Hougan: 10 Great ETFs You Don't Know (Part 1)

April 25, 2014

Forgotten ETF #6: iShares MSCI Ireland Capped (EIRL | D-73)

AUM: $176M
ER: 0.50 percent

I’m of Irish heritage, so the iShares MSCI Ireland Capped ETF holds a special place in my heart. But it also holds a special place in a lot of people’s portfolio: Stocks in the great Republic of Ireland are up 84 percent in the past two years, making it the best-performing of the PIIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain) over that time frame.

As an ETF, EIRL leaves a bit to be desired. It has inconsistent tracking performance and trades lightly. Its portfolio is massively concentrated in just 20 names, with a huge weight (22 percent) in the construction-focused CRH Group.

But Ireland is the first PIIGS country to exit the eurozone bailout process, and business confidence is rising. It’s easy to overlook Ireland as investors flock to sexy Spain and interesting Italy, but recent returns suggest this could be a mistake.

Note: The good news in Ireland may be priced in. The stocks in the portfolio trade at an incredible P/E of 70. But if the market stumbles a bit or earnings accelerate a lot, it could be one to watch.


Charts courtesy of StockCharts.com

This blog will continue next week with a list of five more forgotten ETFs to watch.

At the time this article was written, the author held no positions in the securities mentioned. Contact Matt Hougan at [email protected].


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