Commodities guru Jim Rogers lives in Singapore and is a well-known China bull, but the contrarian investor travels all over the world (and has circumnavigated the globe twice). So we asked where he sees exciting economic opportunities for average investors now.
Rogers tells The Daily Ticker there are great opportunities in Africa – he names Angola and Ethiopia specifically. He also is focusing on the South American country of Uruguay.
“I said to my wife, ‘let’s move to Angola – we could live like kings,'” Rogers, the author of Street Smarts: Adventures on the Road and in the Markets, tells us in the video above. “She said, ‘you move to Angola; I don’t want to live like a queen in Angola’…but you could!”
Watch the interview to see more of the off-the-beaten path, frontier destinations that Rogers finds exciting. He also tells us which economies seem the least dynamic to him right now.
And see below for some fast facts on his top picks:
- Angola: This country is Africa’s second-biggest oil producer and has been looking to boost foreign investment after almost three decades of civil war that ended in 2002, according to Bloomberg. For would-be investors, the country has plans for the start of stock exchange trading in 2016, with a futures and commodities market in 2017. As for the economy, it grew 7.4% in 2012, and according to one expat website, the growth is luring an ever-increasing number of expats there for adventure and large compensation packages employers offer. The downside? The cost of living is described as “astronomical” by expat standards, money is subject to strict government controls, and decades of war means infrastructure and arable land are lacking. A cost of living price chart for 2012 shows a bottle of beer and white bread cost about $4 each, a session at the gym is $15, and a month of cable costs $12.
- Ethiopia: According to the FT, this African country once known for its closed economy has become an enticing prospect for investors. The FT’s Katrina Manson reports members of Ethiopia’s diaspora are moving back and leading the way along with Chinese investors -- they're trading coffee and investing in healthcare and manufacturing. One drawback? Manson reports many opportunities are closed to foreign investors and even the private sector domestically.
- Uruguay: This South American country bordering much-larger neighbors Argentina and Brazil will cost you 30% to 40% less than living in the U.S., according to the newsletter International Living. And if you do relocate or invest, the U.S. State Department reports Uruguay’s government has traditionally seen the importance of foreign investment, recognizing and enforcing property rights and contracts. In a recent chat with The Wall Street Journal, Jeremy Grantham (a strategist who called the housing and internet bubbles) advised seizing upon good opportunities to invest in farmland, citing Uruguay as a good place to do so.
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