To make money on stocks, go where the growth is. Right now, the so-called frontier markets are hogging it. For example, the Kuwait exchange is up 335 percent over the past five years. Nairobi is up 190 percent. And Nepal has more than doubled.
These are the smaller, somewhat-less-developed "emerging-market" countries. They're still climbing. On the other hand, many bigger emerging-market countries have fallen alongside the U.S. markets.
So how to invest? The ETF that invests most in these markets is the SPDR S&P Emerging Middle East & Africa (GAF) fund. You may think its 56 percent exposure to South Africa invalidates its frontier-markets credentials. Not true. South African companies are increasingly spreading their wings into other parts of Africa. GAF is a nice combination of emerging and frontier markets. Until Vietnam and some of the other frontier-market countries get their own dedicated ETFs, GAF is the best way to leverage their super-fast growth.