Interview: Joe Weisenthal Explains the MAVINS Countries as Investments

Includes: EWA, EWW, EZA, IF, MXF, VNM
by: Wall St. Cheat Sheet

Damien Hoffman: Joe, what are the MAVINS and why should we care about these countries more than the BRIC countries?

Joe Weisenthal: The MAVINS are Mexico, Australia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Nigeria and South Africa. These are countries with big commodity export opportunities plus an interesting domestic story.

These are not more important than the BRICs. However, everyone should always be trying to think ahead a few moves and anticipate what the big stories are going to be. So this is our attempt at that.

Damien: At first glance, Nigeria raises an eyebrow because Africa tends to not necessarily be the first place capitalists think about putting their money. Could you explain how Nigeria made the list?

Joe: First, the country is huge. So, the domestic potential is enormous. The population is huge and it’s going to get a lot bigger. It’s going to be over two hundred and sixty million people by 2050. We like that aspect if you’re selling something to consumers there.

Second, Nigeria is a monster when it comes to oil. Investing your money in an African country is really dicey, but I’m an optimist and I don’t believe that’s always going to be the case.

We’re looking down the road. It’s not necessarily an investment you’d be thinking of like, “I’m going to make money on this right away.” But in terms of actually being anticipatory about what the stories are going to be, I think it’s time to take Africa more seriously and think about opportunities there.

Damien: How do you recommend people in the U.S., Canada, UK, or other countries keep our finger on the pulse of what is going on in the MAVINS which are not necessarily known for their break speed communications or sharing a lot of information about economic developments?

Joe: It’s different for each country. It’s obviously not very tough to keep track of Australia or Mexico. Indonesia and Vietnam are both getting better, but in each of these cases the available economic information is equivalent to how easy it is to invest there.

It’s very easy to invest in Australia through ETFs or publicly traded companies. On the other hand, Nigeria is probably the hardest to invest in. You have to be a big shot or a private equity player to really stay on top of the market there.

Damien: Are there any special plans you guys have for following the MAVINS?

Joe: Yeah. We’re going to keep looking at them quarterly or every half a year. We’re going to keep paying attention to these countries and write about them.

Damien: Have you thought about starting the MAVIN ETF?

Joe: That would be totally awesome and we have a great acronym that should be very marketable as a product. Maybe one day something like that will come along.

Damien: Joe, thanks for taking the time to chat.

Joe: My pleasure.

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