Tony Sagami: 2013 was great for stock investors. You may be richer today than you were a year ago, but investing is always a forward-looking endeavor.
As you shift your attention to how you’ll keep your profits and make even more in 2014, I have one key question for you.
How much longer can the bull market in U.S. stocks last?
There are plenty of reasons for worry — like stretched valuations, a sluggish economy, discouraging job market and inept politicians. It’s enough to scare any investor.
The world, however, is a big place. If you’re looking for alternatives to U.S. stocks, there are plenty of options, but I have four favorites …
Japan: The Bank of Japan makes Ben Bernanke look like Ebenezer Scrooge. The BOJ has pledged to spend 60 trillion to 70 trillion yen a year on its quantitative easing program.
If you believe liquidity drives asset prices, Japan is definitely worth your consideration.
China: The Shanghai Composite Index dropped more than 7% in 2013, its third loss in the last four years. However, the Chinese government just unveiled its biggest reform package since the 1990s.
With Beijing allowing more private investment in state-controlled industries, 2014 could be great year for Chinese stock prices.
Australia: Australia is blessed with a wealth of natural resources and close proximity to resource-hungry China.
Additionally, Australian stocks are well off their 2013 highs. Some observers consider them a bargain at current prices.
The juiciest opportunity of all, however, may be someplace you’ve never considered … frontier markets.
Frontier Markets: You’ve heard of emerging markets, but frontier markets offer even more opportunity.
What are frontier markets? I’m talking about Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and the least-developed parts of Asia and Latin America.
Frontier countries account for 22% of the world’s population and 6% of its nominal GDP, yet only represent 3% of world market capitalization.