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Hedged or unhedged Developed markets ETF in taxable?

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  • Hedged or unhedged Developed markets ETF in taxable?

    Read a blog post from betterment recently, explaining why they do NOT use currency-hedged ETFs for stocks, but they do for bonds.

    and then some point & counterpoint interview:

    The gist of their argument comes to expenses.  I currently have DXGE (ER = 0.46) and HGEU (ER = 0.29), both of which I can get from Schwab w/o additional trade fees.  Over the past 1-2 years, they have done OK certainly better than unhedged counterparts given Euro ~ Dollar moves.  I do not have a crystal ball, but with interest rates going up in the US and negative in many parts of Europe, all the uncertainty about the dissolution of the EU, I am a bit antsy about not hedging at least somewhat -- and yes only a little, since I index my entire tax-protected portfolio, which for Europe & developed markets is almost entirely VEA with a sprinkling of VSS and these are NOT currency hedged.

    With the ER on my hedged ETFs being not too bad, any thoughts?

  • #2
    I go unhedged. In addition to the cost, part of the diversification benefit of investing internationally is the investment in different/local currency. While hedged has worked better in recent years, over time one would expect it to even out.