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Dion's Weekly ETF Blog Wrap

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Don Dion posts his current insights on the stock, bond, commodity and currency markets in his RealMoney blog, anticipating which ETFs will be in play next.

Here are three of his blog posts from the past week:


Avoid the Small-Cap Schemers

Published 4/29/2011 3:08 p.m. EDT

For the second time this week, I've had to shake my head after reading a story about a "small firm in China" that turned out to be nothing more than a scam aimed at U.S. investors. An Associated Press article published today describes how the Securities and Exchange Commission has frozen the assets of the China Voice Holding Corp., a Ponzi scheme packaged as an investment opportunity in the fast-growing emerging market.

Earlier this week, an investigative piece by Bloomberg described how Wall Street short-sellers pounded China Agritech (CAGC) after realizing that the company's operations abroad were decidedly not what they appeared to be. Bloggers and reporters went abroad and found empty warehouses where the company supposedly had active branches.

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Though the majority of small-cap or OTC firms in China are obviously legitimate, it's tough to argue that there's not increased risk when betting on a small company that's located so far away. "Dual-listings," "cross-listings" and other factors sometimes allow thieves to materialize as seemingly legit operators. Add to these factors the already-volatile nature of small-cap firms and it becomes clear why it's good to limit security-specific risk.

I've seen quite a few new small-cap emerging market ETFs make their debuts in the past year, but it's best to stick with heavily traded, highly liquid products. The Guggenheim China Small Cap ETF (HAO) and the broader SPDR S&P Emerging Markets Small Cap ETF (EWX) are both liquid ETFs that help you gain exposure to small-cap companies abroad while minimizing your security-specific risk.

At the time of publication, Dion Money Management held no positions in the stocks mentioned.

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