During her recent interview with Tobias, Perth Tolle who is the Founder of Life + Liberty Indexes discusses some of the best and worst countries to invest in according to the ‘human freedom index’. Here’s an excerpt from the interview:
Tobias Carlisle: You may be not allowed to say this but Alpha Architect, they’re going to be providing the underlying ETF. You provide the index, the underlying ETF and the ticker again is FRDM. I have to very careful about the way that I pronounce there because Australians slur through our words. So I always do the American pronunciation for the ‘R’ which I know gets me a lot of grief back home. But FRDM, freedom is the ticker. One of the things that when we first met I didn’t quite realize there was an emerging market focus for your first fund. We discussed and something that I’m very interested in, which are the freest countries in the world?
Perth Tolle: Yeah, so some of the Nordic countries are very free. Hong Kong and Singapore are considered very free. So Hong Kong, Singapore-
Tobias Carlisle: Hong Kong?
Perth Tolle: Norway. Hong Kong yeah because remember there’s a slight time lag in the data. So Hong Kong is still considered very free by especially economic freedom standards. They’re number one as far as economic freedom in the world, tied with Singapore. We are expecting to see that come down as China gains influence in the region, but as far as economic they’re still the highest out there.
Tobias Carlisle: And where does the US rank?
Perth Tolle: I have to look that up but I believe it’s somewhere around 18. Let me look it up.
Tobias Carlisle: Well, I looked it up this morning.
Perth Tolle: Okay.
Tobias Carlisle: And I saw your tweet about.
Perth Tolle: You’re just testing me then?
Tobias Carlisle: No, no, no. Well, a little bit.
Perth Tolle: I only look at emerging markets.
Tobias Carlisle: You’ve got give me the top 100 from one to 100, go. No, I wouldn’t do that to you.
Perth Tolle: Exactly.
Tobias Carlisle: Do you know the reasons why? So why is America at 18 and not sort of say closer to the very top?
Perth Tolle: Yeah, so one of the things I’ve heard from the people that compile this index, who are great. Is that the war on drugs and the war on terror caused our scores to go down. So in the last recent years. So a lot of government spending and interference and things like that. That’s what I heard.
Tobias Carlisle: And because 10% of my listeners are Australian. Where does Australia rank? Do you know?
Perth Tolle: Very high, it’s very high.
Tobias Carlisle: No war on drugs or terrorism.
Perth Tolle: Why don’t you tell me since you looked it up? But it is very high.
Tobias Carlisle: I’m happy to hear that.
Perth Tolle: Yeah. I’m going to actually look that up right now since you’re testing me and now I’m curious where Australia… At least I know it’s really high. So I can’t actually see the screen right now. Don’t do anything weird. If anyone else wants to look this up there’s a couple ways. This is done by Fraser, Cato and Friedrich so if you go any of those you can find it, and right now I am going to Cato and I’m just pulling the data and then I will rank. Source countries. So Australia they have a human freedom score which is the composite score. Eight point five eight out of 10. Their rank is four.
Tobias Carlisle: Four. Human freedom?
Perth Tolle: Number four. So extremely free.
Tobias Carlisle: So who’s one, two, three? New Zealand.
Tobias Carlisle: Chile.
Perth Tolle: No, Chile is not. Chile is below Australia. This is a whole 160 countries, so I’m going to just sort by rank. New Zealand, Hong Kong, Switzerland, Australia.
Tobias Carlisle: Wow, that’s a good outcome. Behind New Zealand. Shout out to my kiwi buddies. You’ll be able to remind me of that one next time we see each other.
Perth Tolle: Yeah.
Tobias Carlisle: It’s probably based on how you play rugby which unfortunately Australia’s not doing well there.
Perth Tolle: No, this is the composite score. So this includes human freedom and economic freedom. If you look at just economic freedom, Hong Kong is number one.
Tobias Carlisle: Good sevens rugby there too. So thanks very much for that, Perth. That’s very interesting.
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