Last year was certainly a good year for the U.S. stock market. The SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust SPY 0.01% finished 2016 up 11.2 percent on the year. However, as happy as U.S. investors were in 2016, stocks in other countries performed even better.
One of the major benefits of the rise in ETF options is that investors have easy ways to invest in a specific investment idea and maintain diversity at the same time. There are dozens of ETFs that allow traders to invest in a specific country. In 2016, a handful of those country-specific ETFs put U.S. stock market returns to shame.
The top-performing country ETF of 2016 was the ProShares Ultra MSCI Brazil Capped UBR 0.79%, which jumped 144.1 percent on the year. Brazil investors cheered the impeachment of former president Dilma Rousseff on corruption charges. Conservative vice president Michel Temers rise to power ushered in a hope that meaningful economic and political reforms could get Brazil back on track.
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