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5 Crash-Proof ETFs to Beat Back a Bear Market

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Famed investor and Quantum Fund co-founder Jim Rogers made waves recently when he warned of a new bear market – “horrendous, the worst,” he said – brought on by global debt that has piled too high. But he had a specific warning for owners of exchange-traded funds:

“When we have the bear market, a lot of people are going to find that, ‘Oh my God, I own an ETF, and they collapsed. It went down more than anything else.’ And the reason it will go down more than anything else is because that’s what everybody owns.”

“Everybody” might be a stretch, but not a long one.


While still miles away from the $17.7 trillion in U.S. mutual funds, U.S. ETFs and other exchange-traded products have gobbled up $3.1 trillion. And more than 14% of that is tied up in just three funds – the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY), iShares Core S&P 500 ETF (IVV) and Vanguard S&P 500 ETF (VOO) – that provide basic market exposure by tracking Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index. In other words, hundreds of billions of ETF dollars are being devoted to just 500 stocks.

It stands to reason, then, that if the market plunges, all of those investors who have tried to improve their odds by eschewing stock picking and relying on broad-market ETFs will still be at significant risk. But a few funds can help you minimize the damage.

Here are five “crash-proof” ETFs that offer ways to protect against (or even profit during) a bear market.

Data is as of Sept. 25, 2017. Click on symbol links in each slide for current share prices and more. Yields represent the trailing 12-month yield, which is a standard measure for equity funds.

SEE ALSO: Our 20 Best ETF Picks for Every Investor


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