What Is The Best US Stocks ETF For Europeans (UCITS)?

There are a lot of US stocks ETFs for Europeans. We show you the very best US stocks ETF that you can buy as a European. We also show you the 7 important requirements for picking a good ETF for Europeans.

After having researched 269 European ETFs that target US stocks we have found what we consider the best ETF suited for most European investors.

Article contents

So what is the best US stocks ETF for Europeans (UCITS)?

The best US stock ETF for most people is iShares Core S&P 500 UCITS ETF (Acc). ISIN: IE00B5BMR087.

There are other US stock ETFs for Europeans, but there is only a handful that is worth considering.

Why should you choose iShares Core S&P 500 UCITS ETF?

When you pick a good ETF as a European you need to look at 7 things:

  1. The expense ratio for the ETF needs to be low. The expense ratio is always expressed as a percentage. The rate denotes how much of your total investment in that ETF that you need to pay the provider of the ETF. This should be below 0.30% and preferably lower than that.

  2. The ETF should invest passively. It should follow a well-established index from a reputable provider like MSCI or FTSE. Passively managed funds typically beat actively managed funds on expenses and investment returns.

  3. The ETF needs to be highly liquid. This means that the difference between the buy and sell price (bid/ask) for the ETF is small. This is called the price spread.

  4. The ETF needs to have a large number of assets under management. This is abbreviated as AUM. This guarantees that the ETF doesn’t close in the near future and is also an indicator of low price spreads.

  5. The ETF needs to follow its index without a large tracking error. If the ETF has a large tracking error compared to its index we are not getting what we are paying for. A large tracking error is also an indication that the ETF is executing poorly on its replication of the index that it is tracking which is not desirable.

  6. The index that the ETF tracks needs to represent and replicate the desired asset class with high fidelity. This means we expect a large-cap growth ETF to contain only large-cap growth stocks and continue to do so without style drift.

  7. The ETF needs to be UCITS approved. This is a European regulation that enables you to buy the ETF in Europe.

When you are comparing the 7 requirements to each other the most important thing to focus on is the expense ratio, as that is the most reliable indicator of how well the ETF will perform in the future.

The iShares Core S&P 500 UCITS ETF fulfills all the above requirements. It is cheap. It tracks the S&P 500 stock index with little tracking error. It is highly liquid with a large AUM.

What is the historical return of US stock stocks?

Here is the historical return of US stock.

Portfolio data was last updated on 11th of August 2023, 08:35 ET

Time PeriodUS Stocks (%)
CAGR since 198910.19
CAGR 10 years12.08
CAGR 5 years8.71
CAGR 3 years6.98
Last year-19.51
Return YTD16.6
Performance for US stocks Stocks

Here is what the table is showing you

Year to date: This shows what the portfolio has returned this year starting from the first trading day of the year.

10 Year return: This shows the compounded annualized growth rate over a ten-year period. The current year is excluded from calculations.

CAGR since 1989: This shows the compounded annualized growth rate since 1989. The current year is excluded from calculations.

Expense ratio: This shows the cost of holding the portfolio if you were to construct the portfolio using the proposed ETFs.

Yield: This is the expected dividend yield of the portfolio.

Please note that past performance is not a guarantee of future returns.

How does a basket of US stocks compare to the best portfolios?

Below you can see the returns of the best portfolios that we have benchmarked.

NameSee PortfolioYear to dateReturn in 202210 year returnCAGR since 1989 (%)Draw Down
Ben Stein RetirementComing soon!4.05-18.039.4610.8-35.42
Paul Merriman 4-Fund-PortfolioComing soon!9.22-11.9811.2510.38-35.26
S&P 500Coming soon!17.09-18.1912.5210.28-37.63
Paul Merriman Target Date Portfolio (25 year old)Coming soon!6.63-13.088.2810.2-36.46
Scott Adams Dilbert PortfolioComing soon!10.87-18.757.010.19-44.88
JL Collins, Simple Path To Wealth, Wealth Building PortfolioComing soon!16.6-19.5112.0810.19-37.0
American Institute of Individual Investors (AAII) PortfolioComing soon!3.74-13.919.710.16-40.85
Paul Merriman Target Date Portfolio (35 year old)Coming soon!6.57-13.228.3110.08-36.35
Assetbuilder.com Portfolio 14Coming soon!6.95-16.947.599.99-37.91
Balanced Portfolio 90/10Coming soon!14.83-18.8711.039.84-32.78
The 10 Best Performing Portfolios That We Have Benchmarked

What are US stocks?

US stocks are quite simply the companies that are listed on exchanges in the USA. This includes widely known companies such as Apple, Google and VISA, and many others. Some of the most well-known companies in the world reside in the USA.

There are a few widely followed indices that track US stocks. We’ll highlight two.

  1. The S&P 500 index. This index contains the 500 largest companies in the USA. When you invest in an ETF that tracks this index you gain exposure to 85% of all market capitalization of the USA.

  2. The MSCI USA index This index contains all the investable stocks in the USA. It is market capitalization weighting which means large companies take up a larger proportion than small companies. The biggest company, Apple, takes up 6.45% of the index while Johnson & Johnson only takes up 1.20%.

Because the MSCI USA index and others like it are market capitalization indicates the difference in investment return between the S&P 500 and an all-market index is very small.

The primary factor then is the price of the ETF.

What other US stock ETFs should you consider as European?

There are many US stock ETFs. In addition to the requirements listed above, you need to keep a keen eye on the index that the ETF used for tracking.

In the following, we have listed what we consider some good alternatives to **iShares Core S&P 500 UCITS ETF

  • iShares Core S&P 500 UCITS ETF (Acc). ISIN: IE00B5BMR087. This super cheap ETF tracks the S&P 500 index. Our favorite ETF for US stock exposure to stocks. It has an expense ratio of only 0.07%.

  • Xtrackers MSCI USA UCITS ETF, ISIN: IE00BJ0KDR00. This ETF tracks the MSCI USA index and is slightly broader than the S&P 500. Its expense ratio is also low at 0.07%

  • iShares MSCI USA SRI UCITS ETF USD (Acc), ISIN: IE00BYVJRR92. This ETF is sustainable and tracks the MSCI USA SRI Select Reduced Fossil Fuels index. The expense ratio is 0.20%.

How do I build a great portfolio with ETFs?

A high-performing portfolio is constructed by combining different asset classes.

If you want a shot at outperforming the market you need to apply the following recipe to your investing strategy.

  1. Start with adding a broad US-based stock ETF.

  2. Then, add exposure to international stocks. This is usually divided into developed countries and emerging markets. Developed markets include Europe, Canada, Japan, Australia, and small parts of Asia. Emerging markets include Eastern Europe, Africa, most of Asia, and South America.

  3. Then tilt (overweight) your portfolio towards high performing asset classes like value and small-cap. Value stocks and smaller stocks have historically outpaced larger growth stocks. This has not been true in the past 10 years.

What is the best ETF for global stocks to buy for Europeans?

The best ETF for global stocks to buy for Europeans is Lyxor Core MSCI World (DR) UCITS ETF (Acc), ISIN: LU1781541179.