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Investment outlook for next twenty years May 22, 2009

Posted by Bipin Agarwal in Future of transporation, Global Economy, Politics and economy, Quality of Living, Real Estate Development in Global Economy, Real Estate Development in India, Real Estate development in USA, Recession.
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Where to invest? This is an age old question, answer to the question changes with time depending on the political environment, social and economic environment, and individual circumstance. Current political, economic  environment and social value system (individaul .vs. family) could not give more confusing, and conflicting messages.

Economic and Political Environment – Debt rating of so called rich countries are on credit watch with negative outlook. Recently UK was put on negative watch by S&P, US is next an dso are so many other countries.  China is focused on domestic spending, export monopoly, political turmoil, and desire to be on the top in next twenty years. Record number of war conflicts, from Iraq, Africa, to Asia, along with growing number of business bankruptcies, government sponsored stimulus adds further complexity to the decision of future of investments.

Investment Environment – There is lot of confusion about the area of investment. Everybody I talk to seems to be confused where to invest. Gold, real estate, retail, commodity, transporation, stock, bond, fixed deposit, or just cash?. Future economic environment will  be inflation, or deflation, or stagflation? There is no one answer that applies to every investment decision. It depends on your particular situation, net worth, objectives, lifestyle, risk appetite?.

This write-up is not a wealth management planning guide. Primary focus of this article is to outline the macro level investment opportunity for people who can take long term view of their investment and are looking for investment return much higher then, offered by fixed deposit and have the risk appetite. Again specific decision will have to take into account the political and financial system of the country.  Best way to decide about the macro ares of investments is to somewhat ignore all this confusion, and focus on fundamental needs of life. People need a place to live, they need to eat and also they need to move.  Somebody asked me, what about clothes, well this is not a future growth industry because of level of automation and consolidation that has happened in this industry. The three macro area of investing are:

  1. Real Estate
  2. Food
  3. Transportation

Real Estate – Real estate investing is not about just building the house and offices and expecting them to sell. After all, real estate valution is the cause of  the current economic issues. This has been the case across all the countries including developed, developing, and poor.  Key driver for real estate moving forward will be affordability.  Population is growing and will cross 7 billion by 2013. From cost and maintenance point of view it is impossible to build single family home (large or small) spread over large land.  Recent effort by TATA in India to build a small home for bottom 30% of the population for a cost of 10,000 dollars is a good step in the direction. However, key failure in this scheme is that every house is sitting on a land and there is no vertical construction. Another encouraging trend across the world is about apartment/condo living. This makes effective use of land and also offers lower maintenance cost. There are other effort such as what China is doing in building concentrated community (business and residents together), Eco-friendly community effort at different places, and ‘Twenty-Minute Lifestyle’ effort by REDHAWK investments.

Food – This is a tricky one. You may be thinking, what is wrong with me? Everybody needs  food, this is a obvious opportunity, what is so tricky about it. Well, size of this opportunity is dependent on the eating habits of the people. Most logical one, veg .vs. non-veg. We all know it takes five to six times of more raw food and water to feed a non-veg eater.  There is one exception when people eat fish. They are naturally grown and lot of people in Europe will not consider them non-veg.  In spite of the above debate, this opportunity is going to grow. Agriculture will be a large part of opportunity. We should expect that per capita spending on food will go up because of the limited fertile land that is available.  What Korea, and some other countries are trying to do by leasing large part of fertile land is because of two reason, 1) fear, to make sure food is available for their population. 2) future business opportunity.

Transportation – It is a human nature to move around.  People move  in search of better life, opportunity, curisity, and pleasure. Globalization, and disaprity in the wealth of rich and poor has further intensidied the desire to move. Migration from village to city, from city to bigger city, across the country, movement withing the city and across city, all requires some form of transportation, personal or public. Infratructure spending for transportation will surpass any other organized spending by government and people.  Given that government have limited resources, we will see increasing investment opportunity in the area of transportaion infrastructre by building road, rail link, airport and trasnporation serives.

Summary – Investment opportunity for future should not be confused with the wealth management.  There are lot of corporations that can give you wealth mangement advise based on your personal situation. This write-up is fcoused on business making investment decision and people investing in these business to create wealth. By definition, Investment should not be short term focused. Ability or need to create liquidity is a key data point while making investment decision.

You have a question, about Global economy, Real Estate, and Politics correlation, feel free to ask.

http://www.redhawkinvestments.com

Bipin Agarwal

bipin.agarwal@redhawkinvestments.com

https://twentyminutelifestyle.wordpress.com/about

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