You may be surprised to learn that some of the world's best investors are buying heavily right now - not because they think we've hit a bottom, or even the bottom, but because they're setting themselves up for the next big run.
Take Mark Mobius, for example.
Long regarded an emerging markets pioneer, Mobius is in charge of more than $50 billion worth of assets on behalf of Franklin Templeton. Lately, he's snapping up Romanian real estate, Nigerian banks, Kazakhstani oil companies and more.
There are many reasons, but basically it comes down to this: Despite the fact that emerging markets returned almost 250% from 2001 to 2010, the old playbook no longer works.
And I have to be careful when I say that because many investors will blithely assume that emerging markets are dead. They're not - it's just time to redraw the map because the best opportunities are no longer where you'd expect.
It's no longer about the BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India, and China), for example. Sure these countries remain great places to stake your claims on the wealth of newly found purchasing power and consumerism, but it's the so-called MINTs (Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Turkey) that may offer a faster route to riches.
Or the Next 11, or N-11, as Jim O'Neill, the economist who coined the term "BRICs" a decade ago, calls them. The N-11 is basically the MINTs plus Bangladesh, the Philippines, and Pakistan plus a few more countries on the fringe of "civilized" thinking.
Then there's the VISTA (Vietnam, Indonesia, South Africa, Turkey, and Argentina) nations and the CIVETS (Colombia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Egypt, Turkey, and South Africa).
Yes. For the first time in modern history, emerging markets are no longer completely dependent on Western economies nor demand, a point you've heard me make repeatedly in the past. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, this gives them an unprecedented range of options largely independent of the political, financial, and economic swamp the developed markets have become.
This is not the kind of thing you're going to pick up on in the mass media, but every single one of those nations is set for a runaway investment boom because they are advancing faster than almost everybody expects.
In fact, many of the big investing houses like Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS), Fidelity, HSBC Holdings PLC (NYSE ADR: HBC) and others feel the same way I do - that the MINTs and N-11 have the potential to be every bit as profitable over the next 10 years as the BRICs were over the past 10 years.