Emerging markets are a missed opportunity

We live in a global economy, and yet many investors have very little exposure to large parts of it. Most investors, in fact, are biased towards developed stock markets, and particularly towards companies in our own country. A video on the Bloomsbury Wealth YouTube Channel.

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Transcript: Robin Powell and Sherifa Issifu/ S&P Dow Jones Indices

RP: We live in a global economy, and yet many investors have very little exposure to large parts of it. Most investors, in fact, are biased towards developed stock markets, and particularly towards companies in our own country.

SI: Investors are often heavily allocated to domestic equity. So, for the US, they’re heavily invested in US equity; for other international investors, they are invested in their own markets – and, when they do have a global equity piece, often the focus is US large cap indices like the S&P500. Emerging markets and other opportunity sets are often overlooked.

RP: So-called home bias often has a negative impact on returns. In the first two decades of this century, for example, emerging markets like China and India have outperformed the likes of the US, the UK and mainland Europe.

SI: Over the past 20 years, we’ve seen our broad-based benchmark for emerging market equities – the S&P Emerging BMI – outperform its developed market counterpart; and China and India have been at the forefront of this. They’ve been two heavyweights of emerging markets. So even from an economic point of view, we’ve seen that it’s had great GDP growth: more than the single digits, often in the double digits.

RP: One of the downsides of emerging markets is that they tend to be more volatile than developed markets. But you can reduce volatility through diversification.

SI: Within emerging markets, there have been risks historically; so we have seen some case studies of crises such as Argentina’s credit default and we’ve seen the textbook case of hyperinflation in Zimbabwe. But if you are invested in a broad way to emerging markets, your risk for your allocation to any single country will be quite small.

RP: It’s often suggested that investors in emerging markets are better off using actively managed funds. But the evidence shows that very few active funds outperform the sector index in the long run.

SI: Our SPIVA reports – which is S&P Index vs. Active – shows that, unequivocally, indexing has worked for emerging markets. So, over the last 20 years, 92 per cent of active equity managers have underperformed our broad market index – which is the S&P IFCI Composite.

RP: So, emerging markets are an opportunity that investors shouldn’t miss. The key is to diversify and focus on the long term.

Disclaimer — The information in this video does not constitute advice or a recommendation, and you should not make any investment decisions on the basis of it. If you do however require advice please do not hesitate to contact Bloomsbury Wealth.

 

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