Crisis investing is about timing. Get in too early, before prices bottom out and before a market has a clear path back to prosperity, and you could be waiting a long time to realize your investment return.
One crisis market investors have been trying to time for re-entry for more than a year is Spain. As Spanish property expert Barbara Wood explains in the feature report in this month’s issue of my Simon Letter, the challenge is that the Spanish property market is made up of many different markets, each with its own buyers. Some markets are driven by local buyers, some by foreigners in need of financing, and others by foreigners who invest with cash.
Areas of the country dominated by foreign buyers who tend to pay with cash—that is, higher-end expat markets—are seeing some recovery. So are markets such as Barcelona that attract foreigners and wealthy locals. Other markets, specifically those driven by local buyers, are still waiting to see any serious signs of recovery.
Again, I’ve asked Barbara Wood to report on the current situation and current opportunities in detail for my Simon Letter readers this month. Bottom line, whether you’re a cash buyer or need financing, some markets in Spain deserve your attention right now.
Argentina is another market in the midst of economic crisis that you should be paying attention to right now. The presidential elections earlier this month may signal a positive turning point for this country. President-Elect Mauricio Macri has his work cut out for him, but if he can effect positive change without alienating all the Argentines who have become used to government subsidies and handouts, Argentina could see another positive economic run… meaning the time to invest in …Continue Reading
Today is Kathleen and my 18th Thanksgiving as Americans abroad. Just like every other year since we moved overseas, Kathleen is at home today putting together a traditional Thanksgiving feast for family and friends who will join us around our dinner table in Panama City tonight.
We haven’t lived in the United States for 18 years, but there’s no denying we’re Americans… and we wouldn’t want to try. Eighteen years ago, Kathleen and I left the States, but we weren’t running from something. We wanted to see what life was like other places. We wanted to be able to explore options and opportunities, for lifestyle, for investment, and for business, from different geographic and cultural vantage points. We didn’t leave America behind. We brought it with us.
The American Dream isn’t a place. It is an approach. A state of mind. And it shouldn’t be trapped inside the boundaries of North America.
Further, you don’t have to be American to embrace it. People from all across the globe seek the American Dream, recognizing that, often, it is to be found beyond their home borders.
The American Dream is available to anyone with the gumption to go looking for it. Americans seeking the freedoms they were born with… Venezuelans fleeing political oppression… Panamanians looking to improve the quality of life for their children.
It can be found anywhere opportunity exists… which is to say almost anywhere in the world. In this global economy, all you need is a skill or an idea and, like all American pioneers of the past three-plus centuries, the confidence to relocate it to a place where it has value.
A swimming pool contractor might find opportunity in a place where no one knows how to build quality swimming pools. A banker might see a niche for a mortgage brokerage house in a fragmented banking market. A golfer might fill a need consulting with a developer looking to build a serious course in a developing nation.
Each of these is a real-life example of an American I know who has found his (or her) answer to the American Dream beyond American borders. In each case, each of these Americans relocated to another country, exporting his valuable experience with him.
I’ve also known a Brit who started a messenger service, an Aussie who opened a hostel, a Dutchman setting up a night club… all in countries where they didn’t happen to be born. These and many, many other non-American entrepreneurs like them are actively seeking the American Dream.
Just like us Americans.
To realize your American Dream, take your skillset and go in search of opportunity. If your agenda is that of a general entrepreneur, the world is wide open. If you have specific training or experience that you want to continue using, almost any developing market could accommodate. No need to reinvent the wheel. Like the American Dreams in the examples I mentioned above, all you have to do is find a fit.
Most developing countries are desperate for many of the products and services we take for granted in the Western world. Even if a business already exists in the place where you’re interested …Continue Reading