NEW YORK (ETF Expert) -- Recently, Carl Delfield of Investment U, suggested that investors would reap the financial rewards of owning an equally weighted portfolio of "economically free" countries.The author offered the most popular country ETFs of economically free nations. Philosophically, I might agree with Delfield's contention that such a portfolio would prove profitable. In fact, very few individuals are as big fans of economic independence as I. In the early '90s, I chose to live in Hong Kong for several years because of its free-market capitalism and flat tax rate. What's more, I traveled back and forth to Singapore, enamored by its probusiness policies and support of free trade. That said, one should question whether high ratings of economic independence constitute reason enough to invest in a corresponding country's ETF. Moreover, one should be wary of buying and holding any basket of assets, especially when there are beneficial ways to control your investment outcomes. For 2012, Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia earned the top three spots in the The Wall Street Journal/Heritage Foundation's Index of Economic Freedom. Below is a quick chart view on how an investor might have done owning and holding iShares:MSCI Hong Kong ( EWH), iShares:MSCI Singapore ( EWS) and iShares:MSCI Australia ( EWA). An optimist might note that the five-year bear-to-bull environment resulted in recovery of principal.