If global markets recover, investors may want to consider the greater growth opportunities that emerging market funds can offer over their domestic peers, particularly as growth is projected to be strong in developing countries, while the U.S. and other established nations struggle under mounds of debt.

"Emerging markets are arguably the single most important avatar of investment opportunity for our generation," Daniel Arbess, a hedge fund manager at Perella Weinberg Partners, told The Wall Street Journal. "The demand for commodities to support the modernization and urbanization of these and other developing economies, and the demand for food and products by growing consumer classes, should continue to fuel opportunities for years to come."

"If your world view is that the recession is over and we are about to start a great bull market, then emerging markets should outperform," said Matthew Tuttle of Tuttle Wealth Management. "If you believe, as we do, that we are in for a double dip [recession] and things will get worse before they get better, then emerging markets will not be a good place to be."

Nations like Brazil, Russia, India and China are expected to do well over the long term, but Tuttle said he worries that this year's 50% to 100% gains in these markets are unsustainable, and a pullback is likely.

Some analysts find bonds from emerging-markets nations less attractive than stocks because of the countries' investment-grade ratings. Investors are no longer being compensated for taking risks abroad. Also, individual investors may find it difficult to buy and track debt from emerging-market countries.

Mutual funds and exchange-traded funds can offer investors broader exposure to emerging markets and other international stocks.

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