The great thing about exchange-traded funds, or ETFs, is that they allow for lots of versatility and give retail investors easy access to markets and asset classes they might have trouble investing in otherwise.
This trend is perhaps most evident in the preponderance of country-based ETFs that give folks direct plays on a region and its underlying investments.
Of course, 2013 has been pretty rough for most international investments thanks to a continued slowdown in China and the hangover from the eurozone debt crisis sapping growth on the other side of the Atlantic. In fact, while the S&P 500 has rallied handsomely, it has been very hard to find opportunity elsewhere in the world.
So what markets are the worst right now and which ones should be avoided? Well, here are the five worst ETFs in the world year-to-date, based on the dozens of country-based funds in the iShares universe, and the risks they face for further declines.