Why invest in emerging markets today

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While developed countries as a whole have been suffering from disappointing stagnation and slow growth for several years now, experts are seeing a huge potential in the emerging economies from the developing world to progress and soon take the lead in the global equities market arena. This is perhaps the primary reason why major investments firms, including offshore mutual fund providers like LOM Financial, built portfolios around emerging markets.

With such unpredictable improvement, many young and seasoned investors ask the same questions: should you put your money and invest in the emerging markets? More importantly, are the risks from investing in these emerging economies worth their potential returns?

It’s true that many analysts consider emerging markets (EM) to be risky and pondering on whether to put your trust in the new players in the market should always be your first step. However, it should also be pointed out that many successful investors got to where they are now by taking on equally risky yet calculated decisions.

The truth is, there’s quite a number of developing nations that are starting to thrive in this high-growth environment, promising higher returns than their developed counterparts – and these are not just opinionated predictions but from observable statistics. In fact, recent reports have shown that EMs are responsible for delivering 50 percent of the developed market’s trade.

In addition, the current performance of the emerging market’s equity valuations has been outstanding, recording a long-term average price-to-earnings ratio around 25—a leap from its 2017 cyclically-adjusted P/E ratio of 13.

However, the most persuasive yet often undervalued feature of EM lies in its demographics—bigger, younger and greater consumption. This is because an estimated 80percent of the world’s youngest consumers live in developing countries, promoting optimistic economic growth compared to developed and aging nations.

REPOST: The Most Competitive Countries in Africa, 2017

Africa is yet to reach the pinnacle of its economic aspiration, but the continent is fast becoming a major player in world economics. Here are the region’s most competitive countries as published on The African Exponent:

Below is a list of the 10 most competitive African countries, as measured by the World Economic Forum’s annual Global Competitiveness Report. Mauritius, South Africa, Rwanda and Botswana come out on top.

Mauritius, South Africa, Rwanda and Botswana come out on top.

Although Mauritius ranks first among African countries, it is still only at number 45 in the global index. Mauritius’ success is credited to its ability to streamline its goods market, build solid infrastructure and promote a healthy workforce.

South Africa and Rwanda also do very well and have improved their global ranking since 2015. Their continued growth can be attributed to the uptake of technology, efficient financial markets and a focus on strengthening institutions.

Below is a list of the 10 most competitive African countries, as measured by the World Economic Forum.

Countries with the highest level of income equality

The Gini Index, also known as the Gini coefficient is one of the measures of income equality (and inequality) among populations in a city or a country. According to experts, it’s meant to represent not only the income but also the wealth distribution of a nation’s citizens.

However, it’s important to take note that wealthy regions do not automatically get a positive Gini Index. Recently, a new report was released and it revealed the world’s top countries with the highest level of income equality in the world.

Here are the Top 4:

  1. Norway
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Among the European countries, Norway ranks second in terms of GDP per capita and today, it’s one of the wealthiest countries on the planet with the highest standard of living. However, it’s not the top in terms of income equality, securing “only” the fourth spot in this ranking, with a Gini Index of 26.8%.

  1. Czech Republic
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The country is known for its developed and high-income economy, boasting a GDP rate of 87% (based on European Union average).  As a former Communist state, Czech Republic is surprisingly more prosperous and stable in terms of economic performance, thanks to its healthy export relationship with other EU nations like.

The citizens of the country enjoy a relatively equal income distribution with a Gini index of 25.9%.

  1. Slovenia
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Slovenia has the richest developed economy among the Slavic countries. In 2007, it introduced the Euro as its currency, and has been a member of the the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) since 2010.

Currently, it has a 25.7% Gini Index and second in the ranks for the most equal in the world in terms of wealth distribution.

  1. Ukraine
Image source: kyivpost.com

The country is considered as an emerging free market, with a fluctuating but consistently active economy. After its recovery from the 2008 financial crisis, it started its upward climb again only to suffer another loss in 2013.

However, its economic woes did not stop it from dominating the list as the country with the highest level of income equality with a Gini index of 25.5%.

REPOST: Richest 1% own half the world’s wealth, study finds

The world’s wealth is exponentially growing, but exactly how much of the world’s population has access to such riches? According to the following article from The Guardian, about half of it belongs to only 36 million people:

The Credit Suisse report found 2.3 million new dollar millionaires were created over the past year, taking the total to 36 million. Photograph: Carl Court/Getty Images

The globe’s richest 1% own half the world’s wealth, according to a new report highlighting the growing gap between the super-rich and everyone else.

The world’s richest people have seen their share of the globe’s total wealth increase from 42.5% at the height of the 2008 financial crisis to 50.1% in 2017, or $140tn (£106tn), according to Credit Suisse’s global wealth report published on Tuesday.

“The share of the top 1% has been on an upward path ever since [the crisis], passing the 2000 level in 2013 and achieving new peaks every year thereafter,” the annual report said. The bank said “global wealth inequality has certainly been high and rising in the post-crisis period”.

The increase in wealth among the already very rich led to the creation of 2.3 million new dollar millionaires over the past year, taking the total to 36 million. “The number of millionaires, which fell in 2008, recovered fast after the financial crisis, and is now nearly three times the 2000 figure,” Credit Suisse said.

These millionaires – who account for 0.7% of the world’s adult population – control 46% of total global wealth that now stands at $280tn.

At the other end of the spectrum, the world’s 3.5 billion poorest adults each have assets of less than $10,000 (£7,600). Collectively these people, who account for 70% of the world’s working age population, account for just 2.7% of global wealth.

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REPOST: Oil is flat, and these five crude-dependent countries need a break to the upside

For economies heavily dependent on oil (as an export product and primary source of government revenues), building up a cushion is necessary to ride out the resource’s steep price plunge. The full story on CNBC:



Brother, can you spare a few billion dollars?

Nearly six months after OPEC’s eagerly anticipated deal in Algiers cut output and boosted prices, crude has held above its January 2016 low of around $37. Still, the current price per barrel near $50 is well below peaks above $100 last seen in 2014. Many OPEC nations are being deprived of needed oil revenues, and governments are scrambling to adjust to a world of cheap and abundant oil amid stagnant demand.

In the face of crude’s failure to rebound meaningfully, Bank of America-Merrill Lynch declared this week that crude is facing a “moment of truth,” and forecasted international and U.S. crude prices will be capped near $70 this year. Separately, the International Energy Agency expects lower oil demand, even as OPEC and non-OPEC countries recently churned out nearly 97 million barrels per day.

With those price ranges being far below the comfort levels of oil-producing economies starved for cash, CNBC recently canvassed experts to see which countries — formerly flush with oil money — could desperately use a reversal of fortunes in oil markets.


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Tiny but mighty: The world’s richest small countries

The likes of the United States, Canada, and Australia are huge countries with substantial natural resources, making it relatively ‘easy’ for them to amass enormous fortune (along with many other factors, of course). However, large area does not always equate to great wealth on a per-person basis. In an eclectic world of big economic events and heavy emphasis on globalization, wealthy small jurisdictions have seemed like an anomaly. They have very little resources and a limited manpower, and yet they are home to a significant number of millionaires and billionaires. Below are some of the planet’s tiniest countries that defied so many odds and eventually succeeded in the end:


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Strategically located between France and Italy in their Riviera regions, Monaco is home to a Grand Prix and the Super Yacht Show as well as one of the world’s biggest gambling scenes. It is a popular holiday destination for the rich and famous that even if it is only about half the size of the Central Park in New York City, it boasts of an average income per person of more than $180,000.


The Bahamas

With an economy primarily driven by luxury tourism and offshore banking, The Bahamas is among the richest countries in the Caribbean. It has a population of just above a third of a million, but is frequented by millions of tourists each year to stay in its world-class luxury hotels and resorts. Majority of these visitors arrive via cruise ships.


Image source: 1worldbermuda.com



Although technically not a country (it is an overseas territory of the United Kingdom), Bermuda is a highly impressive administrative unit. This small Atlantic island has a population of just around 65,000, but has one of the highest income per capita in the world according to the World Bank. It has a thriving tourism sector and is considered a major offshore financial center, being home to some of the world’s largest offshore financial services companies. Many international companies headquartered in this island benefit from its zero corporate income tax.



One of the world’s greatest success stories, Singapore—which covers an area of only 720 square kilometers (some of it are reclaimed)—currently enjoys a status of being a global financial hub. With a stable politics, business-friendly environment, a booming tourism sector, excellent infrastructure, strategic location, and a highly educated cosmopolitan population, this South-East Asian powerhouse is a force to be reckoned with.


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Nestled in the Pyrenees mountain range between France and Spain, Andorra is home to around 270 hotels and 400 restaurants. Those are pretty impressive numbers considering that this tiny landlocked nation only has around 85,000 residents.  With more than 10 million visitors arriving each year (easily dwarfing the local population), Andorra unsurprisingly enjoys massive tourism revenues.


These small countries are a living testament that wealth is not always about having the best resources or the largest labor pool. Becoming rich sometimes boils down to proper strategies, hard work, smart decisions, extensive research, and learning from the mistakes of others.