Looking for broad global diversification? Check out the newly launched Vanguard Total World Stock Index ETF (VT).
The fund measures the market performance of large- and mid-capitalization stocks of companies located around the world and includes approximately 2,900 stocks of companies located in 47 countries, including both developed and emerging markets.
The FTSE All-World Index serves as the fund’s underlying index and the annual expense ratio is a modest 0.25 percent.
Through March 31, 2008, the largest markets covered in the Index were the United States (41 percent), the United Kingdom (9 percent), Japan (9 percent), France (9 percent) and Germany (5 percent).
Two other foundational funds include the Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF (VTI) and the Vanguard FTSE All World ex-US ETF (VEU).
The new Vanguard Total World Stock ETF goes up directly against the iShares MSCI ACWI Index Fund (ACWI) which holds 700 securities and charges annual expenses of 0.35 percent.
Northern Trust is expected to launch their NETS Dow Jones Wilshire Global Total Market Index Fund. Since the underlying index covers more than 50 countries and over 10,000 securities, the actual ETF will probably use a sampling strategy to mimic the performance of the index.
Ron DeLegge is the San Diego-based editor of www.etfguide.com.