Skip to main content



) -- Van Eck has announced that it will launch a

Market Vectors Poland ETF

, providing investors with exposure to a fast-growing central European economy.

The new ETF, which will take the ticker symbol PLND, is expected to debut later this month. It will focus on small- and mid-cap stocks. Components will have a market cap of at least $150 million and a three-month average daily trading volume of at least $1 million to be eligible for the ETFs underlying Poland Index.

Van Eck has seen tremendous growth in the assets invested in its ETFs, from $3.3 billion in October 2008 to $10.4 billion last month.

Much of this growth can be attributed to Market Vectors products being in the right place at the right time. Both the Market Vectors "hard asset" equity ETFs, like the popular

Gold Miners ETF

(GDX) - Get VanEck Gold Miners ETF Report


Junior Gold Miners ETF

(GDXJ) - Get VanEck Junior Gold Miners ETF Report

, and international equity ETFs have offered focused exposure to areas of the market where investors have been piling in.

The new Poland fund will join other single-country Market Vectors funds like the

Brazil Small-Cap

Scroll to Continue

TheStreet Recommends

(BRF) - Get VanEck Brazil Small-Cap ETF Report






(RSX) - Get VanEck Russia ETF Report



(VNM) - Get VanEck Vietnam ETF Report


These narrowly themed funds have attracted a lot of attention as investors regain their appetite for risk.

BRF, launched in May of 2009, has already attracted nearly $500 million in assets. During the three-month period ending Nov. 17, BRF jumped nearly 41%. Although the IDX, launched in January 2009, took some time to attract investor interest and volume, the fund now has $188 million in assets and a three-month average trading volume of 102,000 shares.

The performance of VNM and RSX, both popular funds with investors, illustrate the importance that sector allocation plays in determining the movement of a fund. VNM, which is up 11.3% for the three-month period ending Nov. 17, has nearly half of its underlying portfolio allocated to the financial sector. RSX, up nearly 150% year to date, has nearly 50% of its underlying portfolio allocated to oil and gas and energy.

Will the new Poland ETF catch on as quickly as Market Vector selections like BRF and RSX? The performance of the fund's largest underlying sectors and costs associated with the fund will help to determine popularity. According to a recent release from Van Eck, the most heavily weighted sectors in PLND's portfolio will be financials, energy and industrials, with 40%, 14% and 11% allocations, respectively.

While Van Eck is touting Poland as the "largest and fastest growing economy in Central and Eastern Europe", it will take more than this country's fast growth to attract investors to the fund. Another emerging-market fund, RSX, can attribute its strong performance to its status as an "energy play." For PLND to succeed, it will need to draw investors who are not only interested in diversifying internationally but who also like the type of sector-specific exposure the fund provides.

Country-specific funds like PLND are helpful in diversifying a broader international portfolio, or in playing short-term trends in international economies. Since they are so narrowly themed, investors have a greater chance of experiencing increased volatility. Because of this, if you add PLND to your portfolio, be sure to keep an eye on it.

-- Written by Don Dion in Williamstown, Mass.

At the time of publication, Dion was long the Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF.

Don Dion is president and founder of

Dion Money Management

, a fee-based investment advisory firm to affluent individuals, families and nonprofit organizations, where he is responsible for setting investment policy, creating custom portfolios and overseeing the performance of client accounts. Founded in 1996 and based in Williamstown, Mass., Dion Money Management manages assets for clients in 49 states and 11 countries. Dion is a licensed attorney in Massachusetts and Maine and has more than 25 years' experience working in the financial markets, having founded and run two publicly traded companies before establishing Dion Money Management.

Dion also is publisher of the Fidelity Independent Adviser family of newsletters, which provides to a broad range of investors his commentary on the financial markets, with a specific emphasis on mutual funds and exchange-traded funds. With more than 100,000 subscribers in the U.S. and 29 other countries, Fidelity Independent Adviser publishes six monthly newsletters and three weekly newsletters. Its flagship publication, Fidelity Independent Adviser, has been published monthly for 11 years and reaches 40,000 subscribers.