Exchange-traded funds focused on international holdings continue to take the investment world by storm. In the past 12 months, total ETF assets rose 38% to $335.1 billion, while global ETFs almost doubled to $82.8 billion, according to the Investment Company Institute.

With low expense ratios-about 0.53%, compared to 1.68% for international mutual funds-and greater liquidity, international ETFs have become the vehicle of choice for those who hope to protect a portion of their portfolios from the ups and downs of U.S. markets, by investing abroad.

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