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This year is the Fool's 15th anniversary, and in honor of that, we're publishing a package of articles looking back at the investing world in 1993. I believe the formal promulgation is tomorrow, but they've started going up today. I wrote on foreign investing in 1993:

http://www.fool.com/investing/international/2008/10/15/this-...

In researching the article, I spent most of last weekend lost in LexisNexis. It was pretty enlightening in the sense that you can learn a lot by reading news accounts from the past while knowing what happened next.

As it turns out, 1993 was a booming year for foreign investment not unlike 2006 when China and India were setting the world on fire. But back in 1993, the hot economies were the Asian tigers of Thailand, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Japan was also very big.

Of course, we all know what happened next...debt and collapse culminating in 1997's Asian contagion.

So what happened to all the investors who invested abroad in 1993. From looking at ICI data, it looks like a lot of them pulled their money out of foreign stocks and went back to domestic, in part driving the tech bubble that then collapsed in 2000ish.

Anyway, it was fascinating to look back and read about all of the analysts telling people to invest in Thailand and to avoid China and Brazil when it turns out you'd have done better doing the inverse. I think the main takeaway is that emerging markets are volatile, long-term plays. The same countries that were emerging in 1993 are still "emerging" today. You've made a lot of money investing in them, of course, and they're farther along today, but Brazil, for example, is not nearly as developed as the US. That takes a lot longer than 15 years.

So, I hope you enjoy reading the article linked above as much as I enjoyed researching and writing it. Moreovoer, I hope it will serve as a small reminder that what we're doing here at Global Gains is putting together a portfolio of high quality foreign stocks that will be profitable for you over the next 15 to 20 years. Days like today and months like the last few are very sobering (as they were in 1997), but being invested abroad is one of the most important things you can do for your portfolio.

Tim
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