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TheStreet Open House

10 ETFs to Buy for 2012

MILLBURN, N.J. ( Stockpickr) -- For the past four years, I have attended and spoke at the annual IMN Super Bowl of Indexing in Phoenix, the largest gathering of indexed and exchange-traded fund investors, advisors and service providers. Many new and recently introduced ETF products as well as timely ETF ideas are presented at the conference.

Every year, I return home from the conference with many new investment ideas worthy of inclusion in one's portfolio. This year is no different.

Without further ado, here are 10 Hot ETF Ideas for 2012.

Emerging Markets

I have long written about my investments in Israel. Whether it is through funds such as the iShares MSCI Israel ETF (EIS) or the Aberdeen Israel Fund (ISL) or in individual stocks such as Teva Pharmaceuticals (TEVA), Elbit Systems (ESLT) or Checkpoint Software (CHKP), I find that opportunities in Israel are plentiful and diverse.

An expert in investing in the Middle East brought three interesting facts to my attention. First is that Israel is no longer considered an emerging market; rather, it is fully developed, with the second-largest amount of ADR listings of any country in the U.S. markets. Second is that one can define the Middle East to include Turkey, even though the country is more precisely located in Asia Minor. Third, the Turkish market, while emerging, is highly developed and offers excellent opportunities.

>>5 Beaten-Down Stocks That Could Rebound in 2012

Turkey, despite recent diplomatic disputes with Israel, has increased its trade with that nation. Turkey also is a large trading partner with Europe and the U.S. The recent weakness in the European markets resulting from the bank and sovereign debt crisis in the EU has had a negative impact upon Turkish shares. However, Turkey still maintains its currency, the Turkish lira, rather than the Euro, which many of its neighbors and trading partners utilize.

A way to play this emerging market and a rebound in trade with Europe would be through Turkish ADRs or ETFs. I have two suggestions for Turkish investing: the iShares MSCI Turkey Investible Market Index Fund (TUR) and the country's mobile telecommunications carrier, Turkcell Iletisim Hizmetleri (TKC).

Let's not leave Israel out in the cold. If you believe that Internet, mobile communications, alternative energy and technology in general are growth sectors, then Israel is the place to invest. Start-up Nation: The Story of Israel's Economic Miracle by Dan Senor and Saul Singer is a must-read. This market is still quite investible, and the iShares Israel ETF, with a decline of about 33% this year, has underperformed the iShares MSCI Spain ETF (EWP) (-28%) and iShares MSCI Italy (EWI) (-24%) year-to-date. The Israeli ETF is way undersold, and I believe that this is providing a great entry point for 2012 and on a long-term basis.

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