You have your brokerage accounts and you’ve shaved your trading costs to the bone. You’re a savvy investor with a balanced portfolio, and you understand currency markets the way an 11 year old understands Pokemon evolutions. In short, you’re no n00b when it comes to investing.

But what about Asian markets? You may know everything you need to know about the Dow, NASDAQ and S&P, but do you know enough about the SSE?

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Image by Steve Webel

The Shanghai Stock Exchange is China’s largest stock exchange, though its fellow exchanges — Shenzhen Stock Exchange and Hong Kong Stock Exchange — help to round out Chinese investment opportunities. China’s growth has been astronomical since the 1980s, and as the third-largest GDP in the world (second only to the United States and Japan), the Chinese economy is one area you can’t afford to miss if you’re looking to build true, long-lasting wealth — or just to maintain principal for those with a more modest approach to wealth management and investment.

The Chinese markets are exactly 12 hours apart from the U.S. markets, so be prepared to start your day very late if you’re going to watch the Shanghai, Shenzhen, or Hong Kong stock exchanges. Trading on the SSE starts at 9:15 a.m. Shanghai time, so if you’re in New York, that’s 9:15 p.m., and if you’re in Los Angeles, well, you’re still stuck in rush hour traffic at 6:15 p.m.

Make sure you have your mobile broadband device active and connected when the Chinese market starts the day, and don’t get into a car accident while monitoring the market’s opening.

You can’t just open an e-Trade account and get started in the Asian stock markets. In China, for instance, you need to be a citizen to invest, or use a specific type of broker. The average American investor will find the process difficult, but here’s where research pays off.

The Asian Equity Research Institute, or AERI, provides a subscription-based newsletter service for investors who want to jump into Asian markets. A recent snippet of advice from AERI’s September 20, 2010, newsletter includes the following: “This week, among the key industries, the Real Estate sector had the least drop of 0.85%, while Coal (Mining) sector went down 4.85%, the largest drop. (Using arithmetic average method to calculate component range increase)” – accompanied by a graphical representation of data.

AERI’s series of newsletters give on-the-ground advice from specialists in-country who monitor the market, giving you valuable data for making money in this growth area.

Image: Katrina.Tuliao