Global investing guru Jim Rogers has said that his incredible success in investing is the result of two basic principles:
1. Buying things that are cheap; and
2. Buying things that are about to see a dynamic change in their favor.
Put those principles together and you’ll succeed as an investor by buying assets that are out-of-favor -- just before they come back in favor.
Sounds like market timing
Being able to execute these basic principles successfully and repeatedly requires that you either have more information than the stock market at large or have more intelligently interpreted the information that is available to the stock market at large.
In other words, you probably can’t pull off this little trick when it comes to big tech names such as Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL ) and Research In Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM ) . These names are tracked by just about every professional and amateur investor out there, as well as by trade magazines, blogs, nerdy 12-year-olds ... you get the point.
Rogers has demonstrated, however, that you can pull it off in niches where you can gain an informational advantage over the market.
And that doesn’t mean you’re practicing market timing -- it just means you’ve noticed a real-world trend in a niche the broader market hasn’t caught on to yet.
O niche, where art thou?
There’s good news in this regard: Thanks to the recent chaos in the financial sector, there are more chances to take advantage of market inefficiencies than ever before (or at least since the bull market of the 1990s). That’s because -- bear with me here -- stock market analysts are losing their jobs.
Now, the aim here is not to celebrate others' misfortune. Rather, it’s to point out that between last September and the middle of this past May, according to Factset Research, there have been more than 2,200 instances of an analyst dropping coverage of a company.
Thomas Weisel Partners, for example, recently announced that they would no longer be providing coverage on a number of big-name companies, including YUM! Brands (NYSE: YUM ) , Chipotle (NYSE: CMG ) , PF Chang’s (Nasdaq: PFCB ) , Panera Bread (Nasdaq: PNRA ) , and Sonic (Nasdaq: SONC ) .
Now ask yourself: If even high-profile companies such as YUM! Brands that usually get tons of analyst coverage are losing coverage, what does that mean for companies and countries that had little-to-no analyst coverage to start with?
It means opportunity ... for you
Less coverage means less public information, and less public information means a greater opportunity for you to either get more information than the market or better interpret the information that is available to the market.
This is particularly true if you’re willing to look at investment opportunities that few others have the time or resources to consider.
At Motley Fool Global Gains, we believe that some of today's best opportunities exist in the non-BRIC emerging markets, specifically, Peru -- the best little investment opportunity I know.
See, international investing is becoming more popular as Americans recognize than they can get greater growth and cheaper prices from holdings in Brazil, India, China, and elsewhere than they can from U.S. stocks. Thus, these major emerging markets are fairly well-covered by U.S. analysts.
That’s not true, however, of Peru -- a country whose stocks look pretty cheap today and should benefit over the next few years from a dynamic change in their favor.
Peru: Lookin’ good
First, you may not know that Peru -- not Brazil, not India, and not China -- was the fastest-growing economy in the world in 2007 and 2008, with 9% GDP growth. It’s expected to remain the fastest-growing economy in all of Latin America this year as well, with an official forecast of 3.5% GDP growth.
Second, you may not know that Peru is a major exporter of valuable commodities such as copper, gold, silver, zinc, and phosphate, which should see prices rebound this year as consumption growth resumes in the major emerging markets.
Third, you may not know that Peru recently signed a free trade agreement with China that will further accelerate its economic development.
And fourth, you may not know that Peru is on the verge of completing the IIRSA highway that will link the nation’s Pacific coast with the Atlantic coast (and population centers) of Brazil. This will turn Peru into a crossroads for trade between Brazil and China -- two of the world’s biggest emerging trading partners.
Add it all up, and that makes for a very bright future for a country that few investors are talking about. That gives you the opportunity to follow Jim Rogers' advice and buy cheap assets that are about to see a dynamic change in their favor.
That’s what we seek to do over and over again at Motley Fool Global Gains, our global investing newsletter that’s devoted to studying investment opportunities around the world. A major part of our investment research is actually traveling around the world, to meet with companies and get the view from the ground.
In fact, we just returned from our annual research report to China and stand ready to release a special report to our members detailing our top picks from the trip. You can get that report as soon as it goes live by clicking here to join Global Gains free for 30 days.
This article was first published on June 18, 2009. It has been updated.
Tim Hanson is co-advisor of Motley Fool Global Gains. He owns shares of Chipotle. Apple is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation. Chipotle is a Motley Fool Hidden Gems and Rule Breakers pick. The Fool’s disclosure policy recommends Peruvian chicken place El Pollo Rico.