Can You Say “Dominate” in Chinese?

The Chinese economy is becoming a bigger and bigger player in the global market. As of today, four out of the ten biggest companies in the world are Chinese!

China now has the largest car market in the world, which makes the largest Chinese car-maker, Bitauto (NASDAQ: BITA) a very compelling buy. This would also make investing in Chinese oil companies a pretty good idea. Check out the China energy ETF (ticker:CHIE)  as a possible investment idea.

China’s internet brand Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU) is also growing rapidly. In fact, it has grown 150% in the last year and an astounding 1,257% over the last five years. Yes, you read correctly. 1,257%! China has three times as many internet users as it had in 2005 and the numbers keep on growing.

Any investor should invest part of their portfolio in foreign stocks and markets, and China is definitely where I want MY money to be.

Karstadt Finds Unexpected Growth

Karstadt Berlin / Dusseldorf – Thomas Fox the CEO of Karstadt predicts a great future for his  department store chain in Germany. “The best times of these department stores in Germany still lie ahead,” lectured Fox on Wednesday even before the industry gathered at the German trade conference in Berlin, “Germany is a country store.”

To prove that he is onto something Thomas Fox known as a restructuring showed for the first time after the end of the Karstadt bankruptcy in October concrete figures on how the department store change is faring and the numbers do indeed astound.  The company has earned € 93 million over the past fiscal year 2009/2010 (September 30) before taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA). None of the branches write more red numbers, and there are no stores that are under threat of closing. “We have made the rotation,” said Fox. Yet the profits must stillpay the costs. Karstadt in the previous year had recorded a loss of 120 million €.

Originally, the Karstadt-rescue team based their time frame on a profit of € 35 million – now it was nearly three times as much.

Diversify, Diversify, Diversify!

Investment DiversificationOne of the cardinal rules of investing is diversification.  You never want to put all of your eggs in one basket. Ensuring your portfolio is diversified will make sure you will not lose half of your money in one day.

If you invest no more than 4% of your money in a single investment, and set a stop/loss at 25% for every one, you are guaranteed to never lose more than 1% of your portfolio on said investment. Doing so also means that you have to pick at least twenty different things to invest in. While we’re talking about the stock market, that is not a problem at all.  You can easily find a lot of good companies to invest in.

In order to balance your portfolio even more, I recommend allotting between ten and fifteen percent of your portfolio in commodities like gold and oil. Gold and oil tend to go up when the dollar and the market are down. Gold has been breaking records and many analysts predict that it might soon double, triple and maybe even quadruple its current value. Some good names to invest in there are Newmont Mining (NEM:NYSE), Barrick Gold (ABX:NYSE) and Goldcorp (GG:NYSE). The big oil companies, like Exxon-Mobil (XOM:NYSE), Chevron (CVX:NYSE) and ConocoPhillips (COP:NYSE) also have dividends that are nice and steady and good for any portfolio.

How Much Are You Willing To Risk?

Before you invest your money, you need to decide what degree of risk you’re willing to take and what your goals are. Are you investing this money for retirement in forty years? Or are you saving up to buy a house in five years? A higher risk means a higher reward, but if you will need the money within the next five years, you shouldn’t take a big risk. All financial advisors will help you build a target portfolio, which means deciding what percentage of your money is allocated to high-risk investments, small-risk investments, dividend stocks or cash.

Here is an example: If you are want income and stability you should invest between thirty and fifty percent of your money in big, blue-chip dividend stocks, and the rest of your money should stay in the bank collecting whatever interest it can.

If you are more aggressive about your portfolio growth and more open to risk, you should put at least ninety percent of your money in to stocks, including twenty percent in small-cap equities, which have greater upsides and greater risks.

Most financial advisors will offer you a questionnaire to figure out what your needs are, and before getting yourself in to the market it’s very important to ask yourself when you’re planning on leaving it.

Orthofix Acquired Blackstone Medical

On August 7, 2006 Orthofix International announced that it had finalized a deal in which it would acquire Blackstone Medical, Inc.  President and Chief Executive Officer of Blackstone, Matt Lyons, said about the deal that:

“We are especially excited about the benefits of combining our advanced product development capabilities with Orthofix’s experience in developing innovative minimally- and non-invasive medical devices.”

At the time of the acquisition Blackstone was the biggest and fastest growing privately owned company focusing on the marketing, development and design of biologic products related to spinal implantation.

The merger of Orthofix and Blackstone will bring together each company’s strengths. Orthofix is a global leader in the marketing of spinal stimulation devices, while Blackstone offers a large array of fusion, non-fusion and other biologic products.

Orthofix Chairman James F. Gero commented that, “This transaction represents one of the most significant milestones in Orthofix’s history, and the entire Board of Directors is committed to the proposed combination with Blackstone. We are all pleased to be a part of this unique opportunity to further the advancement of innovative spinal technologies for the benefit of all our customers worldwide.”