Sunday, September 17, 2017

Positioning for “Swan Type” Disasters

Recently, the US, China and portions of SE Asia have been hit by massive hurricanes and cyclones. As investors, it is often difficult to understand the mechanics of how these types of disasters result in opportunities while thousands are attempting to rebuild and survive. Yet, as investors, it is our job to prepare for these outcomes and attempt to foresee risk and opportunities.
Over the weekend, we expecting Hurricane Irma to hit Florida and most of the South US, one should be asking the question, “How will this drive the markets over the next few weeks/months?” Let’s explore this question with some hard data and analysis.
US Population Density
The population in the South Eastern US is rather dense. There are also a number of key economic locations that could be disrupted if the storms starts to drift eastward.

Economic Output by Region


Consider that the South Eastern US represents a minimum of 1.6~2.2% annual GDP output.
When one considers the amount of destruction, disruption and economic decline that could be the immediate result of disasters such as hurricanes, one has to think about how the global markets will react to this level and type of event?
In comparison to the other geographic regions of the US, the South Eastern portion of the US still represents a substantially large portion of annual economic output/activity.

A massive disruption as well as asset revaluation event could cause a “blip” in the US GDP representing at least 2~3 tenths of a percent and could result in hundreds of billions in actual losses, economic output losses and infrastructure destruction.
Because of this, and other potential future events, we are concerned that the US markets may be headed for a correction event or bear market event in the near future. In the past, we have attempted to illustrate this potential by highlighting cycle events, key market breakouts and trends and, most recently, highlighted the 3-7-10 year cycle structures that play out in all markets. Now, we are setting up for an event that may unfold over the next 30~90 days as a “swan type event” that few are preparing for.
The US Dollar continues to slide. Our analysis showed that $92 was key support. Recently this level has been broken and we are concerned that the US Dollar may continue to slide lower. Overall, in terms of global competition, this may not be a tremendous hit. But in terms of purchasing power and the existing dominance of the US Dollar for trade, we could see some pressure in other areas.

In relation, our custom China/SE Asia Index is pushing toward the upward range of our price channel and could rotate lower on a Swan-type event (like a debt issue or political issue).



Oil is breaking downward as these global events and the transition to slower consumption continues to drive supply higher and higher. We could continue to see Oil based “Mini Swan Events” in countries that are dependent on Oil prices and income to support their economies.


US Banking and Insurance firms are sure to take increased risks with these types of events. As borrowers are displaced because of a “Swan type Event” and refocus on immediate needs/issues, delinquencies in mortgages, auto loans, credit cards and others will spike (quickly). This becomes a matter of survival (much like after the 2009 Credit Market Crisis) where people made choices to support immediate needs and not long term credit needs.


Metals, of course, have already started to make a move higher because of the risk of these events and global risks. Although, we still believe a short-term move lower (almost like a relief move) will play out over the next few weeks that will be the opportunity we have been waiting for. This move will allow investors to position metals trades for the potential longer term Swan event outcomes.

Lastly, our US Custom Index is continuing to provide a much clearer and defined picture of the Head-n-Shoulders formation that has us fixated on the potential of our VIX Spike dates, major cycle events, key rotations and, now, these potentially massive “Swan type events” to correlate into almost a Super-Swan Event. These hurricanes are passing events – they go away eventually. An economic event is something that takes much longer to resolve and restore. Much like the 2009 Credit Market Crisis, the results of a Swan type event can be long lasting and can result in massive asset revaluation.
We’re not saying the global markets are going to fall into another 2009 type event, but we are saying that our analysis is showing that “some type of event is setting up and IF it turned into a Super Swan event, then YOU (the investor) need to be aware of this potential”. If it simply turns into a correction or minor downturn, then you still need to be aware of this potential so you can profit from it – either way.


What will it take to setup and execute a series of trades that help protect against this type of possible Swan Event?
Join Active Trading Partners [visit here] today to learn more and follow our daily research reports to assist you in preparing for just this type of event. There is not a lot of time left before these potential events begin to play out. ATP will assist you by finding great trading opportunities and keeping you informed of the markets setups and potential moves/cycles.
Are you ready for the next Super-Swan Event? If not, join Active Trading Partners today.


Stock & ETF Trading Signals

Thursday, September 14, 2017

How Will Disasters Drive the Markets Over the Next Few Weeks/Months?

Recently, the US, China and portions of SE Asia have been hit by massive hurricanes and cyclones. As investors, it is often difficult to understand the mechanics of how these types of disasters result in opportunities while thousands are attempting to rebuild and survive. Yet, as investors, it is our job to prepare for these outcomes and attempt to foresee risk and opportunities.
Over the weekend, we expecting Hurricane Irma to hit Florida and most of the South US, one should be asking the question, “How will this drive the markets over the next few weeks/months?” Let’s explore this question with some hard data and analysis.
US Population Density
The population in the South Eastern US is rather dense. There are also a number of key economic locations that could be disrupted if the storms starts to drift eastward.

Economic Output by Region


Consider that the South Eastern US represents a minimum of 1.6~2.2% annual GDP output.
When one considers the amount of destruction, disruption and economic decline that could be the immediate result of disasters such as hurricanes, one has to think about how the global markets will react to this level and type of event?
In comparison to the other geographic regions of the US, the South Eastern portion of the US still represents a substantially large portion of annual economic output/activity.

A massive disruption as well as asset revaluation event could cause a “blip” in the US GDP representing at least 2~3 tenths of a percent and could result in hundreds of billions in actual losses, economic output losses and infrastructure destruction.
Because of this, and other potential future events, we are concerned that the US markets may be headed for a correction event or bear market event in the near future. In the past, we have attempted to illustrate this potential by highlighting cycle events, key market breakouts and trends and, most recently, highlighted the 3-7-10 year cycle structures that play out in all markets. Now, we are setting up for an event that may unfold over the next 30~90 days as a “swan type event” that few are preparing for.
The US Dollar continues to slide. Our analysis showed that $92 was key support. Recently this level has been broken and we are concerned that the US Dollar may continue to slide lower. Overall, in terms of global competition, this may not be a tremendous hit. But in terms of purchasing power and the existing dominance of the US Dollar for trade, we could see some pressure in other areas.

In relation, our custom China/SE Asia Index is pushing toward the upward range of our price channel and could rotate lower on a Swan-type event (like a debt issue or political issue).



Oil is breaking downward as these global events and the transition to slower consumption continues to drive supply higher and higher. We could continue to see Oil based “Mini Swan Events” in countries that are dependent on Oil prices and income to support their economies.


US Banking and Insurance firms are sure to take increased risks with these types of events. As borrowers are displaced because of a “Swan type Event” and refocus on immediate needs/issues, delinquencies in mortgages, auto loans, credit cards and others will spike (quickly). This becomes a matter of survival (much like after the 2009 Credit Market Crisis) where people made choices to support immediate needs and not long term credit needs.


Metals, of course, have already started to make a move higher because of the risk of these events and global risks. Although, we still believe a short-term move lower (almost like a relief move) will play out over the next few weeks that will be the opportunity we have been waiting for. This move will allow investors to position metals trades for the potential longer term Swan event outcomes.

Lastly, our US Custom Index is continuing to provide a much clearer and defined picture of the Head-n-Shoulders formation that has us fixated on the potential of our VIX Spike dates, major cycle events, key rotations and, now, these potentially massive “Swan type events” to correlate into almost a Super-Swan Event. These hurricanes are passing events – they go away eventually. An economic event is something that takes much longer to resolve and restore. Much like the 2009 Credit Market Crisis, the results of a Swan type event can be long lasting and can result in massive asset revaluation.
We’re not saying the global markets are going to fall into another 2009 type event, but we are saying that our analysis is showing that “some type of event is setting up and IF it turned into a Super Swan event, then YOU (the investor) need to be aware of this potential”. If it simply turns into a correction or minor downturn, then you still need to be aware of this potential so you can profit from it – either way.


What will it take to setup and execute a series of trades that help protect against this type of possible Swan Event?
Join Active Trading Partners [visit here] today to learn more and follow our daily research reports to assist you in preparing for just this type of event. There is not a lot of time left before these potential events begin to play out. ATP will assist you by finding great trading opportunities and keeping you informed of the markets setups and potential moves/cycles.
Are you ready for the next Super-Swan Event? If not, join Active Trading Partners today.


Stock & ETF Trading Signals

Thursday, August 31, 2017

VIX Spikes Showing Massive Volatility Increase

Today, we are going to revisit some of our earlier analysis regarding the VIX and our beloved VIX Spikes.  Over the past 3+ months, we’ve been predicting a number of VIX Spikes based on our research and cycle analysis.  Our original analysis of the VIX Spike patterns has been accurate 3 out of 4 instances (75%).  Our analysis has predicted these spikes within 2 to 4 days of the exact spike date.  The most recent VIX Spike shot up 57% from the VIX lows.  What should we expect in the future?

Well, this is where we should warn you that our analysis is subjective and may not be 100% accurate as we can’t accurately predict what will happen in the future. Our research team at Active Trading Partners.com attempt to find highly correlative trading signals that allow our members to develop trading strategies and allow us to deliver detailed and important analysis of the US and global markets.

The research team at ATP is concerned that massive volatility is creeping back into the global markets. The most recent VIX spike was nearly DOUBLE the size of the previous spike. Even though the US markets are clearly range bound and rotating, we expect them to stay within ranges that would allow for the VIX to gradually increase through a succession of VIX spike patterns in the future.

Let’s review some of our earlier analysis before we attempt to make a case for the future. Our original VIX Spike article indicated we believed a massive VIX spike would happen near June 29th. We warned of this pattern nearly 3 weeks ahead of the spike date. Below, you will see the chart of the VIX and spikes we shared with our members. This forecast was originally created on June 7th and predicted potential spikes on June 9th or 12th and June 29th.



What would you do if you knew these spikes were happening?

Currently, we need to keep in mind the next VIX Spike Dates
Sept 11th or 12th and finally Sept 28th or 29th.

Our continued research has shown that the US markets are setting up for a potential massive Head-n-Shoulders pattern (clearly indicated in this NQ Chart). The basis of this analysis is that the US markets are reacting to Political and Geo-Economic headwinds by stalling/retracing. The rally after the US Presidential election was “elation” regarding possibilities for increased global economic activities. And, as such, we have seen an increase in manufacturing and GDP output over the past 6+ months. Yet, the US and global markets may have jumped the gun a bit and rallied into “hype” setting up a potential corrective move.



Currently, the NQ would have to fall an additional 4.5% to reach the Neck Line of the Head-n-Shoulders formation. One interesting facet of the current NQ chart is that is setting up in a FLAG FORMATION that would indicate a massive breakout/breakdown is imminent. The cycle dates that correspond to this move are the September 11th or 12th move.



Please understand that we are attempting to keep you informed as to the potential for a massive volatility spike in the US and Global markets related to what we believe are eminent Political and Geo-Economic factors. Central Banks have just met in Jackson Hole, WY and have been discussing their next moves as well as the US Fed reducing their balance sheets. Overall, the US economy appears to show some strength, yet as we have shown, delinquencies have started to rise and this is not a positive sign for a mature economic cycle. Expectations are that the US Fed will attempt another one or two rate raises before the end of 2017. Our analysis shows that Janet Yellen should be moving at a snail’s pace at this critical juncture.


The last, most recent, VIX Spike was nearly DOUBLE the size of the previous Spike. This is an anomaly in the sense that the VIX has, with only a few exceptions, continued to contract as the global central banks continued to support the world’s economies. In other words, smooth sailing ahead as long as the global banks were supplying capital for the recovery.

Now that we are at a point where the central banks are attempting to remove capital from their balance sheets while raising rates and dealing with debt issues, the markets are looking at this with a fresh perspective and the VIX is showing us early warning signs that massive volatility may be reentering the global markets. Any future VIX Spike cycles that continue to increase in range would be a clear indication that FEAR is entering the markets again and that debt, contraction and decreased consumer participation are at play.

I don’t expect you to fully understand the chart and analysis below, but the take away is this. Pay attention to these dates: September 11, September 28 and October 16. These are the dates that will likely see increased price volatility associated with them and could prompt some very big moves.



This analysis brings us to an attempt at creating a conclusion for our readers. First, our current analysis of the Head-n-Shoulders pattern in the NQ is still valid. We do not have any indication of a change in trend or analysis at this moment. Thus, we are still operating under the presumption that this pattern will continue to form. Secondly, the current VIX spike aligns perfectly with our analysis that the markets are becoming more volatile as the VIX WEDGE tightens and as the potential for the Head-n-Shoulders pattern extends. Lastly, FEAR and CONCERN has begun to enter the market as we are seeing moves in the Metals and Equities that portend a general weakness by investors.

We will add the following that you won’t likely see from other researchers – the time to act is NOT NOW. Want to know why this is the case and why we believe our analysis will tell us exactly when to act to develop maximum profits from these moves?

Join the Active Trading Partners to learn why and to stay on top of these patterns as they unfold. We’ve been accurate with our VIX Spike predictions and we will soon see how our Head and Shoulders predictions play out. We’ve already alerted you to the new VIX Spike dates (these alone are extremely valuable). We are actively advising our ATP members regarding opportunities and trading signals that we believe will deliver superior profits. Isn’t it time you invested in your future and prepared for these moves?



Join the Active Trading Partners HERE today and Join a team dedicated to your success.


Stock & ETF Trading Signals

Saturday, June 17, 2017

The Last Time We Saw This, Investors Doubled Their Money in Six Months

By Justin Spittler

Gold couldn’t catch a bid in December 2015. It was down more than 30%, and trading at the lowest price in nearly six years. Gold stocks, which are leveraged to the price of gold, were doing even worse. The average gold stock was 80% off its highs. Most investors wanted nothing to do with gold. But not Doug Casey. Doug knew gold would rebound. It was only a matter of time. He even told Kitco, one of the world’s biggest gold and silver retailers, on December 18, 2015, that he was buying gold hand over fist:
My opinion is if it’s not the bottom, it’s close enough to the bottom. So, I have to be an aggressive buyer of both gold and silver at this point.
Doug’s timing was nearly perfect.…
The day before, gold bottomed. It went on to gain 30% over the next six months. The average gold stock more than doubled in value over the same period.


I’m telling this story because an opportunity just like this is shaping up before our eyes. Only this time, it’s in the energy market.

Energy stocks have been beaten to a pulp.…
You can see what I mean below. It shows how the Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLE) has done since the start of the year. This fund invests in 36 major U.S. energy companies, including Exxon Mobil and Chevron. You can see that XLE is down 13% this year. That makes energy stocks the worst-performing sector in the S&P 500.



Energy stocks are now off to “one of the worst beginnings to the year ever,” according to Morgan Stanley. As if that weren’t enough to scare away most investors, look at the ugly chart below. It compares the performance of XLE with the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY), which tracks the S&P 500. When the line is rising, energy stocks are doing better than the broad market. When it’s falling, energy stocks are underperforming the S&P 500.



Energy stocks have been lagging the broad market for nearly a decade.…
As a result, energy stocks now make up just 5.9% of the S&P 500. That’s half of what the sector’s weighting was in 2011. Not only that, the 36 energy stocks that make up XLE are now worth less than the combined value of Apple and Alphabet, the parent company of Google.

Situations like this don’t last forever.…
Eventually, the pendulum swings the other way. The trick is knowing when that will happen. That’s obviously easier said than done. Plus, you have to understand that markets rarely change direction on a dime. Instead, they usually go through a bottoming process that can take weeks or longer. And it looks like energy stocks may have begun that process.

Energy stocks took off last week.…
XLE jumped 2.5% on Friday. That was the biggest one-day jump in energy stocks since last November. This week, XLE is up another 1.4%. Now, it would be easy to dismiss this as “noise.” But if energy stocks keep rallying, XLE could “break out.” The chart below shows the performance of XLE over the last 12 months. You can see that it’s been in a downtrend since late 2016.



You can see that XLE hasn’t broken out of its downtrend yet. But it could do that sooner than most investors think.

Energy companies are starting to make money again.…
Revenues for energy companies in the S&P 500 surged 34% during the first quarter of 2017. That was more than quadruple the S&P 500’s 7.6% jump in revenues. Wall Street now expects U.S energy companies to post an 18% rise in revenues when the second quarter is all said and done. Not only that, analysts expect the sector to report a more than 400% spike in second-quarter profits. For perspective, second quarter profits for the rest of the S&P 500 are expected to rise just 3.7%.

Once “the market” figures this out, watch out.…
Energy stocks are going to skyrocket just like gold stocks did in early 2016. Keep in mind, the bottoming process could take weeks or even months. So, wait for energy stocks to “carve a bottom” before diving in. That’s when stocks stop falling, trade in a tight range for a period of time, and then start heading higher. Stocks that carve a bottom often keep soaring. Just look at what GDX did after it carved a bottom early last year.



By waiting for energy stocks to carve a bottom, you’ll greatly limit your downside…without giving up a chance at big returns. I'll let you know when the time is right to invest in the energy sector. In the meantime, keep an eye on XLE and other energy funds like the SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF (XOP). Once they carve out bottoms, it will be a good time to buy.




Stock & ETF Trading Signals

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