A Global View from the San Francisco Money Show

08/14/2008 12:00 am EST

Focus: GLOBAL

Nancy Zambell

Editor, Wall Street's Best Investments and Wall Street's Best Dividend Stocks

Attendees at last week's San Francisco Money Show came seeking answers to a variety of questions: what to buy, when to buy, or just hold steady?

No one left empty-handed as more than 100 advisors shared their thoughts and opinions on both domestic and global markets. In our MoneyShow.com studio, we had the opportunity to interview many editors and money managers to find out just what they were telling their clients about investing in these volatile times.

Discussing global markets, many advisors-although for the most part-still bullish on China, have now tempered their enthusiasm somewhat. In a bid to protect investors from getting caught up in the hype of the moment, the majority recommended exchange traded funds, mutual funds, ADRs, and the shares of multinational companies, rather than investing directly in shares of Chinese businesses.

And that advice held true for most of the rest of the globe including the other BRIC participants-India, Russia, and Brazil. Although soaring commodity prices gave tremendous lift to Russia and Brazil last year, most advisors see a continuing pullback in both country's investments, near-term. Of course, the Russia/Georgia conflict will most likely have an adverse effect in the short run, also.

Overall, emerging markets, as well as frontier markets, received their share of attention, with some advisors very bullish and others, not so much. Most everyone agreed that demand in these nations was not coming to a standstill, but there was some worry and uncertainty over the inflationary tendencies that many are beginning to feel, and that may, ultimately, affect their stock markets.

Europe was expected to continue suffering economic woes, a good deal of that, due to the fallout from the US' own credit and financial setbacks.

What I found very interesting is the focus on the individual investment, and not the sector adoration that has been the sweet spot of the markets for the past few years. And I, for one, am glad to see that, as I believe that when it comes right down to the bare basics, investors are always going to fare better by selecting the right company, instead of trying to pick the perfect sector, country, or region.

This week, in our one-on-one interview with Eoin Treacy, he carried that theme through via his take on the commodities markets, saying that not all are equal and that investors must look behind-the-scenes.

John Snowden worried bad economic news is limiting investment opportunities in both the US and UK.

Going to the other side of the world, David Stevenson eyed an African company that is almost a fund or ETF itself, as its holdings include a number of different businesses operating in many countries in that region. And Tom Lydon issued some words of caution concerning certain European ETFs.

International investing right now is most certainly a mixed bag-fraught with risks but teeming with potential. Stay tuned to MoneyShow.com and we will do our best to bring you the latest recommendations and strategies to help you build-as well as safeguard-your global portfolios.

Nancy Zambell edits Global Investing for MoneyShow.com. Her opinions are her own and not necessarily the views of InterShow or MoneyShow.com.

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