You may think of New York City-based Citigroup (C) as an American company. But I’ve traveled the world extensively, and I can say that I have yet to set foot in a country that does NOT have a Citibank branch.
Citi truly is a worldwide enterprise, with 200 million customers in 160 countries. This global presence allows the company to collect a mountain of data on consumers, which it shares each year in its “Wealth Report: A Global Perspective on Property and Wealth.”
It contains what I think is perhaps the single-most-important piece of investment information available. The 2012 edition is free and a little long at 68 pages, but it is full of information that can help you become a better-informed investor.
If you can’t read the whole thing, or read it right away, I’ll share with you the most-important part right now. And that is Citibank’s forecast of which countries will become the richest in the world by 2050, as measured by per-capita GDP.
Did the United States make the top five? Yes, but barely. However, take a look at the countries that are set to leapfrog ahead of it, and think about where they’re located:
1. Singapore: $137,710
2. Hong Kong: $116,639
3. Taiwan: $114,093
4. South Korea: $107,752
5. United States: $100,802
This is an early warning signal for investors.
The United States’ expected slide to the No. 5 isn’t terrible, but it does send a very clear message.
A big reason why the United States remains in this elite group is because of forward-thinking businesses that are selling their wares to consumers in those top four countries!
As an investor, it would be a huge mistake to not include a significant weighting of the top four countries in your portfolio right now, as those countries work their way up to the top of the global economic food chain.
It’s not just the countries that are worth your attention. It’s the people who will propel these countries to the top GDP-per-capita spots: The consumers.
Why Asian Consumers Will Dictate
Companies’, Countries’ Successes
Asia should no longer be considered just a manufacturing center for cheap, low-margin trinkets. That’s because many Asian countries are undergoing an intentional, MONUMENTAL shift to consumption-driven economies that are powered by their own internal growth.
The four Asian juggernauts that topped Citi’s global wealth report — Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea — are already growing at a remarkable pace, following in the footsteps of China and its massive consumption machine.
And you can bet that the stocks of companies successfully selling to their up-and-coming consumer classes throughout Asia are going to make a mountain of money. You must invest in countries where the consumers are happy, confident and spending.
In China, for example, wages have been growing by around 12% a year in real terms over the last decade. And in spite of China’s economic growth slowing to a three-year low near 7.6%, retail sales are still growing like gangbusters, with a 13.1% year-over-year growth in retail sales.
Investing in the companies that sell to those Chinese consumers is likely to be an extremely profitable strategy. Some of the biggest beneficiaries will be Chinese retail brands … many of which can be found on the U.S. stock exchanges.
How Best to Profit from Happy, Confident Spenders
Overall, Chinese stocks in general look ripe for some big gains. I say that because Chinese stocks are cheap. Really cheap. In fact, the average Chinese stock is now trading for less than nine times earnings and about 1.25 times book value.
There is, however, another lucrative path to the booming Asian consumer markets.
I’m talking about American companies that are doing big business in Asia because their products have been embraced by Asian consumers, such as Apple (AAPL) iPhones and Nike (NKE) tennis shoes.
Of course, only a select few American companies have established a strong foothold in Asia. And those companies are bound to soar as Asian incomes continue to rise and the Asian spending spree fully kicks into high gear.
I know exactly who those companies are and to show you how to spot them, I have a brand-new FREE report for you …
In this report, I’ll reveal how you can spot profit opportunities like these without my help and without paying me or anybody else a red cent! And I’ll introduce you to the five U.S. stocks I’m counting on to spin off huge, double-your-money gains for the rest of this year and beyond …
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After you’ve read it, you’ll be able to predict with astonishing accuracy whether any stock is destined to lead the Wall Street pack … whether it will lag far behind the thundering herd … or even fall by the wayside.
P.S. The best investing opportunities designed to take full advantage of the incredible Asian consumer boom are hiding in plain sight. Just give me 30 seconds, and I can tell you if any stock you name is likely to double your money in the next year … click here now so I can show you how!