Small emerging markets like Nigeria and Egypt have delivered stellar stock market performances this year.
A number of stock markets around the world have delivered solid performances this year, but if you look at the standouts, there's a common thread: they're all small emerging markets.
"The best performing markets been those that are least affected by outside events," said Bill Rocco, senior fund analyst at Morningstar. "And they've enjoyed good local economic and political news."
For example, Turkey has been the bright spot in Europe, which continues to suffer from its almost three-year-old debt crisis, while Egypt is still recovering from the Arab Spring.
While most of the top-performing markets are still small when it comes to liquidity and volume, they're starting to gain positive attention from investors, fund managers and rating agencies.
Click through to see which five stock markets have returned the best gains so far this year and why.
NEXT: 5. Nigeria