First, the currency has been battered by a strong dollar. The Colombian peso isn’t going to be a bellwether currency any time soon, but it has been unfairly trashed by the dollar’s ascent.
Second, the country is on the upswing. Colombia may not be my #1 place to hire people, but it is the second-most free economy in South America. The Spanish-speaking world is rather insular, and I expect Colombia to play a role in the growth of the region, especially as trade liberalizes. Next, it’s becoming a haven for expats. Medellin, in particular, is full of digital nomads, retirees, and everything in between.
Finally, it’s more mature. If you’re looking for a frontier market, South American countries such as Paraguay certainly offer that. However, even in Paraguay, you won’t find acres of land near the city for $500 the way some pie-in-the-sky bloggers would have you believe. You can find deals at similarly low entry points but without the risk of more frontier markets here in Colombia. On the whole, people in Colombia, and Medellin, in particular, are optimistic. This city is becoming a haven for tourists due to its “eternal spring” status, fun vibe, and beautiful people.
Real estate is one of the easiest ways to invest in Medellin and among the most popular among expats for obvious reasons. However, much like Asians, Colombians have a great reverence for owning property that many westerners don’t quite understand. The historical fluctuations of the peso, as well as a demand for the security of hard assets, have driven Colombians to use real estate as a form of alternative bank.
Colombia is a resource-rich nation, with commodities ranging from precious metals like gold to more basic metals like copper. Medellin has historically been at the center of many commodities-related businesses, and the people here “get” the idea behind natural resource investing.
For as little as approximately $22,000, anyone can start their own Colombian company and get a residency visa that can be converted into Colombian citizenship in ten years; invest $158,000 in a company and that is reduced to five years. There is even a way to start your company and get residency without investing the already low amount. If you’re interested in venture finance in companies already past the seed round, there are some interesting offers that take advantage of Colombia’s growing economy, as well as international markets for things like resources, tourism, and services.