Investors are about to get the purest play they have ever had on the hottest market in the world, and while that sounds like a great idea, it comes with some potential side effects that investors should at least be familiar with.

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For decades, money managers and investors have been talking about getting the “pure play.”

It’s investment jargon for investing with a laser focus, getting the specific type of business or activity you are looking for.

When Internet funds first started in the late 1990s, the pure-play issues eliminated the retailers who happened to sell through a website in addition to a network of stores, and instead focused on e-tailers or companies building Internet infrastructure.

Investors are about to get the purest play they have ever had on the hottest market in the world, and while that sounds like a great idea, it comes with some potential side effects that investors should at least be familiar with.

The change has been announced over the last few weeks, first as Vanguard announced it would be adding Chinese “mainland” stocks — known in investment circles as “China A-shares” — to the Vanguard Emerging Markets Stock index fund and exchange-traded funds over the next 18 months.

Then, last week, it was announced the MSCI Emerging Markets Index will add China A-shares too.

China A-shares are the trading units for companies listed either on the Shanghai or Shenzhen stock exchanges.

Historically, China has a “mostly closed” capital account, whereby investors of all stripes could not move money into and out of the country, with a few exceptions governed by strict rules.

Companies investing in Chinese stocks have either purchased shares in American depositary receipts traded in the United States, or have bought shares through the Hong Kong or other global exchanges.

Over the last few years, China has been opening its market, allowing foreign institutional investors access to its onshore market via special licenses.

But the steps to make China A shares more readily available — and to include them in index funds — is a big one, and investors are interested for obvious, selfish reasons. The Shenzhen and Shanghai markets are both up more than 150 percent in just the last 12 months. The CSI 300 — the benchmark index for China A-Shares — is up about 130 percent.

Moreover, this move to open the markets further was inevitable. China is the world’s second-largest economy, making up about 15 percent of the world’s economic activity. If anything, it has been underweighted in emerging-markets index funds and global index funds.

“China continues to look for more respect on the world market, and while China was hesitant at first to have foreigners own shares on Chinese exchanges, they are getting to where they understand the benefit of letting foreigners in and embracing the free-market system,” said Tom Lydon, editor of ETF Trends. “In time, it will get to a point, like most developed countries, where they let the free market dictate supply and demand [of shares], which sets prices where they need to be.

“The question is what might happen right now, as they go through the transition to letting outsiders in,” he added.

The worry is that the buyers of China A shares won’t have enough quota to meet their needs, creating a supply-demand imbalance. That could create problems for index funds, which might have to pay up or buy ETFs or take other measures in order to get appropriate representation of China A-shares.

Combating that potential problem is a reason why Vanguard and MSCI are making their transition over the next year-plus, rather than just flipping a switch now.

The changes will mean emerging markets have a greater slug of China exposure, with a lot of it coming in some of the smaller and mid-sized companies there (because the big names already are held in the indexes through ADR holdings).

In time, however, emerging-markets funds will have greater exposure to China A, and that means investors will be making bigger bets on the nation.

Right now, a lot of investors have been seeking out that exposure, putting more money into China Region funds of all stripes to cash in on the hot market.

“Average investors are going to have an allocation to China, if only because they own an emerging-markets fund or the funds they own have international stocks,” said Lydon. “If they are making extra bets on China through country-specific funds, they might want to change their allocation. Otherwise, they just want to watch it and make sure they are comfortable with whatever exposure to China their manager is willing to take on.”