On this investment page, you'll hear more about how you profit from the unprecedented shift in wealth to today’s emerging markets.
Read more about up-to-the-minute details of global investment plays that you won’t find anywhere else. Find out more about investment insights on how to safely profit from the most important trend of the last 100 years--the shift of wealth from the “old” economies (such as the U.S., Europe and Japan) to the “new” economies of the future (such as Brazil, India and China).
See below to view more investment articles.
Learn more about how you can profit from today's emerging markets. Simply enter your email below to subscribe to International Living’s free daily e-letter and we’ll immediately send you a free report.
Get Your Free Report Here
Can a person make money out of bits of old paper, or are they simply too “ephemeral?” The word ephemera means “something of no lasting significance.” In collecting, however, ephemera is the buzzword for all things interesting made of paper. And for collectors, ephemera have lasting significance, indeed.
Cancun wasn’t always packed with high-rise condos and tourist accommodation. In fact, in 1970, it had just three inhabitants. (Yes, you read that right.) Then, in 1974, Fonatur (Mexico’s tourism development authority) kicked off a master plan to bring tourism to this sandy spit of land. They built the infrastructure and provided the incentives necessary to attract hotelier tourists—and it worked.
I’ve never seen a stretch of the Caribbean more beautiful than the Riviera Maya. Standing on the warm, clean, coral-sanded beach, turquoise water laps at your feet. Behind you, palm trees sway and rustle in gentle breezes. Dive into that water and you can explore the world’s second-longest coral reef. Or step back from the beach and take in untamed jungle, ancient forest cities, and mythical cenotes—underground, swimmable caverns revered as sacred places by the Maya people.
In August I visited a new luxury beachfront apartment building on the Costa del Sol’s new Golden Mile. Within eight days earlier this year, 122 apartments in the building sold. The fire-sale pricing was that good: $347,209 for an apartment. Seven months later, these apartments were listing for $528,396 each.
For any careful investor it’s important to understand not just the current trend but rather where we’re headed. As such, keep an eye toward the future for the growth leaders of tomorrow. Since 2007, emerging markets have been outspending American consumers. Take a look at the charts here to see how the international growth/redistribution of current consumption trends will change the landscape of international business.
A great view usually translates into a premium price tag. But you can afford a home with stunning vistas if know the right place to look. For example, I know of one Pacific coast town where a beachfront condo with Californian-style ocean views and a similar lifestyle will only set you back $119,000. You’d need at least three times that to get close to the beach in California.
I found Rebekah Opuni sitting on the tailgate of a truck with her younger sister. The air conditioner inside her small boutique hadn’t been installed yet and indoors without A/C isn’t always the coolest place to relax in Accra, Ghana…in midafternoon…in midsummer…just five degrees north of the equator.
William H. Gross is a familiar figure in the investment world. He is author of several books on investing, cofounder of PIMCO and manager of the world’s largest bond fund, over $280 billion. He is often referred to as “The Bond King.” Less well known is the fact that he is also a stamp collector.
In medieval Europe, keeping an eye out for and guarding against invasion—a frequent occurrence in those days—was no easy feat. But one of a nobleman’s greatest defensive weapons was a castle perched on a rocky hilltop near an important mountain pass. The location itself—surrounded by steep cliff—offered protection.
Malaysia is on the rise. The middle class is growing, disposable income is increasing, and it is one of the easiest places in the world for a foreigner to set up business—ranked 12th of 185 by the World Bank. In my experience of observing start-ups here in Malaysia, franchising is a very feasible business opportunity in this economy. English is widely spoken among the population of more than 28 million—70% of which is urban based. This offers a good consumer base to potential franchisees considering locating here.
The number of U.S. taxpayers renouncing their American citizenship or permanent-resident status is accelerating. For many, the benefits of U.S. citizenship no longer outweigh the costs. Whether you are a high-net-worth individual or a young entrepreneur with a lifetime of earnings ahead of you, renouncing your U.S. citizenship is the only way to end your U.S. tax obligations.
I have a confession to make. I’m a romantic. Whenever I travel, I look for a hotel or hostel in an old colonial home. When I wake up in the morning, I throw open the shutters or step out onto the balcony imagining I’ve been transported back in time. But there are folks who get to do that every day. And you can, too.
The white-washed town of Istán clings to the slopes of the Sierra de las Nieves (Mountains of the Snows). It’s a truly hidden place—yet stunningly and conveniently positioned. I’ve visited plenty of charming hill towns and villages in Spain, France, and Italy where real estate is cheap. But the downside has always been remoteness. Istán is different.
The morning rush hour spreads through the central business district of Popayán, Colombia. But the rush of activity isn’t the relatively few cars and motorbikes slipping through the narrow lanes of this well-preserved colonial city. It’s the armada of street vendors for whom these lanes serve as a showroom floor.
You’ll find one of the most stunning areas on my beat on the southern edge of Mexico’s Riviera Maya. Its white-sand beaches, ancient ruins, white-bottomed lagoons, nature preserves, caves and cenotes (underwater caves) make it stand out—so much so that vacationers and expats are increasingly flocking here. But despite its growing popularity, there is still a window of opportunity on Mexico’s Caribbean coast.
Today, I want to tell you about a part of Costa Rica that is still a secret to most of the outside world. This place is called the forgotten coast because it is the least discovered and most unexplored region in Costa Rica. For years, tourists have flocked to the country’s Pacific coast and business has gravitated to the capital city, San Jose. Most people overlooked Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast. For the handful who traveled there, they found first-class beaches, verdant jungle canopies and undervalued real estate. It’s easy to reach too… You can get here in less than two hours from San Jose on a new, modern highway.
Real estate bubbles send all prices too high. When they pop, they bring everything down with them. Sometimes too far. The same irrational views that drove the prices up help push them down, and for a short time quality properties become very cheap. That’s when you should buy: before the fear subsides and prices go up once again.
“There was a hole there. There was no place to get good bacon and eggs,” says Andrew, who explains that there are many other opportunities in León for quick-thinking entrepreneurs. “There’s still very little here. So anybody who has a big idea— it’ll work.” His investment of $5,000 got things off the ground. And although there were some struggles in the beginning—he had no previous restaurant experience and the local bureaucracy proved tough to navigate until he hired a local accountant—his business has taken off.
At first it just happened by chance, but it was the best thing that ever happened to someone struggling to survive in a foreign land. A $47,000 investment (down payment and closing costs) in the year 2000 to purchase a 750-square-foot apartment in Le Marais, Paris has resulted in the ownership of five properties valued at almost $3.5 million in today’s market. I was living in the apartment as a rental for the first two years, then the owners wanted to sell…but, I simply couldn’t bear to leave it and spent nine months figuring out how to buy it. That was just the beginning.
I purchased my first rental property in the ski resort village of Whistler, BC, Canada, when I was 23-years-old with a very small down payment. At the time, I was working as reservations manager for a property management company so I had first-hand knowledge of the strong returns that could be achieved through rentals. Over the following eight years, I proceeded to buy, renovate, rent short-term, and ultimately sell nine Whistler properties.
When we hear “tutoring job,” we often picture an underpaid, but hardworking person trying to make some side income while finishing their studies. Guess what? We’re wrong. In the U.S., tutoring is a $7-billion-ayear industry, according to the education research company EduVentures. That is more than what all the casinos on the Las Vegas Strip generate on an annual basis. The Daily Telegraph newspaper in the UK recently published an article about “super tutors”, earning up to £1,000 (about $1,600) per hour.
“My maid now eats yogurt,” a contact told me on a visit to Fortaleza, Brazil in 2009. It may seem like a strange thing to notice but it’s a sure mark of how Brazil is changing. Yogurt is a premium product in Brazil—and my contact’s maid was changing her consuming patterns in line with Brazil’s new middle class.
At Real Estate Trend Alert my beat is to find places where real estate is undervalued and where something is set to happen that means values will increase. I call this “the trigger event.” This trigger event could be a fast-growing, new, middle class or new infrastructure projects that will bring improved accessibility.
If, like many Americans, your greatest source of personal wealth is in your IRA, you may be wondering how to best utilize that investment to safeguard it and watch it grow. You’re not alone. Concerns about the stability of the U.S. dollar have generated a greater interest in all manner of offshore investments—foreign real estate in particular.
You’ve heard the economy is slow. You can see it for yourself just walking down main street. But one place you won’t find any sign of it is among the pages of luxury real estate listings. Floods of cheap money are working their way into the luxury real estate market at home and in world cities like London, Melbourne, Hong Kong and New York.
So what would the earliest antique have been? Adam’s discarded fig leaf? A sliver of gopher wood from Noah’s Ark? A stone chip off the tablet on which the Ten Commandments were carved? From cavemen trading mammoth tusks to children squabbling over the sale of Granny’s Meissen dinner service, the acquisition and disposal of ancient (and modern) artefacts has always interested folks.
The U.S. government is at war…with itself. All across America, government institutions have shut down, leaving just a skeleton staff to man the country. The doors of national monuments, including the Statue of Liberty, America’s greatest and best-known symbol of freedom and the American Dream, clanked shut last Monday…leaving the workers at those monuments adrift in a sea of uncertainty.
The breeze is gently swaying the hanging bed, perched over a terraced hill, with views of three islands in the foreground. The South Pacific, an intoxicating mix of jade, turquoise and cobalt, is just a few steps down the stairs. Behind me is the pool with a mosaic, blue starfish in the bottom and lounge chairs—farther back, a three-bedroom, three-bath house…each room with its own view of this unspoiled paradise.
There are communities in many parts of the world where arts and crafts are still made by hand…and markets in other parts of the world ready to pay good money for them. Bringing them together is the perfect way to create an income for yourself while enjoying a life of travel or living overseas at a lower cost than back home.
Changing nutritional preferences and the restructuring of society are leading to new consumer trends in Colombia—and creating opportunities for expat entrepreneurs in the health-food market. BioPlaza is a chain of four outlets in Bogotá—three of them franchised—that is seeking to exploit this demand and is now looking for franchisees. The man behind it is Alex von Loebell, 49, who came to Colombia from Germany, where he had studied marketing and advertising, and worked in the media.
Central America has often drawn investments from other countries due to its vast untapped resources and its significant location. France tried to build a canal there, America actually did and now it’s the turn of China to try. China has been looking for alternative trans-oceanic routes and now there are talks of a 170-mile, $40 billion deal to build a canal across Central America being in the works. If this project comes to pass it will connect the Pacific (Brito) with the Caribbean (Bluefields) and will take five years to complete.
There’s always room for wealth creation. Despite the world’s economic woes, the number of people with $30 million or more in net assets rose by 5% globally last year. And according to the Frank Knight Wealth Report 2013, over the next 10 years there’ll be a 50% rise in the number of people breaking that barrier.
Europe isn’t ridiculously cheap right now. But it is a heck of a lot cheaper than wading into U.S. blue chips at current levels. It is also packed full of high-quality companies with global reach…and a lot of these businesses are going at fair prices.
Have you been to a shopping mall recently? Well, one thing you are sure to find there is a frozen yogurt kiosk or self-serve location. And, as I travel around Latin America looking at franchise businesses, I can tell you that the same is happening here. From Santiago de Chile to Mexico City, this quick-service segment is exploding. The reason? It’s the healthy option dessert and consumers are becoming increasingly health-conscious.
I’ve spent my fair share of time in airports over the years, and if there’s anything I’ve learned from that experience, it’s that I wish I hadn’t spent my fair share of time in airports over the years.
During the decade since I first published my popular Passport Book, now in its 10th edition, rarely have I seen so many countries at one time willing to trade official access for foreign cash.
There has been a lot of hand-wringing lately over the slowdown in official Chinese GDP growth,” writes IL Finance Editor, Chris Hunter
I was about 11 or 12 years old, listening to my mom—a travel agent at the time—talking to a co-worker about finding a way to get a client to Minneapolis.
It was early afternoon, and I was on a chartered bus about 50 miles outside Vienna. The cellphones of my traveling companions starting buzzing…and one of the Austrian bankers began to translate the breaking news coming over the radio.
Elderly Americans may long ago have heard the quaint expression “sound as a dollar.” It was a prideful phrase that referred to the strength of the American currency, and you certainly don’t hear it any more.