Emerging Markets ETFs such as iShares MSCI Emerging Markets (NYSEArca: EEM) and Vanguard MSCI Emerging Markets (NYSEArca: VWO) have been raking in new assets hand over fist in 2012, and performance has been stellar in comparison to U.S. equity benchmarks.
The MSCI Emerging Markets Index is up 16.78% year to date versus the S&P 500 Index up 9.06%, and in the trailing one year period, the MSCI EM Index is down 2.18% versus the S&P 500 up 4.61%, so this suggests that EM outperformance may continue for some time in narrowing this performance gap. [Vanguard Cuts Fees on Emerging Market ETF]
However, for those whom are looking to take the other side of this EM strength and potentially establish short positions, or hedge longs in the midst of any possible correction, there are a number of leveraged and inverse strategies available to investors currently.
From an AUM standpoint, ProShares Short MSCI Emerging Markets (NYSEArca: EUM) is the largest fund in the category, with approximately $191 million in assets under management.
The ETF tracks the daily inverse performance of the MSCI EM Index on a 1 to 1 basis, without leverage. Direxion Emerging Markets Bear 3X (NYSEArca: EDZ) is also a popular fund in the space, and delivers 3 times the daily inverse return of the MSCI Emerging Markets Index and will likely appeal to those looking to aggressively employ leverage from the short side.
ProShares UltraShort MSCI Emerging Markets (NYSEArca: EEV) is similar, but offers 2 times the daily leverage on inverse returns. The iPath Short Enhanced MSCI Emerging Markets ETN (NYSEArca: EMSA) offers 2 times the daily inverse leverage in ETN, not ETF form.