Investors, even at the institutional level, have shown they do care about costs. In part, that explains the rise of the iShares Core MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (NYSEArca: IEMG). IEMG debuted in October 2012 as part of the iShares core lineup of low-fee ETFs aimed at cost-conscious investors, but with almost $6.3 billion in assets, it is clear IEMG has received heavy institutional support. The ETF is not much different from EEM, except for IEMG charges just 0.18% per year compared to EEM’s annual fee of 0.67%.[Institutions Love ETFs]

Still, diversified emerging markets ETFs such as EEM, IEMG and VWO face increasing competition from nuanced funds. For example, investors pumped almost $292 million into the EGShares Beyond BRICs ETF (NYSEArca: BBRC) last year in an effort to dodge BRIC exposure.

Speaking of dodging the BRIC nations, the Guggenheim MSCI Emerging Markets Equal Weight ETF (NYSEArca: EWEM) recently changed indexes to the MSCI Emerging Markets Equal Country Weighted Index, becoming the first emerging markets ETF to track a benchmark that equally weights at the country level. While that does not eliminate EWEM’s BRIC exposure, it does reduce the fund’s weight to Brazil, Russia, India and China relative to cap-weighted emerging markets ETFs. [EM ETF Goes Equal-Weight by Country]

iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF

Tom Lydon’s clients own shares of EEM.

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