The first time I visited the small, colonial town of Las Tablas, I was there for one reason only: to party it up Panamanian style. I’d heard that the yearly Carnival celebration here rivaled Louisiana’s Mardi Gras, and I wanted to see for myself. The festivities did not disappoint. Everything was loud and raucous and colorful…and wonderfully so. Gorgeous Carnival queens danced on floats that had been crafted into big intricate displays. People were dancing in the streets and offering me drinks. Craziest of all, big fire hoses were being used to douse revelers with cool water…so at high noon when the sun shone hot and strong, the party didn’t stop.
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.
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.