What Money Managers Overlook When Investing in Asia

It always amazes me that in my 12 years of living and working throughout Asia, financial experts that I've worked with or for...
 
Literally every one has failed to adequately incorporate Asia's history into their economic models.
 
I've worked with some of the biggest fund management companies in the region, later servicing major institutions like BlackRock (the world's largest asset manager) and Fidelity, and rubbed shoulders with some of the most well-known and reputable economists in the industry.
 
And some of these are firms that manage trillions of dollars - Fidelity and BlackRock surpassed $2 trillion and $6 trillion in assets under management as of 2018, respectively.
 
Why?
 
Because most investors are - reasonably enough - focused on the 'here and now'. Is a company profitable? Where is it going to be next year? Is political turmoil on the way? Often being extremely micro, myopic, and 'present-future'-focused in their understanding of Asia.
 
They overlook one critical 'resource' which simply doesn't exist to the same degree in the West:
 
Uniformity.

Asia progresses in largely predictable cycles, from country to country.
 
A heavy-handed government implements reforms in land, agriculture, and banking...
 
Which leads to a strong manufacturing base...
 
Which finally leads to a foundation for services.
 
In China and Vietnam, for instance, state-owned enterprises make up over 60% of GDP. Understanding the region's history - like a diamond cutter’s knife, slices through any misunderstanding surrounding it.
 
If you want to know where Asia ends up, you need to know how it started.
 
Stayed tuned as I'll break down agriculture reform, and its impact on modern-day Asia.

Peter Pham