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Top 10 European Regional ETFs

Our goal in this profile is to help investors wade through the many competing ETF offerings available. Using our long experience as an ETF publication, and nearly 40 years in the investment business, we can help select those ETFs that matter and may or may not be repetitive. The result is a more manageable list of issues from which to view and make selections.

There is currently an expanding list of 30 ETFs oriented to Europe whether in single country funds or with regional issues. The following analysis features a fair representation of ETFs available. We believe from these investors may choose an appropriate ETF to satisfy the best index-based offerings individuals and financial advisors may utilize.

ETFs are based on indexes tied to well-known index providers including Russell, S&P, Barclays, MSCI, Dow Jones and so forth. Also included are some so-called ⿿enhanced⿝ indexes that attempt to achieve better performance through more active management of the index.

Where competitive issues exist and/or repetitive issues available at a fee cost saving we mention those as other choices. New issues are coming to market consistently (especially globally) and sometimes these issues will need to become more seasoned before they may be included at least in our listings.

It goes without saying that troubles in the euro zone have caused sharp declines in equities from the region and a similar loss of AUM (Assets under Management). The problems here may take a long time to resolve and may remain a drag on global investing.

We feature a technical view of conditions from monthly chart views. Simplistically, we recommend longer-term investors stay on the right side of the 12 month simple moving average. When prices are above the moving average, stay long, and when below remain in cash or short. Premium members to the ETF Digest receive added signals when markets become extended such as DeMark triggers to exit overbought/oversold conditions.

For traders and investors wishing to hedge, leveraged and inverse issues are available to utilize from ProShares and Direxion and where available these are noted.

VGK (Vanguard Europe ETF) follows the MSCI Europe Index which includes the largest weightings from 16 different European countries. The fund was launched in March 2005. The expense ratio is .14% and features commission free trading at Ameritrade and Vanguard. AUM (Assets under Management) equal $2.6 billion and average daily trading volume is 2.6M shares.  As of early November 2011 the annual dividend yield was 5.65% and YTD return -6.30%.

Direxion Shares and ProShares offer inverse and leveraged long/short ETFs for those wishing to hedge or speculate here.

Data as of November 2011

VGK Top Ten Holdings & Weightings

  1. Nestle SA (NESN): 2.83%
  2. HSBC Holdings PLC (HBCYF): 2.30%
  3. Novartis AG (NVSEF): 1.87%
  4. BP Plc (BP.): 1.74%
  5. Vodafone Group PLC (VODPF): 1.71%
  6. Total SA (FP): 1.60%
  7. Roche Holding AG (RHHVF): 1.54%
  8. Siemens AG (SIE): 1.48%
  9. GlaxoSmithKline PLC (GLAXF): 1.46%
  10. Rio Tinto PLC (RIO): 1.37%

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