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Emerging-Market Materials ETFs Aren't All Made of the Same Stuff

This illustrates the need to look under the hood and understand the constituent differences between seemingly similar funds. If Chinese markets have a resurgence in 2013 as some are predicting, then it stands to reason that LGEM will be the one to outperform going forward.

The issues of low volume and low assets in each fund are worth mentioning. Low volume does not mean poor liquidity. If market makers are able to provide executions, then the liquidity is adequate. Anyone interested in either fund needs to be patient and use limit orders.

Low assets always raise the possibility of a fund closure. Predicting whether a fund will close or not isn't as important as making sure you sell out of a fund that announces it is closing. There can be expenses in closing the fund, and anyone holding the fund through the closure would be on the hook for sharing in the expense.

At the time of publication, VALE was a client holding.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.

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