With the recent market volatility both at home and abroad (especially China) you might think it's time to avoid investing in emerging markets. However this may be the perfect time to invest in emerging markets when stock prices are down but the potential for greater growth is intact.
There are several countries with large populations that will have increased buying power as their economies expand and grow. This extra consumer consumption is good for both for their domestic companies and U.S. companies that expand overseas. (For more, see: Investors Moving Out of Emerging and Frontier Markets.)
Here are three emerging markets to consider investing in for future growth.
While China has been in the news recently over how its economy is slowing drastically and how it is impacting the commodities market around the world, there are a few things to keep in mind before ruling it out completely for all investments.
Even while their economy may be slowing they are still growing relative to other world economies. If they miss the 6.0% growth rate by as much as a 2.0% difference, the economy is still growing at a 4.0% rate. Pair this with their population moving from rural to urban areas with increasing incomes and China still remains a dominant economy and market in the long run. However, keep in mind that their government has rules on who can sell in the stock market right now, therefore investors may want to wait until this restriction has been removed and the market operates in a more familiar environment. We may see their market decline again once this artificial floor is removed. (For more, see: Is China's Economic Collapse Good for the U.S.)
India has been focusing on increasing efficiency in their government and being more business friendly. The current government has been aggressively pushing for changes to make business easier. Specifically one of the changes they made was to allow more foreign investment into Indian companies, which will bring in more capital for expansion. Also, the Indian infrastructure is not as developed as China's and a great deal of investment will be needed in that sector.
With a large population and increased business opportunities India should also see a growth of its middle class much like we are seeing in China. However one big advantage of India's population is that they are very young. According to the India's latest census those 18 and under make up 39.0% of the population. While the 19 to 25 year olds make up 13.2% of the population. This will help provide a solid workforce that is in the prime of their purchasing years. (For more, see: India Remains an Emerging Markets Bright Spot.)
Indonesia is an island nation that has the world's fourth-largest population. They have not seen as much growth as other countries due to decades of political instability and a difficult investment climate. The government recently eased investment regulations impacting what exporters pay on taxes if they leave their money in the country. Indonesia has also said it will process permits for land use activities faster than it had in the past. With eased permit access and reason to keep money in the country Indonesia has the potential for fast expansion. Indonesia may be a great area to invest over the next decade. (For more, see: Emerging Markets: Analyzing Indonesia's GDP.)
Things to Keep in Mind
Emerging markets are riskier than picking a blue chip stock. However, in exchange for risk you're hopefully getting better returns. Rather than going it alone, mutual funds and ETFs, run by porfessionals with feet on the ground in said countries, should be the best route. You need to understand not only investing, but the political and social dynamics of the country you are investing in. Just because a country might be booming does not mean all the companies operating in that region are performing at the same levels. (For more, see: Buy Emerging or Developed Markets.)
The Bottom Line
While emerging markets can be risky, they can also provide opportunity for greater growth. Moving into these markets wisely can be beneficial for your investing returns. Right now, these markets are roiling as China's slowdown takes its toll. But given favorable demographic trends, the time to invest could come soon. (For more, see: Should You Invest in Emerging Markets?)