Exchange traded funds offering exposure to eurozone nations,
yes, even the PIIGS, have recently delivered some impressive
performances. Solid economic data, compelling valuations and
investors' thirst for international exposure that is not of the
U.S., Japan, or emerging markets varieties have been among the
catalysts boosting Europe ETFs.
of the more prominent Europe ETFs
, a roster including the Vanguard FTSE Europe ETF (NYSE:
) and the iShares MSCI EMU ETF (NYSE:
), have been among the Europe ETF leaders.
So have a plethora of small ETFs that some critics would have
advised investors to ignore based on size alone. As has been
proven before and as the following funds prove yet again,
evaluating an ETF based on its size, or thinking that ETFs with
large asset totals are "better" than smaller funds, can be only
be described with negative adjectives that will not be repeated
here. The returns, however, speak for themselves.
Ignoring Sub-$100M ETFs A Costly Idea
iShares MSCI Ireland Capped ETF (NYSE:
) Earlier today, the iShares MSCI Ireland Capped ETF touched
$32.35. That is not just a new 52-week high, but a new all-time
for the lone ETF tracking a country that was once viewed as one
of the worst offenders in the European sovereign debt crisis.
EIRL has just under $86 million in assets under management, so
it is safe to say plenty of pros avoided this fund while keeping
clients out of it as well. That is a mistake of epic proportions
because EIRL is up 26.6 percent this year, a performance that
trounces that of the S&P 500. Over the past 90 days, EIRL is
up 8.5 percent. That is better than triple the returns offered by
the comparable Switzerland ETF over the same time and seven times
the returns of the iShares MSCI United Kingdom ETF (NYSE:
Since May 24, EIRL has also soundly outpaced the equivalent
France, Germany and Italy ETFs.
WisdomTree Europe SmallCap Dividend Fund (NYSE:
) The WisdomTree Europe SmallCap Dividend Fund has nearly $101
million in assets under management, perhaps just enough to
assuage the "size is important when selecting ETFs" crowd. What
is really important that DFE is an ETF that is delivering under
the radar upside. DFE has jumped nearly 12 percent
since we highlighted the fund
DFE is also up nearly nine percent since May when it is
mentioned as one of the better
global small-cap funds
DFE has a 3.64 percent 30-day SEC yield. The ETF's top-five
country weights are the U.K., Sweden, Italy, Germany and Norway,
a group that combines for over 69 percent of the fund's weight.
DFE offers exposure to 16 countries, six of which are not
iShares MSCI Finland Capped ETF (BATS: EFNL) Plenty of
investors do not even know the iShares MSCI Finland Capped ETF
exists. Others forget that Finland, unlike the other Nordic
nations that are investable via ETFs, is a eurozone member.
Still, others forget that Finland, unlike the U.S., France or
Japan, has an AAA credit rating.
EFNL is about 60 cents below its all-time high and has surged
28.1 percent in the past year. For those focusing on more recent
time horizons, the lone Finland ETF is up 6.6 percent in the past
month despite having just $10.1 million in assets under
management. And no, Nokia (NYSE:
) is EFNL's largest holding. The cellphone giant is the ETF's
second-largest holding behind Sampo Oyj.
For more on ETFs, click
Disclosure: Author owns none of the securities mentioned
(c) 2013 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment
advice. All rights reserved.
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