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Universal truths of investment turned upside down – MoneyWeek

Justassignificantly,emergingmarketsyieldsarerising。

Aquarteroftheworld’sstocksyieldingmorethan3%areinAsia。

Russiancompaniesarepushingupdividendsfast。

EnergygiantGazpromhastripleditsdividendsince2009andnowhasayieldof4。

5%,onaparwithBritishandAmericanrivals。

Theerawhenemergingmarketsdidn’tpayoutmuchincomeisclearlyover。

Ofcourse,itcouldjustbeacoincidence。

Thedevelopedworldhasjustbeenthroughthecreditcrunch,andnowtheeurocrisis。

Stockmarketshavebeenthroughaperiodofextremevolatility。

Inthenextfewyears,thingscouldreturntonormal。

Atthesametime,dividendswerealwaysgoingtoriseintheemergingmarkets。

Ascountriesgetwealthier,andcompaniesgrowbigger,theygeneratemorecashandinvestorsdemandhigherincome。

Aconvergenceofyieldsacrosstheworldwasalwaysonthecards。

Whilethereissometruthinthat,thereissomethingmoreprofoundgoingon。

Thedevelopedanddevelopingworldaretradingplaces。

Thedevelopedworldnowhasmanyofthecharacteristicsofanemergingmarket–highdebtlevels,politicalinstability,andperiodiccurrencycrises。

Emergingmarketsnowlookrelativelystable,withlowdebts,securecurrenciesandsometimesmoresecuregovernmentsaswell。

TakedebtinEasternEurope。

Czechgovernmentdebtstandsatjust42%ofGDP。

InPoland,itis57%。

InRussiaitis12%andinEstonia6%。

InGermanyandFrance,debtlevelsaremorethan80%ofGDP,andtheyarenobetterinBritainorAmerica。

AndJapan?

Don’task。

Householddebtlevelsarejustaslow。

Russianconsumerdebtisabout10%ofGDP。

InPoland,thefigureis33%。

Andinthedevelopedworld?

Again,don’task。

Countrieswithlowdebtsaremorestable–justascompaniesandhouseholdswithlowerdebtsare。

Withbalancesheetsindecentshape,theyarebetterplacedtowithstandfluctuationsintheeconomiccycle。

Nearlyallthelowdebtcountriesareemergingmarkets。

Slowlyinvestorsarerealisingwhatishappening。

Emergingmarketsoffergreatersecurityandnowhigheryields。

Withyoungerpopulations,smallergovernments,lesswelfareandlowertaxes,theygrowfaster。

Increasingly,thequestionmaywellbenothowmuchmoneyyouwanttohaveintheemergingmarkets–butwhyleaveanyatallinthedevelopedworld?



ThisarticlewasoriginallypublishedinMoneyWeekmagazineissuenumber577on24February2012,andwasavailableexclusivelytomagazinesubscribers。

Toreadalloursubscriber-onlyarticlesrightaway,subscribetoMoneyWeekmagazine。

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