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5 Less-Risky Ways to Buy Europe at a Discount

SPDR Barclays Capital International Treasury Bond ETF (BWX): This fund offers 50% exposure to European bonds, but debt from problem countries like Spain and Italy make up just 8% of holdings.

British and German bonds, whose prices have risen recently due to a "flight to quality," account for a far larger piece of the fund's European component. And non-European debt, particularly well-regarded Japanese Treasury bonds, make up half of the portfolio.

So, while this ETF has fallen 3% since Aug. 23, the fund is actually up 6.4% this year.

IShares MSCI United Kingdom Index ETF (EWU): This ETF offers a less-risky European play because it invests only in Britain.

"If you want to invest in Europe but want a little more protection, you'll like this ETF," Strauts said. "It'll definitely go down if the European crisis worsens, but shouldn't go down as much as the Europe 350 fund will."

True, the MSCI United Kingdom Index ETF has fallen 18% from its April peak. But the fund, which mirrors the broad MSCI United Kingdom Index, is up 3.5% from a 52-week low on Aug. 8.

Another option: Autoliv (ALV - Get Report).

If you prefer individual stocks to ETFs, Morningstar equity analyst Michael Tian recommends Swedish car-parts maker Autoliv, whose shares have tumbled 37% on the New York Stock Exchange in a little over two months.

"The stock has pretty much fallen apart this year -- but if you believe Europe as a whole isn't going to fall apart, Autoliv is a quality business that you can invest in at a great price," Tian said.

The analyst said Autoliv trades for less than 10 times projected 2011 earnings even though the company has about 11% operating margins.

Morningstar rates the stock at four stars out of a possible five and estimates Autoliv's fair value at $80 a share -- way above its current $50.

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EUFN $18.98 -0.73%
BWX $56.14 1.20%
IEV $40.41 -0.52%
EWU $16.33 -0.37%
ALV $114.51 -0.38%


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