To the inexperienced consumer, investing in offshore stock can seem like a cross between rocket science and gambling. Newcomers watch as some traders voraciously read consumer reports and analyse strange-looking charts and graphs, talking about metrics and derivatives in what sounds a lot like a foreign language. At the other extreme, they will see traders picking stocks based on their ‘gut’ … or an ‘insider tip’ from their cousin.
Fortunately, GIYF (Google Is Your Friend), and if you know what to look for, all the information you need is literally at your fingertips. To make it even better, a lot of this data is typed in plain English, so the ordinary consumer can make sense of it. You’ll need some basic discernment to sift good data from clickbait though.
The first thing you need to learn offshore trading is the right platform. You want one you can access from anywhere, with affordable brokerage fees, low entry points, easy deposit options, windows into multiple markets, and the ability to integrate all this on one screen. Since you’ll be trading international stocks and shares, it helps if they have a global footprint.
Next, it’s time to decide what companies to invest in. It’s best to diversify your portfolio across geographical regions and industry boundaries. Your holdings should be as distinct from one another as practically possible. Find out as much as you can about your target companies so that you can make an informed decision. Here are a few top candidates.
Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (USA)
Tech companies are almost always a good bet, because they come up with new products all the time. However, these products can be too easily influenced by cultural events, and with the world being as connected as it is (and the virulence of social media), things can get very messy very quickly. Think S7 Note. Still, this $3.37 billion-dollar firm has an upcoming chip that shows promise. Its sales volumes last year were $4.7B, which is a 108% return, and this year’s growth estimate – including the chips – is a healthy 18.8%.
com Plc. (UK)
If you enjoy a bit of irony and have a cheeky sense of humour, you can bank on these virtual tears and laugh your way to a bigger account balance. In the past 12 months, they’ve hauled in $545M, working out to a total return of 182.9%. PrettyLittleThing, their latest fashion line, is doing well in US and UK, setting sales projections at close 80%.
Alaska Air Group (USA)
Fascination isn’t always about stock hikes. Sometimes, a (plane) crash can be just as educational. The intrigue here is layered. First off, it’s an airline in Alaska, which you would imagine doesn’t get much business. Second, it made a curious deal recently, offering its pilots lower income in exchange for improved job security. They then proceeded to merge with Virgin Atlantic, which –understandably – got the pilots re-thinking the deal they had just made. The 2016 merger drove unions to demand raises of up to 20%, so either way, this saga makes for good financial edutainment.
BASF SE (Germany)
There’s always been big money in pharma. Other chemical companies are merging and consolidating, but BASF has remained independent, with nearly 400 production plants and partnerships in 80 countries. They focus on complex, high-cost, high-margin products, and with an asset base of $86.34B and growth estimates of 13.5% this year, financial rewards are looking healthy.
China Merchants Bank (China)
No matter how things go, banks will always win. Even when they collapse, they win because shareholders get part of the liquidated assets. The Chinese economy is general is looking up this year, and CMB is offering better loans and higher charges on credit cards, which are becoming popular with China’s younger population. The bank’s assets stand at $916.42B and its growth estimates for 2018 are 17.7%.
Cosco Shipping Holdings Co. (China)
These days, we buy everything from China, so guess who’s making big bucks. Yep, shipping companies. They get a cut of everything, from donated cargo to drone deliveries. Cosco (China Ocean Shipping Company) acquired Orient Overseas International Ltd, broadening its range even further. The deal makes Cosco the world’s third largest carrier and pushes growth expectations to 83.2%.
CSX Corp. (USA)
Throughout modern history, civilisations have sprouted around railway stations and development has stretched outwards from the railway line. Therefore, a company that focuses on railways and real estate should do well. Last year’s returns were 82.5%, but CSX has had some issues. Still, many people believed CEO Hunter Harrison could turn things around, thanks to his legendary reputation. Unfortunately, he passed away from illness on 16th December 2017. Watching what happens next should be quite informative for your stock trading studies.
Dangote Cement Plc (Nigeria)
In any emerging economy, investing in cement is sure thing, thanks to ongoing construction and development. Dangote is looking to extend its reach to Sierra Leone, Congo, and Tanzania, capitalising on the continental housing boom. The company is worth $5.2B and its returns last year were 7.9%
Danone SA (France)
Got milk? Danone has just acquired White Wave Foods Co. They now have a brand portfolio that includes Horizon Organic Milks and Silk non-dairy milks. There’s a new face at the top too. Franck Riboud, the previous Chairman, has left the reins to Emmanual Faber who now serves as both CEO and Chairman. The market is keenly watching to see how he will milk this opportunity.
Discovery Communications Inc. (USA)
It’s time for yet another lesson, courtesy of the Discovery Channel. Despite its net worth of $16. 15B, the company made a loss last year, with returns of -10.1%. With all the new streaming services available, Discovery is bleeding subscribers from their factual edutainment offerings. This year, they’re taking a new direction that – if nothing else – will make an excellent case study. Discovery has acquired Scripps Network Interactive Inc., a lifestyle driven production house. Now that’s reality TV. Let’s watch and see how it turns out.