Think emerging markets and everybody immediately focuses on China. Yes, it's a massive opportunity to be sure, but China is not alone in providing investment opportunities for forward thinking investors. There are others.
Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand
In Asia, the changing political landscape in Malaysia has set the table for potentially strong foreign investment (likely a positive development for the Malaysian economy). Indonesia, with huge natural resources, shows great promise as a rising economic power. Thailand, despite political unrest, is attractively priced though instability does make this a higher risk strategy.
- Video: Opportunities in Indonesia
- Video: Developed World Taking The Wind Out of Asia
India, South Korea
New leadership in India promises reforms that could spur growth. South Korea has shown strength as of late as consumers appear to be recovering from a pause in spending. Other tiger economies will benefit from future explosive China growth and these investment opportunities should not be overlooked.
Don't forget about Latin America. There is huge growth in the Brazilian economy as commodities increase in global importance. Natural resources demand will have positive effects not only for Brazil but also surrounding economies. Other countries in Latin America are candidates for investment as well as the entire region begins to gather economic momentum.
As these economies grow, consumers will have more purchasing power driving further internal consumption expansion. This is the recipe for increases in equity returns.
Tread carefully when investing in emerging economies; the volatility can be high. But with valuations similar to more established developed markets and growth rates far greater, it does appear to be an attractively priced asset.
Consider moving in gradually and across economies as you increase your exposure to these future economic powerhouses. Hang in there when the short term swings turn against you and add to your position if volatility takes prices down; the right time horizon and perspective is critical.
Lastly, watch carefully the economic statistics to see if your thesis is playing out. Adjust as needed and be proactive. This is the way to successfully invest in the global landscape.
Michael A. Yoshikami, Ph.D., CFP®, is Founder, President, and Chief Investment Strategist of YCMNET Advisors, Inc., a registered investment advisory firm (www.ycmnet.com). He oversees all investment and research activities of YCMNET. He is a respected lecturer speaking frequently on market issues, tactical asset allocation, and investment strategy. Michael and YCMNET were ranked as one of the top investment 100 advisors in the United States for 2009 by Barrons. He appears regularly on CNBC and CNBC Asia and can be reached directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.