3 Jun 2015

Emerging Powerhouse

When the Communist People’s Republic of China (PRC) took control of China in 1949, all privately owned assets were expropriated by the government and what were once vibrant capital markets went dark until December, 1990 when eight companies started to trade publicly on the Shanghai Stock Exchange. Now, as I wrote in April, the mainland Chinese stock markets are red hot and many people believe they are in the middle of… Read More

23 Apr 2015

China’s Red Hot Market

Last Friday, Chinese regulators said that they were going to make borrowing on margin more difficult for investors in an effort to curb the recent euphoria in Chinese stocks. I have to admit that I didn’t grasp just how hot Chinese markets have been recently, partly because the Chinese stock markets are broken up into multiple segments that are hard to follow and have dramatically different returns.   The Hang… Read More

16 Apr 2015

Wither Emerging Markets?

In the first few years after the 2008 financial crisis, a lot of investors were excited about emerging markets. The story making the rounds at the time was that the US and other developed markets were in for a long period of sluggish growth while the prospects for economic growth in emerging markets were still strong. Therefore, the story went, investors should allocate money away from the US stocks into… Read More

2 Feb 2015

The Vastness of the Emerging Markets

There are only a handful of index providers globally and their intense competition breeds some very interesting innovation. Recently, one of the large providers, MSCI, launched a series of indexes that attempt to reflect the performance of companies based on their economic exposure rather than the location of their headquarters. When indexes were first created, most companies economic reach didn’t expand much beyond their own borders. Today, however, businesses are… Read More

17 Nov 2014

S. Korea Has Outsized Impact on Emerging Indexes

In 2012, Vanguard announced that they were changing the benchmarks that they track for a large number of their funds. Their domestic stock funds, which had followed indexes created by MSCI, would soon track indexes created by CRSP. Since we don’t use any Vanguard mutual funds or exchange traded funds (ETFs) that track US markets for private clients, that change didn’t impact us. However, we do use Vanguard ETFs for… Read More

27 Jan 2014

Emerging Markets Tail Wags Dog

Concerns about a slowdown in China’s economy appears to be the ‘go-to’ rationale for the selloff, although there hasn’t been any new data since the Purchasing Index Managers (PMI) report that we discussed on Friday. A secondary, but possibly more plausible explanation is that investors are looking at the weakness in Emerging Markets currencies and are concerned about the end of the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing program. We noted the… Read More

27 Jan 2014

Time to Exit Emerging Markets?

Emerging markets (EM) had a tough time last year, down about five percent while US markets rose by basically one-third.  Given that the losses are extending into 2014, it’s natural to wonder whether we should remain invested in EM. The short answer is that we certainly don’t intend to withdraw or reduce our position there, and, in fact, we are actually considering increasing our allocation slightly. Acropolis has held EM… Read More