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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.

According to the historical research on global value, however, a buy-n-holder might choose to give iShares MSCI France (EWQ) or iShares MSCI Belgium (EWK) a shot.

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.

This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.

Disclosure Statement: ETF Expert is a website that makes the world of ETFs easier to understand. Gary Gordon, Pacific Park Financial and/or its clients may hold positions in ETFs, mutual funds and investment assets mentioned. The commentary does not constitute individualized investment advice. The opinions offered are not personalized recommendations to buy, sell or hold securities. At times, issuers of exchange-traded products compensate Pacific Park Financial or its subsidiaries for advertising at the ETF Expert website. ETF Expert content is created independently of any advertising relationships. You may review additional ETF Expert at the site.

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