Thursday, April 28, 2005

South America -- the new place to build a life?

I've been intrigued with South America for a long time. Yes, South American countries have mostly been economic basket cases. Yes, many countries there have been under the control of despots from both extremes of the political spectrum. Still, things are slowly improving in several countries there and they might be worth a closer look.

I am particularly interested in Argentina, Ecuador and Uruguay. Each seems to be reasonably stable politically, although things could always deteriorate quickly. Still, given that many people in this part of the world have already had their fill of political and economic repression, one can hope that they might be ready to try a modicum of freedom. The trend, however slowly, appears to be in that direction.

I have relatives in Brazil, but don't think I would want to go there. Truth be told, I don't want to move to any of these places full-time, although I would certainly consider doing so if I were thirty years younger. I think that entrepreneurs and investors will have lots of wealth-building opportunities in South America in the coming decades. What I really want to do is to travel around in the countries mentioned above and look for real estate opportunities. Prices are still relatively low in many areas and investments in beachfront and recreational property could pay off handsomely over time.

I believe that these countries are in ascension while Canada and the United States are in slow, but steady, decline. Here, we are moving away from economic freedom in favour of cradle-to-grave socialism. Some of South America appears to be moving towards more liberty, even if only because they have little choice. They have tried the alternatives and they didn't work. Here, we are attracting human refuse from around the world who don't want to live in the repressive regimes they are escaping from but who, for inexplicable reasons, want to mold their adopted country into a new or better version of their homeland. South American countries, I would imagine, might attract immigrants who see the chance both to make a difference via investment or hard work and to make a bundle of money in the process.

Some free information is available on the International Living and Escape Artist websites. I've had fun exploring the sites and they appear to be a good source of some basic information on living in various South American locales.

Anyone out there have any experience with travel and/or investing in South America? Drop me a line via email or leave a comment on this post.

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