Emerging markets are increasingly popular with investors, and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) offer an easy means of achieving global diversification.

Either by purchasing power parity-adjusted or nominal gross domestic product (GDP), the four largest developing emerging market economies are the BRIC countries, Brazil, Russia, India and China . The next largest promising group includes South Korea, Indonesia, Mexico, Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

Emerging markets offer opportunities to invest in high growth potential companies. Overall, emerging market growth is approximately twice the growth rate for the developed countries, as of 2015. There are risks involved with emerging markets, but the potential for substantial profits continues to draw institutional and individual investors. ETFs are an excellent option for investors who want to diversify their portfolios and gain exposure to emerging markets.

The Vanguard FTSE Emerging Market ETF

The Vanguard FTSE Emerging Market ETF (NYSE Arca: VWO) aims to provide investors with results similar to the performance of the FTSE Emerging Index. The fund invests in the stocks of companies based in emerging market countries around the world, such as South Africa, Brazil, Taiwan and China. The underlying index is market capitalization weighted and represents the performance of over 800 companies, large- and mid-cap, spread across 22 different emerging markets.

This fund is ideal for investors looking to obtain global exposure and diversify their portfolio. Issued by Vanguard, the fund has assets totaling over $46 billion. The fund is considered to have a medium risk level. Its five-year return as of 2015 is 11.09%. The expense ratio for this fund is low at 0.15% and the dividend yield it offers is approximately 2.7%. Holdings for the fund include Tencent Holdings Ltd. (OTC Markets: TCEHY), China Mobile Ltd. (Hong Kong: 0941.HK) and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (Shanghai: 601398).

The iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF

The iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (NYSE Arca: EEM) seeks to provide investors with results that are generally the same as the price and yield performance of the MSCI Emerging Markets Index. This underlying index is structured as a metric for the overall equity market performance of global emerging markets. The index is composed of more than 20 emerging market countries worldwide, including Israel, Mexico, Peru, Egypt, Russia, South Africa, Taiwan, Thailand and Turkey.

Issued by BlackRock, this fund has assets that total approximately $26.5 billion. Considered a medium-level risk investment, this fund has five-year returns of 5.53% as of June 2015. The expense ratio for this fund is 0.67% and the dividend yield it offers is approximately 2.2%. Some of the primary holdings of this fund include Samsung Electronics Company Ltd. (Korea: 005930.KS), China Construction Bank Corporation (Hong Kong: 0939.HK) and South African media corporation Naspers Ltd. (JSE: NPN).

The WisdomTree Emerging Market Small Cap Dividend Fund

The WisdomTree Emerging Market Small Cap Dividend Fund (NYSE Arca: DGS) aims to provide investors with price and yield performance results that track those of the WisdomTree Emerging Markets Small Cap Dividend Index. This underlying index is fundamentally weighted, and it is a metric for the performance of mostly small-cap stocks that have been picked from the WisdomTree Emerging Markets Dividend Index. All companies included in the index are within the bottom 10% of the market capitalization ranking of the index. Therefore, this fund is best suited for investors seeking the higher growth potential commonly associated with small-cap stocks, and who are willing to accept the correspondingly higher risk level.

Issued by WisdomTree, this fund has approximately $1.3 billion in total assets. The expense ratio for the fund is 0.63% and the dividend yield is approximately 2.9%. Major holdings of the fund include Delta Electronics Inc. (Hong Kong: 2308.HK), technology company Inventec Corporation (Hong Kong: 2356.HK), and the Foschini Group Ltd. (NYSE: TFG), a holding company and retailer.

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