As individual investors, we are always careful of what we invest in and what investing vehicle we use. We try to filter the business media noise or recommendations from analyst or fund house marketing data. In last few years, we have been told that the simple and easiest way to invest in new growing emerging markets is use emerging market ETFs and/or funds. There are so many different funds with so many different themes that we should understand whether we are really getting what we are looking for. Following are few examples as observations on structures of ETFs.
Example 1: VWO and EEM are funds based on MSCI emerging market select index which is market capitalization based index. It includes 18 to 20 emerging economies where stocks can be bought free of any restrictions.
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Almost all do-it-yourself investors who are reading about emerging markets would be aware of BRIC acronym. BRIC stands for Brazil, Russia, India, and China. This BRIC label clubs four distinct emerging markets into a single entity. Based on this labeling, there are many different mutual funds, closed-end funds, and ETFs. What is ironical is there is no similarity except that they are supposed to be the new growing economies. Each of these countries have different governance structure, different governance policies, different types of economies, different strengths, different financial markets, different values, etc., Even with these differences they are clubbed together and viewed as single entity for investing in emerging markets. This is again one of the follies of Wall Street investment firms (think GS!). To top it off GS and other investment firms seems to have more lenient bent towards China’s market among the BRICs. Is this because these firms get more business in China? I am not sure if there is an open answer to this one. But clubbing all these countries under BRIC acronym does not make sense to me. continue reading rest of the article….
In my earlier post, I provided a shortlist of candidates for index-based exchange traded funds to capture the general market performance of emerging markets. These ETF-based funds are VWO, EEM, DEM, BKF, and BIK. While the shortlist provided a good starting point, in this post I am reviewing the suitability of these funds against the investment objective. The investment objective is to capture the general performance of emerging markets. I did not consider reviewing BIK, since it was invested only in 40 corporations in Brazil, China, Russia, and India. continue reading rest of the article….