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Investors in the Japanese markets had been hoping that the flip of the calendar to 2010 would bring new hope for the country’s stalled economy, following a bitterly disappointing 2009 that saw Japan lag global economies by a considerable margin. But only two days in to the year, health problems of the finance minister have created yet another obstacle, setting the stage for a potentially devastating reshuffling of roles. [click to continue…]

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The reasons for the rise of the ETF industry are numerous: intraday liquidity, (potentially) superior tax efficiency, and enhanced transparency relative to traditional actively-managed mutual funds have all contributed to the billions of dollars of inflows that these funds have seen in recent years. But the real attraction for most ETF investors is the reduced expenses these products offer, often only a fraction of the fees charged by mutual funds. [click to continue…]

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On the issue of currencies, investors are somewhat divided. Some prefer to avoid currency investing altogether, likening the activity to high-stakes gambling that can lead to big swings in fortunes in a matter of minutes. While this might be an accurate portrayal of leveraged forex trading, proponents of including currencies as an asset class within […]