European ETFs Flying Under The Radar

The S&P 500 hit a new all-time high on Monday, and the NASDAQ is trading at the best level in 13 years.

Both indices are in the midst of a strong bull market -- but there are other countries around the world also doing well, that are often overlooked by investors.

The iShares MSCI Denmark Capped ETF (NYSE:EDEN) has been on a tear lately, as it is in the midst of a nine-session winning streak. The ETF is up a mouth-dropping 13 percent this year and is trading at its highest price ever.

EDEN is a basket of 38 stocks -- with the largest holding, Novo Nordisk (NYSE:NVO), making up 24 percent of the portfolio. The 30 percent gain in NVO in 2014 has been the catalyst for the ETFs strong performance. The ETF also has a large presence in the industrials and financials.

Another small European country having a good year is Austria. TheiShares MSCI Austria Capped ETF (NYSE:EWO) is up six percent this year, and is breaking out to its best level since 2011. The ETF has yet to recover its losses from the financial crisis, however, and must more than double to get back to the 2007 high. The 41 percent in the financial stocks is the reason EWO took such a big hit in 2008, and why it has not yet been able to rally back to the old highs.

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The largest holding, Erste Group Bank (OTC:EBKDY), is also hitting a new multi-year high and, with 14 percent in the stock, it has been a driver of higher prices for EWO.

Ireland was known as one of the economically-fragile "PIIGS" countries during the financial crisis, but they were also one of the nations to recover the quickest. The iShares MSCI Ireland Capped ETF (NYSE:EIRL) is up 11.5 percent in 2014, and is trading at its highest price on record. An allocation of 23 percent in the top holding, CRH Plc (NYSE:CRH), has been boosting the ETF to new highs. The building material company is up 16 percent this year and trading at the best level since 2010. The ETF is heavily invested in the materials, consumer staples, and industrial sectors.

The iShares MSCI Switzerland Capped ETF (NYSE:EWL) is only up 2 two percent in 2014, but it is trading at a new all-time high. The health care, financials and consumer staples sectors make up over 70 percent of the portfolio of the ETF. The three top holdings are large-cap names that most investors are aware of, and they make up 45 percent of the allocation. They are Nestle SA (OTC:NSRGY),Roche (OTC:RHHBY), andNovartis (NYSE:NVS).

While it is risky to invest in a single country ETF versus an ETF that encompasses a variety of countries, investors do have options. A strategy that includes building a portfolio of several international country ETFs is a way for investors to choose which parts of the world their portfolio has exposure to at any given time.

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