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Paul Gambles
Co-founder of MBMG Group

 

Update October 31, 2015

Finding Alpha - a Retirement Plan for Today’s Markets

A fascinating brochure crossed my desk the other day. It was entitled The 15-Minute Retirement Plan1 and gave a concise, easy-to-read guide to retirement planning. I describe the brochure as ‘fascinating’ because it showed both correct and disturbing assumptions and approaches to financial planning.
Time & Money
Making sure we have enough money to live well after you finish work is a complicated task. That’s because we’re dealing with several uncertain variables – or known unknowns as American politics’ original Don, Donald Rumsfeld, might put it.
For a start, we don’t know how long we are going to live. Looking at average life expectancy from national statistics paints a little of the picture but it doesn’t take into account people’s current state of health and their heredity. Most people wouldn’t want to arrange their affairs quite as precisely as heiress Barbara Hutton was alleged to have done (she died aged 66, with no dependents and just $3,500 remaining of a fortune that, in today’s terms, had exceeded $2 billion at the time she’d inherited it).2

Source: benzinga.com

As the brochure correctly points out, taking an average is a risky business because we could well live longer (hopefully!) than we expect. Let’s face it, coming out of retirement in your nineties to make ends meet is not an option. So it may be wise to use a national average as a minimum and calculate from there.
As well as calculating a cautious time span for the retirement plan, it’s also important to work out cash flow needs. For example, how much money we would need for everyday life, as well as for big purchases and incidentals. Putting these together gives us a reasonable estimate as to how much money we would need in the pot.
The cost of living
So far this is purely theoretical, however, as we’ve not factored inflation into the equation. The issue with inflation is that we can easily undervalue and - as the brochure’s authors have done - overvalue it. “Since 1925, inflation [in the UK] has averaged 4% a year,”3 we are told. That is true but I find it highly misleading. To begin with, ninety years is far too long a period to use for some retirement planning metrics as, even with increasing longevity, few people alive today are likely to have a retirement that spans such a period. Added to that, the period since 1925 factors in the Great Depression, post-war growth, stagflation in the 1970s, high inflation in the 1990s and the Global Financial Crisis, to name but a few of the events during that period.

Source: IMF World Economic Outlook, October 2015.

In reality, the economy works in inflationary cycles, as demonstrated by Kondratieff’s Seasons (see graphic).
So to say that if we start a retirement fund in 2015, it will need to return an average of over 4% each year until payout is nonsense. For example, if we split the last thirty years into 10-year periods, we can see that the inflationary patterns in the UK and US vary considerably according to the cycle (see chart).
We also need to factor in real interest rates. Financial institutions use central banks’ base lending rates as a benchmark for the rates they charge and pay out. These have been incredibly low for several years: the Fed’s rate has been at 0.25% since March 2009, the Bank of England’s at 0.5% since March 2009, Japan’s at 0.10% since May 2010 and the ECB’s at 0.05% since April 2014.
Typically such low interest rates would encourage banks to offer low rates and therefore people to borrow. Consequently, consumption would increase, driving up inflation, meaning a need for a greater return on investment. However, today we are living in Kondratieff’s winter and a time of great private debt, meaning that whilst real interest rates are not having a fully deflationary effect on prices, it may only be a matter of time before that happens. Zero and negative interest rates are clear symptoms of a deflation, even if it hasn’t yet fed through fully to retail or consumer prices.
Weighing up the options
Along with the above factors, we also have to decide the amount of money we aim to have accumulated at the end of the stated time period. This objective can be broken down into priorities, such as the following: portfolio growth, maintaining its value, depleting assets and targeting a specific end value.
Your primary aim could be to increase the purchasing power of your assets as much as possible within the chosen time span. Alternatively, you may merely wish to keep your current purchasing power by the end of the time span. Perhaps you wish to use all of your assets as a means to live in your retirement; or maybe you aim to have a specific end value to pass on to your family.
It’s likely that you would want a bit of each of the above, so this becomes a challenging question of prioritization. For example, if you wish to draw from your portfolio during your retirement, you may have to take aim for higher returns on your investment, which implicitly means higher risk.
The brochure suggested that if the priority was to maintain purchasing power with less volatility, an investor should allocate 70% of his/her investments in equities and 30% in fixed interest investments. However, I feel that this is totally the wrong approach. What we really need is to break it all down by establishing what probability the different levels of risk are likely to bring the return we require.
We can do this using Jensen’s formula designed to find alpha – the measurement of return on investment above the market average. Because this formula takes risk (beta) into consideration, investment managers can work out what kind of return each level of risk can potentially bring, relative to the risk-free rate of interest (which over time has an strong relationship with inflation4).
Using this principle, we should make a decision as to what percentage above inflation we wish our investment to achieve, whilst taking into account the consequences should we not achieve our goal.
An informed
decision
That way, we can make an informed decision as to how much risk we are willing to take and what results that risk may bring, based on the realities of modern financial markets; rather than age-old principles or fixed assumptions which may not necessarily be true today.
Footnotes:
1 The 15-Minute Retirement Plan, Fisher Investments UK
2 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbara_Hutton
3 The 15-Minute Retirement Plan, Fisher Investments UK
4 There’s a huge body of academic work on this including large parts of Keynes’ “General Theory” and also Irving Fisher’s “Appreciation and Interest”

Please Note: While every effort has been made to ensure that the information contained herein is correct, MBMG Group cannot be held responsible for any errors that may occur. The views of the contributors may not necessarily reflect the house view of MBMG Group. Views and opinions expressed herein may change with market conditions and should not be used in isolation.

MBMG Group is an advisory firm that assists expatriates and locals within the South East Asia Region with services ranging from Investment Advisory, Personal Advisory, Tax Advisory, Corporate Advisory, Insurance Services, Accounting & Auditing Services, Legal Services, Estate Planning and Property Solutions. For more information: Tel: +66 2665 2536; e-mail: [email protected]; Linkedin: MBMG Group; Twitter: @MBMGIntl; Facebook: /MBMGGroup


Update October 24, 2015

It’s time to take a hit now to avoid catastrophe later

I was serious the other week when I told CNBC’s Stephen Sedgwick that we are in a really scary, over-priced asset market and that the best thing the Fed could do for the US and world economy would be to raise interest rates to 10% and allow the biggest implosion of asset prices in history to force deleveraging.1

Now that the hysteria over the  will they? won’t they? saga over raising the Federal Reserve’s base interest rate is over, it’s high time the world’s central banks and governments actually focus on the ever-precarious possibility of a bubble burst.

Of course, history tells us that the sages in charge of national and regional economic policies will pay no attention to any of this. In 17th-century Amsterdam, for example, the average price of a single tulip was allowed to rise higher than the annual income of a skilled worker.2 Then there was the South Sea Bubble a century later, where shares were bought on the assumption that Central and South Americans were desperate to trade their jewels and gold for wool.3

Granted, those are two old examples and the world has changed a lot since then. Yet in 1990, highly-regulated Japan suffered a crippling property and stock market bubble burst, from which the economy has yet to recover.4 A decade later came the dot-com bubble, where large amounts were lent to new companies which never turned a profit (such as boo.com)5 and the NASDAQ Composite Index rose from around 3,000 points on 1st November 1999, to almost 5,050 in March 2000, back to 3,000 in November 2000.6

Then of course, there was the US housing bubble which lit the blue-touch paper on the global financial crisis. Amidst a cocktail of sub-prime mortgages and condo flipping came a huge increase in house prices: between January 1996 and April 2007, the house price index had almost doubled – two-thirds of that rise came between 2002 and 2006 alone.7 Then came a long decline, which only bottomed out in 2012 at 19% below its peak, leaving mortgage associations and banks needing government capital to remain afloat.8

Today we are living in another bubble; one which has fundamental similarities to the events leading to the 1929 Wall Street Crash.9 US and economies’ asset prices are high; yet there isn’t the Main Street economic performance to justify these prices as evidenced by pitiful year-on-year GDP change, low net disposable income and historically low employment (see charts).


It’s very hard to say what’s going to be the trigger for the bubble burst but at some point reality has to bite. In 1929 it was a combination of unrelated events – including a fraud case in London, which had seemingly little to do with Wall Street.10

What we do know is that we’ve got this incredibly vulnerable situation, where any one factor is going to knock over the whole thing. We don’t know what that will be but, if there’s any significance to the Fed’s non-decision, it’s the fact that America’s central bankers are admitting that they can’t raise rates at this time because maybe they’re worried that doing so would highlight the problems that exist – just as the Chinese GDP and growth slowdown highlighted that country’s issues.11

China, in fact, has the biggest debt bubble the world has ever seen in terms of % to GDP for a major economy and also in outright terms.12 I think this is going to lead us to the biggest depression we’ve ever seen.

Following the GFC, the Chinese private sector (with government encouragement) has taken and is still taking on extreme amounts of debt. Corporate debt alone has grown from nowhere to officially over 125% (and, in my view, probably closer to 200%, in reality) of China’s GDP in 2014 Q2.13

Also, it doesn’t seem beyond the realms of possibility to me that the Chinese banking sector has ‘restructured’ extreme amounts of historic bad debt and is understating current non-performing loans. Added to these are local government loan platforms where the banks repackage loans into wealth management packages, passing on risk in bite-sized chunks to investors.14

The simple fact is that the People’s Bank of China and the other major central banks need to constructively tackle debt. This isn’t a short-term crisis but an exceptionally large structural debt crisis15 and most of the central bankers who are running the major economies don’t seem to have a game plan or seem to understand the problems of the debt they’ve created.

As for the rest of Asia, UBS Group chairman Axel Weber was partly right when he said that the region had learned its lesson from 1997 and 2000, thus avoiding heavy indebtedness. I do think he’s missing the bigger picture, though: if any kind of credit event happens in China, the level of outflows that this will create will affect Asia and the rest of the world even if they have some economic protection.

Having said that, I do think that a lot of the Southeast Asian emerging economies in particular are perhaps better placed to make a long-term recovery. However, they’d first have to endure a lot of pain before they see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Footnotes:
1 http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000425810
2 http://www.investopedia.com/terms/t/tulipmania.asp
3 http://www.investopedia.com/features/crashes/crashes3.asp
4 Steve Keen’s Economic Outlook 2015, IDEA Economics. www.ideaeconomics.org
5 http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2005/may/16/media.business
6 NASDAQ
7 St. Louis Federal Reserve
8 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/banksandfinance/2795920/Fannie-Mae-and-Freddie-Mac-US-rescue-spurs-world-markets-into-fightback.html
9 See MBMG IA Updates is there anything we can learn from 1929? http://www.mbmg-investment.com/in-the-media/inthemedia/44 and http://www.mbmg-investment.com/in-the-media/inthemedia/45
10 ibid
11 http://www.mbmg-investment.com/in-the-media/inthemedia/59
12 http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/tag/debt-bubble-in-china
13 MGI Country Debt database; McKinsey Global Institute analysis
14 http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-06-24/presenting-chinese-wealth-management-products-infinite-risk-loop
15 Steve Keen’s Economic Outlook 2015, IDEA Economics. www.ideaeconomics.org

Please Note: While every effort has been made to ensure that the information contained herein is correct, MBMG Group cannot be held responsible for any errors that may occur. The views of the contributors may not necessarily reflect the house view of MBMG Group. Views and opinions expressed herein may change with market conditions and should not be used in isolation.

MBMG Group is an advisory firm that assists expatriates and locals within the South East Asia Region with services ranging from Investment Advisory, Personal Advisory, Tax Advisory, Corporate Advisory, Insurance Services, Accounting & Auditing Services, Legal Services, Estate Planning and Property Solutions. For more information: Tel: +66 2665 2536; e-mail: [email protected]; Linkedin: MBMG Group; Twitter: @MBMGIntl; Facebook: /MBMGGroup


Update October 17, 2015

The ECB is still getting it all wrong

It’s fair to say that the Eurozone is in a bit of a mess. The European Central Bank’s answer to this so far has been to push austerity measures1 and introduce quantitative easing (QE).2 In January, before the programme had even begun, renowned QE expert, the University of Southampton’s Prof. Richard Werner, wrote that it was a huge mistake.3 Looking at the latest figures,4 it looks like he’s been proved right.

Chart 1 Source: Eurostat.

You may have noticed from previous articles that I’m not a big fan of QE. The US Federal Reserve used the mass bond-buying tool between November 2008 and October 2014 to stimulate the US economy.5 It was regarded as the biggest emergency stimulus package in history and added over USD 3.5 trillion to the Fed’s balance sheet.6
To put that number into some form of perspective, that’s roughly the size of the entire German economy7; or if it were converted into real money and distributed evenly amongst US mortgage-holders, each would receive a cheque for USD 73,312.8
The fact that the Fed still feels it necessary to keep continue its now 7-year-old emergency base interest rate of 0.25%9 shows that all that bond buying by the central bank hasn’t worked. Added to that, research so far shows that, whilst America’s bottom 90% (in terms of wealth) has seen average prosperity in a trough since 2009; the richest 1%, however, is now back to where it was in 2006.10

Chart 2 Source: Eurostat.

In spite of this pretty convincing evidence, the European Central Bank decided to implement its own QE programme (officially called the Public Sector Purchasing Programme – PSPP) as of March this year. This form of QE is what Professor Werner calls a “misguided narrow-track version proposed by the Bank of Japan” and “will fit into that sequence of policy disasters.”11
The problem is that buying bonds at an increased rate will likely keep long-term bond yields at a very low rate, for a long time. That’s because the ECB’s base interest rate (0.05%) is practically zero – as is the case in the US (0.25%) and Japan (0%).12 This yield curve is therefore being flattened, so European banks aren’t motivated to increase lending, which doesn’t help the economy grow and thus defeats the objective of QE in the first place.

Chart 3 - Debt ratios of households and non-financial corporations (debt as % of GDP)

* Outstanding amount of loans, debt securities, trade credits and pension scheme liabilities
** Outstanding amount of loan liabilities
Source: ECB

This isn’t merely speculation on what may happen: we have already seen this with Japan: it’s been going on for two decades.13 In fact it was Prof. Werner who, back in 1995, proposed QE as a means of helping Japan out of its slump. However, he pointed out that reverse expansion on its own wouldn’t help – it would instead require expansion in back credit creation for GDP transactions by stopping issuing bonds and entering into individual loan contracts.14 That would start a “sharp and sustainable recovery”15 – just what the Eurozone could do with right now.
The ECB hasn’t done that, however. It has continued on its usual path of encouraging boom-bust cycles, crises and recessions. In fact, the Eurozone’s latest monthly figures (see charts 1 & 2) point to this: once again unemployment remains stubbornly high – above 10% since September 2009 - and inflation is dangerously low – September’s estimate is actually a deflation of 0.1%.16
That means that, try as the ECB may to get the Eurozone economy working again, the average population is not getting any richer. Consequently, there is less motivation to consume, no matter how low borrowing rates are. That doesn’t help unemployment rates, nor does it help governments receive more tax so they can reduce their own deficits.
In spite of some deleveraging, there is still a debt bubble ready to burst in the Eurozone. Thus, with no increase on income to buy goods and no evolution on profit made on those goods, we’re looking at a static economy, with the ECB throwing vast amounts at buying bonds to enable banks to lend and to see if something will stick.
Prof. Werner actually warned about these boom-bust cycles in his book Princes of the Yen in 2003. Yet the ECB is merely continuing to follow the trail blazed by Japan – which has experienced two decades of depression.17 Richard Werner claims that this is because, when it was created in 1998, the ECB wasn’t modelled on the accountable and highly successful Bundesbank,18 but more like the old Reichsbank. He describes the latter as “the world’s least accountable, most independent and powerful - as well as the most disastrous central bank.”19
You can read more from Prof. Werner on his website https://professorwerner. wordpress.com/ and on Twitter @professorwerner

Footnotes:
1 http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/oct/01/austerity-eurozone-disaster-joseph-stiglitz
2 https://www.ecb.europa.eu/press/pr/date/2015/html/pr150122_1.en.html
3 Prof. Richard Werner, ECB is about to implement the wrong type of quantitative easing, http://theconversation.com/ecb-is-about-to-implement-the-wrong-type-of-quantitative-easing-36543
4 Eurostat
5 http://www.bankrate.com/finance/federal-reserve/financial-crisis-timeline.aspx
6 http://www.bloombergview.com/quicktake/federal-reserve-quantitative-easing-tape
7 ibid
8 QE figure: http://www.bloombergview.com/quicktake/federal-reserve-quantitative-easing-tape, mortgage owners figure: US Census Bureau
9 http://www.mbmg-investment.com/in-the-media/inthemedia/61
10 http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/usappblog/2014/10/29/the-explosion-in-u-s-wealth-inequality-has-been-fuelled-by-stagnant-wages-increasing-debt-and-a-collapse-in-asset-values-for-the-middle-classes/
11 Prof. Richard Werner, ECB is about to implement the wrong type of quantitative easing, http://theconversation.com/ecb-is-about-to-implement-the-wrong-type-of-quantitative-easing-36543
12 Federal Reserve, Bank of Japan & ECB
13 http://www.ideaeconomics.org/blog/2015/1/13/steve-keens-2015-outlook
14 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0261560614001132
15 Prof. Richard Werner, ECB is about to implement the wrong type of quantitative easing
16 Eurostat
17 Steve Keen’s 2015 Economic Outlook, IDEA Economics www.ideaeconomics.org
18 ibid
19 http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/367252/


Update October 10, 2015

Brazil’s party fails to mask troubles beneath the surface, Part 2

Another case of debt
As happened in Spain during the growth years,1 the private sector began to accumulate debt at an astounding rate – in the last ten years household debt alone rose by almost 150%.2 Public sector debt – never one to be outdone – has risen at an even sharper rate in the last decade (see chart 1).

Chart 1 - Source: IMF & Banco Central do Brasil

The amount of public sector debt should not be the first priority. After all, a government is not supposed to turn a profit – it should be there to provide services to the public. Besides, if the private sector makes money, the public sector receives more income through tax.
And more austerity
President Dilma Rousseff’s government followed many other countries in laying down an austerity programme. However, it suffered a setback in August when parliament blocked an attempted freeze on the salaries of government lawyers, state prosecutors and police chiefs.3
It has become clear from European examples that austerity measures merely contract an economy that needs to grow: Greece, Italy and Spain have all experienced negative average year-on-year growth since 2010 (see chart 2) and France hasn’t fared much better with an average growth rate of just 1%.4

Chart 2 - Source: IMF

What is even more galling in Brazil’s case is that BRL 65.6 bn (USD 24.6 bn) has been spent on hosting football’s World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio – that’s the equivalent of Brazil’s debt in 2014 or 48% more than the last year’s education budget.5
The way out?
As we can see in Europe,6 austerity usually brings deflation; yet Brazil is currently experiencing high inflation (9.6% in August7). Whilst some inflation is welcome to keep up wages up and thus consumption, such an elevated rate eats too much into personal wealth. To arrest this, the central bank has raised base interest rates from 7.5% in September 2012 to 14.25% today.8 By comparison the US Federal Reserve’s rate has been at 0.25% since December 2008.9
I think the Fed and the European Central Bank’s almost-zero inflation policy contracts economies as, though it may encourage people and companies to take on more debt, they use it to pay tax instead of consumption and expansion.
On the other hand, the Brazilian central bank’s strategy of using extremely high base interest rates to curb inflation doesn’t work either. The private sector won’t borrow at those rates, especially as government austerity measures include raising taxes on fuel and personal loans.10 The private sector is therefore being squeezed at both ends, contracting the economy even further.11
The solution is to focus on reducing private sector debt. This would give people confidence to consume. In turn this would enable businesses to expand by spending more on machinery and employing more people. All of this would automatically increase government revenue through taxation.
Historically there have only been two ways to achieve this: collapse or jubilee. In the first, the economy collapses under the weight of debt; we enter a depression while the debt is written off and assets are written down. In other words, almost another form of austerity but at least the eventual outcome is favourable.
The second method is to have a debt jubilee. This did work in the Sumerian and Judaic eras;12 yet today it is only on a minority agenda (such as at IDEA Economics, where I am an advisory board member).
Realistically, we’ll probably end up with no choice but to do the right thing but in the worst and most painful and destructive way possible. This is because policy makers won’t re-engage with the only, proven possible way of doing it.
As with the US, the Eurozone and Japan (amongst others) we see a government prioritizing the wrong type of debt. In fact, analysts Euroasia Group don’t even see the parliamentary vote to increase salaries as an attack of common sense in the face of austerity. It sees the vote merely as retaliation for investigations into a corruption scandal allegedly involving the national energy company Petrobas.13
So despite its idiosyncrasies, Brazil is very much part of the austerity-contracting-the-economy group and therefore no longer a benchmark for other emerging markets.

Footnotes:
1 http://www.mbmg-investment.com/in-the-media/inthemedia/57
2 Banco Central do Brasil
3 http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/fb09e8b6-3c6f-11e5-8613-07d16aad2152.html#axzz3llkvZWoP
4 IMF World Economic Outlook, April 2015
5 http://www.forbes.com/sites/kenrapoza/2014/06/11/bringing-fifa-to-brazil-equal-to-roughly-61-of-education-budget/
6 IMF World Economic Outlook, April 2015
7 http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/3/3a4b7780-45b5-11e5-b3b2-1672f710807b.html#axzz3llkvZWoP
8 Banco Central do Brasil
9 St Louis Federal Reserve
10 http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/ff3c9d22-a032-11e4-aa89-00144feab7de.html#axzz3llkvZWoP
11 IMF World Economic Outlook, April 2015
12 http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2011/07/we-have-forgotten-what-the-ancient-sumerians-and-babylonians-the-early-jews-and-christians-the-founding-fathers-and-even-napoleon- bonaparte-knew-about-money.html
13 http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/fb09e8b6-3c6f-11e5-8613-07d16aad2152.html#axzz3llkvZWoP


Update October 3, 2015

Brazil’s party fails to mask troubles beneath the surface, Part 1

It’s all about money. What we need to do is keep up public pressure for improvements in infrastructure, transport, sewerage.
- Sócrates Brasileiro Sampaio de Souza Vieira de Oliveira, footballer, doctor and political activist, June 20101

The world spotlight is firmly on Brazil nowadays, with the country hosting the world’s two largest sporting events2 inside two years. Yet trouble is brewing: the economy once touted as a future star performer, is dragging while the government uses a time-honoured method in an attempt to drag the country back up.

Chart 1 - Source: IMF

Back in 2001, then Goldman Sachs chairman Jim O’Neill coined the phrase BRICs in a report which pointed out that the largest emerging markets of Brazil, Russia, India and China already represented 8% of world GDP and would increase that proportion further in the coming decade.3
That report put these countries as the benchmark for the rest of the emerging markets and, to some extent, this has panned out (see chart 1). The group has since become formalised and the small ‘s’ has become a large ‘S’ as South Africa was invited to join the summits.
Not so strong now
For several years, the Brazilian Real was strong against the USD, reaching BRL 1.56 to USD 1 in July 2011. By the end of August this year, that level reached BRL 3.49. This should be helping exports; yet over 32% of sales out of Brazil are ores, oil seed and mineral fuels4 – raw materials whose world market prices have been falling dramatically. These include oil which represents 8.4% of its exports, and iron ore, which makes up 13% of exports.5
However, falling oil prices and local issues (such as Russia’s stock market and currency drops post-Ukraine crisis and Chinese poor trade results and stock market crash) have recently revealed chinks in the BRICS’ armour.
Brazil is a case in point – and a deceptive one at that. It had enjoyed year-on-year growth since 1992 (with the exception of the fallout if the GFC in 2009) and initiatives such as the Bolsa Família programme have been praised for their reduction in the percentage of people living in poverty.6 Furthermore, unemployment levels have been around the 5-6% mark since 2011 (2001-2006 saw rates between about 10% and 12%).
However, recent growth has stagnated. In 2014, GDP was only 0.1% higher than in the previous year and 2015 is expected to be -1% compared with last year.7 Not only that, those relatively impressive unemployment figures hide the truth: the year-on-year number of people formally employed is nosediving8 (see chart 2). Barclays Capital economist Marcelo Salomon puts this down to fewer people actually looking for jobs.9

Chart 2 - Source: Ministério do Trabalho e Emprego do Brasil

Footnotes:
1 http://www.theguardian.com/theobserver/2010/jun/13/socrates-brazil-football-world-cup
2 http://sports-facts.top5.com/the-worlds-top-5-most-watched-sporting-events/
3 http://www.goldmansachs.com/our-thinking/archive/archive-pdfs/build-better-brics.pdf
4 http://www.worldstopexports.com/brazils-top-10-exports/2951
5 MIT https://atlas.media.mit.edu/en/profile/country/bra/
6 http://www.coha.org/income-inequality-and-poverty-a-comparison-of-brazil-and-honduras/
7 IMF World Economic Outlook, April 2015
8 Source: Ministério do Trabalho e Emprego do Brasil
9 http://www.forbes.com/sites/kenrapoza/2014/04/17/why-brazils-unemployment-rate-is-so-low/

Please Note: While every effort has been made to ensure that the information contained herein is correct, MBMG Group cannot be held responsible for any errors that may occur. The views of the contributors may not necessarily reflect the house view of MBMG Group. Views and opinions expressed herein may change with market conditions and should not be used in isolation.
MBMG Group is an advisory firm that assists expatriates and locals within the South East Asia Region with services ranging from Investment Advisory, Personal Advisory, Tax Advisory, Corporate Advisory, Insurance Services, Accounting & Auditing Services, Legal Services, Estate Planning and Property Solutions. For more information: Tel: +66 2665 2536; e-mail: [email protected]; Linkedin: MBMG Group; Twitter: @MBMGIntl; Facebook: /MBMGGroup

 


 
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

Finding Alpha - a Retirement Plan for Today’s Markets

It’s time to take a hit now to avoid catastrophe later

The ECB is still getting it all wrong

Brazil’s party fails to mask troubles beneath the surface, Part 2

Brazil’s party fails to mask troubles beneath the surface, Part 1