Best of the Week
Most Popular
1.UK General Election BBC Exit Polls Forecast Accuracy - Nadeem_Walayat
2.UK General Election 2017 Seats Final Forecast, Labour, Conservative Lib-Dem, SNP - Nadeem_Walayat
3.UK General Election 2017 Forecast: Conservative 358, Labour 212 Seats - Nadeem_Walayat
4.Theresa May to Resign, Fatal Error Was to Believe Worthless Opinion Polls! - Nadeem_Walayat
5.UK House Prices Forecast General Election 2017 Conservative Seats Result - Nadeem_Walayat
6.The Stock Market Crash of 2017 That Never Was But Could it Still Come to Pass? - Sol_Palha
7.[TRADE ALERT] Write This Gold Stock Ticker Down Now - WallStreetNation
8.UK General Election Results Map 2017 vs 2015 vs Opinion Polls - Nadeem_Walayat
9.Orphaned Poisoned Waters,Severe Chronic Water Shortage Imminent - Richard_Mills
10.How The Smart Money Is Playing The Lithium Boom - OilPrice_Com
Last 7 days
Gold Back With A Vengeance As Bitcoin Bubble Bursts - 26th Jun 17
Crude Oil Trade & Nasdaq QQQ Update - 26th Jun 17
Gold and Silver Ongoing Consolidation May End Soon - 25th Jun 17
Dollar May Become “Local Currency of the U.S.” Only - 25th Jun 17
Sheffield Great Flood of 2007, 10 Years On - Unique Timeline of What Happened - 24th Jun 17
US Stock Market Correction Could be Underway - 24th Jun 17
Proof That This Economic Recovery Narrative is False - 24th Jun 17
Best Cash ISA for Soaring Inflation, Kent Reliance Illustrates the Great ISA Rip Off - 24th Jun 17
Gold Summer Doldrums - 23rd Jun 17
Hedgers Net Short the Euro, US Market Rotates; 2 Horsemen Set to Ride? - 23rd Jun 17
Nether Edge By Election Result: Labour Win Sheffield City Council Seat by 132 Votes - 23rd Jun 17
Grenfell Fire: 600 of 4000 Tower Blocks Ticking Time Bomb Death Traps! - 22nd Jun 17
Car Sales About To Go Over The Cliff - 22nd Jun 17
LOG 0.786 support in CRUDE OIL and COCOA - 22nd Jun 17
More Stock Market Fluctuations Along New Record Highs - 22nd Jun 17
Understanding true money, Pound Sterling must make another historic low, Euro and Gold outlook! - 22nd Jun 17
Green Party Could Control Sheffield City Council Balance of Power Local Election 2018 - 22nd Jun 17
Ratio Combo Charts : Hidden Clues to the Gold Market Puzzle - 22nd Jun 17
Steem Hard Forks & Now People Are Making Even More Money On Blockchain Steemit - 22nd Jun 17
4 Steps for Comparing Binary Options Providers - 22nd Jun 17
Nether Edge & Sharrow By-Election, Will Labour Lose Safe Council Seat, Sheffield? - 21st Jun 17
Stock Market SPX Making New Lows - 21st Jun 17
Your Future Wealth Depends on what You Decide to Keep and Invest in Now - 21st Jun 17
Either Bitcoin Will Fail OR Bitcoin Is A Government Invention Meant To Enslave... - 21st Jun 17
Strength in Gold and Silver Mining Stocks and Its Implications - 21st Jun 17
Inflation is No Longer in Stealth Mode - 21st Jun 17
CRUDE OIL UPDATE- “0.30 risk is cheap for changing implication!” - 20th Jun 17
Crude Oil Verifies Price Breakdown – Or Is It Something More? - 20th Jun 17
Trump Backs ISIS As He Pushes US Onto Brink of World War III With Russia - 20th Jun 17
Most Popular Auto Trading Tools for trading with Stock Markets - 20th Jun 17
GDXJ Gold Stocks Massacre: The Aftermath - 20th Jun 17
Why Walkers Crisps Pay Packet Promotion is RUBBISH! - 20th Jun 17

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

The MRI 3D Report

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

© 2005-2017 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

Catching a Falling Financial Knife