Country ETFs vs. U.S. Stock ETFs
Naturally, it is easy to identify the reasons why certain countries reside where they do. Virtually every country in the eurozone has a current CAPE that is lower than its median.
However, France and Belgium have more years of meaningful data. It is simply not clear to investors whether the eurozone can survive with dissimilar countries struggling to find a pathway out from underneath the weight of an endless sovereign debt crisis.
Brazil and Taiwan might be considered bargains from the ranks of the so-called emerging market countries. While China's high profile slowdown may have hindered these exporting nations from realizing better results in their securities markets, China's improving economic prospects may help place Brazil and Taiwan on a more prosperous path. Investors who see value in the global valuation approach might like iShares MSCI Taiwan (EWT) and/or iShares MSCI Brazil (EWZ). Personally, I have more confidence in China's policies than those of a fractured eurozone. It follows that I am more likely to select an Asian tiger asset like EWT or a materials mega-cap like EWZ long before I could see myself investing in an unhedged European country ETF. On the other hand, no matter what exchange-traded vehicle I purchase, I would not blindly hold the investment for a decade based on valuation metrics. I always have a plan to sell and/or hedge. It is important to talk about several countries that came up as severely overvalued. Both the United States as well as Thailand did not fare particularly well with this global valuation methodology. Although I do not view Shiller's 10-year cyclically adjusted P/E (CAPE) as a definitive valuation method (or any valuation approach as a definitive method), it is still another weapon in the bear's arsenal. Indeed, iShares MSCI Thailand (THD) has practically levitated 50% from its summertime lows, sits 22% above its long-term 200-day trendline and is likely to hit a profit-taking patch.
Follow @etfexpert This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.
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