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Finance: Where to invest after Trump victory

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Finance: Where to invest after Trump victory | The Thaiger

PHUKET: As the world learned that Trump had won, equity futures plunged – only to turn positive just minutes after the market opened the next day, with the rally lasting the rest of the week.

The fact that the Dow and small cap US stocks shot up by 10 per cent to a new high shows that the market has voted and so far likes Trump.

While it’s true that Trump has made many conflicting policy statements, he has made it clear that he wants to ‘drain the swamp’, meaning fewer politicians milking the system, better trade deals that benefit the USA and a reset of foreign policy. These policies will not benefit every sector or asset class, but they will benefit business in general and ultimately investors.

Let’s not forget what happened after the new approach championed by Reagan and Thatcher to dealing with the stagflation of the 1970s that had stymied traditional politicians. Their approach to the economy and government helped launch important start-ups such as Microsoft, Cisco, Amazon.com and Facebook.

Right now, America badly needs to be more creative. Would-be entrepreneurs must have a goal beyond government subsidies, to create the next generation of Microsofts, Ciscos, Amazons and Facebooks.

However, investors still need to keep in mind that while the overall market may be going up right now; the following sectors or asset classes are turning out to be losing bets.

Government Bonds: The iShares Barclays 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (NASDAQ: TLT) dropped 7 per cent alone in the week following the election as money flowed back into the riskier equity class.

Emerging Markets: The iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index ETF (NYSEARCA: EEM) fell off in the days after the election. If EEM fails to rebound and breaks towards the US$30 level, investors will want to avoid emerging market asset classes and country ETFs.

Gold: This traditional safe play was rallying earlier this year, but is now breaking lower. This development goes against some people’s political views that Trump is the end of the country and the notion that there is still a considerable amount of risk or uncertainty in the world.

Utilities: Many investors have been buying utilities over the past few years as a safety play and for dividends. However, the Utilities SPDR ETF (NYSEARCA: XLU) has been hitting lower highs and lower lows since July – a clear downtrend.

Dividend Paying Stocks: Recently, too much investor money flowed into dividend paying stocks. The PowerShares S&P 500 Low Volatility Portfolio (NYSEARCA: SPLV) is now seeing money outflows while the PowerShares S&P 500 High Beta Portfolio (NYSEARCA: SPHB) representing growth stocks is seeing money flows coming in; as that’s where investors want to be positioned right now.

If the economy does pick up, good old fashioned earnings and sales will start to matter, while risk will once again be rewarded. In other words, investors will want to be positioned in growth stocks and not in sectors that will not benefit from a Trump administration.

Don Freeman, BSME, is president of Freeman Capital Management, a Registered Investment Advisor with the US Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), based in Phuket. He has over 15 years experience working with expatriates, specializing in portfolio management, US tax preparation, financial planning and UK pension transfers. Call for a free portfolio review. Don can be reached at 089-970 5795 or email: freemancapital@gmail.com

— Don Freeman



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IKEA Thailand launches full online store

The Thaiger & The Nation

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IKEA Thailand launches full online store | The Thaiger

“…it took IKEA about two years to study the market demand, develop the infrastructure, and prepare everything before launching their e-commerce service in Southeast Asia.”

by Kwanchai Rungfapairsarn

IKEA Thailand has announced the official launch of its IKEA Online Store as it gets set to better provide for individual customers across the Kingdom.

IKEA Thailand say the seamless online shopping experience will offer the same journey and impression customers get when they visit a physical IKEA store.

“We see the potential – it is a potential in Thailand for IKEA. We have only been accessible within Bangkok so far, and now we will be accessible for people from across the country,” Lacia Sherlock, the deputy retail manager for Thailand, Singapore and the Philippines, said.

“The delivery prices need to be affordable and all the services need to be accessible for consumers living outside of Bangkok, so that they are able to get the assembly or whatever they need.”

IKEA has developed the full e-commerce platform for modern shoppers providing a convenient channel to access it products and inspirations, 24 hours a day and from anywhere in Thailand.

Sherlock said it took IKEA about two years to study the market demand, develop the infrastructure, and prepare everything before launching their e-commerce service in Southeast Asia.

“We aim to provide an impressive online shopping experience similar to the shopping experience customers get when visiting our physical stores. The online store has been available in Singapore and Malaysia within Southeast Asia.”

“We are pleased to now be able to provide this access to Thais. We have been wanting to do this for a long time, along with providing them with a superior experience and inspiration through both of our two Bangkok stores,” said Sherlock.

IEA soft-launched its e-commerce service in Thailand on March 26 in order to test the system and procedures and ensure they were fully functional before yesterday’s official launch.

“We are looking at achieving 17,000 online orders this year. We believe that the IKEA Online Store will help strengthen IKEA Thailand and drive sustainable growth, as our popular in-store shopping experience is complemented by our new online offering.”

IKEA Thailand launches full online store | News by The Thaiger

PHOTO: The Nation

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Business

Watch out Thailand, here comes Vietnam

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Watch out Thailand, here comes Vietnam | The Thaiger

“Vietnam is poised to take advantage of the next wave of digital technologies such as blockchain, AI (artificial intelligence), internet of things and cloud-based services to become Asia’s next high-performing economy and improve the living standards of its residents.”

Dr Lucy Cameron, from Australia, lead author of the report “Vietnam’s Future Digital Economy Towards 2030 and 2045”, says the country should carefully navigate a number of risks while undertaking digital transformation. She was presenting her findings in Ho Chi Minh City yesterday.

“Vietnam has been one of the world’s fastest-growing economies and has already become one of the most dynamic countries in East Asia,” she said.

“A boom in digital hardware and software exports has occurred, and Vietnam’s young population is rapidly taking up new mobile internet services,” according to the report.

But the report also noted some challenges.

“The population is ageing, while climate change and rapid development is straining the environment and food production as the country rapidly urbanises. The workforce needs to learn higher-level skills, especially as jobs are becoming automated in the agriculture and manufacturing sectors.”

Australian Ambassador Craig Chittick said the report was the first major output of the Aus4Innovation partnership between Australia and Vietnam.

“It will guide our work over the next three years as we deepen the collaborative linkages between our two countries and help strengthen the Vietnamese innovation system as it adapts to the challenges and opportunities of the digital economy,” he said.

SOURCE: The Nation

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“Very dangerous” Huawei could be part of a US-China trade deal

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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“Very dangerous” Huawei could be part of a US-China trade deal | The Thaiger

President Donald Trump has reiterated his complaints against China’s Huawei Technologies but conceded that they could be resolved as part of a negotiated US-China trade deal. Without providing evidence, he went on to call the Chinese telecommunications giant “very dangerous.”

The US has virtually banned firms from conducting business with Huawei, the world’s largest telecom manufacturer, citing unspecified national security concerns.

Despite the rhetoric President Trump predicts a quick end to the trade war with China. His bold prediction is not supported by any high-level talks being scheduled between the two countries since talks stalled two weeks ago.

Earlier yesterday, the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused the CEO of Huawei, Ren Zhengfei, of lying about his company’s lack of ties to the Beijing government. Pompeo claimed the alleged ties “represented a security risk” to the US without providing any details.

Meanwhile, again without providing any specific examples or evidence, President Tump said Huawei was “very dangerous”.

“You look at what they’ve done from a security standpoint, from a military standpoint, it’s very dangerous. If we made a deal, I could imagine Huawei being possibly included in some form or some part of it.”

“The company is deeply tied, not only to China, but to the Chinese Communist Party. And that connectivity, the existence of those connections puts American information that crosses those networks at risk,” he is quoted as saying in a Reuters report.

Huawei has repeatedly denied it is controlled by the Chinese government, military or intelligence services. But tech companies around the world continue to fall in line with US curbs on the company. Japanese conglomerate Panasonic says it had stopped shipments of some Huawei components, a day after British chip designer ARM did the same, potentially crippling the Chinese company’s ability to make new chips for smartphones.

Meanwhile the US government is aiming to provide about $700 million in grants to help telecom providers with the cost of removing Huawei equipment from their networks, and to block the use of equipment or services from Huawei and Chinese telecoms firm ZTE in next-generation 5G networks.

They’ve also announced a $16 billion aid program to help US farmers hurt by the ongoing spat. The Agriculture Department says some funds will be used to open markets outside China to US products. Farmers have been among those hardest hit by the trade war.

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