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Play the World Cup Countries With ETFs

Paraguay: None of the funds in the Latin America Equities ETFdb Category offer pure play exposure to Paraguay; minor allocations to this country can be achieved through some of the broad-based Latin American ETFs, including ILF and LATM.

Slovakia: With a population of just over five million, Slovakia is one of the smallest countries represented at the World Cup. Exposure through ETFs is tough to find; GUR and ESR are the best bets for indirect exposure.

Group G

Brazil: One of the favorites to win, Brazil is accessible through three pure play ETFs, including a large cap fund (EWZ), small cap fund (BRF), and infrastructure ETF (BRXX). Also, ProShares offers 200% (UBR) and -200% (BZQ) leveraged Brazil ETFs.

Ivory Coast: A popular sleeper choice in the "group of death," Ivory Coast is hard to find in any of the 1,000+ U.S.-listed ETFs; AFK is the closest, offering regional exposure.

North Korea: Perhaps the biggest underdog in the tourney, North Korea is also the least accessible economy on this list. Isolationist policies make even indirect exposure difficult; the China Equities ETFdb Category may come the closest, but there's really no way to play North Korea through an ETF.

Portugal: One of the only euro zone members without its own ETF, Portugal is accessible in minor amounts through broad-based Europe ETFs like IEV and VGK.

Group F

Chile: The iShares MSCI Chile Index Fund (ECH) is linked to an index comprised of the largest and most liquid Chilean equities (see Three Country ETFs With Low Debt-To-GDP Ratios).

Honduras: This economy is far too small for its own ETF; the Market Vectors Latin America Small Cap ETF (LATM) offers some indirect exposure, as components companies generate revenues from Honduras.

Spain: This country may be one of the favorites, but the iShares MSCI Spain Index Fund (EQP) has been one of the worst performing equity ETFs this year.

Switzerland: The iShares MSCI Switzerland Index Fund (EWL) offers exposure to the Swiss economy; not surprisingly, financials are one of the largest sector allocations.

Michael Johnston is the senior analyst and founder of ETF Database, a Web-based investment resource providing actionable ETF investment ideas and an ETF Screener for investors analyzing potential ETF investments. Johnston oversees ETF Database's free ETF Newsletter, one of the most popular sources for news and commentary focusing exclusively on the exchange-traded fund industry. Johnston also maintains and develops content for ETFdb Pro, a line of analyst reports and model portfolios designed to help investors utilize ETFs to meet their investment goals.

Johnston has completed the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) program, and obtained his bachelor's degree in finance from the University of Notre Dame. Prior to founding ETF Database, Michael worked in a private client service group performing valuations of companies operating in a wide range of industries.

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