This blog post originally appeared on RealMoney Silver on May 20 at 8:13 a.m. EDT.
It was another fun segment on "Fast Money" last night with Melissa and the gang.
The subject was my renewed affinity surrounding the Japanese stock market.
But, first, a housekeeping item.Melissa seemed to be of the view that I had been long Japan since late 2010, which is not the case at all (even though I was confused as well!). Factually, my interest in the land of the rising sun was first disclosed on May 2, 2011, after receiving an interesting email from Barton Biggs. In that column, I outlined why I began buying the Japanese market on that day. One of the main catalysts was the investment ramifications of the March 11 earthquake and the resulting nuclear accident. I am not underwater on my investment in Japan; I currently have a small gain (which was larger a week ago!). I am sure that Mel will correct her impression on my next appearance in a week or so! My presentation started with a haiku, which, in Japanese poetry, describes the combination of content, form and language into a compact and meaningful manner. I began by saying that the Japanese stock market is boring, frustrating and painful but, in the fullness of time, could make investors rich. Bottoms are made on very bad news, and tops are made on good news. In my view, the news in Japan is not likely to get worse. In terms of an actionable idea, I am long the iShares MSCI Japan Index Fund (EWJ) and investment bank Nomura Holdings (NMR). The latter is an interesting speculation priced below $5 a share. (Nomura shares sold at $22 in April 2007, at over $9 a share in 2009 and over $8 a share in early 2010.) The investment bank stands to profit if the Japanese rebuild is as strong as I document. I first showed a chart of the Nikkei. In looking at this chart, it is clear that the Japanese stock market has experienced one of the most drawn out and pronounced secular bear markets in history. One can argue that no country in modern history has moved so swiftly from worldwide adulation to total dismissal, or even contempt, as did Japan.
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