While there is certainly not a “one-size fits all” answer to this question, I wanted to include some interesting information on emerging markets.
This is a two-part blog. My goal in writing it is to blend some history of emerging markets with current trends, which I hope you find interesting.
(Please note that nothing in this blog is intended as a recommendation to buy or sell anything. It is meant to be purely informational.)
Krishna Momani, the Chief Investment Officer of the Oppenheimer Funds, writes:
“In the first 13 years of this century, emerging market equities outperformed U.S. equities by over 7% per year. That’s almost 200% of cumulative outperformance.”
“The following three years were not as kind to emerging market investors. Emerging market assets suffered from a series of macro headwinds including weaker global growth, sharp declines in emerging market exports, a collapse in commodity prices, falling currencies, rising inflation, and capital flight as U.S. monetary policy conditions normalized.”
Emerging Markets Had Been Underperforming Since 2013
Prior to 2017, emerging market equities experienced a prolonged period of underperformance relative to developed market equities. A confluence of factors weighed on emerging market performance including weaker global demand for exports, a slowdown in Chinese growth, the end of the multi-year commodity and credit-driven boom, and tighter U.S. monetary policy.
In particular, the onset of monetary normalization in the United States, beginning in earnest with the tapering of U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed) asset purchases in 2013 and continuing with the first Fed interest rate hike in December 2015, resulted in a massive flight of capital out of the emerging markets and into U.S. dollar-denominated assets.
The tide now appears to be turning. The cyclical case for emerging market equities is supported by the following:
- Economic growth is improving (in some instances, such as in Russia and Brazil, off of
recession lows) and exceeding expectations.
- Inflation has fallen rapidly. Real interest rates are now positive in emerging markets,
suggesting that this time modest U.S. interest rate hikes will not result in significant capital
In addition, policymakers are better positioned to support economic growth.
- Emerging market equities are trading at attractive valuations compared to developed
- The U.S. dollar is unlikely to be a headwind for U.S.-domiciled international investors.
Many of the emerging market currencies are already trading at steep discounts.
- The likelihood that a series of Fed rate hikes will derail the nascent emerging markets economic recovery is small.
While “they may be down,” Momani encourages us to not count emerging markets as “out”. I’ll discuss the reasons for this in Part Two.
If you would like to talk about anything in this blog, I’d love to share a conversation with you.
Barbara A. Culver
CFP®, ChFC®, CLU, AEP®
Source of charts: OppenheimerFunds, “The Case for Emerging Markets”, Krishna Memani, CIO
Disclosure: These views represent the opinions of OppenheimerFunds, Inc. and are not intended as investment advice or to predict or depict the performance of any investment. These views are as of the close of business on March 31, 2017, and are subject to change based on subsequent developments.
Equities are subject to market risk and volatility; they may gain or lose value. Fixed-income investing entails credit and interest rate risks. Bonds are exposed to credit and interest rate risk. When interest rates rise, bond prices generally fall, and a fund’s share prices can fall. Investments in securities of growth companies may be especially volatile. Foreign investments may be volatile and involve additional expenses and special risks, including currency fluctuations, foreign taxes and geopolitical risks. Emerging and developing markets may be especially volatile. Eurozone investments may be subject to volatility and liquidity issues. The mention of specific countries, regions, or sectors does not constitute a recommendation by any particular fund or by OppenheimerFunds, Inc.