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Melissa Bradley’s mission to help women and people of color build their businesses stems from the hardships she faced as a young entrepreneur.

The 52-year-old, co-founder of the mentorship tech platform Ureeka and a Georgetown University professor, started her first company shortly after she graduated from college 30 years ago. The business’s mission was to provide financial literacy services to parents.

Bradley says that when she went to a government agency for a loan, she was told she had three strikes against her: She was Black, she was a woman and the person said she didn’t know any successful Black women in finance.

Bradley, who recently participated in the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and CNBC + Acorns Invest in You’s “Rebuilding Better: A Virtual Town Hall for America’s Small & New Business Owners,” still managed to get her company off the ground. “I bootstrapped,” she recalled. “I kept my day job.”

She ultimately pivoted the business to provide billing and maintaining products and services for other financial advisors and, after a couple of years, sold the company.

“I was tired of the sexism and racism I was experiencing,” she said.

These days, Bradley is trying to bridge the gap between entrepreneurship and equity.

“All of these experiences made me realize that this is even harder for women and people of color because the market is not in our favor,” she said.

“It became super-important for me, even after I became an angel investor, to help people pave their way forward and really tackle the obstacles that are going to come their way.”

To that end, she co-founded 1863 Ventures, which accelerates what she calls “new majority” entrepreneurs — women and people of color — from high growth potential to high growth. These days her

A person drawing a line graph with the phrase "ETF" in large letters on a chalkboard

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A person drawing a line graph with the phrase “ETF” in large letters on a chalkboard

Vanguard founder Jack Bogle and Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.A, NYSE:BRK.B) CEO Warren Buffett shared a similar approach to investing, generally dismissing the idea of regular investors putting their money in international ETFs. 

“Bogle dismisses international diversification. Buffett, meanwhile, says an index fund portfolio of 90 percent S&P 500 and 10 percent Treasurys is probably good enough for most investors — that’s how he is recommending his wife invest. But the anti-international stance is the rare piece of investment advice over which many people dare to disagree with Bogle and Buffett,” CNBC contributor Elizabeth MacBride stated in April 2017. 

At the time of MacBride’s article, the average U.S. mutual fund investor had just 15.6% of their equity portfolio invested in international markets. They call this lack of exposure “home country bias.” 

  • Vanguard FTSE Developed Markets ETF (NYSEARCA:VEA)
  • iShares International Select Dividend ETF (Cboe BZX:IDV)
  • SPDR Portfolio World ex-US ETF (NYSEARCA:SPDW)
  • Schwab International Small-Cap Equity ETF (NYSEARCA:SCHC)
  • iShares MSCI Canada ETF (NYSEARCA:EWC)
  • WisdomTree International MidCap Dividend (NYSEARCA:DIM)
  • First Trust Emerging Markets AlphaDEX Fund (NYSEARCA:FEM)

If carried out for several decades, home country bias can act as a headwind to alpha-beating performance. To avoid getting left behind, here are seven international ETFs you can use to buck the trend. 

International ETFs to Buy: Vanguard FTSE Developed Markets ETF (VEA)

a person holding a sign: A person drawing a line graph with the phrase "ETF" in large letters on a chalkboard

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A person drawing a line graph with the phrase “ETF” in large letters on a chalkboard

If you’re looking to own a massive international ETF, you can’t get any larger than VEA. According to, VEA is the 8th-largest ETF in the U.S. It