INSIGHTS & STRATEGIES

WisdomTree Blog

After a phenomenal 2017, the last eight months have been painful for emerging market investors. However, despite this period of negative performance, we believe this year’s downdraft could lead to opportunity.

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As geopolitics shakes investor confidence, emerging market assets have come under pressure. In our view, this move could present a unique buying opportunity for investors looking to manage their interest rate risk while enhancing the income profile of their core bond portfolio.

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One of the key themes dominating the exchange-traded fund industry flows over the last 12 months has been the meteoric rise in assets of minimum-volatility porfolios. For emerging markets, the single largest driver of volatility over the last several years has been the dramatic decline of foreign currencies against the U.S. dollar.

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When looking around the global fixed income landscape, investors searching for income potential have essentially two choices: non-investment grade debt or emerging markets (EM). While high yield flows continues to dominate the headlines, emerging markets have generally flown under the radar in recent months. In this discussion, we focus on how investors may be able to best position against a change in Federal Reserve (Fed) policy while maintaining income potential from investments in emerging markets.

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2013 was not a good year for performance in emerging markets (EM), emerging market fixed income or fixed income in general, outside of U.S. high yield. Interest rates rose, EM currencies generally weakened against the U.S. dollar, and investors were more upbeat about prospects in the developed world than those in the emerging world.

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On November 16, major financial news organizations bemoaned the loss of an American classic. Hostess Brands, the baked goods company that has served Americans for the past 80 years, announced that it was filing for bankruptcy. As part of the bankruptcy process, Hostess CEO Greg Rayburn made headlines by saying he was “hopeful we can sell the brands” as the business is wound down.

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