Former Goldman Sachs (GS  ) Chief Economist Jim O'Neill coined the acronym "BRIC"-which stands for Brazil, Russia, India, and China-in 2001. The term was used to call attention to the aforementioned four countries, whose emerging economies were standouts in the global market. The acronym "BRIC" quickly became the go to phrase on Wall Street to describe all emerging markets; however, Goldman Sachs' BRIC fund peaked in 2010 at $842 million after its launch in 2006, and since then has lost 88% of its assets. Emerging markets used to rise and fall as a group-now they have begun to diverge from one another. It is not efficient or even logical to continue to bundle them together as one. Now, after nearly a decade, Goldman Sachs has declared its intent to merge its BRIC into a much broader emerging markets package-and other companies are beginning to follow suit. 

This is perhaps not surprising if one takes a closer look at the individual components of the BRICs. Brazil and Russia are both suffering from recessions; Russia is grappling with the sanctions imposed upon it by the international community. India, while still full of potential, is currently struggling to pass economic reforms. China's explosive growth is slowing down. That slowdown has been hugely influential in the splintering of emerging markets-China has played a large part in lowering the prices of commodities. This benefits energy importing nations both rich and poor, but injures commodity-exporting nations such as Russia and Brazil (as well as West Africa and the Middle East). Non-BRIC assets have outperformed BRIC investments every year between 2010 and 2014, often due to the fact that many non-BRICs are less dependent on the Chinese economy.

No country can sustain perpetual growth. After the 1990s, the emerging markets climbed rapidly. "Over the last decade," Goldman Sachs spokesperson Andrew Williams stated, "emerging market investing has evolved from being tactical and opportunistic to being a strategic part of most asset allocations." Now the global economy is beginning to settle down back into its normal state of slow turnover. As the "hot" emerging markets of certain nations begin to level off, new markets emerge to replace them. Capital from the BRIC fund will be transferred to the broader EMEF, or Emerging Markets Equity Fund. However, as Williams went on to say, Goldman Sachs continues to recommend that its clients "have exposure to emerging markets across asset classes as part of their strategic asset allocation." Emerging markets are still important-just not as explosive as they used to be. In 2013, Jim O'Neill himself observed that three out of the four countries in his BRIC acronym had proved unsatisfactory in recent years. "If I were to change [BRIC]," he commented, "I would just leave the 'C'. But then, I don't think it would be much of an acronym."