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It pays to find out more about Eastern European funds.

When it comes to investing in companies in Eastern Europe, understanding the macro environments in which companies are based is important.

At least that's how Markus Brück, portfolio manager of the Metzler/Payden European Emerging Markets Fund (MPYMX), sees it. Since the fund's inception in 2002, its shareholders have seen about a 44 percent increase in the per-share value of this five-star Morningstar-rated fund.

What you'll find in this fund--in addition to the ability to invest in companies from the Balkans to Siberia and Turkey--are roughly 70 stocks, two-thirds of them large caps.

One thing Brück likes about managing this fund is the diversification of his investment universe. "There's limited broker coverage of most of the small and mid caps, which makes this region a paradise for a stock picker," he says.

On the other hand, there is significant volatility in stocks in this region, and currency changes impact the fund's performance. Brück says the ideal investor in this fund is someone who takes a long-term--as in 10 years or so--approach to investing.

Dian Vujovich is an author, syndicated columnist and publisher of fund investing site

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