Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Why Gold Could Soar Another 353%

By Justin Spittler

Gold is on the rise again. It’s climbed for two straight weeks, and it’s now up nearly 5% since December 15. Many precious metals investors couldn’t be happier about this. You see, gold stormed out of the gate last year. It had its strongest first quarter since 1986. By the end of June, it had risen 25%. Things were looking up. Then, the market changed course. Gold plunged 18% in just four months. Last month, it hit its lowest level since last February.

• The sharp pullback spooked precious metals investors….
But regular Dispatch readers knew that gold would rebound. After such an explosive start to 2016, it was only natural for gold to “take a breather.” We urged you to not lose sight of the big picture. As we often remind you, gold’s a safe-haven asset. Investors buy it when they’re worried about the economy, financial system, or politics. And right now, investors have plenty of reasons to be worried, even if some are still enjoying the “Trump Honeymoon” phase.

• Louis James thinks gold will keep rising….
Louis is our chief resource expert. He is the editor of International Speculator and Casey Resource Investor, our advisories dedicated to resource stocks with big upside. According to Louis, gold has struggled recently because investors expect interest rates to rise. They have good reason to think this, too. After all, the Federal Reserve just raised its key interest rate… but for only the second time since 2006. It also said that it plans to lift rates three more times this year. Conventional wisdom tells us that this is bad for gold. Since gold doesn’t pay interest like a bond, most investors don’t want to own it when rates are rising or are likely to rise.

• According to Louis, the market has already “priced in” higher interest rates….
This means gold shouldn’t fall if the Fed sticks to its plan and raises rates three more times this year. Of course, that’s a big “if.” Heading into last year, the Fed said it wanted to raise rates four times. But it only raised rates once last year, and it waited until the eleventh hour to pull the trigger. We wouldn’t be surprised if the Fed sits on its hands again. If that happens, investors will know something is very wrong with the economy. Many folks will start buying gold hand over fist.

• But that’s not the only reason Louis is bullish on gold.…
Last week, he gave his subscribers several reasons why gold should keep rising:
➢ Rumors of new gold curbs in India have not panned out.
➢ Fear of the fall of New Rome [the EU] is driving Europeans into [U.S.] dollars and gold.
➢ The escalation of the “other” Cold War with China increases uncertainty in global markets.
➢ Even Trump’s best ideas (cuts in taxes and regulations) will cause disruptions that will have to work through the economy before things can improve.
• Gold is incredibly cheap, too.…
Louis explains:
Gold needs to rise another US$900 or so to hit a new inflation-adjusted high. Given the trillions and trillions of new dollars, euros, yen, yuan, and so forth printed over the last 45 years, it should do much more than that.
Right now, gold is trading for about $1,180. In other words, it would have to climb about 75% to reach its previous inflation-adjusted high.
But Louis thinks gold could race well past that in the coming years:
Many analysts see the current market as analogous to the great gold bull of the 1970s, only bigger and longer. Adjusted for inflation, gold rose about 353% from its mid-1970s trough to its 1980 peak. If that pattern repeats itself, gold would have to rise from its December 2015 low to just above US$5,200 per ounce by October 2022.
If gold does anything close to what it did during the ’70s, precious metals investors could see explosive gains in the very near future. Just take a look at the chart below.




• Louis is so convinced that gold’s headed higher, he just made a giant bet on it…

He wrote last week:
I’m so sure, I put my money where my mouth is last week. As advised last month, I entered the market during the peak of Tax Loss Season. I’m not allowed to buy the same stocks I recommend (to avoid possible conflicts of interest), so I bought ETFs instead. In fact, I put about twice as much of my own cash into these proxies for gold stocks than I ever put into gold stocks before.
Louis also plans to buy more gold at the first chance he gets:
I think that 2016 was an overture for what’s ahead. I intend to profit from it. And I’m not worried about any fluctuations in the near term. If prices drop, I’ll hope to buy more. If prices rise, it’s off to the races.
• You, too, can make huge profits from rising gold prices.…
The key is to buy gold mining stocks. Gold miners are leveraged to the price of gold. This means gold doesn’t have to rise much for them to take off. During the 2000–2003 gold bull market, the average gold stock gained 602%. The best ones soared 1,000% or more. Of course, not every gold company is a winner. In fact, many gold stocks are total duds. That’s because gold mining is an incredibly difficult business. To protect your capital and make monster gains, you have to own the right gold stocks. Unfortunately, most folks have no clue what to look for in a gold stock.

That’s where we can help.…

You see, Louis is a true industry insider. He’s visited mining projects all around the world. He’s on a first name basis with many of the world’s top mining CEOs. And he understands the geology inside and out. Louis also has a proprietary system for finding the best gold stocks. Casey Research founder Doug Casey actually taught Louis this system… after he spent decades perfecting it.

You can learn more about Louis’ system by clicking here. As you’ll see, it’s delivered giant gains over and over again. Just don’t wait too long. Gold probably won’t stay cheap for much longer… meaning you’ll want to take action soon to have a shot at truly life changing gains. Click here to learn more.

Chart of the Day

Gold stocks are dirt cheap, too.

Today’s chart compares the NYSE Arca Gold BUGS Index (HUI), which tracks large gold stocks, with the price of gold. The lower the ratio, the cheaper gold stocks are relative to gold. According to this ratio, gold stocks are cheaper today than they ever were during the dot com bubble. They’re also cheaper than they ever were during the last housing bubble.

Keep in mind, stocks were trading near record highs during these periods. Most investors were extremely bullish. They owned too many mainstream stocks and not enough gold stocks. Right now, this key ratio is lower than it was during either period. This tells us that today could be one of the best times to buy gold stocks since the turn of the century.

If you would like to add gold stocks to your portfolio, we encourage you to sign up for International Speculator. As we said earlier, this is our publication dedicated to gold stocks with the most upside. 

Click here to begin your risk-free trial.



The article Why Gold Could Soar Another 353% was originally published at caseyresearch.com.




Stock & ETF Trading Signals

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Five Easy Ways to Make Your Finances Less Fragile

By Justin Spittler

A few days ago, we sat down with E.B. Tucker, editor of The Casey Report, to talk shop. The conversation was so good, we just had to share it with you. In the following interview, E.B. talks about how he manages his own money. As you’ll see, he has a unique, yet intuitive approach to investing, especially when it comes to asset allocation. We hope you find this conversation as useful as we did. Also, make sure you read until the end to learn about one of E.B.’s top speculations.

Justin Spittler: I want to talk investment strategy. Could you tell us how you manage your own money?

E.B. Tucker: I like to break up my investments into buckets. I have about five of them. I have one for gold, one for permanent life insurance, one for real estate, and two for stocks. I don’t limit myself to a certain number of buckets. But I’ve had very good results looking at asset allocation this way.

J.S.: Can you tell us a little more about your “buckets”? Why do you break them up this way? What kind of assets go into each?

E.B.: First of all, the buckets change with life and market conditions. For example, I put most of my capital into a real estate bucket in 2009–2010. As you know, the U.S. housing market had just crashed. If you had the capital, you could buy some houses for next to nothing. And that’s exactly what I did.…

During that period, I bought six single-family homes. I bought one of them for just $10 per square foot. I spent another $10 per square foot fixing the place up, so I put about $20 per square foot all in. The guy before me paid $160 per square foot and ended up in foreclosure. He bought near the peak of the housing bubble. My timing was much better. Today, I’m not adding to my real estate bucket. There just aren’t that many great deals out there. This is key to how I invest. Rather than fight the market, I let it determine how I allocate my money.

J.S.: Can you tell us about some of your other buckets?

E.B.: Well, I have a bucket for gold. But I don’t view gold as an investment designed to make money. I see it as a key long term asset. When gold is cheap, I pour money into this asset. I don’t think about this bucket often. I just get the gold, vault it, and move on.

I also have a permanent life insurance bucket. This bucket is important because I have a few people that depend on me. If I die, they’re out of luck. So, I need to have life insurance. Specifically, I own a couple dividend-paying life insurance policies. A lot of people consider these terrible investments, but that’s because they don’t understand them.

You see, any extra money that I put in this bucket on top of the minimum annual premium grows 6% to 7% per year, tax free. If I don’t use the policy, over time I’ll have a fairly large amount of cash in that bucket that I spend, borrow from, or use to buy more life insurance. And, of course, if the worst does happen, my dependents receive a large death benefit. This money will help them get by in my absence.

J.S.: Interesting, it sounds like this bucket protects you and gives you flexibility.

E.B.: Exactly. The reason I invest this way is because it makes me less “fragile." Now, I still have plenty of exposure to rising asset prices in other buckets. But, if you’re smart about when and how much you add to each bucket, your “boring” buckets will eventually balance out your more speculative buckets. The result is a more stable financial situation without giving up the quest for profits. I like investing this way because I no longer worry about trying to maximize my profit on every trade or every time the market changes course.

J.S.: Let’s talk about your stock buckets next. I’m sure our readers would love to know what’s in your portfolio. 

E.B.: Sure. As I said earlier, I have two of them. One is for stocks I plan to hold for the long haul. I don’t trade these stocks often. I’m only a seller if something happens that changes the business landscape for one of the companies. I typically own between six and eight of these companies at any given time. One of my favorite long term holdings is a company that make crackers you buy at the gas station and pretzels that go well with beer. Last year, the company acquired a business that sells almonds and other nuts. It’s a great company. And it now pays me a decent yield of 3%, since I’ve owned the stock for a few years.

J.S.: What are some of your other long term stock holdings?

E.B.: I also have shares of one of the country’s best regional banks. And I own shares of one of America’s most iconic companies. This company is basically a drug dealer, peddling sugar and caffeine from small rented stores. You get the picture. Now, these aren’t the most exciting investments in the world but, over time, you see the value of owning rock solid American businesses.

You end up with companies that slowly capture market share from their competitors, invest money back into their businesses, and pay dividends. I don’t see how you can get hurt having this bucket represent 20% of your net worth. It’s also worth mentioning that I like to own these stocks in company sponsored dividend reinvestment plans.

Since these are long-term investments, I don’t want to log into a brokerage account and see them next to my trading positions every day. Holding them directly on the company’s books means all my dividends get reinvested into additional shares, usually at no cost. The final benefit is I don’t have to worry about my broker going bust. Holding shares directly registered with a company means there’s nobody standing between you and your investment.

J.S.: That leaves us with your speculation bucket. Can you tell us a little bit about this one?

E.B.: Ah, my favorite. I’ve done fairly well speculating. The key here is separating good speculations from bad ones. As a professional investor, a lot of opportunities come across my desk. Most of them aren’t worth my time. You have to pass on a lot of bad speculations before you find a great one.

J.S.: Can you tell us about one of your better speculations?

E.B.: At a lunch meeting with my banker in 2009, he told me about a company in town that invented a hurricane simulation machine. They placed a few in malls, shopping centers, arcades, and museums and charged $2 per customer. The test machines took in $4,000 to $5,000 per month. The company built each machine for around $12,000. The company had trouble getting a bank to lend it money. It was right after the financial crisis, after all.

I met with the company, saw the machine, and looked at their business plan. A few other investors and I funded the company. We bought preferred shares that paid a 20% dividend. We also received a portion of the company’s profits for the first two years, which boosted our initial returns. Seven and a half years later, I’m still collecting monthly checks from the company. I’ve more than doubled my money, and I could sell the shares anytime I want.

J.S.: Have you done any other speculations like this recently?

E.B.: Yes. Before I got into this business, I ran a gold fund for a few years. My former business partner from that fund just took his gold streaming and royalty company public. Our company policy does not allow me to share the name of the stock, since I own shares. I’m involved in that deal to the tune of about 1% of the company. I think there’s a realistic shot that I’ll make 5–10 times my money.

J.S.: Most people would kill to make that much on a single investment. Why are you so optimistic?

E.B.: I think it’s a good time to speculate on small gold and silver stocks. I especially like royalty and streaming companies like this one. They avoid the tremendous financial burdens that mining companies face.
I also look for companies that have a winning strategy but that are overlooked by the market. If these companies execute, my odds of success go up.

But you need to have cash on hand, or what some people call dry powder, to take advantage of these opportunities. That’s because great deals usually require quick action. When one of my speculations is a winner, I’ll take profits and put them into other buckets, depending on what looks good at the time. I almost never leave the entire profit in the bucket it came from.

J.S.: Got it. So, do you like to keep a certain percentage in each bucket at any given time? What rules, if any, do you follow?

E.B.: I don’t really follow a set of rules when it comes to asset allocation. That makes it hard to take advantage of huge opportunities when they appear. For example, I wouldn’t have invested in the Florida rental real estate market in 2009 and 2010 if I stuck to strict rules. When in doubt, you can divide new money equally between buckets. You can also sit on cash and wait for buying opportunities to present themselves.

J.S.: What kind of investments do you focus on in The Casey Report?

E.B.: That’s your most valuable question so far. In The Casey Report, we fill the long-term stock and speculative stock buckets. We try to predict what the investing world will be like one to two years down the road. We then buy stocks that will benefit most as the world changes. In stock investing, that’s the sweet spot where you find the most value in the shortest period of time.

Our goal is to beat the S&P 500 every year. We want our readers to have enough success to irritate their wealth manager. Hopefully, they can use that success and the lessons learned in The Casey Report to beat the market in their asset buckets.

J.S.: Thank you for your time, E.B.

E.B.: You’re welcome.

In August, E.B. told his readers to buy a small North American mining company. At the time, few investors knew about the company. Its stock traded for less than $1. But E.B. said the stock wouldn’t fly under the radar for much longer…and he was exactly right.

In just four months, this stock has soared 115%. Normally, we wouldn’t encourage you to buy a stock after an explosive run like this. But E.B. recently went on record and said, “the stock doubled, it will double again.” To see why, watch this brand-new presentation. It talks about an event that E.B. says will take place exactly one month from today. If the event goes as expected, this stock should skyrocket again.

You can learn more about this event, including how to take advantage of it, by watching this FREE video.

The article Five Easy Ways to Make Your Finances Less Fragile was originally published at caseyresearch.com.



Stock & ETF Trading Signals

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Wachenheim's Simple Insider Tricks Can Vastly Improve Your Portfolio

Edgar Wachenheim is one of the best investors you’ve never of. He keeps a low profile, but his track record is outstanding. Wachenheim is the chairman and chief portfolio manager of New York’s Greenhaven Associates. The firm manages about $5.5 billion. And over the past 25 years, it’s posted average annual returns of almost 19%.

I’m always interested in studying how great investors do what they do. In this case, Wachenheim made it easy. He wrote a book: Common Stocks & Common Sense (2016). I’m an investing junkie. I’ve read hundreds of books, interviews, and articles about great investors and their process. And it is striking how much they have in common and what it can teach you.

How to Avoid Mediocre Results

One of the things all great investors have in common is the ability to buck prevailing opinions.
In his book, Wachenheim tells the story of a friend he meets with periodically. “Danny” has been in the investing business for 40 years. He is very smart. He has an Ivy League education. His resume is top gun all the way.

Yet, his investment results are mediocre at best. Why? Because Danny can’t get past today’s concerns.
Wachenheim says that they often talk stocks. Wachenheim will mention one that he likes – usually a depressed stock facing some temporary problem. Danny never buys these stocks. Instead, he waits for some signal that the problem has eased before he buys. Naturally, by that time, the best of the stock’s appreciation story is over. Danny confines himself to mediocrity because he waits until the coast is clear.

My own experience is similar. I can’t tell you how many times I get feedback from a reader that will criticize a stock pick by citing all the usual problems with it that anybody can find in a newspaper. Wachenheim (and I) didn’t get our track records buying other people’s prettily wrapped merchandise. We bought what was on sale – because most people weren’t buying.

When You Should Never Sell

Another trait that all the great investors have is the ability to weather market declines. They don’t sell if there is no fundamental reason to do so. Yet most amateurs (and even some pros) will sell a stock for no other reason than it’s gone down in price.

Wachenheim writes about a friend who sold stock in the 1987 crash, which is a good example because almost all stocks went down that day. (Thus, there were no fundamental – or stock-specific – reasons driving the decline.)

Here is Wachenheim:
I was dismayed by my friend’s logic – or, rather, lack of logic. Let us assume that my friend owned stock X on October 18 because he believed it was worth $14 versus its then selling price of $10. Let us further assume that the stock fell in line with the market on October 19 and closed the day at $7.90. My friend intended to sell the stock at $7.90 even though a day earlier he believed it was worth $14. Such a sale would be nonsensical.
It is nonsensical. And yet a lot of people do it. Wachenheim and I don’t. When the market offers our goods on sale, we’re more likely to buy more than sell. Good ideas are hard to find. Don’t let the market take you out of them.

Case Studies Reveal All of Wachenheim’s Tricks

Most of Wachenheim’s book is given over to case studies of stocks he’s owned: IBM, Interstate Bakeries, Centex, AIG, Lowe’s, Whirlpool, Boeing, and more. He tells you his thinking at the time he bought them. You get to see how these play out and how Wachenheim handled the rallies, dips, and changing stories.

Unless you are an investing junkie like me, you might not find the case studies a thrilling read. But there are lots of good lessons in these chapters. For example, Wachenheim bought tech giant IBM and sold it at $20 about a year later for a 40% gain. But he realized he made a mistake. The IBM story was better than he thought. So he bought it back at a higher price – about $24 per share. Eventually, the shares would trade for $60.

This is something that is very hard to do. Most investors would anchor on what they sold IBM for and would not buy it back that much higher. But great investors never think in terms of price alone. It is always price as compared to what they think a stock could be worth.

Another interesting lesson from IBM is that the once great company struggled for a good 15 year span. Wachenheim uses it to show that you can’t hold any stock forever – that you have to watch it:
I strongly disagree that the shares of most wonderful businesses can be held forever because most wonderful businesses become less wonderful over time – and many eventually run into difficulties. IBM is one example of why most stocks cannot be held forever. Kodak is another. Coca Cola is a third.
The case study on Interstate Bakeries (IB) shows the importance of betting on managers who have skin in the game. Wachenheim became interested in IB when an investor named Howard Berkowitz bought 12% of the stock, became chairman of the board, and appointed a new CEO. Berkowitz had a good track record, and Wachenheim knew he wouldn’t put that much in one company unless he was sure he had a good thing.
Long story short, Wachenheim buys in too, after doing his own analysis. Two years later, Berkowitz sells the company and Greenhaven more than doubles its money.

This is a tried and true part of my own playbook. Of the six stocks we own in Bonner Private Portfolio, investors control four of them. They have skin in the game. And that’s plenty of motivation to make good on the shares. In his case studies, Wachenheim doesn’t just focus on successes. There are failures, too. But Wachenheim makes an important point about failure: Just because you lose money on a stock doesn’t mean you made a mistake. There is luck involved in markets. Sometimes you get unlucky. You get dealt a pair of aces. And you still lose to three tens. It happens. It doesn’t mean when you get another pair of aces that you shouldn’t play.

Some Essential Dos and Don’ts

After the case studies, Wachenheim lists 25 bullet points of dos and don’ts.....Here’s a sampling

*Be wary of companies that have been largely ‘put together’ through recent acquisitions.
One reason is that there is a good chance that the acquiring company had to pay high prices to make those acquisitions. In which case, future returns are not likely to be attractive.

*Do not be overly influenced by the media.
Publications of all sorts regularly call for disasters, most of which never materialize. You have to be able to screen out big-picture stuff that nobody can predict. Focus on finding good businesses at good prices.

*Favor managements who are highly incentivized to achieve higher prices for their shares.
The first thing I read when I look at a company is the “proxy.” That document tells you how management gets paid. It also tells you how much stock they own. Incentives rule the world. Don’t bother investing with people who have no incentive to work for you.

*Do not attempt to time the stock market.
An oldie and a goodie, and yet it is amazing how many people are still trying to “call the market.” They’re wasting your time.

*Structure a concentrated portfolio.
Wachenheim points out that a portfolio of 15 to 25 stocks ought to do better than 30 to 50. Again, good ideas are hard to find. Don’t spread yourself thin. I go even further than Wachenheim – 10 to 15 ideas are all you need. Maybe even less. In my personal portfolio, I own just seven stocks at the moment.

There is, of course, a lot more in the book than I can summarize here. If you are interested in becoming a better investor, then you should read Common Stocks & Common Sense. It’ll be good for you, like eating your vegetables. Otherwise, you ignore its lessons at your peril. Don’t confine yourself to the lot of mediocrity. Learn from the best.

Sincerely,
Chris Mayer

As we said earlier, Chris has one of the top track records in the business. And for the first time ever, he’s hosting a brand new investment masterclass. In this series of short training videos, Chris will show you how to find the next Starbucks, Apple, or Berkshire Hathaway. Stocks with the potential to return 10x your money or possibly more long before Wall Street is paying any attention to them.

Chris is even going to reveal six stocks from his watch list to those who participate.

Chris’ FREE masterclass starts tomorrow. Click Here to Reserve Your Spot


The article Weekend Edition: These Simple Insider Tricks Can Vastly Improve Your Returns was originally published at caseyresearch.com.






Sunday, August 28, 2016

The Financial Winter is Nearing

Weathering Out Winter
Nature functions in cycles. Each 24 hour period can be divided into smaller cycles of morning, afternoon, evening, and night. The whole year can be divided into seasonal cycles. Similarly, one’s life can also be divided into cycles. Cycles are abundant in nature – we just have to spot them, understand them, and be prepared for them, because they happen whether we like it or not. Likewise, economic experts have noticed that the world also follows different cycles. An important pioneer in this field was the Russian social economist, Nikolai Kondratiev, also called Nikolai Kondratieff, a relatively unknown genius.

Who Is Kondratiev?
Geniuses have been known to defend their principles and beliefs, even at the cost of losing their lives; they may die but their legacy lives on, as did Kondratiev. He was an economist who laid down his life defending his beliefs. He was the founding director of the Institute of Conjuncture, a famous research institution, which was located in Moscow. He devised a five year plan for the development of agriculture in Russia from 1923-1925.

His book, “The Major Economic Cycles,” was published 1925, in which his policies were in stark contrast to that of Stalin’s. As a result of this, Kondratiev was arrested in 1930 and given a prison sentence. This sentence was reviewed, and, consequently, he was executed in 1938. What a tragic loss of such a genius at only 42 years of age. He was executed because his research proved him right and Stalin wrong! Nonetheless, his legacy lives on and, in 1939 Joseph Schumpeter named the waves Kondratiev Waves, also known as K-Waves.

What Are Kondratiev Waves?
Investopedia defines the Kondratieff Wave as, “A long term cycle present in capitalist economies that represents long term, high growth and low growth economic periods.” The initial study by Kondratiev was based on the European agricultural commodity and copper prices. He noticed this period of evolution and self correction in the economic activity of the capitalist nations and felt it was important to document.
Chart 1 CNA

These waves are long cycles, lasting 50-60 years and consisting of various phases that are repetitive in nature. They are divided into four primary cycles:

Spring Inflationary growth phase: The first wave starts after a depressed economic state. With growth comes inflation. This phase sees stable prices, stable interest rates and a rising stock market, which is led by strong corporate profits and technological innovations. This phase generally lasts for 25 years.

Summer Stagflation (Recession): This phase witnesses wars such as the War of 1812, the Civil War, the World Wars and the Vietnam War. War leads to a shortage of resources, which leads to rising prices, rising interest rates and higher debt, and because of these factors, companies’ profits decline.

Autumn Deflationary Growth (Plateau period): After the end of war, people want economic stability. While the economy sees growth in selective sectors, this period also witnesses social and technological innovations. Prices fall and interest rates are low, which leads to higher debt and consumption. At the same time, companies’ profits rise, resulting in a strong stock market. All of these excesses end with a major speculative bubble.

Winter Depression: This is a period of correcting the excesses of the past and preparing the foundation for future growth. Prices fall, profits decline and stock markets correct to the downside. However, this period also refines the technologies of the past with innovation, making it cheaper and more available for the masses. Accuracy Of The Cycle Over The Last 200 Years

The K-Waves have stood the test of time. They have correctly identified various periods of important economic activity within the past 200 years. The chart below outlines its accuracy.

Very few cycles in history are as accurate as the Kondratiev waves.
Chart 2 CNA

Criticism Of The Kondratiev Waves
No principle in the world is left unchallenged. Similarly, there are a few critics of the K-Waves who consider it useful only for the pre-WWII era. They believe that the current monetary tools, which are at the disposal of the monetary agencies, can alter the performance of these waves. There is also a difference of opinion regarding the timing of the start of the waves.

The Wave is Being Pushed Ahead But the Mood Confirms a Kondratiev Winter
Chart 3 CNA
Chart 4 CNA
A closer study reveals that the cycles are being pushed forward temporarily. Any intervention in the natural cycle unleashes the wrath of nature, and the current phase of economic excess will also end in a similar correction. The K-Wave winter cycle that started in 2000 was aligned with the dot-com bubble.

The current stock market rise is fueled by the easy monetary policy of the global central banks. Barring a small period of time from 2005-2007 when the mood of the public was optimistic, the winter had been spent with people in a depressed social mood. The stock market rally from 2009-2015 will be perceived as the most hated rally and the one most laden with fear.

Every dip of a few hundred points in the stock market starts with a comparison to the Great Recession of 2007-2009. The mood exudes fear and disbelief that the efforts of the central banks have not been successful and are unable to thwart off the winter, as predicted by the K-Waves. The winter is here and is reflected in the depressed social mood.

How To Weather Out Brutal Winter
In the last phase of the winter cycle, from 2016-2020, which is likely to test us, the stock market top is in place. Global economic activity has peaked, terrorism further threatens our lives, geopolitical risks have risen, the current levels of debt across the developed world are unmanageable, and a legitimate threat of a currency war occurring will all end with the “The Great Reset.” Gold will be likely to perform better during this winter cycle. Get in love with the yellow metal; it’s the blanket which will help you withstand the winter.

Conclusion
Cycles are generally repetitive forces that give us an insight into the future so we can be prepared to face it and prosper. Without excessive intervention, nature is very forgiving while correcting the excesses. But if one meddles with nature, it can be merciless during the correction. The current economic condition will end with yet another reset in the financial markets. Prices will not rise forever, and a correction will take hold eventually. Until then, we follow and trade accordingly. I will suggest the necessary steps to avoid losses and prosper from market turmoil when it unfolds.

Follow my analysis at:  The Gold & Oil Guy.com

Chris Vermeulen



Stock & ETF Trading Signals

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Will The Bubble Pop Regardless if the Fed Never Raises Rates?

The current overall SPX pattern is a broadening top, which is usually a very reliable pattern. The market continues to look as though it wants to go even lower. The momentum shift, which I have been expecting, has been slow to start, however one should be prepared for this occurrence ahead of time. Nevertheless, the large divergences which I have been viewing, in my proprietary oscillators, are most real, and, once the selling starts, the momentum should quickly move to the downside.

The current market is being supported by a lack of sellers more so than aggressive buying. With investors still thinking that there is no other place to store their money, they appear to be content with leaving their money with risk on assets within a market that is pushing to all time highs. This type of mentality usually leads to large losses rather than big gains. There isn’t any real opportunity for growth in the SPX that I can see right now.

Dow Theory: Market Indexes Must Confirm Each Other
The Dow Theory was formulated from a series of Wall Street Journal editorials which were authored by Charles H. Dow from 1900 until the time of his death in 1902. These editorials reflected Dow’s beliefs regarding how the stock market behaved and how the market could be used to measure the health of the business environment.

Dow first used his theory to create the Dow Jones Industrial Index and the Dow Jones Rail Index (now Transportation Index), which were originally compiled by Dow for TheWall Street Journal. Dow created these indexes because he felt they were an accurate reflection of the business conditions within the economy, seeing as they covered two major economic segments: industrial and rail (transportation). While these indexes have changed, over the last 100 years, the theory still applies to current market indexes.

Market indexes must confirm one another. In other words, a major reversal from a bull or bear market cannot be signaled unless both indexes (generally the Dow Industrial and Transports Averages) are in agreement. Currently, They are DIVERGING, issuing MAJOR NON-CONFIRMATION HIGH the Dow Jones Industrial average. If one couples this with the volatility index, this is a warning sign and a recipe for disaster.

chart 1


The FEDs’ monetary policy over the last eight years has led to unproductive and reckless corporate behavior. The chart below shows U.S. non financials’ year on year change in net debt versus operating cash flow as measured by earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization (EBITA).

Chart 2
The growth in operating cash flow peaked five years ago and has turned negative year over year. Net debt has continued to rise, which is not good for companies.

This has never before occurred in the post World War II period. In the cycle preceding the Great Recession, the peaks had been pretty much coincidental. Even during that cycle, they only diverged for two years, and by the time EBITA turned negative, year over year, as it has today, growth in net debt had been declining for over two years. Again, the current 5 year divergence is unprecedented in financial history. Today, most of that debt is used for financial engineering, as opposed to productive investments. In 2012, buybacks and M&A were $1.25 trillion, while all R&D and office equipment spending were $1.55 trillion. As valuations rose, since that time, R&D and office equipment grew by only $250 billion, but financial engineering grew by $750 billion, or three times this!

You can only live on your seed corn for so long. Despite there being no increase in their interest costs while growing their net borrowing by $1.7 trillion, the profit shares of the corporate sector peaked in 2012. The corporate sector, today, is stuck in a vicious cycle of earnings manipulation management, questionable allocation of capital, low productivity, declining margins and growing debt levels.

Conclusion:

In short, I continue to pound on the table to help keep you and fellow investors aware that something bad, financially, is going to take place – huge events like the tech bubble, the housing collapse a few years back, and now national financial instability. Experts saw all these events coming months and, in some cases, years in advance. Big things typically don’t happen fast, but once the momentum changes direction you better be ready for some life changing events and a change in the financial market place.

Follow my analysis in real time, swing trades, and even my long term investment positions so you can survive from the financial storm The Gold & Oil Guy.com



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Monday, August 15, 2016

Why These Huge Bank Stocks Could Go to Zero

By Justin Spittler

Europe’s banking system looks like it’s about to implode. As you probably know, Europe has serious problems right now. Its economy is growing at its slowest pace in decades. Policymakers are now more desperate than ever and are on the verge of introducing more "stimulus" measures. And Great Britain just voted to leave the European Union (EU).

These are all major concerns. But Europe’s biggest problem is its banking system. Over the past year, the Euro STOXX Banks Index, which tracks Europe’s biggest banks, has plummeted 46%. Deutsche Bank (DB) and Credit Suisse (CS), two of Europe’s most important banks, are down 63%. Both are trading at all time lows. We've warned you to stay away from these stocks. As we explained two weeks ago, Europe’s banking system is a complete disaster.

And it’s only getting worse by the day..…

European bank stocks have crashed over the past couple days. Yesterday, every major European bank stock ended the day down. Several fell more than 5%. A few plunged more than 10%. These are giant declines. Remember, these banks are the pillars of Europe’s financial system. Today, we’ll explain why this banking crisis could reach you even if you don’t live in Europe. But first, let’s look at why European bank stocks are crashing.

Europe’s banking system has major problems..…
Europe’s economy is barely growing. And negative interest rates are killing European banks. Regular readers know negative rates are a radical government policy. The European Central Bank (ECB) introduced them in 2014, thinking they would “stimulate” Europe’s economy. You see, negative rates basically turn your bank account upside down.

Instead of earning interest on your money in the bank, you pay the bank to hold your money. The geniuses at the ECB thought they could force people to spend more money by “taxing” their savings. But Europeans aren’t spending more money right now. They’re pulling cash out of the banking system and sticking it under their mattresses…where negative rates can’t get to it.

Negative rates are also eating into European bank profits…
Today, the ECB’s key interest rate is at -0.4%. This means European banks must pay €4 for every €1,000 they keep with the ECB. That might not sound like much. But it’s a big problem for European banks that oversee trillions of euros. According to Bank of America (BAC), European banks could lose as much as €20 billion per year by 2018 if the ECB keeps rates where they are.

The Euro STOXX Banks Index plunged 2.8% on Monday..…
Yesterday, it fell another 4.9%. The selloff hit everywhere from Frankfurt to Milan. Spanish banking giant Santander closed the day down 5%. The Bank of Ireland fell 8%. And Commerzbank AG, one of Germany’s biggest lenders, fell 9% to a record low. Commerzbank’s stock plunged after it said negative rates were eating into its profits.

Meanwhile, Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse fell 3.7% and 4.7%, respectively. Investors dumped these stocks after learning that both are going to be dropped from the Euro STOXX 50 index, Europe’s version of the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

Italian stocks fell even harder yesterday..…
UniCredit, Italy’s largest bank, fell 7% before trading on its stock was halted. Regulators stopped the stock from trading due to “concerns about its bad loan portfolio.” The stock has plunged 72% over the past year. Bank Popolare di Milano, another large Italian bank, fell 10%. And Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, Italy’s third biggest bank, plummeted 16%. Monte Paschi plunged after a banking watchdog said it was in the worst shape of all European banks. It’s down 85% over the past year.

Italy is ground zero of Europe’s banking crisis..…
Right now, Italy’s banks are sitting on about €360 billion in “bad” loans, or loans that trade for less than book value. That’s almost twice as many bad loans as Italian banks had in 2010. According to the Financial Times, bad loans now account for 18% of all of Italy’s loans. That’s more than four times as many bad loans as U.S. banks had during the worst of the 2008–2009 financial crisis.

Policymakers are scrambling to contain the crisis..…
Last month, the Italian government said it may pump €40 billion into its banking system to keep it from collapsing. A couple weeks later, Mario Draghi, who runs the ECB, said he would support a public bailout of Italy’s banking system. That’s when the government gives troubled banks money and makes taxpayers pay for it.

We said these emergency measures wouldn’t fix any of Italy’s problems. At best, they’ll buy the government time. Unfortunately, policymakers will almost certainly “do something” if Europe’s banking system continues to unravel.

The ECB could cut rates again, which would only make it harder for European banks to make money. It could also launch more quantitative easing (QE). That’s when a central bank creates money from nothing and pumps it into the financial system. Right now, the ECB is already “printing” €80 billion each month. But again, this hasn’t helped Europe’s stagnant economy one bit.

Whatever the ECB does next, you can bet it will only make things worse..…
As we've shown you many times, governments don’t fix problems. They only create them or make problems worse. If you understand this, you can make a lot of money betting that governments will do the wrong thing.

Casey Research founder Doug Casey explains:
The bad news is that governments act chaotically, spastically.
The beast jerks to the tugs on its strings held by various puppeteers. But while it’s often hard to predict price movements in the short term, the long term is a near certainty. You can bet confidently on the end results of chronic government monetary stupidity.
According to Doug, gold is the #1 way to protect yourself from government stupidity..…
That’s because gold is real money. It’s protected wealth for centuries because it’s unlike any other asset. It’s durable, easily divisible, and easy to transport. Unlike paper money, gold doesn’t lose value when the government prints money or uses negative interest rates.

These stupid and reckless actions push investors into gold. They can cause the price of gold to soar. This year, gold is up 27%. It’s trading at the highest level since 2014. But Doug says it could go much higher in the coming years. If Europe’s banking system continues to unravel, investors will panic. Fear could spread across the world like a wildfire. And gold, the ultimate safe haven, could shoot to the moon.
If you do one thing to protect yourself, own physical gold.

We also encourage you to watch this short video presentation.
It talks about a crisis that’s been brewing since the last financial crisis—one that's currently being fueled by government stupidity. The bad news is that we’re already in the early stages. The good news is that you still have time to seek shelter. You can learn about this coming crisis and how to protect yourself by watching this free video. We encourage all of our readers to do so. It’s one of the most important warnings we’ve ever issued. Click here to watch it.

Chart of the Day

Deutsche Bank’s stock is in free fall. You can see in today’s chart that Deutsche Bank has plummeted 75% since 2014. Yesterday, it hit a new all time low. If Deutsche Bank keeps falling, investors could lose faith in the financial system. And a panic could follow. At least, that’s what Jeffrey Gundlach thinks.

Regular readers know Gundlach is one of the world’s top investors. His firm, DoubleLine Capital, manages about $100 billion. Many investors call him the “Bond King,” a title that PIMCO founder Bill Gross held for years. Like us, Gundlach thinks Europe’s banking system is in serious trouble. And like us, he thinks European policymakers will spring into action if things start to get ugly. Reuters reported last month:
"Banks are dying and policymakers don’t know what to do," Gundlach said. "Watch Deutsche Bank shares go to single digits and people will start to panic… you'll see someone say, 'Someone is going to have to do something'."
Right now, Deutsche Bank is trading under $13. Less than three years ago, it traded close to $50. If Europe’s bank stocks continue to plunge, the ECB will likely “double down” on its easy money policies. This won’t repair Europe’s economy… It will destroy the euro, the currency that the ECB is supposed to defend.
This is why it’s so important that you “crash proof” your wealth today. Click here to learn how.



The article Why These Huge Bank Stocks Could Go to Zero was originally published at caseyresearch.com.


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Sunday, August 14, 2016

How to Profit From These Massive, Brexit Induced Trends

By Justin Spittler

This has the makings of a classic speculative opportunity—one where politically caused distortions are liquidated and prices readjust. But a word of caution. It’s going to take place within the context of the Greater Depression. And, as Richard Russell, who lived through the last depression, observed: In a depression, nobody wins. The winner is just the person who loses the least.

The EU will disintegrate. It never made sense from the beginning to try to get Swedes to live by the same rules as Sicilians or Germans by the same rules as Portuguese. Not to mention that the rules are entirely arbitrary. Worse, almost all the rules are economic in nature, with legislated winners and losers. Deals like that always lead to resentment, among both the winners and the losers.

In addition to this, the EU is very problematical when it comes to immigrants. There will be more migrants trying to settle in Europe. Why? Because the Muslim world, the swath of countries extending all across northern Africa, through the Middle East, Central Asia, and the Far East, is likely to become increasingly unstable. The EU, as a very politically correct organization is loathe to turn them away. However, once they’re within Schengen, the migrants can travel anywhere. Perhaps where welfare benefits are best and where other migrants are gathering. Remember, when times get tough, both politicians and the capite censi look for someone to blame.

How to profit from this? Most people don’t think the EU will collapse just because Britain (which has always been closer to the U.S. than the Continent anyway) has left. They’re wrong. For one thing, although Brussels won’t become a ghost town, it’s going to lose scores of thousands of highly paid Eurocrats and their minions. I recall that property there was some of the cheapest in Europe in the early ’80s, it’s going to return to that status. We’ll look for a REIT to sell short, specializing in the Brussels market.

It will accelerate the disintegration of nation-states everywhere. 

There are about 200 nation-states in the world. The international “elite,” the “intelligentsia,” the members of the Deep State everywhere, and organizations like the EU in Brussels, would like to see a much smaller number of more powerful states. Orwell anticipated just three mega-states in his dystopia. But the actual trend is in the opposite direction.

It’s not just the UK seceding from the EU, but Scotland from the UK. The Basques and Catalans may eventually secede from Spain. Belgium, a totally artificial country, may eventually break up into Flemish-speaking Flanders and French speaking Wallonia. France has half a dozen secession movements. Italy was only unified into its present form from scores of principalities, duchies, and baronies in 1871 by Garibaldi. It was the same with Germany until Bismarck in 1871. 

The break-up of the USSR in 1990 into 13 smaller states was a good start, but Russia itself is a small empire with dozens of distinct ethnic and linguistic groups. You will rarely hear about this in the mass media, but there are dozens of secession movements throughout Europe. That’s one more reason why (in addition to the interest rate risk and the inflation risk, which are both substantial) you should stay away from long-term government bonds.

The euro will cease to exist.....
The Esperanto currency was doomed from the beginning. It was not just an “IOU nothing,” like the U.S. dollar, but a “Who owes you nothing” since it’s not even backed by a specific government’s taxing power. How to profit? I’ve put on long-term futures contracts, long the British pound vs. short the euro. My rationale is simple. Britain will benefit from exiting the EU, attracting capital and strengthening the pound—which is down 11% against the euro since Brexit. The euro, meanwhile, will approach its intrinsic value at an accelerating rate.

A truly major banking crisis.....
Much worse than that of 2007–2009. Governments, who are all bankrupt, borrow money from commercial banks. Commercial banks have lent it to them because they believe it’s a risk free loan. Governments encourage them to lend recklessly, hoping that will jump-start sluggish economies. Central banks, which are the arms of their governments, have taken interest rates to zero and below for that reason and to make it easier for governments to service their debt. This policy has encouraged businesses to take on debt.

It’s an idiotic and reckless experiment that will end—likely in this cycle—with bankrupt central banks and governments bailing out bankrupt commercial banks and businesses. Just the way they did in 2007–2009. Except this time, the situation is much more serious. How to profit? Don’t own European companies, stocks or bonds, and banks in particular. In fact, even though they’re already down considerably, they’re going lower and are excellent candidates for short sales, or the sale of naked calls.

A panic into gold..... 
You’ve heard this story many times before here. But it’s truer than ever as we approach a genuine crisis. There are no stable paper currencies anywhere in the world. The dollar has been strong only because it’s liquid. Liquidity is good, but here, we’re talking about liquid like nitroglycerin. Hedge funds will start buying gold in size. As will central banks, who don’t want to hold each other’s paper. As will individual investors. Right now, few people even think about gold, much less understand it. How to profit? Buy gold. I expect we’ll see it well over $5,000 this cycle. Silver should do even better in relative terms. And gold stocks have explosive upside.

An exodus of capital and people from Europe.....
to parts of Latin America, plus to the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. This is, obviously, bad for Europe and good for the recipient countries. In recent years, I might not have included Latin America, but things have changed. Argentina and Colombia are liberalizing economically. The continent isn’t involved in any entangling alliances, isn’t on the migration highway, and has low costs. Why a wealthy European would stay in that stagnant and unstable continent when he could live better, and mostly tax free, at a fraction of the cost in Argentina is a mystery to me.

Chaos in Africa..... 
Almost every country in Africa is an ex-European colony. Over the last 50 years, Europe, with the U.S. and now China, have shipped over a trillion dollars to the continent. Most of it has been recycled back to Europe by the African elites that stole it, and the rest has mostly been wasted. 

That flow is going to stop for a number of reasons, but among them is that it makes no sense in an “every-man for himself” world. At the same time, essentially all of the world’s population growth over the next couple of decades is going to come from sub Saharan Africa. It’s a nasty economic environment that’s a formula for conflict. 

Millions of Africans will want to emigrate, especially to the homelands of their ex-colonial masters in Europe. They won’t, however, be welcome. How might one take advantage of this? The higher population is going to put upward pressure on commodities, and the chaos is going to make their production much riskier in Africa.

In conclusion..... 
Brexit itself is likely to be good for Britain. And it augurs some big changes in the world at large. Don’t forget that it will all be in the context of both the Greater Depression and the accelerating and world-changing technological revolution I described last month. Our objective here remains to not only keep you advised of what’s happening, but help you profit from opportunities while avoiding major dangers.

Editor's note: The biggest threat to your wealth right now isn’t an economic recession, a stock market crash, or even a global banking crisis. It’s something much bigger and far more dangerous. This short video explains more…

It explains how violent currency moves—like we’re seeing today—have preceded some of the worst financial disasters in history. By the end of the video, you’ll know why you can’t afford to ignore the warnings we’re seeing right now. You’ll learn how to protect yourself and profit from the coming crisis. Click here to watch this free video.



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Sunday, June 26, 2016

Don Kaufman shows us how to "Protect & Profit" in any Market

Today we want to introduce the newest member of our team, Don Kaufman. Don has made quite a mark in the last couple months with the introduction of his new TheoTrade program. Truth is, some of our readers have stated they are getting more from his free videos then some of the more expensive programs they have purchased.

Don will be bringing us a free webinar monthly to keep us on the cutting edge of these extremely volatile markets. Just take advantage of any one of his free items. Getting his free eBook or even just watching his most recent free video will guarantee that you will get notified of the free webinars.

So what's in the "How to Protect & Profit in Any Market" eBook?

This 50 page eBook [visit here for free download] will teach you what you need to know to start playing the markets instead of the markets playing you.

Your Portfolio Deserves More Than a 50/50 Chance 
It has been shown statistically, over the long run, that fundamental and technical analysis is right about 50% of the time. Flipping a coin will give you the same percentage. As the author of A Random Walk Down Wall Street, Malkiel states, “Technical and Fundamental analysis is a science giving astrology a good name.” Why flip a coin when you can use high probability options strategies?

Diversification is Dead
As a Wall Street saying goes, "When they raid the house they take everyone." Professionals consider diversification as a hedge for people who don’t know how to hedge. Think about it - would you protect the value of your own home against a potential fire by diversifying, that is, buying two houses so if one burns down, the appreciation in the other offsets your loss? Of course not! You insure your home so if it burns down, the insurance covers most of the loss. Welcome to one aspect of using options. Real professionals know how to use options to protect their portfolio from any shock to the markets.

Be The House 
Today, investing in the stock market is a big gamble, almost like going to Vegas and playing the slots. And we all know what happens with slot machines. The House always wins. It may take a loss occasionally, but the overall strategy assures that the House will always come out on top. Options let's you turn the tide and be the house. Find out how you can put the odds in your favor.

Get Don's FREE eBook "The Rebel's Guide to Trading Options"....Just Visit Here!

See you in the markets,
Hedge Fund University

About Don Kaufman 
Don is one of the industry's leading financial strategists and educational authorities with 18 years of financial industry experience. Prior to co-founding TheoTrade, Mr. Kaufman spent 6 years at TD Ameritrade as Director of the Trader Group. At TD Ameritrade Mr. Kaufman handled thinkorswim® content and client education which included the design, build, and execution of what has become the industry standard in financial education. He started his career at thinkorswim® in 2000 (acquired by TD Ameritrade in 2009), where he served as chief derivatives instructor, helping the firm progress into the industry leader in retail options trading and investor education services.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Great New Video: Two Critical Things Every Options Trader Must Know


Our trading partners at Simpler Options are back with another free webinar. This time it's "Precise Short Term Options Setups for Low Risk Profits in Volatile Markets" hosted by John Carter and Chris Belcher.

As always John and Chris have provided a free video to give you some hints as to what we will be covering....Watch that video now!

It all starts this Tuesday June 7th at 7:00 pm central.

Just visit this link to reserve your seat for this game changing webinar right now since all of these webinars get over subscribed.

Watch Todays Video and Sign Up for the Webinar Right Here

These two highly respected traders (with more than 50 years of combined experience) reveal low risk option strategies designed to catch quick explosive moves in volatile stocks. Get ready to take notes because we’re going to review results from actual live trades executed in real time during current market conditions.

Red Thumb Trades: Stop wasting time (and precious capital) on dud stocks. Discover how to find the right options to trade on the right stocks today.

Precision Exit Strategies: Finally know when to take fast profits intraday and when to let your position turn into a swing trade so you can get maximum gains.

Simple Option Setups: Cut through all the jargon and ‘Greek’ mumbo jumbo and learn how to follow a step by step process to create consistent income trading stock options.

The Ultimate Timing Secret: How to know in advance which stocks are likely to explode (in any time frame) and when to jump in with confidence

Miracle Grow Positions: Simple rapid growth strategies for small accounts. Discover why it’s possible to make a whole lot more money with options than you can with trading stocks. The key is to follow a few precise option setups.

Massive Mistakes Exposed: Learn why most traders will never be consistently profitable and discover how to actually profit from the most common (and costly) mistakes.

The Perfect Storm: Why the current volatile conditions are a trader’s paradise, and key catalysts to watch for in the coming months.

Case Study: Review one of John's live trades on TSLA that brought in $17k in 1 day (along with several other recent real money examples so you can see these setups in action).

As always, make sure you get your reserved seat now while you and make sure you log in early on Tuesday so you don't lose your spot.

Reserve Seat Right Here and Now

See you Tuesday evening,
Hedge Fund University


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Sunday, March 20, 2016

Four Trading Strategies That Work

If you have been following us this year you already know that our trading partner Chris Vermeulen has been spot on in 2016 and has helped our readers make profitable trade after profitable trade this year. We have followed and worked with many traders over the years so we know what trading information is useful and what is just junk information.

Chris' connects with most readers through his complimentary stock trading and education newsletter which includes simple trading strategies to use with stocks, options, futures or forex.

Get Chris' newsletter "The Four Trading Strategies That Work" right HERE!

We hope you enjoy the free content and learning from some new tips and tricks for your own trading toolbox. To further add value Chris has put together a way for you to learn some of his trading strategies which cover stocks, options, futures and forex.

Bookmark this link since you can only select one free trading strategy at a time when you optin to the form on this special webpage below. But I should note, if you want a second or third strategy you just need to revisit the optin page, optin, and select another strategy.

These strategies are only available for a couple days then Chris takes them down so click the link below and optin to be presented with the four trading strategies.

Click here to get the free "Four Trading Strategies That Work"


See you in the markets.
Hedge Fund University



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