Should you buy the upstarts?

Whether emerging markets are outperforming developed markets or lagging behind them, a key argument for buying them rarely changes: developing economies grow faster than their Western counterparts.

That implies faster profit growth and, investors hope, higher returns than in developed markets. But is this really true?

This year’s annual Global Investment Returns Yearbook by Elroy Dimson, Paul Marsh and Mike Staunton of the London Business School, published by Credit Suisse, takes a detailed look at emerging markets’ long-term performance by constructing an index of them going back to 1900.

Many investors will be surprised to find that, over the past [...]

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