Best of the Week
Most Popular
1.UK General Election 2015 - Forecasting Seats for SNP, LIb-Dems, UKIP and Others - Nadeem_Walayat
2.UK General Election 2015 Seats Forecast - Who Will Win? - - Nadeem_Walayat
3.Gold Price Downtrend Looks Set to Continue - Clive_Maund
4.Commodity Prices Set To Plunge Below 2008 Lows - Austin_Galt
5.New Greece Drachma Revealed Amid Bank Runs - Greeks Buy Gold Sovereigns - GoldCore
6.Gold and Silver Stocks or General Stock Market Indices? - Rambus_Chartology
7.“Forgive Us Our Debts” – Only Way To Prevent Economic Meltdown - GoldCore
8.UK House Prices Trend 2015 and the May General Election - Nadeem_Walayat
9.12 Reasons Why Barry Ritholtz and Many UK Experts Are Mistaken On Gold - GoldCore
10.Recession is On The Way; Beat The Stock Market Crowd, Panic Now! - Mike_Shedlock
Last 5 days
UK Election 2015 - Cameron Housing Bribe - 200,000 Discounted Homes for 400,000 Voters - 6th Mar 15
The Anthropology of Finance - 6th Mar 15
Portfolios, Insurance, and Gold - 6th Mar 15
Gold and Silver Justice For Some - Currency Wars - ECB Deposit Rates To -3% - 5th Mar 15
How to Play the Big Broker Stocks When Interest Rates Rise - 5th Mar 15
Here's What Stock Market Bulls Might Be Overlooking - 5th Mar 15
U.S. Soaring Crude Oil Stocks - Cushing and Gulf Coast Storage Filling Up Fast - 5th Mar 15
Japan's Intelligence Reform Inches Forward - 5th Mar 15
Gold Miner Index Breadth Oscillator, Forward Reckoning® - 5th Mar 15
Gold Price Set To Plunge Below $600 - 5th Mar 15
UK General Election Forecast 2015 - Immigration Crisis, SNP Insurgency and Housing Mini-Boom - 5th Mar 15
Spock, Debt and the Kingdom of Denmark - 5th Mar 15
The Psychology of a Sideways Stock Market Trend - 5th Mar 15
Freedom from America - Getting Out Of Dodge - 5th Mar 15
What Top Hedge Fund Managers Really Think About Gold - 4th Mar 15
U.S. Dollar Strategic Backfire On U.S. Government Policy - 4th Mar 15
Canada’s Central Banks Orders End to ‘Spocking’ Of Canadian Dollar - Defacing Debasing Currencies - 4th Mar 15
Chicago's Only Possible Salvation: A Detroit-Like Bankruptcy - 4th Mar 15
Gold Price and Mining Stocks Decline Together - 3rd Mar 15
Financial Slaughter - The Silence of the Lambs - 3rd Mar 15
Bondholders “Bailed In” In Austria – New Banking Crisis? - 3rd Mar 15
How to Profit from the Coming Oil Price Crunch - 3rd Mar 15
Is Japan Zimbabwe? Could Japan go Hyperinflation? - 3rd Mar 15
Bill Gross Says Fed May Raise Rates 25 Basis Points in June - 3rd Mar 15
The Secret Behind My Hedge Fund Trade on U.S. Housing Market - 3rd Mar 15
BLS CPI Lie - How's That Dsflation Working Out for You? - 3rd Mar 15
Tesla Bonfire of the Money Printers’ Vanities - 3rd Mar 15
Gold Demand in UK, Europe and U.S. – Reuters Interview GoldCore - 2nd Mar 15
Watch the Skies... for Investor Profits - 2nd Mar 15
How Investors Can Identify the Best Small-Cap Stocks - 2nd Mar 15
Gold and Silver - What If the Precious Metal Stocks Bulls are Back - 2nd Mar 15
Students Getting a PhD in Subprime Debt - U.S. Debt Breaking Bad Part 3 - 2nd Mar 15
The Stock Market is in The Process of Major Top! - 2nd Mar 15
Stock Market Weakening Trend - 2nd Mar 15
Gold Price Glimmer of Hope - 1st Mar 15
Stock Markets Are Riding High on Thin Air - 1st Mar 15
Varoufakis vs. the Troika - Showdown in Athens - 1st Mar 15
Subprime Rising - U.S. Debt Breaking Bad Part 2 - 1st Mar 15
Gold CoT Improving, But ... - 1st Mar 15
UK General Election 2015 Seats Forecast - Who Will Win? - 28th Feb 15
UK General Election 2015 - Forecasting Seats for SNP, LIb-Dems, UKIP and Others - 28th Feb 15
Stocks Bull Market Continues - 28th Feb 15
U.S. Debt Breaking Bad - 28th Feb 15
NATO Frankenstein - When Centralization Scales Beyond Our Control - 28th Feb 15
Gold And Silver Insanity Prevails; Precious Metals Without Direction - 28th Feb 15
Fed Raising U.S. Interest Rates - Shovelin’ Schmitt Against the Tide - 28th Feb 15
Don't Let This Stock Market Myth Cost You Your Gains - 28th Feb 15
Recession is On The Way; Beat The Stock Market Crowd, Panic Now! - 28th Feb 15
Stock Market Indexes Creeping Towards the Edge - 28th Feb 15
GGD Going for Mexican Gold - 27th Feb 15
Foreign Real Estate Is the New Swiss Bank Account - 27th Feb 15
10 Reasons Washington Has War Fever - 27th Feb 15
Gold and the Euro Tragedy, Iraq 3.0, Ukraine Conflict Three Ring Circus - 27th Feb 15
Deepak Chopra - New Age Genius or Bullshit Expert? - Video - 27th Feb 15 - Videos
New Greece Drachma Revealed Amid Bank Runs - Greeks Buy Gold Sovereigns - 27th Feb 15
Will Month Long Stocks Rally Continue? - 27th Feb 15
The Only Public Hedge Fund You Should Own - 27th Feb 15
UK House Prices Trend 2015 and the May General Election - 27th Feb 15
Why America is Ungovernable - The Republicans’ Civil War - 27th Feb 15
Gold vs Gold Stocks: Bullish Anomaly Developing? - 27th Feb 15
I Heart Capitalism, Nasdaq Stocks, Then And Now - 27th Feb 15
The Fed’s History of Assassination - 27th Feb 15 i
Gold Bull Market Forecast - Money Will Rotate Into These Dead Investments - 27th Feb 15

Free Instant Analysis

Free Instant Technical Analysis


Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

The State of the Global Markets 2015

Investing in Japan: Is There Light at the End of the Tunnel?

Stock-Markets / Japanese Stock Market May 30, 2012 - 11:20 AM GMT

By: Money_Morning

Stock-Markets

Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleMartin Hutchinson writes: Most people have given up on investing in Japan.

With an aging population and far too much government debt, the conventional wisdom is that Japan will never again see the vigorous economic growth it once enjoyed.


The earthquake and tsunami of March 2011 only reinforced this view. However, that tragic episode did have another side.

It showed the resilience and discipline of Japanese society.

There was almost no looting, for example -- and recent economic data suggest that the Japanese economy is not as dead as it seemed.

First quarter Japanese gross domestic product (GDP) came in at an annual growth rate of 4.1% --far higher than the United States, Canada, Australia, or anywhere in the Eurozone.

Given that Japan has been in perpetual near-recession for 21 years, with no surges of productivity like the U.S. enjoyed in the late 1990s, it's really not a bad performance.

You can also see Japan's true strength from its exchange rate, which is currently 79 yen to the dollar, up from around 120 five years ago. That makes visiting Tokyo very expensive.

However, it's also sign of a highly competitive economy.

Investing in Japan: What You Need to Know
It's notable that observers in the United States, a country which perpetually runs payment deficits of $500 billion-$600 billion annually, sneer at the economies of Japan and Germany, which are almost always in surplus.

Before 1995, I lived in another economy that was similar. Britain ran deficits much like the U.S. does.

So believe me when I tell you, deficits are not exactly a sign of superior economic health.

The reality is that Japanese and German products and services are highly competitive, both in advanced economies and in emerging markets. Conversely, U.S. exports are not as competitive except in a few sectors.

Even so, the Japanese stock market is still trading at less than a third of its 1990 peak.

However, that's no longer something to sneer at since the S&P 500 is also trading well below its 2000 peak.

The reality is that speculative bubbles such as that in Japanese stocks and real estate in the 1980s and U.S. stocks in the 1990s and housing in the 2000s are enormously damaging. The after-effects can last for years, or even decades.

Truly Alan Greenspan, Ben Bernanke and their 1980s Japanese counterparts have a lot to answer for.

These quasi-politicians at central banks should not be allowed to play games with the money supply. Rather, they ought to adopt an automatic system such as a gold standard.

Of course, it's all very well quoting the superior returns over the long term from equity investments. But the truth is, we have finite lifespans.

An investment in the U.S that loses money for 12 years and counting -- or 22 years and counting in Japan -- is not very attractive as a means of saving for retirement (unless you're 25).

Nevertheless, while the tunnel may be a long one, it is not an infinite one. Today in Japan there are signs we may be emerging from the other end.

Robust growth is the means by which both Japan and eventually the U.S. will emerge, which will reduce the excessive debt levels in the system and allow equity and other asset values to start increasing again.

Naturally, the politicians have to stop running huge deficits in order for this to happen, but in Japan this may finally be happening, with the government proposing to double the consumption tax to 10% in two stages by 2015.

Two Ways to Invest in Japan
Since Japan's export sector is hampered by its high exchange rate, the best Japanese investment would focus on the smaller companies. Such companies benefit from domestic growth and are themselves suppliers to the export giants.

The SPDR Russell/Nomura Japan smaller companies ETF (NYSE: JSC), for example, has now been running since 2006 and has an expense ratio of a modest 0.56%. It looks to be an excellent way to tap into Japanese small company growth.

Alternatively, you should consider investing in the Japanese financial sector, which has major growth opportunities in Asia and has avoided many of the problems of the 2008 meltdown.

In this area the best-capitalized company is Orix Corporation (NYSE: IX).

Orix, originally a leasing specialist, has expanded into most sectors of commercial and investment banking, with an emphasis on investment rather than trading. It has capital of around 15% of assets -- nearly double the capitalization ratio of most banks, in Japan or elsewhere.

What's more, Orix is trading on a P/E ratio of around 10 and at 53% of book value. For Japanese-minded investors it's also a bargain.

After a long downturn, Japan is poised to rebound. The conventional wisdom, as is often the case, is wrong.

Source :http://moneymorning.com/2012/05/30/investing-in-japan-is-there-light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel/

Money Morning/The Money Map Report

©2011 Monument Street Publishing. All Rights Reserved. Protected by copyright laws of the United States and international treaties. Any reproduction, copying, or redistribution (electronic or otherwise, including on the world wide web), of content from this website, in whole or in part, is strictly prohibited without the express written permission of Monument Street Publishing. 105 West Monument Street, Baltimore MD 21201, Email: customerservice@moneymorning.com

Disclaimer: Nothing published by Money Morning should be considered personalized investment advice. Although our employees may answer your general customer service questions, they are not licensed under securities laws to address your particular investment situation. No communication by our employees to you should be deemed as personalized investent advice. We expressly forbid our writers from having a financial interest in any security recommended to our readers. All of our employees and agents must wait 24 hours after on-line publication, or after the mailing of printed-only publication prior to following an initial recommendation. Any investments recommended by Money Morning should be made only after consulting with your investment advisor and only after reviewing the prospectus or financial statements of the company.

Money Morning Archive

© 2005-2015 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

Free Report - Financial Markets 2014