Top picks 2013: iShares MSCI Mexico Index

With a growing manufacturing base, our neighbor to the south is poised to become the "China next door."

By TheStockAdvisors Jan 4, 2013 12:52PM
Silver globe with twinkling lights copyright Tetra Images, Getty ImagesBy Nicholas Vardy, Bull Market Alert

Mexico is a country I've dubbed the "China Next Door" for its emerging manufacturing prowess. In fact, I think manufacturers setting up in Mexico just might be the most under-reported mega-trend in global investing.

While Mexican wages were 237% higher than Chinese wages in 2002, that cost advantage today has shrunk to 15%. Moreover, Mexico's most obvious advantage is geographic location. Sharing the same time zone and a border with the United States, Mexico's location is ideal for U.S. companies.

Today, Mexican companies design, develop and manufacture some of the most complex products in the aerospace, automotive, medical and electronics sector.

Since joining NAFTA in 1994, Mexico's trade with the United States is duty free. Mexico also has international trade agreements with 44 different countries. The enforcement of intellectual property rights in China is a serious problem for Western manufacturers of all stripes.

Even while much of the global economy struggles, Mexico has been doing just fine. In early 2012, Mexico's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew at an annual rate of 4.6%. Mexican car exports to the United States have now exceeded those from Japan, Korea and Germany.

The iShares Mexico Investable Market Index Fund (EWW) replicates the MSCI Mexico Investable Market index and consists of stocks traded primarily on the Mexican Stock Exchange. So buy EWW and place your stop at $53. Mexico could become Latin America's greatest economic success story.

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