Category Archives: Country ETFs

Five ETF’s To Watch In 2013

With 2012 drawing to a close, many of us will have already turned our focus to next year’s strategy.  With this in mind, there are several ETFs that have drawn quite a bit of attention this year, and are definitely worth looking at as we move in to Q1 of 2013.

1.  Global X FTSE Nordic Region ETF (GXF) – Many of the Nordic ETFs performed very well in 2012, including both this one and the Global X Norway ETF (NORW). They are generally seen as a safer bet for investment than much of the rest of Europe, as the Scandinavians and Finland enjoy relative security. GXF has managed an impressive 24 percent rise year on year, and with these countries still holding triple-A credit ratings, the outlook looks good for 2013.  Be aware however, that Norway is heavily reliant on its oil industry, so we could see some volatility.

2. iShares MSCI Belgium Capped Investable Market Index Fund (EWK ) – Straight out of left-field is this Belgian offering. While the country had credit ratings slashed in 2011, and is not the first stop for stability, this particular ETF was also boosted around 24 percent this year. Improvements in the average Belgian wage are likely to rally this ETF through 2013, in addition to an extremely successful year for Anheuser-Busch InBev. This particular stock comprises of nearly a quarter of EWK’s value, and enjoyed a 44 percent improvement this year. With nearly $6bn in 2011 profit, we see no reason for the beverage company to slow down any time soon.

3.  PIMCO Total Return Exchange-Traded Fund (BOND) – This ETF hasn’t even been around for a year yet, having been created back in February, but it’s already clear that it could be a star in the making, enjoying an increase of more than 7%. With nearly $4bn in assets, this is the largest actively managed ETF in the world, and has well outmatched its mutual fund brother, Bill Gross’s famous Total Return Fund.

4.  Market Vectors Morningstar Wide Moat Research ETF (MOAT) – Another new ETF, and a sturdy performer in 2012, this ETF focuses on moat companies; those that have a huge lead over competitors. It’s certainly a niche ETF, with just 21 stocks in these kinds of companies, but you can’t argue with a rise of nearly 7 percent. Facebook comprises a significant chunk of this ETF, which could potentially prove to be a weakness in 2013, depending on the company’s fortunes.

5.  iShares MSCI Germany Index Fund (EWG) – Possibly one of the riskier ETFs on this list, EWG rose by around 27 percent this year, but 2013 performance hangs in the balance. Should markets like China make some headway, and the Eurozone improve, it is likely that we’ll see a very strong showing from Europe’s powerhouse. German experts are warning of the potential for recession however, so as with European forex currency trading it might be worth seeing how things play out in Q1 first. It all depends on how much faith you’ve got in Europe’s ability to rise out of recession.

Country ETF’s Performance 2011: Best & Worst

With 2011 now in the rearview mirror I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the best and worst performing countries in 2011.  I discovered that Seeking Alpha has a great list of country ET’F’s by performance over daily, 3 month, 1 year and YTD time periods.  It’s a great resource.  Below is a list of the top 10 best and worst performing country ETF’s over the past year. 

Despite an up and down year that was difficult to trade, the US actually came out on top with .. no gain!  Yes, it was a tough year across world markets with regime changes and debt crises.  I personally think it will be another difficult year this year and one that will be tough to trade. 

Note: The ARGT data doesn’t appear to be accurate for the 1YR data.  It may have something to do with the fact it began trading in March, but it began trading at around $15/share and is at $11/share now, so 0% not possible.

TOP 10 Best Country ETF’s


BOTTOM 10 Country ETF’s