Top local ETFs for 2023, a great year for passive

Simon BrownETF Blog, Latest

As we wrap up the year we’re looking at the top ETFs for the year (you’ll find the short list of losers here). Total return, so including dividends, to close 04 December 2023.

The stand out is wildly impressive returns with the 23 below all recording over 20% gains (including dividends) and the top two both up over 50%. The 1nvest Tech ETF, ETF5IT, has always been our preferred tech ETF and it delivered.

Tech dominates which is no surprise considering that Chat GPT arrived late November last year and has ignited the AI tech space. Heck even Meta had an excellent year in the US.

The S&P500 ETFs also preformed well, again helped by tech and the magnificent seven and a weaker Rand adding to the returns.

Why is there a different return between the different S&P500 ETFs?

The surprise perhaps is Europe with the Sygnia EU ETF doing over 30% and MSCI world just above 30%. Even Japan came to the party with the Sygnia Japan, SYGJP,  up 26%. India came in over 25% higher via the Satrix India ETF and perhaps the real surprise was Namibian Bonds as the Satrix Namibian Bond ETF returned 26%.

Gold was lead by the RMB Kruger Rand ETF with the gold ETFs from 1nvest and Absa both adding 24%.

Brining up the red of this list was the Sygnia 4th Industrial Revolution ETF SYG4IR but still above 20%.

But bottom line – a great year for passive investing and hopefully all your tax-free accounts are smiling all pretty at you.


Top JSE ETFs for 2023

Top JSE ETFs for 2023

I also included the five year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) which also has some impressive numbers. You’ll find the best over five years all here and ten-year returns here.

Simon Brown

ETF blog


At Just One Lap, we are big fans of passive investment using ETFs. In this weekly blog, we discuss ETFs on the local market and the factors you need to consider when choosing an ETF. If you have wondered how one ETF differs from another, this is where you can find out. We explain which index each ETF tracks, what type of portfolio could benefit from holding each ETF, and how the costs will affect your bottom line.