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Jon Springer
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I write about emerging and frontier markets in Asia. I now primarily contribute work to Forbes Asia. My most recent work and my complete bio can be found on Forbes Asia's site: If it is easier, you can find my recent work sorted by country on this... More
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  • Frontier Market Investing Checklist 12 comments
    Apr 30, 2012 11:52 AM | about stocks: AFK, AND, ARGT, COLX, ECH, EPU, EGPT, EIDO, EPHE, EWM, FRN, GULF, IDX, IDXJ, IF, GXG, LATM, MAY, MES, PMNA, VNM

    This list is provided for readers to use as a template for taking notes on potential investments in single country or regional Frontier Markets. Please feel free to copy and paste it into a document you can edit. If there is anything you would like to add, please say so in the comments below and I will add it in. Please do me the kindness of crediting me if you use it in a professional setting.

    Frontier Market Investing Checklist (by Jon Springer)

    Trust. If your gut says no, don't invest.

    GDP growth.

    Natural Resources.

    Other Economic Drivers.



    Graft, corruption, and other words for doing business.

    Actionable events.

    Holdings. What are you investing in? What do you want to invest in?



    Seasonality and cycles.

    When? When is the right time to invest?

    Coverage. Where are you going to get data from?

    Triangulated truths.


    What's your angle?

    Do you "get it"? You need to understand the narrative of why the country will succeed and what the obstacles are to invest in a wise and opportunistic way.

    * end of checklist *

    A complete list of my disclosures regarding Mongolia may be found at the Mongolia Weekly Update which also serves as my home page for Mongolia-related topics. I have no other germane disclosures in accounts I personally manage at this time. I have an account managed by a broker that is managed at his discretion and may trade linked ETFs and closed-end funds listed from time to time, however I have no input in that decision making process.

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Comments (12)
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  • Asia Stock Tracker
    , contributor
    Comments (77) | Send Message
    Hi Jon,
    I have followed you for quite a while. I wonder what is your higher conviction between Axion Power and your investments in Mogolia.


    30 Apr 2012, 01:21 PM Reply Like
  • Jon Springer
    , contributor
    Comments (4100) | Send Message
    Author’s reply » Hi king 707,


    I appreciate the question but it was a little off-topic from the Frontiers Markets Investing Checklist so I answered it here:
    30 Apr 2012, 05:11 PM Reply Like
  • Asia Stock Tracker
    , contributor
    Comments (77) | Send Message
    Thank You for your prompt reply.


    Let's get back to the Frontier Markets' topic.
    I found that most of your investments in Mongolia are in Mining sector. Why did you choose to invest only in Mining? I know that Mongolia is resource-rich but invest in only one sector looks a bit too concentrated.
    30 Apr 2012, 07:49 PM Reply Like
  • Jon Springer
    , contributor
    Comments (4100) | Send Message
    Author’s reply » Okay...


    a) My non-mining sector investments for Mongolia currently include Mongolia Growth Group (real estate & some insurance) (MNGGF.PK), APU (beverages; symbol is APU on the Mongolia Stock Exchange), and Remicon (concrete & cement; RMC on the Mongolia Stock Exchange).


    b) If you go down the list of publicly traded companies outside of Mongolia currently (, there are two companies not related to mining, MNGGF.PK and Nova Resources (NOVA.L). Thus, there are not many options outside of mining trading outside of Mongolia.


    c) Assuming I invest an equal amount in each company I own would be incorrect.


    d) There are more options outside of mining on the Mongolia Stock Exchange, albeit I haven't really begun to broach the complexities of the MSE, and some things are in flux with regulations changing soon.


    e) I assure you I am looking for options outside of the mining sector both outside of Mongolia and on the MSE.


    f) I published this checklist and a list of Frontier and Emerging Market ETFs, and closed end funds today ( in preparation of publishing an article on how and why I go about investing in Frontier Markets later this week. I hope that will help clarify better.
    30 Apr 2012, 09:51 PM Reply Like
  • Asia Stock Tracker
    , contributor
    Comments (77) | Send Message
    Thanks for your reply.


    You are one of my favorite contributors in SA because you always explain things in detail and it is useful to read your articles/comments.


    I saw in your profile that you have a plan to visit another Frontier Countries such as Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar. If you really come there ,let me know. Maybe we can catch up because I live in the middle between these countries (Thailand) . I went to Laos a couple of time because it is nearby my hometown.


    Laos has just opened its stock market last year with only two listed companies . And Cambodia opened the stock market in March and it has only one company listed. I decided to pass an investment opportunity in Laos market due to currency fluctuation. It is fairly easy to obtain the IPOs for foreign investors because the scarcity of domestic investors .
    1 May 2012, 09:56 AM Reply Like
  • Jon Springer
    , contributor
    Comments (4100) | Send Message
    Author’s reply » Thanks king707. I really appreciate the compliments as sometimes I feel like I'm learning as I type (which means the previous sentence, paragraph, or article may need correcting). I tentatively plan to go on my next trip to Mongolia plus one other country in September. I'm juggling a lot of variables trying to determine where the best place to go would be for myself and the full spectrum of the investors that read what I write.
    1 May 2012, 10:53 AM Reply Like
  • Valley Boy
    , contributor
    Comments (2211) | Send Message
    Here's an guide on country risk put out by European experts.
    11 Dec 2012, 01:41 PM Reply Like
  • Jon Springer
    , contributor
    Comments (4100) | Send Message
    Author’s reply » I like that! Thanks VB!
    11 Dec 2012, 01:44 PM Reply Like
  • Valley Boy
    , contributor
    Comments (2211) | Send Message
    The World Bank has some interesting tables on economics for the various countries.
    For instance, this source ranks and explains the logistics performance of each of the countries. An investor can then surmise from other sources if the economic situation of a given country will result in improved logistics over time.
    12 Dec 2012, 11:39 AM Reply Like
  • Valley Boy
    , contributor
    Comments (2211) | Send Message
    A broken link; search the bank's website for its wealth of information.
    12 Dec 2012, 11:53 AM Reply Like
  • Jon Springer
    , contributor
    Comments (4100) | Send Message
    Author’s reply » Can you run the link through to get a better link? I've been having to do that with most long links for SA.


    Thanks for the data VB!
    12 Dec 2012, 02:45 PM Reply Like
  • Valley Boy
    , contributor
    Comments (2211) | Send Message
    Hopefully this will connect to the Logistics Performance Index of 2012.
    12 Dec 2012, 05:24 PM Reply Like
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