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Check the maps, find the site, dig a hole, and pull a lovely piece of uranium out of the ground.

Hot stuff. It can fuel a nuclear generator. Or it can unleash all the excitement and performance of ... a rock.

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If brought into immediate physical proximity with the cranium, uranium won't do much more than get your attention.

It depends how you use it.

And so it goes with the euro.

This nuclear nugget was supposed to energize Europe, make it the Next Big Thing for investors - especially with the US economic boom growing long of tooth and Asia having lost some of its bite.

But, as Guy Halverson's cover story points out, euro, so far, translates "no-go."

It became the official currency of most European countries Jan. 1 and promised to eliminate inefficiencies in trade, accelerate mergers, and rein in wayward government spending.

And before it became official, the anticipation of a new Europe energized a lot of stock portfolios.

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Last spring, some of the hottest stocks anywhere came from companies in Spain, Italy, and Portugal - all euro-philes.

Now the euro seems to enjoy all the appeal of a rock.

But investing is not about short-term expectations, unless you have the attention span of a cocker spaniel.

The euro will probably measure up to its promise. The business benefits of a single currency are significant (Imagine different money for every state in the US), the US will likely slow down, and investors will start looking for blue-chip growth.

Investing may not be rock-et science, but it does take patience. A lump of uranium takes some fine tuning before it becomes nuclear fuel.

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