- LATIN AMERICA
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By Ben Baden
Even amid global uncertainty, emerging markets funds have surged in 2010. The average emerging market fund gained about 19 percent during the third quarter, according to
Experts see more growth ahead for developing economies:
The fund recently had a relatively large portion of its portfolio in developed markets, with almost a third of its assets in developed markets in Asia and North America. Management has the ability to invest in companies that are domiciled in the developed markets if those companies do business in emerging markets. Within emerging markets, the fund has large stakes in Brazil (14 percent of assets) and China (11 percent). Over the past 10 years, the fund has returned an annualized 17 percent. Its annual fees are 1.91 percent.
About a third of the fund's assets are invested in Brazil, China, and India, and recently, about 20 percent of its assets were parked in cash investments. Management tends to hold onto its stock picks for a long period--10 years, on average. The fund has returned an annualized 13 percent over the last 10 years. Its annual fees are 1.85 percent.
The fund's volatility and turnover ratio--a measure of how often management replaces its holdings--have been much lower than its peers in recent years. The fund is heavy on Brazil and India, which together make up about 30 percent of the fund's assets. Over the past 10 years, the fund has returned 18 percent, on average. Its annual fees are 1.43 percent.
The fund tracks the MSCI Emerging Markets Index. The passively managed fund charges annual fees of just 0.40 percent. Over the past 10 years, the fund has returned 13 percent, on average.
Management has a strict value focus, so don't expect it to follow the crowd. The fund is unique in that only about 3 percent of assets are dedicated to Chinese companies. (China makes up more than 19 percent of the MSCI Emerging Markets Index.) Management has made higher-than-average bets on Brazil, Indonesia, and South Africa. It has returned 16 percent, on average, over the past 10 years. The fund's annual fees are 1.15 percent.
Management is betting big on Asia, with almost 60 percent its assets invested there. Investors in this fund should be prepared for a bumpy ride: It has gained or lost more than 30 percent on six occasions during the last decade. The fund has returned an annualized 15 percent over the last 10 years. Its annual fees are 1.61 percent.
Since 2005, the fund has become more of a blend fund--meaning its investments are now split about 50/50 between growth and value stocks. It was previously a value-focused fund. Half of the fund's total assets are split between three countries: China, Brazil, and South Korea. The fund has returned 16 percent, on average, over the past 10 years. Its annual fees are 1.48 percent.
The fund is known for being one of the less volatile offerings in its category. Management focuses on beaten-down, undervalued companies and won't buy a stock unless it's in the cheapest 40 percent of its home market and significantly less expensive than its global competitors. The fund's largest country weighting is in South Korea (16 percent of total assets). Over the past 10 years, the fund has returned 15 percent, on average. Its annual fees are 1.76 percent.
Management will generally hold between 70 and 100 stocks and stick with them for a period of two to three years. Currently, the fund has a rather large cash position (10 percent of total assets). Management has invested more than a quarter of the fund in Brazil and Mexico. Over the past 10 years, the fund has returned an annualized 15 percent. Its annual fees are 1.66 percent.
Management at the fund makes frequent trades. The fund's annual turnover ratio tops 200 percent. About a third of the its assets are invested in Brazil, South Korea, and China. The fund has returned 15 percent, on average, over the past 10 years. Its annual fees are 1.75 percent.
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