Due to a slowdown in emerging markets and softer output in the U.S., the World Bank downgraded its outlook for global economic growth this year, lowering its forecast by 0.2% to 2.8%. The bank expects growth of 3.3% in 2016.
With regards to the U.S., the World Bank decreased its 2015 prospects by 0.5% to 2.7%, saying a brutal winter sapped output in Q1 despite the economy now gathering steam.
Schwab's fundamental index ETFs - Research Affiliates Fundamental Index (RAFI) - get a thumbs-up from Morningstar's Samuel Lee. They're cheap - 3-12 basis points less expensive than PowerShares' lineup of FTSE RAFI finds and lower than Schwab's earlier lineup of Russell Fundamental Index Funds - but they're not the cheapest (VLUE charges less, as does WisdomTree's offerings).
Lee, however, likes the Schwab offerings because of their exposure to smaller cap stocks, which historically have generated most of the value alpha. He also prefers RAFI's use of multiple valuation metrics as opposed to WisdomTree's reliance on either dividends or earnings. "Multiple metrics can cancel out some of the idiosyncratic noise attributable to a single metric, thereby producing cleaner exposure to the value factor."
The Market Vectors MSCI International Quality ETF (QXUS) and the MSCI International Quality Dividend ETF (QDXU) will both track the MSCI ACWI ex-U.S. Index which includes large and mid-cap stocks across 42 countries. Both funds have expense ratios of 0.45%.
The Market Vectors MSCI Emerging Markets Quality ETF (QEM) and the MSCI Emerging Markets Quality Dividend ETF will both track the MSCI Emerging Markets High Dividend Yield Index which includes large and mid-cap stocks across 19 emerging market countries.
Mebane Faber updates countries' cyclically-adjusted price-earnings ratios (CAPE) for the start of the year, and Greece, Russia, Ireland, Argentina, Hungary, Jordan, Austria, and Lebanon make the list of the cheapest - all under 10.
How did the CAPE do in 2013? If you bought the 5 highest-priced countries - Peru, Colombia, Indonesia, Mexico, and Chile - you would have lost 17.8%. If you bought the 5 cheapest - Greece, Ireland, Argentina, Russia, and Italy - you would have gained 20.7%.
These new additions to Charles Schwab's (SCHW) commission free resource platform brings the total funds offered up to 121 and expands the range of available asset categories to include global multi-asset income, long-term corporate bonds, fundamentally weighted indexes, and asset allocation ETFs.
Vice President of ETF platform management, Beth Flynn, stated “we’re pleased to be adding to the range of funds and asset categories that we can offer commission-free, and continue to believe that this is just the beginning.”
Six new Schwab (SCHW) Fundamental Index ETFs are set to begin trading next week, adding to the broker's 15 existing proprietary ETFs. Like the other 15, the new funds will be available to Schwab customers commission-free.
The U.S. Broad Market Index ETF (FNDB) will track the Russell Fundamental U.S. Index with expense ratio of 0.32%.
The U.S. Large Company Index ETF (FNDX) will track the Russell Fundamental U.S. Large Company Index with expense ratio of 0.32%.
The U.S. Small Company Index ETF (FNDA) will track the Russell Fundamental U.S. Small Company Index with expense ratio of 0.32%.
The International Large Company Index ETF (FNDF) will track the Russell Fundamental Developed ex-U.S. Large Company Index with expense ratio of 0.32%.
The International Small Company Index ETF (FNDC) will track the Russell Fundamental Developed ex-U.S. Small Company Index with expense ratio of 0.46%.
the Emerging Markets Large Company Index ETF (FNDE) will track the Russell Fundamental Emerging Markets Large Company Index with expense ratio of 0.46%.