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Money Morning: Bullish Bets on China

12/20/2016 10:00 am EST


Keith Fitz-Gerald

Chief Investment Strategist, The Money Map Report

China's economy is 25 times larger today than it was in 1990. Cooked or not, you're talking about a growth rate backed by 1.6 billion people and a middle class that is now more than 600 million strong, argues Keith Fitz-Gerald, editor of Money Morning.

Chinese consumer consumption is growing by double digits and has been for decades – at a rate that's more than double its GDP growth. Simply put, anybody who bets against China long term is asking for trouble.

That's why Trump's call with Taiwan was brilliant. He's putting the Chinese on notice that America will no longer accept a position of condescending weakness and that the very carefully orchestrated charade played out over the last several decades is over.

And what does that mean for your money? To earn profits in China, start with an obvious choice like Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (BABA), which dominates Chinese e-commerce the way that Amazon (AMZN) does in the U.S.

Then, flesh out your investment portfolio with a choice like Baidu Inc. (BIDU), which mirrors the search engine, Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL).

You could buy a Chinese ETF like Guggenheim Small-Cap China ETF (HAO) and do okay, but I think very specific choices like the two I've just mentioned are going to be far more profitable than the "one-size-fits-all" approach.

If you really want to dive in, but don't feel comfortable investing directly in China there are American companies with big plans, well-known brands, and lots of locations that are tapped into the Chinese consumer market.

My favorite right now is Starbucks (SBUX). The company is going local and plans to have more than 5,000 stores open by 2021, which represents a 1,150% increase from the 400 they had open in 2011.

I'm particularly excited by plans to open a 30,000-square foot premium roastery on West Nanjing Road in Shanghai's uber-busy shopping district because that will help reinforce the premium coffee concept.

I like the fact that the company is constantly improving Chinese operations and, in the process, making the most recently opened stores orders of magnitude more profitable than earlier iterations.

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