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ETF Digest

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There are many ETF choices in the multinational, regional and single country sector from which to choose. We've cobbled some good choices together. When viewing the AUM (assets under management) for these funds you'll note how popular these sectors must be. This is due to the high interest with globalizing investment portfolios for most investors.

There is a consistent mix of global (including U.S.) to international (ex-U.S.) ETFs to consider. Beyond this, most ETFs in this sector have similar characteristics and results. Some may be skewed given exposure to areas with better recent performance (U.S. inclusive) than others (eurozone).

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. Some more interested in a fundamental approach may not care so much about technical issues preferring instead to buy when prices are perceived as low and sell for other reasons when high; but, this is not our approach.

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#10: Vanguard Total International Stock ETF

(VXUS)

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VXUS follows the MSCI All Country World ex-USA Investable Market Index which is MSCI's way of saying all stocks outside the U.S. that they consider investable. (Silly mouthful, isn't it?) The fund was launched in January 2011. The expense ratio is .20%. AUM equal $442 million and average daily trading volume is 148K shares. As of late March 2012 the annual dividend yield was 3.97% and YTD return 12.26%. The one year return was -4.55%.

Data as of March 2012

VXUS Top Ten Holdings & Weightings

    Nestle SA (NESN): 1.20%

    Vodafone Group PLC (VODPF): 0.90%

    HSBC Holdings PLC (HBCYF): 0.86%

    BP Plc (BP.): 0.85%

    Novartis AG (NVSEF): 0.84%

    Roche Holding AG (RHHVF): 0.75%

    GlaxoSmithKline PLC (GLAXF): 0.73%

    BHP Billiton Limited (BHPLF): 0.72%

    Total SA (FP): 0.68%

    Royal Dutch Shell PLC B (RDSB): 0.64%

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    #9: First Trust DJ Global Dividend ETF

    (FGD)

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    FGD follows the Dow Jones Dividend Select Index which is an indicated annual dividend yield weighted index of 100 stocks selected from the developed market portion of the Dow Jones World Index, subject to certain buffers designed to limit turnover. The fund was launched in November 2007. The expense ratio is .60%. AUM equal $170 million and average daily trading volume is 85K shares. As of late March 2012 the annual dividend yield was 4.70% and YTD return 8.33%. The one year return was 2.11%.

    Data as of March 2012

    FGD Top Ten Holdings & Weightings

      Cable & Wireless Communications PLC (CWIXF): 2.30%

      Telecom Corporation of New Zealand Ltd (TEL): 2.07%

      Rwe AG (RWE): 1.84%

      Peab AB (PEAB B): 1.84%

      NCC AB (NCC B): 1.75%

      ProSiebenSat.1 Media AG (PSM): 1.58%

      France Telecom SA (FTE): 1.54%

      David Jones Limited (DJS): 1.51%

      Telstra Corp Ltd (TTRAF): 1.44%

      Zurich Financial Services AG (ZFSVF): 1.42%

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      #8: SPDR World ex-U.S. ETF

      (GWL)

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      GWL follows the S&P Developed ex-U.S. BMI Index which is a market capitalization weighted index of stock within developed countries outside the U.S. The fund was launched in April 2007. The expense ratio is .34%. AUM equal $152 million and average daily trading volume is 50K shares. As of late March 2012 the annual dividend yield was 2.90% and YTD return 12.67%. The one year return was -3.93%.

      Data as of March 2012

      GWL Top Ten Holdings & Weightings

        Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (SSNHY): 2.32%

        Nestle SA (NESN): 1.48%

        BP Plc (BP.): 1.10%

        HSBC Holdings PLC (HBCYF): 1.10%

        Novartis AG (NVSEF): 1.04%

        Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSA): 1.01%

        BHP Billiton Limited (BHPLF): 0.99%

        Vodafone Group PLC (VODPF): 0.95%

        Roche Holding AG (RHHVF): 0.92%

        Total SA (FP): 0.86%

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        #7: SPDR All Country World ex-U.S. ETF

        (CWI)

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        CWI

        follows the MSCI All Country World ex-U.S. Index which is the proprietary MSCI index whose methodology remains undisclosed. The fund was launched in January 2007. The expense ratio is .34%. AUM equal nearly $477 million and average daily trading volume is 200K shares.

        As of late March 2012 the annual dividend yield was 2.61% and YTD return 10.93%. The one year return was -5.74%.

        Data as of March 2012

        CWI Top Ten Holdings & Weightings

          Nestle SA (NESN): 1.57%

          HSBC Holdings PLC (HBCYF): 1.05%

          BP Plc (BP.): 0.97%

          BHP Billiton Limited (BHPLF): 0.97%

          Vodafone Group PLC (VODPF): 0.96%

          Roche Holding AG (RHHVF): 0.87%

          Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (SSNHY): 0.86%

          Total SA (FP): 0.84%

          Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSA): 0.83%

          Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras ADR (PBR.A): 0.83%

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          #6: iShares Kokusai ETF

          (TOK)

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          TOK follows the MSCI Kokusai Index which consists of countries with developed economies ex-Japan. The fund was launched in December 2010. The expense ratio is .25%. AUM equal $638 million and average daily trading volume is a quite low 9K shares.

          As of late March 2012 the annual dividend yield was 2.33% and YTD return 11.00%. The one year return was 2.83%.

          Data as of March 2012

          TOK Top Ten Holdings & Weightings

            Apple, Inc. (AAPL): 2.24%

            Exxon Mobil Corporation (XOM): 1.87%

            Microsoft Corporation (MSFT): 1.06%

            International Business Machines Corp (IBM): 1.04%

            Chevron Corp (CVX): 0.97%

            Nestle SA (NESN): 0.92%

            General Electric Co (GE): 0.90%

            Procter & Gamble Co (PG): 0.83%

            AT&T Inc (T): 0.80%

            Johnson & Johnson (JNJ): 0.79%

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            #5: iShares All Country ex-U.S. ETF

            (ACWX)

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            ACWX follows the MSCI All Country World ex-U.S. Index which is another of MSCI's proprietary indexes. The fund was launched in March 2008. The expense ratio is .35%. AUM equal $961 million and average daily trading volume is 367K shares. As of late March 2012 the annual dividend yield was 2.74% and YTD return 11.68%. The one year return was -5.13%.

            Note: Now you can start seeing a difference as ex-U.S. the holdings are much different and so too is the performance occasioned mostly by eurozone difficulties.

            Data as of March 2012

            ACWX Top Ten Holdings & Weightings

              Nestle SA (NESN): 1.38%

              HSBC Holdings PLC (HBCYF): 1.00%

              BP PLC (BP.): 0.92%

              BHP Billiton Ltd (BHPLF): 0.89%

              Vodafone Group PLC (VODPF): 0.88%

              Samsung Electro-Mechanics Co Ltd: 0.85%

              Novartis AG (NVSEF): 0.80%

              Roche Holding AG (RHHVF): 0.80%

              Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSA): 0.79%

              Toyota Motor Corp (7203): 0.76%

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              #4: Vanguard Total World Stock ETF

              (VT)

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              VT follows the FTSE All-World Index which consists of under 3 thousand stocks including both developed and emerging markets. The fund was launched in July 2008. The expense ratio is .22%. AUM equal $1.6 billion and average trading volume is 200K shares.

              As of late March 2012 the annual dividend yield was 2.09% and YTD return 12.03%. The one year return was 1.71%.

              Data as of March 2012

              VT Top Ten Holdings & Weightings

                Exxon Mobil Corporation (XOM): 1.30%

                Apple, Inc. (AAPL): 1.20%

                International Business Machines Corp (IBM): 0.70%

                Microsoft Corporation (MSFT): 0.70%

                Chevron Corp (CVX): 0.68%

                Nestle SA (NESN): 0.63%

                General Electric Co (GE): 0.59%

                Procter & Gamble Co (PG): 0.58%

                Johnson & Johnson (JNJ): 0.58%

                AT&T Inc (T): 0.57%

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                #3: iShares Global 100 ETF

                (IOO)

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                IOO follows the S&P Global 100 Index which measures the performance of 100 large transnational companies in the global market. The fund was launched in December 2000. The expense ratio is .40%. AUM equal $1billion and average daily trading volume is 62K shares. As of late March 2012 the annual dividend yield was 2.81% and YTD return 8.47%. The one year return was 2.20%.

                Data as of March 2012

                IOO Top Ten Holdings & Weightings

                  Exxon Mobil Corporation (XOM): 5.50%

                  Microsoft Corporation (MSFT): 3.15%

                  International Business Machines Corp (IBM): 3.07%

                  Chevron Corp (CVX): 2.88%

                  Nestle SA (NESN): 2.69%

                  General Electric Co (GE): 2.66%

                  Procter & Gamble Co (PG): 2.47%

                  Johnson & Johnson (JNJ): 2.36%

                  Pfizer Inc (PFE): 2.15%

                  Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (SSNHY): 2.13%

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                  #2: iShares All Country ETF

                  (ASWI)

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                  ASWI follows the MSCI All Country World Index which is all the description MSCI wants you to know. The fund was launched in March 2008. The expense ratio is .35%. AUM equal $2.6 billion and average daily trading volume is over 780K shares.

                  As of late March 2012 the annual dividend yield was 2.13% and YTD return 12.24%. The one year return was 2.16%.

                  Data as of March 2012

                  ACWI Top Ten Holdings & Weightings

                    Nestle SA (NESN): 1.38%

                    HSBC Holdings PLC (HBCYF): 1.00%

                    BP PLC (BP.): 0.92%

                    BHP Billiton Ltd (BHPLF): 0.89%

                    Vodafone Group PLC (VODPF): 0.88%

                    Samsung Electro-Mechanics Co Ltd: 0.85%

                    Novartis AG (NVSEF): 0.80%

                    Roche Holding AG (RHHVF): 0.80%

                    Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSA): 0.79%

                    Toyota Motor Corp (7203): 0.76%

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                    #1: Vanguard All-World ETF

                    (VEU)

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                    VEU follows the FTSE All-World ex-U.S. ETF) follows the FTSE All-World ex-U.S. Index which includes 2000 stocks from 46 different countries. The fund was launched in March 2007. The expense ratio is .22%. AUM equal $13.4 billion and average daily trading volume is 1M shares.

                    As of late March 2012 the annual dividend yield was 3.07% and YTD return 12.26%. The one year return was -4.55%.

                    Data as of March 2012

                    VEU Top Ten Holdings & Weightings

                      Nestle SA (NESN): 1.33%

                      Novartis AG (NVSEF): 0.97%

                      HSBC Holdings PLC (HBCYF): 0.95%

                      Vodafone Group PLC (VODPF): 0.92%

                      Roche Holding AG (RHHVF): 0.79%

                      BP Plc (BP.): 0.79%

                      Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSA): 0.79%

                      BHP Billiton Limited (BHPLF): 0.75%

                      GlaxoSmithKline PLC (GLAXF): 0.73%

                      Total SA (FP): 0.69%

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                      We rank the top 10 ETF by our proprietary stars system as outlined below. In this instance you'll find all ten choices with 4 stars. If an ETF you're interested in is not included but you'd like to know a ranking send an inquiry to

                      support@ETFDigest.com

                      and we'll attempt to satisfy your interest.

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                      Strong established linked index

                      Excellent consistent performance and index tracking

                      Low fee structure

                      Strong portfolio suitability

                      Excellent liquidity

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                      Established linked index even if "enhanced"

                      Good performance or more volatile if "enhanced" index

                      Average to higher fee structure

                      Good portfolio suitability or more active management if "enhanced" index

                      Decent liquidity

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                      Enhanced or seasoned index

                      Less consistent performance and more volatile

                      Fees higher than average

                      Portfolio suitability would need more active trading

                      Average to below average liquidity

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                      Index is new

                      Issue is new and needs seasoning

                      Fees are high

                      Portfolio suitability also needs seasoning

                      Liquidity below average

                      It's been a constant theme for the past few years to add global/international issues to your equity investment portfolio. There are times this is an advantage and sometimes not. This is why technical indicators such as we've pointed-out have been helpful in avoiding dangerous conditions or just maximizing returns.

                      It's also important to remember that ETF sponsors have their own competitive business interests when issuing products which may not necessarily align with your investment needs. New ETFs from highly regarded and substantial new providers are also being issued. These may include Charles Schwab's ETFs and Scottrade's Focus Shares which both are issuing new ETFs with low expense ratios and commission free trading at their respective firms. These may also become popular as they become seasoned. 

                      For further information about portfolio structures using technical indicators like DeMark and other indicators, take a free 14-day trial at

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                      The ETF Digest has no current positions in the featured ETFs.

                      (Source for data is from ETF sponsors and various ETF data providers)

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