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Global Investing

Europe: The Investor Escape Hatch From the U.S. Recession

When I speak with the U.S. subscribers to my Permanent Wealth Investor advisory service, there's one bit of wisdom that I repeat time and again: Just because you're living through a recession doesn't mean that your money has to.

If that's a high-falutin way of telling folks to invest globally, so be it. The reality is that there are other places to invest than in the U.S. economy – and many of those "other" spots offer much better returns.

Take Europe…

To discover four investments that will let U.S. investors profit from Europe's continued turnaround, please read on...

Keeping Tabs on Thailand: An Asian Tiger Lurking Low in the Reeds

Last week we talked about Singapore and Thailand – two Asian economies that are quietly taking off. Today I want to add to those thoughts with a few more key points that opportunistic U.S. investors should know about Thailand, in particular.

Over the weekend, the Thai currency, the baht, rose to its highest level since 1997 due to an improved outlook for economic growth and expectations of more investor inflows. A current-account surplus of $5.42 billion this year through July and the fact that the Bank of Thailand has raised its benchmark interest rate twice this year have also helped the baht post the second-best performance among Asia's most-traded currencies excluding the yen.

"There has been quite a lot of demand to buy the baht from offshore, probably from foreigners to buy Thai stocks and bonds," Kozo Hasegawa, a Bangkok-based foreign-exchange trader at Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp., told Bloomberg News. "Money is flowing into Asia on the region's strong economic outlook."

The rise in the currency has coincided with a 30% advance in Thailand's SET Index since May, when government troops smashed anti-government protests.

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Prosperity Piquing Investor Interest in India

In the investment world, there's often so much talk about China in the United States that the tremendous success in India gets short shrift. But business there is booming.

The world's third-fastest growing economy is set to expand by 8.5% this year, the most in the past half-decade. Such rapid growth has compelled the central bank to lift interest rates four times in the past six months.

Compare that with the U.S. Federal Reserve, which has made clear it intends to keep rates low through at least the middle of next year due to limp demand and negligible inflation.

While American consumers are burdened by high levels of debt and joblessness, India's urban middle class and farmers – who have enjoyed a year of ample but not over-abundant rainfall and rising prices – are eager to spend their newfound wealth.

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Banks Catch a Break with Long Timeline for Implementing Basel III Regulations

Global regulators on Sunday agreed on new banking capital requirements – known as Basel III – that were much less severe than expected, boosting global financial stocks as investors were optimistic about banks' ability to comply. The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision agreed on new rules that will more than triple capital requirements to give […]

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China Trade Surplus Reignites Tensions Over the Yuan

China in August posted its third straight trade surplus of more than $20 billion, putting friction with the United States over the nation's currency back in the spotlight.

Exports rose 34.4% in August and imports climbed a greater-than-expected 35.2%, leaving the country with a $20.03 billion surplus, a customs bureau report showed Friday.

But a sustained trade gap with the United States could embolden American lawmakers who are pushing to penalize China for what they consider unfair trade practices.

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Investing in Canada: The World's Safest Economy

I've said it once, and I'll doubtless say it a few dozen more times before the U.S. economy returns to health: Just because you have to endure recessionary conditions doesn't mean that your money has to.

That's the argument I make when I urge Americans to search for investments outside U.S. borders. Ironically, your money doesn't have to travel all that far: What's arguably the world's "safest economy" is actually located just north of the border.

I'm talking, of course, about investing in Canada.

For the five ways to profit from Canada, please read on...

Brazil's Shifting Fortunes: This BRIC Economy is Ready to Fall Out of Fashion

Batten down the hatches. Brazil, the media-darling of the world financial press and the poster child for emerging-markets investing, is heading directly into the eye of the storm.

Until now, Brazil has provided investors with a thoroughly rewarding run. Investors who followed Money Morning's October 2008 call to buy the iShares MSCI Brazil Index (NYSE: EWZ) have notched a 160% return.

But with this BRIC country now clearly running into trouble, it's time to trim any holdings you may have.

Here's why…

To see how Brazil is setting itself up for a fall, please read on...

Two Asian Economies Flying Under the Radar

You know about China, India, and maybe even Korea, but there are two other Asian economies making waves in the South China Sea.

I'm talking about Singapore and Thailand.

While the U.S. economy would be really lucky to poke along at a 3% annualized rate this year and next, the fast-growing countries on the other side of the globe are ripping higher.

Regional analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News survey said they see Singapore expanding at a record pace this year of 14.9% due to improving demand for the city-state's exports. That's up from an estimate of 9% published three months ago. Singapore's economy relies on trade, finance and tourism. Its central bank said the surge would be led by a 29% expansion of manufacturing.

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Russia: Is it Time to Invest in One of the Coldest Countries on Earth?

Of all the unpleasant societies in which to live, Vladimir Putin's Russia is among the nastiest. Journalists and businessmen disappear, a knock on the door at 3:00am can prove fatal, and nothing gets done without endless side-payments to obscure fixers.

Still, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) in 2001 identified Russia as one of the four great "BRIC" growth economies. And while much of its gilt has been worn off, Russia still has many supporters in the investment world. So the question is: Provided you don't have to live there, is it worth devoting a few of your investment dollars to the country?

To find out if Russia is worth the investment continue reading...

Buy, Sell or Hold: BCE Inc. (NYSE: BCE) Has Canada Covered

The market right now is torn between data that suggests the U.S. is waning and reports that many companies are increasing guidance and beating earnings estimates.

This has created a lot of volatility, and if you already have enough strong growth plays in your portfolio, adding some large, established companies with stable cashflows and hefty dividend yields could ease some of the anxiety you may be feeling.

Such an approach in my opinion is superior to bonds, since bond yields are just too low at these levels. That means you actually risk capital losses if they go up. In addition, safe dividends paid by leading companies are higher than bond yields. And unlike bonds, big companies usually can adjust prices in accordance with inflation.

There are a lot of companies for an investor to choose from, but BCE Inc. (NYSE: BCE) jumps out at me immediately. It is a dominant, well-managed company, and it has strong upside potential.

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