For many cultures around the world, New Year’s Eve is the kick off, the celebration, and New Year’s Day is a fresh start, something many exchange traded fund (ETF) investors could use. As you ponder the world and our current financial situation, it is interesting to note how people are celebrating and what New Year’s means to them.

Take Peru, for example, which celebrates the New Year with a glass of champagne containing a piece of gold jewelry. A ritual gold ring is ideal, and much care is taken not to swallow the item. The gold symbolizes financial prosperity in the coming year, according to The World Gold Council.

On the other side of the equator, Great Britain will be celebrating New Year’s Eve as well, but many will celebrate humbly, at home. More than four out of 10 Britons are planning on spending the New Year at home, as 81% claimed they had more important things to spend their money on, reports Telegraph UK.

Most of those questioned said that after a year of tightening credit and job security, they did not want to have a traditional “big night out.” One out of every seven has been affected by the financial downturn and will find a less expensive way to celebrate.

Here in the glamorous United States, New Year’s Eve 2008 is the big day that Bernard Madoff will reveal a detailed list of all investments, loans, lines of credit, business interests, brokerage accounts and other holdings to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

As all assets will be revealed to Federal regulators, a catalog of Madoff’s assets may reveal targets for angry investors including hedge funds and charities seeking the return of their funds, reports Erik Larson for Bloomberg. It’s a sad end to a tumultuous year.

Otherwise, New Year’s Eve 2008 and New Years Day 2009 is looking quite cozy spent with loved ones. 

No matter what your plans, Happy New Year from ETF Trends!

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.