I don’t know Fred Fuld too well, though we’ve swapped a handful of emails, but I suspect he’s a no nonsense, get to the point, don’t waste your time kind of guy. I suspect this because his book, Investing in Brazil Stocks, is a no nonsense, get to the point, don’t waste your time kind of book. If you want to learn about the major companies of the major industries in Brazil and you had only one hour to do it, this is your book.
The book is organized in a very straightforward manner. The book begins with a discussion of the importance of international markets, of BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China), and the rapid growth of industries in those countries. The book then makes a bit of an entertaining digression to discuss a fund Fred created called the Gisele Bündchen index (he has created several of these and the Gisele Bündchen index was featured in Money). The Gisele Bündchen index increased 29% last year (Dow increased 6.5%) and is down only 1.9% this year (Dow fell 5.6%). From there, Fred jumps into the major industries of Brazil in this order:
- Chemical, Energy & Mining
- Bank & Real Estate
- Utility & Forestry
In each industry, Fred outlines a handful of companies in pretty solid detail. For each there is a brief profile, history, recent news, sometimes some trivia and discussion of their financials. Some of the trivia is entertaining to read as well such as Petrobras Energia Participaciones, a leading Brazilian oil company commonly called Petrobras, having some product placement in the yet-to-be-successful Speed Racer movie (that’s polite for ‘it bombed’).
If you are looking to get a comprehensive overview of the major Brazilian industries and their major players, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better starting point than this book. I recognize that’s a very specific need, one that I really didn’t have (but the prospect of a book on Brazilian stocks did interest the trivia side of my brain), but investing internationally is where the investment money will be made in the next hundred years so you might as well start learning now or be relegated to the dinosaurs.
The second edition will be coming out in the Fall.