Proprietary Data Insights
Financial Pros Emerging Markets ETF Searches in the Last Month
Say It Ain’t So, Ray
Billionaire investor Ray Dalio made headlines recently when he told reporters that the U.S. stock market could face more pain if the Fed continues to hike interest rates.
One place he’s parking his money is in emerging markets ETFs. Other financial pros have been actively searching for opportunities in this category too, according to the latest data from Trackstar, our proprietary sentiment indicator.
It makes sense. Emerging markets stocks have grossly underperformed over the last five years and are now trading at attractive valuation multiples.
According to Trackstar, the most widely searched emerging markets ETF is iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (EEM), one of the most actively traded ETFs.
We dug in to see if it’s worth your investment.
iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF
EEM exposes investors to large and midsize companies in emerging markets. It offers one of the easiest ways for investors to diversify internationally.
Key Facts About EEM
Of the 1,235 stocks the EEM portfolio holds, 22% are financial companies, 19% are in the information technology sector, and 14% are in consumer discretionary. Below, you’ll see the full breakdown.
The top 10 holdings comprise 22.6% of the portfolio’s weighting. The top three are Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSM) at 5.81%, Tencent Holdings (TCEHY) at 3.94%, and Samsung Electronics (SSNLF) at 3.44%.
You can see the full top 10 holdings and their weightings below.
Over the last five years, the cumulative returns for the portfolio are -12.18%. But since its inception on April 7, 2003, EEM has returned 342% as of Q3 2022.
Trading & Investing in EEM
EEM is one of the most actively traded ETFs on the stock market. On average, 45.3 million shares trade daily. In addition, it’s one of the most actively traded and liquid option symbols.
Income investors will be happy to hear it pays an annual dividend of $0.97, a current yield of 2.55%.
You’ve got options if you want exposure to international stocks in an ETF. They include iShares Core MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (IEMG), iShares Emerging Markets Dividend ETF (DVYE), iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ex China ETF (EMXC), and Vanguard Emerging Markets Stock Index Fund (VWO).
As we noted, EEM has 1,235 positions in its portfolio. IEMG has 2,693, DVYE has 107, EMXC has 695, and VWO has 5,577. If you’re seeking diversification, VWO is clearly the best choice. DVYE has the most concentrated portfolio, consisting of high-yielding international stocks.
EEM charges the highest fees at 0.68%, while VWO charges the lowest at 0.08%. As an investor, you want to keep your fees low, but if the returns are strong enough, you can justify paying higher fees.
DVYE offers an attractive dividend yield of 10.19%. The next highest in the list is VWO at 5.31%. The others aren’t bad but don’t pack as hard of a punch.
Performance Over the Last Five Years (Cumulative Returns)
Only VWO at 4.49% has had positive returns over the last five years. Meanwhile, DVYE has had the worst at -24%, followed by EEM at -12.18%.
Emerging markets ETFs have underperformed significantly over the last five years relative to U.S. equities. For example, the S&P 500 has returned 55% over the last five years.
Our Opinion 6/10
After years of underperformance, the valuations of emerging market companies have become attractive.
But if you need to pick just one ETF in the space, it should be VWO. It’s the most diversified and has had the best performance over the last five years. It also happens to be Ray Dalio’s largest investment in his fund.
DVYE is also a viable option if you’re seeking income.
While we don’t think EEM is a bad choice, we believe the alternatives are better.
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