There is growing enthusiasm for Chinese stocks among institutional and individual investors. There’s no doubt that China’s burgeoning economy is growing by leaps and bounds. So, it does make sense to have some exposure to Chinese stocks, but be aware that they are very risky.
As you know, I view all stocks as speculative securities. If Procter & Gamble can lose 50% of its value in a few short months (which it did in early 2000) then even the most conservative, blue chip, government-controlled companies in China should be considered risk-capital investments. Everything in moderation as they say.
So, if you’re the speculating type, I think you can’t ignore Chinese investment opportunities. It’s funny how things change over time. The world’s most populous communist country is turning out to be the ultimate capitalist conqueror.
Just like America, you have to give China credit for its entrepreneurial spirit. People over there are working very hard to achieve financial success. Farmers are working hard to get a job in the cities. City migrants are working hard to get their own apartment. Workers are doing whatever it takes to improve their standard of living and they want the rewards of their efforts. Just to own a car is a very big deal in China.
With this kind of work ethic, as an investor, you don’t want to bet against China. Just be prepared for super volatility and irrational valuations of Chinese stocks. The hype is big. The rewards are big. And so will be the losses.
Focus Media (NASDAQ/FMCN) is a company I’ve mentioned in this column lots of times. It is going up in price and I think it is one of the best China plays available on the NASDAQ. Don’t forget, however, that the stock is 100% pure risk, appropriate only as go-go money in a risk-capital portfolio.
It does take courage to be a stock market speculator, but then again, the old saying really is true–nothing ventured, nothing gained. With hundreds of millions of people working in big cities whose sole purpose in life is economic advancement, China is a bet worth making.