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Should you be active in emerging markets?

(MoneyWatch) The argument is pretty simple: Emerging markets are among the most likely to be inefficient, so that’s where active fund managers can generate outstanding returns. However, the evidence says that’s simply not true.

Prompted by my recent interview with Seeking Alpha, a reader asked what emerging markets fund he should use. That led me to check the performance of passive emerging markets funds of Dimensional Fund Advisors and Vanguard (disclosure: My firm, Buckingham Asset Management, primarily uses Dimensional Fund Advisors funds in constructing client portfolios.)

  1. Vanguard Emerging Markets Stock Index Fund (VEIEX)

  2. DFA Emerging Markets Portfolio (DFEMX)

  3. DFA Emerging Markets Small-Cap Portfolio (DEMSX)

  4. DFA Emerging Markets Value Portfolio (DFEVX)

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