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Posted: Tuesday, 18 June 2013 8:21AM

Famed stock analyst tells investors to flock to Louisiana

Famed stock analyst Meredith Whitney is recommending that investors forget about looking to the East or West Coasts for investment prospects, and look to the middle of the country. 

And if that outlook holds true, Louisiana is in for 30 prosperous years.

In her new book, "Fate of the States:  The New Geography of American Prosperity," Whitney asserts that the "smart money" is investing in states like Louisiana, and that the economic strength will continue for the next 30 years.  She says the East and West coast states will continue to struggle while the central corridor of the country thrives.

Michael Hecht, CEO of Greater New Orleans Inc. (GNO) says it's already evident in New Orleans.  "Some of the empirical evidence that we have of this phenomenon is all the companies that are on-shoring back to Louisiana."   He says multinational companies are choosing our area over emerging markets, due to lower costs and a higher quality of life.

When large investors and multinational companies plan on where to spend money, emerging economies like China or Brazil are usually high on their radar.  But Whitney is recommending that they skip that, and invest instead in places like Louisiana. 

"Lower costs, high quality of life, and lower risk is actually making it advantageous to invest domestically right here in Louisiana and New Orleans, than to go abroad.  So I think the on-shoring of what Meredith Whitney calls the smart money is evidence that this is a  real trend," says Hecht.

But why our area?  "The better tax environment, lower cost business environment, cheap resources, particularly natural gas, the high quality of life, the new infrastructure ironically from Katrina, means that there's a better opportunity for businesses and individuals in the area stretching from Texas to Florida," Hecht says.

Joel Kotkin has already put Louisiana on the map nationally and internationally with his Forbes article, "The Rise of the Third Coast."

Click here for Joel Kotkin's story, "The Rise of the Third Coast"

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