Over the last decade, Brazil has grown to become the world's sixth largest economy by nominal GDP, a staggering feat fueled by a massive increase in its middle class ranks.
The nation has been rife for investment opportunity based on its fundamentals and strong commodity sectors, and finds itself as the leading BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) emerging market.
But the recent wave of public protests over the last month could be signaling that Brazil has hit a major snag in its quest to displace France in the top five economies, and its opportunities for growth and fortune may be faltering as the nation experiences increased political turbulence.
The wave of protests began a month ago in Sao Paulo after the government increased bus fares by 10% (a rate that subway fares seem to rise in New York every other week). But the increases were quickly revoked in San Paulo and other major cities after the protests became much larger than about mere bus fares.
Residents have been especially frustrated by a lack of transparency across the country, and the government's increased taxation and decreased returns to average Brazilians in the form of basic and essential services.
Brazil has spent approximately $30 billion to showcase itself to tourists during the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics. Meanwhile, the nation's anti-poverty programs have a mere annual of budget $10 billion in a nation of 191 million.
The widespread demonstrations have produced a national movement to demand better education, healthcare, and transportation services. Despite the protests, the country simply can't meet these obligations at this time for one simple reason: government can't keep up with economic expansion.
Brazil provides one important economic lesson that no one talks about when it comes to rising middle classes in emerging nations.
Many governments are not prepared for population shock or the shock of economic growth.
And while this stands to create a wave of new problems for investors looking abroad for investment opportunities in Brazil, it also teaches a valuable lesson and opens new doors to wealth in South America.
The Retched "Incline" of the Middle Class
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.
To see how Brazil is setting itself up for a fall, please read on... Read More...
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... Read More...
- It's Time to Invest in Chile and Colombia – Latin America's Reigning 'Good Guys' Looking for the next emerging markets set to skyrocket? Look no further than Chile and Colombia. That's right, thanks to recent elections, these two countries are ready to lead growth in Latin America. Read this report to find out exactly where to invest... Read More...
- The CIVETS: Windfall Wealth From the 'New' BRIC Economies Forget the BRICs. There's a brand new set of emerging market economies set to make investors windfall profits... but only if you know which ones to pick - and which to avoid completely! Read on to find out which new emerging market is worthy of your investing dollar... Read More...
The CIVETS: Windfall Wealth From the 'New' BRIC Economies
First it was the "BRICs." Now it's the "CIVETS."
In fact, the CIVETS are the "new" BRICs: Expect some of the CIVETS economies (Colombia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Egypt, Turkey and South Africa) to be among the world's hottest markets in the decade to come. They have the potential to generate the same kind of windfall wealth as the BRIC markets of Brazil, Russia, India and China did over the last 10 years - but only if you pick the right markets at the right time.
So let's figure that out right now.
To find out all about the "CIVETS" markets - and specifically which ones to buy - please read on...
It's Time to Invest in Chile and Colombia – Latin America's Reigning 'Good Guys'
For decades, investors with an interest in Latin America were essentially limited to two choices: Invest in countries that were moderately badly run; or invest in countries that were truly dreadfully run.
Most recently, it's been the "dreadfully run" group that seems to be attracting new members: Bolivia, Ecuador and Nicaragua have subscribed to the economic and political doctrines of Hugo Chavez's Venezuela.
However, two elections this year have created a new category of Latin American country - the "truly well run" class - and installed the first two members: Chile and Colombia. As investors, we should rejoice, make them part of our portfolio, and keep an eagle eye out for other countries that may join this promising new category - the "good guys."
For an overview of the two Latin America stocks to buy now, please read on... Read More...
These Five Inflation Plays Will Provide Protection and Profits
Inflation hawks have been warning since 2008 that the spurt of U.S. money creation that began at the end of that year would spark a surge in consumer-price inflation.
And yet the consumer price index (CPI) statistics remain quiet - not giving ammunition to the deflationary camp, but making "inflationists" look silly, as well. Now, however, it is becoming obvious that inflation will soon arrive. But this time it is sneaking in through the back door - courtesy of our emerging-market trading partners.
Fortunately, there are some very clear steps that investors can take to protect themselves from this expected inflationary surge.
To learn about five investments that can battle inflation even as they fatten your portfolio, please read on... Read More...
Investing in Peru – South America's Hidden Gem
When investing in the emerging markets, you need to cast your net beyond the obvious candidates. Granted, China, Brazil and India have emerged to become very attractive investment stories (I don't trust Russia, the fourth and final "BRIC" economy).
But everyone else has heard of them, too, which is why their markets have been bid up very high in the past year. Their prospects remain excellent, but you're paying a lot for them.
From time to time, however, a country that has been off investors' radar screens has a few good years, and begins to creep onto them. In such countries, risk may be high, but values at least remain reasonable.
That's why it might be worth investing in Peru.
To find out why Peru may be worth a look right now, please read on...
The Year of the Tiger is the Perfect Time for Caterpillar Inc.
In China, the tiger is commonly thought of as lazy, merely appearing to be strong and ferocious.
But that's truly not the case. The tiger does not waste his energy showing his strength. Instead, it sees the future and knows precisely when to pounce on its prey. Those who can see past the great wall of today and look into the future - much like our wise friend, the tiger - understand just what it takes to be successful.
If we were to analyze the growth potential for the worldwide construction industry, we would find that Japan's Komatsu Ltd. (OTC ADR: KMTUY) and the U.S.-based Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) are best-positioned for global success.
Goldman Backs Money Morning Prediction That China's Yuan Will Dethrone the Dollar
Back in May, just after he'd completed his latest investing tour of China, Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald made a bold prediction: China's currency, the yuan, is destined to dethrone the U.S. dollar as the world's chief reserve currency.
Earlier this week, Fitz-Gerald's prediction acquired a powerful new disciple: Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) Chief Economist Jim O'Neill.
In an essay that's part of a report published Friday for Chatham House, a London-based foreign-affairs researcher, O'Neill wrote that China's yuan is destined to become a global reserve currency on par with the U.S. dollar or European euro.
As Greece's Woes Demonstrate, the Fuse Has Been Lit on the Global Debt Bomb
The big story in the international markets so far in the New Year has been the increasing shakiness of a number of countries' government bonds, with Greece right now being the most troubled of all.
Since U.S. investors tend to avoid foreign government bonds, many will dismiss this as an irrelevant development.
That's a mistake. The reality is that the international implications of this bond-market problem are serious for the world's stock markets, as well as for the global economy as a whole.
The fuse has been lit on a global debt bomb. And Greece has quickly become a poster child for the explosion that's all but certain to occur.
To find out all about the "Global Debt Bomb," read on... Read More...
- Greenback Woes Boost China's Global Muscle Washington continues to believe that the U.S. dollar is a weapon and most of the G8 is playing along. They simply can't see – or won’t acknowledge – where the dollar is actually headed, even though the evidence is right before their eyes. On the other side of the world, however, China is refusing to […] Read More...
- China Stocks Broaden Appeal with Lower Valuations After a third quarter that saw China's stocks fall, equities in the world's third-largest economy may now be too cheap to pass up. The Shanghai Composite Index (SSE) was the worst performer among the so-called BRIC nations (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) in the third quarter, falling 6% as Chinese banks pulled the reins on […] Read More...
- As Problems in India and Russia Escalate, Let's Drop the BRIC By Martin HutchinsonContributing EditorMoney Morning When Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) coined the term “BRICs” in 2003 to cover Brazil, Russia, India and China. This group of four countries was supposed to represent the enormous potential of the emerging markets, and their populations would provide most of the world’s growth in the decades ahead. For […] Read More...
- Russia's Economic Demise Could Turn "BRIC" to "BIC" By Mike Caggeso Associate Editor Money Morning Russia's continuing weakness could cost the country its membership in one of the most identifiable and esteemed investor acronyms – the BRIC nations. Back in 2001, the Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) – eager to push its clients toward emerging markets investment – created the acronym "BRIC" to […] Read More...