Best Global ETFs for 2024

Jitanchandra Solanki
11 Min read

Some investors prefer to spread their capital over as many different sectors as possible. Global ETFs allow investors to invest in numerous companies in a given sector, like infrastructure or healthcare, across the globe. This article explains what global ETFs are, provides a list of the best global ETFs to watch, and discusses some pros and cons of investing in them.

What are Global ETFs?

An Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF) is an investable asset that combines different stocks into one asset. An investor who buys an ETF will obtain a proportional stake in all the underlying equities. One of the main benefits of buying ETFs, as opposed to individual stocks, is diversification. By owning a wide range of different stocks, investors protect themselves against downside risks, such as when one company goes bankrupt.

In contrast to many ETFs that limit themselves to companies in a given country, the best global ETFs by and large ‘forget’ about national borders. Instead, many of the best global ETFs focus on a given economic sector, like infrastructure, or have specific inclusion criteria, like companies that are dividend aristocrats. An infrastructure global ETF will buy companies that operate in the infrastructure sector from all across the globe.

Best Global ETFs to Watch

The following list is a good starting point for investors who are performing their own research about the best global ETFs. Whatever constitutes the ‘best’ investment is not a universal answer and will depend on a given investor’s personal situation. 

  1. iShares Global Corp Bond ETF - Fund which broadly invests in corporate bonds globally 
  2. iShares Global Clean Energy ETF - Clean energy companies from developing and emerging economies 
  3. SPDR S&P Global Dividend Aristocrats ETF - Fund which invests in companies with a strong dividend record 
  4. iShares Global Infrastructure ETF - Infrastructure companies from developing and emerging economies 
  5. iShares Global Healthcare ETF CFD - Pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and healthcare providers across the globe 

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iShares Global Corp Bond ETF 

The iShares Global Corp Bond ETF (CRPA.UK) is a broadly diversified corporate bond ETF. When an investor buys a bond from a corporation or government, they in fact provide capital in the form of a loan. The bond issuer, being the corporation or government, pays interest payments to the bondholder. This ETF allows the investor to obtain exposure to investment-grade bonds from many companies across the world.

The largest capital positions of the iShares Global Corp Bond ETF are in order: Bank of America Corp (~1.6%), JPMorgan Chase & Co (~1.5%), Morgan Stanley (~1.2%), Wells Fargo & Company (~1.1%), Goldman Sachs Group Inc (~1%), Citigroup (1%), HSBC Holdings PLC (~0.9%), AT&T Inc (~0.9%), Verizon Communications Inc (~0.8%), UBS Group AG (~0.8%). It is important to note that these holdings are in the form of bonds, not stocks.

The iShares Global Corp Bond ETF includes bonds from companies belonging to many different sectors, including banking (~27%), followed by non-cyclical consumer goods (~13%). The rest of the fund’s capital is divided among cyclical consumer goods (8%), communication (7%), and electrics (7%), followed by a number of other sectors with increasingly smaller allocations.

iShares Global Clean Energy ETF

The iShares Global Clean Energy ETF (DNRG) inverts into companies in the clean energy sector, specifically those that produce clean energy, or provide equipment or technology for clean energy production. Companies from developed countries as well as emerging markets, are included. Companies that exceed a certain threshold of carbon emissions are excluded from this ETF. This ETF is suitable for investors looking to invest in the clean energy sector with a medium to long-term investment horizon.

The largest capital allocations of the iShares Global Clean Energy ETF are in order: Enphase Energy Inc (8.3%), First Solar Inc (~7.3%), Vestas Wind Systems (~5.6%), Oersted (~4.8%), Nextracker Inc Class A (~4.5%), China Yangtze Power LTD A (~4.3%), Chubu Electric Power Inc (~3%), Suzlon Energy LTD (~2.9%), Solaredge Technologies Inc (~2.8%), and EDP Energias de Portugal SA (~2.7%).

The economic sectors represented within the iShares Global Clean Energy ETF are in order: utilities (~44%), industrials (~27%), and IT (~23%). Materials (~3%) and Energy (~1.6%) account for most of the remaining capital.

SPDR S&P Global Dividend Aristocrats ETF

The SPDR S&P Global Dividend Aristocrat ETF (GLDV.UK) follows the S&P Global Dividend Aristocrats index. This global ETF comprises the highest dividend-yielding companies within the S&P Global Broad Market Index that have maintained or increased their dividend payments for the last 10 consecutive years or more. This fund aims to give investors exposure to companies that have a track record of high dividend payments from around the world.

The 10 largest holdings in the SPDR S&P Global Dividend Aristocrats ETF are in order: Seagate Technology Holdings PLC Ord (~2.8%), Adecco Ord (~2.7%), Universal Ord (~2.7%), Lenovo Grp. LTD (~2.6%), A2A Spa (~2.6%), HNI Ord (~2.4%), Verizon Communications Ord (~2.3%), Digital Realty REIT (~2.3%), LyondellBasell INDU-CL A (~2.2%), Boston Properties REIT (~2.1%).

The main economic sectors covered by the SPDR S&P Global Dividend Aristocrats ETF are: financials (~23%), real estate (~16%), industrials (~15%), and technology (~10%). Utilities (~8%), basic materials (~7%), and consumer staples (~7%), among others, make up for the rest of the fund’s capital.

iShares Global Infrastructure ETF

The iShares Global Infrastructure ETF (INFR) is a geographically broadly diversified fund that invests in the infrastructure sector. It includes companies from both developed and emerging economies. Companies in this sector are engaged in the business of developing, maintaining, and operating infrastructure of all kinds, like bridges or roads, or public buildings, like government offices or school buildings.

The 10 companies accounting for most of the capital in the iShares Global Infrastructure ETF are in order: Union Pacific Corp (6.3%), Nextera Energy Inc (~4.7%), American Tower Reit Corp (~3.73%), Canadian Pacific Kansas City LTD (~3.3%), Canadian National Railway (3.1%), CSX Corp (~3%), Southern (~3), Enbridge Inc (~3), Duke Energy Corp (~3%), Norfolk Southern Corp (~2.4%).

The main economic sectors invested in by the iShares Global Infrastructure ETF are utilities (~51%), industrials (~27%), energy (~13%), and real estate (~7%).

iShares Global Healthcare ETF

The iShares Global Healthcare ETF (IXJ.US) is a geographically diversified fund that invests in healthcare companies around the globe. The healthcare sector comprises pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device companies, as well as companies that directly provide healthcare.

The iShares Global Healthcare ETF has the following 10 companies as its top capital positions: Eli Lilly (~8%), UnitedHealth Group Inc (~6.5%), Novo Nordisk Class B (~5.3%), Johnson & Johnson (~5.1%), Merck & Co Inc (~4.3%), Abbvie Inc (~4.2%)< Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc (~2.9%), Novartis AG (~2.8%), Abbott Laboratories (~2.6%), AstraZeneca PLC (~2.6%).

The iShares Global Healthcare ETF is roughly two-thirds composed of companies in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and life sciences subsectors. The other third comprises companies in the healthcare equipment and services subsector. 

With Admirals, you can trade the iShares Global Healthcare ETF CFD. CFDs, or contracts for difference, allow you to trade long and short a market. Learn more in the How to Trade CFDs article. 

How to Invest in Global ETFs

With Admirals, you can trade and invest in numerous stocks and global ETFs from all around the world, with the following commissions:

  • UK stocks and ETFs – 0.1% of trade value, 1 GBP minimum commission.
  • US stocks and ETFs – From $0.02 per share, 1 USD minimum commission.
  • France/Germany stocks and ETFs - 0.1% of trade value, 1 EUR minimum commission.

You can learn more about trading and investing commissions on the Admirals Contract Specification page. You can search for global stocks and ETFs from the MT5 web platform and invest in four steps:

  1. Open an account with Admirals.
  2. Click on Trade on one of your live or demo trading accounts to open the web platform.
  3. Search for your symbol at the top of the search window.
  4. Click Create New Order in the bottom window to open a trading ticket to input your trade size, stop loss and take profit level.
Source: Example of a chart and trading ticket from the Trade.MT5 web trading platform. Illustrative purposes only. Date captured: 29 February 2024.


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Conclusion: Pros & Cons of Global ETFs

One of the main benefits of investing in the best global ETFs is diversification. A diversified portfolio spreads its capital among many different companies belonging to diverse economic sectors and economies. This means that should one company fail, the portfolio’s performance is less strongly affected, protecting the investor against downside risk.

Another advantage of investing in the best global ETFs is accessibility. A portfolio composed mostly of ETFs is usually less complex than one composed of dozens of individual stocks. This means less upkeep for the investor who tries to keep up to date with developments affecting single companies or sectors.

As a downside, the best global ETFs by definition invest in companies from different sectors, which are traded in different currencies. This exposes the investor to currency risk. An investor, who owns a stock belonging to an overseas company that has grown considerably, might see their profits reduced due to the currency the respective stock trades in devaluing against the investor’s native currency.

Another possible downside of the best global ETFs is that of market risk. Depending on the specific global ETF, the investor’s exposure to a given nation could be incommensurate in proportion to the country’s economy on the world stage, whether it be emerging or developed.

Continue Reading:

FAQs on Best Global ETFs


Q. What is the best global equity ETF?

A. Whichever ETF is the ‘best’ global equity ETF will differ on an investor-by-investor basis. The iShares Global Corp Bond ETF, for example, gives investors exposure to corporate bonds, and the iShares Global Healthcare ETF instead focuses on healthcare companies. Investors can pick and choose their preferred flavor of the best global ETFs that best fit their portfolio and financial situation.


Q. What is the best global index fund?

A. Many of the best global ETFs are index funds, like the SPDR Global Dividend Aristocrats ETF, which tracks the S&P Global Dividend Aristocrats Index. Choosing among the many varieties is best done after performing the necessary research on the available options and how they suit a given investment portfolio.



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4. The Analysis is prepared by an independent analyst (Jitanchandra Solanki, hereinafter “Author”) based on personal estimations.

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