Everything is relative, even when it comes to global exchange traded funds (ETFs), and Switzerland is no exception.
The country has managed to remain relatively stable amid the global chaos, as their economy boasts a stable currency. Make no mistake: it’s definitely in bear territory being 39.3% off its December 2007 high. But it has managed to dodge the more severe downturns seen by other global funds that are 50%, 60% and even 70% off their highs.
To what does the iShares MSCI Swizterland Index (EWL) owe this? The fund tracks the performance of the Swiss equity market with 41 components that have high market capitalizations, reports Don Dion for Seeking Alpha. The companies in the fund are among the most resilient of global equities, with a top sector weighting in health care. The second- and third-largest holdings are in financials and consumer staples, at 22% and 20%, respectively.
While financials aren’t a word everyone wants to hear, consumer staples has gained favor with conservative investors.
Switzerland’s growth rate has held steady in recent years. Their GDP may pull back some this year though, to 2% in 2008 and 1.4% in 2009, so they’re definitely feeling the impact of the global slowdown. Their exports fell 4.4% year-over-year last month, which is the first decline since January 2005.
While it’s far below its 200-day moving average right now, EWL’s relative strength during this severe downturn could help it when we begin a recovery. The fund is down 35.2% year-to-date.
The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.