GXG has paid two dividends since it listed payout $0.53 in December 2009 followed by $0.13 a year later. This reinforces a point I make often about ETF dividends being very lumpy.

iShares MSCI All Peru Capped Index Fund ( EPU) is a similarly concentrated portfolio as miner Cia de Minas Buenaventura ( BVN) comprises 20% of the fund followed by Creditcorp at 14% and Southern Copper ( SCCO) at just under 12%. Materials account for 60% of the fund and financials weigh in at 19%.

The last choice here is the Global X FTSE Andean 40 ETF ( AND) which of course offers exposure to the region without having to choose an individual country. This fund allocates 51% to Chile, 33% to Colombia and 16% to Peru. Materials and financials are the largest sectors with each being close to 25%. The largest individual holdings are all the names mentioned throughout this article.

A bigger picture reason to consider these countries in conjunction with the natural resources leading to a viable middle-class theme is that during the last decade as the S&P 500 declined 24% on a price basis the equity markets in these countries carried on without us; Chile up 194%, Peru up 680% and Colombia had almost a six-fold increase. Those returns all came via very bumpy rides and, even if not repeatable, show that these markets can thrive as the U.S. flounders.

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At the time of publication, Nusbaum was long SAN, ECH and EC, although positions may change at any time.

Roger Nusbaum is a portfolio manager with Your Source Financial of Phoenix, and the author of Random Roger's Big Picture Blog. Under no circumstances does the information in this column represent a recommendation to buy or sell stocks. Nusbaum appreciates your feedback; click here to send him an email.

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