Notes from the road
In this series from American Funds, we will share photos, stories and anecdotes from our investment professionals as they travel the world to conduct in-depth research.
Evaluating a country’s “golden goose”
January 14, 2014
Investment analyst Piyada Phanaphat evaluates Asia-Pacific energy companies for potential investments. In a recent trip to Papua New Guinea, Piyada toured a project that cost nearly $20 billion USD, from which the revenue is projected to account for 60% of the country's GDP.
On the road... and waiting
December 2, 2013
Investment analyst Roz Hongsaranagon evaluates small- and mid-cap companies in Asia for potential investments. In order for Roz to meet with 15 companies in three days during her recent trip to Jakarta, she had to withstand some of the world’s worst traffic.
Viewing construction assets from above and below
November 1, 2013
Recent trips into a tunnel under Manhattan and on a crane above a Fort Lauderdale airport have aided muni bond analyst Courtney Koester in evaluating transportation projects for potential investments.
Catching a firsthand industry perspective
October 15, 2013
Research analysts often go to unusual lengths to better understand companies in the industries they cover, and Lara Pellini is no exception. She recalls one of her first research trips that strengthened her grasp of the European retail sector, when she enlisted as a shop assistant at a food store in Cheshunt, England.
Off the beaten path in Indonesia
July 15, 2013
Discover how trips to a small town helped Chapman Taylor, an emerging markets equity analyst, understand the bottom-up change taking place across Indonesia, and ultimately led to his conviction about Indonesian companies as opportunities for investors.
Dumplings in Dumiao
June 4, 2013
Macroeconomist Andrew Dougherty recently visited central China. His research took him to -- among other places -- a small village named Dumiao. Andrew talked to the village chief and his wife about how inflation has affected this small village, and even had the opportunity to make dumplings with them with vegetables from their garden.
Cranes of change in Saudi Arabia
May 16, 2013
On a trip to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, investment analyst Eva Sudol noticed that the city was full of cranes, construction and development. There were also women working in offices – what would have been a very uncommon sight a few years ago.
From the field to the racquet club
April 29, 2013
On a recent trip to the oil fields in Texas, oil and energy analyst Jacinto Hernandez was impressed by the camaraderie and goodwill that characterize how business is done. Amid the sounds of children playing tennis nearby, Jacinto dined with representatives of a major energy and petroleum company at the local racquetball center, the hub for business in this small town.
Calculation confirmed: Chinese currency no longer cheap
March 4, 2013
Recently, London-based portfolio manager Mark Brett was part of a group that visited China for fund research. His take:
“My group looked at competitiveness and labor costs within the industrial industry. Our talks with several companies confirmed what we had calculated from a top-down basis — that since wages have increased faster than productivity, currency is no longer cheap. That has big implications for the American trade balance and foreign direct investment in the U.S.”
Fountains on the factory floor
December 6, 2012
On a recent trip to China, several of our investment professionals visited this state-of-the-art manufacturing facility. How state of the art? The facility uses robotic forklifts fitted with motion detectors, and creates a soothing work environment with palm trees and fountains on the factory floor.
Web surfing from a washroom
November 1, 2012
On a recent visit to China to research information distribution and smartphone consumption trends, one of our investment professionals stopped along the road in a remote village to use the washroom.
The 60-cent washroom fee was collected by an attendant who was surfing the Internet and streaming music via Wi-Fi, which was available even in this rural location. Not surprisingly, China has the highest level of internet connectivity and users in the world.