2013 emerging markets
Cisco announced plans to cut 4,000 more jobs (5% of its global workforce); the sales forecast for the quarter came in surprisingly low.
Cisco CEO John Chambers said that while emerging markets grew by 8%, the big emerging markets only grew by 1%. Brazil and Russia were flat, and China was down 6%, causing greater inconsistent growth than in the past.
Meanwhile, Wal-Mart shares are down to $74.41 after its Q2 earnings fell short of Wall Street expectations. The retail giant cited abating international markets, as operating income grew 5.2% in the U.S. but dropped 1.3% internationally.
Where to Uncover a Sweet Investment in Africa
After traveling nearly 6,000 miles by plane, helicopter and jeep, Evan Smith, portfolio manager at U.S. Global, is walking along a dirt path in Kenema past dilapidated shops covered with rusted, corrugated metal.
He can hardly believe he has arrived at his destination. Surrounded by hundreds of miles of forest and savannah, it's tough to imagine an agricultural diamond-in-the-rough nearby called Kenema.
Kenema is in Sierra Leone, a country in the Western part of sub-Saharan Africa with 5.6 million people recovering from a decade-long civil war that ended 11 years ago. Today, the rural people, mostly farmers and fishermen, are peaceful and friendly, says Evan, who explored the opportunity for the Global Resources Fund (PSPFX).
To get here, Evan flew from San Antonio, Texas to the largest city in Sierra Leone, Freetown, making stops in New York City, Ghana and Liberia. Then he boarded a four-person helicopter to fly east 150 miles, enduring heart-pounding drops and lifts between clouds and mountains before safely arriving at a cocoa plantation development.
The heart of Africa has been beating strong in recent years due to elevated commodity prices and resilient domestic demand, despite the global economic slowdown.
Among the sub-Saharan African countries, Sierra Leone was the fastest growing country last year, according to the World Bank. Its economy experienced growth that is as rare today as Fancy Red diamonds. GDP increased a whopping 18 percent.
2013 Emerging Markets Forecast: Forget About the BRICs Buy These Rising Stars Instead
Savvy investors know there is far more to the markets than sitting on your hands worrying about the fiscal cliff.
Believe it or not the world doesn't revolve around the United States-or the Western world.
In fact, The IMF's World Economic Outlook projects an emerging markets forecast with growth at 5.6% in 2013. That's down slightly from 2011 but far ahead of the measly 1.5% growth projected in the "advanced" economies.
That means investors need to focus heavily their investments in emerging markets, as we have done successfully over the past few years.
However, there's one new trick investors will have to learn going into 2013: the BRIC economies (Brazil, Russia, India and China) that have been so fashionable over the years, will all run into trouble next year and should be avoided.
The good news is the world is a big place and there are still emerging markets that offer investors the benefit of the world's fastest economic growth. My favorites are listed below.
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