ETFs the alternative to Scams

I have now reached that age when ‘Happy Hour’ is a good afternoon nap. It also seems to be the age at which I have become the target for a continual stream of unsolicited phone calls each offering me the financial bargain of the decade. I will become rich beyond the realms of Croesus if only I will invest in Fine Wines, Pink/Blue Diamonds, 40ft Containers, Life saving drugs, Rare Earth Metals and Carbon Credits. The list is endless as the Scam Industry moves on. The person making the call is no longer from deepest India with an unintelligible voice, calling himself something hysterical like Humphrey or Herbert. scamsHe has now morphed into a seemingly a well educated Englishman who for health reasons chooses to live in Singapore or Dubai.
This man just knows that I am a canny and successful investor. This in itself should have sounded a warning bell. It is a bit like the hangman saying you have a pretty neck. All he wants to be is the benefactor I never had and to assist me towards a comfortable retirement. Yes, you are correct; I have fallen for a Scam for the second time. The first time was some twenty years ago and involved a non-existent American breakthrough in Medical Technology. Even though the perpetrators were caught and eventually went to jail I lost a considerable amount of money. Obviously the passing of time and old age must have erased the painful memories as I have gone and done it again. This time it involves Carbon Credits. Fortunately, for a considerably smaller amount of money, so unlike last time I am not sweating like a cornered Nun. It is just annoying.

Before investing I checked the details of the company with the Financial Services Authority. I went on the website and checked out the Canadian Dam which was generating the Carbon Credits and it all seemed legitimate. Nothing was saying that the scheme was doomed to failure. I received certificates and paperwork which all seemed to check out. But there was still this niggle at the back of my mind, the potential gain seemed to be too good and so it has turned out to be. When I declined to invest further, my financial Godfather disappeared from the scene taking my money. It appears just to have been a clever scam aimed at reeling in the greedy.

On the subject of Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), I have always had an interest in this area of investment but to date I have not got involved. I have always thought that they were too volatile and risky for my peace of mind. Yet, we report and monitor them in our Saltydog numbers so I can buy and sell using up to date current information. ETFs are also transparent, tradeable, secure and highly regulated. So from now on I am going to turn over a new leaf. When the telephone rings and the urge comes upon me, I shall say to the man from Dubai or Singapore, words to the effect of, no thank you. In the future, I am going to get my thrills, kicks and sleepless nights from trading using ETFs. I just must remember that in the sport of fishing it never comes out well for the bait.

The Greater Mekong region

On the 17th of September I wrote about the importance of the up and coming Greater Mekong region. The countries involved being Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos, all members of the ASEAN Free Trade agreement. I reported on how it was becoming self sufficient for oil and gas, it had a young cheap labour force with a total population in excess of 560 million people, and an economy of over 2 trillion dollars. It looked as if it would become the next source of cheap manufactured products for the world and possibly become self sufficient in its own right.

Well since that was written President Obama of the USA and Xi Jinping,  the President of China, have both made their first visits to a foreign country (since retaining or gaining office) to this region. Now that must be very significant for future trade and investment. Then last week we have the announcement that the newly elected Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe is also setting out to visit this same region. Now baring in mind that there appears to be a falling out between Japan and its largest trading partner China, then surely this visit must hold a similar significance. So unless these countries get over whelmed by hugs and kisses from these elderly relatives then they must be set fair for the future.

Looking at the numbers coming through from Saltydog on ETFs it is now showing the db X-tracker FTSE Vietnam rising towards the top. In fact this ETF has risen 22% in the last three months with 16% coming through in the last month. This must be connected with all the attention that this region is receiving, and perhaps we are seeing only the very beginning of these fund rises. We will continue to look out for, and report on, other funds heavily invested in this area.image