Seeing RSX's impressive run up over the past year, RBL has considerable hurdles to overcome if it hopes to steal market share. The fund, however, does have some qualities working to its advantage.
First, RBL's index is considerably more diversified. Although, for the most part, top energy positions will dominate the fund's performance, RBL's 72 holdings construct a more encompassing representation of Russia's market than RSX, which tracks 37 companies.
Further aiding RBL in its effort to develop a following is the fact that it is less expensive than its competitor, albeit by a very slim margin. Charging 0.59%, the fund is 3 basis points cheaper than RSX.
For now, RBL, in its infancy, will likely remain a lightly traded option. Therefore, investors would be best off watching it from the sidelines. RSX has already proven to be an effective, successful means of playing this emerging market titan and remains the overwhelming weapon of choice.-- Written by Don Dion in Williamstown, Mass.