NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Europe's sovereign debt-related bind and this country's political uncertainty are among the factors that continue to demand attention and make for a precarious global market environment.
It may be tempting to dive headfirst into risk during market rips like the one we saw at the start of the trading week. However, given the looming challenges that lay ahead, long-term ETF investors need to remain prudent.
For those looking to construct a sensible international portfolio in the New Year, a nation like Mexico may be worth keeping the radar. The iShares MSCI Mexico Investable Market Index Fund (EWW) boasts a number of qualities that make it a strong choice for turbulent market periods.
In a time when growth doubts have been cast over popular emerging markets like China and India, the developing countries located south of the U.S. have enjoyed some welcomed time out of the spotlight. The threat of a slowdown in this region is still very much on the table for this region. Researcher note, though, that central banks of nations like Mexico, Chile, and Peru have a number of policy tools at their disposal which can be used to combat headwinds.In addition to flexibility on the part of monetary authorities, a nation like Mexico lists ample exposure to defensive sectors. While this quality may make the nation a boring choice compared to other emerging names during periods of market euphoria, in trying times this dullness can be refreshing. This trait shines through in examining the breakdown of EWW. EWW is designed to provide investors with exposure to the most influential companies in Mexico's marketplace. While the names that make up the fund's underlying index hail from across the market spectrum, safe haven industries like telecommunications and consumer staples command the largest percentage of the its sector breakdown. America Movil (AMX - Get Report), Walmart de Mexico, and beverage giant Formento Economico Mexicano (FMX) together comprise slightly more than 50% of the fund's total portfolio. Not surprising given this lineup, the fund has fared relatively well in recent months. Although it has seen a bit of a slowdown in our short-term rankings, EWW continues to climb in our long-term standings. Nevertheless, this is not a fund investors should set and forget.