There were dozens of sessions and events going on, but if the day’s theme could be summed up in a word, it’s liberty.
Senator Mike Lee, R-Utah, really hammered that point home in front of a packed audience.
Senator Lee, who authored Written Out of History and won this year’s Read Book Award, spoke about how freedom advocates should speak of liberty with a “smile and a vision.” “Liberty runs through our DNA and it’s something we need to protect every day,” Lee said.
Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Kentucky, who joined Sen. Lee in a panel discussion, agreed whole-heartedly, but said our actions alone weren’t enough. “We need to get all of our leaders to believe in the value of liberty…”
We also heard from Quantum Fund co-founder Jim Rogers, who spoke in several well-attended sessions. In one of them, he fielded more than a dozen questions from attendees, including a couple from me.
I asked Rogers about how Africa has changed since he wrote about it in his 2003 book, Adventure Capitalist.
In the book, which covered his time in Africa, Rogers reported how the continent was full of missed opportunities.
For example, a number of countries possess natural resources but are not developing them economically because of flawed leadership.
Rogers also reminded the audience there are more than 50 African nations, so the region needs to be viewed on a country-by-country basis.
Angola, for instance, had a civil war for more than 40 years… but the country also holds sizable oil reserves.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe has been “ruined” by the leadership of Robert Mugabe, 93, a one-time revolutionary who has been the country’s president since 1987.
He also cited the Congo (where he was held hostage, during his world travels) as a country that doesn’t seem to have improved much since he left it more than 15 years ago.
I also asked Rogers about the civil unrest embroiling Venezuela, which had the strongest economy in Latin America less than two decades ago, but now has fallen into economic distress under its former socialist president, Hugo Chavez, and its current leader Nicolas Maduro.
Rogers said the country did not appear to be close to presenting good investing prospects anytime soon, given the current instability.
On the other hand, he offered his take on global crisis investing… and how once-troubled nations sometimes offer the best buying opportunities — soon after wars or crises come to an end.
Also on the day’s docket was Successful ETF Investing editor Jim Woods, who offered his own view on international investing.
Woods told attendees in a late afternoon panel discussion how he uncovered big profits, by investing in India, through an exchange-traded fund (ETF).
The fund, VanEck India Small Cap Index ETF (SCIF), zoomed 39% from its recommendation on December 21, 2016, until he recommended its sale in May.
Woods joined his other panelists, though, in cautioning the opportunities in India…
…Particularly concerning how the country carries high risk, and is not a market for faint-hearted investors.
One thing we didn’t hear about at FreedomFest was Mark Skousen’s newest stock recommendation. And that’s too bad, because it’s soaring. If you’d like to read Mark’s write-up, I invite you to take a look right here.