The Ukraine and Russia standoff on the Crimea peninsula has sent emerging market stocks tumbling. However, investors who still want exposure to developing economies can take a look at low-volatility exchange traded fund options with limited access to Russian equities.
“Low-volatility strategies in emerging markets have historically resulted in a greater reduction in portfolio volatility relative to a cap-weighted index than what has been observed in U.S. equities,” according to Morningstar analyst Patricia Oey. “This is especially important in emerging markets, as volatility drag can have an impact on long-term performance.”
For instance, the iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Minimum Volatility ETF (NYSEArca: EEMV) is down 1% and the PowerShares S&P Emerging Markets Low Volatility Portfolio (NYSEArca: EELV) is 0.5% lower since Russia entered Crimea, Ukraine.
Meanwhile, the traditional cap-weighted index-based ETF, iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (NYSEArca: EEM), has declined 2.4% so far this month.
Over the past year, EEMV has declined 8.5%, EELV dipped 9.9% and EEM fell 9.1%.
Both the iShares and PowerShares low-volatility emerging market ETFs try to limit exposure to stocks with large price fluctuations or show lower volatility.