Is Australia Asian or Western? Good question, isn't it? Ahem, I've no idea either. But, Australia begins to prosper when it proclaims some years back as being in the Asia part of the continent. Deep down, I'm sure Australians are western. No doubt about that. Absolutely none whatsoever!
Economically, Australia has been performing well with the ascent of Asia and specifically China. After the 1997 financial crisis, Australia Dollar begins to accelerate its ascent. In the last five years or so, it did exceptionally well, partly due to its mineral resources as claimed by some economists (and the bulk of its buyers is China, naturally). I don't know for sure, I haven't been to Australia lately. The last time was probably 2005 when I went to Tasmania and enroute to Antarctica on a Qantas New Year countdown flight. I haven't been there since. That's some 6 years ago. How Australia have prosper since! Other than Japan, I don't usually make it a habit to go to a country that has a strong currency. That's just not a smart way of traveling. I love it when a country is in its knees and people are not too busy to serve me ;-) After Australia, I spent most of my time in China and now perhaps it's about time to exit soon; as soon as China floats the RMB. More of that later.
In the mean time, the A$ has not only risen in value, most financial investments in Australia as well. I remembered Australian properties used to be advertised in papers in the range of some A$100,000-A$300,000. Now, I only see a few selected investments at some A$ 1/2 - 1 million!!! That's double bonus for those who have bought the Australian properties! Lucky them! Even if you're not adventurous and instead leave your money in the bank, you'd have been well rewarded with the high interest rates over the years too, haven't you?
So, the overall picture is this. You don't really need to know much about Finance or Economics. All you need to know is if the country will thrive in the next 5-10 years. That's also one reason why the US$ is diving into deep ocean! Investors simply do not think US will recover from its massive debt in the next 5-10 years! I know, that's depressing... Sorry!!!
The only way to save yourself is to make wise move! Even if that includes literally moving to another country. If that's not possible, at least move your investments away from it if you're in a down trend! Bottom fishing is not my forte, so for those who thinks US has bottomed out, best of luck to you!
One of the best performing foreign currencies in the world of floating currencies. AUD is now on par with the US$ and is extremely popular with traders. Not only does it have a high interest rate, the capital gain from holding is higher than many other currencies. It has almost double since the 90s when I used to exchange quite a bit of AUD against S$ for my frequent trips to Australia despite the strong S$ against other major currencies. Way to go for the Down Under!
The Australian dollar is currently the fifth-most-traded currency in the world foreign exchange marketsbehind the US dollar, the euro, the yen and the pound sterling. The Australian dollar is popular with currency traders, because of the comparatively high interest rates in Australia, the relative freedom of the foreign exchange market from government intervention, the general stability of Australia's economy and political system, and the prevailing view that the Australian dollar offers diversification benefits in a portfolio containing the major world currencies, especially because of its greater exposure to Asian economies and the commodities cycle