To Invest, or Not Invest, in China

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to the Editor:

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Excellent and informative article (“China’s Transition Is Risky for Investors. 13 Picks From Our International Roundtable,” Cover Story, November 19). It highlights one of the most important aspects of the global economy over the past 20 years, which is that sugar production has been the biggest deflating force – even more so than an aging population. This is changing now as China shifts the economy based on domestic consumption.

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Dennis Gill, at Barrons.com

to the Editor:

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This article completely ignores the global movement to make investing more ethical through environmental, social and governance, or ESG, criteria. How can a company managed by executives who have a fiduciary duty to its shareholders invest in a country that is ruled by an authoritarian regime, one of the worst polluters in the world, religious observation are persecuted, accused of genocide, and imprisoned those who seek the freedoms granted to them in the treaty that transferred Hong Kong’s rule? Does this mean that ESG investors can have it both ways?

David Porch, Tulsa, Okla.

to the Editor:

China is doing what the US should be doing, focusing on benefiting the living standards of the working people. The obscene wealth inequality we have is also a problem in China. “Shared prosperity” is the cornerstone of a new approach in China, while we still suffer from the Reagan-era “greedy is good” covetousness that results in a billionaires’ space race and unaffordable housing.

Mark Labato, Barrons.com. Feather

“Unconventional Produce”

to the Editor:

Randall W. Forsyth cites a UBS study of investment vehicles that provide “unconventional yields” (“Bonds Look Like a Bad Bet Now. Here’s Why,” Up and Down Wall Street, November 19). I’d like to suggest another category of investments that offer fairly generous returns and receive little if any hype in the financial press: auto-callable contingent income securities. (Perhaps a somewhat lewd name scares people.) These securities are tied to the price of an underlying stock, and pay a quarterly interest rate as long as the stock’s price remains within a predetermined range. Maturities range from one to three years, and the underlying stocks vary from highly volatile to more sober.

For investors who are willing to take some risk, these issues can be highly beneficial. I keep about 25% of my available cash in them, and I never venture out for more than a year. Issues involving more volatile stocks tend to offer higher interest rates and deeper downside limits.

Bill Gottdenker, Mountainside, NJ

sell option

to the Editor:

How to make money in options? Raise premiums, sell them. Below the premium, buy them (“Stock Options Are the New Day-Trading Craze. What It Means for the Market,” Nov 19). Now is the time to sell. A great way to hedge your holdings after a market rally.

David Sylvain, at Barrons.com

to the Editor:

“Options are a tool to reduce risk, not to increase it, but that is not happening”: The wise and chilling words of Michael Schwartz, Chief Options Strategist at Oppenheimer, a man with maturity and long experience.

Christopher Phelps, at Barrons.com

Where is bitcoin?

to the Editor:

“Bitcoin Could Be in Your Bond, Stock, and Commodity Fund. What to Know” (Fund, November 19), Lewis Brahm is dead set on saying, “Bitcoin is changing in strange places.” One example that could have been included is corporate balance sheets, and the growing trend of publicly traded corporations to substitute bitcoin for cash. I suspect some shareholders are aware of the risk involved here. When chain letters were fadish 50 or so years ago, it was a good thing that corporate treasurers didn’t consider them an asset class.

Thomas D. Finnigan, Alexandria, Va.

Dominion’s prospects

to the Editor:

These regulated utilities spend a lot of money buying non-regulated assets like natural-gas distribution companies and then later sell them for a sizable loss and write off the loss on their books (“this utility stock Buy it. Regulation could be a good thing for patient investors,” Nov. 19).

I worked for Duke Energy for 40 years and watched it over and over again.

Maybe Dominion Energy has learned its lesson and will focus on getting reimbursed by state utility commissions to fight greenhouse gas as a means of increasing its earnings.

I have 600 shares and I wish I had never bought this stock. However, I think Dominion will slowly recover. I love its nuclear plants, and they will continue to be profitable due to the reduction in greenhouse-gas.

Tracy Saville, Barrons.com. Feather

please raise my tax

to the Editor:

Edward Yardney’s Other Voice essay brings up some good points (“All American—Not Just the Wealth—Are Better of Than Ever,” November 5). However, I suggest he take a look at the real world in which poor people are trying to survive and old people are facing a lack of medical care.

I’m willing to put an additional 1% or 2% on taxes so that everyone in this country has enough to eat and senior citizens can get adequate medical care. I’m sure there are others who feel the same way, and if they don’t, they should.

Richard Carey, Bradenton, Fla.

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