Ever since taking a course in development economics at the Netherlands School of Economics from Professor Jan Tinbergen (a brilliant econometrician who later became the first Nobel Laureate in economics) I had been fascinated with the fate and fortunes of what was then known disparagingly as “The Third World.”
My turbulent tenure in Bangkok taught me that foreign investors would be better off hedging their bets by investing in a basket of markets in developing nations as opposed to a single one.
But as David Gill used to say, correctly, “Finding one single successful example of people making money will be more convincing than a hundred academic papers.” That is precisely what we proceeded to do. Yet
In a speech to the local Thai-American Chamber of Commerce before leaving Bangkok, I first proposed the idea of creating an investment fund that, as opposed to investing in a single country, would pursue a diversified strategy of investing in a group of countries to minimize the risk of one economy crashing and taking the entire fund down with it.