Morningstar’s Gregg Wolper weighs in on frontier market investing, mainly from a retail perspective, while highlighting the especially pertinent issue of illiquidity.  Moreover, the piece points out the puzzling paradox facing investors looking for added frontier exposure: manager and fund track records are lacking, while expenses in the area tend to be high.  That said, the alpha generated by these funds can be exorbitant, especially for more patient, or long-term holders.  At the same time, certain funds are highly correlated to a given sector or country, underscoring the need for up-front, due diligence by investors.  Additionally, a variety of lower-expense, ETFs are now available that offer country specific exposure.  In sum, however, Wolper concludes:  

“The possibility that the enthusiasts might be right about frontier markets shouldn’t be dismissed casually.  Although expecting Ghana or Morocco to be the next Brazil or China is a stretch, there are sound companies with strong managements and admirable growth prospects available in many less-traveled corners of the world. Some are available at much cheaper prices than similar companies from more-familiar markets.”

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