On Fire |
Dec. 7, 2008
Panama City, Panama
PLUS: How To Earn A Living Overseas...Thanksgiving Day In Mumbai...Due
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Dear Overseas Opportunity Letter Reader,
In the States last week, talk was grim, and people were worried, scaling
back holiday plans, bemoaning how little they could afford to spend
Christmas shopping this year.
Here in Panama this weekend, malls are full, shops are
packed, and the streets are chaos. Downtown Panama City feels like one big
fiesta. It's Mother's Day weekend...18 days before Christmas...everybody's
happy...and everybody's out.
Friday night, I spoke to a group of travel writers here in Panama for a
weekend conference. I talked about the do's and don'ts of good travel
writing, but, after my presentation, at the cocktail reception, the
questions weren't to do with traveling or writing...but with investing.
"Where do you think it makes sense to invest today?" conference-goers wanted
"Where are you putting your money now?"
"Which international real estate markets still offer opportunity?"
"I fear I begin to sound like a paid endorsement [though I'm not!]," I
replied, "but the market that makes more sense to me than ever, after more
than a dozen years of endorsing it strongly, is Panama.
"There's a reason Lief and I are in this country right now," I continued.
"We could be anywhere. And other places have our attention, too. But it'd be
foolish to ignore what's going on in Panama."
Despite slowdowns and meltdowns elsewhere, Panama's economy continues to
fire on all cylinders, expanding quicker than most any other in the world.
It's all thanks to the continued surge in construction, transport, and
commerce. The Panama Canal expansion project is in full swing...a new
highway is being built between the country's two main cities, Panama and
Colon...and downtown in the capital is being completely reconfigured with a
new, widened central thoroughfare, a city bypass system, and a broad, grassy
stretch of parkland along the bay. If it all turns out anything like the
artist renderings I've seen in the local papers recently, it'll amount to
the most impressive city transformation I've witnessed since Rouse remade
Baltimore City's harbor area when I was a kid.
You can't appreciate the rate at which this country is growing unless you
come and spend time here yourself. A friend who has lived here since he was
a child remarked the other day, "You know, I grew up here, and so I've lived
with construction around me my whole life. But what's going on in this city
now is unbelievable. Frankly, I can't stand it any longer. I may have to
Indeed, don't come to Panama City for peace and quiet right now. This place
is on fire.
On the other hand, if you, like the travel writer conference-goers I spoke
with Friday night, are considering the world investment landscape, looking
in near desperation for someplace to put your money as world economies and
markets crumble, I strongly recommend you take a look, quick, down here in
the Hub of the Americas, where traffic, trade, and world commerce are alive
and kicking up a storm.
P.S. "Anywhere else, in addition to Panama, we should think
about right now?" the conference attendees asked Friday evening.
Argentina. More soon.
P.P.S. Our Mailbag runneth over lately. This week we've addressed reader
expat life in Costa Rica, how to get the
best deal on a property rental or buy in any foreign country,
the truth about
retirement in El Valle, Panama,
banking in Uruguay, the pluses and minuses of retirement in
Ecuador versus Uruguay, the
best way to stay in touch no matter how far from home you roam,
meet fellow expats abroad...
P.P.P.S. Also this week:
90 Days To The Income You Need To Launch The New Life You're Dreaming Of
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