Finance

From Bitcoin to Caribbean Investment: Smart Money Decisions for 2018

With British inflation at its highest point in five years, and the American economy still wildly variable a year after the election of Donald Trump, identifying the best place to invest your hard-earned money is worth even more consideration than ever. Stock advisors are already starting to make their predictions and recommendations for the year ahead; one expert writing for NASDAQ recommended the tech giants Cisco Systems for its size, the day-to-day necessity of its products and its growing dividends.

But as with all stocks, this unpredictability, coupled with the volatility of the current political climate, have added yet more insecurity to the already unstable markets. However, there are a number of alternatives to traditional investment schemes—some economical, some technological—which have been bubbling under through this year, which are more likely than ever to provide you with a prosperous 2018.

Economic citizenship

Economic citizenship (or citizenship by investment) is an increasingly popular portfolio item for investors looking both to diversify and obtain the right to reside in a different country. Many countries offer citizenship by investment programmes whereby applicants are granted citizenship provided they invest a significant amount of money in the country’s economy. In doing so, the applicant gains greater international mobility and all the rights of being a citizen of that country, while the country generates funds to reinvest in improving its infrastructure.

The countries which offer economic citizenship vary; there are agencies which offer citizenship by investment to nations across the Caribbean, such as St. Kitts and Nevis which was the first country to offer such a program. Recently, Turkey has also begun offering CBI, while donations in the millions can gain investors access to Austria and Bulgaria, amongst others.

Bitcoin

Not dissimilar to a citizenship by investment programme, the infamous cryptocurrency bitcoin is also being used as a way for investors to gain a passport to the “fourth-happiest country in the world”, Vanuatu. Indeed, bitcoin is rapidly becoming widely accepted and used across the world; it is set to be worth $10,000 by the start of 2018—six times more than an ounce of gold. Consequently, it looks set to grow in use and popularity as more nations both use and come to trust it.

Formal regulations around the currency have been put in place in countries such as the Philippines; bitcoin exchange traded funds (ETFs) are also beginning to be considered by other governments around the world. As such, getting involved with bitcoin before the currency becomes a de facto part of the global economy may be your secret to financial success next year.

Invest in China’s healthcare demand

One unlikely source of revenue for wiley investors could be China’s current demand for healthcare; at present, the country provides care financed by a mix of state funding and insurance payments. However, only 5.5% of the country’s GDP goes into its healthcare, compared to 17% in America, which is a troubling statistic considering the growing (and aging) population.

Consequently, outside investment is gradually being welcomed as a resource to improve the country’s health system. One CEO told Bloomberg that investing in Chinese healthcare providers was a prudent strategy; the health sector in China is still evolving and consolidating, and backing a successful company could provide positive returns. Indeed, considering the reforms currently being touted in the States, some economists are recommending investing in American healthcare stocks as well.

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Simon Davies is a London based freelance writer with an interest in startup culture, issues and solutions.

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