A few short decades ago, in many ways the investment opportunities small investors were exposed to were limited by borders, international lines and oceans. Today, as the old saying goes, the world is one’s proverbial oyster, especially for investors comfortable with the idea of investing their money internationally.
International investing isn’t new. However, it has become extremely popular with personal investors over the last decade, touted as a way to diversify a portfolio and take advantage of currency rates and burgeoning industries.
According to Market Watch, there is a variety of research indicating investors have better long-term outcomes when they diversify widely among asset classes, industries, company sizes, and orientation between value stocks and growth stocks.
“Many academics also concluded that it’s a bad idea to have more than half of your equities in stocks from any one country,” wrote financial commentator Paul Merriman.
The United States is one of the most desired international investment countries, bringing in more than $7,525.6 billion USD annually in international investment capital. Similarly, Canada is also a popular investment spot which brings the Canucks $1,113.6 billion CDN annually.
While Canada and the U.S. are high on the list of most popular international investment locations, where do North Americans invest their international dollars?
The European Union and South American countries rank high with North American investors. However, there is a growing number of trendsetters who are opting to park their investment bucks in the sunny Caribbean, more specifically in Barbados.
The independent island nation located in the eastern Caribbean is home to more than 4,000 transnational companies involved in numerous sectors and industries, including international banking and insurance, international trade and commerce, treasury management, private wealth management, trusts, call centers, medical transcription, information communications technology and manufacturing.
Barbados is also one of the few islands with a comprehensive strategy to engage, support and promote foreign investment. Barbados’ International Business Companies Act is designed to attract and facilitate the wide range of business activities conducted on the island, allowing Barbados to become recognized as a modern and responsible international business centre for foreign and domestic investment.
Not only is Barbados prepared to face the business challenges of today, the island’s business community is working to align itself with emerging technologies and innovations for the future. International investment specialist and resident of Barbados Jeffrey Lipton points to the island nation’s new Bitcoin Exchange as evidence that the country is ready to welcome investors and future.
“Barbados is leading the digital currency wave in the Caribbean,” said Barbados’ Jeffrey Lipton. “Overstock.com just invested in the country’s leading financial tech company, and the next few years will be a real turning point for the country.”
The deal Lipton mentioned made international headlines earlier this year when American-based Overstock.com announced they were backing the Bajan FinTech firm Bitt, a tech company dedicated to bringing digital currency solutions to developing countries where a majority of residents have no bank account or little access to actual financial institutions.
“A major impediment to economic advancement around the world is the fact that the vast majority of humans are unbanked,” said Patrick Byrne, Overstock CEO. “Yet mobile penetration in some countries exceeds 100 percent.”
Essentially, the international investment in Barbados FinTech sector will make developing nations more desirable to international investors, further spurring the international investment community.
In mid-October (the week of October 16 through October 21), Barbados will host their annual International Business Week, an invitation for the business executives and investors from around the globe to visit the island nation and see the magnitude of business potential that is there.