Monday, May 19, 2014

BRICS, MINT--or what do you feel is the most promising place to invest?

By Steven Worth

What is your acronym of choice—BRICS (Brazil, Russia (well, let’s keep the “R” just as a place holder for now because the acronym sounds better with it), India, China, and South Africa); or MINT (Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Turkey)?  While these are neat acronyms and many of these countries do seem to be hot markets for international investors, there is growing evidence global businesses and investors in all sectors are looking at another acronym of a market that may not be ready to fade into the past just yet—USA.

I know, I know this sounds jingoistic but let’s look at the facts.

·         US demographics are sound when compared to the aging demographics of every other developed economy.  There will be no implosion of an overly burdened workforce trying to care for a much larger aging and retired population.
·         The comparative cost of labor along with productivity levels is so favorable now that manufacturers are bringing jobs back to the US after decades of offshoring.
·         The basic infrastructure that a national economy relies on are all in abundance: 
o   An educated workforce
o   Communications and transportation infrastructure
o   A culture in which the rule of law has unquestioned dominance and where political institutions despite all their flaws are stable and the envy of most developing economies
o   A sound currency with an ample supply of investment capital
o   Near self-sufficiency in all critical natural resources
o   Cutting edge technology and a market whose thought leaders regularly win the most Nobel Prizes
o   The largest and most sophisticated purchasing power of any market in the world
o   A middle class with enviable social mobility that attracts the best brains and talent from around the world
·         A secure geopolitical position by virtue of being located on a continent and in a hemisphere with friendly neighbors and with soft and hard power second to none

Our country’s weaknesses are perhaps more obvious to us sometimes in an election year than our strengths, but in light of these strengths our weaknesses should rather appear as opportunities.  If our education, healthcare, and transportation systems need to be repaired—those are opportunities that are right here in our own backyard where the grass is pretty darn green.   

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