Fifty years after Yugoslavian President Josip Tito founded the Non-Aligned Movement, the economies of the association's roughly 120 nations have grown in excess of 5% per year on average, while larger developed economies in North America, Europe and Japan have slowed to a crawl. Yet, it's easy to forget the investing potential of these emerging markets, spread throughout Asia, Africa and Latin America.
When investors have sought to gain exposure to less developed economies, they've largely focused on Brazil, Russia, India and China, mostly ignoring the dynamic growth that has been taking place beyond the "global top 20."
But you need not venture halfway around the world to profit from the robust growth among the non-aligned nations. Instead, just look south of the border.
In Mexico, for example, the economy grew roughly 5% in 2010 and 4% in 2011, which was twice as fast as the U.S. economy -- its top trading partner. As a result, the Mexican stock market has been on a tear, as this five-year chart of the iShares MSCI Mexico Investable Market Index shows.
A regionwide phenomenon
One trait is fueling growth in Mexico and all across Latin America: rising middle classes. As citizens earn more, they begin to spend more in restaurants, at department stores, on travel and on entertainment. And that spruces up demand for a range of new businesses that cater to consumer appetites. Glance at GDP per capita, which is the size of a respective economy divided by its population size.