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Market Statistics

AI ETFs Have Underperformed So Far

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Artificial Intelligence (AI) ETFs have underperformed so far as compared to large-cap and tech stocks. The performance since inception has been disappointing, and the drawdowns from all-time highs have been large.

Below is a list of seven AI ETFs showing the year-to-date return, the return since inception, the distance from all-time highs, and the 5-day average volume.


Although the year-to-date returns are high, since the inception of the ETFs, the performance has been disappointing, and they are considerably below their all-time highs.

Two of the ETFs, UBOT and WTAI, are still in the red since inception, at -45.1% and -23%, respectively. The former ETF is 58.6% below its all-time highs, yet year-to-date it has the highest gain of 87.3%. The maximum drawdown was 86% in 2020!

BOTZ has the highest return since inception at 101.1%, but it is 27.5% below all-time highs.


BOTZ fell 55.5% from its all-time highs last year. However, this ETF has the highest 5-day average volume at about 1.4 million shares.

AIQ is the least below its all-time highs at 15.8%.


AIQ fell 44.7% from its all-time highs last year. The 5-day average volume is the second largest at about 370K shares.

All in all, The performance of the seven AI ETFs shown in the list above has not met investor expectations. As a comparison, since inception, BOTZ has grown by 101.1%, while the SPY ETF has gained 135.1% and the QQQ ETF is up 238%.

The performance may improve in the future, but it will also depend on whether AI meets expectations, or it will suffer the fate of the “blockchain” hype.

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Disclaimer:  No part of the analysis in this blog constitutes a trade recommendation. The past performance of any trading system or methodology is not necessarily indicative of future results. Read the full disclaimer here.

Charting and backtesting program: Amibroker. Data provider: Norgate Data

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