If you’re looking for the best countries to invest in, a host of exchange-traded funds exist out there to offer exposure to very specific regions of the world. But how do you decide which nation is ripe for investment, and which are falling behind?
Click to Enlarge Big metrics like GDP growth aren’t always accurate. After all, China is still growing at a comparatively brisk rate … but the stock market there has been crashing for the last few weeks.
So when plotting the best countries to invest in, it’s often important to look at sentiment as well as core economic metrics. And based on the performance of their respective stock markets this year, here are the best nations in the world to invest in across 2015, according to a recent Bespoke Investment Group report:
5 Best Countries to Invest In
5 Worst Countries to Invest In
Of course, these are backward-looking returns, so they may not be indicative of future performance. Furthermore, U.S. investors have some logistical hurdles involved if they want to play nations directly.
But if you like the lift seen in these nations, here are how to play these trends:
Among ETFs with exposure to Hungary, you won’t find a very direct play. One option is the Cambria Global Value ETF (GVAL) which has a 6% weighting in the nation. However, GVAL is basically flat year-to-date, so that hasn’t helped performance much.
Investors interested in Denmark have better luck, via the iShares MSCI Denmark Capped ETF (EDEN), which is up an impressive 20% year-to-date and a nearly pure play on the nation’s booming stock market with almost 100% of assets in Danish companies.
The Global X MSCI Argentina ETF (ARGT) is a focused play on Argentina, but a top-heavy portfolio with roughly 20% of all assets in steel giant Tenaris SA (TS) has resulted in flat performance for this ETF, even if the broader Argentinian market has been booming.
Jamaica and Malta are nonstarters, given the relatively nature of their economies and the lack of any fund focusing on these nations. You’d be hard pressed to find any ETF with more than few percentage points allocated to these nations.
Jeff Reeves is the editor of InvestorPlace.com and the author of The Frugal Investor’s Guide to Finding Great Stocks. As of this writing, he did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. Write him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter via @JeffReevesIP.