Emerging-Market Investing -- How the Pros Do It

By Ben Steverman - 2011-12-09T17:28:30Z

Photograph by Dado Galdieri/Bloomberg

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Political Risk

For Lewis Kaufman, manager of the Thornburg Developing World Fund (THDAX), Peru offers a glaring example of how volatile emerging markets can be and how much politics matter. When Ollanta Humala, a left-of-center presidential candidate, won enough votes to get into a runoff election, foreign investors panicked, causing the Peru Lima General stock index to lose a quarter of its peak 2011 value. Kaufman held on to his Peruvian stocks, betting Humala would find ways to reassure business. He was right. Humala won the election, and by the time he took office, stocks had jumped 24 percent. Peru went from "darling to essentially uninvestable, and right on back," he says.

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