductors is because they power a wide range of devices, including phones, cars, PCs and gaming consoles. In 2023, artificial intelligence drove returns, especially with companies like Nvidia Corporation (NVDA), which was up more than 220% for the year.

Top 10 ETFs by 10-year Performance

TickerFundExpense RatioAUM10-Yr Return
SMH VanEck Semiconductor ETF 

0.35%

$10.9B

24.37%

SOXXiShares Semiconductor ETF

0.35%

$9.3B

23.62%

PSIInvesco Dynamic Semiconductors ETF

0.56%

$613.8M

23.59%

XSD SPDR S&P Semiconductor ETF

0.35%

$1.4B

21.88%

XLKTechnology Select Sector SPDR Fund

0.10%

$55.3B

19.88%

VGTVanguard Information Technology ETF

0.10%

$57.7B

19.60%

IYWiShares U.S. Technology ETF

0.40%

$13.3B

19.58%

IXNiShares Global Tech ETF

0.41%

$3.9B

18.20%

IGMiShares Expanded Tech Sector ETF

0.41%

$3.6B

17.95%

QTECFirst Trust Nasdaq-100 Technology Sector Index Fund

0.57%

$3.2B

17.95%

Data as of November 30, 2023. Past performance is no guarantee of future returns.

1. VanEck Semiconductor ETF 

The VanEck Semiconductor ETF (SMH) tracks a market-cap-weighted index of 25 of the largest U.S.-listed semiconductors companies. Midcap companies and foreign companies listed in the U.S. can also be included in the index. 

  • 10-year return: 24.37% 
  • Assets under management: $10.9B
  • Expense ratio: 0.35% 
  • As of date: November 30, 2023 

2. iShares Semiconductor ETF 

The iShares Semiconductor ETF (SOXX) tracks a modified market-cap-weighted index of 30 U.S.-listed semiconductor companies, including manufacturers of materials with semiconductors that are used in electronic applications and providers of services or equipment associated with semiconductors. 

  • 10-year return: 23.62% 
  • Assets under management: $9.3B 
  • Expense ratio: 0.35% 
  • As of date: November 30, 2023 

3. Invesco Dynamic Semiconductors ETF 

The Invesco Dynamic Semiconductors ETF (PSI) tracks an index that uses a quantitative model to select and weight U.S. semiconductor companies. The index methodology tilts PSI toward smaller growth companies. Thus, it reduces concentrations in megacaps and evenly weights the group of companies across size. 

  • 10-year return: 23.59% 
  • Assets under management: $613.8M 
  • Expense ratio: 0.56% 
  • As of date: November 30, 2023  

4. SPDR S&P Semiconductor ETF 

The SPDR S&P Semiconductor ETF (XSD) tracks an equal-weighted index of semiconductor stocks. XSD holdings include a range of market capitalization across information technology, semiconductors and semiconductor equipment. 

  • 10-year return: 21.88% 
  • Assets under management: $1.4B 
  • Expense ratio: 0.35%
  • As of date: November 30, 2023  

5. Technology Select Sector SPDR Fund 

The Technology Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLK) tracks an index of S&P 500 technology stocks. The first technology sector ETF, XLK only includes 75 large cap stocks with more than 50% of the portfolio allocated to the top 10 holdings. 

  • 10-year return: 19.88% 
  • Assets under management: $55.3B 
  • Expense ratio: 0.10% 
  • As of date: November 30, 2023 

6. Vanguard Information Technology ETF  

The Vanguard Information Technology ETF (VGT) tracks a market-cap-weighted index of information technology companies. VGT covers the tech sector broadly, as it also includes more small- and microcaps than most other tech sector funds. 

  • 10-year return: 19.60% 
  • Assets under management: $57.7B 
  • Expense ratio: 0.10% 
  • As of date: November 30, 2023 

7. iShares U.S. Technology ETF

The iShares U.S. Technology ETF (IYW) provides broad exposure to the U.S. technology market, tracking a diversified, market-cap-weighted index. Cap-weighted exposure in this sector often translates to concentrated positions in mega-cap tech stocks.

  • 10-year return: 19.58% 
  • Assets under management: $13.3B 
  • Expense ratio: 0.40% 
  • As of date: November 30, 2023

8. iShares Global Tech ETF

The iShares Global Tech ETF (IXN) tracks a market cap-weighted index of global tech stocks, which means the fund holds all market capitalizations from around the globe, but heavier weights are given to large-cap stocks. IXN offers global exposure to tech industries like information technology, electronics and computer software and hardware.

  • 10-year return: 18.20% 
  • Assets under management: $3.9B 
  • Expense ratio: 0.41% 
  • As of date: November 30, 2023

9. iShares Expanded Tech Sector ETF

The iShares Expanded Tech Sector ETF (IGM) tracks a market-cap-weighted index of U.S. and Canadian technology companies. In addition to traditional tech stocks, IGM also provides exposure to stocks in related industries, such as internet retail companies.

  • 10-year 2022 return: 17.95% 
  • Assets under management: $3.6B 
  • Expense ratio: 0.41% 
  • As of date: November 30, 2023 

10. First Trust NASDAQ-100-Technology Sector Index Fund

The First Trust Nasdaq-100-Technology Sector Index Fund (QTEC) tracks an equal-weighted index of the largest U.S. technology stocks listed on the Nasdaq exchange. This makes QTEC a good choice for investors wanting large-cap tech stock exposure, but investors wanting small-cap and midcap tech exposure will need to get that with other funds.

  • 10-year return: 17.95% 
  • Assets under management: $3.2B 
  • Expense ratio: 0.57% 
  • As of date: November 30, 2023

Bottom Line on Best ETFs of the Past Decade 

The best-performing ETFs of the last 10 years are all technology sector funds, the top four of which focus on semiconductors. Other funds on the list offer broader exposure to other tech industries, including computer software, hardware and information technologies. While technology could continue to outperform the broader market, investors should remember that past performance is no guarantee of future results, and technology ETFs can be volatile.

Kent Thune is Research Lead for etf.com, focusing on educational content, thought leadership, content management and search engine optimization. Before joining etf.com, he wrote for numerous investment websites, including Seeking Alpha and Kiplinger. 

 

Kent holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree and is a practicing Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) with 25 years of experience managing investments, guiding clients through some of the worst economic and market environments in U.S. history. He has also served as an adjunct professor, teaching classes for The College of Charleston and Trident Technical College on the topics of retirement planning, business finance, and entrepreneurship. 

 

Kent founded a registered investment advisory firm in 2006 and is based in Hilton Head Island, SC, where he lives with his wife and two sons. Outside of work, Kent enjoys spending time with his family, playing guitar, and working on his philosophy book, which he plans to publish in the coming year.