Crypto, Nasdaq 100 Power ETF of the Year Finalists

See details on how a diverse set of five funds made the final cut for ETF of the Year.

kent
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Research Lead
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Reviewed by: etf.com Staff
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Edited by: James Rubin
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ETF of the Year 2024
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Bitwise Crypto Industry Innovators ETF - BITQ
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ETF of the Year - QQQM
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ETF of the Year - RSP
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ETF of the Year - JEPQ
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ETF of the Year - CALF
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How ETF of the Year Finalists Were Selected

After a record breaking year in the ETF industry, etf.com selected the finalists for its annual awards from a record pool of 1,400 nominations. The etf.com editorial staff rigorously vetted each nominee, presenting them to seven judges, who represented a diverse range of expertise and opinion in the ETF industry. 

 

The five finalists for ETF of the Year were pinpointed based on a range of criteria, including fund flows, expense ratios, and performance relative to funds’ respective category peers. Innovative qualities were also considered. 

 

These ETF of the Year nominees have done the most to improve investor opportunities and outcomes in 2023 by providing access to interesting areas of the market, keeping costs competitive, delivering new exposures or otherwise creating better results for investors. 

 

The ETF of the Year winner, as well as winners from the other 16 categories, will be announced at the etf.com Awards ceremony, to be held at Tribeca Rooftop in New York City on April 17th, 2024. 

Bitwise Crypto Industry Innovators ETF

The Bitwise Crypto Industry Innovators ETF (BITQ) is a passively managed ETF that tracks a cap-weighted index of 30 crypto companies from around the world, including emerging markets. Harkening to the Gold Rush days of the 1840s, BITQ offers a pick-and-shovel approach to crypto, as it invests in stocks of cryptocurrency-related companies, rather than directly holding digital assets. 

 

BITQ was among the top-performing ETFs of 2023 with an eye-popping 247% price gain, beating the price appreciation for BTC itself as well as bitcoin futures ETFs like the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITO)

 

BITQ’s AUM is $111.4 million, and its expense ratio is 0.85%. 

Invesco NASDAQ 100 ETF

The Invesco NASDAQ 100 ETF (QQQM) is an exchange-traded fund that tracks the Nasdaq 100 Index. It's often considered a more affordable alternative to the popular QQQ ETF, also tracking the same index. 

 

In a year when technology dominated the news and market performance in 2023, QQQM enabled investors to track the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 at a lower expense ratio than its older, larger ETF sibling, QQQ. Top performance and low fees propelled QQQM to a 2023 gain of 55%, which compares to just under 55% for QQQ.  

 

QQQM’s assets are $21.1 billion and its expense ratio is 0.15%. 

Invesco S&P 500 Equal Weight ETF

The Invesco S&P 500 Equal Weight ETF (RSP) is among the best-known equal-weighted ETFs. By simply weighting all the S&P 500 stocks equally, the fund gives investors broad exposure to all industrial sectors, as well as the smaller companies in the index, unlike the tech-heavy cap-weighted S&P 500 funds. 

 

Investors clearly found an attractive means of reducing exposure to high-flying tech stocks, as RSP received nearly $13 billion in inflows in 2023, almost doubling those of Invesco’s massively popular QQQ, which gathered $7 billion in 2023. These flows for RSP were despite its returns, which lagged the S&P 500 by more than 10 percentage points. 

 

RSP’s AUM is $48.9 billion and its expense ratio is 0.20%. 

JPMorgan Nasdaq Equity Premium Income ETF

The JPMorgan Nasdaq Equity Premium Income ETF (JEPQ) is an actively managed fund investing in large-cap stocks in the Nasdaq 100 Index while pursuing lower volatility.  

 

Taking a different angle from its wildly popular S&P 500 covered call ETF predecessor, the JPMorgan Equity Premium Income (JEPI), JEPQ follows a systematic approach by selling one-month call options alongside its underlying equity portfolio, which closely tracks the Nasdaq 100.  

 

JEPQ’s AUM is $9.6 billion and its expense ratio is 0.35%. 

Pacer US Small Cap Cash Cows 100 ETF

The Pacer US Small Cap Cash Cows 100 ETF (CALF) tracks an index of 100 stocks coming from the S&P Small Cap 600 Index. These holdings are screened and weighted according to trailing 12-month free cash flow yield.

 

This value-driven approach powered CALF to outperform 98% of its small-cap value peers in 2023, logging in an impressive 35% gain for the year.

 

CALF’s AUM is $7.6 billion and its expense ratio is 0.59%.

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.