In Chinese script, the character for crisis is actually a construct of two symbols: one for danger and the other for opportunity. The danger is what everybody sees; the opportunity is not quite as obvious, but it’s always lurking somewhere. Late last year I visited Cyprus to search through the rubble of a crisis—one of the most significant financial meltdowns in recent history.
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.
- Colombia’s Banks: The Rise of Prosperity Along a New Frontier
Posted on December 17, 2013 by Jeff D. Opdyke
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.
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.
- Uranium: “Either the Price Goes Up or the Lights Go Out”
Posted on July 23, 2013 by Chris Hunter
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.
Today, owning productive farmland is one of the safest ways to grow or preserve your nest egg. The case for farmland has never been stronger. Increasing populations and wealth in emerging economies is the primary driver. As people in these economies become richer, they eat more food.
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.
- Brazil: As Consumers Turn to Plastic, Profits Rise
Posted on March 25, 2013 by Chris Hunter
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: Protect Your Retirement with Oil, Phones and Kroner
Posted on February 25, 2013 by Chris Hunter
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.
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.
- Start-up Economies: Why Frontier Markets Make Sense
Posted on November 26, 2012 by Chris Hunter
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.
- Mexico: Why Investing South of the Border is a Winning Play
Posted on October 22, 2012 by Chris Hunter
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 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.
- BRICS: Time to Chase Blue-Chip Emerging-Market Stocks
Posted on August 24, 2012 by Chris Hunter
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.
- Blood on the Streets: A Swiss Company Poised to Hand You Profits
Posted on July 26, 2012 by Chris Hunter
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.
- Emerging Markets: Overseas Bonds Produce Fat Yields
Posted on June 28, 2012 by Chris Hunter
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.
Your Own Home in the Sun Kit
Casa de Campo, Dominican Republic
June 7-9, 2012
In business, key deals are struck all the time over drinks or on the golf course. It’s no different with property transactions. Well-connected insiders can pay less… access preferential terms… and set themselves up for incredible profits…Like a 34.8% gain in 18 months… or 28.7% in less than a year…That’s how the folks we put on the inside last year are doing. This year, you could be the one getting in early with off-market deals.
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.
- Online Profits – Make Money from the eBay of Latin America
Posted on April 25, 2012 by Chris Hunter
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.
- Europe in Flames: Where to Find High Yields in This Crisis
Posted on March 27, 2012 by Chris Hunter
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.