A Foreign Exchange Traded Fund Investors Should Consider

Irlam and Cadishead’s Citizens’ Advice Bureau 1981
unemployment fund
Image by Irlam,Cadishead,Rixton with Glazebrook old photos
Cadishead and Irlam Guardian 1981


Irlam and Cadishead’s Citizens’ Advice Bureau has dealt with more than 2,400 inquiries since it opened a year ago. Bureau organiser, Mrs Marian Snook, now heads a team of 10 which includes deputy Mrs Norah Johnson and nine voluntary part-time workers.

During the year, Mrs Snook has been made only too aware of Irlam and Cadishead’s ever growing unemployment problem. She and her team of advisers have tackled many of the problems which have arisen through redundancy particularly the problems of those involved in the Gardner’s dispute.

"A large percentage of our clients are unemployed. We have dealt with family and personal problems which arise when a person, who has been made redundant, is around the house all day or because of a shortage of cash. We have had many inquiries about job release and early retirement schemes and from disabled people who have been made redundant," said Mrs Snook.


Recently the bureau started visiting disabled and hous-bound people at their homes to give them advice. They also meet members of the disabled group at Preston Hall, Irlam, to check they are receiving benefits they are entitled to. Mrs Snook intends to visit occupants of the town’s sheltered housing in the near future.

Mrs Snook said "I am well satisfied with the way the bureau is operating. Each day’s work reinforces my belief that there is a great need for a Citizens’ Advice Bureau in an urban area like Irlam and Cadishead.

"At first the inquiries received were of a superficial nature and it seemed that perhaps local residents were not plagued with the deep-rooted long term problems that I come across in other areas.

The way we work, within strict bounds of confidentiality, does not seem to inspire trust, and as the year has progressed we have found that as well as the employment supplementary benefit, consumer, housing and other matters, we are being approached more and more on very personal and monetary matters."

Where necessary and with a client’s permission, the CAB liases with statutory bodies such as social service, social security, housing, probation, police, courts and local Councillors and claims to have "an excellent relationship with them all.

Workers at the branch are trying not to limit the dervice to straightforward advice-giving or signposting, but will draft letters for clients, make phone calls and from this month, refer suitable cases to a free rota solicitor scheme.


"Our voluntary workers have had a heavy workload over the year and each has undergone a lot of ongoing training to keep them up to date with the copious amounts of legislation which has been passed throughout the period," said Mrs Snook.

"Often clients will say ‘I don’t know if you deal with this, or, I don’t know if I come to the right place’. Our answer is that we always try and help or advise on any subject. Many people seem to feel better after talking the problem over with a worker, even if there is no action or solution to be found. After all a trouble shared is a trouble halved, so they say."

It is Mrs Snook’s ambition for the future to install ramps at the CAB office at 604 Liverpool Road, Irlam, for disabled people in wheelchairs who encounter difficulties getting into the office.

Although a shortage of funds restricts this idea at present, Mrs Snook hopes to get temporary ramps in the near future.

The Exchange Traded Fund with the fifth highest trading volume is the iShares MSCI Japan Index (EWJ). This fund is averaging over 22 million shares a day trading volume. Why all the attention? If you look for the funds with the highest percentage gains for the year, this fund is not one of them. If you look for the top gaining funds for the past month, this fund is one of the top gainers with a 10.45% gain for the month.

The long slumbering Japanese economy is now coming alive. After years of deflation this economy is finally waking up. For the last several years Japan’s unemployment rate has been above 5%. Finally the unemployment rate has dropped under that level. At the end of March the Japan’s unemployment rate was 4.1%

GDP in Japan is also growing. Their 4th quarter year over year growth was 5.4%. This places Japan as one of the hottest growing economies for developed countries in the world.

Japan has had a decade and a half of rolling recession. During that recession many Japanese companies have hoarded cash. That means there are many asset rich companies that are ripe for restructuring. As a result merger and acquisition activity is strong. Last year was a record year in this category.
Up until this point there was a great deal of enthusiasm for emerging market stocks. In the past year this market has soared and it appears that this market may be overdone. Not as much money is flowing into emerging market funds now.
On the other hand, Japan, which is far from an emerging market, is seeing an improvement in its economy. This mature asian market is now drawing more investors.

Last year was the year of the energy and emerging markets. Perhaps this year will be the year of the mature Asian Market. There does not appear to be room for a major ralley in emerging markets at this time and US markets are still sluggish. AS investment money gets redistributed around the world, it is a good bet that a portion of it will find its way into the Japanese markets.

For those who are technical chart readers this Exchange Traded Fund’s indicators are all in positive territory. There fund has moved almost straight up from the beginning of March through the first week of April. When a fund moves in this manner there is bound to be some profit taking. As the profit taking occurs, for those already invested in this fund, this should not be of major concern unless you see the price drop below 13.80. For those who are not invested in this fund, you may want to consider buying during the price corrections.

Andrew Goldman is president of Metal Rabbit media services, the operator of http://www.Exchangetradedfundinvesting.com. He has written a number of articles on finance and investment over the last ten years.

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