Stefan Hayden

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Investing in Africa

Why is it impossible to invest in Africa?

Lately I’ve been trying to learn a lot more about the stock market and long term investing. In my mind long term investing is finding stock that will do well in the future no matter if it’s doing well now or not.

This can get tricky. You could have invested in Coke back when it still had coke in the drink but you would have no way to know it would last so long. Companies scare me as they come and go so quickly. Investing in Microsoft in the 80s would have been great but what are they going to do in the next 20 or 30 years? Who knows.

Indexes then become the next best thing. Once a company goes under the index just picks up the next best company. There are tons of ETF type indexes for all over the world. America, Europe, Asia even South America has a bunch to chose from.

There are almost non for Africa though. The only one is for South Africa.

Where are the ETFs for the rest of the continent? I think many argue that the market is too volatile there. Not being a professional investor I’m not completely sure why I care.

The stock can go up and down every minute and all I care about is if it’s going to go up in the next 40 years. And Africa being so under developed I don’t see how it’s market can do anything but go up over the long term.

Maybe I’m wrong but I’m young and I and willing to take that risk.

2 Comments
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re: South Africa, the 2010 World Cup is going on there, and there’s significant structural buildup happening in preparation for that. So, we could see a bump around 2010 (or the opposite, if the WC is a fiasco; there’s some signs of that), but more interestingly: what is the long-term economic significance of hosting this kind of global event? I’m not sure it always helps. (So I’m going to research that point exactly, and perhaps invest in South Africa.)

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I just wonder if it will have a long enough effect. Ideally I want something that will undergo a dramatic change over 40 years.

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