Why invest internationally?

Increased diversification

Having a well-diversified portfolio is a goal that all investors can get behind. However, it doesn’t do much good if those investments tend to move in the same direction in response to changing market conditions.

U.S. and international stocks have gone through cycles of relative outperformance

Chart: U.S. and international returns comparison

Source: Thomson Reuters, as of 11/27/19. U.S. stocks represented by the S&P 500 Thomson Reuters; Int’l Developed stocks represented by MSCI EAFE + Canada Index (gross); Emerging Market stocks represented by MSCI Emerging Markets Index (gross). Index performance is for illustrative purposes only. Index performance does not reflect any management fees, transaction costs or expenses. Indexes are unmanaged and one cannot invest directly in an index. Past performance does not guarantee future results.

Combining U.S. and international investments can result in a better-diversified portfolio whose holdings don’t move in lockstep – so when some go up, others go down, and vice versa. The result: a potential reduction in the volatility (risk) of your total portfolio in the long-run.

Access to growth

International economies—both developed and emerging—may offer faster rates of economic growth than the United States. The process of developing the physical, commercial and financial infrastructure of an emerging economy can help generate wealth and launch dynamic companies with significant growth potential. This may result in opportunities for enhanced long-term returns versus U.S. equity investments.

How to invest internationally

There are a number of considerations to take into account when thinking about adding international investments to your portfolio. Do you want to invest in a specific country or in a broader set? Do you want to invest in developed or emerging markets? However you want to invest internationally, iShares has many ETFs to consider.


Dive deeper into
international markets

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Expand your global footprint using just a few funds with iShares’ international ETFs.

Developed markets

Seek a broad spectrum of international growth opportunities within developed markets. Featuring the most built out economies, developed markets comprise more than 70% of the world’s market capitalization.1

Emerging markets

Historically, emerging markets have offered investors diversification potential over the long-term. With over $140 billion in emerging markets assets, iShares offers one of the largest suites of emerging markets ETFs.2

With 66 funds, iShares offers the world’s broadest range of country ETFs. Go from idea to investment in a single trade across over 40 countries.

iShares Country ETFs Map

Learn more about
international opportunities

International Opportunities

Read the latest insights on international markets from iShares Investment Strategy


View the iShares International ETF lineup