September 25, 2012
After being away for over four months and traveling through more than 30 countries on four continents, I returned to Chile a few days ago, fortuitously on the first day of spring.
Remember, the seasons are flipped in the southern hemisphere, so the spring renewal is everywhere. It’s an interesting metaphor, because almost everywhere you look here, there are major signs of growth. It is as if the economy itself is in springtime, budding and flourishing in an environment of tremendous optimism.
What a welcome change. I spent so much of the last several months in North America and Europe. And with few exceptions, the situation in those places was troubling. You could call it their ‘economic winter’.
In Portugal, I remember seeing a level of desperation I had never witnessed before in western Europe… an entire nation devoid of hope or prospect. In Italy, it was a sad story of a proud, beautiful country reduced to invalid status, and capital controls had already been implemented.
Great Britain was trying to maintain a stiff upper lip amid its painful austerity measures, all while distracting itself with the Olympics. In Belgium, I was surrounded by morally vapid, sycophantic EU politicians bent on borrowing and spending their way out of crisis. In Moldova, a population living in total squalor thanks to a thieving, extractive government.
Here in Chile, it’s a completely different story… and it’s really nice to be back in a country where growth, optimism, and opportunity are the norm. Like I said, you can see it everywhere– new businesses, new developments, new construction.
The government balance sheet is healthy. The unemployment rate is low, and declining. Workers, businesses, and consumers all have a lot of confidence in the future. Shops and restaurants are full. People here actually have savings… not just mountains of debt.
Several industries are blossoming in the country. I’m heavily invested in agriculture here, and the growth I’m seeing in that sector is astounding. A lot of multinationals are also basing their regional operations in Chile now; Google, for example, is locating its first Latin America data center in Santiago.
Chile is, without doubt, experiencing an economic boom. And it’s underpinned by bona fide healthy fundamentals, not just reams of freshly printed paper currency. The Chilean peso, in fact, has been one of the best performing currencies in the world of late.
But Chile is just one good news story in the world. There are many more… places like Singapore, Mongolia, Turkey, Panama, Botswana, Vietnam, San Marino, etc. One of my contacts just emailed me from Laos this morning, describing all the economic growth and positive changes that have taken place in that country over the past year.
The global economy is not exactly a zero sum game… but one absolute truth is that whenever there are places in decline, there are plenty of other places rising.
I’ve long argued that the dominant western hierarchy is in terminal decline, dragged down by the weight of their own debt burdens and lack of economic freedom. In their places, other nations are rising. This is a transition that will take many, many years… but in the meantime, it’s incredibly exciting to be part of that rise.
In some cases, you can be part of that rise by making sharp investments like high quality real estate or shares in a country’s leading companies. Mongolia is a great example of this– it’s not a place most people would want to live, but it’s got enormous investment potential.
In other cases where lifestyle, business, and investment come together, you can be part of that rise by putting your own boots on the ground.
Undoubtedly, Chile happens to be one of my favorite places for this, and why I spend so much time here. It’s a booming country with a fantastic lifestyle, friendly people, cost effective living, openness to foreigners, and most importantly, a place where you can feel free. And it’s easy for foreigners to relocate, start a business, or even find a well-paying job.
As a matter of fact, my team and I will shortly be opening an office in Santiago… and we’re hiring.
So if you’re an “A” player looking for adventure and open to relocating down here, please send us an email to [email protected] and tell us about yourself, your skills, your salary expectations, and how you’d ideally like to be spending your time. I’ll write again soon about this with more specifics.