Cap Styles in Emerging Market ETFs

Includes: DGS, EEM, FXI, HAO
by: Alan Young

It's a widely-quoted expectation that "small caps outperform in a recovery." And this is not just in the US; the current recovery in emerging market funds is a case in point.

Most broad international funds invest almost exclusively in large- and giant-cap companies. Generally, the larger the fund, the more concentrated they are in large-caps, since these are the most liquid investments.

So if you want emerging-market exposure and choose a single fund such as EEM, that's generally what you get.

But in the current rally (or new bull market), that's not the best performance. For example: YTD, the China large cap fund FXI is up +10% (closely tracking EEM); but the China mid-cap fund HAO outperforms at +18%.

Most emerging markets don't have such easily-accessible ETFs for small caps, but there are at least two ways to get access.

The simplest is the Wisdom Tree Emerging Markets Small Cap Dividend ETF, DGS. Its holdings have a dividend yield of 6%, and it is outperforming the large-cap EEM YTD on price, as well.

If you have the time and inclination to pick individual stocks, there are plenty of ADRs to choose from. I like like the screener at Choose a country, a market cap range, and any other fundamental or technical criteria you like. If you are adventurous enough to trade OTC issues, there's a very useful, complete list of ADRs here.

Disclosure: Long HAO and DGS

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