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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.
The euro may implode at any moment. The euro zone is deep in recession. The slow-motion debt crisis there trundles on. We still don’t know what will trigger a full-scale meltdown. All we know is that there’s now a good chance it will happen.
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.
You won’t read about it in the mainstream media. But we are approaching what could be one of the greatest buying opportunities of a generation—in European stocks. This may sound strange at ﬁrst. Even deluded. Economies in the euro zone are tanking, along with stock-market prices.
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.
The spring sunlight glints off the snow-covered Sierra Nevada mountains. When I left Marbella on Spain’s Costa del Sol, 90 minutes from here on a modern highway, it was a balmy 75 degrees Fahrenheit. I haven’t seen a cloud since. At 2,200 feet above sea level, in Granada’s historic center, it’s 63 degrees, and sunglasses and short sleeves are the order of the day.
A Boulevard St-Germain landmark, Café de Flore is one of Paris’s most hallowed literary cafés. I adore art deco elegance, but it isn’t somewhere I’d frequent regularly. Not after seeing the prices—$6.86 for a cafe crème, $8.45 for hot chocolate, $11.22 for a small beer. If it’s the hangout of the next Simone de Beauvoir or Picasso, I’d be astonished.
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.
The Panamanian side of the Darién is dominated by deep valleys, rivers and a 6,000-foot-high mountain peak. You won’t find much else here. Starbucks hasn’t made it, and there’s no Home Depot. This is frontier country. But you will find an open door to immediate residency in Panama, along with a chance for profitable investing.
Not needed: coat, scarf or sweater. But some sun-block would be welcome. Early December and the afternoon temperature is nudging 70 F. Sunbathers are on Isla Plana’s beach, and children are building sand-castles. I can even see swimmers.
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.”
The world’s consumer power base is shifting. The “rest” are playing catch-up to the “West” right before our eyes. Most investors don’t see this. They are blinded by the doom and gloom surrounding the financial crisis, the debt ceiling, and the gridlock in Washington.
Most investors don’t see fear or abject pessimism as powerful investing tools. But that’s exactly what they are. To maximize your proﬁts you must invest at rock bottom.
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.
If you want to live with world-class natural beauty without the world-class price tag, come to Mexico’s Baja California Sur. And be sure to bring a camera. This is a desert land of sharp, clear lines. The mountain peaks in the distance gleam a delicate mauve. I drive up a hill and suddenly there is the sea; a vast expanse of blue dotted with rocky, deserted islands.
First Eagle Overseas Fund seeks long-term growth of capital by investing primarily in equities issued by non-U.S. corporations. The fund’s management’s research-driven approach seeks to minimize risk by focusing on undervalued securities.
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.
Today you can buy real estate in Ireland at discounts of up to 80% from peak prices. Here’s the “why” and the “how….”
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.
To evaluate our seven countries for our Business Index 2011 we consulted seasoned entrepreneurs who’ve made the move and learned the ropes, as well as worked through in-country attorneys. We asked them about visa requirements, ﬁnancing, and how easy it was to set up a bank account. They told us about local taxes, business expenses, infrastructure and the local culture for doing business, Here is what they had to say…
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.
It’s a business in which the big players make millions. I’m talking about the guys on the billionaire lists. But you don’t have to be made of money to do what they do. For as little as $20,000, you can ride major global trends and pocket serious profits. I’m talking about investing in commercial real estate.
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.
Enduring the winter months in Northeast USA can be rough. The snow, sleet and cold always compels me to go someplace warm. I often dreamed of having my own tropical paradise to visit whenever I wanted…although the reality of it seemed so out of reach.
I was lucky, not smart, when I bought my first Paris apartment, but it was still the smartest thing I ever did. I simply didn’t want to move from my 17th-century pied-à-terre in Le Marais district when the owners wanted to sell.
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.
The short-term rental market in Fortaleza, Brazil is strong right now. For example, in one recently completed building in the Iracema Beach area (where I’ve visited several times), condos rent for $100 per night.
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.
We are usually focused on what is going on OUTSIDE America. But sometimes the situation INSIDE America becomes too serious to ignore. And this is one of those situations.