This ETF offers exposure to the major developed markets outside of North America, including Western Europe, Japan, and Australia. As such, EFA is a cornerstone of many long-term portfolios, delivering access to an asset class that provides valuable geographic diversification to equity allocations. It should be noted that this fund is tilted heavily towards large cap stocks; the small cap focused SCZ can be an excellent complement to the mega caps in this fund to provide more balanced exposure. EFA offers unrivaled liquidity, but there are several alternatives that may be more appealing to certain investors. Rydex offers an equal-weighted EAFE ETF (EWEF), while PowerShares offers a RAFI-weighted option. But the biggest competition may be from Vanguard's VEA, which replicates the exact same index at a lower expense ratio and generally lower tracking error. That's a tough offer to beat, unless you have access to this ETF commission free or value liquidity (and related option liquidity) above all else; it's not surprising that EFA features much higher turnover, indicating a preference among more active traders.
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