Are you looking for the next land of opportunity? Does talk of massive government debt, bankruptcies, foreclosures and unemployment have you singing the blues? Escapeartist is about to provide you with an insider tip to the next ‘in’ location. We are talking about a location where all the smart money is moving to, a country vast with resources, a beautiful culture and probably the most attractive women on planet earth. (It’s true) –
Names like Sam Zell (Billionaire) and Carlos Slim (Billionaire) and many others are investing in Colombia right now. Why are they investing? Why are tourism rates in Colombia skyrocketing? Why is the Colombian stock market returning double digit returns? Why is Colombia leading the Latin American rim in attracting foreign direct investment?
Escapeartist has the insider scoop on Colombia and we are going global with it! – We were on the front lines of Costa Rica, Belize, Dominican Republic, Argentina and NOW Colombia!
Escapeartist has partnered with Investment Group Colombia to provide our readers with authoritative articles that are written by Escapeartist readers who actually live the Colombia Escapeartist Dream right now. Escapeartist over the next few months will be providing special coverage of Colombia and we will be getting the truth from the ‘frontline’ early adopters, the market mavens, pioneers of the international Colombia lifestyle!
Our intention is to create a tsunami of awareness for Colombia over the next year and you are getting the very first newsletter that we have published on Colombia – Nothing like being at the right place at the right time… right before 15 million people learn about this beautiful country – Colombia is Passion!
Please enjoy the first of three Special Edition Colombia Ezine – This month we covered Bogota, in March we will cover Medellin and in April we will feature the romantic ciudad of Cartagena.
Now, go on and get your insider tip and learn more about Why Sam Zell Loves Colombia
In our continual quest to bring you the honest facts about Colombia, we at Investment Group Colombia scour the periodicals, the internet, and the television media, as well as “keeping our ear to the ground” in an effort to bring you relevant, actionable information. It is Investment Group Colombia’s sincere, heart-felt desire to assist and see both you, our client and friend, and Colombia prosper and grow. In this issue, we focus on an individual that knows much about growth and prospering and has taken a strong interest in Colombia…an individual that most in the real estate investment field are at least familiar with – Sam Zell.
What is it besides a modicum of good fortune and impeccable timing that allows a good investor to join the ranks of the-richest-of-the-rich? In short, the answer is courage; recognition of an opportunity, and the willingness to assume risk in venturing forward. Any investment involves some risk. And while an investor with a lot of money – Mmm…say a billionaire – might be able absorb a loss a little easier than the average guy, that does not make the loss any easier to swallow. So along with “courage”, research, knowledge, and wisdom—someone “who knows their stuff” and knows how to minimize loss—play a major role as well. When you find someone with these qualities and instincts, it can pay tremendous dividends to not only watch their actions and moves, but to emulate them as well.
Check out Colombia’s Real Story Watch this Moving Video:
Enter Sam Zell and Equity International…the latest and maybe the first truly major outside investor to give focus to Colombia.
Ranked number 237 on Forbes list of the world’s most wealthy people for 2010, Zell’s net worth of 4 billion dollar’s definitely puts him in the class of the richest-of-the-rich. Born in September 1941, Zell, 69, is a United States real estate entrepreneur and business magnet residing in Chicago, Illinois. Founder and CEO of Equity Group Investments and many other companies, including being the former owner of the Chicago Cubs, to say that Zell has succeeded beyond most people’s wildest dreams would be an understatement. Salty language and sometimes over-bearing, surly manners aside, Zell has as many advocates, supporters and followers as he does detractors. One of Zell’s most notable successes was the sales three years ago of his Equity Office Properties Trust to Blackstone Group LP for $39 billion just as commercial property prices reached their peak, and only 21 days before Lehman Brothers collapsed! Shrewd forecasting or incredibly lucky timing, Zell’s business successes really speak for themselves.
Zell is also Chairman of Equity International. Co-founded with Gary Garrabrant, CEO, in 1999, Equity International is a private equity investment firm that focuses on real estate-related companies outside of the U.S. A private equity company is an investment management firm that makes investments on behalf of its investors through an assortment of different investment methods from growth capital to leveraged buyout to venture capital. Usually private equity companies raise capital, or private equity funds that provide the equity contributions needed for the transactions. In return, private equity companies receive management fees as well as a percentage of the profits earned by each private equity fund managed.
As all good investors know, it is “first in” or at least those that are “early in” that stand to reap the largest profits. “Colombia is now viewed as this rising phoenix,” Garrabrant says. “It’s been off the screen for so long. We like to be early, if not first.” In Chicago on September 16 of last year, Zell confirmed his belief that Colombia may be the “next best” Latin American market for serious investors. That Equity International is now investigating and negotiating with several companies in Colombia is a huge vote of confidence by a “major-mover” that should cause all serious investors to sit up and take notice.
While Zell and Garrabrandt have not divulged the companies that they have focused on or are negotiating with, their interest is definitely more than casual or superficial. In a recent interview with Betty Liu of Bloomberg Television, Garrabrandt was quoted as saying that, “Equity International is seeking to buy stakes in (Colombian) companies that benefit from rising demand for affordable and middle-income housing. You have growth of the middle class and increasing consumerism (in Colombia). The demand is constant, the demand is high.” Garrabrant went on to say that, “Colombia’s plan to integrate its securities exchange with those of Peru and Chile also boosts growth prospects because it increases liquidity and attracts international investors.”
When asked by Liu if Colombia was a good bet property wise, Garrabrandt responded:
“We are enthused about Colombia, 45 million population. Again, youthful, aspirational, interesting institutional strength in Colombia…strong banks, investment…”
He indicated that major investment by Equity International was eminent within the next 12 months.
Having invested more than $1.5 billion in markets outside the U.S., Equity International’s largest Latin American holdings are currently in Brazil. According to Garrabrant, Equity International owns major shares in several Brazilian companies including Gafisa SA, Brazil’s second-biggest home builder by revenue, and BR Malls Participacoes SA, Brazil’s largest owner of shopping malls.
Although still plagued by the stigma of its violent history, Colombia has risen above its past reputation to become a glistening, if not shining example of self-determination and tenacity. The Colombia of today is definitely not the Colombia of yesterday, and it is safe to say that the Colombia of tomorrow will be that much better yet. Since the institution of new security policies with the inauguration of former President Alvaro Uribe in 2002, Colombia has reduced the number of murders by half and has reduced kidnappings by 93 percent, encouraging increased confidence and strong economic gains.
The Central Bank has projected the economy to increase by approximately 4.5 percent this year after increasing by an estimated 3.7 percent to 4.1 percent in 2010. Foreign direct investment (FDI) has increased more than fourfold in just the past decade, from $1.5 billion in 1999 to $7.2 billion in 2009. According to Colombian Finance Minister Juan Carlos Echeverry, who was an adviser to current President Juan Manuel Santos during his presidential campaign, “President Santos will double government housing subsidies to the poor and middle class as part of plans to boost growth in Latin America’s fifth-biggest economy.”
It has been these statements and elements of profound change that has lead to the interest of investors like Zell and others. Carlos Slim, the world’s richest man has very recently indicated that he intends to greatly increase his already major holdings in Colombia, focusing largely on oil and gas reserves…but more about Carlos Slim in another edition. The point being made here is that we at Investment Group Colombia feel that Colombia is poised for major economic growth and expansion, ripe for those investors who are able to recognize the signs and have the courage to step forward. Investment Group Colombia encourages you the investor—our client and friend— to take advantage of one or more of the amazing opportunities that Colombia has to offer.…experience the passion…experience the profit!
If you would like to learn more about the exciting and rewarding opportunities of investing in Colombia and to receive our comprehensive Investors Guide to Colombia CLICK HERE.
If you did not read PART 1, CLICK HERE TO READ: Blue Horseshoe LOVES Colombia Part I.