(By Ron) Where do you look for opportunities? When the subject is international ETFs, people often think first about Europe and Asia. And indeed, you can find profit potential in both those places.
But there's a whole other continent right under your nose! Just look down and you'll see it — our neighbors to the south in Latin America.
Now you can pick from more than two dozen ETFs specializing in this fast-growing region. Today I'll tell you about a few of them.
More Than Just Brazil
|Latin America covers a lot of territory. |
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For our purposes, I'm defining Latin America as the area south of the U.S. and north of Antarctica, plus the Caribbean Islands.
Economically speaking, Brazil and Mexico dominate the region. Together these two nations account for more than half of Latin America's economic output. But others are catching up fast. Right now, the Andean mountain nations are the focus of attention.
- President Obama just attended a regional summit meeting in Cartagena, Colombia.
- Peru has shown some of the world's highest GDP growth in recent years.
- Chile has an astonishing 21 percent private savings rate.
While no Latin American nation has yet reached "developed market" status, significant portions of the region are far more advanced than you might think.
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Latin America, ETF-Style
The amazing growth is drawing plenty of interest. The list of ETFs specializing in Latin America is much longer than it was just a couple of years ago.
|The Andes run through Chile. |
iShares S&P Latin America 40 Index Fund (ILF) is one of the older members of this group, and still offers good liquidity and some diversification.
iShares MSCI Brazil (EWZ) and iShares MSCI Mexico (EWW) are also seasoned veterans. These are the go-to products for investors who want to zero in on the two biggest "LatAm" countries.
Newer ETFs let you go even deeper. Here are just some of the ways you can drill down into Latin America.
- Global X FTSE Andean 40 ETF (AND) gives you one-shot coverage of the 40 largest and most liquid stocks listed on the Chile, Colombia, and Peru stock exchanges.
- If you want to target the individual countries, you can consider iShares MSCI Chile (ECH), Global X FTSE Colombia 20 (GXG), and iShares MSCI Peru (EPU).
- Argentina is accessible as well with Global X FTSE Argentina 20 (ARGT).
Brazil's Growing ETF Menu
|The ETF door to Brazil is open wider than ever!|
For years, investors looking for Brazilian exposure could get it only with EWZ, as I mentioned above. Now you can zoom in closer on the Latin American giant.
Looking for Brazilian small-caps? Try Market Vectors Brazil Small Cap (BRF) or iShares MSCI Brazil Small Cap (EWZS).
Mid-Caps are an often-forgotten niche. Take a look at Global X Brazil Mid-Cap (BRAZ).
You can even follow industry trends in Brazil with Global X Brazil Consumer (BRAQ), Global X Brazil Financials (BRAF), and EGS Brazil Infrastructure (BRXX).
I could name more ETFs — leveraged, inverse, currency-hedged, and others — but you get the point. Latin America is "developing" quickly.
With ETFs old and new, you can be aboard for the ride. Some are still small and liquidity can be an issue. Like all international investments, they're also subject to volatility. Even so, if your goals include Latin America, I suggest you take a closer look.
P.S. Last week, I sent a new reco to my International ETF Trader members. It wouldn't be fair to my paying members to reveal the name. But I can tell you that this ETF follows an index that includes several Latin American powerhouses such as Chile, Colombia, Argentina, and Peru. Its numbers are impressive: Up more than 18 percent in the first quarter of this year with a three-year annual average total return of about 27 percent.
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