Friday, September 21, 2007

ETFs Unplugged

Is your financial advisor missing a critical piece to the ETF?

Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are great investment tools but most have a flaw that investors and advisors usually miss. Lets take a look under the hood and introduce some new and innovative ETF products.

Essentially, ETFs are nothing more than an index fund that trades like a stock. Because of their simplicity, flexibility, low cost and tax efficiency they are growing fast. Last year the Barclays iShares family of ETFs brought in more new money than the Fidelity mutual fund machine.


Unfortunately, many investors and advisors are building portfolios of ETFs without looking inside the box and seeing where the money is going. One of the chief goals of a portfolio is diversification and many ETFs are not very diversified. This is because the companies in the ETF are weighted by size specifically by the market value of its outstanding stock. This can result in an unwise concentration of risk and uneven performance.

The index fund communitys preoccupation with market cap weighting may have a strong theoretical basis but to me it is contrary to common sense. To be blunt, I pay very little attention to it while building global portfolios for clients.

Most investors would agree that just because a company is bigger doesnt mean that it is a better investment. Lets look at the most well known index the S&P 500 index. Many investors think that investing in the S&P 500 means that their money is being divided equally between 500 companies. This is far from the truth. Because the companies are weighted by size, 22% of your investment is going to the ten largest companies in the index and 60% of your investment is going to the largest 50 companies in the index.

Unequal Weighting, Unequal Returns

This is why I have been advising clients to invest in the Rydex S&P 500 equal-weight ETF (RSP) which weights each company in the index equally. In 2003 the equal weight S&P 500 ETF beat the S&P index by 11%, in 2004 it beat the index by 5% and year-to-date it is up slightly while the S&P index is down.

In my book, The New Global Advisor, I ask readers a provocative question. If you wanted exposure to the dynamic biotechnology industry, would you prefer to primarily invest in a few large well know biotech companies or would you prefer to spread your investment over thirty biotech companies? If youre the former, you might invest in the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB) whereby 25% of your investment would go to three companies. For those that prefer broader exposure including some small cap companies, I have discovered a new family of ETFs called Powershares.

The new and innovative Powershares family of ETFs essentially creates its own indexes based on rules-based quantitative analysis that they refer to as intelligent indexes. This seems to me to be more useful than blindly following market cap weighted indexes. There are two Powershares that I particularly like at this point.

Two I Like

The first is the biotech Powershare (PBE) that contains 30 biotech companies. If its holdings were weighted by market cap, two companies would account for more than 60% of its holdings. Instead your exposure is spread among 30 different companies with no company accounting for more than 5% of the total. 30% of your exposure is to large cap companies, 26% is to mid-cap companies and 43% is to small cap companies.

The biotech Powershare is an aggressive position so dont get carried away. I think it is a smart play on the tremendous opportunities for capital appreciation in the biotech industry which is showing some momentum after trading sideways since early 2004. The annual fee is only 0.60%.

The other Powershare that I like is the International Dividend Achievers Powershare (PID) that contains 42 ADRs traded on U.S. exchanges. I am usually not a big fan of ADRs since they usually trade at a premium to the underlying security but they do offer some comfort to investors since they meet U.S. reporting requirements and can be easily purchased on U.S. exchanges. The ADRs in this Powershare have to pass a stiff test: five fiscal years in a row of increased dividends. Again the top holdings are no more than 5% of the total index and so you get great diversification.

A Better Way to Get Global Diversification

One problem with the most widely used international index, the MSCI Europe, Asia & Far East Index (EAFE) is its concentration in Japan and the United Kingdom which account for almost 50% of the indexs total value. Meanwhile exposure to promising countries such as Ireland and Hong Kong are less than 2%. Last year, this Powershares index beat the MSCI EAFE index by 7% and companies in the ETF averaged a 29% return on equity. The index is re-balanced quarterly and has an annual fee of 0.50%. Right now 67% of the companies in the index are large cap, 20% are mid-cap and 13% are small cap companies.

Getting the right blend of ETFs takes some time and effort. Remember that all ETFs are not equal so choose carefully.

Carl Delfeld is head of the global advisory firm Chartwell Partners and is editor of the "Asi-Pacific Growth" newsletter. He served on the Executive Board of Directors of the Asian Development Bank in Manila and is the author of "The New Global Investor." For more information go to

E-gold Invest: Make Money With Currency Trading

Many people are already starting to pay attention to the newest online trend: E-gold investing.

E-gold investing is a all about a system that allows you to profit from the money that is being traded everyday on the internet. What you're doing when you are trading e-gold (or e-currencies) is that you are providing the backup for internet money. Let me go back a bit. What exactly do I mean by "backup for internet money"?

There is a cashflow of all of the money that is being moved throughout the internet every day. However, this money has to have, for every dollar that is being backed up, a physical backup of that dollar must exist.

This is a very superficial explanation about how the dxgold system works, but to be honest, to profit from it, you don't have to understand exactly how it works to profit from it. If I were to put the e-gold training courses into a metaphor I would say it's very much like driving a car. You don't need to know how it works in order to use it properly.

What you do need to know is the egold exchange process and every step of the way. This may sound complex, but once you get to know it, it becomes a daily routine that takes about five minutes just to check up on.

Investing in e-gold is something that I could describe as a great investing strategy, if you are investing in the long run.

It isn't as fast as a rising stock in wall street, it isn't something that will double your profits in a couple of days, but it is something you can expect to generate a good income from. And the important keyword in that past sentence would be to Expect, because this is a safe long term strategy that is guaranteed to make a profit for you.

This is why I personally think it is plain silly not to learn this currency trading system. You even know how much money you will make each day in advance.

For some it may be tough, but saving a couple of hundred dollars and investing in e-gold can be a very wise decision. As many people have experienced already, it can even turn into a "hands off" second income without the 8 to 5 job.

E-gold is all about discipline. Is about the discipline of having your money work for you and letting it grow, without getting an urge of a shopping spree and taking your money out of your account.

If you think you can wait for a few months and are interested in getting a second income, then the e-gold system could be a good fit for you.

I've writen detailed reviews for the best courses about e-currency exchange, visit my site ( for the inside scoop on how to Invest in e-gold

Management Advice: The Third Option

The three main option come from the stock market. The stock market is a place where you have to think fast and a mistake can cost fortunes. Analysts feed the stock market with advices about individual titles. Any such an advice comes with a main action, this is either to Sell, to Buy or to hold. There are nuances between them and some analysts use a different terminology (this stock will outperform the market) but BUY, HOLD and SELL are the main choices.

The stock market is a very transparent market where an individual action is easily traced and benchmarked. This is completely unlike organization markets, where the initiation of a project, the purchase of a products or a new business development can not really be compared with another scenario.

Yet the choices for the advisor are the same: BUY, HOLD or SELL.

What also is the same is that most management consultants and advisors on one hand and market analysts on the other all share one feature: they are unbalanced in their overall advices; in the aggregation of financial market advices, BUY outweighs HOLD and SELL. Banks are reluctant to give a sell advice. For many obvious reasons.

In the same line of reasoning, the BUY recommendations of the consultant will outnumber the SELL or at least the HOLD advice; there is no gain for the consultant, even if the best option for an organization is to keep the status quo.

The similarities between both worlds do not match exactly. The Sell advice for example, would mean to get rid of a product, an application, a method an employee or even a department (within an organization) but this requires something more than merely one action.

But the idea is the same and with this information you know that most people will recommend you to action (of with the BUY is most abundant, followed by the SELL) because there is a transaction involved. But before you engage yourself with either options, you should try to convinced yourself and the organization, that there is maybe a third option. Hold on.

2006 Hans Bool

Hans Bool is the founder of Astor White a traditional management consulting company that offers online management tools. Have a look at some of our free management tools

1031 Exchange Rules and Requirements

Following is a reproduction of the IRS's rules and requirements for 1031 tax deferred exchanges with regards to real property. If you have any questions regarding the sale of your real property or questions about what qualifies for a 1031 exchange or not, please consult your tax professional.

Sec. 1031. - Exchange of property held for productive use or investment

(a) Nonrecognition of gain or loss from exchanges solely in kind
(1) In general
No gain or loss shall be recognized on the exchange of property held for productive use in a trade or business or for investment if such property is exchanged solely for property of like kind which is to be held either for productive use in a trade or business or for investment.
(2) Exception
This subsection shall not apply to any exchange of -
(A) stock in trade or other property held primarily for sale,
(B) stocks, bonds, or notes,
(C) other securities or evidences of indebtedness or interest,
(D) interests in a partnership,
(E) certificates of trust or beneficial interests, or
(F) choses in action.
For purposes of this section, an interest in a partnership which has in effect a valid election under section 761(a) to be excluded from the application of all of subchapter K shall be treated as an interest in each of the assets of such partnership and not as an interest in a partnership.
(3) Requirement that property be identified and that exchange be completed not more than 180 days after transfer of exchanged property For purposes of this subsection, any property received by the taxpayer shall be treated as property which is not like-kind property if -
(A) such property is not identified as property to be received in the exchange on or before the day which is 45 days after the date on which the taxpayer transfers the property relinquished in the exchange, or
(B) such property is received after the earlier of -
(i) the day which is 180 days after the date on which the taxpayer transfers the property relinquished in the exchange, or
(ii) the due date (determined with regard to extension) for the transferor's return of the tax imposed by this chapter for the taxable year in which the transfer of the relinquished property occurs.
(b) Gain from exchanges not solely in kind
If an exchange would be within the provisions of subsection (a), of section 1035(a), of section 1036(a), or of section 1037(a), if it were not for the fact that the property received in exchange consists not only of property permitted by such provisions to be received without the recognition of gain, but also of other property or money, then the gain, if any, to the recipient shall be recognized, but in an amount not in excess of the sum of such money and the fair market value of such other property.
(c) Loss from exchanges not solely in kind
If an exchange would be within the provisions of subsection (a), of section 1035(a), of section 1036(a), or of section 1037(a), if it were not for the fact that the property received in exchange consists not only of property permitted by such provisions to be received without the recognition of gain or loss, but also of other property or money, then no loss from the exchange shall be recognized.
(d) Basis
If property was acquired on an exchange described in this section, section 1035(a), section 1036(a), or section 1037(a), then the basis shall be the same as that of the property exchanged, decreased in the amount of any money received by the taxpayer and increased in the amount of gain or decreased in the amount of loss to the taxpayer that was recognized on such exchange. If the property so acquired consisted in part of the type of property permitted by this section, section 1035(a), section 1036(a), or section 1037(a), to be received without the recognition of gain or loss, and in part of other property, the basis provided in this subsection shall be allocated between the properties (other than money) received, and for the purpose of the allocation there shall be assigned to such other property an amount equivalent to its fair market value at the date of the exchange. For purposes of this section, section 1035(a), and section 1036(a), where as part of the consideration to the taxpayer another party to the exchange assumed (as determined under section 357(d)) a liability of the taxpayer, such assumption shall be considered as money received by the taxpayer on the exchange.
(e) Exchanges of livestock of different sexes
For purposes of this section, livestock of different sexes are not property of a like kind.
(f) Special rules for exchanges between related persons
(1) In general If -
(A) a taxpayer exchanges property with a related person,
(B) there is nonrecognition of gain or loss to the taxpayer under this section with respect to the exchange of such property (determined without regard to this subsection), and
(C) before the date 2 years after the date of the last transfer which was part of such exchange -
(i) the related person disposes of such property, or
(ii) the taxpayer disposes of the property received in the exchange from the related person which was of like kind to the property transferred by the taxpayer, there shall be no nonrecognition of gain or loss under this section to the taxpayer with respect to such exchange; except that any gain or loss recognized by the taxpayer by reason of this subsection shall be taken into account as of the date on which the disposition referred to in subparagraph (C) occurs.
(2) Certain dispositions not taken into account
For purposes of paragraph (1)(C), there shall not be taken into account any disposition -
(A) after the earlier of the death of the taxpayer or the death of the related person,
(B) in a compulsory or involuntary conversion (within the meaning of section 1033) if the exchange occurred before the threat or imminence of such conversion, or
(C) with respect to which it is established to the satisfaction of the Secretary that neither the exchange nor such disposition had as one of its principal purposes the avoidance of Federal income tax.
(3) Related person
For purposes of this subsection, the term ''related person'' means any person bearing a relationship to the taxpayer described in section 267(b) or 707(b)(1).
(4) Treatment of certain transactions This section shall not apply to any exchange which is part of a transaction (or series of transactions) structured to avoid the purposes of this subsection.
(g) Special rule where substantial diminution of risk
(1) In general
If paragraph (2) applies to any property for any period, the running of the period set forth in subsection (f)(1)(C) with respect to such property shall be suspended during such period.
(2) Property to which subsection applies
This paragraph shall apply to any property for any period during which the holder's risk of loss with respect to the property is substantially diminished by -
(A) the holding of a put with respect to such property,
(B) the holding by another person of a right to acquire such property, or
(C) a short sale or any other transaction.
(h) Special rules for foreign real and personal property
For purposes of this section -
(1) Real property
Real property located in the United States and real property located outside the United States are not property of a like kind.
(2) Personal property
(A) In general
Personal property used predominantly within the United States and personal property used predominantly outside the United States are not property of a like kind.
(B) Predominant use
Except as provided in subparagraph [1] (C) and (D), the predominant use of any property shall be determined based on - ''subparagraphs''.
(i) in the case of the property relinquished in the exchange, the 2-year period ending on the date of such relinquishment, and
(ii) in the case of the property acquired in the exchange, the 2-year period beginning on the date of such acquisition.
(C) Property held for less than 2 years
Except in the case of an exchange which is part of a transaction (or series of transactions) structured to avoid the purposes of this subsection -
(i) only the periods the property was held by the person relinquishing the property (or any related person) shall be taken into account under subparagraph (B)(i), and
(ii) only the periods the property was held by the person acquiring the property (or any related person) shall be taken into account under subparagraph (B)(ii).
(D) Special rule for certain property
Property described in any subparagraph of section 168(g)(4) shall be treated as used predominantly in the United States

Neda Dabestani-Ryba is a licensed Realtor in Maryland. She is a member of the President's Circle of Top Real Estate Professionals. She can be reached at (800) 536-3806 or visit her website for more information: Prudential Carruthers REALTORS is an independently owned and operated member of Prudential Real Estate Affiliates, Inc., a Prudential Financial company. Equal Housing Opportunity.

Intermediate Tips for Create More Money in Autoresponders

Autoresponders are fast becoming the method of choice for people to answer questions, stay in contact with customers and clients, and to update potential customers on stock items, sales, and events coming up. Here are some intermediate ways to make productive audtoresponders work for you.

Use Autoresponders to Sell Products
You can send notices to your mailing list, people who send you questions, and people who simply send you an email by including product information and sale notices in an autoresponder. For instance, if someone is sending you a question from your web page about a red widget, you can have an autoresponder shoot back an instant message that their question has been received, and in the meantime here are some products on sale, etc. Their red widget might just be on your list.

Send FAQs
Rather than have an extensive FAQ page that no one reads, send it to people who send you a question instead. Let them ask in a web form, then you send an autoresponder that will send the FAQ page--and, you will have their email addresses so you can send a notice after that of a possible sale, or you could even send a personalized note.

If someone purchases something from you, you can use a productive autoresponder for more than notifying them of a shipping date. You can use it to promote an ebook on new ways to use the item, or new products that support it. Productive autoresponders look as much to the future as to the present.

Do you want to learn more about how I do it? I have just completed my brand new guide to article marketing success, Your Article Writing and Promotion Guide

Download it free here: Secrets of Article Promotion

Sean Mize is a full time internet marketer who has written over 1574 articles in print and 11 published ebooks.

Vietnam as an Emerging Economy

Vietnam, one of Asia's Newly Emerging Economies, has turned its economy around dramatically after several years of macroeconomic instability, stagnation, and isolation from the world economy. With its Soviet style ministerial system and Communist Party leadership, Vietnam is moving from a commodities based economy heavily reliant on ever diminishing supplies of natural resources, through a phase of 'strategic retreat', to one of conscious and determined development of uniquely Vietnamese market-oriented ideologies.

Some suggest the recent changes in policy are attributable in part to generational changes in leadership, where 'new blood' has been allowed in to the decision-making process. Vietnam's adjustment and political, administrative and economic reform programs have restored stability, accelerated growth to 8% - 9% per year in the 1990s, and attracted public and private foreign capital commitments unprecedented in Vietnams history. What is even more impressive is that throughout this transition phase, unlike so many of its Asian neighbours, Vietnam has maintained relatively strong political, economic and social cohesion.

Vietnam began its transition from a centrally planned system toward a market economy by implementing a wide range of macroeconomic and structural reforms to create a vibrant economy with several features of a free-market system.

The Vietnam Government has significantly relaxed regulation policy since the Vietnam Communist Party (VCP) formally endorsed a program of "renovation", also known as Doi Moi, at its Sixth National Congress in 1986. Central planning was relaxed, prices were freed, public sector spending declined, and restraints were loosened on business activity. Agricultural co-operatives were disbanded; farmers were given land-use rights and - in a similar way to China's transitional period - were allowed to market whatever output was left after they had fulfilled state contracts

Liberalisation measures and the creation of incentives worked toward the effective utilisation of resources and induced a large and relatively smooth transition of labour from the State Operated Entities (SOEs) to the newly sanctioned private sector. Furthermore, the currency has stabilised, direct subsidies have been withdrawn from the SOEs, the banking system has been overhauled and commercial laws have been enacted. The comprehensive Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) legislation and regulations undertaken have been put forward primarily to allay the fears of foreign investors, while at the same time developing a stronger pool of FDI in the economy. Despite these changes, however, Vietnam remains overall a centrally planned economy, with the Law on Foreign Investment in Vietnam regulating all direct foreign investment.

The direct result of these changes was a fall in inflation to less than 10% per year, by the early 1990's, from extraordinary rates as high as 400% per year in preceding periods. There was an increase in annual GDP growth rates to around 10% per year, and growth in export volume by about 25% per year. The World Bank ranks Vietnam, alongside China, as the best performer among transitional economies, and recent reports state that Vietnam has been very aggressive with reforms over the last few years.

It is worth remembering that the Vietnam government introduced Doi Moi reforms not out of altruism, but because its 'hand was forced'. Political reforms instigated previously had not worked, and indeed had brought the economy to the brink of collapse. By 1984, the Central Committee realised that fundamental reforms had to be undertaken to deal with a weakened economy that had not met established targets - albeit those targets were unrealistic.

The primary concern was the inefficient production of food. By the early 1980's, food production was just 69% of the States target as outlined in the VCP's fifth five-year plan, and the standard of living was deteriorating. The economy was stagnating and was heavily reliant on Eastern Bloc trading partners. Relations with China were poor and with the advent of globalisation, the State had to implement a strategy that would allow development of an effective competition position with surrounding economies. That is, Vietnam had to look to developing 'comparative advantage' through effective support to its significant labour base.

Then, as now, the party's legitimacy was eroding. The people were put off by the government's expensive foreign adventures in Cambodia and China, its dictatorial style and its mishandling of the economy. The role of the State had to change. The Party realised it must reorganise the overall structure of the economy and consider what areas should be under state ownership and control, and what areas would be most effectively 'privatised'.

During the early years of transition, and in comparison to other economies in a similar stage of transition, the growth in employment in Vietnam was significant at around 4% per year - adjusted for special factors. Unemployment has, on the one hand, increased in certain sectors of the economy, due to rationalisation of the SOEs and other inefficient industries. However, overall it appears that total unemployment has been reduced through development of other business and diversification and expansion of industry, and remains under control despite the shedding of over 1 million public sector jobs. The real GPD growth rate rose from 5.1% in 1990 to 8.6% in 1992 and 8.8% in 1994, while inflation stabilised to around 10% in 1993. By controlling public sector deficits through reduced support of the SOEs, inflation has been brought under control.

Through acceptance by ASEAN in 1995, Vietnam showed foreign investors and other countries that it wanted to become part of the free-market mechanism. It also displays a commitment to local industry that free-market reforms are on the agenda of the VCP.

If Vietnam is serious about achieving "tiger economy" status, it will require a large, dynamic private sector competing on an even footing, as well as having ready access to investment finance. Overall, the growth in FDI to date has been very solid, and the announcement in July 1995 that the US would open diplomatic relations with Vietnam initiated further commitment to international backing of and direct involvement in projects.

The Vietnam Government understood the need for foreign capital, and estimated requirements at US$40-$50 billion in investment funds for 1995-2000. Yet at the same time, the Central Committee wanted to allay the fears of conservatives within the leadership - who had complained that the country risked surrendering its destiny if it was too reliant on foreign investors - by claiming the decisive source of capital must be from domestic accumulation.

Limitations of private enterprise development indicate that much remains to be done to establish a policy framework under which private enterprises can contribute more fully to growth, income, and employment. Key constraints include lengthy and complicated business registration and investment approval processes, and an uneven playing field between private companies and state-owned enterprises, especially in the areas of trade and access to land and credit.

The government recognises that the impetus for industrialisation and growth will need to come primarily from an efficient and internationally competitive manufacturing sector and therefore plans further regulatory and legal reforms in its policy framework to encourage growth and diversification of the sector.

Signs are beginning to show, however, that the resolve of the State apparatus is waning. A comparison could be drawn between this weakening resolve in Vietnam, and the emergence of the 'iron triangle' in Japan. As with the weakening resolve of the bureaucrats in Japan in the early 1970's to the ideals of self-sacrifice for the betterment of the State, so to in Vietnam has a similar psyche evolved. The slow-down of the mechanism for change was two pronged. From one perspective, the leaders of the VCP 'put on the breaks' of reform, and secondly bureaucrats and party officials began to abuse their positions of power for self-gain.

Corruption has been one of the biggest problems facing continuing development of a free-market system in Vietnam. The Communist Party has launched several campaigns against corruption. The primary problem seems to be, however, that officials expected to implement party reforms have lost much of their earlier revolutionary zeal. They now refuse to accept an ideology of frugality that requires them to struggle to feed their families on meagre wages 'while people around them get rich'.

In Vietnam, and in the context of a socialist regime, abuse by bureaucrats and party officials has been far more blatant than in Japan. And, unlike the 'iron triangle' of Japan, it is difficult to argue that the form of cronyism that has developed in Vietnam has assisted the economy to grow. It has been more a situation of 'rent seekers' and communist party contacts draining State resources - in a similar fashion to the 'princelings' in China - than creation of wealth.

Given similar political and economic weaknesses in the neighbouring economies that have suffered severe downturn from the current Asian financial crisis, that of primarily a similarly weak banking system, there is considerable risk that Vietnam will also suffer from the economic fallout of the region. First and foremost the root problem of improper banking practices due to lax supervision and inadequate regulations, apparent in Vietnam's financial sector will, if exposed to free international capital mobility, expose the economy to the similar mechanisms which have resulted in the 'Asian meltdown'. The negative spill-over effect from devaluation of currencies in the region will be in the form of increased competition for markets for Vietnam's exports, and also in the local markets in competition with imports - both legal and smuggled - from the crisis-stricken countries of the region. On the whole Vietnam has to date faired well, but high tariffs in Vietnam mean that many investors are unable to take advantage of the fall in the currencies of neighbouring economies.

Many in the financial market feel that overall Vietnam's future looks promising. There are several conditions that must continue to be met, however, to ensure Vietnam passes successfully into a phase of secondary export-oriented industrialisation. It is imperative, that the country's Communist party leaders complete and maintain the reform process it began in 1986 and avoid becoming entrenched in a 'grey zone' somewhere between central planning and a uniquely Vietnamese market-oriented system. The country has only limited supplies of natural resources and has already embarked on a 'strategic retreat' through Doi Moi. There has been continued implementation of reforms that should see Vietnam emerge as the regions next economic powerhouse. Greater collaboration and centralisation undertaken by other ASEAN countries has been a target for Vietnam's leaders, and this should continue to be a goal while assimilating the necessary controls to avoid the pitfalls experienced by those countries.

Vietnam must continue with further and faster reforms, and in order to develop and sustain a comparative advantage must continue to focus on labour-intensive manufacturing, at least in the short-term. It must continue to restructure SOEs, liberalise trade and continue to attract FDI. At the same time, however, the State must make these decisions with regard to strategies for long-term development, the role of the State in a market economy, the balance between economic growth and social equity, and natural resources and the environment.

Vietnam must be wary of the pitfalls that could occur in continuing on the path of reform without proper management of the liberalisation and deregulation of the financial market. Total liberalisation of the financial sector resulted in chaos. Indonesia, for example, suffered a 70% effective devaluation of the Rupiah - to June 1998 - once it moved to float after a period of having pegged its currency. After relaxation of FDI regulations and by allowing offshore borrowing, many enterprises became heavily over-exposed and debt-equity ratios increased to dangerous levels. What Vietnam must avoid is the 'moral hazard' and cronyism that has afflicted other countries in the region.

Without trade liberalisation, the removal of bias toward direct foreign investment applications over labour intensive manufacturing, and by not continuing to implement a transition to a free-market economy, Vietnam will lose the ability to compete in the region over the long-term. The economy is plagued by bureaucratic procedures, arbitrary interference creates long delays, and public servants lack the skills to manage a market economy. The welfare system is virtually non-existent and education levels are poor.

Vietnam's economy has strengthened significantly over the past decade since instigation of reforms under the banner of Doi Moi. The State has steadily developed stronger relations with countries in the region, and throughout the world, focusing upon expansion of FDI and growth projects. Over the past two years, however, the resolve of the State to continue on the 'road to a market economy' has weakened.

The reform process must proceed and continue to be supported by the VCP so that Vietnam's long-term position in the region is assured. Without further reform the country's fledgling private enterprise community will flounder, unemployment will increase, inflation will once again rise to unmanageable levels, and inefficiency that once afflicted the SOEs will once again stall growth. Reforms must continue in Vietnam, but perhaps with a greater degree of caution than was applied to expansion of the economies of some of its neighbours.

Kel Stuart started his career in Australia as an accountant in both commerce and the profession before coming to Japan in 1991, where he added general management skills. He has worked in Government, private enterprise and as a consultant, in Japan and Australia. Kel has an MBA in International Business from Griffith University in Brisbane, and is a Member of the Australian Institute of Management.

Forex Signals 3

Timing is the key in the markets. You might have heard of this several times that the market indicators are used to predict the entry. The better the timing of these signals and indicators, the better the edge of the trader. Market edge is what you need when you are looking for the forex signals.

The observation of the signals start by looking at a singal bar on the daily chart. According to the Dow theory, an uptrend is a series of ups and a down trend is a series of downs. Keep it simple. This is what you should look for timing the markets. Up closes with good follow through and volume is required to see if the market is in an uptrend. The same process is true with down trends when the closes are down and the volume is good. As the volume dries, you will see that the bars shrink in size or in other words the range shrinks.

Another question is why the range shrinks and expands differently in the forex markets? It is true with other forms of markets also but commodity and future markets are more volatile sometimes. The answer is not simple and will require pages and pages of examples and analysis but I will try to explain. When there is range contraction, there are two basic reasons. One there is an absence of big players in the markets and the floor traders are active at this point. This point is further explained by the shrinking of the range after the New York close around 4 to 5 PM EST. This is when the big institutions close. The time the market expands again is around 2 AM EST when the banks open in London and Asian counties link Singapore and Japan. So the big players are required to move the big markets like forex.

The other reason is the auction theory which says that the market auctions up till it finds a seller and the market auctions down till it finds a buyer. The spikes in prices are the areas where forex markets rush up and down to find buyers in down spikes and sellers in up spikes. This is the reason why the spikes are over 50% areas of exhaustion. We will continue our discussion on market timing signals. I hope you have understood the basic concepts in the three articles on forex signals.

Adnan Kaleemi is a Registered Commodity Trading Advisor and has been advising Forex traders all over the world in more than 60 countries for the last five years. He is currently registered with the commodity and futures trading commission in the US. He reaches global forex traders where he provides daily forex market timing signals and forecasts in the major currency pairs EURUSD,GBPUSD,USDJPY and USDCHF along with money management strategies. At you will find informative articles, newsletters and other tools which will help transform your Forex Trading.

Obtaining Designer Goods On A Budget Online

If you are fashion conscious and are regularly online you may think there are few options on how to obtain designer and other top quality products including clothes, footwear and jewellery.

In fact there are FOUR different ways you can find such goods, so lets look at the ups and downs of each and see which ones are best for your needs, or worth a try.

1. Buy New

Under this method you visit auction or retailers web sites, view products and buy direct. Postage and delivery may be included in the price or extra.

Unless you buy direct from the makers own web sites or known national retailers there is a risk of buying fake and imitation items, at what you may seems as a bargain. A designer pair of shoes which retails for $500 USD on offer as the "genuine" article for $50 can only be fake.

Upside you get NEW, DOWNSIDE is you need MONEY (or credit) and you can overspend far to easily to fuel your needs and desires. It's fine if you are earning 100,000 a year but most are budget conscious and seek bargains and ever lower prices.

2. Buy Used

Auction sites are the biggest source of used goods and offer a vast range of prices, quality and authentic goods - very much a "let the buyer we wary" especially for big spenders who think they are getting bargains on designer goods, but in reality have been tricked into deals where they pay over the odds for fake or inferior goods.

Many auction sites have a vast stock of offers, changing daily, but require bidding, a task taking several days to see though, only to end up paying a higher price than planned, or miss out to others, better prepared to pay over the odds for unknown quality.

There is little "community spirit" you are either seller - wanting as much as you can for your goods, or buyer wanting top quality, fast delivery as cheap as possible.

3. Direct swap or trade

Under this program you source similar quality and priced used goods and TRADE with another member of the site. New sites of this type with little goods to offer can be time wasting when you are seeking items which are just not listed.

Ideally you need to take the plunge and list YOUR item (usually free to list) to let other web surfers know what you have on offer BUT more importantly what you NEED before you will swap.

No money changes hands but deals rely on honesty of trading members who simply BOTH agree to send the other their item, any difference in postage is paid one to the other.

The upside is fraud is potentially nil as the fraudsters incentive MONEY just does not exist, and listing costs are either low or based on a single subscription payable monthly, quarterly or annually.

The downside is lack of variety, as it takes a long time for new sites to build a stock of offers, many of which may be long since sold or disposed of by other means, leading to frustration and time wasting for the web surfer.

4. Trade for points

A new breed of web site extends the strategy of the swap site and converts goods on offer and traded to a POINTS VALUE.

In this method users can EARN points and build up a bank of points in various ways, usually

A) free points on joining

B) trade YOUR goods with other members and rack up points based on the points value for each trade

C) BUY points for real money to top up your points "bank" for a desirable "purchase" you see on offer

D) refer new members to the site, and add bonus points

They can then SPEND their points and "BUY" goods on offer

Again as no money changes hands fraud is reduced, offering, potentially at least a better quality of listed offers.

Postage needs to be paid from the "buyer" and this can be agreed prior to trade with the "seller".

As new sites stock of offers can take time to build, but the concept seems to offer many advantages especially for lower value goods where listing fees on traditional auction sites can erode eventual sale prices. Potentially at least this type of site seems to offer and rely on more "community spirit" and could become a regular place to visit.


You are ultimately ruled by available MONEY - if you are rich you can and will only BUY new from reputable stores and never, ever consider buying another's cast offs. For the majority of folk money is always tight, yet the need to be IN FASHION and LOOK GOOD with an ever changing wardrobe, so the new breed of trading sites could be worth a look, and adding a few offers may help boost them into tomorrows "must use" web sites.

Maurice S Clarke is founder of the wearable goods trading web site and lives in Rugby, UK. This article may be freely republished provided it remains intact.