Volatility in the Middle East isn’t the only thing sending investors out of emerging markets exchange traded funds (ETFs), but it certainly hasn’t helped.

In fact, broad emerging market ETFs such as Vanguard Emerging Markets (NYSEArca: VWO) and iShares MSCI Emerging Markets (NYSEArca: EEM) have dropped off nearly 6% this year.

On Friday alone, investors yanked $586.2 million from EEM. Although the Middle East is but a small fraction of these ETFs, if any, it’s certainly having a contagion effect.[Emerging Markets ETFs: Still In The Game?]

What’s really driving people away right now is the perceived risk involved with newer frontier and emerging markets,, combined with inflationary fears in economies some believe are approaching over-heated territory. [5 Lessons From Protests in Egypt.]

How should you be coping now? If you’re in emerging markets, then be aware of the risks and have an exit strategy. If you’re not comfortable being in this space right now, watch the trend lines. Emerging markets are far from done, and when a turnaround begins, it will be a buying opportunity.

Tisha Guerrero contributed to this article.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.