How Goes the Asian Tigers in 2015?

Bloomberg recently surveyed several key economists to find out which economies were expected to grow the fastest in 2015. As a surprise to no one, Asia is projected to do better than any other continent.

Emerging Asia has four countries in the top five, six in the top 10, and make up half of the top 20 countries ranked by the economists surveyed.

China continues to dominate all the emerging economies, with the Philippines following close behind. The only non-Asian country to make the top five was Kenya at number three. Rounding out the top five are India and Indonesia.


Interestingly, Indonesia also winds up somewhere else… on Bloomberg’s list of the 15 Most Miserable Economies in the World. Apparently a country ends up on this list because of a simple calculation: Unemployment rate + Change in the consumer price index = Misery. Indonesia is certainly no stranger to inflation spikes, and as such is the main reason why the country finds itself at number 15.

So right about now you might be thinking, “Great… how do I invest in some of these countries?”

A great question. And not one easily answered.

While I will refrain from any direct investment advice, it depends largely on your capabilities, your access to information, your country of residence, and your tolerance for risk. Investing in emerging markets is not by any means a safe bet. And with regards to several countries on the list, “emerging” might be an overly generous description. “Frontier” might be more apt.

China is probably the easiest of all the emerging Asian countries to invest in. Anyone can practically walk into their local bank and learn about a variety of different means and vehicles that grant access to China. Although to be fair, these are quite often the most expensive routes to go, as they are engineered with a lot of different fees and costs built into them.

Other countries like the Philippines, India, and Indonesia may be trickier to garner access to depending on the rules, regulations, and capabilities of your bank and country. As always, it’s best to speak to a global investment professional for advice. (Preferably this is not your dad’s friend who goes to Asia once a year to hang out in casinos, go-go bars, and has “connections” there.)

That said, many of these countries are at all-time market highs, and buying high has never been a popular investment approach. Do your homework first. This isn’t just sound advice, rather it’s the most important requirement for any savvy investor.