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Foreign ETF Advantages and Disadvantages

The Pros and Cons of International ETFs


While the US has a multitude of ETFs to add to your investment portfolio, there is a plethora of foreign country and region ETFs as well. However, before you invest in a foreign ETF, you should be aware of the risks and benefits.

1. Advantage: Foreign Exposure

If you feel there are some foreign regions that are potential growth areas or emerging markets, a country ETF may be the perfect asset to increase your international exposure.

2. Disadvantage: Taxes

ETFs are known for their tax advantages. However, every country has different tax laws, so there may be particular foreign ETFs that are not a good fit for your etf trading strategy if they have a negative effect on your tax return. Make sure you research all tax laws of the region for your ETF before you make the investment.

3. Advantage: Diversification

If your portfolio is heavy on domestic investments, some foreign exposure may help balance your overall stratagem. Adding a country or region ETF to your portfolio can expand your investment horizon.

4. Disadvantage: Currency Rates

While adding a foreign ETF may be a boon to your portfolio, you have to factor in the currency rates of your ETF region. If currency rates are skewed, a country ETF may not be the best match for your portfolio.

5. Advantage: Risk Management

If your portfolio or business has exposure to a certain region, investing in a foreign ETF may be a good way to reduce that risk and protect yourself against negative developments in certain countries.

6. Disadvantage: Flexibility

While the US has a lot of different ETF products to add to your portfolio, the selection may be sparse for other countries. Many regions don’t have a lot of ETFs, and they aren’t always to most liquid investments. Trading activity for foreign ETFs can be limited and in turn limit your investment strategy.

While foreign ETFs can help minimize risk, gain international exposure, and diversify your portfolio, you have to weigh the disadvantages of region ETFs before you get started and make your final decision to include them in your portfolio.

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