November 13, 2012
Dear Readers and Editors,
After a year focusing on Mongolia, I recently visited Sri Lanka to research investment opportunities there for two weeks. Next year, I hope to go to Bangladesh, Sri Lanka for the 2nd time, either Bhutan or Nepal, Vietnam, Mongolia for a third time if the narrative reverses positive, and maybe the Philippines or Papua New Guinea if there's time left.
Despite developing a track record for over a year on Seeking Alpha, I cannot publish my research on Sri Lanka as an article for which I get paid at Seeking Alpha's premium rate (1 penny for each click).
I could possibly publish some articles about Sri Lanka at this rate if I manage to make a tenuous link of these articles to listed ETFs that have one or more holdings in Sri Lanka (for example, iShares Frontier Markets (NYSEARCA:FM), which owns John Keells in Sri Lanka).
The reason for this is that Seeking Alpha also links all articles with listed companies or ETFs on Yahoo! Finance, Marketwatch, and other outlets, whom, I would guess, pay Seeking Alpha for content.
Because my work doesn't qualify in this way without jerry-rigging it up to ETFs, despite 5 of my 20 articles being Seeking Alpha editor's picks (and 5 of my most recent 7 articles at that), I cannot publish data on how you can invest in Sri Lanka as articles.
Moreover, when I go to a country, I am trying to find out how retail investors can invest there.
In addition to ways that you can invest with a brokerage account in Sri Lanka, my articles will also tell you about how you can open accounts that invest in what they call a unit investment trust in Sri Lanka, which really functions like an ETF and has very low fees, to invest both in the Colombo Stock Exchange and in local bonds.
My articles can also tell you how you can invest in U.S. dollar denominated debt at 6% to 8%, or Sri Lanka Rupee denominated Certificates of Deposit at rates exceeding 13%.
Finally, I also have an interview with the Central Bank of Sri Lanka which was kind enough to answer 11 questions about the risks of investing in Sri Lanka in writing to me prior to meeting with me for a follow-up conversation of 2 hours.
Seeking Alpha is planning on soon launching a Professional Level product to allow professionals to get early access to information. Yet, although many professionals, and retail investors, seem to like my work and want to read more of it, Seeking Alpha does not value coverage of international markets that does not directly relate to an ETF as worth a penny per click.
Please comment below whether you think Seeking Alpha's policy is well-reasoned or should be modified so that I can earn a penny per click to travel to distant countries and let you know how to invest there.
To understand the reasoning behind the countries I choose to travel to, please consult Knight Frank's Wealth Report 2012 in which you'll find my interest lies in countries 4 through 9 for those with the fastest GDP growth through 2050: Bangladesh (4th, 7.5% average GDP growth through 2050 predicted), Vietnam (5th, 7.5%), Philippines (6th, 7.3%), Mongolia (7th, 6.9%), Indonesia (8th, 6.8%), and Sri Lanka (9th, 6.6%).