This tragic story underscores the fragility of the mining industry in South Africa, which can flare up at any time and this would likely be a drag on returns.
Mexico of course has its own issues with the decline of the Cantarell Oil Field's production, which hurts the economy from the top down. The Mexican government is committing resources toward replacing the production but the link to the country's prosperity and oil production are obvious.
Every emerging market country has risk factors and so the point is not to avoid the exposure but understand the risks that threaten the investment in order to make an informed decision before purchasing. An investment is a series of pros and cons to be sorted out and decided upon.
The basic idea behind BBRC is to access countries that stand to come to prominence in the same manner that the BRICs have. If this plays out then the Beyond BRIC ETF would be a wildly lucrative hold.
At the time of publication, the author held no positions in any of the stocks mentioned.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.