Many investors want exposure to emerging markets for the tremendous potential for growth. However, with the risky action in countries such as Brazil, Venezuela and China, many have gotten burned in the past year.
Jim Cramer shared what he calls a better and safer way to play emerging markets.
"Instead of investing in an MSCI emerging markets index, why not just invest directly in MSCI? This company has been a terrific performer precisely because they make money regardless of whether their indexes go up or down," the "Mad Money" host said.
MSCI is the index and analytics company with a stock that has quietly crept up with outsized performance and low-risk. The company creates various indices that serves 97 of the top 100 largest asset managers, with over 750 ETFs based on its indices — more than any other firm.
MSCI has also been creative with its indices, with some that target stocks with certain characteristics such as low volatility or high dividends.
Additionally, MSCI provides institutional investors with research-enhanced content and tools to assess risk and potential return.
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"The reason I bring MSCI up is because I have noticed that this stock has been a tremendously consistent performer," Cramer said.
The stock is up 5.5 percent for the year, 20 percent in the past 12 months, and more than 100 percent in the past three years.
Cramer attributed that climb to tremendous earnings and solid business. Three-quarters of its revenue came from recurring subscriptions in both its index and analytics divisions. The information it provides is essential to its customers.
MSCI has also been very aggressive to cut costs in the past year-and-a-half, hence the margin expansion in its most recent quarter.
"At the moment, the stock is only a couple of bucks off its all-time highs, but I think it's worth picking at the next time we get a nasty marketwide sell-off," Cramer said.
So, the next time an investor is looking for emerging markets exposure, Cramer says to stay away from ETFs based on MSCI or MSCI's emerging markets index. Investing directly into developing countries has proven to be a losing game, and even if the global economy suddenly gets better, it will still be risky.
That's why Cramer says to invest directly in MSCI. It makes money regardless of whether the indices go up or down, which is why he calls it a buy.