Emerging market assets set the investment trend. BlackRock has recently released its global investment outlook that provides a guide for investors, money managers and the general public. “Roadmap for 2016” cited three key themes: low returns, slowing divergence, and volatility and opportunity.
According to the US-based global investment manager, negative interest rates in major economies, including the Eurozone and Japan, suggest that “future returns are likely to be more muted” in the future. As economies approach the limits of negative rates, BlackRock analysts expect future easing through quantitative easing (QE). QE is a monetary policy in which a central bank creates money via purchases of securities in the market. Finally, there will be more volatility in the US market, highlighting the importance of diversification and security selection.
BlackRock’s roadmap point to emerging markets assets as a compelling consideration on investment. “Income is king in a low-return environment. We like value equities and dividend growers. We are neutral on credit but favor it over government bonds. And we are warming up to selected EM assets,” reports Richard Turnill, managing director and global chief investment strategist for BlackRock.
Explore 10 investing considerations in emerging markets this 2016.
Emerging market mutual funds by US managers
One of the most effective investment tips for beginners is to seek assistance from experts. If you’re a virgin in emerging market assets, start with mutual funds. These professionally-managed funds offers the diversification you need for less. You may try with the well-known funds such as the Baron Emerging Markets Fund, the JOHCM Global Emerging Markets Opportunities or the MSCI Emerging Markets Index. These funds have asset allocations in assets in China, India and several South American economies.
Emerging market mutual funds by foreign managers
Mutual funds, which are baskets of assets, are your best ticket to Asia, Africa and Latin America. Once you feel comfortable with your US-managed funds, you may explore those managed abroad. While Baron Emerging Markets Fund may be giving an annual return of 1.6%, you can get as much as 15% to 20% return on an equity mutual fund in Southeast Asia. You should know that the higher the return, the higher the risk.
According to a recent Reuters report, the impact of massive outflows from stock funds were eased by inflows in investment-grade corporate and municipal-bond funds. You may also explore money-market funds and funds invested in precious metals commodities.
Stock investing via online platforms
Another way of entering markets in China or Brazil is through online brokers. Why deal with online brokers? They charge minimal transaction fees, low commission rates and they offer the flexibility of managing your portfolio as you see fit. If you need tips on investments, hot stocks and trends, online brokers provide information in a digestible format. You can try E*Trade, Interactive Brokers or Motif Investing. With these platforms, you can buy mining stocks in South America or real estate shares in Taiwan wherever in the world you may be.
Real estate: securities and REITs
In its Emerging Trends In Real Estate 2016 report, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) noted that investors are allocating more capital to Asia’s real estate markets, pushing up prices to record heights. You may opt for real estate stocks in the Philippines, Vietnam and Indonesia though you’re warned about high risks in these emerging markets. Another real estate investment option is Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs). REITs, or companies that own income-producing real estate, remain at elevated levels in the Asia Pacific region.
Real estate: condominiums units
Your investment options are not limited to securities. You can grow your money by riding with the real estate wave in emerging markets. PwC revealed that more investors see rental growth as a source of future profits.
The World Bank recently noted the robust investment prospects for the Philippines. The fastest-growing economy in Asia Pacific is also a haven for real estate investors. Property prices continue to rise as well as rental income. Foreigners are barred from owning lands but are welcome to own condominium units. The condo sector in China and Hong Kong may have reached their peak but it is still blossoming in other parts of Asia.
The main drivers of real estate growth in the Philippines and neighboring countries such as Vietnam and Indonesia are the growing young population and the rising disposable income of the middle class. For real estate investment tips, contact experts from the country of your choice. Ask about ownership restrictions, tax considerations and others.
Real estate: office spaces
The Urban Land Institute’s 2016 Emerging Trends in Real Estate hints on several property investment tips including office spaces. According to the report, there will be continued development and redevelopment of existing office spaces. The popularity of coworking, which involves a shared working environment, is also driving the demand. Whether it is in New York or Kuala Lumpur, you can bet on the potentials of office spaces everywhere.
Growing your money through agriculture
Dan Basse from AgResource Co. in Chicago says that weak currencies in emerging economies such as Russia and Brazil “make it profitable for growers in those countries to boost output.” Farming remains profitable even in a low-crop price environment. “There’s an old saying in the commodities market that goes: there’s no cure for low prices like low prices.”
Aside from the traditional commodities funds, you can now grow farms via your smartphone. Cropital, based in the Philippines, connects investors with local farmers. The startup company keeps 10% of the profits, investors pocket 20% and the farmer-laborers get 70%. As for the risks involved with farming, part of your capital goes to crop insurance. Not only do investors grow their money, they also help land tillers in low-income countries.
Start-ups: digital health
In 2015, JPMorgan reported that the digital health industry received a record-high of $5.8 billion in funding. These companies use big data to improve efficiency in healthcare. Digital health also involves medical software and fitness gadgets. One reason why this sector is something to watch out for is its seemingly unlimited opportunities. Emerging economies that have high patient-to-doctor ratios are in dire need of digital health solutions to improve the delivery of much-needed technologies and healthcare. Before placing money in digital health startups, take note of regulatory issues, the business models and the stiff competition among players.
Smart investment tips have just become more accessible, thanks to online research tools and mobile apps. A new sector is challenging not just traditional investing but the entire financial sector itself. Fintech, or financial technology, bagged more than $20 billion in funding in 2015, according to KPMG. Similar with digital health, fintech companies introduce technologies that transform financial services such as banking and remittance facilities. Imagine sending money to your Cropital account in the Philippines via your mobile phone.
Invest in renewable energy
Finally, one investment avenue you shouldn’t miss this year (and the years ahead) is renewable energy. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) reported that investments in renewable energy hit $286 billion last year. Emerging markets beat developed nations in investments in renewables, recording a 19% increase from a year ago. China topped the list with $102.9 billion in investments. India, South Africa, Mexico and Chile also reported higher inflows in this sector.
There is a wide range of options for you to grow your money—from traditional equity securities to tech startups. Whether you need simple investment tips or technical information, knowledge is freely available for you. Technology has changed the way people invest their money and it’s up to you to maximize its benefits.