Revisiting the BRICS

by | Jul 1, 2019 | Learning Module 2, Topic 1: To diversify or not | 0 comments

The topic on diversification mentions the BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India and China) as places that Western money once moved toward. It was nearly 18 years ago and the chart below reproduces the performance of exchange-traded funds (ETF) that were created to make equity exposure to US investors easier.  EWZ is Brazil, RSX is Russia, INDA is India, and FXI is China. These are mostly large-cap funds, since those stocks are the only ones with enough liquidity for the global big boys to play.

The video also mentions how these regions have lost their lustre one by one. Brazil is a place that seems always in recession, with a currency that is very volatile. The shenanigans of the Russian political class makes that location troublesome. India has been shining, everyone has wanted a piece of it, look how much Walmart paid for Flipkart recently. And then there is China, with the trade war and currency manipulations. For comparison, also plotted is the SPY or the ETF that replicates the S&P 500. What were the benefits then of diversifying into the BRICS in the last decade?