Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) have become a staple for many investors because of the many benefits they offer. Not only are they great vehicles for diversifying, they’re also perfect for a wide variety of investor types—whether you prefer dividend stocks, emerging markets, growth stocks or sector-specific investments.

When you start looking into ETFs, you’ll find no shortage of options to choose from. Instead of comparing them all to determine the efficacy of your investment, we’ve saved you some time by compiling the best performing ETFs of 2022 (so far).

Here’s a breakdown of ETFs that are outpacing the market. If you’re going to make an investment in ETFs, here’s where to start:

Find the best performing ETFs

Top Performing Oil and Gas ETFs

Oil and gas companies have been the major market gainers in 2022. As such, it’s no surprise that oil and gas ETFs have skyrocketed. These funds have handily outperformed the market, delivering exponential returns to investors. In fact, the sector as a whole has flourished, which means virtually all types of oil and gas ETFs have produced returns, from hydrocarbon exploration-focused funds to broad-sector funds that also encompass midstream service providers.

Here’s a look at 10 of the best performing ETFs focused on the oil and gas sector, all of which are up by double digits year to date:

  • United States Natural Gas Fund LP (UNG), 86.53%
  • iPath Series B Bloomberg Natural Gas Subindex Total Return ETN (GAZ), 88.05%
  • United States 12 Month Natural Gas Fund LP (UNL), 77.34%
  • VanEck Oil Services ETF (OIH), 34.15%
  • SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Equipment & Services ETF (XES), 32.27%
  • iShares U.S. Oil Equipment & Services ETF (IEZ), 31.66%
  • Invesco Dynamic Oil & Gas Services ETF (PXJ), 27.81%
  • Invesco Dynamic Energy Exploration & Production ETF (PXE), 34.77%
  • First Trust Natural Gas ETF (FCG), 33.11%
  • SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF (XOP), 28.70%

Diversified Energy ETFs Outperform

Oil and gas funds aren’t the only energy ETFs outpacing the market by a wide margin. Though traditional hydrocarbon companies are the biggest propellers of mixed energy funds, these ETFs have nonetheless rewarded investors mightily so far this year. While these ETFs largely allocate to companies like ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM), Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) and ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP), they also stretch into renewables and materials, for added diversity.

For those looking for more rounded energy sector ETFs, here’s a look at five of the best performing ETFs to complement oil and gas ETFs:

  • iPath Series B Bloomberg Energy Subindex Total Return ETN (JJE), 58.75%
  • Invesco S&P SmallCap Energy ETF (PSCE), 30.27%
  • John Hancock Multifactor Energy ETF (JHME), 33.50%
  • Invesco S&P 500 Equal Weight Energy ETF (RYE), 30.00%
  • Invesco DWA Energy Momentum ETF (PXI), 29.12%

Other Well-Performing ETFs to Consider

With the stock market underperforming expectations so far in 2022, it’s difficult to find ETFs that have returned value to shareholders with any relative consistency. That said, there are certain funds that have emerged to combat some of the volatility: namely, commodities and volatility focused funds. Investors looking for a way around volatility may actually find themselves embracing it.

While the obvious investment in volatility comes in the form of the VIX Index, those who want more specific investments to bank on will do better looking at the ETFs below. Just an FYI to those willing to embrace volatility: the VIX ETF is up over 100% on the year!

  • iPath Series B Bloomberg Nickel Subindex Total Return ETN (JJN), 61.33%
  • iPath GSCI Total Return Index ETN (GSP), 56.86%

Best Performing Sector ETFs

Are you more of a sector-focused investor? If so, ETFs are an excellent vehicle because of their ability to provide broad exposure across a common core of companies. But while they offer exposure across an industry, they don’t necessarily safeguard investors from broad-sector downturn. As a result, some of the best performing sector ETFs in 2022 aren’t actually performing very well. Nevertheless, poor performance today could mean significant upside tomorrow.

Here’s a closer look at some of the most reliable sector-specific ETFs and why it might make sense to add these funds to your watch list. Not only are they good core investments across each of the market’s major sectors, they’re useful benchmarks for understanding how each sector is currently performing:

  • Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLY), -20.06%
  • Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLP), 1.63%
  • Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLE), 28.94%
  • Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLF), -10.65%
  • Health Care Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLV), -5.19%
  • Industrial Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLI), -8.25%
  • Materials Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLB), -5.87%
  • Utilities Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLU), 3.01%
  • Vanguard Communication Services ETF (VOX), -23.44%
  • Vanguard Information Technology ETF (VGT), -21.15%

Stay Abreast of Top Performers

Want to keep tabs on the best performing ETFs of 2022? Discover a few of the best investment newsletters to stay in the loop. We’ll continually update you on how different types of ETFs are performing, so you know exactly where to put your money. Best of all, we’ll introduce you to off-the-radar funds that are outperforming some of the established market leaders!

ETFs offer tremendous potential, whether you’re a dividend investor, intrigued by a certain sector or want to hitch a ride to growth stocks. Check out any of the above funds to explore some of the best ETF investments right now.