Get Better Growth By Investing in Emerging Markets

With North American stock markets hitting new highs almost every day and looking expensive based on traditional metrics like price-to-earnings ratios, many investors are looking for cheaper alternatives.

Most emerging markets are far cheaper than both Canada and the U.S., with the added benefit of greater potential long-term growth.

ETFs are the perfect vehicle to use for investing in emerging markets. They offer instant diversification across many different countries with reasonable management fees. Canada has three major emerging market ETFs.

Let’s start with the Vanguard version, the FTSE All-Cap Emerging Markets ETF (TSX:VEE), which has assets of $368 million, ownership in more than 3,000 underlying companies, and a current dividend yield of just over 2%.

It has a management expense ratio of 0.24%. Largest exposure is to China, with almost 30% of funds invested in the world’s most populous country.

The iShares Emerging Markets ETF (TSX:XEM) has assets of just under $200 million with a current dividend yield of 2%. It holds the U.S. version of the same ETF, which has investments in more than 800 emerging market stocks. The largest weighting is also China, with approximately 25% of assets. Management expense ratio is a little high at 0.82%.

Finally there’s the BMO version, the BMO MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (TSX:ZEM). It has assets of $156 million and a 2.3% dividend yield. It holds investments in nearly 450 emerging market stocks with 26% of assets in China. Its largest holding, however, is an India ETF. This ETF has a management expense ratio of 0.29%.