Best ETFs For Trading: International

ETFS

These 26 funds are the lowest in cost for positions held three months. 

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Funds holding foreign securities haven’t done terribly well in recent years, but if you want to bet on a reversal of fortune, the exchange-traded funds in this table are the cheap way to do it. You can hold a $10,000 position in any of them for three months at a cost of $10 or less. The best operators get your cost down to $2.

Costs reflect bid/ask spreads, expense ratios charged by the fund vendor and any offsets to those expenses from securities lending revenue.

3-month Holding Cost*
Liquidity Score
Ticker Exchange-traded fund
Diversified
VEA Vanguard FTSE Developed Markets $2.05 A
IEFA iShares Core MSCI EAFE 2.46 A+
VSS Vanguard FTSE All-Wld ex-US SmCp 2.51 B
VEU Vanguard FTSE All-Wld ex-US 3.40 A
SPDW SPDR Portfolio World ex-US 3.68 A
SCHF Schwab International Equity 3.96 A
VT Vanguard Total World Stock 4.04 A
IXUS iShares Core MSCI Total Intl Stk 4.60 A
VXUS Vanguard Total International Stock 5.40 A
SCZ iShares MSCI EAFE Small-Cap 5.85 A
EFAV iShares Edge MSCI Min Vol EAFE 7.62 A
ACWI iShares MSCI ACWI 8.94 A+
SCHC Schwab International Small-Cap Eq 8.95 B
IDEV iShares Core MSCI Intl Dev Mkts 8.96 B
EFA iShares MSCI EAFE 9.17 A+
Regional
VGK Vanguard FTSE Europe 2.00 A+
VPL Vanguard FTSE Pacific 3.89 A
IEUR iShares Core MSCI Europe 5.16 A
FEZ SPDR EURO Stoxx 50 8.48 A
Emerging
IEMG iShares Core MSCI Emerging Markets 1.92 A+
VWO Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets 4.62 A
SCHE Schwab Emerging Markets Equity 6.76 A
SPEM SPDR Portfolio Emerging Markets 9.20 B
Other
BNDX Vanguard Total International Bond 4.64 A
VNQI Vanguard Global ex-US Real Est 5.95 A
THD iShares MSCI Thailand Capped 8.81 A

*Cost of a $10,000 position held for three months. Reflects bid/ask spread, expense ratio and cost offset from securities lending.

Data sources: Morningstar, Bloomberg, fund distributors

Over longer holding periods, different ETFs rise to the top in cost efficiency. To see rankings for ten-year investments, see Best ETFs for Investors 2018.

For links to the three-month scores in different categories, see Best ETFs for Trading.

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