Dec. 27, 2022

Exploring the Relationship Between Freedom and Markets with Perth Tolle

This week’s guest is Perth Tolle, the founder of Life + Liberty Indexes and creator of the Freedom 100 EM Index (FRDM index). This freedom-weighted equity strategy is the first of its kind and uses personal and economic freedom metrics as primary factors in its investment process.

Doug and Greg chat with Perth about how/why she came up with the ETF, how the strategy performs vs. the market cap-weighted benchmarks, the risks of autocracies, China’s role/exposure, ESG, and more.

Key Takeaways

  • [00:23] - About Perth Tolle
  • [01:02] - The Freedom 100 Emerging Markets ETF (FRDM)
  • [05:34] - Perth’s experience in China shaping her ideals
  • [06:16] - Autocracy risks for emerging market investors
  • [10:38] - The investment idea behind emerging markets
  • [12:21] - What is freedom weighting?
  • [12:56] - Human Freedoms Index: Civil, Political, Economical
  • [14:00] - Composite Country Scores
  • [14:47] - Taiwan is the #1 freest merging market
  • [15:29] - Direct vs. indirect allocation/exposure to China
  • [19:39] - Freedom metrics performance in non-COVID environments
  • [21:12] - Why Perth launched the ETF
  • [24:51] - Perth’s partnership with Wes Gray & Alpha Architect
  • [28:35] - Excluding China from an emerging markets cap-weighted index
  • [30:01] - What’s next for Life + Liberty Indexes?
  • [31:50] - The politicization of ESG 


[12:06] - “We believe that the freer markets will experience more sustainable growth, they'll recover faster from drawdowns, and they'll use their capital labor more efficiently. So not only do we want to exclude the autocracies and stay away from that autocracy risk, but we want to give a higher weight to freer markets, which we think are launch paths for the growth stories of the next decade.” - Perth Tolle  

[17:28] - “If you're looking at these index providers putting between 20 and 40% of an allocation to a single country that's ranking near the bottom from a freedom perspective…that seems like a pretty high risk to me.” - Doug Stokes


Connect with our hosts


Subscribe and stay in touch



The information in this podcast is educational and general in nature and does not take into consideration the listener's personal circumstances. Therefore, it is not intended to be a substitute for specific, individualized financial, legal, or tax advice. To determine which strategies or investments may be suitable for you, consult the appropriate qualified professional prior to making a final decision.