In honor of the 1492 discovery of America by Christopher
Columbus (many will dispute this), we are celebrating a day in
The explorer would definitely have taken his riches and put it
in the stock market if he were around today. So where would the
sea-faring explorer invest his money?
iShares MSCI Italy ETF (NYSE:
Columbus was born in Italy in 1451 and there is no doubt he
would have wanted to invest some money in his home country. The
ETF has struggled the since the financial crisis began in 2007
and it remains down 58 percent from its all-time high.
That being said, a rally over the last few months has the ETF
up 13 percent this year and it closed out last week at the best
price in over two years.
The financials and energy make up over half of the ETF with
the top holding accounting for a whopping 18 percent. ENI SPA
) is a major oil and gas company based in Italy and is the number
The basket of 24 stocks pays an attractive dividend yield of
2.97 percent and charges an annual expense ratio of 0.50 percent.
The fact the ETF has been lagging could be a positive if the
European stocks continue to catch up with their global peers.
SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSE:
Credited with discovering the new world, it would only seem
appropriate that the explorer invest some money in America. The
SPY is often considered the benchmark of the U.S. stock market
because it is composed of the country's 500 largest publicly
The ETF is on pace for a great year, currently up 19.5 percent
) andExxon Mobil (NYSE:
) are the two largest holdings in the ETF, making up 5.5 percent
of the allocation. The remainder of the stocks are fairly even
spread between a number of sectors, creating diversification.
Along with diversification, another of the attractive features
of SPY is the low-cost expense ratio of 0.09 percent. SPY is
often the first ETF an investor will purchase to gain exposure to
the U.S. stock market.
Guggenheim Shipping ETF (NYSE:
Of course an explorer would be interested with investing in
shipping stocks. Even though the large ships today that transport
commodities around the globe differ greatly from the Santa Maria,
Columbus would still be interested.
The ETF is composed of 26 shipping stocks that are directly
tied to moving goods around the world.
The ETF is having a solid year with a gain of 23.5 percent,
however it still remains 32 percent off the 2010 high. The stocks
that make up SEA read like the United Nations.
The U.S. accounts for 22 percent of the ETF, followed by
Denmark at 21 percent, and Hong Kong at 14 percent. If the global
economy can continue to rebound and the demand for goods in the
emerging markets remains solid, expect SEA to continue to rebound
Happy Columbus Day!!
(c) 2013 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment
advice. All rights reserved.
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