Four More LatAm ETFs Your Broker Forgot to Mention
A while back, we scoured the universe of exchange traded funds offering exposure to Latin America to find some unheralded but potentially lucrative plays.
That list had a couple of Brazil-heavy funds and a couple of ex-Brazil plays. All experienced their share of struggles last year and all have looked pretty sporty this year. Our previous quartet of unheralded LatAm plays is as follows: The Global X FTSE Argentina 20 ETF (NYSE: ARGT), the iShares MSCI Brazil Small Cap Index Fund (NYSE: EWZS), the SPDR S&P Emerging Latin America ETF (NYSE: GML) and the Global X Andean FTSE 40 ETF (NYSE: AND), which was recently touted here.
Today, we're again hunting for funds that offer LatAm exposure beyond Brazil, but we're making an exception in one case.
First Trust AlphaDEX Brazil Fund (NYSE: FBZ) Ah, if it wasn't for that pesky expense ratio. Then we could get really excited about FBZ, easily one of the most unheralded Brazil-specific ETFs on the market. A familiar reason to give FBZ a look still lingers: Petrobras (NYSE: PBR). As in Petrobras can be a pain in the neck for investors compared to other integrated oil names. Brazil's state-run oil producer accounts for less than 3.4% of FBZ's weight.
FBZ still has room to run to its 52-week high. It just needs the volume to come in to support that move.
iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Latin America Index Fund (Nasdaq: EEML) No matter how addicted one is to ETFs, keeping up with the dizzying pace of new product introductions from iShares this year has been a daunting task.
Sort of lost in the shuffle has been the iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Latin America Index Fund, which at first glance, looks a lot like the iShares MSCI Brazil Index Fund (NYSE: EWZ) given the new ETF's heavy weights to Petrobras and Vale (NYSE: VALE). EEML debuted on January 18th and has raked in over $5 million in AUM since then. However, the fund also shares a lot in common with the iShares S&P Latin America 40 Index Fund (NYSE: ILF). That is to say don't own EEML and ILF at the same time.
First Trust Latin America AlphaDEX Fund (NYSE: FLN) We're going out on a limb and saying that the competition between ILF and the First Trust Latin America AlphaDEX Fund should be far more intense. Yes, FLN's expense ratio of 0.8% makes it a lot pricier than ILF. Both funds are heavy on Brazil and Mexico, but by assets, ILF is 75 times larger than FLN. That shouldn't always be the deciding factor. After all, FNL is up was up more than 20% year-to-date at the start of trading today compared to a gain of less than 15% for ILF.
EGShares Utilities GEMS (NYSE: UGEM) Come on, you may not want to admit it, but emerging markets are really the only way to get some excitement out of investing in utilities stocks. UGEM is not pure play on Latin America, but Brazil and Chile combine for 43% of the ETF's weight. Other country weights include India, Malaysia and Poland. Why consider UGEM? Because while Utilities Select SPDR (NYSE: XLU) is down year-to-date, UGEM is up almost 21%.
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