Typically when we think of emerging-market countries for exchange traded fund (ETF) investing, the ones that come to mind are China, Brazil and India. However David Frum, a former speechwriter for President Bush, would like to remind us Central Europe is an emerging-market area too, reports Scott Jagow for American Public Media’s Marketplace segment.

Frum says Central European countries, such as Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic, are still working hard to build democracies after their liberation in 1989. They often get overlooked as emerging-market countries because their incomes per capita now exceed 50% of incomes in Western Europe. Granted their GDP numbers might not be as impressive as the emerging-market countries we usually think of, but in the long-run, Central European countries’ admiration of democracy could better serve investors and protect against downside risk.

For investors looking to invest in Central Europe, a couple of closed-end funds (CEFs) are available. Austria has become a center for Central European countries and their commerce. As Russia just received a country-based ETF, perhaps ones will come for Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic.

  • Central Europe & Russia Fund (CEE)
  • iShares MSCI Austria Index (EWO)

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