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Growing down to Rio

Jim Slater, who is probably the most successful British investment guru, is an expert at spotting trends. He believes that investing in Brazil is the best way to profit from the ongoing strength in agricultural commodities, which he believes will be a highly profitable area.

Brazil has many commercial and climate advantages because it has an abundance of the four major commodities that the world needs and it also has the best water table in the world, with about 15 per cent of the world’s recoverable water supply – 90 per cent more than any other country.

It is the prime exporter in the world of agricultural produce and has the most agricultural land, with fertile soil available for future exploitation.

It is the world’s biggest exporter of coffee and a leading exporter of soya beans, beef, chicken, orange juice and sugar.
Brazil has its own oil and is very big in biofuel production, using sugar cane which is highly cost-effective. Petrobras, the leading oil company, has recently discovered deposits of over five billion barrels and expects to find much more. It believes that Brazil will become an exporter of oil.

Brazil also has vast mineral wealth, including iron ore, of which it is the world’s biggest producer, gold, nickel, tin, bauxite, platinum, chrome and industrial diamonds.

The Latin American unit trust I like best is the Invesco Perpetual Latin America fund managed by Dean Newman, who has many years experience of Latin American investment. This fund has risen by over 550 per cent in the five years to the end of December 2007.

Two-thirds of his fund is invested in Brazil and around 20 per cent in Mexico, with the rest widely spread. He is a proven expert at spotting new themes and stockpicking.
I recommend this fund as part of all bigger growth portfolios.

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