Other countries currently in the Country First fray include some of last year’s worst performers as well as some ex-US standouts.

“Our current composite rankings have countries like Russia, Poland, Norway, the U.S., Sweden, Israel, Korea, Taiwan, Chile, Turkey, Hong Kong and Japan in the top 12,” said Garff. “It’s a pretty eclectic group.”

Eclectic and arguably, to some extent, controversial. Last year, the iShares MSCI Turkey ETF (NasdaqGM: TUR) plunged 41.50 percent amid a currency crisis and strained geopolitical relations with the U.S. Thanks to tumbling copper prices, among other factors, the iShares MSCI Chile Capped ETF (CBOE: ECH) shed 19 percent in 2018.

While 2019 is in its early innings, some of last year’s laggards are rebounding. The Turkish government has also implemented a new economic program with lower growth targets as a response to the current market environment. TUR is up 13.50 percent year-to-date while ECH is higher by 9.50 percent.

On the developed markets side of the ledger, Country First could benefit from rebounds by the iShares MSCI Sweden ETF (NYSEArca: EWD) and the iShares MSCI Israel Capped ETF (NYSEArca: EIS). Those two ETFs, both of which declined last year, are up an average of 5.40 percent to start 2019.

Country

Rank

Fundamental

Momentum

Risk

Value

Russia

1

6

6

30

1

Poland

2

26

9

6

6

Norway

3

16

15

1

21

United States

4

3

3

16

31

Sweden

5

10

19

3

23

Israel

6

24

2

18

18

Korea

7

13

32

13

4

Taiwan

8

14

14

17

17

Chile

9

12

24

15

15

Turkey

10

2

29

35

2

Hong Kong

11

27

12

8

16

Japan

12

21

13

23

9

Chart Courtesy: Accuvest Global Advisors

Following The Data

Another cornerstone of Accuvest’s Country First strategy is to not be reactive to events like Brexit or shifts in monetary policy by global central banks. Rather, Country First lets the data lead the strategy, which bolsters consistency.

“Clearly, the last 5 years have been a time to try to get the macro calls correct,” adds Garff. “That said, we don’t really focus on things like Brexit, or try to predict changes in monetary policy.   We have to let the data lead us to the best relative value opportunities.  That’s the only way for us to have a consistent, disciplined and repeatable process in what has become a pretty wild global equity market.”

Accuvest is a participant in the ETF Strategist Channel.

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