ETF Trends
ETF Trends

Investors were partial to ex-US developed markets ETFs in 2017, a theme that sent the assets under management tallies soaring for an array of funds, including the Vanguard FTSE Developed Markets ETF (NYSEARCA: VEA).

VEA follows the FTSE Developed All Cap ex US Index. Unlike the MSCI developed markets options, this FTSE index includes Canada exposure, along with major markets of Europe and Pacific regions. Canada makes up 8.0% of the fund’s underlying portfolio. Last year, only two ETFs saw greater inflows than VEA.

“VEA allocates 22.2% of its weight to Japan. The Japanese market is widely viewed as inexpensive relative to U.S. stocks. Europe, another region attractively valued when measured against the S&P 500, accounts for almost 54% of this Vanguard ETF’s roster,” reports InvestorPlace. “VEA, which holds over 3,800 stocks, has a price-to-earnings ratio of 16 and a return on equity of 11.1%. The ETF surged 26.4%, outperforming the S&P 500 for the first time since 2012.”

The European economy is steadily improving, supported by a wide range of indicators, which may lead to above average growth for the remainder of the year and into the next. Eurozone growth has accelerated, with growth and business indicators showing positive results.

VEA charges 0.07% per year, or $7 on a $10,000 investment, making it one of the least expensive international ETFs on the market. However, some rival funds have comparable or lower fees. That could be a sign that, in the future, Vanguard could reduce VEA’s expense ratio.

VEA “owns more than 3,600 stocks across foreign developed markets and weights them by market capitalization,” said Morningstar in a recent note. “This approach promotes low turnover and skews the portfolio toward large multinational firms with global operations, such as Nestle, Toyota, and Novartis. Since the fund’s inception in 2007, its turnover ratio has averaged 8%, which helps keep transaction costs low. In contrast, the foreign large-blend Morningstar Category’s average turnover was greater than 50% in the most recent year.”

The median market value of VEA components is $28.8 billion. The ETF has $66.7 billion in assets under management, making it one of the largest US-listed ETFs, regardless of asset class followed.

For more information on international markets, visit our global ETFs category.