February 2012
From The Director

Recently, world news has been dominated by the ongoing European Crisis and all its complexities. This month's article tries to make some of the major issues and potential solutions a little easier to understand.  The reason being that  understanding a topic more thoroughly puts you in a better position to decide what opportunities or dangers the situation may present for you and how to proceed accordingly.

As always, we welcome your feedback.  If you have any questions, or would like additional information, please do not hesitate to contact your financial advisor.  Should you not currently have an advisor at Select, please reply to this email and one of our senior consultants will contact you promptly.

Best Regards,

Imants Katlaps
Managing Director


By now, it's highly unlikely that you have not heard something of the European debt crisis.  In all of its complexity, for most people it may be difficult to comprehend exactly what is going on, when it started, who could be to blame, what, if anything, can be done, and how this crisis could affect you and your investments.  Here, we'll try to answer those questions in layman's terms.

The Euro Zone

On January 1, 1999, the euro was introduced as the new currency for use in the European Union.  To join the currency, member states had to qualify by meeting the terms of the treaty in terms of budget deficits, inflation, interest rates and other monetary requirements.  Of the 27 member states of the EU, currently the euro is a shared currency used by 17 of them.  These 17 countries are referred to as the "euro zone".   In early stages, the euro was used only in the stock markets, for financial transactions between banks and for cashless shopping (using checks or credit cards).  The euro notes and coins were introduced in January of 2002...

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