Some investors, though, are worried about risks that emerging assets may experience in a changing market environment. For instance, despite fears that the Federal Reserve is tightening rates, which would normally put pressure on EM assets, emerging markets have led world equities. Additionally, some have concerns over currency risks, but UBS analysis has shown that the strength or weakness of the USD has had little impact on the relative impact on relative performance of emerging market equities over the past two decades. President Donald Trump has taken an American first or more protectionist stance, but EM exports to the U.S. are only 17% of their total while exports to other EM countries account for 40% of total exports.
Among the various opportunities in emerging market exposure, the consumer sector could be a major growth opportunity. Kerschner contended that we are living through the third great expansion of the middle class since 1800 as the middle income class could increase by another three billion people, mostly out of the emerging world. For instance, China’s middle class is expected to overtake the U.S. by 2020 and India is projected to pass the U.S. in 2021. Furthermore, many of these traditional export-oriented economies, like China, are now shifting their focus inward into a more domestic consumption-focused economic model.
Investors seeking a diversified investment portfolio would be doing themselves a disservice if they are overlooking the emerging market opportunity.
“Research has shown that most private client portfolios are not in line with the global opportunity, and may be unintentionally underweight EM,” Jay McAndrew, Vice President and National Sales Manager of Strategic Beta for Columbia Threadneedle Investments, said. “Comparatively, the average family office portfolio allocates 7% emerging markets and the Yale Endowment allocates 9%.”
For those interested in a targeted exposure to the emerging consumer opportunity, consider the targeted Columbia Emerging Markets Consumer ETF (NYSEARCA:ECON), which tries to provide exposure to 30 leading emerging market companies in the Consumer Goods and Consumer Services industries. The ETF has a 54.5% tilt toward consumer discretionary and 42.9% to consumer staple names.
Financial advisors who want to learn more about the emerging market opportunity can watch the webcast here on demand.
CORRECTION: clarification on emerging market growth and productivity.