You might be surprised to learn that some of the world’s best investors are buying heavily right now — not because they think we’ve hit a bottom or even the bottom, but because they’re setting themselves up for the next big run.
Take Mark Mobius, for example.
Long regarded an emerging-market pioneer, Mobius is in charge of more than $50 billion worth of assets on behalf of Franklin Templeton. Lately, he’s snapping up Romanian real estate, Nigerian banks, Kazakhstani oil companies and more.
There are many reasons, but it comes down to this: Despite the fact emerging markets returned almost 250% from 2001 to 2010, the old playbook no longer works. I have to be careful when saying this because many investors will blithely assume that emerging markets are dead — they’re not. It’s just time to redraw the map because the best opportunities are no longer where you’d expect.
It’s no longer about the BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India and China), for example. Sure, these countries remain great places to stake your claims on the wealth of newly found purchasing power and consumerism, but it’s the so-called MINTs (Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey) that might offer a faster route to riches.
Other newly coined emerging markets include the Next 11 — or N-11 — as Jim O’Neill, the economist who coined the term “BRICs” a decade ago, calls them. The N-11 is basically the MINTs plus Bangladesh, the Philippines and Pakistan plus a few more countries.
Then there’s the VISTA nations (Vietnam, Indonesia, South Africa, Turkey and Argentina) and the CIVETS (Colombia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Egypt, Turkey and South Africa).
These aren’t just random letters boggled about to make catchy acronyms. For the first time in modern history, emerging markets are no longer completely dependent on Western economies nor demand. This gives them an unprecedented range of options largely independent of the political, financial and economic swamp the developed markets have become.
This is not the kind of thing you’re going to pick up on in the mass media, but every single one of those nations is set for a runaway investment boom because they are advancing faster than almost anyone is expecting.
In fact, many of the big investing houses like Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), Fidelity, HSBC (NYSE:HBC) and others feel the same way I do — that the MINTs and N-11 have the potential to be every bit as profitable over the next 10 years as the BRICs were over the past 10 years.