On March 11, 2011, a magnitude 9.0 undersea, mega-thrust earthquake became the greatest ever to hit Japan. Minutes later another unforeseen event struck: a giant tsunami.
Although GDP slowed to a crawl of just 0.9% last year (hardly too enticing), it is difficult to find a Brazilian who even notices. More Brazilians have jobs than ever before. Wages are rising.
There’s something strange going on in Brazil. You might call it a “schizophrenic economy.” Brazil is an economy of two halves. From the outside looking in, it’s a former star player plagued by socialist leaders with no understanding of free-market principles. But from the inside looking out, it’s a booming emerging market with record low jobless numbers, a strong currency, and high interest rates to keep the economy from overheating.
It had to happen sometime. After a decade of outperforming U.S. stocks, Brazil has started lagging behind the States. Now, I have recommended Brazil a number of times in these pages. So in true IL fashion, I hopped on a flight to São Paulo to put “boots on the ground.”
Norway is uniquely placed to protect wealth. It is outside the euro zone, has low public debt, ultra-low unemployment, and a strong and stable currency. It also has the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund…with a staggering $664 billion under management. Think of Norway as the Saudi Arabia of Europe.
I’m thinking of a Latin American bank that truly stands apart. Unlike, say, Citigroup or Bank of America, this bank doesn’t offer loans or checking accounts to the general public. It doesn’t receive deposits from the public, either. Instead, it finances trade in Latin America, mainly by funding the sale of commodities and agricultural products to Asia.
Banksters…fat cats…one-percenters… there’s no shortage of put-downs for bankers these days. But not all bankers are evil. And not all banks are created equal. One bank that stands apart is Panama-headquartered Banco Latinoamericano de Comercio Exterior S.A.—or Bladex, as it is more commonly known.
It’s often overlooked, but dividends make up the lion’s share of stock-market returns. According to one study, dividend income made up 35% of the total returns of the S&P 500 between 1926 and 2009. There are two important reasons why this trend is set to accelerate. First, record low bond yields mean that dividend income is more sought-after than ever.
One of the best ways to create cash flow right now is through stock dividends—especially through stocks with exposure to the emerging markets. Cash flow is the amount of money your portfolio “pays you” each year. And by buying a diversified basket of dividendpaying stocks, it can be surprisingly stable.
If you want to see real economic growth, get a taxi through Hanoi at rush hour. Every day, millions of residents of the Vietnamese capital weave their way through the city on newly-bought Chinese and Japanese motorbikes and scooters. Twenty years ago, bicycles were the main form of transport.
During the four years I lived in Buenos Aires, Argentina, I enjoyed the bloody steaks, strong drinks, and old-fashioned sports that the locals thrive on. Buenos Aires is a place where men can still be men. It’s the capital of a country that does macho well. These days, I’m based in Berlin. But I travel back to BA regularly, and here’s my guide to how a fellow can make the most of the city.
The case for investing in Mexico has never been so compelling. And there are four important factors why. First, the Mexican government is planning to introduce important pro-market reforms under newly-elected president Enrique Peña Nieto of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, who takes office next year. He is supported in these reforms by the opposition, center-right National Action Party.
The best time to buy stocks and other assets is when investors are running scared. I’ve been banging this drum all year—especially when it comes to Europe. I believe the crisis there is about to throw up a genuinely once-in-a-lifetime buying opportunity for contrarian investors.
I don’t blame the bond skeptics. When most people think of bonds, they think of Treasury bonds—those issued by the U.S. Federal government. Treasury bonds offer yields that are below the official rate of inflation.
Let me warn you up front: You probably won’t like today’s recommendation. It has nothing to do with the stock market. Today, I am going to recommend that you dip your toe into a different market—and buy bonds. I bet not one in 100 readers of this magazine gives the bond market as much attention as he gives to the stock market. And it’s fashionable these days to talk about all bonds as “bad” investments.
It’s probably one of the last places most North Americans would think about investing, but the single best investment you make for the next decade could be to buy Africa. There are important reasons why African stocks are set to richly reward buy-and-hold-style investors. But the main reason is simply this: Africa is where the growth is. The continent’s economy has been growing at about 6% over the last decade. And it is expected to match that pace over the next several years.
Squashed into the back of a Buenos Aires taxi between the two women, I hadn’t been paying much attention. But once they mentioned MercadoLibre, it sounded like a conversation that I overheard several times during my three-week investment-scouting trip to Argentina and Uruguay.
Contrarian investors “run into burning buildings.” This doesn’t mean they’re daredevils. It just means they understand a basic principle of the market: That the best time to buy is when the crowd is running in the opposite direction. This stampede effect causes prices of perfectly good assets to hit the floor.
Bull markets are all born in extreme pessimism. That means the time to invest is when the ﬂames are licking higher, not after the ﬁre trucks have arrived. And Europe is up in smoke right now…I’m not calling for the bottom in Europe stocks or for an immediate end to the debt crisis there. Plenty more can go wrong. But contrarian investors “run into burning buildings.”
This kind of “mega trend” may not be winning a lot of attention in the mainstream media. But it is a critical insight for global investors. The “Age of Man” is literally changing the face of the earth. As such, it will have profound implications on every investment decision you make.
Here’s a trend you can take to the bank: as consumers in the U.S. and Europe cut back on spending, the source of growth for companies will shift to consumers in fast-growing overseas markets.
For the first time, the planet’s population has crossed the seven billion mark. The world’s population has increased more than tenfold in the past three centuries, and it is expected to reach 10 billion in this century. To put this in perspective, human biomass is already 100 times larger than that of any other animal that has ever lived on the planet.
The day Warren Buffett became the world’s richest man for the first time, he went out and bought himself a hail-damaged Ford. Although the damage to the bodywork was mostly invisible, the dealer was offering a heavily discounted price. Buffett knew a deal when he saw one, and he snapped it up.
One of my favorite overseas markets to invest in for the long term is Chile. It’s a high-growth emerging market…and it’s a country that treats capital well. People often see emerging markets as Wild West-like frontiers where corruption is rife and the rule of law doesn’t exist. This can be true in some cases. But it’s not so in Chile.
Today I’m going to tell you that you should buy a Spanish phone company. Your friends may laugh at you. Let them. It’s easy to repeat Warren Buffett’s advice at dinner parties: “Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful.” It’s harder to follow when it comes to your own portfolio. But that is exactly what I recommend you do with this Spanish company.
With more than three in five U.S. workers in their 50s and 60s planning on working past 65 (and over half of them planning on working into their 70s and beyond), the American Dream continues to die a death. IL’s Chris Hunter offers some sound advice on what you can do to protect your retirement.
Dividend champions are particularly attractive if you’re nearing retirement or are already retired. That’s because on top of capital growth (what happens when the stock price rises) they allow you to create a passive income stream in your account.
I’ve greatly enjoyed writing International Living Investor and researching ways to tap into the fastest growing markets in the world. And I’ve hoped you’ve enjoyed reading.
But unfortunately the level of interest in a niche letter like International Living Investor has been too low to make it viable. And so with regret, we will not continue to publish it.
As a small parting gift I’d like to give you a report called 10 Rules to Remember for Overseas Investment Success. It’s yours to keep with my compliments.
Some things in life are simple. For instance, I do almost all my clothes shopping when stores are running their winter or summer sales. You get exactly the same stuff…only cheaper. If you’re a dedicated fashion follower, this won’t work.
Buy low. It’s a simple concept. But it’s downright difficult to execute.
One story the mainstream has missed is the recent rise in crude oil prices. As I type this, crude-oil futures contracts in New York are selling for $99 a barrel.
Dividends “pay you” to own a stock…they can give you a regular income and they can help you pick proﬁtable, mature companies that generate lots of cash. My favorite way to “get paid” dividends is in the Brazilian power-generating sector.
The last decade hasn’t been kind to paper assets. Meanwhile, hard assets – such as oil, gold, copper and food commodities – have all been hitting record highs.
If you’ve been following the financial news, you’ll know that global stock markets have been tanking this week.
Here’s something you won’t hear on CNBC… The recent rally in U.S. stocks was the sharpest such surge since 1644, just before the Ming Dynasty collapsed and an outbreak of bubonic plague claimed hundreds of thousands of lives in Europe.
Today, I want to dig a little deeper into this topic. Because it is one of the best investment opportunities available to U.S.-based investors today. This is especially true, if you’re the type of person who has no interest in checking the market everyday.
Last week, I was at an investor conference in Switzerland. As is typical these days, one of the big topics was investing in the emerging markets.
A lot of people are worried about the direction of the world right now. Greece looks set to default. China is fending off allegations of securities fraud. And back in the U.S. there are fears of a double-dip recession.
Most people think winning in the markets is all about picking the right stocks. It’s not. Winning in the markets is all about having a plan…and sticking to that plan even when things appear to go wrong.
New York university professor Nouriel Roubini is hardly Mr. Sunshine. The New York Times famously dubbed him “Dr. Doom.” And for good reason. On Sept. 7, 2006, he stood in front of an audience of IMF economists and told them a crisis was coming.