Hidden Assets

"To invest in something that's popular when it's popular is the kiss of death," says Amit Wadhwaney, manager of the New York-based Third Avenue International Value Fund. Indeed, there's no more reliable way of earning dismal long-term returns than betting on what's hot. Consider some of the many ill-fated outbreaks of investor madness that have gripped Asia in recent decades: the giddiness over Japanese stocks in the late 1980s, the Hong Kong property bubble of the 1990s, euphoria over Chinese red chips in 1996-97, and the mad rise of Thai banking stocks before the carnage of the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis....