Investing in ETF – Know What You are Investing In

globeAs 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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Dividend Stocks for Hedging against Dollar’s Long Term Fluctuations

In general, ability of the companies to pay dividends depends upon its profitability, cash flows, earnings, prudent money management (think debt!). With the ongoing recession many have started expressing concerns about long term prospects of US economy. Among many issues, one aspect that has been gaining momentum is the strength of dollar and its status as world currency. It is widely discussed (probably rightly so) that the continued infusion of printed dollar will dilute its value. Further the US government’s debt will cause a credibility issue in longer term. All this will reduce the value of the dollar. In one of his recent interviews, even Buffett acknowledged the concern. However, there is not much analysis on how the master investor plans on addressing this issue in BRKs portfolio.

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Proxy Vechiles for Investing in Emerging Markets

On many occasions I have mentioned that emerging markets of India and China will be driven for growth in global economics. For US based dividend investors, there is really a lack of good quality dividend-based investing vehicle(s), and couple that with lack of maturity in financial markets, and we feel we are out of options.

TIP Guy at TIPBlog.in presented his thoughts on how dividends are perceived at least in India’s corporate world. I am reproducing certain snippets (with author’s permission).

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BRIC Acronym – Does it Have Any Relevance?

globeAlmost 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….

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