Daniel Zurbrügg Archive
Daniel Zurbrügg is the Managing Partner of Alpine Atlantic Global Asset Management, a Swiss-based independent investment management firm. The firm provides clients with independent investment management, asset protection and family office services and is the issuer of the global investment newsletter Echo From The Alps. With a global network of partners, Alpine Atlantic's aim is to provide clients with true "turnkey" solutions for global investing. Prior to setting up Alpine Atlantic, Daniel held various positions with other banks and financial companies. Daniel is a Chartered Financial Analyst and regular guest speaker at international investment conferences. Email this author.
On Jan. 23, the Chinese New Year began; it is the year of the Dragon. A symbol for good fortune and change, the dragon also stands for progression and perseverance. Given the fact that China has become such an important driver of global growth, it would certainly be good to get a little help from the dragon this year.
In 2011, financial markets were dominated by news surrounding the debt problems in the Western world, and markets saw record levels of volatility. The issues in Europe as well as in the United States are equally alarming, and the coming months will show us whether policymakers are able to stabilize the situation.
Today’s sovereign debt problems in Europe and the United States create the single biggest risk for Western economies. In order to deal with the economic challenges, the European Union is becoming an increasingly integrated and centralized structure. I have never been a big fan of the EU and its currency, the euro.
Although the U.S. debt situation has not captured much attention lately due to the European debt crisis, the situation in the U.S. has not improved at all. And what’s worse, no measures have yet been taken to address the situation. It’s only a matter of time until world financial markets are focusing on the U.S. situation again.
Only three years after the world’s financial crisis in 2008, the global economy is slowing down again. At the start of the year, most forecasters expected global gross domestic product to expand in the range of 4.3 percent to 4.5 percent, it probably will only be around 3 percent.
As I write this article, global financial markets and the world economy are at a crossroads; some people even believe it is a one-way street to an economic collapse, especially in the Western world. Most major stock markets are down between 10 and 20 percent this year; and, even worse, most markets are trading below the levels we had 10 years ago.
The coming year 2012 is a true election super year. Several major countries will hold elections, and with the global economic outlook turning increasingly negative, we could see some huge changes next year. In total, countries holding elections next year make up almost 50 percent of world gross domestic product (!!).
Congress approved a last-minute deal to raise the U.S. debt limit and avoid a catastrophic, technical debt default. With the debt deal now in place, can we expect a recovery rally in the weeks ahead and hope that everything will be just fine again? What is needed to improve things in the long run?
Switzerland has always been among the countries with the highest gold reserves. Despite reducing its reserves in the past two decades, Switzerland still has the highest gold holdings per capita and its currency, the Swiss franc, has been among the top-performing currencies in recent years.
With the U.S. and Europe looking less attractive, investors naturally need to start looking at some emerging markets. The Asian healthcare market has tremendous growth potential in the next decade (and most likely beyond that). However, few people are aware of the exciting opportunities there.