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In the Eye of the Storm: A Survival Guide

By Richard Stavros on October 8, 2015

In these highly volatile markets that bounce hundreds of points up and down on good and bad news, or no news at all, investors are hungry for solid investment opportunities. Such opportunities are becoming scarcer and scarcer as global growth is slowing.

That’s why in the upcoming issue of Global Income Edge we will identify the best and worst investments under a number of different scenarios.

We’ll take you through an investment boot camp to be ready when opportunity knocks.   

In the next issue, we discus:

  • Investments that will benefit from a Federal Reserve rate increase.
  • When commodities should rebound.
  • Pockets of global growth and undervalued opportunities.
  • Industries that are expected to do best in the current economic environment.

This “scenario” analysis is typically done when global economic growth is uncertain so investors can spot opportunities first before large new trends become obvious and become overvalued. And the economic environment has rarely been more uncertain.    

Forecasters such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) recently predicted that the global economy will grow 3.1% this year and 3.6% in 2016, trimming its forecast for both years by 0.2 percentage points compared with its estimate in July. The revised forecast has been in reaction to the slowdown in the Chinese economy, according to the Wall Street Journal. 

Said IMF Economic Counsellor Maurice Obstfeld:  “We see that in the near-term global growth will remain moderate and uneven, and we see higher downside risks,”

The only bright side, according to the IMF, is that advanced economies such as those of the United States and the European Union are expected to grow, though mildly, around 2%, which is actually a slight downward revision.  

“Six years after the world economy emerged from its broadest and deepest postwar recession, a return to robust and synchronized global expansion remains elusive,” said the Obstfeld. In fact, the IMF projects long-term headwinds for advanced economies generally, as a result of weak productivity growth, lower investment and aging populations.

It’s easy with the IMF’s dismal report to feel as though any investment one makes is doomed to failure. But the key to identifying value will be to understand where quality income investment opportunities are likely to arise and have the investment discipline to be patient as these growth drivers become apparent.  

Portfolio Update

The world’s largest ice-cream manufacturer—among a host of other consumer goods—just got bigger. Unilever (NYSE: UL), which already owns brands like Ben & Jerry’s and about 22.8% of the global ice cream market recently announce it’s added premium Italian ice cream brand Grom to its portfolio. Unilever did not reveal the terms of the deal.

Grom started about 12 years ago by two friends and has grown to 67 gelato stores globally. While most are located in Italy, it has stores as far as Paris and New York. Grom generates annual revenues of about EUR30 million ($33.6 million).

Unilever’s expansive scale will allow it to introduce Grom’s products to other growth markets which include retail sales in supermarkets–another way for the company to cash in on the $67 billion global ice cream business. Unilever is a Buy up to $45.

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