Saturday, May 27, 2006

Consider Yourself Warned

While out of the country traveling in the Mediterranean, we watched the DOW climb and crash. Now home, I'm reviewing my portfolio, which contains a good share of foreign and emerging market funds. One of my favorites, and a great performer, has been T. Rowe Price's Emerging Eastern Europe and Mediterranean fund (TREMX).

This story at Smart Money caught my attention, as the NAV has fallen by $6 in a few weeks: "Emerging-Markets Run Ending?"

In part, the story narrates:

"Still, even with the impressive economic gains in developing nations, emerging-market investors must be prepared for the possibility of complete implosion (recall, for instance, the Russian debt crisis of 1998) that is mostly foreign to investors in established markets. And if interest rates continue to rise, emerging markets will likely be hit the hardest, as investors grow cautious and corporate spending dips.

Does that mean there's no place for an emerging-markets fund in your portfolio? For long-term investors, no. But it does mean now is not the time to be chasing returns and the age-old advice that one should only have limited exposure to this group should be closely followed. (Dollar-cost averaging is a tried and true way to avoid buying at the peak). And if you're sitting on substantial gains from your recent forays into Latin America and Eastern Europe, now might be a good time to think about paring back. "

The fund screen used in this story includes TREMX. Since I've harvested some gains during the past couple years and reinvested in other sectors, I'm still watching to see how emerging markets perform.

The Emerging Markets Fund Screen Recipe

Fund Classification = Emerging Market
Annualized 3-Year Return (%) = Top % in Fund Classification = 50.0
Rank in Classification (%) (3 year performance) = Display Only
Annualized 5-Year Return (%) = Top % in Fund Classification = 50.0
Rank in Classification (%) (5 year performance) = Display Only
Expense Ratio, Bottom % in Fund Classification = 50.0
Load Fund (type) = No Load
Minimum Initial Investment <= 5000 Open to New Investors = Yes Total Net Assets ($ millions) >= 50

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