Doug Fabian

Six of the 10 most populated countries in the world are in Asia, and the continent holds more than half of the world’s population. The second- and third-largest economies in the world, as measured by Gross Domestic Product (GDP), also are in Asia. The mix of frontier, emerging and developed economies in Asia creates a geographic region with an enticing combination of raw materials, markets to sell goods and both cheap and skilled labor. Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that you can use to invest in Asia include: iShares Asia / Pacific Dividend 30 Index Fund (DVYA), SPDR S&P Emerging Asia Pacific ETF (GMF), SPDR S&P Small Cap Emerging Asia Pacific ETF (GMFS) and FTSE ASEAN 40 ETF (ASEA).

This set of funds is tied to a region that offers big economic potential. The funds also are among a wide variety of country-specific and Asia-area offerings.

DVYA seeks to track the results, before fees and expenses, of a non-diversified index of high-dividend-paying equities in Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand and Singapore. Its top 10 holdings make up 44.1% of the fund’s total assets; the top holding is Telecom Corporation of New Zealand Ltd. This fund is most heavily invested in communication services, 21.62%, and financial services, 21.18%. DVYA has gained 8.32% this year, and it offers a yield of 5.18%.

GMF seeks to replicate the performance, before fees and expenses, of a market-capitalization-weighted index of emerging markets in the Asia-Pacific region. Its top 10 holdings make up 21.24% of GMF’s total assets; its top holding is Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd. This non-diversified fund is heavily invested in the technology sector, 26.48%, and financial services, 22.46%. Year-to-date, GMF has gained 10.10%. It has a small yield of 1.48%.

Doug Fabian

Doug Fabian is the editor of the monthly investment newsletter Successful Investing and is the host of the syndicated radio show, "Doug Fabian's Wealth Strategies."