The Best- and Worst-Performing Canadian ETFs of February 2024

Caldwell US Dividend Advantage ETF was the best-performing ETF in February 2024, while BMO Junior Gold Index ETF was the worst.

Bella Albrecht 6 March, 2024 | 11:30AM
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ETF illustration

Exchange-traded funds, or ETFs, are often low-cost, tax-efficient instruments for investors to track popular indexes or leverage experienced manager choices in an attempt to beat the market. The best ones serve as low-cost building blocks for a portfolio, and unlike open-end mutual funds, all ETFs are traded throughout the day on an exchange.

In February 2024, the top-performing stock ETFs included US equity fund Caldwell US Dividend Advantage ETF UDA and Dynamic Active US Dividend ETF DXU. The month’s worst performers included BMO Junior Gold Index ETF ZJG and Horizons Gold Producer Equity Covered Call ETF GLCC.

Screening for the Best- and Worst-Performing ETFs

To find the month's best- and worst-performing ETFs, we screened funds that trade within Canada for those that have at least C$10 million in total assets. We narrowed the list to only ETFs with parent pillars for their Morningstar Medalist Ratings of average or above, meaning our analysts believe they're backed by industry-standard asset management companies.

Within our list, four funds were in the US equity category, where the average name rose 2.66% in February.

Among the worst-performing ETFs, four were from the precious metals equity category, where funds fell 7.85% in February.

Returns for the best- and worst-performing ETFs ranged from 12.2% to -7.6%, a gap of 19.8 percentage points.

The 10 Best-Performing ETFs for February 2024:

  1. Caldwell US Dividend Advantage ETF UDA
  2. Dynamic Active US Dividend ETF DXU
  3. Fidelity US Momentum ETF FCMO
  4. Dynamic Active Global Dividend ETF DXG
  5. Mackenzie China A-Shares CSI 300 Index ETF QCH
  6. Vanguard Global Momentum Factor ETF VMO
  7. Middlefield Innovation Dividend ETF MINN
  8. iShares China Index ETF XCH
  9. TD Active Global Enhanced Dividend ETF TGED
  10. TD Active US Enhanced Dividend ETF TUED

 

The 10 Worst-Performing ETFs for February 2024:

  1. BMO Junior Gold Index ETF ZJG
  2. Horizons Gold Producer Equity Covered Call ETF GLCC
  3. iShares S&P/TSX Global Gold Index ETF XGD
  4. BMO Equal Weight Global Gold Index ETF ZGD
  5. BMO Equal Weight REITs Index ETF ZRE
  6. Horizons Equal Weight Canada REIT Index ETF HCRE
  7. iShares S&P/TSX Capped Materials Index ETF XMA
  8. iShares US IG Corporate Bond Index ETF (CAD-Hedged) XIG
  9. iShares S&P/TSX Capped REIT Index ETF XRE
  10. BMO ESG US Corporate Bond Hedged to CAD Index ETF ESGF

 

 

 

Caldwell US Dividend Advantage ETF

  • Morningstar Rating: 2 stars
  • Expense Ratio: 1.85%
  • Morningstar Category: US Equity

The C$46 million Caldwell US Dividend Advantage ETF was the best-performing ETF in February with a 12.18% return. The return on the actively managed Caldwell Investment Management ETF topped the 2.66% gain on the average fund in Morningstar’s US equity category for the month. Looking back over the last 12 months, the Caldwell US Dividend Advantage ETF has returned 19.29%, outperforming the 16.65% gain on the average fund in its category, leaving the ETF in the 66th percentile for performance.

The Caldwell US Dividend Advantage ETF has a Morningstar Medalist Rating of Neutral. It was launched in March 2020.

 

Dynamic Active US Dividend ETF

  • Morningstar Rating: 3 stars
  • Expense Ratio: 0.81%
  • Morningstar Category: US Equity

The second-best performing ETF in February was the C$141 million Dynamic Active US Dividend ETF. The actively managed Dynamic Funds ETF returned 11.92% in February, outperforming the average US equity fund, which gained 2.66% during the month. Looking back over the last 12 months, the Dynamic Active US Dividend ETF has returned 29.8%, outperforming the 16.65% return on the average fund in its category, leaving the ETF in the 25th percentile for performance.

The Gold-rated Dynamic Active US Dividend ETF was launched in January 2017.

 

Fidelity US Momentum ETF

  • Morningstar Rating: 2 stars
  • Expense Ratio: 0.37%
  • Morningstar Category: US Equity

The C$141 million Fidelity US Momentum ETF ranked third for the month, returning 10.78% in February. The Fidelity International ETF, which is passively managed, topped the 2.66% average return on funds in the US equity category for February. Over the last 12 months, the Fidelity International ETF has returned 32.15%, ahead of the 16.65% gain on the average fund in its category, leaving the ETF in the 17th percentile for performance.

The Fidelity US Momentum ETF, launched in June 2020, has a Morningstar Medalist Rating of Silver.

 

Dynamic Active Global Dividend ETF

  • Morningstar Rating: 4 stars
  • Expense Ratio: 0.82%
  • Morningstar Category: Global Equity

With a 10.7% return, the C$655 million Dynamic Active Global Dividend ETF ranked fourth in February among ETFs. The actively managed Dynamic Funds ETF outperformed the 1.77% return on the average global equity fund. Over the last 12 months, the fund has gained 30.97%, ahead of the 12.07% return on funds in its category, placing it in the 9th percentile for the period.

The Dynamic Active Global Dividend ETF has a Gold Morningstar Medalist Rating. It was launched in January 2017.

 

Mackenzie China A-Shares CSI 300 Index ETF

  • Morningstar Rating: 5 stars
  • Expense Ratio: 0.72%
  • Morningstar Category: Greater China Equity

The fifth-best performing ETF was the C$22 million Mackenzie China A-Shares CSI 300 Index ETF, which gained 10.44% in February. This passively managed Mackenzie ETF beat the 7.4% average loss on funds in the Greater China equity category for the month. Over the past year, the Mackenzie China A-Shares CSI 300 Index ETF fell 15.08%, edged out the 28.12% drop on the average fund in its category and placing it in the 27th percentile.

The Mackenzie China A-Shares CSI 300 Index ETF, launched in February 2018, has a Morningstar Medalist Rating of Gold.

 

Vanguard Global Momentum Factor ETF

  • Morningstar Rating: 4 stars
  • Expense Ratio: 0.38%
  • Morningstar Category: Global Equity

The C$108 million Vanguard Global Momentum Factor ETF was the sixth-best performing Canadian ETF in February with a 9.76% return. The return on the actively managed Vanguard ETF topped the 1.77% gain on the average fund in Morningstar’s global equity category for the month. Looking back over the last 12 months, the Vanguard Global Momentum Factor ETF has returned 25.21%, outperforming the 12.07% return on the average fund in its category, leaving the ETF in the 18th percentile for performance.

The Gold-rated Vanguard Global Momentum Factor ETF was launched in June 2016.

 

Middlefield Innovation Dividend ETF

  • Morningstar Rating: 3 stars
  • Expense Ratio: 1.42%
  • Morningstar Category: Global Equity

The seventh-best performing ETF in February was the C$100 million Middlefield Innovation Dividend ETF. The actively managed Middlefield ETF returned 9.41% in February, outperforming the average global equity fund, which gained 1.77% during the month. Looking back over the last 12 months, the Middlefield Innovation Dividend ETF has returned 53.93%, outperforming the 12.07% return on the average fund in its category, leaving the ETF in the 1st percentile for performance.

The Middlefield Innovation Dividend ETF has a Morningstar Medalist Rating of Neutral. It was launched in March 2018.

 

iShares China Index ETF

  • Morningstar Rating: 2 stars
  • Expense Ratio: 0.87%
  • Morningstar Category: Greater China Equity

The C$110 million iShares China Index ETF ranked eighth for the month, returning 9.25% in February. The iShares ETF, which is passively managed, topped the 7.4% average loss on funds in the Greater China equity category for February. Over the last 12 months, the iShares ETF has declined 14.38%, dropping less than the 28.12% loss on the average fund in its category, leaving the ETF in the 15th percentile for performance.

The Neutral-rated iShares China Index ETF was launched in January 2010.

 

TD Active Global Enhanced Dividend ETF

  • Morningstar Rating: 5 stars
  • Expense Ratio: 0.72%
  • Morningstar Category: Global Equity

With an 8.28% gain, the C$482 million TD Active Global Enhanced Dividend ETF ranked ninth in February among ETFs. The actively managed TD ETF outperformed the 1.77% return on the average global equity fund. Over the last 12 months, the fund has returned 33.78%, ahead of the 12.07% return on funds in its category, placing it in the 9th percentile for the period.

The TD Active Global Enhanced Dividend ETF, launched in May 2019, has a Morningstar Medalist Rating of Neutral.

 

TD Active US Enhanced Dividend ETF

  • Morningstar Rating: 4 stars
  • Expense Ratio: 0.73%
  • Morningstar Category: US Equity

The tenth-best performing stock ETF was the C$326 million TD Active US Enhanced Dividend ETF, which gained 8.27% in February. This actively managed TD ETF beat the 2.66% average return on funds in the US equity category for the month. Over the past year, the TD Active US Enhanced Dividend ETF rose 37.98%, outperforming the 16.65% return on the average fund in its category and placing it in the 12th percentile.

The TD Active US Enhanced Dividend ETF has a Morningstar Medalist Rating of Neutral. It was launched in May 2020.

 

 

BMO Junior Gold Index ETF

  • Morningstar Rating: 2 stars
  • Expense Ratio: 0.61%
  • Morningstar Category: Precious Metals Equity

The worst-performing ETF in February 2024 was the C$58 million BMO Junior Gold Index ETF, which lost 7.64% in February. The passively managed BMO ETF performed roughly in line with the average 7.85% loss on funds in the precious metals equity category in February. Over the past 12 months, the BMO Junior Gold Index ETF fell 7.23%, placing it in the 70th percentile within its category and dropping less than the 12.33% loss on the average fund in its category.

The BMO Junior Gold Index ETF, launched in January 2010, has a Morningstar Medalist Rating of Neutral.

 

Horizons Gold Producer Equity Covered Call ETF

  • Morningstar Rating: 3 stars
  • Expense Ratio: 0.81%
  • Morningstar Category: Precious Metals Equity

With a 6.18% loss, the C$195 million Horizons Gold Producer Equity Covered Call ETF was the second-worst performing ETF in our list for February. The actively-managed Horizons ETF edged out the average 7.85% loss on funds in the precious metals equity category in February. Over the past 12 months, the Horizons Gold Producer Equity Covered Call ETF lost 2.89%, placing it in the 30th percentile within its category and falling less than the 12.33% loss on the average fund in its category.

The Bronze-rated Horizons Gold Producer Equity Covered Call ETF was launched in April 2011.

 

iShares S&P/TSX Global Gold Index ETF

  • Morningstar Rating: 4 stars
  • Expense Ratio: 0.61%
  • Morningstar Category: Precious Metals Equity

The third-worst performing ETF in February was the C$1.1 billion iShares S&P/TSX Global Gold Index ETF, which fell 5.81%. The iShares ETF, which is passively managed, declined less than the average 7.85% loss on funds in the precious metals equity category in February. Over the past 12 months, the ETF fell 6.15% to place in the 55th percentile within its category, the category's average 1-year loss of 12.33%.

The iShares S&P/TSX Global Gold Index ETF has a Morningstar Medalist Rating of Gold. It was launched in March 2001.

 

BMO Equal Weight Global Gold Index ETF

  • Morningstar Rating: 3 stars
  • Expense Ratio: 0.60%
  • Morningstar Category: Precious Metals Equity

The C$40 million BMO Equal Weight Global Gold Index ETF was the fourth-worst performing ETF in February, with a loss of 4.28%. The passively managed BMO ETF performed better the average 7.85% loss on funds in the precious metals equity category in February. Over the past year, the ETF dropped 2.29% to land in the 20th percentile within its category, dropping less than the category's average 1-year loss of 12.33%.

The Bronze-rated BMO Equal Weight Global Gold Index ETF was launched in November 2012.

 

BMO Equal Weight REITs Index ETF

  • Morningstar Rating: 3 stars
  • Expense Ratio: 0.61%
  • Morningstar Category: Real Estate Equity

Fifth-worst was the C$548 million BMO Equal Weight REITs Index ETF, which lost 2.98% in February. The passively managed BMO ETF fell below the average 1.81% decline on funds in the real estate equity category for the month. Over the past year, the BMO Equal Weight REITs Index ETF fell 10.54%, finishing the 12-month period in the 100th percentile within the real estate equity category. It underperformed the category's average 1-year loss of 4.24%.

The BMO Equal Weight REITs Index ETF has a Morningstar Medalist Rating of Neutral. It was launched in May 2010.

 

Horizons Equal Weight Canada REIT Index ETF

  • Morningstar Rating: 3 stars
  • Expense Ratio: 0.33%
  • Morningstar Category: Real Estate Equity

The sixth-worst performing ETF in February 2024 was the C$47 million Horizons Equal Weight Canada REIT Index ETF, which lost 2.98% in February. The passively managed Horizons ETF underperformed the average 1.81% loss on funds in the real estate equity category in February. Over the past 12 months, the Horizons Equal Weight Canada REIT Index ETF fell 10.28%, placing it in the 97th percentile within its category and underperforming the 4.24% loss on the average fund in its category.

The Horizons Equal Weight Canada REIT Index ETF has a Morningstar Medalist Rating of Neutral. It was launched in January 2019.

 

iShares S&P/TSX Capped Materials Index ETF

  • Morningstar Rating: 3 stars
  • Expense Ratio: 0.60%
  • Morningstar Category: Natural Resources Equity

With a 2.16% loss, the C$131 million iShares S&P/TSX Capped Materials Index ETF was the seventh-worst performing ETF in our list for February. The passively managed iShares ETF performed roughly in line with the average 3.1% loss on funds in the natural resources equity category in February. Over the past 12 months, the iShares S&P/TSX Capped Materials Index ETF lost 11.02%, placing it in the 80th percentile within its category and underperforming the 9.16% loss on the average fund in its category.

The iShares S&P/TSX Capped Materials Index ETF has a Morningstar Medalist Rating of Bronze.

 

iShares US IG Corporate Bond Index ETF (CAD-Hedged)

  • Morningstar Rating: 2 stars
  • Expense Ratio: 0.32%
  • Morningstar Category: Global Corporate Fixed Income

The eighth-worst performing ETF in February was the C$259 million iShares US IG Corporate Bond Index ETF (CAD-Hedged), which fell 2%. The iShares ETF, which is passively managed, underperformed the average 0.55% gain on funds in the global corporate fixed income category in February. Over the past 12 months, the ETF rose 4.72% to place in the 75th percentile within its category, roughly in line with the category's average 1-year return of 4.58%.

The iShares US IG Corporate Bond Index ETF (CAD-Hedged), launched in January 2010, has a Morningstar Medalist Rating of Bronze.

 

iShares S&P/TSX Capped REIT Index ETF

  • Morningstar Rating: 2 stars
  • Expense Ratio: 0.61%
  • Morningstar Category: Real Estate Equity

The C$999 million iShares S&P/TSX Capped REIT Index ETF was the ninth-worst performing ETF in February, with a decline of 1.93%. The passively managed iShares ETF performed roughly in line with the average 1.81% loss on funds in the real estate equity category in February. Over the past year, the ETF dropped 10.22% to land in the 93rd percentile within its category, underperforming the category's average 1-year loss of 4.24%.

The iShares S&P/TSX Capped REIT Index ETF has a Morningstar Medalist Rating of Silver. It was launched in October 2002.

 

BMO ESG US Corporate Bond Hedged to CAD Index ETF

  • Morningstar Rating: 1 star
  • Expense Ratio: 0.23%
  • Morningstar Category: Global Corporate Fixed Income

Tenth-worst was the C$21 million BMO ESG US Corporate Bond Hedged to CAD Index ETF, which lost 1.73% in February. The passively managed BMO ETF underperformed the average 0.55% return on funds in the global corporate fixed income category for the month. Over the past year, the BMO ESG US Corporate Bond Hedged to CAD Index ETF rose 4.82%, finishing the 12-month period in the 64th percentile within the global corporate fixed income category. It performed roughly in line with the category's average 1-year return of 4.58%.

The BMO ESG US Corporate Bond Hedged to CAD Index ETF takes environmental, social, and governance criteria into consideration. This fund has a Morningstar Medalist Rating of Neutral.

 

What Are ETFs?

Exchange-traded funds are investments that trade throughout the day on stock exchanges, much like individual stocks. They differ from traditional mutual funds—known as open-end funds—which can only be bought or sold at a single price each day. Historically, ETFs tracked indexes, but in recent years, more ETFs have been actively managed. ETFs cover a range of asset classes, including stocks, bonds, commodities, and most recently cryptocurrency.

ETFs offer investors an efficient way to gain exposure to the markets, often with low fees and an ease of buying and selling. They also generally offer higher tax efficiency than open-end funds.

 

The Best ETFs: More Ideas to Consider

Investors who would like to find more of the top-performing or cheapest ETFs can do the following:

  • Use the ETF Screener tool to find the best ETFs according to your specific criteria. You can search for funds based on their fees, Morningstar Medalist Ratings, manager tenures, and more.
  • Find ideas specific to your needs, or learn more about ETFs, on our ETF Insights page.
  • Compare funds and ETFs side by side and easily follow their valuations, ratings, and fees.

This article was compiled by Bella Albrecht, edited by Lauren Solberg, and reviewed by Andrew Willis.

As part of our mission to put more information into the hands of investors, this article was compiled from Morningstar’s data and independent research using automation technology. The original article was written by Morningstar reporters and editors. This updated version was reviewed by an editor.

Correction (March 12, 2024): A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Horizons Gold Producer Equity Covered Call ETF (GLCC) is a passively managed product. The product is an active mandate with a dynamic covered call writing strategy. 

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Securities Mentioned in Article

Security NamePriceChange (%)Morningstar Rating
BMO Junior Gold ETF74.99 CAD0.66Rating
Caldwell U.S. Dividend Advantage ETF15.97 CAD-1.54Rating
Dynamic Active U.S. Dividend ETF55.44 CAD-1.25Rating
Fidelity US Momentum ETF13.43 CAD0.15Rating
Horizons Gold Producer Eq Cov Call ETF25.14 CAD0.80Rating

About Author

Bella Albrecht  is an associate data journalist at Morningstar Inc. 

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