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  • Sometimes you wonder what they were thinking when they came up with some of these ETFS. Some are just plain weird. Others are wrongheaded. Others just don’t make sense or are faddish, like the Global X Fishing ETF, launched in May of 2011 to invest in the fishing industry — only to be shut last February after it failed to swim. Ditto for the Global X Farming ETF and the Food ETFs, both equally short-lived. Many are created as a “product” for the purpose of cashing in on the latest and greatest,

    Sometimes you wonder what they were thinking when they came up with some of these ETFs. Some are just plain weird.

  • in Fremont, Calif., is a retirement community catering to Chinese-American retirees. According to its website, “our focus on Chinese culture is reflected in everything we do.”The community features architecture based on the principles of  and activities include both Chinese pursuits like  and  as well as American standbys like bingo and bridge. The staff is Chinese- and English-speaking and health-care providers include several from China who are fluent in multiple languages and dialects.

    According to AARP, 78 million baby boomers are reaching retirement age. Read ahead to learn about the niche retirement communities serving the needs of silver-haired boomers.

  • Location: Kailua Bay, HawaiiPrice: $9.8 millionBedrooms: 5Bathrooms: 7Square Footage: 5,145This Hawaiian retreat was the “winter White House”  in December 2011. (From 2008 until 2010, the Obamas rented  each December. ) The house, which is currently on the market for nearly , is Asian-inspired with bamboo ceilings. In front there’s a lagoon-like pool and Jacuzzi, and out back is the ocean.

    Whether it’s “the Summer White House,” “the Winter White House,” a beach house or a fishing camp, presidents need to get away, too.

  • Summer is here, and along with high temperatures, shorts and flip-flops, another seasonal phenomenon is taking place — college students are graduating, and they’re taking their newly minted degrees into the real world in the hopes of landing a job. But what are their chances of finding work in their fields, or even finding jobs that don’t require them to ask if you want fries with that?Job seekers between ages 16 to 24 who are not enrolled in school and have attained a bachelor’s degree or highe

    Recent graduates with arts degrees face a jobless rate of 11.1 percent. With numbers like that, the degree probably seems useless. But many people have gone on to great success after earning “useless” degrees.

  • Number of franchises: 479Fee: $37,500Year started franchising: 1992Where do you go when that battery in your mobile phone needs to be replaced? “Not where you bought the device,” says Rod Tremelling, director of franchise development for Batteries Plus. “They will sell you a new device. Come to us, and we’ll help you extend the life of your product.”This place goes beyond AAs and D batteries – although if you need those, Batteries Plus will sell them , too. It stocks batteries for things you did

    Tucked among the tried-and-true franchise opportunities at the International Franchise Expo  — think fast-food and cafes — were some new and unique concepts that entrepreneurs were looking grow.

  • The lifting of Western sanctions on Myanmar, after it ended nearly 50 years of direct military rule, has pushed the door wide open for foreign investments into this resource rich country.Formerly known as Burma, the Southeast Asian country has attracted about $1.6 billion of foreign money over 2004-2010 with China its top investor. These inflows are expected to increase as more companies look to enter this frontier market that boasts of rich reserves of precious metals, oil and natural gas.A rec

    The lifting of Western sanctions on Myanmar, after it ended nearly 50 years of direct military rule, has pushed the door wide open for foreign investments into this resource rich country.

  • Other than danger posed by hurricanes, there isn’t much to dislike about island communities, with their seafood, beaches, nature sanctuaries, houses on stilts, submersed shipwrecks, and often with their pirate lore and history. Thanks to paparazzi following celebrities and politicians on their vacations, some island vacation destinations like Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, Mass., and off the left coast, Catalina, are fairly well known. We decided to take a look at some other water-bound locati

    We decided to take a look at some water-bound locations, beautiful isolated hamlets on land masses surrounded by water.

  • The term financial fraud usually brings to mind names like Bernie Madoff, Raj Rajaratnam and Allen Stanford, to name a few. All three men are now doing time in prison for their respective crimes. is serving 150 years for his $50 billion Ponzi scheme. found guilty of insider trading charges, was sentenced to 11 years behind bars. received a 110 year sentence for his $7 billion Ponzi scheme. However, these notorious cases are far from the only ones involving financial crimes. From money managers w

    While not every one of these Wall Street jailbirds had offices in downtown Manhattan, they all dealt in the financial world. Click ahead to see those who have traded in their pinstripes for prison stripes.

  • Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, forces natural gas and crude oil out of shale buried deep below the earth by using highly pressurized and treated water.The idea of fracking dates back to the 1860’s. But modern fracking really started in 1947 and with technological advancements in the past 15 years, it’s become a standard industry method to access natural gas in particular.To say that fracking is a controversial method would be an understatement. While many industry analysts argue it is it a s

    While many industry analysts argue that fracking is a safe and efficient way to tap a bountiful energy source, many environmentalists disagree.

  • Bert and John Jacobs designed their first t-shirts in 1989 and hawked them on the streets of Boston and at colleges along the East Coast. But for five years, success eluded them. Then, in 1994, they struck upon the idea to use a design of a cartoon figure called Jake and the motto “Life is good.” People seemed to embrace the simple message of optimism — the shirts were a hit at a local street fair and retailers soon became interested.Now Jake’s face and motto are on more than just shirts. You ca

    Many entrepreneurs with simple ideas and humble beginnings have been able to effectively turn those ideas into booming businesses.

  • The value of the average home in the U.S. in April was $147,300, according to the real estate website  The home of the professional athlete, however, is likely to be anything but average.The professional athlete is often a distinct type of home buyer who’s different from the average American, in part because the contract and endorsement money makes possible the purchase of colossal, multimillion-dollar homes. However, these athletes can have serious problems selling off real estate.A multimillio

    The average U.S. home value is $147,300, but a professional athlete's home is anything but average. Read ahead to see 10 of the coolest athlete homes on the market.

  • Location: Berkeley, Calif.This small and very green two-bedroom home designed by  incorporates more than 100 salvaged car roofs on its second-story walls. The roofs were harvested from gray cars that were left for scrap at junkyards. The awnings were formed from Dodge Caravan side windows. (The firm’s website points out that what was once America’s bestselling minivan is now one of junkyards’ most commonly found minivans.) The first floor exterior walls are lined with poplar bark, a waste produc

    As the world gets more crowded and landfills fill up more of the land, people are looking for ways to build homes using fewer raw materials and more repurposed old materials.

  • The Euro crisis has affected every part of the European economy, even in the rarified market of mega-yacht rentals in the Mediterranean. A glut of yachts for rent, coupled with the slowing global economy and the Euro crisis, is creating unprecedented bargains in the charter yacht business this summer. Yacht brokers say there are roughly 750 boats over 100-feet long docked on the shores of the Med this summer waiting for customers – twice the number of previous years. And there simply aren’t enou

    The slowing economy has led to some unprecedented bargains in the charter yacht business. Click ahead to see what kind of yacht is for rent at a discount this summer.

  • Sports fans hold strong opinions about which pro basketball players deserve their massive salaries, and which ones don’t. One fan, however, has gone further than the average barstool commentator --- Southern Utah University economics professor David Berri. Berri is co-author of the 2006 book “The Wages of Wins,” which determines which players are overpaid with a statistical method called "Wins Produced" that he and his co-authors developed.According to Berri, NBA players are paid for high scorin

    Sports fans hold strong opinions about basketball salaries, but economics professor David Berri developed a statistical method to see which players are the most overpaid.

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    We’ve put together a list of 10 countries with the highest unemployment rates among the world’s 50 largest economies. Click ahead top see the rankings.

  • For American consumers, a few names immediately spring to mind when considering great cars: the BMW 5 Series; the Honda Accord; the Toyota Highlander. With exquisite handling, great gas mileage and comfortable interiors, these are the go-to automobiles of enthusiasts and daily commuters alike.There are also lesser-known vehicles --- or at least less obvious ones --- that get the job done just as well but don’t command the same respect as their better-known counterparts. These underrated cars are

    These underrated cars may not be household nameplates, but they have as much to offer as those that have achieved legendary status.

  • There’s no doubt about it, gambling means big business. Casinos in the U.S. raked in $62.8 billion in 2011, according to Spectrum Gaming Group, a research and professional services firm. But with the good comes the bad for the gaming industry — cheating is also a big money maker for those who find ways to deceive the house. Thanks to technology, it’s getting harder to pull off. Casinos have cameras trained on every table and are always on the lookout for anything suspicious. But some people stil

    Cheaters are still finding ways to scam millions of dollars from casinos every year. Click ahead to see 10 methods these scammers use.

  • Not so long ago, a swimming pool was not much more than a cement swimmin’ hole. It used to be that you’d make a rectangular- or kidney-shaped concrete hole in the ground, fill it with water, and dump in some chemicals. But my how they’ve changed, from contemporary zero-edge pools like those formerly seen only in resorts to pools that imitate wetland ponds. Private swimming pools have become more sculptural and architectural, as seen in  for a luxury residential high-rise. The following collectio

    The following collection shows dazzling outdoor pools, including one belonging to a famous actor/producer, pools with views of oceans and nature, and a few fabulous indoor examples.

  • Global management consulting firm A.T. Kearney takes an annual look at which emerging markets are ripe for retail expansion.  ranks the top 30 emerging countries and grades them on many factors, including an assessment of country risk, population size, wealth as well as the country’s current retail saturation. With anemic growth in the U.S. and Europe, retailers realize that global expansion is more important than ever. This has prompted retailers to search the globe for untapped consumer market

    Global management consulting firm A.T. Kearney takes an annual look at which emerging markets are ripe for retail expansion.

  • Year: 1998-2002This fiscal fiasco was long in the making, but a key ingredient years before the crisis began was the Argentine peso’s peg to the U.S. dollar. In particular, an extremely favorable exchange rate (1 to 1) led to massive imports, which weakened the Argentine economy. Meanwhile, high government debt, both past and present, piled up, but the IMF kept loaning new money to Argentina and postponing payments on the old money.Finally, with the economy shrinking, and the IMF pressuring for

    Concerns about the soundness of the E.U. and its single currency have been roiling financial markets of all kinds on and off for more than a year.

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