One of the best tools for diversifying your global portfolio is to use the best ETFs to execute your strategy and spread your risk, writes Jim Lowell of Forbes ETF Advisor.
iShares Barclays Aggregate Bond (AGG)
If Diamonds—that’s Dow Diamonds (DIA)—are an uncertain world’s best stock friend, this ETF’s aggregation of different duration investment grade bonds can tamp down any heartburn fire, save the flame of inflation.
Since our Fed has let us know in no uncertain terms that low rates will remain the rule, perhaps for as long as through 2014, this ETF in tandem with the DIA could be the two ETFs to own if you could own just two.
iShares Emerging Markets (EEM)
My answer to staying long at the emerging market party…which, at times, will feel like The Hangover Part III: own this stock stake and the iShares JPM Emerging Markets Bond (EMB, see below).
The top five country representations for EEM are China (17.4%), Brazil (15.6%), South Korea (14.9%), Taiwan (10.3%), and South Africa (7.7%). The top ten holdings are Samsung, Gazprom, Petrobras Preferred, China Mobile, America Movil, Petrobras, Taiwan Semiconductor, China Construction Bank, Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, and Itau Unibanco.
iShares Global Healthcare (IXJ)
One of our better calls in 2011: companies involved with the design, production, or sale of health care or medical products and services, with an eye on the necessary demographic trends and stories of aging boomers needing a youth-inducing crutch, as well as on the emerging market theme of new consumers demanding better health care.
The ETF seeks investment results that correspond to the price and yield performance of the S&P Global 1200 Healthcare Sector Index. The top ten holdings are Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Novartis, Roche Holding, Merck, GlaxoSmithKline, Abbott Labs, Sanofi, AstraZeneca, and Bayer.
iShares JPM Emerging Markets Bond (EMB)
You can’t finance emerging market growth without bonds. And you should only want to own the emerging markets stocks if you’d want to own the underlying debt instruments of the respective marketplaces.
Enter this ETF, which seeks investment results that correspond to the price and yield performance of the JPMorgan EMBI Global Core Index.
iShares MSCI Brazil (EWZ)
Real economy, real political stability, real middle, consumer class. The risk here is that this ETF will almost always trade in correlation to emerging markets as a whole, with the baby being placed in or thrown out with the bathwater. It’s a slippery risk I’m willing to take.
The fund seeks investment results that correspond to the price and yield performance of the MSCI Brazil Index. The top ten holdings are Petrobras Preferred, Vale Preferred, Itau Unibanco, Petrobras, Banco Bradesco, Cia de Bebidas das Americas, Vale, Itausa Investimentos, Brasil Foods, and Vale’s New York ADR.
iShares MSCI Japan (EWJ)
I’m long Japan but ultra short the Yen. Among the largest economies, Japan is slowing, but it can pull a currency lever and pick up its pace, a smart move that I think won’t be lost on the bureaucrats.
EWJ seeks investment results that correspond to the price and yield performance of the MSCI Japan Index. The top ten holdings are Toyota Motor, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial, Honda Motor, Canon, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial, Mizuho Financial Group, Takeda Pharmaceutical, Fanuc, Mitsubishi, and Mitsui & Co.
ProShares UltraShort Euro (EUO)
This leveraged ETF seeks investment results that correspond to twice the inverse daily performance of the US dollar price of the euro.
SPDR S&P Emerging Asia Pacific (GMF)
This fund seeks investment results that correspond to the price and yield performance of the S&P Asia Pacific Emerging BMI Index. The top three sectors are financials (25.8%), information technology (22.3%), and energy (13.2%).
The top ten holdings are Taiwan Semiconductor, China Construction Bank, China Mobile, Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, PetroChina, Baidu, CNOOC, Reliance Industries, Infosys, and Hon Hai Precision.
Vanguard MSCI Emerging Markets (VWO)
Finally, this fund seeks investment results that correspond to the price and yield performance of the MSCI Emerging Markets Index. The top five country representations are China (17.9%), Brazil (15.1%), Korea (15%), Taiwan (10.6%), and S. Africa (7.9%).
The top ten holdings are Samsung , Petrobras, Vale, Taiwan Semiconductor, China Mobile, Gazprom, America Movil, Itau Unibanco, China Construction Bank, and Industrial & Commercial Bank of China.
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