Yoshikami: Four Days in Asia

As an investment manager managing $1 billion in assets, it's important that we know what's happening in economies; not only in the United States but around the world. For that reason, I will once again travel to Asia to see firsthand current conditions and discuss investment strategy with leading professionals in many Asian countries. It's a topic often commented on in my weekly news update to clients posted to www.ycmnet.com each Friday as I share our insights into global investing.

Japan, as the third largest world economy, is a developed nation facing unique challenges. A declining population, a high national deficit, and continuing uncertainty from the recent earthquake will be a headwind for this economy. We are eager to find out how business sentiment has been impacted in this staggering country.

Stephen Studd | Photographer's Choice | Getty Images

Singapore continues its important role as a financial center for Asia and is also a key shipping hub throughout the region. Often activity in Singapore can provide indications about future economic activity. I will be assessing carefully the business outlook of Singaporean business leaders and their sentiment about future activity.

The Philippines struggles with poverty and a weak currency but is making the turn towards a global relevance. An educated population (with English as a commonly used language) is an attractive outsource location for multinational companies. The Philippines seeks to push forward the entire economy by embracing manufacturing and outsourcing business. I will be speaking with leaders in the Philippines to determine if the current progress is a trend that can be expected to continue.

Much has been written about China and its desire to cool inflation. Efforts have been made by the Chinese government to rein in credit to slow the pace of inflation in order to breed a more stable long-term growth rate. Additionally, China is seeking to transform into a more balanced economy supported by internal consumption and not completely dependent on the export sector. I will be speaking with experts familiar with the Chinese economy to gauge the current economic growth and the effectiveness of implemented policies.

CNBC - Disaster in Japan - Japan Earthquake and Tsunami
CNBC - Disaster in Japan - Japan Earthquake and Tsunami

The reality is, in this century, a global perspective is necessary when investing for portfolio success. Latin America, developing Europe, the Middle East, and Africa all hold promise. And without a doubt the brightest beacon for emerging growth today is Asia.

Watch for my reports over the next four days highlighting a country each day with my impressions as an institutional investment manager. See if any of the information provided can help you as you construct your portfolio strategy.

Michael A. Yoshikami, Ph.D., CFP®, is CEO, Founder, and Chairman of YCMNET’s Investment Committee at YCMNET Advisors, Inc., a registered investment advisory firm. 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 100 investment advisors in the United States for 2009 and 2010 by Barrons. He appears regularly on CNBC and CNBC Asia and can be reached directly at m@ycmnet.com