Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Add a BRIC to your portfolio?

So says this NYTimes peice. For those of you that don't know, BRIC stands for the primary emerging markets of Brazil, Russia, India, and China. The werewolf thinks Brazil would be the safest bet based on the graph featured at the start of the article. Watch out for the Russians. It screams of a bubble to my amateur eyes. Just look at the sharp drop during the second half of 2008. Russia is heavily reliant on its state controlled energy sector for its cash flow. Russia may be a decent short term play, but for the long run, get the hell out. I don't trust the Putin/Medvedev axis, am skeptical of the nascent Czarist nationalism, and think their willingness to expropriate assets, and bully neighbors are all troubling signs.

People have had prolonged investment erections for China and India. India, like Brazil, seems ripe for growth, and their is no doubt in my mind that China still represents opportunity and will grow to rival the United States economically. However, I get the impression that before this comes about, China will have some serious growing pains to deal with in terms of rooting out internal corruption, updating their infrastructure, resolving the differences with their disenfranchised, violent separatist minorities, and managing expectations via the rural urban divide. There is also the touchy subject of how much U.S. debt the Chinese have purchased.

My hedge fund friend keeps raving about Sri Lanka and Colombia. Hell, most things look good from exile.

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