Move Over China: Guess Who Is Now the World’s Most Populous Country?
And what this means for your investment portfolio
Ric Edelman: It's Thursday, May 4th. Today at 2:45 p.m. Eastern, I'm giving a 30-minute speech at the Money Show Accredited Investor Expo. This is a virtual expo. I'm going to be talking about the many ways you can add crypto to your portfolio. You can attend if you are an accredited investor.
And on Friday, Cal Thomas is joining me on the program, the longest running syndicated columnist in America. He's just written a new book, a retrospective of his 50-year career, taking a look at America, politics and society. It's going to be a great conversation. Be sure to join us.
Today though, I want to talk with you about India. It's now the world's most populous country, 1.4 billion people. Yeah, more people now live in India than in China. In 1987, half of the people in India lived in poverty. Today, it's less than 10%. The country has made terrific progress, but the country is now the fifth largest economy in the world. They're now ahead of the United Kingdom, and by the end of the decade, it'll be the third largest economy.
They are going through massive innovation. They're doing the biggest infrastructure and transportation upgrade in its history. They're manufacturing a new set of railroad tracks and a new fast train that's going to connect two major cities faster than our Amtrak connects between New York City and Washington, DC. They've got 500 more new train routes being created over the next three years. The goal cutting travel time between major cities. They're going to cut it from today's six hours to just two hours. They're also building new freight corridors and four more are being planned.
After that, they're building new trains that will be double stacked with cars that stretch a half a mile long. And they'll travel twice as fast as today's freight trains do. All told, the government of India says railway freight is going to rise 45% by the end of the decade.
And it's not just railways. India has 25,000 miles of highways and it's adding 5000 more miles every single year. In 2014, the country had 74 airports. Now, just nearly a decade later, it has 150 airports. This country is also increasing its broadband connections. They've got a mobile payment system that now handles half of the country's digital transactions. This is all demonstrating the incredible effort to literally move the country around. And it is that movement, the transportation potential that powers an economic engine.
Think back to what powered the United States. It was the creation of our national highway system during the Great Depression. India is going through the same evolution and if you're going to have all this massive transportation activity, you need to power it. So look what they're doing with solar energy. One mega solar park in India is 13,000 acres, 20 square miles. That's about the size of Manhattan laid out with solar panels.
It produces enough energy to power millions of homes. It generates four times more power than the biggest solar farm in the United States. And check this out. It's not even the biggest solar farm in India. It's the third biggest. The biggest is another one that supports 6,600 jobs.
All this demonstrates how massively focused India is on its economic development goals. India's GDP has expanded 71% over the past decade. 17% of its exports are technology. And check this out. Apple just opened its first store in India. That strikes me as kind of crazy. India is the world's most populous country. Apple's been opening stores for over a decade, and until now, it didn't have a single store in the entire country. They've got 15 Apple stores just in and around New York.
If you are looking for investments for the future, you need to look to foreign investments. 30% of your portfolio should be in foreign securities. And there are a couple of ETFs that specialize in India stocks. The Invesco India ETF, the ticker is PIN and the Franklin FTSE India ETF. The ticker is FLIN. You can talk with your financial advisor about them as well. Hey, be sure to listen to my wife Jean's podcast today. You can listen at Self-care with Jean.com.