NEW YORK (
Stockpickr) -- As is the case with many emerging markets, Brazil has surged ahead in the early part of 2012. But you haven't missed the boat. The Bovespa, Brazil's main stock market index, remains roughly 15% below levels seen in the summer of 2008, even as Brazil's economy is even larger than it was back then.
This is an economy poised for continued strong growth.
According to the IMF, the Brazilian economy should grow 3% in 2012 and 4% in 2012. With the exception of China and India, that's the fastest projected growth rate of any of the world's top 15 economies. (Brazil is No. 7, just ahead of the U.K. and just behind Russia).
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More important, 3% to 4% GDP growth is a perfect backdrop for economic stability, as inflationary pressures remain in check. The fact that Brazil's key trading partners, such as Argentina, Chile and Colombia, are likely to grow at a slightly faster pace should help Brazil to boost exports at a strong clip.
Most U.S. investors focused on Brazil rarely stray beyond oil giant
, mining titan
, airplane maker
or the country's most popular ETF, the
iShares MSCI Brazil Index Fund
. Few realize that a wider range of Brazilian stocks also trade here in the U.S.
six stocks that could deliver solid long-term gains
as the Brazilian economy grows ever larger.