Country Rankings

An assessment of country risk rankings over the foreseeable future. International investing is tougher than domestic simply because the context within which companies operate is not embedded in an investors mind as “normal”. What is “normal” is what we experience here in the US. That doesn’t mean other countries are either the same as here or the same as what the media/financial headlines might imply. Nor does this ranking imply that solid economies are actually growing or that investments there are attractively priced/valued. This is true out-of-the-blue risk – banking system collapse, currency collapse, sovereign default (via whatever method), revolution, etc.

Stable and solid investment environments (risks are lower than the US):
Norway
Sweden
Switzerland
Denmark
Japan
Canada
Hong Kong
Singapore
Taiwan
Chile

Solid environment except for euro currency risks (slightly better than US)
Germany
Finland
Netherlands
Austria

Marginal/borderline (multiple risks – I put the US in the higher end of this category)
France
New Zealand
Israel
Malaysia
Belgium
UK
Italy
Czech Republic
Poland
South Africa
South Korea
Australia
Brazil
Mexico
Peru
Spain

Every other big country is basically junk. I would need a huge discount to invest. However some are definitely on their way up and others on their way down. Not really worth trying to pick them though given what is happening in the major Western markets

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