MFS Investment Management: Smoothing out the bumps

As seasoned investors will tell you, putting your money in emerging markets can be a rough ride. The highs may be high, but the lows can be even lower. The emerging markets debt team at MFS Investment Management are aiming to give their investors a different, less bumpy experience. Their conservative approach may mean they miss out on the occasional home run, but as long as they are avoiding the big blow-ups, they - and, most importantly, their investors - are happy

Matt Ryan and Ward Brown don't like to get burned. When the co-managers of emerging markets debt at MFS Investment Management smell trouble in a credit they own, they cut their position as quickly as possible, before others have a chance to do the same.

Emerging markets by nature offer investors healthy long-term returns, they argue. If fund managers can avoid the big blow-ups that hammer more adventurous investors every few years, they can do pretty well for their clients.

"We pay a lot of

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