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High Costs of BRIC Funds

Kimberly Lankford

I'm looking for a BRIC fund, which invests in Brazil, Russia, India and China. Can you help?



I'm looking for a BRIC fund, which invests in Brazil, Russia, India and China. Can you help?

It's tough to build a BRIC portfolio because your choices are expensive and limited. BRIC stands for Brazil, Russia, India and China -- four countries that Goldman Sachs economist Donimic Wilson, who coined the acronym, says could rank among the world's dominant economies by mid century.

Franklin Templeton will launch Templeton BRIC fund as soon as it gets regulatory approval. The fund, however, comes with a 5.75% sales charge plus annual expenses of 2.15%. Some brokers also offer Emerging Opportunities Select 1 (symbol FTEOPX), a unit investment trust run by First Trust Portfolios. The trust holds 20 stocks (which it doesn't trade), levies a 3.95% sales charge and will terminate in two years. And Schroder funds is considering starting a BRIC fund.

But any fund limited to stocks from those four countries would be plenty risky. As an alternative, consider a diversified developing-countries fund, such as no-load SSgA Emerging Markets (SSEMX). The fund invests in all emerging markets, including the BRIC countries, and charges just 1.25% annually.

Got a question? Ask Kim at askkim@kiplinger.com.




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