International stocks should occupy a place in any well-diversified portfolio. While there are many ways to get this exposure, a low-cost, broadly diversified index fund, like iShares Core MSCI Total International Stock ETF (IXUS), is a good place to start. It covers the entire investable market, enabling effective diversification across stocks, sectors, countries, and currencies. It makes no bets on any given market segment or style, leaving the price-discovery process to active investors, effectively free-riding on their collective opinions.
IXUS is a solid fund for broad exposure to stocks listed in foreign developed and emerging markets. Its well-diversified, market-cap-weighted portfolio and rock-bottom annual fee set it apart from its foreign large-blend Morningstar Category peers, and support a Morningstar Analyst Rating upgrade to Gold from Silver.
Daniel Sotiroff does not own shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar's editorial policies.