He also discussed the dangers of real estate investing in emerging markets, where investors can’t count on legal systems to protect them. That’s why it’s important to have a strong and well-connected local partner who can navigate the political system when things go wrong, he said.

“You’re basically trading growth for the rule of law,” he said. “If there is some kind of political problem, reading the documents isn’t going to help you much.”

“We invested in China early and did very well. We invested later and we got our ass handed to us,” he said. “When we were early, they couldn’t wait to hear our ideas. Later on, they didn’t understand English.”

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