The founder of Stratfor Global Intelligence explains why investors should embrace
Exchange-traded funds have made everyone into a global investor. Today, with the click of a button, we can gain access to everything from
With this newfound ability, however, come new risks. Company and sector-based analyses only go so far when looking overseas, particularly into emerging markets. For today’s global investor, geopolitical-, social- and country-specific economic risks are as important as single-stock factors in their potential impact on a portfolio.
As a result, smart investors are expanding the types of sources they consult in their research. Many are turning to Stratfor, a global intelligence company sometimes referred to as the “Shadow CIA.” Founded by George Friedman, Stratfor has more than 500 employees scattered around the globe, who aim to provide political, economic and military intelligence long before you read about it in the Wall Street Journal. For risk-savvy global investors, Stratfor’s Web site and reports are a key part of its due diligence.
Friedman discussed several emerging market economies of particular interest to Stratfor during a recent conversation with Matt Hougan.
IndexUniverse.com (IU.com): You and I have discussed
George Friedman (Friedman):
It also has by far the largest and most capable army in
It has weaknesses, such as the political split between the Islamists and the secularists. But radical Islam is not a major issue there, despite occasional terrorism. The issues in the southeastern part of the country with the Kurds are quite serious, but they don’t threaten the broader security of the nation.
IU.com: It may be an island of stability, but it’s surrounded by a sea of trouble. Shouldn’t we be concerned about having neighbors like
IU.com: Then why is it overlooked by the investment media? You never hear about
Friedman: The American media is not very good at covering the world. They operate out of stereotypes that are 20 years out of date. For the same reason that the financial media wasn’t very good at covering the financial crisis, they aren’t good at covering this.
IU.com: Let’s turn to a neighbor of
The thing to remember about