One final fund to consider is the EG Shares Telecom GEMS (TGEM), which invests exclusively in emerging market stocks. TGEM has struggled to attract assets since launching two years ago which is surprising given it is the only emerging market fund.
Its two largest holdings are AMX and CHL, each at 10%. China is the largest country in the fund at 17% followed by Malaysia at 12% and Mexico and South Africa, which each have 10%. Emerging markets are important in the industry. The recent renaissance in the stock price for Apple (AAPL) has been partially attributable to a possible deal for CHL to make iPhones available to its customers.
Each of the funds, by virtue of what they target, will offer exposure to some parts of the industry will avoiding others. The domestic funds obviously avoid Europe and Japan which is a potential positive if those markets revert back to underperforming domestic markets but would be a negative attribute if those markets continue to do well.
TGEM has been the worst performer by far year to date because emerging markets in general have had a terrible year but when emerging markets next rotate into favor then TGEM will likely be the top performer. IXP is likely to be the least volatile of the group because it is the broadest fund in the group.The biggest risk confronting all of the funds is the threat of higher interest rates. As rates on fixed income products move higher then investors will be less likely to seek higher yielding equities like telecom stocks if they can get decent yields without having to take on equity market risk. At the time of publication the author had no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Follow @randomroger This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.