Warm up a Slice of PIE

Back in the go-go days for emerging markets stocks and exchange traded funds, the PowerShares DWA Emerging Markets Momentum Portfolio (NYSEArca: PIE) got plenty of attention.

PIE’s cornerstone strategy, which is rooted in relative strength, made the ETF a cult favorite. With the caveat of course being when emerging markets equities were in vogue. Well, emerging markets ETFs have bounced back since early February, but this time around, it feels like PIE is not receiving the adulation it has in the past.

Perhaps that is the result of “momentum” being in PIE’s name. That is not an advantage at a time when U.S. momentum stocks have been cast aside. However, with PIE investors do not get an ETF littered with Internet, social media and other out-of-favor momentum fare. [Momentum ETF Searches for new Highs]

What is crucial to remember with PIE is that the Dorsey Wright Emerging Markets Technical Leaders Index, PIE’s underlying index, is built on price momentum, which can apply to a plethora of countries and stocks. As PIE highlights, there is a big difference between positive price momentum, which is not confined by sector, and momentum as it applies to biotech or Internet stocks. [Some Enhanced ETFs Beat Their Benchmarks]

Currently, PIE has a decidedly conservative tilt. South Korea and Taiwan, two of the lowest beta emerging markets, combine for over 36% of PIE’s weight. That has the ETF looking a bit like the PowerShares S&P Emerging Markets Low Volatility Portfolio (NYSEArca: EELV), which clearly is designed to be a conservative avenue to emerging markets exposure.

The exposure to South Korea and Taiwan has proven efficacious at a time when those markets are performing well. [South Korea ETFs Could Surge]