by: Doug Fabian
Van Eck Global, the parent company of Van Eck Market Vectors, has a long tradition in international investing and has grown its exchange-traded fund (ETF) offerings to 50 funds, with roughly 40% focused on international investments. Its international ETFs go beyond the usual ones featuring Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC), as well as European Union countries, and include some smaller developed and developing markets, such as Israel, Poland, Indonesia and Colombia.
The firm became a trendsetter in 1955 when it offered one of the first international mutual funds and followed suit in 1987 by launching one of the first global bond funds. In addition, the firm has a long history in the hard asset classes, particularly gold. Market Vectors created the first U.S. gold-mining shares mutual fund in 1968, rode the gold boom of the 1970s and created the first gold-mining shares ETF in 2006, Gold Miners ETF (GDX).
GDX is presented as a hard-asset hedge against the volatility of financial markets. It provides exposure to a global market of publicly traded gold mining companies. (If you believe in the small-cap advantage, you may be more interested in the Junior Gold Miners ETF (GDXJ), which focuses on small- and medium-capitalization firms in gold or silver mining.) So far this year, GDX has gained 14.91%, even after a pullback from highs in March and April that leave it below its 50-day moving average. It issues dividends annually, and its current yield is 0.79%.
Van Eck Market Vectors’ array of hard-asset and internationally focused ETFs makes it a potential source of diversity in your portfolio. Diversity is important in times like now, when the U.S. stock market is just treading water on the average investment.
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In case you missed them, I encourage you to read my articles from previous weeks about ETF providers Global X, Deutsche Bank, ALPS, Direxion, Fidelity, Charles Schwab, Guggenheim, PowerShares, WisdomTree, First Trust, ProShares, Vanguard, iShares and State Street. I also invite you to share your thoughts below.