Exchange-traded funds offer a convenient way to invest in sectors or niches that interest you. If you expect companies based in emerging markets to thrive over time, as their home economies and many economies they serve are growing more rapidly than economies such as ours, the iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index ETF
ETFs often sport lower expense ratios than their mutual fund cousins. The iShares ETF's expense ratio -- its annual fee -- is 0.67%, which is a bit higher than many ETFs, but also considerably lower than the typical stock mutual fund.
This ETF has performed well, surpassing the overall world market over the past three and five years. As with most investments, of course, we can't expect outstanding performances in every quarter or year. Investors with conviction need to wait for their holdings to deliver.
With a low turnover rate of 17%, this fund isn't frantically and frequently rejiggering its holdings, as many funds do.
What's in it?
Plenty of emerging-market companies had solid performances over the past year. America Movil
South Africa-based oil and chemical company Sasol
Other companies didn't do as well last year, but could see their fortunes change in the coming years. Brazil-based Vale
The big picture
A well-chosen ETF can grant you instant diversification across any industry or group of companies -- and make investing in and profiting from it that much easier.
You can add a lot of international exposure to your portfolio without leaving home, too. Check out our free report, "3 American Companies Set to Dominate the World." These American companies are taking advantage of high-growth emerging markets. Click here to get your free copy before it's gone.
Longtime Fool contributor Selena Maranjian, whom you can follow on Twitter, holds no position in any company mentioned. Click here to see her holdings and a short bio. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Petrobras and Sasol. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.