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International Investing – It’s Complicated

May 15, 2014

The world is a big place – there are over 190 countries and 7 billion people in the world, which really boggles the mind if you sit down and think about it. In addition to being an interesting intellectual exercise, this fact can also have broad implications for your investments and your financial future. It is easy to stay focused on U.S. firms, news, and events during the day-to-day grind, but it is always important to be aware of your surroundings – especially when it comes to your investments. With that in mind, this series of articles will focus on countries and investment opportunities outside the United States that you might not usually hear about.

As always, be sure to consult a financial services professional familiar with both the potential investment and your unique financial situation before embarking on any investment program.

It’s Complicated

When people talk about relationships, a refrain that is often repeated is that it is complicated — this same phrase can be repeated when it comes to international investing. As we have been discussing, for nearly a year, there are numerous opportunities available for investors who want to put some money to work overseas. With increased opportunities and openings for investments, however, there are also increased risks. As the controversy surrounding the GE bid for Alstom has shown, international deals are rarely solely about the numbers. Political issues, regulatory issues, labor issues, and cultural issues are just a few of the things that can derail international investment deals.

A perfect example of the endless strings that can accompany international investing is the firestorm that has engulfed the bid that Pfizer has put forth for Astra-Zeneca. More surprising than anything else is that the bid put up by Pfizer has been rejected by the Board of Astra-Zeneca. In other words, all of this debate and controversy, on both sides of the Atlantic, have been related to a bid for a company that has not even been accepted by the company poised to be acquired. Talk about putting the cart before the horse!

Some of the issues that are being debated and argued about include the following:

-Intellectual property
-Patient care
-R&D spending

As I said before, international investing is complicated.

Happy Reading!


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