Despite the clear opportunities the region offers, many investors and advisors, particularly in the U.S., are still leery of Asia and reluctant to invest there.
That, said Brian Jacobsen, chief portfolio strategist at Wells Fargo Asset Management, has as much to do with Asia’s physical distance from North America as it has to do with the lingering and painful memory of the 1997 Asian financial crisis.
It has been almost 20 years since the debacle that caused Asian currencies to plummet, dragging the region through the wringer and pulling global markets down as well, but the crisis is still fresh in the mind of many U.S. investors, he said. That may be particularly the case now in light of the recent interest rate hike by the U.S. Federal Reserve. The Fed raised interest rates in 1997, too, and that caused further problems to Asian economies.
But Asia today is a very different place than it was in 1997.