BRIC countries have been on investors’ radar since 2001, but what a ride it’s been since then. Exchange traded funds (ETFs) that track the group of growing countries have proliferated and offered handsome returns.

In 2001, Goldman Sachs released a report stating that the economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China were expected to become the main drivers of economic growth for the world in the coming decades, says Desicritics. Has that prediction come to pass? (BRIC ETFS to choose from).

Here is a look at the four economies:

Brazil: Brazil has been surpassing expectations and surprising investors around the world. Impressive economic growth, a booming commodity sector and the country’s popular government are receiving worldwide attention, reports Juan Ferero for NPR. The growing middle class and the innovative state programs are all  part of the movement against poverty, and is an example for all developing nations. (More on Brazil).

Russia: High oil prices are the foundation to Russia’s wealth, and as long as oil prices remain elevated it could solidify the country’s gains. But that’s also a risk to the country; Russia will need to diversify into other areas for true long-term stability. Sujata Rao and Sebastian Tong for Reuters report that gross domestic product could grow by 3.1% in 2010 against a previously forecast 1.6 %, while 2011 could see an increase of 3.4%. (Why Russia could see growth).