The BRIC is back.
One of the fashionable acronyms of the moment on Wall Street, BRIC stands for the hot emerging markets of Brazil, Russia, India and China.
As with virtually all other stock markets, the BRICs were hit -- like a brick -- by the market turmoil of the last days of February. As a result, many wary investors pulled their money out of emerging markets.
But they weren't gone for very long. In a little more than a month since the market beating, BRIC investments have bounced back nicely as Morgan Stanley Capital International's BRIC Index has increased 5.7% since March 1.
So you may want to consider investing in these emerging markets while the group is still below its recent peak. The table below lists all open-end mutual funds and exchange-traded funds with a buy rating from TheStreet.com Ratings and at least 4% portfolio exposure in each of the BRIC countries.
The table is ranked in order of grade, with the
Eaton Vance Tax-Managed Emerging Markets fund the only one earning a top grade of A+ from TheStreet.com Ratings.
The top three funds on the list, the Eaton Vance Tax-Managed Emerging Markets, the
Vanguard Emerging Markets Stock Index fund and the
Forward Global Emerging Markets fund have gained 5.5%, 5.7% and 4.7%, respectively, since March 1.
An affirmation of the popularity of investing in the BRIC countries is that two open-end mutual funds and one ETF have been launched specifically for BRIC investments in recent months. The ETF, the
, dropped sharply in late February, but has rebounded sharply, having returned an impressive 9.4% just since March 1.
The two open-end funds are the
Goldman Sachs BRIC (GBRIX) and the
Templeton BRIC, which have risen by 5.2% and 5%, respectively.
Although the single traditional closed-end fund with holdings in the four BRIC regions did not pass the minimum 4% threshold in each region needed to qualify for the table, there appears to be sufficient open-end fund and ETF choices to build a BRIC investment.
In addition to funds that cover all the BRIC regions, many open-end, closed-end and exchange-traded funds specialize in single countries in the four BRIC regions.
Editor's note: The author has a long-held position in the open-end Vanguard Emerging Markets Stock Index fund.
Richard Widows is a financial analyst for TheStreet.com Ratings. Prior to joining TheStreet.com, Widows was senior product manager for quantitative analytics at Thomson Financial. After receiving an M.B.A. from Santa Clara University in California, his career included development of investment information systems at data firms, including the Lipper division of Reuters. His international experience includes assignments in the U.K. and East Asia.