But times are changing, and in November the OECD stunningly predicted that China would overtake the US to become the world’s biggest economy by 2016. It also predicted that India would overtake the US in the longer term, and that China was set to overtake the eurozone in terms of economic scale by the end of 2012.
The savvy investors among us, then, are already asking whether their money should still be heavily invested in the old industrialised economies of the West, or whether the East represents the future for those looking to secure their wealth in the coming decades.
Of course, sensible investing is about more than simply allocating all your capital to economies with the fastest rates of growth.
What about China’s inconsistent corporate governance standards? What happens if a nation of more than 1.3bn individuals decides it doesn’t want to live under single-party, pseudo-communist rule any more?
And what if the West, which after all invented the entire concept of industrialisation, pulls its own rabbit out of the hat and through sheer innovation and productivity retakes the lead in global growth terms?
These are the questions that investors are grappling with, and that’s why we’ve teamed up with Neptune to bring you this special supplement edition of Investment Adviser focusing on the battle between the East and the West.
Inside we’ll consider how China’s recent leadership change could affect the investment outlook and we’ll look at reforms in India that could spell a brighter 2013. We’ll examine the situation in Japan and ask whether it really can one day escape the ‘negative feedback loop’ that imprisons it.
We’ll also examine the debt-laden West, which is paying the price for years of cheap credit and government spending excess. Is Europe facing its own lost decade? Will the US’s looming fiscal cliff wipe 4 percentage points off the nation’s economic output?
We may not have all the answers, but we promise to bring you a good selection of lively and relevant information to help you on your way.
I would like to add a special welcome to new readers. In addition to regular supplements exploring relevant investment issues, Investment Adviser also produces a weekly magazine for investment professionals featuring a full selection of news, comment, interviews, features, fund reviews and fund performance statistics.
This year we have redesigned the magazine, added more staff and launched our very own event series – the Investment Adviser 100 Club of outperforming funds. In November we were awarded the IMA’s Team Award for Excellence in Investment Writing 2012.
If you are interested in signing up for a free subscription to the magazine please visit www.FTAdviser.com/iasubs to apply.
John Kenchington is editor of Investment Adviser