A penny saved is a penny earned. Investors seeking to diversify their investment portfolios should consider broad international exchange traded funds, and a number of offerings also come with extremely cheap fees.
In a recent article, we highlighted a group of the cheapest U.S. stock ETFs on the market, but investors shouldn’t neglect international exposure either. International ETFs may provide a cheap portfolio diversifier for investors who are heavy on U.S. equities and access overseas growth opportunities.
“Foreign developed-markets stocks can offer reasonable diversification benefits to U.S. investors,” according to Morningstar analyst Thomas Boccellari. “The fund’s broad portfolio may help diversify local-market, interest-rate, and currency risk. For example, the risk of interest rates rising may be smaller in Europe and Japan than in the United States.”
However, the potential investors need to be aware that these funds do not hedge currency risk, so a stronger dollar or weaker foreign currencies could slightly weigh on returns.
Through ETFs, people are able to access the far corners of the global markets at a low cost. For instance, U.S.-listed ETFs have an average expense ratio of 0.61%, and the average international ex-US ETF shows a 0.53%, according to XTF data. The cheapest international equity ETFs all come with expense ratios lower than 0.15%.