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Are those assets . . . real?

To avoid nasty - and possibly costly - surprises in your investing, don't be afraid to look closer and ask probing questions.

Just as South Koreans regard plastic surgery as something common and normal - with ads found everywhere in Seoul - companies in general are not above doing some "cosmetic modification" to make their financial statements look better.

I RECENTLY returned from South Korea, where people are apparently so obsessed with their looks that plastic surgery is very common - and it's considered perfectly fine if you have gone under the knife to look better. The trend seems to be catching on in other Asian countries.

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