Tag Archive | "Asia"

Multi Currency Strategy Emerging


Multi currency strategy emerging markets are worth review now. Recent multi currency messages entitled Multi Currency USA and Multi Currency Global looked at the importance of multi currency investments in Europe, Japan and the US.

We continue the multi currency review in this message looking at Jyske Bank’s multi currency strategic review of the biggest emerging market, China. Jyske says:

Seen in the light of a major slowdown in economic growth, Chinese exports will come under heavy fire in the coming months. Given a weaker export sector, and presumably also weaker investments in the private sector as well as slower activity in domestic property-related activities, we anticipate a moderate slowdown in economic growth. By Chinese standards, moderate still means economic growth above 8%, and for the rest of the year, the growth rate will presumably be around 9%, i.e. a growth rate just below 10% for 2008.

International investors have been concerned that the Chinese government would react too slowly to growth risks and that this would send up the risk of a serious setback (i.e. GDP growth rates much lower than 8%). Such fear seems to be out of place, based on the demand figures for July. Foreign trade, retail trade and fixed investments beat expectations although industrial activity is gearing down marginally.

The Chinese authorities have traditionally introduced macro-economic policies supporting economic growth, including an expansionary fiscal policy, monetary-policy easing etc. to avoid a hard landing. We also expect that this will happen this time if growth seems to be too slow. The authorities have recently raised the tax benefit on exports and eased up the tight management of corporate loans in the financial sector.

On the domestic front, the trend in consumer demand is still impressive: July’s 23.3% growth in retail sales was higher than expected. This happened although consumers are squeezed by higher food prices, the solid correction in the Chinese equity market and a slowdown in the real-estate market (although the impact from the two last-mentioned factors was reflected in lower sales figures for cars, furniture and building materials).

With prospects of a moderate slowdown in industrial activity in the coming quarters, the growth in Chinese demand for many important commodities will presumably slow down. Recent data indicate that this trend has already set in: for instance crude-oil imports dropped back by 2.1% m/m in July and by 8.7% in June whereas iron ore imports dropped by 4.2% and 3.5% in these two months.

This suggests that investors are more worried about China than they should be. Chinese growth looks dimmed, but by most financial measures even this dimmer light is bright compared to economics in most countries. The fundamental economic fact is that China is the most populated nation on earth racing into middle class capitalism.

Equity investors may have over reacted and oversold the Chinese market.

In August, the LA Times wrote:

SHANGHAI — Many Chinese investors had hoped the Olympics would give a boost to their nation’s sagging stock market. So far, just the opposite has happened. The benchmark Shanghai composite index tumbled 5.3% on Monday, falling for the sixth time in seven trading sessions. The index has plunged 15% since the Beijing Games opened Aug. 8, and it now stands at 2,320 — down 56% since the start of the year, making it one of the worst performers in the world.

Since then the market has not rallied.

The Guardian wrote yesterday (Sept. 8, 2008): The main Shanghai index <.SSEC> shed 2 percent on Monday, touching a fresh 20-month low, despite a rally elsewhere in Asia triggered by the takeover of the two firms.

The U.S. Treasury’s takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is good news in the short term for China, the biggest holder of the giant mortgage lenders’ debt, but Beijing’s huge U.S. exposure still poses a serious risk, a prominent government researcher said on Monday.

The Shanghai stock market is down 67% in less than a year. Yet as Jyske noted above, foreign trade, retail trade and fixed investments are beating expectations.

This is the type of multi currency distortion we look for as value investors.

This does not mean we should jump headlong into Chinese shares.

China according to the analysis of Michael Keppler remains one of the low value markets. Keppler’s sell candidates are China , Egypt , India , Indonesia, Jordan, Morocco.

Market timing rarely works. Value investing is far more effective and based on value alone, it apears to be too soon to jump in the Chinese market in a broad way.

However we can start reviewing Chinese opportunities looking for specific values.

One share to check is Hyflux Water. Hyflux is a Singapote company that provides water services in China. Keppler ranks Singapore as a low value major market along with Austria , Canada, Denmark, Hong Kong, Singapore, Switzerland and the U.S.A, but Hyflux may offer good value now.

I first wrote about Hyflux in 2004.

We invested $51,000 in our Model Green Portfolio last November. This investment has dropped to $40,193.

We are reviewing Hyflux now in our Multi Currency Portfolio Course.

Gary

Join me and Thomas Fischer from Jyske Global Asset Management in North Carolina to learn more about economic trends.

International Investing and Business Made EZ North Carolina

We’ll have lunch at the farm and enjoy the leaf change.

farm colors

Thomas Fisher speaking to our  delegates at the farm.

seminar-roses

orange-roses

multi-currency-meeting

Delegates enjoying a private conversation with Thomas Fischer during a coffee break at the farm.

This is the most beautiful time of the year on the Blue Ridge.

multi-currency-meeting-in-autumn

Multi Currency Strategy


A multi currency strategy is important now because extensive research on seasonality shows that basically in all major equity markets, nearly all returns are achieved from the beginning of November through the end of May. This means we are approaching the best time when equities will rise.

However a year ago, a global financial crisis began. So before we jump headlong into more security investments we need to ask, “What happens now?”

This week we will look at the strategic multi currency economic outlook developed by Jyske Bank’s strategy and research team.

The most important part of investing is to create a realistic match of your portfolio to your own wants, needs and desires.

Next, you need to invest in good value.

An overview of global economics is vital to help you spot good value.

I review my personal portfolio and how I have responded to the crisis of the last year and what I am planning ahead for subscribers of our Multi Currency Course.

Jyske’s report begins:

“It has now been a year since the international financial crisis really took off. The Fed as well as the European Central Bank have had to render assistance in the form of additional liquidity, and there is still a shortage of liquidity today – a year later.

At this point in time – a year after the onset of the crisis – the economic slowdown and the high commodity prices (particularly the oil price) have added to the financial crisis and the global economy is still facing big challenges.

What about the current situation? Well, it can be said that fear of low growth has now replaced the fear of high inflation. This development has taken place after the oil price fell by more than 20% from the peak in mid-July while at the same time we are being inundated with poor economic data for Europe, the UK, Japan, while the emerging markets are also seeing a somewhat weakening development.

What are the forces behind the global economic slowdown in addition to the weak US economy?

Global shocks = Global effects

Drastically rising food and energy prices have put a damper on the consumers’ purchasing power globally and reduced growth by 50% relative to the level in 2007. At the same time, the companies’ earnings are under pressure due to rising commodity prices and wages.

The reaction on the part of the authorities:

Despite the housing-market crisis, financial crisis, oil crisis at full blast in the US, it seems that the US economy saw stronger growth in H1 than the Japanese as well as European counterparts. An important reason for that is that the US authorities did all they could to avoid a slowdown in growth. The Central Bank lowered its interest rate markedly to 2%, and tax relief in the amount of USD 100bn were granted. Europe has seen an interest-rate hike and no easing on the part of the authorities.

Prepared for the worst:

A new development was that already at the beginning of 2008, the US companies seemed to have begun reducing inventories and cutting labour costs in preparation of the bad times ahead. Apparently they were better prepared than the companies in Europe and Asia, which will have to make deeper cuts in production to adapt to the new weaker demand.

Investment Conclusion:

A general theme for investors is positioning for continued weakening of growth outside the US. Therefore, among other things, we now see a markedly stronger dollar as the trend has been reversed. That we prefer US equities to European ones and that European bond yields will fall towards the US level.

On the whole we keep the risk unchanged in the portfolio by maintaining neutral weight for equities. Our considerations with respect to the future are that we will rather prefer to increase the proportion of equities than to reduce it.

This autumn, equities may be boosted by the lower inflation level. Moreover, the many global investors have reduced their holdings considerably. They may gain some appetite for equities when they see the favourable effect from the lower oil prices.

However, the challenges for the equity market is that slow growth will spread from the US to the rest of the world and put pressure on the companies’ earnings and, moreover, the financial crisis is still not over.

Tomorrow’s message by looking at each analysis by Jyske of each currency zone.

Until then, good global investing!

Gary

Join me and with Thomas Fischer from Jyske Bank at our upcoming international investing course in North Carolina. International Investing and Business Made EZ North Carolina October 3-5

America Leads the Way


America Leads the way…sadly often in the wrong direction.

Though my name is Scott, I like so many Americans am also Irish, thanks to my Grandma McGee.  In fact though she lived in Oregon for more than sixty years, she never became a US citizen.

Yet I have done nothing about this and remain only a US citizen…nor do I intend to.  First, it’s a lot of work registering that Irish citizenship…getting all the documents together and such.  Yet there are other reasons…we’ll see in a moment.

In a recent discussion with a friend, who was also a dual national,  I learned that he gave up his American citizenship.

His reasons were good but for many this does not make sense.  The second reason I remain in the US…this is one of the countries I know my way around best.  I have friends and family and a terrific support system developed here.

The number one rule for good investing and business is to do what you love. Rule #2 is to do or invest in what you know.

I love the US, this magnificent country and the wonderful people so the US is a good place for me to be.

Too few people who leave the US think of this personal aspect.  They become so caught up in high taxation or the bad parts of this nation’s evolution and want to leave. I do not blame them but recommend that they are sure they know where they are going before they irrevocably leave the US.

While recently visiting friends in Seattle, I was talking with their cleaning lady and her daughter from the Czech Republic.  They told me how they had moved to America to be in the land of the free and to live the American dream.  Now they are going back for better opportunity in Eastern Europe.  Plus they feel they will have more freedom there.

For the Czech couple, this may make sense.  They know the Czech Republic and have more friends, family and support back in their original home.

This is a pretty bad commentary on America where opportunity used to be so good that to was worth giving up the old for the new.

Now maybe it’s not.  So many freedoms have been lost in America.   So many new regulations have been been born.  Life is now so complicated.  America is  burdened with an overworked tort system, a failing health and insurance system and monumental federal debt that has and continues to destroy the dollar.

Many Americans feel stifled.  Many fear things will get even worse.

There can be tax benefits to moving abroad (though new tax laws tax those who leave and any gifts they give to Americans before they leave).  It is certainly easier to open a bank account abroad if you are not a US citizen, plus if one has immigrated, a citizenship elsewhere can make life in one’s new country easier and better as well.

Plus I know from living abroad for decades how one feels out from under the eye “Big Brother”, once you live in another country.

Despite these facts, (this may seem strange for me, as one of the first proponents of being a one man multi national), I have no plans to abandon my US citizenship….nor my residence in the US.

This is a well informed choice.  I have lived for many years in Asia, Europe and Latin America as well as the US….so my choice is based on experience.

This global lifestyle has confirmed one important fact….every country has its great good points and its flaws.

If I know and like the US, have children and grandchildren here…why move?
Why spend the time and resources to make a switch?

I see nothing wrong with changing citizenships, especially for those who earn and live abroad, but except in certain cases, I wonder if the benefits are worth the effort?

Instead I devote my efforts to maintaining flexibility and utilizing options.

To me flexibility in earning and asset allocation are more important than citizenship because change is taking place everywhere.  I would rather be a US citizen and have one or two other places to go if everything goes south here, than abandon one of the places I know best, for somewhere new that could have negative changes as well.

America has problems but regrettably as the world’s biggest economy leads the way for other nations to follow.

Take federal deficit spending as an example. For many years it was easy to invest out of the US dollar. The American government was a spendthrift going deeper and deeper into a more of debt.  Other industrial, nations, especially Germany and Japan were much more fiscally prudent.  The the Japanese and German’s learned from the US how to borrow massively every time the economy slowed.

There is a great erosion of freedom in other countries also not just the US.

Let’s look at some specifics.

A July 2 USA Today article entitled “IRS gets OK to request UBS information” says:

“A federal judge in Miami authorized the Internal Revenue Service to request information from UBS about U.S. taxpayers who may be using Swiss bank accounts to evade federal income taxes,” the Justice Department said Tuesday.

“The so-called John Doe summons is used to obtain information about possible tax fraud by people whose identities are unknown. The judge granted the government’s request for a court order a day after it made what a Justice Department spokesman called an unprecedented request for the records. The order ‘directs UBS to produce records identifying U.S. taxpayers with accounts at UBS in Switzerland who elected to have their accounts remain hidden from the IRS,’ the Justice Department said in a statement.”

To me this is a horrible breach of law. How can UBS know if a taxpayer has their account hidden from the IRS?

Yet the US is not alone. Take the UK as an example. I love England was resident there for a decade in this nation and was resident there for many years…but the wonderful freedoms of the Common Law have been eroding just ike in the US.

A recent article at Telegraph.com entitled “Safety deposit box raids yield £1bn of drugs, cash and guns” by Richard Edwards, says:

“Police have seized a potential £1 billion ‘treasure trove’ of cash, drugs and guns in an unprecedented raid on concrete vaults holding 7,000 safety deposit boxes.
Police officers close Park Street in Mayfair before raiding Park Lane Safe Deposit in connection with suspected money laundering operations.”

“Members of the public who have innocently and legally stored their valuables were ‘inevitably’ going to get swept up in the disruption, it was predicted. Police said they could use a freephone number – 0800 030 4613 – to claim back their goods.”

In both cases, innocent parties who have done nothing illegal nor even irregular are going to be inconvenienced at the least.

Let’s look at Canada in another example. Many Canadians are in a fuss over the proposed C-51 laws.  WWW.stop c51 warns Canadians that Bill C-51 will allow government agents to:

* Enter private property without a warrant                    Section 23 (4)
* Confiscate your property at their discretion, at your cost     Section 23.3 a
* Dispose of your property at their discretion, at your cost     Section 23.3 c
* Seize your bank accounts without a warrant                     Section 23 (2)
* Levy fines of up to $5,000,000.00 / 2 years in jail per offense. Section 31.1
* Allow laws to be created in Canada, behind closed doors, with the assistance of foreign governments, industrial and trade organizations     Section 30.7
* Allow ‘Crack house style’ of enforcement on natural health providers
Section 23.1″
Plus the site warns more losses of freedom.

There is a government site that says this law will not create these problems but one wonders.  When income tax was first introduced in the US, it was promised it would never rise beyond 2%!

America has enormous tort problems. Every US business worries about lawsuits,
but before you move to France to escape this problem read this article:

“A French court on Monday ordered the online auction giant eBay to pay 38.6 million euros, or $61 million, in damages to the French luxury goods company LVMH, in the latest round in a long-running legal battle over the sale of counterfeit goods on the Internet.

“LVMH, a maker of high-end leather goods, perfumes and other fashion and luxury products, successfully challenged eBay for a second time in the French court, arguing that 90 percent of the Louis Vuitton bags and Dior perfumes sold on eBay are fakes.

“The court ruled that eBay, which earns a commission on the sales, was not doing enough to stamp out counterfeit sales.”

Change is everywhere.  We should always look for a balance in our living, earning and investing, that fits our lifestyle and circumstances.  We should seek flexibility and options…but remember that problems are everywhere.

Thank God for problems.  Problems are a sign of evolution and problems create opportunity.  Who wants to live in a land without opportunity?

The problems we see from eroding freedoms are not dilemmas unique to the USA.
They are problems of increased populations all trying to do and have more.  Life seems more complicated today because it is more complicated in some ways.

The more moving parts a machine has…the more likely it will break.   Our social systems have more and more people moving faster and governments working to do just that-govern. One definition of govern is: “manipulate b: to control the speed of (as a machine) especially by automatic means.”

Wherever you live…work…earn look for the problems and figure out the opportunity. If part of that opportunity comes in the form of a new residence or citizenship…that’s great. Go for it…yet realize that this is not the best solution for everyone.

Until next message, may all your freedom come from within and all your problems be good.

Gary

Learn ways to increase your earnings options though international business.

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“We are now generating business from our Ecuador site www.retire-in-ecuador.com. People are responding to go and live in Ecuador. Our imports from Ecuador are also going well. We have only been trading for 6 weeks, and some customers (gift shops) have re-ordered four times. We only need 100 like them and we will have a sustainable business. We are currently establishing about 10 new customers per week, and are in the process of appointing agents for the other states. We will soon have an “Andes Artisans” site operating www.andes-artisans.com. So keep an eye out.”

Vision…Action and the Word


The time is 6 am, I am sitting in the the rising sun, on the patio…writing as I listen to the bird life here as they explore the joy of dawn in song.  Some people would call this work.

summer-view
I have better words to call what I do….service…passion…purpose…
service…fun!

This is important because these are times of rapid change that make vision increasingly important.  Using the right words in our speech and especially our thoughts can expand our vision so we prosper from change.

That is why this week’s focus is on vision.

Yesterday’s message looked at vision and smell and today’s is about vision and words.

How important are words?

I think John, the disciple, felt words were important.  He noted their value right up front.  First chapter…first verse. John 1:1, “In the beginning there was the Word.”

How can words help our vision make our lives better?

The wrong words can ruin our prosperity.

Take, for example, Monday’s message that looked at $79,000 beach condos in Ecuador.

One reader sent me a note saying, “take me off your (explicative deleted) list. All you write about is for the filthy rich, not for the common man.”

I am not sure how $79,000 condos convert to being “just for the rich”? Perhaps the reader had not checked prices lately…but there are at least two lessons in that note we can thank that reader for.

Lesson #1:  Words can take you far….up or down.

In this case it took our reader directly to our blacklist. Explicatives are the “Go to Jail card” at our site.   Imagine being so socially inept that you even get fired as a reader!

More important is Lesson #2:  Words kill…in this case the reader’s (ex) prosperity.

The act of connecting “filthy” to rich reduces success at the social level…but also at a much deeper, more powerful level of existence.  That person has clouded his vision by confusing prosperity with filth.

Nothing could be further from the truth…and one key to living a happy…successful life is a visionary vocabulary that is filled true words…such as “problems are really  just opportunity.”  “Wonderfully rich.”

Yes, there are wealthy people who misuse their wealth.   Yet there are also poor people who misuse their poverty!

Our mentalities are powerful and words are its tool.  We literally create ourselves with the words we think and say.

On the thought of wealth..success and being rich,  once our daughter who was taking her masters at the London School of Economics called us in the middle of the night.

We were concerned until she asked,  “Am I privileged”? There were many poor students from Africa and Asia at the school.  She felt guilty that she had so much and they so little.

My reply was, “Of course you are privileged.  There is nothing wrong with privilege.  It is what you do with the privilege that matters.”

Also, we might say there is nothing wrong with material success. It is what you do with it that matters!

Back to words.  Words that kill success and bodies include:  “This is killing me.”  “This is a pain”.  “This make me sick.”  “I am sorry.”

A really bad word is “retirement”.  Who enjoys being so tired that they want to be re-tired.  How about “using maturity to take a step up”.  Isn’t “living on wisdom and investments” better or perhaps we might say “living as  I always wanted.”

We have to be careful of the words we use and think.

We even have to be careful of the word “careful”.  Do we want the burden of being filed with cares?  Perhaps “caring” is better.   “I am thorough because I am caring about my investments.”

Another example shows how understanding one word has helped me earn a fortune for decades.  The example is an excerpt from the first book I wrote in the 1970s, entitled “Passport to International Profit – How to Become a One Man Multi National”.   One chapter “Foreign Fantasy” began:

“Have you ever met a foreigner or been to a foreign place? Why?  Foreign implies that because something is wrong or out of place…like a foreign object in our eye.

“This assumption immediately throws our entire mental train off track.  It makes us think subjectively…good, bad or better.  I learned this when I first began traveling to what I called ‘foreign places’… Panama, London, Rome, Hong Kong, Beirut.

“I tried to fit each of these places into my mental mold and decide which was better.

“Finally it dawned on me that none were better than the other.  None were out of place (foreign) or better or worse.  Each just was.  Each offered a unique set of opportunities.

“This was when I stopped thinking of places as foreign.  Instead I used the word ‘different but welded by the same steadfast cosmic laws that hold the world together’.  Instead of feeling fear or disgust or arrogance about the differences,  I found adventure in discovering the differences, pleasure in the variety and profit in the distortions that the differences create.”

Changing my understanding of one word (foreign) allowed me to realign my thinking and hence my investing for over 30 years.  This allowed me to become a global investor, a one man multinational citizen of the world. This allowed me to become a multi currency investor and business.  The graph below of the value of the US dollar versus other currencies for the past 40 years shows that this thinking was good.

US-dollar-chart
As the rapid change we experience in our modern world brings what others call “destructive technology”.  Why don’t we use the words “constructive technology” or “positive evolution” or “new opportunities”?

Try this.  Look for new ways to create your life (a new meaning for re-creation) and your investing and business acumen will get better.  You vision will clear and help you see new ways of success and happiness.

Until next message, may all your words be “good”!

Gary

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