The best way to think about emerging markets is to think about all the “developed markets” – like the US, Japan, Europe and some others. These tend to be the largest economies in the world and the most advanced. Emerging markets are, essentially, less economically advanced. They can be quite large but still “developing” – like India and China. Emerging markets often exhibit higher growth rates than developed economies, often because they are starting from a lower base (like how a startup might be easier to grow than a large, established company), but they also have higher risk. That can be political (think coups) as well as economic (like foreign investors taking their money out).