Recently the folks over at Everbank created a CD that is tied to the Icelandic Krona. Everbank also has a free daily newsletter that I get call the Daily Pfennig that is usually a good read and I would encourage anyone to take a look.
In today's letter there was a lot of detail about Iceland that I thought I would pass on.
The Icelandic Krona continues to be the 'hot currency investment' here
on the desk. We are receiving a number of calls from investors both
new and old who are interested in this tiny economy and its potential
currency gains. But we are not the only ones who have noticed this
opportunity. Neil George, editor of popular Personal Finance newsletter has
written several times on the benefits of investing in this country.
Here is an excerpt from his daily newsletter 'By George':
For years now, I've been pushing folks to invest in and travel to one
of my favorite islands in the North Atlantic. Now, thanks to some
changes and more participation in Iceland's currency, stock and bond markets,
it's time for us to take a harder look and send some cash to the small
This is no puffy travel piece on Iceland. This is about a market that's
made up of 286,275 people who have taken what the rock-strewn island
has to offer and are making it work. And they do such an impressive job
that we're devoting valuable space and your time to convince you to give
this market consideration.
After all, Iceland's stock market has trounced the performance of the
S&P during the past five years. And the bond market makes the US look
third world when it comes to yield and total return. Plus, there's the
Icelandic krona, which is one of the few currencies taking on the US
The island republic was formed by volcanic eruptions and other
geophysical activities that continue to affect the geography of the country.
Beyond just appearances, Iceland is blessed with copious amounts of
natural springs of boiling hot water that are harnessed to provide cheap
energy. In addition, its water sources and mountainous terrain provide
ideal settings for hydro-powered electricity. In a world that's power poor
and searching for the nirvana of fossil and nuclear-free energy,
Iceland is the only economy that truly has a shot at being the first fossil
fuel-free economy in the world.
It's not just about power, either. The blessings of natural resources
extend to agriculture as well. On land, Iceland's climate is
surprisingly moderate, with temperatures running from the low 30s to the mid-50s
much of the year. This is due to the airflows from the Gulf Stream and
the Atlantic Drift, which bring warmer water and air to the North
With grasslands and other feedstock, livestock is an important source
of revenue for the market. Lamb and beef are hormone free and highly
desirable in the demanding markets of Europe. The meat commands premium
prices. Beyond meat, wool and leather are core contributions to the
national product. And there's fishing, which varies from freshwater salmon
to offshore Atlantic species such as cod. Eager buyers from across
Europe, Asia and North America come to get it.
But it's the people who truly add the value to the economy.
The education system is first rate--the population maintains one of the
world's highest literacy rates. With education largely provided with
little cost to citizens, secondary and post-secondary education levels
are enviable by most global standards. Linguistic skills are extensive,
with the locals understanding and speaking English and many European
This is good for tourism, which is another big contributor to Iceland's
economy. Although hindered with last year's global event-driven
pullback in travel, Iceland is picking up the pace. It's seen as a safe and
Hotel occupancy is heavy to full, and the yield is climbing. The
flagship air carrier is seeing improvements, which are expected to provide
strong positive growth for this year over last. All these factors should
contribute to the construction industry, which is already breaking
ground for various new hotel and resort property developments.
Technology and manufacturing are in store for the economy to expand.
With extensive telecommunications links internally and externally, along
with its isolation and educated workforce, Iceland is a prime location
for information and bio-sciences. With the world's economic contraction
quick and shallow, Iceland should continue to rebound with internal and
direct investment flows during the coming year.
And there's manufacturing. Everything from aluminum smelting
to other energy-intensive operations is desirable to build and operate
in this economy. While the sector softened with the global slowing last
year, any global growth should support local production and greater
direct capital investment into the economy.
Setting the stage for investment flows is the government. It's been
deregulating the capital markets aggressively while reforming and
tightening fiscal and monetary policies, which credit rating agencies and
global investors are lauding. Iceland is a AAA credit, which the bond market
is rapidly recognizing."