Exchange-traded funds offer a convenient way to invest in sectors or niches that interest you. If you want to add a bunch of foreign stocks to your portfolio but don't have the time or expertise to hand-pick a few, the RevenueShares ADR ETF
Unlike many international funds, this ETF weights its holdings by revenue, not market capitalization. That results in some smaller companies having more influence on it. It also doesn't base itself on the MSCI EAFE index, which focuses mostly on Europe, the Far East, and Asia. It casts a wider net.
ETFs often sport lower expense ratios than their mutual fund cousins. The RevenueShares ETF's expense ratio -- its annual fee -- is a relatively low 0.49%. The ETF itself is relatively small, too, so if you're thinking of buying, beware of occasionally large spreads between its bid and ask prices. Consider using a limit order if you want to buy in.
This ETF has performed reasonably, but it's also very young, with just a few years on the books. On average, it outperformed the S&P 500 over the past three years, but as with most investments, of course, we can't expect outstanding performances in every quarter or year. Investors with conviction need to wait for their holdings to deliver.
With a reasonable turnover rate of 37%, this fund isn't frantically and frequently rejiggering its holdings, as many funds do.
What's in it?
Plenty of foreign-based companies had strong performances over the past year. PetroChina
Other companies didn't do as well last year but could see their fortunes change in the coming years. Steel company ArcelorMittal
The big picture
A well-chosen ETF can grant you instant diversification across any industry or group of companies -- and make investing in and profiting from it that much easier.