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Emerging markets stocks have been on a tear the past year, returning 24.8% as measured by the equities-based Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets ETF. The 20 best-performing funds in this class averaged 33% over the period; the top fund surged more than 40%. The three-year average of these 20 funds was much more-down-to earth, but still high, at 10.3%.

Beyond ever-present concerns about the party ending abruptly, more recently, many advisors and clients fret that President Trump’s call for tariffs on steel and aluminum imports could lead to a trade war that will will depress global investing.

Indeed, the Vanguard FTSE EM ETF is up 3.3% year-to-date, but incurred a loss of 3.4% for the past week. Shorter timeframes are usually less meaningful, but in this case, could reflect a turning point in emerging markets.

The president’s threat to initiate a trade war could rein in, or even reverse, global growth, says Mark Hamrick, a senior economic analyst for Bankrate. It’s hard to construct a scenario that’s positive for the investment markets unless the threats evaporate and nothing actually happens, he adds.

Taking a longer view, Hamrick notes that emerging markets have had a good run in recent years after severe pullbacks a decade ago.

Scroll through to see the 20 best-performing emerging markets equity funds for the past year. There is also data on each fund’s three-year returns, expense ratios and total assets. Funds with less than $100 million in assets were excluded. All data from Morningstar Direct.
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20. Fidelity SAI Emerging Markets Index (FERGX)
1-Yr. Return: 29.80%
3-Yr. Return: N/A
Expense Ratio: 0.08%
Total Assets (millions): $3,654.63
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19. Templeton Developing Markets A (TEDMX)
1-Yr. Return: 29.86%
3-Yr. Return: 9.02%
Expense Ratio: 1.39%
Total Assets (millions): $1,772.04
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18. Deutsche Emerging Markets Equity S (SEMGX)
1-Yr. Return: 30.01%
3-Yr. Return: 9.63%
Expense Ratio: 1.00%
Total Assets (millions): $114.93
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17. Strategic Advisers Emerging Markets (FSAMX)
1-Yr. Return: 30.12%
3-Yr. Return: 8.85%
Expense Ratio: 1.07%
Total Assets (millions): $5,070.61
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16. JPMorgan Emerging Economies R5 (JEERX)
1-Yr. Return: 30.44%
3-Yr. Return: 9.06%
Expense Ratio: 0.79%
Total Assets (millions): $2,230.88
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15. GuideMark Emerging Markets Service (GMLVX)
1-Yr. Return: 30.48%
3-Yr. Return: 11.02%
Expense Ratio: 1.70%
Total Assets (millions): $109.12
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14. City National Rochdale Emerg Mkts N (RIMIX)
1-Yr. Return: 30.85%
3-Yr. Return: 10.66%
Expense Ratio: 1.62%
Total Assets (millions): $1,762.26
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13. MFS Emerging Markets Equity A (MEMAX)
1-Yr. Return: 31.35%
3-Yr. Return: 9.47%
Expense Ratio: 1.50%
Total Assets (millions): $1,476.23
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12. Consulting Group Emerging Markets Eq (TEMUX)
1-Yr. Return: 32.25%
3-Yr. Return: 10.89%
Expense Ratio: 0.86%
Total Assets (millions): $522.68
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11. Hartford Schroders Emerging Mkts Eq I (SEMNX)
1-Yr. Return: 32.83%
3-Yr. Return: 10.17%
Expense Ratio: 1.27%
Total Assets (millions): $3,077.27
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10. Ivy Emerging Markets Equity A (IPOAX)
1-Yr. Return: 32.97%
3-Yr. Return: 11.75%
Expense Ratio: 1.58%
Total Assets (millions): $2,637.32
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9. VALIC Company I Emerg Economies (VCGEX)
1-Yr. Return: 33.02%
3-Yr. Return: 10.39%
Expense Ratio: 0.94%
Total Assets (millions): $891.67
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8. Principal Intl Emerging Markets R5 (PEPSX)
1-Yr. Return: 33.82%
3-Yr. Return: 9.36%
Expense Ratio: 1.50%
Total Assets (millions): $1,020.61
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7. VY JPMorgan Emerging Markets Equity S (IJPIX)
1-Yr. Return: 34.46%
3-Yr. Return: 9.75%
Expense Ratio: 1.50%
Total Assets (millions): $610.21
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6. Victory Sophus Emerging Markets A (GBEMX)
1-Yr. Return: 35.54%
3-Yr. Return: 11.50%
Expense Ratio: 1.34%
Total Assets (millions): $277.12
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5. T. Rowe Price Emerging Markets Stock (PRMSX)
1-Yr. Return: 35.95%
3-Yr. Return: 11.92%
Expense Ratio: 1.26%
Total Assets (millions): $12,161.31
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4. BNY Mellon Emerging Markets M (MEMKX)
1-Yr. Return: 36.14%
3-Yr. Return: 9.91%
Expense Ratio: 1.42%
Total Assets (millions): $1,063.15
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3. Fidelity Emerging Markets (FEMKX)
1-Yr. Return: 37.30%
3-Yr. Return: 10.05%
Expense Ratio: 0.97%
Total Assets (millions): $5,540.47
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2. American Century Emerging Markets Inv (TWMIX)
1-Yr. Return: 37.49%
3-Yr. Return: 12.18%
Expense Ratio: 1.29%
Total Assets (millions): $2,309.48
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1. VanEck Emerging Markets A (GBFAX)
1-Yr. Return: 42.66%
3-Yr. Return: 8.97%
Expense Ratio: 1.53%
Total Assets (millions): $2,200.48
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