Southern Exposure

The fact that is has been 25 years this week since I started in the brokerage business and engaged in the trading of stocks and bonds full time has me reflecting on the changes since that time. It is a completely different world than the one I entered all those years ago. The explosion of mutual funds, weird and deadly structured products, exchange-traded funds, hedge funds and other investment vehicles is stunning in retrospect. The focus has gone away from individual stock and bond selection to something called asset allocation and management, which was the biggest reason I struck out on my own. I am a "dinosaur" of the highest order, and I prefer picking stocks and bonds to all this other newfangled stuff. It would probably be more profitable for most investors to revert to being "dinosaurs" as well.

When I was a young broker, one of the more exotic activities we engaged in was trading foreign stocks and bonds. No one was doing much of this except via mutual fund or Unit Investment Trust. Today, of course, trading in foreign securities is as easy as trading in domestic names, and you'll see few portfolios that do not have some foreign exposure. Markets are more correlated today, but one can still find profit potential in foreign lands undergoing current financial and economic difficulties....476 more words left in this article. To read them, just click below and try Real Money FREE for 14 days.

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