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What Mrs Watanabe can tell us about how to handle low returns

Lessons from Japan: early experience of ultra-low rates now relevant to investors around world

©The Financial Times Limited 2020 Nov 27, 2020 / 11:30 AM IST
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What Mrs Watanabe can tell us about how to handle low returns

Leo Lewis in Tokyo and Robin Wigglesworth in Oslo In the early 2000s, global fund managers had to anticipate the every move of “Mrs Watanabe” — a woman who did not exist. The period between 2002 and 2006, when the Bank of Japan’s zero-interest rate policy began to feel like a permanent fixture, was the heyday for this notional archetype of a conservative Japanese householder, dabbling in international markets to plug the gap left by low salaries and paltry interest rates. Other...

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