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How to Play Emerging Markets on the Cheap

Whether you want to jump onto highflying emerging markets at these levels is up to you.

But you have to figure it's better to buy at a discount than it is to pay full price.

Who wants to pay full price?

It's been several months since I first wrote here that there was an effective sale going on in closed-end funds that invest in China and other emerging markets. Since then, those markets have skyrocketed -- but the markdowns on the funds have actually widened.

It's possible it's an early warning sign of turbulence ahead in those markets. Or, it could just be a fantastic bargain. But right now you can buy a $10,000 professionally managed portfolio of emerging-market stocks and bonds for less than $8,900.

You have to like that 11.5% discount. Emerging markets may be in a bubble, but that markdown sure improves your odds.

Closed-end funds are pooled investment vehicles much like traditional, open-ended mutual funds. The difference is that they do not issue new units when investors put in money. Instead, they issue a fixed number of shares when they launch, and investors who want to get in or out have to buy or sell those shares on the stock exchange, just as they would shares in General Electric (GE - Get Report) or Google (GOOG - Get Report).

To watch Brittany Umar's video take of this column, click here .
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