This is an excerpt from the January 2015 issue of Richard C. Young’s Intelligence Report, where Dick Young helps investors compound wealth with income generating strategies that seek to avoid risk. Dick uses his proven inference reading based investment strategy to recommend stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and exchange traded funds generating attractive shareholder returns. Richard C. Young’s Intelligence Report is designed for the discerning investor not the fad driven speculator.
There’s something about the Scandinavian countries. Despite brutal cold and scarce sunshine, the countries at Europe’s northern periphery consistently perform at the top of the world’s happiness rankings. In fact Denmark and Norway were ranked the first and second happiest countries by the World Happiness Report (a U.N. publication). Sweden came in at fifth happiest, followed shortly by Finland at seventh and Iceland at ninth. The entire region lands in the top 10.
Countries don’t just arrive at that level of happiness by accident. The Nordic countries are powerful innovators, with the four major Nordic economies (Iceland isn’t really big enough to invest in for most investors) ranking in the top 15 countries for innovation on Bloomberg’s list of the most innovative countries. The Nordics are also some of the most productive countries on earth. All four economies produce top 20 ranked per capita GDP. That means the capital and human resources in these countries are being utilized efficiently and effectively.
A vital piece of progress for a country is peace. A quick look at the economic destruction wrought in countries like Ukraine and Syria, where peace has been shattered, will tell you just how important peace is to an economy. Nordic countries score very high on the Global Peace Index. Coming in at 1) Iceland, 2) Denmark, 6) Finland, 10) Norway and 11) Sweden, these countries have avoided global turmoil.
The sum of all of these rankings and indexes can be approximated by FutureBrand’s Country Brand Index. The index attempts to measure the world’s perception of each country as a brand. The Nordics all score in the top 15. Well-run countries tend to breed strong economies, and strong economies tend to make for strong businesses.