NEW YORK ( ETF Digest) -- There's a fast-growing number of international ETPs, with some only recently being issued. The large-cap sector understandably attracts the most initial investor interest given well-established indices which are familiar to more investors and perceived as safer plays. Currently, there are about 40 issues available with not all of them seasoned yet. The issues that comprise our listing are from a variety of issuers including: iShares, SPDRs, Van Eck, Schwab, Guggenheim, WisdomTree and so forth. These are linked to proprietary indices or Dow Jones, S&P, Russell, Van Eck and others. Over the past few years, there has been a push and desire to add more international issues to investor portfolios. This has occurred because many developing countries are experiencing higher economic growth rates than more developed countries.
Demographics in some emerging markets are superior given a younger population making the consumer sector compelling as well as infrastructure needs. However, historically many international markets have higher volatility characteristics than more established sectors. In 2011, a global debt crisis emerged causing many developed nation's markets, particularly in Europe, to experience unusually high volatility and underperformance. This is something that has negatively affected many of the featured ETFs in this category only to see them recover currently. But the crisis relief may be temporary only to return later. Irrespective of recent market performance we rank the top 10 ETFs more by their structure as opposed to current performance. 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. Members to the ETF Digest receive added signals when markets become extended such as DeMark triggers to exit overbought/oversold conditions. These are highlighted by blue box images in many of the charts that follow. For traders and investors wishing to hedge, leveraged and inverse issues are available to utilize from ProShares and Direxion and where available these are noted.