What's an investor to do?…
The Eurozone is about to collapse. The United States is struggling out of the deepest recession since World War II. And the IMF forecasts global growth will drop from 5% in 2011 to 2.6% in 2012.
How about investing in a safe haven far away from all of these troubles – one where you can actually watch your money grow?
I have found one in Colombia. Let me tell you why.
It is because Colombia is no longer a place controlled by drug kingpins or ripped apart by civil war. Colombia is a country on the comeback.
This revival began in 2002 when former president Alvaro Uribe decided to take on both the leftist guerillas and the drug barons. Since then, his successor Jose Santos has followed up on those policies, and they have worked.
In 2011, Colombia's homicides dropped by 5% to 14,746 and its murder rate dropped to 33 per 100,000 of population.
Admittedly, that's still five times the U.S. level, but these things are relative – it's half the level it was just four years ago.
Foreign investors have noticed, and last year, foreign investment in Colombia was up 56% to $14.8 billion.
Colombia Beats Brazil
In fact, according to the World Bank's "Doing Business" survey, Colombia ranked 42 out of 183 countries.
That was near the top spot in Latin America and far above Brazil's appalling rank of 126. Only Chile was higher with a rank of 39.
Stock market investors have noticed this, too – in the second half of 2011 Colombia had $4.9 billion of initial public offerings, the most in Latin America – and yes, again ahead of Brazil!
On the macroeconomic side, Colombia is sound, with public debt at just 45% of gross domestic product (GDP), a modest budget deficit, inflation just over 3% and the central bank base rate at 4.75% — no Ben Bernanke nonsense of zero interest rates!
Colombia has also gotten a boost by a surge in oil production, with exploration now possible in areas that had been "no go" for foreign investors for decades.
In November 2011, oil production was 920,000 barrels/day, up 17.5% from the previous year. Oil and minerals were responsible for 82% of Colombia's 2011 foreign investment, so the potential for investors is immense.
However, the real reason why Colombia is so attractive