Some market observers believe that 2017 will be the year that European stocks will end a multi-year run of lagging their U.S. counterparts. Investors looking to play that trend have plenty of exchange traded funds to pick from.
The Vanguard FTSE Europe ETF (NYSEArca: VGK) is the largest dedicated Europe ETF trading in the U.S. Investors should note VGK is not a dedicated Eurozone ETF as highlighted by its hefty weights to the U.K., Switzerland and some Nordic countries.
In a post-Brexit environment, many immediately wrote-off European exposure in a knee-jerk reaction to the ongoing uncertainties. However, investors may miss out on cheap valuations in Europe-related exchange traded funds as a long-term investment opportunity.
The European Central Bank has been implementing a loose monetary policy that dragged yields down to record lows. Consequently, dividend-paying European stocks and related exchange traded funds (ETFs) may strengthen as more investors turn to riskier assets.
Like other developed markets, many European markets, both in and out of the Eurozone, are home to major equity benchmarks with higher dividend yields than the S&P 500. The yield disparity between European stocks and bonds has been widening as recent global uncertainty pushed investors out of the equities market and into safe-haven fixed-income assets.