Add international ETFs to your investment mix
International ETFs (exchange-traded funds) can add another layer of diversification to your overall portfolio.
Generally, we suggest that you choose international investments for about 30% of the bond portion and 40% of the stock portion of your portfolio.
Get broad exposure to international markets
You can use just a few ETFs to invest overseas. Each of these ETFs gives you access to a wide variety of international bonds or stocks in a single, diversified investment.
Vanguard Total International Bond ETF holds more than 4,500 non-U.S. bonds.
Vanguard Total International Stock ETF holds more than 6,000 non-U.S. stocks.
How to choose an international ETF
There are a few ways you can invest in foreign markets:
- International ETFs invest only in foreign markets, excluding the United States.
- Global or world ETFs provide exposure to both foreign and U.S. markets.
- Regional ETFs invest primarily in a specific part of the world, like Europe or the Pacific region.
- Developed markets ETFs focus on foreign countries with proven economies, like Japan, France, and the United Kingdom.
- Emerging markets ETFs combine investments in countries that are considered to have "developing" economies, like India, Brazil, and China.
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A strategy intended to lower your chances of losing money on your investments.
Diversification can be achieved in many ways, including spreading your investments across:
- Multiple asset classes, by buying a combination of cash, bonds, and stocks.
- Multiple holdings, by buying many bonds and stocks (which you can do through a single ETF) instead of just one or a few.
- Multiple geographic regions, by buying a combination of U.S. and international investments.