The Best Global High-Income ETFs

By Aryeh Katz | September 02, 2010 AAA

At the moment, there are great opportunities for those who seek value and income for their portfolios - particularly for those willing to venture overseas. There are a good half dozen globally oriented ETFs that pay investors an annual yield of at least 8% and trade with price/earnings ratios of just four or less. To boot, they also sport price-to-book ratios of just one or less. (To learn more about other financial ratios, please see Financial Ratio Tutorial.)

Here they are with recent performance numbers for your investment edification.

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Plain Vanilla Index Investing
For those who don't want to get too fancy, the SPDR EURO STOXX 50 ETF (NYSE:FEZ) tracks the EURO STOXX 50 Index, a selection of the biggest companies from every sector of the European corporate sphere. U.S. investors may be surprised to find that the fund pays 3.46% annually - more than the SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (NYSE:DIA), a proxy for the Dow, which offers investors a paltry 2.73% annual return by comparison.

FEZ trades with a phenomenally low P/E ratio of just 2.79 and a P/B of merely 0.79. It's hard to imagine buying companies of this size at 80% of their break-up value.

For the last three months the shares of FEZ have risen just over 1%, bucking the trend of the American market, whose broad index, represented by the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSE:SPY), is down over the same period.

Closed-End Funds with High-End Returns
The ING Global Equity Dividend and Premium Opportunity Fund (NYSE:IGD) is a closed-end fund that seeks a high level of income from dividends on common stocks from around the world. The fund is down over the last three months some 4.5% but yields an annual 11.16% and trades with a P/E of just over 3. Price to book on the shares is 0.92.

IGD's charter permits it to invest in U.S.-based companies, as well. As of the beginning of September, IGD shares traded at a slight premium to net asset value of 0.75 %. The fund pays dividends monthly.

Cohen and Steers Global Income Builder, Inc. (NYSE:INB) is another closed-end fund that pays nicely. The yield on INB shares is 10.56%, and the P/E is 3.32. Price to book comes in at 0.89. In the last three months shares of INB have climbed just under 10%. (Learn more about evaluating stocks, read The 4 Basic Elements Of Stock Value.)

The Wrap
The message is simple. If you want income, go global. If you want income and value all wrapped into one, look to one of the three issues listed above.

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