Let's start with the basics!!

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Post by HenriD » Sun Sep 26, 2004 11:01 am

Hi Padel,

In response to your questions below:
(I am assumiming you mean things which provide a decent return, are somewhat risk averse and benefit the community)

a) In what to invest in Haiti?
That is a personal decision but as a rule decent housing at a decent price is both a need and opportunity. There are a multitude of ways to do that with differing levels of risk. As in all things there is a way to do it and a way not to do it. We are nowhere near meeting the housing needs of our citizens. I do not refer here to massive investments in gated communities for the well-off and middle class. I mean low-income housing. By focusing on housing and micro-communities (Lakou) type housing communities there are significant opportunities to both make a return and improve people's lives. But like I said the opportunities for making a decent return while doing good are significant in Haiti. Our solutions unfortunately to date are oft
en designed in culturally insensitive programs, using housing development models from elsewhere rather than identify what we need and like and building in accord with that. If I had to choose in the top ten, this would be in the top ten.

b) What are the opportunities?
Massive and diverse. If we did not spend all our time destroying and scaring investors we might look a bit more like Jamaica. Fear is the poison blocking investment. The opportunities are limitless in each and every sector from forestry, to agriculture, to construction, power generation. There are opportunities for people with 500 dollars to opportunities for people with 500 million dollars. The primary constraint is in fact the nature of our social organization. That scares investors. If someone with 500 dollars wants to invest and does not know how, he can at the very least deposit some of his money in Haitian banks because then it is recycled into the local economy. If nothing else, massive influx of those 500 dollar deposits trans
lates into two things: The dollar gets cheaper, the interest rates drop. Please deposit your money any place other than PromoBank. Why, so I assure averyone understands this is not a commercial for PromoBank where I am treasurer.

c) What are the benefits?
The benefits of investing in Haiti are that generally higher risks generate higher returns. For people who know Haiti and know what they are doing the risk is not as great as it seems. What is required above all in Haiti in investing is
1) not to place all your eggs in one basket
2) never invest in one thing more than you can comfortably afford to lose compeletely
What that means is if you make 50,000 a year, you want to avoid investing more than 10% of your income in any one thing unless it is your personal business.

d) Will it be profitable?
Of course it can be. There are a lot of folks working and earning a living here and investing profitably here.

e) What are the risks?
The risks are substantial and so are the
potential rewards. There are a number of sectors in which investing is relatively risk free. Before you invest in anything here, you do need a better idea of the lay of the land than you need elsewhere.

f) Do I need a financial advisor?
Most definitely, unless you live here and know it well. I would never recommend someone invest in Haiti without several in fact.

g) How much do I really need to invest?
If you live overseas, and want to wet your feet invest 2.5-5% of your after tax yearly income. If you know more or less what you are doing, you could bring it up later to 5-7.5%. I would never personnally recommend a passive investor get into anything in Haiti for more than 10% of their income unless they have some level of knowledge and experience. That is all personal advice and has nothing to do with PromoCapital. It is in fact much more complex to answer but that can give you a basic starting point.

h) Will it make sense to engage in an educational program which aim should be
to inform and protect our "new" business structure from political turbulences?
Most definitely but good luck, people are so anti-profit here you are assumed guilty and dealt with as such from the outset. The politicians are so irresponsible and destructive they could not care less. Your best bet is to be smart and stay on your toes. Education means people listening and learning from each other. We seem to have a problem with that so the solution to your question above lies more in the design it right aspect of things than in the defend it right aspect of things.

Those are all off the cuff answers which are general. And different people will answer them in different ways. Those questions need to be addressed seriously and in depth and I hope we will continue to do so here.



Post by HenriD » Mon Sep 27, 2004 3:10 pm

Hi Serge,

If such a guide did exist
1) it would cost about 100 thousand to do properly
2) it would be out of date 6 months after it was writen

Investing is a dynamic and it is always specific.

As such anything that is static or general in nature has little value.

So the answer is no, a document like you describe does not exist in PromoCapital or elsewhere in the form you describe, what Exists in PromoCapital or any investment related organization is full time research and decision making on those issues.

Part of what we are supposed to do for our clients is identify those opportunities as they present themselves.

There are general areas which are stronger and offer more potential and safety than others as a rule, but that does mean everything that fits those specs is worth doing. Housing is one of those. It is somewhat of a no brainer, and unlimited. However doing it right is not a no brainer. It ta
kes lots of brains.

We have areas of focus in PromoCapital because we have determined those are most promising in double bottom line terms.

In any case I have to go now but will be back with more info.


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