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2/15/2017: A Full-fledged Credit Crisis is Inevitable On the surface, the U.S. economy looks like it's doing fine. The unemployment rate is at an all-time low. Inflation-a popular measure of economic growth-is picking up. Consumer confidence is at the highest mark since ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

2/06/2017: The "January Effect" The first month of 2017 is in the books, with the S&P 500 Index (SPX) gaining around 1.8%. The January Barometer is a pretty well-known seasonality indicator, and it tells us we can be pretty optimistic for the rest of the year. Since 1950, when ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

2/02/2017: U.S. Debt Load To Increase 75% in Next 10 Years by Larry Edelson | February 1, 2017. You read that right: U.S. debt will nearly double over the next 10 years. In fact, according to the Congressional Budget Office and their latest Budget and Economic Outlook, debt held by the public will catapult ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

February 2017

1/31/2017: How About a Trade War? For 20 years running, the United States' current account deficit with the world has resided in the neighborhood of $500 billion per year. Every year, America receives $500 billion less for its exports than it pays for imports. In the short run, the trade ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

1/12/2017: 11 New Years Resolutions to Save You Money in 2017 Whether it's paying a late fee or snagging a candy bar while waiting in the checkout line, it's all too easy to spend mindlessly and waste money. But that cash could be directed toward your savings goals or growing substantially in a retirement ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

1/11/2017: The World's Oldest Bank is Collapsing Before Columbus set sail for America...Before Italy became a country... And way before the formation of the European Union...There was Italy's Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena. Founded in 1472, the majestic Italian bank stands as ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

1/03/2017: CYBER CRIME Karen McCarthy never saw the robbers coming. A successful small business owner, she had recently been in talks to sell her company for a large sum. Two weeks later, her company was on the verge of bankruptcy. Over a weekend, thieves had ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

January 2017

12/21/2016: Jim Rickard's Latest Blog on GOLD GOLD: A NEW BULL MARKET TO BEGIN?If you like price appreciation along with your safe-haven benefits (and who doesn't), the new year could bring good news for you. Rosland Capital LLC senior economic advisor Jeffrey Nichols predicts ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

12/20/2016: HARRY DENT'S Newest Book and Forecast After 87 years, finally... The Greatest Wealth-Building Opportunity of Our Lifetime is About to Begin! In his brand-new book, America's #1 economist reveals how the secret behind many of the largest (and fastest!) fortunes in history could create ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

12/14/2016: Peter Schiff on MONEY The United States of America was founded on the principals of limited government and sound money. Today we have neither. The growth of the former has largely been a function of its ability to abolish the latter. A dollar was originally defined as a specific weight of gold or silver, and the Constitution limited the power of the states to make anything other than gold or silver legal tender. As...>>Full Article | Back to Top

12/13/2016: A Major "Oil Opportunity" The Last Time We Were in This Kind of Situation, This Stock Soared 3,600%. OPEC just made history again. Two weeks ago, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), a cartel that supplies 40% of the world's oil, agreed ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

12/06/2016: Dow 50,000? The recent Trump rally has the Dow hitting historic highs. And according to many economists and distinguished investors, this bull market rally is only the beginning. Ron Baron, CEO of Baron Capital, is calling for Dow ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

12/05/2016: Trouble for the Dollar? ALERT: The Death of the U.S. Dollar Commenced on Sept 30... Now, the Expansion of this "New World Money Order" May Complete Its Destruction... It all began 12 months ago, when the IMF voted to make the Chinese yuan a reserve currency, by adding it to its basket of Special ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

12/03/2016: Gold's Sad Story Revealed Gold futures are quietly sinking below $1,170 this morning. The Midas Metal is breaking down. Now it runs the risk of coughing up every ounce of its comeback rally. The damage has been swift and brutal. Gold is now ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

12/02/2016: Fidel Castro is DEAD! ... SO WHAT? On Friday, the longtime Cuban politician and revolutionary passed away. He was 90 years old. Castro spent more than half his life governing Cuba. He was one of the world's most well-known leaders of our time, and one of the most polarizing. Some considered him a freedom ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

December 2016

11/30/2016: Japan is NUTS!!! What the heck Japan?! You've gone completely off the reservation. Since late 2012, you've gotten more and more desperate in your attempts to make QE work. You've literally tripled your QE efforts ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

11/29/2016: Steve Sjuggerut Explains the "Cashless" Bill-paying You Didn't Believe Me, but It's Here - NOW. By Dr. Steve Sjuggerud Tuesday, November 29, 2016. "Did you see what Steve wrote last week about how no one will use cash or carry a wallet five years om now?" my Mom's friend said to her over ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

11/28/2016: Urgent Alert to All Gold Investors Pay Attention!!!! Gold is selling for $2,800 an ounce in India... Chaos has broken out. Millions of Indian citizens are scrambling...>>Full Article | Back to Top

11/25/2016: The NEW Gold Law and the Rising Dollar A brave new world has hit western societies and President-elect Trump appears to be the voice of an evaporating American middle-class! However, the banking elite who want world money, world ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

11/23/2016: Is the Tide Turning to Value from Growth? The time may be right to pay closer attention to value equity ETFs. Among the many investment ideas circulating in the market in the early post-election days, value versus growth seems to be one that's gaining a...>>Full Article | Back to Top

11/22/2016: Morgan Stanley Employees are Suing the Firm over their 401-k You'd think a multinational financial services corporation specializing in economic and investment advice would be able to provide its employees with a better quality retirement plan than most other companies. But you'd be wrong, which is why Morgan Stanley currently...>>Full Article | Back to Top

11/21/2016: The Scoop on ETFs and Millennials All generations lay claim to things they consider cool. In the investment world, exchange-traded funds are the stuff of millennials. ETFs are "millennials' version of their parents' mutual funds," ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

11/18/2016: Sam Collins at S&P On Thursday, stocks rose modestly following comments by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen that the economy is strong enough to sustain a rise in short-term interest rates "relatively soon." As a result, the 10-year Treasury jumped to its highest yield ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

11/17/2016: S&P 500 Seeing Some Consolidation On Tuesday, stocks closed mixed with a preference for small-caps as they took gains in some blue chips and big-cap stocks. Profit-taking started immediately, with a divergence of better-quality stocks being sold. Banks and other financials fell 1.4% at the close, ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

11/16/2016: Trump Is Bullish for the Markets Donald Trump's election as president of the United States caught the financial world off guard. It was my opinion (as well as e futures talkers like Jim Rickards) that the "uncertainty factor" would at least temporarily take the markets down until the ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

11/14/2016: Celebrities to Leave the USA!!! -the Horn Editorial Board. Multiple "cooky" celebrities claimed if Donald Trump won the elevtion they'd leave America for good. Well, looks like it's time to get packing! But where are they to go that will afford them the level of success ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

11/09/2016: How Will the Markets React to the Trump Victory In one of the greatest upsets in U.S. politics, Donald Trump has won the 2016 presidential election. What's that mean for investors? Well, ahead of the opening bell, U.S. market futures are down about 2% - but we don't pretend to know where stocks will go from ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

November 2016

10/28/2016: The 'dumbing down' of America... By Jeff Thomas. Recently, I paid for an item with the exact amount requested, including 89 cents in change. The salesgirl stared at the coins and clearly wasn't sure what to do. Eventually, she reached for a calculator and began to total them up one at a time...>>Full Article | Back to Top

10/27/2016: Politics and ETF Investing The 2016 presidential election is shaping up to be one of the most contentious in modern history. It's no surprise that the two major-party candidates, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, have staked out opposing views on many of the most important...>>Full Article | Back to Top

10/26/2016: Is "Active" Coming Back? With each new article reporting on the exodus of investor flows out of active and into passive funds (see "The Dying Business of Picking Stocks" published in the Wall Street Journal), we are reaching the maximum pain point for investors who have stuck with active management despite the perennial ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

10/19/2016: Closing Argument...TONIGHT!!! Tonight will mark the third and final presidential debate. Sure, it's been entertaining, but I am not looking for entertainment when it comes to our nation electing its president. This election has not been one that has tried to convince the voting public of the candidate's merits it has been one where each candidate ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

10/18/2016: Closing Argument...TONIGHT!!! Tonight will mark the third and final presidential debate. Sure, it's been entertaining, but I am not looking for entertainment when it comes to our nation electing its president. This election has not been one that has tried to convince the ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

10/11/2016: Major Thoughts from the Guys at Day-Hagan KEY LEVELS S&P 500 (SPX/2163.66) - Tacticalsupport: 2120 followed by a wide band between 2100 and 2050 (volume support and long-term moving average). Selling pressure (resistance): 2166 (declining 50-DMA, which ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

10/10/2016: The DEBT!!!! One of the biggest drivers of the broad market may be fading... U.S. companies have been buying their own shares like there's no tomorrow. And this buyback spree has been one of the biggest tailwinds for stocks this year. As Porter noted in the...>>Full Article | Back to Top

10/07/2016: Research Notes Threats to the Status Quo October 04, 2016 | Market Commentary Slow growth and volatility have been the status quo throughout most of the current expansion. Our indicators suggest these ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

10/05/2016: Louis Navellier's HIT LIST! Dozens of Big Name Stocks Are About to Get Hammered Apple... Google...GE... Verizon... Boeing... Nike... Bank of America... Ford... CVS Health...>>Full Article | Back to Top

10/04/2016: The "2-Second Attention-span" The next time you're watching television, count silently to yourself every time the camera "cuts" to another scene. When you see the cut, think "one, two, three..." until the next cut. What you'll discover is that film and ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

October 2016

9/30/2016: Deutsche Bank "On the Ropes?" Just days after German Chancellor Angela Merkel had reportedly ruled out state assistance for Deutsche Bank (DB), new reports say German financial authorities may already be preparing a rescue plan for the troubled...>>Full Article | Back to Top

9/29/2016: A Very Interesting Mini-Book Dear Otto: If you're like most Americans, your retirement account is in serious danger. Every single day the United States creeps further into debt, and it's taking your IRA/401(k) along with it. At the time of this writing the national debt ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

9/26/2016: A Harvard Report: Just In Time for the Debate Although many Americans have long suspected it, until recently, hard evidence of the progress of the U.S. economy being not as rosy as the administration of President Obama has trumpeted was scant. However, a new study by...>>Full Article | Back to Top

9/23/2016: Does Saudi Arabia Hold the CARDS???? Saudi Arabia is making an incredible offer to try to close the deal on a production freeze at the meeting in Algiers. The word on the street is that Saudi Arabia is offering to cut its oil production if Iran agrees to freeze theirs. The key to any production...>>Full Article | Back to Top

9/22/2016: As College Tuitions Rise, Scholarships Fail to Keep Pace When you look at the national statistics on college graduation rates, there are two trends that stand out. The first is that there are many students who start college but never get their degree. More than 40 percent of students who start at a four-year college leave without a credential. What's more worrisome is that the largest share of...>>Full Article | Back to Top

9/20/2016: You Should Read This BEFORE Janet Yellen Speaks Que será, será. Whatever will be, will be. What a horrible way to think and talk about our money. Even so, that's what Janet Yellen gave us on August 26. Investors waited anxiously as she took to the stage in Jackson Hole. If they expected any word on the Fed's next move, they were ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

9/15/2016: Remembering Lee Iacocca Can you believe that Lee Iacocca is 94 years old and is still KICKING? Check out his latest rant. Just as true today as it was when his book first came out. He was, and still is, a brilliant ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

9/12/2016: The Bond Market is Getting "ANT-SY" The bond market is "sniffing out" an unfriendly change in the direction of interest rates, according to Jeffrey Gundlach. Rates are going up, he said, and investors should position their portfolios defensively for a long-term secular rise in rates. "This is a big, big moment...>>Full Article | Back to Top

9/08/2016: BitCoin, Silver and Gold Government campaigns of intimidation - like the wars on drugs, terror, and poverty - have been used to extort the public for decades. Despite the previous failures of institutional "wars," a new war on cash is being waged that threatens freedom in a more subversive way than ever before. Banks and governments ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

9/07/2016: Small and Mid-Caps Lead the Way Again On Tuesday, stocks rallied, led by gains in crude oil stocks and a weaker-than-expected ISM Non-Manufacturing Index. The August index fell to 51.4% from 55.5% in July and was below the Briefing.com consensus of 54.7%. The ISM report indicates ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

9/06/2016: My Latest Letter from Harry Dent ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Dear Otto, The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the U.S. economy hired 151,000 nonfarm workers in August, disappointing analyst expectations of 180,000 jobs. The private sector added 126,000 jobs. The national unemployment rate is a ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

September 2016

8/30/2016: It's well known that economists are a liberal bunch Still, most economists gave Mitt Romney pretty high marks for his economic plan back in 2012. So it's interesting to note that in a poll by the National Association of Business Economists (NABE) released last week, they seem to have overwhelmingly rejected the ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

8/29/2016: An Enlightening Bit of Information IF YOU TAKE THE TIME TO VIEW IT! It's not very often that I personally recommend my readers watch a video... But I just received word from a colleague - who happens to be one of the most controversial economists in the world - on a quickly developing ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

8/26/2016: THIS FALL Is Going to Be a Mess! Our elected officials just triggered an unstoppable economic crisis ... "A 50% stock market wipeout, a 40% real estate collapse, and a 300% rise in unemployment will strike ... very soon." That's not my prediction ... that's the prediction of ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

8/18/2016: "Gold Crash Coming" by Larry Edleson (Weiss Research). Despite all the bullishness about gold and silver and the mining industry, I've maintained for quite some time the view that this first leg up will be dramatically retraced with a crash heading into October. To say I've become ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

8/16/2016: The REAL JOBS Number Happy days are here again? On Friday, the mainstream media was buzzing with the news that the U.S. economy had added 255,000 jobs during the month of July. But as you will see below, the U.S. economy did not add 255,000 jobs during the month...>>Full Article | Back to Top

8/12/2016: DOW 50,000...Believe It or Not! A massive stock market rally is at our doorstep, according to several noted economists and distinguished investors. Larry Edelson, a Money and Markets editor, predicts...>>Full Article | Back to Top

8/11/2016: Soring Silver Silver prices are up 49% already this year. But there are good reasons to think they could go even higher - and that they could stay high. Growing demand and falling ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

8/10/2016: The Global Recession Has Begun by Porter Stansbury. You'll have to forgive all of the economics in today's Digest. I (Porter) don't normally put my "economics hat" on in public, because I know nothing is more boring than reading a review of economic indicators. Also most of the time...>>Full Article | Back to Top

8/08/2016: Politics and the Military The military is getting pulled into the presidential election fight between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, which some fear is harming its reputation and ability to serve the future president. Retired, high-ranking military officers have been given ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

8/05/2016: An Annuity PRIMER Sales trends in annuities may be markedly different at the start of 2018 - less than 1.5 years away - when new Department of Labor regulations kick in regarding the way retirement investments are sold. Judging from ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

8/03/2016: Porter Stansbury's Take on the Currency Problem We've been warning about an inevitable global monetary crisis for years. And now, it's underway. The currency destruction will upend markets. Efforts by Japan's central bank, the Bank of Japan, to stimulate its economy are failing. The world's third-largest economy has seen practically zero real year-over...>>Full Article | Back to Top

8/02/2016: This is Really Getting SERIOUS 80% Stock Market Crash To Strike in 2016, Economists Warn Icahn, Smithers, Dent, and of course Davidson are ALL warning about a coming disaster for this Fall. Most people don't want to hear about this much less ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

8/01/2016: Here Go the BANKS!!! The biggest and most important bank in the biggest and most important country in Europe continues to implode right in front of our eyes. Many alarms have been issued about Deutsche Bank last September. Subsequently, Deutsche Bank stock hit an all-time low. The same thing happened back in May, and once again that was followed ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

August 2016

7/28/2016: We're Used to Sucking Seventeenth in math, 20th in science, and just behind Estonia in economic freedom. Jeff Daniels' fictional rant from The Newsroom claims the United States ranks 178th in infant mortality, a stat that seems to make certain people squeal, usually more lefty types advocating for a single-payer health care system. A closer look at the numbers, however, ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

7/27/2016: PASSIVE FUNDS WIN IN JUNE Just like all of our funds in our 1%@Risk model portfolios in the FFCG, we use exclusively PASSIVE Index Funds from Rydex, Direxion, and ProFunds. It's getting bloody, and spectators are about to beg active mutual funds ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

7/26/2016: Silver to DROP! The price of silver is going crazy... The metal jumped 35% in the first half of 2016. It soared 17% in June alone. The trend is certainly up in this precious metal. But things could be getting out of hand right now, according to history. That means we could see ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

7/25/2016: Natural Gas to Usurp Coal for First Time in U.S. History Rachel Gearhart, Managing Editor, The Oxford Club. Since the Industrial Revolution, coal has been our nation's dominant power source. But that's all about to change... This week's chart looks at the amount of power ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

7/21/2016: OIL!!! Oil prices have been looking more and more like a roller coaster the past two years. It brings up inevitable questions for the savvy investor. How will this impact my portfolio? What does it mean for the economy? What does the future hold for...>>Full Article | Back to Top

7/20/2016: Asset Allocation looks DEAD to me When I started in the business in 1984, one of the biggest fundamental teachings was the concept of asset allocation. Asset allocation is all about the notion that different assets classes offer returns that are not perfectly correlated, hence diversification...>>Full Article | Back to Top

7/18/2016: A Beautiful Piece on GOLD Exactly Why Gold Is Up and Will Keep Going Up By Steve Sjuggerud, editor, True Wealth Don't make this complicated... The story is simple: When both gold and paper pay you zero-percent ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

7/14/2016: Income Investors and the Effects of BREXIT The Brexit vote in the UK just made one thing certain... the search for safe, reliable income just got a whole lot harder. As markets crumbled in the wake of the vote, global investors fled to the few safe havens they could find. U.S. Treasuries came ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

7/13/2016: What EVER Happened to Twinkies As millennials aged past elementary and middle school, they quit munching on such snacks. With fewer kids in the younger age cohorts, slower Twinkie sales seemed inevitable. But that wasn't the end of the not-so-good-for-you ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

7/12/2016: All You Need to Know About Greenspan...the UNMagnificent "Under a gold standard, the amount of credit that an economy can support is determined by the economy's tangible assets, since every credit instrument is ultimately a claim on some tangible asset. [... ] The abandonment of the gold standard made it possible...>>Full Article | Back to Top

7/11/2016: THE Question Will earnings/profit growth return? That's the most important question in the stock market (^GSPC) right now. After all, in the long-run stocks are fundamentally driven by earnings and ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

7/10/2016: Time to Get an Insurance Review Reviewing a client's or prospect's life insurance coverage needs might seem straightforward. But too often, agents and advisors overlook critical...>>Full Article | Back to Top

7/08/2016: IS TESLA Finished? One four-letter word best summarizes the formula behind Tesla's (NASDAQ: TSLA) success: hype. That same four-letter word applies equally well to its founder and chief, Elon Musk, who has used hype and his big, bright smile to take his company from...>>Full Article | Back to Top

7/07/2016: Why Most Retirees Will Never Draw-down Their Retirement Funds In theory, the whole point of saving and investing for retirement is that upon reaching retirement, it's time to spend down the money and enjoy it. In practice, a growing base of research finds that for most of their retirement, retirees are just continuing the growth...>>Full Article | Back to Top

7/05/2016: Ann Coulter's Recent Rant How'd you like to be running a presidential campaign dependent on Muslims not acting up again between now and Nov. 8? It's getting awfully hard for the media to keep being indignant about Trump's proposed Muslim ban, as long as Muslims ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

July 2016

6/30/2016: This Is Your Opportunity to BUY GOLD! The price of gold soared in the wake of the Brexit vote, going as high as $1,350 on Friday before settling back slightly. As of the Monday morning after the vote, the yellow metal was up more than 5% from its close Thursday before returns ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

6/28/2016: A New Way to Invest in GOLD Today, for the first time ever, I'm thrilled to tell you about an exclusive gold deal available only to a small group of Money Map Press subscribers. This is ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

6/23/2016: OPEC Is Finished! Now it looks like even OPEC's throwing in the towel on higher oil prices. The once powerful cartel remains in a state of chaos as member countries - Venezuela, Libya, Iran, and Nigeria - are pumping ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

6/22/2016: Stansbury's Latest Digest About Malls and Commodities America's shopping malls are dying... Last week, one of the country's largest commercial real estate investment trusts ("REITs") - General Growth Properties (GGP) - defaulted on its $144 million loan on suburban Detroit's ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

6/15/2016: Is the Oil Cycle OVER? More consolidation in oilfield services is likely and inevitable given the "lower for longer" environment for oil prices, according to top oil analysts. Merger and acquisition activity has already been significant in the ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

6/12/2016: Are These People for Real? Be Careful who you vote for! These People Are Planning a calculated disaster for the economy and you retirement portfolio. The liberal green groups are celebrating their "victory" ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

6/08/2016: A Fairy Tale? From Bruce Richards, our Investment Advisor in Central Indiana. Once upon a time the government had a vast scrap yard in the middle of a desert. Congress said, "Someone ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

6/02/2016: For All of you "Lawyer-types" About the DOL Fiduciary Rule In my opinion this is a typical response with no chance of making a difference - Otto As anticipated, a number of retirement industry trade groups and the U.S. Chamber of...>>Full Article | Back to Top

June 2016

5/31/2016: Buffett, and his Kraft-Heinz "Special" Deal Turns a bit SOUR! Warren Buffett is about to get back the $8 billion -- plus a little extra -- that his Berkshire Hathaway Inc. invested in Kraft Heinz Co. "That will be good news for Kraft Heinz," he...>>Full Article | Back to Top

5/27/2016: Here's a BIG RED FLAG This just came to our attention at FFCG when we ordered new hardware AND software in order to upgrade our system across the board. We expect ot be finished with this entire project sometime in the 3rd quarter. Microsoft's aggressive ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

5/26/2016: Here's the Difference Between "Fiduciary Duty" and NOT! Morgan Stanley Smith Barney has been ordered to pay two former professional athletes $819,300 because one of its brokers recommended worthless investments to the athletes, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority announced...>>Full Article | Back to Top

5/25/2016: Here's Realistic Look at "the Donald" and his Policies and Rhetoric by Virginia Postrel (Bloomberg. Donald Trump says it all the time: "We don't win anymore." If you got all your economic news from the presumed Republican nominee, you'd think U.S. businesses hadn't added any new jobs or accomplished...>>Full Article | Back to Top

5/24/2016: The Unions vs. the Candidates Before the holidays last year, three unions representing 6.6 million active or retired service workers and public employees endorsed Democrat Hillary Clinton for president. The AFL-CIO and its trade workers, representing 12.5 million people, are in no such hurry. The split amid ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

5/23/2016: The Long-term Effects of Oil...the Dominoes Are Falling! Reverberations from the oil price crash continue as more bankruptcies and increased geo-political tensions are causing a seismic shift in the long term outlook for energy production. With mounting pressure on oil-producing countries leading...>>Full Article | Back to Top

5/20/2016: The Fed: Mission Accomplished?" Imagine, for a moment, that the Federal Reserve finally gets what it's been after: full employment, and its preferred measure of inflation stable at 2 percent. What will have changed for the better? For most Americans...>>Full Article | Back to Top

5/17/2016: John Mauldin's Latest Essay I have long been a critic of government inflation statistics. Not so much about their methodology, but because the measure of "average" inflation across the broad economy doesn't really describe the inflation that the majority of Americans experience. I've written about ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

5/16/2016: This Gets More Difficult Day by Day.... The matter of allowing transgender students to use the bathrooms that match their gender identities should be decided on the state level, not by the White House, Donald Trump said Friday. "I'd leave that up to the states,"Trump said on NBC's "Today" show. "That and other things, frankly. Let the states decide. It's much better ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

5/13/2016: Harry Dent's Market Analysis Producer Price Index Up 0.2% in April, Flat Year-Over-Year... Excluding food and energy, the measure of wholesale prices rose just 0.1% last month, and is only 0.9% higher over the same period last year. What it means - In the official measures, inflation remains ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

5/04/2016: This 'Under the Radar' Recession Warning is Flashing Red - Are You Prepared? Job growth. GDP. Retail Sales. Durable goods orders. They're all worth watching if you're trying to figure out what's happening with the economy. But I have one "under the radar" recession indicator I ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

May 2016

4/29/2016: This Does NOT Look Good Another earnings season crash landing is dragging the Nasdaq lower this week. Victims of the tech train wreck continue to pile up. But there is one company that's bucking the trend and blasting to new highs this week while investors are dragging its peers through the ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

4/28/2016: Annuity FAQs Deferred Income Annuities (DIAs) have been getting a lot of attention lately with surprising increases in sales volume from fiduciaries, bank distribution, RIAs and even independent advisors. So, what's the appeal? Simplicity. The presentation of the DIA value ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

4/25/2016: Confirmation for Trump's Views Jeffrey Gundlach, star investor and CEO of DoubleLine Capital, predicts that Republican frontrunner Donald Trump will win the White House as voters embrace his campaign's idea of "Make America Great Again." "Trump is going to win. I think Clinton and Sanders are both very ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

4/20/2016: The Problem with Most CFP Thinking... or NOT THINKING For as long as I can remember, gold has been a forbidden investment for most financial advisors. We at Feddern Financial Consulting Group have had an allocation to Gold and Precious Metals since day-one! My understanding is that Certified Financial Planners (those people who are licensed to plan your retirement and give you financial advice ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

4/18/2016: The Global "Banking Crisis" Has Begun... PAY ATTENTION!!! "Banking Crisis Explodes in Europe on a Sunday Afternoon: Austria Orders First-Ever Bank "Bail-in"; Takes Depositors Money for Failed Bank" April 10, 2016, 12:00 Noon EDT: "In a move which could trigger a collapse of European banks, Austria "Bailed-in" a failed bank; seizing depositor ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

4/08/2016: What's It All About? Overnight officials from Japan were out in force talking down the yen. We've talked about the significant role that central banks have played, and continue to play in the global economic recovery. Now that the Fed has ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

4/07/2016: Why Dave Ramsey Should be Regulated by - Dave Markey. It's probably unintentional, and could be rooted in either his lack of fundamental training and licensing or his lack of personal financial diversity. I'm not sure which of these is true, and while it's fun to speculate, I will not. The fact remains: Dave has lied to you. He will tell you ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

4/06/2016: Porter Stansbury Speaks Out! The biggest short trade in history... A one-way bet against manipulated currencies... The two ways governments always destroy their currencies... The final days of paper money... As I'm sure you've seen...I (Porter) honestly believe ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

4/01/2016: Larry Edleson's Guide to Monetary Policy When does monetary policy work best? When every central bank is pulling in the same direction ... policy actions are fairly plain-vanilla ... and investors act as if policymakers are in firm control. When does it start to fall apart? In environments like this one, when ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

April 2016

3/29/2016: You Need to Know This About OIL A recent rally in oil prices to up and around $40 a barrel has prompted a degree of optimism in some sectors that prices had bottomed out - but not for long. Oil prices have rallied over the last two months on hopes that a re-balancing of supply and demand in the wider global oil industry was ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

3/28/2016: Stockman Fires the "death shot" at the Fed This week, former Ronald Reagan administration aide and 20-year Wall Street veteran David Stockman has come out and fired shots at the Federal Reserve. The former insider had some very interesting things to say about the U.S. central bank and the state of the ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

3/25/2016: The Next Housing Crisis is Here And this time the crisis is all about one thing: supply. Following the mid-aughts housing bubble that saw homeowners across the country get themselves upside down in homes and mortgages they couldn't ever afford to repay - a crisis that was as much about too much supply as it ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

3/24/2016: THREE Reasons to Own GOLD For most financial transactions today, gold is irrelevant. Wall Street can carry on quite happily without ever even thinking about gold. Why, beyond emotional reasons, is it still a smart move to buy physical gold? After all, gold does have its downsides. It doesn't pay dividends or accrue interest...>>Full Article | Back to Top

3/22/2016: Starting a Retirement plan Lots of us talk about taking an early retirement, but how about making one? In particular, how about making one (or at least starting one) for a young family member or friend? Year after year, when I suggest that you or your parents should open an IRA for your teen or grand-teen...>>Full Article | Back to Top

3/17/2016: Ron Paul Speaks AGAIN! Dr. Ron Paul-the former U.S. Presidential candidate and 22-year Congressional veteran-was briefly back in Washington, D.C., recently. Dr. Paul was in the nation's capital to educate Americans on what he believes our country's next financial crisis will look ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

3/15/2016: Healthcare under Obama A Weiss Ratings health trend analysis of over 1,000 insurers indicates that the total cost of health insurance went up from $95 billion in Q1, 2010 to $140 billion in Q3, 2015; that's an increase of $45 billion or 48 percent in less than six years. The largest growth took place ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

3/14/2016: Oil and Gas Supply Chain Weakens U.S. energy firms this week cut oil rigs for a 12th week in a row to the lowest level since December 2009 as drillers continue to slash capital expenditures despite crude prices having apparently bottomed, data showed on Friday. Looking forward...>>Full Article | Back to Top

3/10/2016: Warren Buffett's Portfolio Problems Buffett's portfolio has a HUGE number of losses over the past 12 months...and he's one of the legends of investing. You see, Buffett's methodology is that he buys "companies NOT stocks of companies." You see the price of the stock of the company is sometimes ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

3/08/2016: It's not only politics that are crazy... This year is shaping up to be one for the record books. The first month of 2016 has the honor of going down as the seventh-worst January for stocks in a hundred years. Now with stocks up 3.5% just four days into the month, we've seen the fourth-strongest start to March in the last hundred ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

3/07/2016: Oil Does Have Problems Oil prices surged to three-month highs on Monday, as improving sentiment in financial markets helped support prices and data revealed investors have dramatically upped their bets on the price of oil rising. Front-month Brent crude future (Intercontinental Exchange Europe: @LCO.1)s traded as high as ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

3/05/2016: Get Ready! Our country is on the brink of a new revolution. One that will make America the strongest, most powerful nation in the world once again. I invite you to join me in the pursuit of building great American wealth. I certainly hope that we as a Country don't get too wrapped up in the politics of the day and we selected the very best candidate to make the ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

3/04/2016: The "Condition" of the Markets With two months in the books, the outlook for financial markets in 2016 is no clearer than it was at the start of the year. The one-two punch of the oil crash and China's slowdown continues to weigh on risk assets, while buoying safe havens. The SPDR S&P 500 (SPY | A-98) was down ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

3/01/2016: The "NEW OIL" Amid a major reordering of global oil markets, investors and manufacturers are turning their attention to a lesser-known commodity which experienced its biggest ever price surge at the start of this year. Lithium carbonate helps to power smartphones and hoverboards, but ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

March 2016

2/25/2016: Jim Rickards' Favorite RANTS for This Week I. Top Russian Official Calls for End to the "Dictatorship" of the U.S. Dollar. Complaints about the U.S. dollar as the world's reserve currency are nothing new. The French finance minister, Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, referred to the dollar system as an "exorbitant privilege" in the 1960s. The U.S. is the only country in the world ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

2/24/2016: 2008 Financial Crisis Redux? It started with concerns over U.S. bank exposure to energy loans and now it has spread like wildfire to Europe. The issue - falling commodities prices. Concern has escalated as investors start to price-in the possibility, or likelihood, that a v-shaped recovery in oil prices is not likely in the foreseeable future. This means that ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

2/23/2016: How to Gauge the Situation Last week, global equity investors got a much-needed reprieve from volatile, loss-inflicting markets. But rather than signaling the start of a calmer market phase, this may well prove a prelude to renewed volatility in the weeks ahead. After ending the last trading session...>>Full Article | Back to Top

2/22/2016: WOW!...WalMart's Problems Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s lackluster sales outlook and dismal earnings reflect a "terrifying new reality" for American retailers, Business Insider warns. "For retail rivals, Walmart's struggles are not cause for celebration. Instead, they reveal a swiftly changing retail landscape ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

2/19/2016: The Case for NOT TIMING THE MARKET... and we certainly agree We'd like to think that our investing decisions are made in a completely rational fashion. We have a plan, it's in writing, and we're committed to it. However, in the real world, people behave irrationally, especially when it comes to money. See the graph...>>Full Article | Back to Top

2/12/2016: Gravity etc Scientists have just detected gravitational waves a billion light-years from Earth. But you don't have to travel into deep space to learn about gravity. Just take a quick peek at stock markets around Mother Earth... Stocks are falling fast as Newton's apple here on home base. Bespoke Investment Group notes that the MSCI World index is sneaking toward a new bear market. That's an...>>Full Article | Back to Top

2/05/2016: Marriage Has Its Benefits... We at Feddern Financial Consulting Group have been working in the "retirement space" since 1984! And to this day we still find individuals and even their tax advisors who are clueless as to how "the government is HERE-TO-HELP." Married couples can often claim twice the retirement savings tax breaks ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

2/03/2016: The 6 Most Important TAX-DEDUCTIONS It's that time of year when the taxman wants your money. But thanks to the tax code, there are many deductions that can help keep cash in your pocket instead of going to Uncle Sam. "No one deduction is better than any other deduction," says Jackie Perlman, senior tax research analyst with the ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

2/02/2016: 2015 Was a Pretty Pivotal Year in the Mutual Fund Biz "Last year was a pretty pivotal year," in the asset management business, Jeff Levi, partner at Casey Quirk, tells me. Here's how. 2015 was the first year, post-financial crisis, that the worldwide asset management industry's AUM, revenue, and operating margins all fell: to $65 trillion, $309 billion, and 32 percent, ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

February 2016

1/28/2016: XTRA Info on the Markets Two headlines dominated coverage of the markets the day I'm writing this. One was the continued decline in the price of oil. The other was a report out of the Royal Bank of Scotland that advised investors to "Sell Everything." Actually, the media coverage that I caught largely glossed over the fact that, technically, the report advised investors to "sell (almost)...>>Full Article | Back to Top

1/27/2016: Has Walmart Screwed-up? The past year has been a very interesting one for Wal-Mart. For years -- decades, really -- the low-cost retailer has been a stout bulwark for low prices and low wages, against increasingly fierce pressure from left-wing activists who want Wal-Mart wages to be closer to those of the old manufacturing jobs that have disappeared. Wal-Mart ferociously refused to ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

1/26/2016: El-Erian Speaks His Mind Newsmax Finance Insider and Allianz Chief Economic Adviser Mohamed El-Erian said Tuesday the world economy is nearing a crucial fork in its financial road. He said the global economy is at the end of the era of borrowing growth and profits from the future in the form of easy ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

1/25/2016: More headwind for Aetna-Humana merger Aetna's proposed acquisition of Louisville-based Humana would probably raise costs for seniors and taxpayers, according to an analysis by the Center for American Progress. The $37 billion deal has been approved by shareholders of both companies but is still being reviewed by the U.S. Department of Justice. The CAP said last week...>>Full Article | Back to Top

1/22/2016: Four Reasons to Own Gold Stocks from the folks at Tocqueville. During the past few months U.S. equity markets have experienced increased volatility and many investors are seeking asset classes that offer appreciation potential with lower market correlation. We believe gold and gold linked equities are attractively priced and represent an attractive investment opportunity because: 1.Gold stocks offer a lower correlation ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

1/18/2016: Words of Wisdom from Jim Rickards From Jan. 20-23, next week, the World Economic Forum meets in Davos, Switzerland. All the global elites will show up. Think of it as the mecca of globalization. I explained yesterday that these elites - the same ones who'll be in Davos next week - want inflation. And "helicopter money" is their answer. How do I know? I can see signs of it already. Here's one very powerful sign ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

1/15/2016: The "January Effect" There are a couple of long-standing investor beliefs about January... The first is that it's one of the best months for stocks - in particular, small caps. The idea is that small caps are buoyed by the "Santa Claus Rally" that begins in mid-December and carries all the way through January. The other is that whatever January brings - whether it's soaring ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

1/14/2016: Federated's Best Thinking With China tremors once again rattling global markets, we asked Audrey Kaplan to help us make sense of what is going on. Q: How worried should investors everywhere be about China?China is in the midst of the steepest January downturn since the start of 2008, a move fed in part on flip-flopping policy actions. But as fear spreads, our research does not indicate a global stock market crash and actually sees opportunities for longer-term investors in other emerging markets ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

1/12/2016: Davidson Calls IT Again! If you follow the market, you know it's been a bumpy ride for investors the last few weeks. But what you might not know is that I predicted the markets recent nosedive several months ago. The scary thing is, I also predict it's about to get a lot worse . . . According to my research, five charts prove...>>Full Article | Back to Top

1/11/2016: It was a TERRIBLE WEEK The US equity markets ended the week down -5 to -7%. depending on the index. This is not considered an auspicious beginning and in fact it's the worst first week of the year since the before turn of the last century. Even most of the leading NASDQ 100 stocks where virtually all of 2015 gains came from (FB, AMZN, NVDA, GOOG, ATVI and NFLX) caved. Smaller cap...>>Full Article | Back to Top

1/08/2016: OPEC Report OPEC oil output fell in December, a Reuters survey found on Tuesday, led by lower supply from Iraq following a record-breaking month in November and smaller declines elsewhere in the producer group. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is still pumping close to record amounts as Saudi Arabia and other big ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

1/07/2016: Obamacare After dozens of failed attempts to undo President Barack Obama's health care law, the GOP-led Congress will finally put a bill on the president's desk Wednesday striking at the heart of his signature legislative achievement. Obama will veto the bill, and so the ultimate outcome will be the same as the many previous GOP attempts to repeal...>>Full Article | Back to Top

1/06/2016: Former Fed President Speaks: Commentary by Richard Fisher, the former president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas from 2005 to 2015 . He is a director of PepsiCo and ATT; a senior advisor to Barclays; and a CNBC contributor. His views are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of the organizations he is affiliated with. Recent volatility and downside slippage in the equity markets has been ascribed...>>Full Article | Back to Top

January 2016

12/31/2015: MY ANNUAL YEAR-END RHYME Here we are late in the month and so it is time For the 25th, "silver anniversary" of my Year-End Rhyme. It doesn't seem like its been that long ago, But I've kept good records and believe me, it's so....>>Full Article | Back to Top

12/30/2015: Here's the "scoop" on the current Oil Situation This may be more than you want to know. I am old enough to remember when OPEC decided to embargo all oil exports to the United States in the fall of 1973. The US was very much dependent on foreign oil at that time, and the embargo had a very detrimental effect on our economy. Gasoline ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

12/28/2015: J.P. Morgan's Latest Opinion Fears of a fiscal cliff arose once again this year, as legislators repeatedly failed to pass a budget. However, a combination of willingness to compromise on taxes, removal of certain policy riders, and the resignation of Speaker Boehner seemed to bring the parties together and an omnibus spending package passed late this month. This bill contains several positive measures for the U.S. economy and puts fiscal policy in a position to ease as monetary policy tightens. ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

12/23/2015: $2.00 Gasoline...SO WHAT? Gasoline falling to $2 a gallon at the pump will put $1.6 billion back in U.S. drivers' wallets this holiday season. That's how much consumers will save during their year-end travels compared with last year, according to GasBuddy Organization, a price tracker based in Gaithersburg, Maryland. The average nationwide pump price dropped to $1.99 a ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

12/21/2015: What Forecasters Got Right and Wrong on Economy for 2015 As the season of economic forecasts is once again upon us, here's a look at how the predictions for 2015 played out. Every year about this time the big Wall Street wirehouses, ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

12/18/2015: Here's the "Scoop" on OIL I've told you before that an oil recovery is inevitable. Now, it certainly isn't easy to hold onto that outlook for some people, especially in the aftermath of OPEC's (and by "OPEC's," I mean Saudi Arabia's) decision to maintain output levels. The group also failed to agree on a production ceiling. ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

12/17/2015: China's Rising Currency Last week, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) voted to admit China's renminbi currency to the Special Drawing Right (SDR) starting October 1, 2016. Its 10.92% weighting will be the third largest in the world. In the short term, the renminbi - which currently represents 2% to 3% of world trade - will rapidly increase its trade share ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

12/16/2015: A Call From Jim Rickards FROM: Jim Rickards TO: Otto G. Feddern The consensus of economists and markets is that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates today. We'll know shortly after 2 p.m. today (watch your inbox for an email update around that time.)But one important official has his doubts about raising rates now. Charles Evans, president of the...>>Full Article | Back to Top

12/15/2015: TODAY Just Might be the Beginning of the End! There's a very important warning signal flashing in the financial market right now. Despite the importance of this signal, few people know about it... and even fewer are talking about it. Don't be one of the people who don't understand the vital importance of the bond market and what it's telling you right ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

12/14/2015: The VIX! Now Might Be the Time for VIX® Posted: 11 Dec 2015 11:02 AM PST. An alarming picture is being painted by an economically frail global economy: the threat of a U.S. Fed rate hike and renewed credit weakness driven by falling oil prices. The S&P GSCI® (TR) was down 30.8% YTD, with all sectors in the index reporting negative ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

12/10/2015: This is REALLY Getting Serious Oil prices pared some of their losses on Wednesday after falling to near seven-year lows earlier in the week, but those hoping for a rebound next year may be disappointed. Fatih Birol, the executive director of the International Energy Agency (IEA), told me that crude prices could continue to fall ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

12/09/2015: The Next Financial Crisis Will Be... No one knows how long the spectacular stock market rally we've been seeing over the past six years will continue. It may go on for a while, stoked by a combination of a not-too-hot, not-too-cold Goldilocks economy and healthy corporate profits. Inflation remains historically low and structural changes in the economy suggest...>>Full Article | Back to Top

12/08/2015: The following is from DorseyWright: We all know the popular refrain, "It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...", but during the month of December, we could easily rephrase that to, "It's beginning to set up for a Small Cap rally..." Going back Cars and light trucks - SUVs, minivans, and pick-ups - have been a key bright spot in the economy the past few years, particularly with tepid growth in overall manufacturing caused by weak foreign economies and a stronger dollar. The pace seen in September, October, and November marks the first time in history that auto sales have ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

12/07/2015: Small Caps for Year-End??? The following is from Dorsey Wright: We all know the popular refrain, "It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...", but during the month of December, we could easily rephrase that to, "It's beginning to set up for a Small Cap rally..." Going back ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

12/04/2015: The ECB and YOU Prior to Thursday morning's ECB meeting, the last time we had heard from the ECB president he was promising more and more free money to the banking cabal and Wall Street (specifically European equities, but Wall Street as well via overall Hopium). When he suggested that there would be a very large increase in the European QE program, Euro and US equities...>>Full Article | Back to Top

12/03/2015: Housing May Be Improving A slew of housing data were released in recent weeks, and they may be indicating the residential real estate market is in the midst of some sort of a recovery. Existing home sales, which represents the largest part of the residential market, is relatively strong, according to ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

12/01/2015: 6 Things You Need to Know About the Chinese Yuan Shareholders in the International Monetary Fund voted on Monday to let the Chinese yuan (CNY) into the fund's basket of reserve currencies. It will now be a member in the IMF's elite club called the Special Drawing Rights (SDR). But what exactly does this mean? Here are six things to know about the...>>Full Article | Back to Top

December 2015

11/25/2015: Some Thoughts About THANKSGIVING Thanksgiving Day is nearly here, and that means we are entering the busiest travel time of the year. This year in particular is projected to be the busiest since before the Great Recession. According to AAA's holiday travel forecast, some 46.9 million travelers will generate the highest Thanksgiving holiday travel volume since 2007. Air travel is expected to see...>>Full Article | Back to Top

11/20/2015: Is It ALL Coming to an End? "The end is not nigh: people and markets adapt to even the worst circumstances." -- David Tepper, billionaire hedge fund manager On Monday, I moderated and debated two doomsayers who are expecting a major bear market in the stock ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

11/19/2015: Is the "Short-term" UP or DOWN We got a broad stock market buy signal on Monday from several of our indicators and "gurus.". Stocks had been selling off hard in November. The S&P 500 closed Friday at 2,023, down 4.3% for the previous two weeks. Technical indicators, like the McClellan Oscillator for the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and Nasdaq, reached oversold ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

11/18/2015: Words of Wisdom from the "SHARKS." 10 Things Entrepreneurs and Business Owners can Gleen from the "Sharks." I recently had the privilege to interact with the folks at Integrity HR and the provided me with the following: If you haven't heard of "Shark Tank", it's time ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

11/17/2015: Bill Gross' Monthly Outlook I have been increasingly suspicious since late 2011 that Sir Thomas Gresham (1519-1579) may be the modern John Maynard Keynes. I said as much in a Financial Times op-ed when I wrote in December of that year, that the famous "Gresham's Law" needs a corollary. Not only does "bad money drive out good money" but "cheap money" ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

11/16/2016: What a "Clueless" President We Have After the French massacre this past week-end, our President still sticks to his clueless assertion that we need to be "compassionate" toward the ISIS (or as he calls them ISIL) Muslims. Mitt Romney speaks out. Mitt Romney is calling for the West to stop the "insanity" of accepting refugees from the Middle East - particularly young ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

11/13/2015: How About TRUMP As President Now you should be financially prepared for Hillary Clinton OR Bernie Sanders winning the White House,(a move abroad is my solution!) let's turn our attention to the Republican Party candidates. First up is Donald Trump. Of course, Trump fancies himself as the king ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

11/12/2015: SEC Is Complicit in the "Confusion" Over Fiduciary W. Scott Simon is a principal at Prudent Investor Advisors, a registered investment advisory firm. He also provides services as a consultant and expert witness on fiduciary issues in litigation and arbitration. Simon is the recipient of the 2012 Tamar Frankel Fiduciary of the Year Award. We have the SEC to thank for investors not being able to tell a non-fiduciary broker from a fiduciary advisor, argues Scott ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

11/11/2015: Is a Reverse Mortgage Right for YOU? If a reverse mortgage is right for you, it can offer great financial relief. A reverse mortgage is a loan. You are borrowing against your home equity. However, unlike traditional mortgages, with a reverse mortgage you do not have to pay back the money you have borrowed as long as you ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

11/10/2015: The FED RATE HIKE? Bill Gross said there is a "100 percent chance" the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates in December after the U.S. added 271,000 jobs in October and the jobless rate fell to 5.0 percent, a 7-1/2-year low. "They are ready to go," Gross said in an interview with Tom Keene and Michael Mckee of Bloomberg Radio after ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

11/09/2015: The DOL's Impact on So-called Advisors New analysis from Morningstar suggests even aggressive estimates of the Department of Labor's proposed fiduciary rule's effect on the financial services industry are being low-balled. About $3 trillion of client assets and $19 billion of revenue at full-service wealth management firms will be impacted, ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

11/06/2015: Social Security Changes as Part of the New Budget Bill As of November 2nd, 2015, President Obama signed into law the two-year budget recently passed by Congress and the Senate. This bill affects Social Security claiming strategies, however, not quite as significantly as many initially thought. The bill was apparently amended, and in effect, grandfathered for ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

11/05/2015: Fixed-Indexed Annuities are Taking the Markets by Storm Recently, several of our advisors and I spent the entire day in Indianapolis and Batesville at the Forethought Insurance Company corporate headquarters. We met with a vast array of players from the Senior VP's to the CFO to what appeared to be EVERYONE that's ANYONE that has anything to do with our THREE fixed-indexed-bonus ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

11/03/2015: Larry Edleson's Cycle Work Anyone who told you that Europe's refugee crisis would be limited to "only" one million immigrants was pulling your leg. As I pointed out many times in this space, the first wave was primarily young men who left large families behind - families t ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

11/02/2015: Are Teenagers Trying to Tell Us Something? Here's a tragic statistic: Texting while driving has caused teenage car accident deaths to double over the past decade. I bet you're not surprised. We've all seen the commercials warning against it. Texting while driving is an epidemic that's killing our kids. Except there's one problem...>>Full Article | Back to Top

November 2015

10/27/2015: Oppenheimer's Take on the Rest of the Year: "Stock Market to Surge 13% By Year-end" John Stoltzfus is managing director and chief market strategist at Oppenheimer & Co. Prior to joining the firm, he was senior market strategist at Ticonderoga Securities, where he provided all macro, market outlook and strategy ideas to the firm and its clients. ETF.com recently sat down with Stoltzfus to discuss his outlook for U.S. stocks, ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

10/23/2015: We're NOT Ready for Retirment Even those Americans closest to retirement age still are not saving enough to meet their retirement income goals, according to the latest BlackRock Global Investor Pulse survey. Overall, 60% of Americans are actually saving for retirement: 65% of men, but just 55% of women. Saving to live ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

10/22/2015: Is It REALLY Different This Time? It's human nature to try and draw conclusions based on what happened in the past. As they say, history does not repeat but it often rhymes. One of the more recent topics flooding my inbox from Wall Street firms is that today - this series of volatile up and...>>Full Article | Back to Top

10/20/2015: McDonalds!!! and Our "Dow Dividend Royalty" Portfolio McDonalds is part of our DOW DIVIDEND ROYALTY portfolio here at FFCG and has been recently upgraded by several annalists. Contact me if you'd like our information on the portfolio.. McDonalds could hit a new high this week: Shares of McDonalds are sitting just under all-time highs as the stock ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

10/16/2015: Get Ready for the Next Big Scare: THE EARNINGS RECESSION Pessimists and scaremongers love to scan the news each day for negative reports and forecasts... and then blow them out of proportion. They have a lot of material to work with. A recent report showed that approximately 90% of the articles in The Washington Post have a negative slant. Television is ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

10/15/2015: What About the Dollar? As America's economic supremacy fades, the primacy of the dollar looks unsustainable. IF HEGEMONS are good for anything, it is for conferring stability on the systems they dominate. For 70 years the dollar has been the superpower of the financial and monetary system. Despite talk of the yuan's rise, the primacy of the greenback is ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

10/14/2015: Here's EVERYTHING I Know About "Currency Wars" A 10% fall in the value of a nation's currency can boost exports by an average 1.5% of GDP, according to a study by the International Monetary Fund that reveals the benefits of a cut in the exchange rate for foreign trade. Heightening fears that the global economy is likely to suffer a new round of currency wars, the report said global trade was ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

10/13/2015: Here Goes EUROPE There's no doubt: Europe's spiral into the abyss has begun. I count five reasons why: 1. These governments have amassed patently unpayable debt ... 2. The costs of their cradle-to-the-grave social programs are soaring, causing...>>Full Article | Back to Top

10/12/2015: GERMANY and VW by Larry Edleson: My cycles research is virtually screaming that Phase II of this great government debt crisis - the phase in which the European Union ultimately defaults on its debts - has begun. Just as I've warned, the era in which governments could amass unpayable debts with impunity has ended. And the era in which mankind ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

10/09/2015: Boehner vs. McConnell House Speaker John Boehner's resignation has sprinkled blood in the water, and now sharks are circling for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. I believe deposing McConnell would be a grave mistake, likely helping President Obama's agenda in Washington. ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

10/08/2015: Is This a TOP or a BOTTOM? Bets against U.S. stocks just hit a seven-year high... You have to go back to the last crisis, in 2008, to find a time when investors were this negative, based on "short interest." (I'll explain this in a second.)The important thing here is this: Stock markets don't peak when everyone ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

10/05/2015: Oil in the Spotlight...AGAIN Despite the volatility, which has become the norm, oil prices close out the week not much changed from Monday. After growing evidence that U.S. supply was contracting, the EIA reported that U.S. oil production rose in July (the latest month for which data is available) by 94,000 barrels per day, compared to June. The monthly figures are much more...>>Full Article | Back to Top

10/02/2015: Here's What "Negative Interest Rates" Mean to You! Last week, the Federal Reserve spooked markets by preserving the monetary policy status quo. Yet a few central bank watchers were more surprised by a new idea the central bank seemingly suggested: a negative interest rate. The Fed's closely watched "dot plot" revealed that at least one committee member floated the idea that a fed funds rate below ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

10/01/2015: It Gets to Be Very Difficult U.S. economy faces perilous autumn with threats in Washington and from abroad This is what it looked like in DC the last time the government shut down ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

October 2015

9/30/2015: A Pending DISASTER In Japan Sources say the Bank of Japan has been quietly brainstorming the idea of overhauling its massive monetary stimulus program over time, casting doubt on officials' confident assertions that it can keep buying up government bonds for several more...>>Full Article | Back to Top

9/29/2015: Here's What Its Like in England The new Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, has said that a Labour government would introduce "people's QE", that is to say, increased government spending, perhaps on infrastructure, financed with printed money. What on earth are we to think about this, and indeed QE generally? I will endeavor ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

9/28/2015: Is It All Over? By Steve Sjuggerud - Is it all over? Is it time to sell everything? After a record-tying six straight years of higher stock prices, is 2015 the year that stocks finally peak? Stocks lost 11% of their value in August - in just more than a week! Was that massive fall the beginning ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

9/24/2015: It's Not ALL About the Fed, and Never Has Been It's not all about the Fed, and never really has been. The market's confused response and dramatic reversal following the central bank's inaction last week has encouraged plenty of talk that the non-move was ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

9/23/2015: "Hating Annuities"... Is Just Plain IGNORANCE On Your Part!!! You may have heard some so-called guru's like Ken Fisher mouth-off that "he hates annuities and so should you." When I hear these types of dribble, I know it can be explained by the old saw of "follow the money." You see money managers like Fisher don't get paid unless HE manages your money and charges a fee...and it doesn't matter if he loses 30%+ like he did in 2008...he still collects his ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

9/22/2015: Forget Unemployment and Worry Instead About WW III Since the onset of the 2008 financial crisis, images of the debt clock in New York City, tracking our national debt as it adds about $10,000 per second every second, day in day out for years on end now, has become painfully familiar to most of us. For many, though, the concept means little - even when the inconceivable $18 trillion-plus figure is broken down to debt burden per citizen ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

9/21/2015: Uber-Doves and Black Swans You couldn't have missed it. Only stages full of GOP presidential candidates or the Super Bowl have ever had more media attention. Yes, we are talking about the Federal Reserve's thundering announcement on Thursday - of nothing . The Fed decided to keep interest rates at zero, for at least the next few months, after holding them near zero for over six...>>Full Article | Back to Top

9/18/2015: "The Donald's" Stock Portfolio...? Despite his enormous wealth from real estate and other deals Donald Trump may not be the best example for all investors to follow in terms of portfolio selection. With his recently released Public Disclosure Report (required of the Presidential candidates) we get a peek into "The Donald's" stock portfolio, and it's not pretty. Donald Trump, the Presidential ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

9/17/2015: What Does the Recent Spike in Oil Prices Mean for the Future? Oil prices SOARED 29% in one week at the end of August. Specifically, the price of U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil went from $38.09 per barrel to $49.20 per barrel. That's a 29.2% increase in just five trading days - one of the most extreme short-term rises we've ever ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

9/16/2015: The Death of the US DOLLAR According to Bloomberg and other sources, the International Monetary Fund is expected to announce a reserve currency alternative to the U.S. dollar on October 20th of this year, which experts say will send hundreds of billions of dollars moving around the world, literally overnight. This announcement is expected to trigger one of the most profound transfers of wealth in our...>>Full Article | Back to Top

9/12/2015: Weird Volatility Last week, I was in South Bend, Indiana, for an investment committee meeting, and with an hour to spare, I decided to take a walk around Notre Dame's campus. I was so glad that I did. It's beautiful...>>Full Article | Back to Top

9/10/2015: What About the Past TWO WEEKS Don't be fooled. The recent market correction was not just the little "late summer blip" we sometimes see prior to a rally into the fall and winter. This was not "just a correction". Serious damage occurred ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

9/09/2015: Here's How I Think the Fall "Could" Playout Another day, another 300 point market swing. And that's not going to end anytime soon. See, we're headed into round 9 of a brutal 10-round fight for market direction between two heavyweights. 2015 has been a split decision for the market so far, with the bulls "winning" four months this year and the bears "winning" the ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

9/02/2015: SAFE Can Certainly Be RISKY! The last several years have been defined by historically low interest rates, and using a bond index fund to gain market exposure to the broad fixed income market has become a more prevalent investor strategy. While rates have seen historic lows, they are expected to rise over time. Given the potential for a changing fixed income landscape...>>Full Article | Back to Top

9/01/2015: Here's Why the Rout May Not Be Over Despite recent gains, traders remain skittish following Monday's market meltdown and liquidity rout. Unprecedented moves early this week sent the Dow (^DJI) tumbling over 1,000 points intraday and volatility (^VIX) jumping a record 90% to a four year high. While the sell-off in China received much of the blame for the severe U.S. market drop, traders and economists say foreign...>>Full Article | Back to Top

September 2015

8/26/2015: Here's What's Up with RD-Shell It's "Drill, baby, drill" in Sarah Palin's home state. After years of battles with environmental groups, Royal Dutch Shell (RDS-A) was given final approval by the federal government to drill an exploratory well for oil and natural gas in the Arctic Ocean near Alaska. It's a major win for big oil, and one that has environmental groups vowing to keep fighting. In the near term, however, Shell is one step closer ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

8/24/2015: "Part-timers" by Choice? With jobs more plentiful these days, Matt Tait could easily find full-time work. But he wanted to focus on his wooden toy business and took a part-time gig at Team Detroit, Ford Motor's advertising agency. It's a win-win. Tait's boss is happy to have him because the 31-year-old graphic designer's outside activities make him more creative. And Tait has time to run Tait Design Co., which sells balsa airplanes and wooden yo-yos of his ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

8/22/2015: Implications of The Chinese YUAN Devaluation by Steve Maverick - Another great game is certainly afoot in global financial markets, and China has announced its presence with authority. The bout, of course, is the currency war. On August 11, China devalued its currency by the largest amount in one day since 1993. By doing so, it joined a phalanx of countries around ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

8/20/2015: Commodities Are "Taking It On the Chin!" After it emerged from bankruptcy protection in 2014, Genco Shipping & Trading was the darling of many hedge funds and distressed investors. But with world trade still virtually flat, Genco's prospects have not improved much. The circumstances of dry bulk carriers are especially bleak. In the first week of August, meanwhile, US coal producer Alpha Natural Resources filed for bankruptcy protection. The drop in coal prices is ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

8/19/2015: The "Professors" Lecture Us It's the dog days of summer, when college professors are supposed to be doing nothing but mimeographing their syllabus and mending the elbow patches on their blazers (or whatever it is that they do in the summer). But that's not stopping some academics from throwing shade, as the kids say, in the general direction of ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

8/18/2015: Where's Oil Price Going and WHEN? An expected drop in crude prices to $30 to $40 a barrel this fall might not be enough to balance global oil markets, IHS Energy's Jamie Webster told CNBC on Monday. U.S. production needs to fall by as much as 1 million barrels per day (bpd) for the U.S. to balance markets, according to IHS. But such a move would require U.S. crude ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

8/17/2015: The "China Problem" Did China just put the last nail in the interest rate coffin? Did its move last week erase the idea that interest rates will ever return to "normal" in our lifetimes? I have no doubt Janet Yellen's head slammed the table in frustration last week. As China devalued the value of its yuan, Yellen's job got much, much harder. In fact, we'd argue the global economic ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

8/14/2015: Is the Chinese YUAN the REAL PROBLEM? The sky is falling! It's 2008 part 2! This is the end of the world as we know it! The chicken littles are out in force over China's recent currency devaluations. Let's put things in perspective. Yes, the Chinese yuan is down 3.5% in the past year. But over that same period, the Japanese ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

8/13/2015: It's Coming to Pass... The global economy is rolling over to the downside for the most part. The question is, will this global slowdown take the US economy down with it? While no one knows for sure, that possibility simply cannot be ruled out. If the softening in the global economy leads to a slowdown in the US, that will almost certainly result in a weakening of our ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

8/12/2015: GOLD vs. the FED Yes, there are plenty of examples in history when gold stocks (and other resource stocks) were safe havens during a financial crisis. Look up the history of Homestake Mining during the Great Depression, for one example. Gold plays a unique role in the modern economy. All of our fiat currency ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

8/11/2015: Are We Being FOOLED? For American investors, it looks all good: The Dow Jones Industrial Average remains near 18,000, biotech stocks are hot and the Nasdaq Composite is within a hair of its record high. U.S. GDP growth bounced back in the second quarter, advancing at a 2.3 percent annual clip as the job and housing markets continue to ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

8/10/2015: Here's My Latest GUESS on a Gold Opportunity I believe that some combination of rising interest rates, rising defaults in the corporate bond market, and global currency/trade wars will likely cause the U.S. stock market to decline substantially. No, I don't know the exact timing of such a move. But I believe it will happen within the next few months. Downward reversion to the mean will...>>Full Article | Back to Top

8/07/2015: ALRIGHT Pilgrims...HERE IT IS! Since Everyone seems to be running, I've decided to run for President yet again in 2016 and I need your support! This platform was issued originally on 5-25-2011 which is my birthday. I originally announced my decision five years ago. If you would have elected me the last time, we wouldn't ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

8/06/2015: The Chinese Attempt at "Free Markets" Beijing's efforts to engineer a strong stock rally and the recent Shanghai market collapse have had quite limited effects on western markets, but going forward the fallout from Chinese market meddling will likely be less benign. Unlike western corporations, Chinese businesses are much more dependent on bank financing than selling stock to raise capital. And ordinary ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

8/05/2015: Are the Saudis Really This Stupid? I've been scratching my head for a while at Saudi Arabia's determination to pump as much oil as it possibly can. The official explanation - that the Saudis want to crush oil prices in order to protect their market share - just doesn't make any sense. And the implication that the Saudis want to crush ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

8/04/2015: The GREEK MESS Was Far Worse Than We Were Led to Believe A secret cell at the Greek finance ministry hacked into government computers and drew up elaborate plans for a system of parallel payments that could be switched from euros to the drachma at the "flick of a button". The revelations have caused a political storm in Greece and confirm just how close the country came to drastic measures ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

8/03/2015: One of My BEST Personal Financial Decisions Back in the mid 1990s I made an important financial decision that has really "come home to roost." Since my wife Mina and I have no children, and we have only three siblings between us, I've not had the pressing urgency that you may have with children/grand-children and other extended family. I've always been very concerned about long-term disability and the care that results from it. The financial decision that I made back then ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

August 2015

7/29/2015: Europe's in Much WORSE Shape Than You Thought The International Monetary Fund warned on Monday that the euro zone's prospects were modest and that more money printing than planned may be needed. Contrasting the IMF's relative gloom, however, German think tank Ifo reported improving confidence the 19-country bloc's largest economy. The IMF, saying medium-term growth would be subdued, urged...>>Full Article | Back to Top

7/28/2015: FIVE "Must Reads" for You TODAY! I strongly urge you to set aside some time today or tonight to read the follow FIVE short articles from Jim Rickard. He along with Harry Dent, Larry Edleson (Weiss Research) and even our work at FFCG are calling for a major stock market AND bond market AND commodity market correction beginning in OCT of THIS YEAR. It will be of huge ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

7/27/2015: BUY Commodity Funds... NOT SELL THEM Investing in a poorly performing asset class can be a tough sell with clients, especially those who have a tendency to chase winners. Broad-based commodity funds with a long bias-those that invest (but don't short sell) in multiple, unrelated commodities-certainly have fallen into that category recently. Consider the recent annual ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

7/24/2015: Hillary and California Are Dead Wrong on Sharing Economy... Surprise to Anyone? MarketWatch columnist Diana Furchtgott-Roth isn't too impressed with several recent developments on the labor front. "It's no coincidence that in the space of a month, California declares Uber drivers to be employees, Hillary Clinton attacks the sharing economy, and the Labor Department issues guidelines on when to classify workers as employees, who are entitled to fringe benefits, or independent ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

7/23/2015: Looks Like Tax Cuts Are Coming (after Obama of course. The one key reason for being bullish on equities the past several years has been valuation. Stocks are cheap based on profits and interest rates. However, one additional reason to be bullish is that tax policy is very likely to improve after the next presidential election. For very different reasons, the election of either a Republican candidate or Hillary Clinton should generate ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

7/22/2015: How Insurance Companies WORK Insurance companies collect premiums from their customers. And if they're good at what they do, those premiums exceed what they'll end up paying out in claims. In the meantime, they get to invest all that money. As Porter Stansberry has explained in his Investment Advisory, insurance companies get paid to use capital. "That's a fantastic way to become very ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

7/21/2015: More on the Worldwide Banking System from Doug Casey. You're likely thinking that a discussion of "sound banking" will be a bit boring. Well, banking should be boring. And we're sure officials at central banks all over the world today - many of whom have trouble sleeping - wish it were. This brief article will explain why ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

7/20/2015: Here's As Much As I Know About the Major Banks and Their Problems Demand Deposits. Demand deposits were so called because, unlike time deposits, they were payable to the customer on demand. These were the basis of checking accounts. The banker didn't pay interest on the money, because he supposedly never had the use of it; to the contrary, he necessarily charged the depositor ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

7/16/2015: Some of My Colleagues Comment on the Humana-Aetna Merger Deal Late last week, it was announced that Aetna Inc. agreed to buy Humana Inc. for $37 billion in cash and stock to broaden its health care coverage. The news has big ramifications. BenefitsPro asked some industry experts about what the merger - and rumors of subsequent dealings in the health care industry - means for brokers, consumers and the industry in general. Here's ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

7/15/2015: The US Economy Monitoring the state of the labor market is especially critical at this stage in the economic cycle, as its equilibrium (or lack thereof) will have implications for wage growth, consumer price inflation, monetary policy, corporate profits, and risk in financial markets. Wage growth has been stuck in a low range since the end of the last recession. From 2010 to now the year-over-year change in average hourly...>>Full Article | Back to Top

7/14/2015: Advisor Issues for Your Account For decades, advisors have violated regulations and laws in order to further their own interests. Insurance and securities firms now spend hundreds of millions of dollars on producer recruitment, selection, training and compliance oversight. Yet every year, the violations keep coming, and clients, especially seniors, keep getting...>>Full Article | Back to Top

7/13/2015: The Bubbles and their Consequences Don't Match As bubbles go, it was not a very big one. From 2002 to 2006, the share of the American economy devoted to residential construction rose by 1.2 percentage points of GDP above its previous trend value, before plunging as the United States entered the greatest economic crisis in nearly a century. According...>>Full Article | Back to Top

7/10/2015: Internationals Performed Very Well for the 1st half of the Year Given the steady stream of alarming headlines about the Greek crisis and the wild swings in Chinese stock markets, it may sound surprising that the first half of 2015 was not as tumultuous overall as the latter part of 2014 for stock markets outside the United States. Late last year, energy prices were tumbling ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

7/09/2015: Marty Weiss Speaks AGAIN Martin here with an urgent update on the fallout of yesterday's landslide Greek vote to reject austerity, end painful bailouts, and, ultimately, dump the euro. This is what I said was likely to happen when I wrote you yesterday before the vote. It's exactly the kind of crisis I've told you would create a Global Money Tsunami toward the U.S. And it's precisely what Larry Edelson ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

7/02/2015: More on the Central Bankers There are several definitions of financial repression - and the repressers and the repressed tend to see things differently. But what financial repression usually involves is keeping interest rates below their natural market level, to the benefit of borrowers at the expense of savers. The borrowers are often governments, and in many ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

7/01/2015: And So It Goes Some things seem permanent. Greece is fighting for a bailout. A Bush and a Clinton are running for the White House. FIFA is plagued by scandal. But for those who track the world's central banks, change is afoot. Having soothed investors for the past seven years with low interest rates, bond-buying and other interventions aimed at shoring up weak economies, monetary policy makers are slowly stepping out of markets in ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

July 2015

6/30/2015: This is IT This is the end game for Europe we've been warning you about ... the trigger mechanism for a chain reaction of events that can change our world ... and, at the same time, a huge opportunity for you. With Greece's financial system collapsing and Greek citizens rushing to withdraw their savings, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has just shuttered all of the nation's ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

6/29/2015: Greece Has Apparently Chosen It's Path to Default! Specifically, Greek officials called for a nationwide referendum on July 5 over the European bailout program rather than reach a direct agreement with creditors over the weekend. That virtually guarantees that Greece will miss a 1.7 billion euro debt payment due tomorrow to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). That, in turn, is a default in everything but technical name only. It also means Greece's ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

6/24/2015: Here's What's Happened to OIL The Bottom is Here - Is It Time to Buy? Right now, three companies hold the key to an explosion of wealth right here in America... For now, the shares trade for well below their true values, but I can't see that lasting much longer. You see, these companies pay out double-digit gains ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

6/23/2015: Welcome to the Fun House Did you hear what Fed Chief Janet Yellen said last week? Well, if you missed the statement after the latest Fed meeting, I'm here to pass it along... because the Fed's latest explanation of interest rate policy is by far the most important information we've gotten from the Fed in a long time. You need to know what was said - and more importantly...>>Full Article | Back to Top

6/17/2015: Computer Passwords (and I'm no computer GURU). Siemens is one of the largest engineering and technology companies on earth. One of Siemens' biggest businesses is selling industrial control systems. Companies use these systems to run giant infrastructure operations like chemical factories, power plants, or subway systems. Siemens calls these products...>>Full Article | Back to Top

6/16/2015: Raising Rates? Larry Levin's Take on It. For months, the "experts" have been trying to guess when and thus warn the rest of us that the Fed is going to unleash it's hawkish monetary policy and thus mark the beginning of the end for our historic bull market over here in the US equity markets. I have to ask myself, "is this really that big of a deal?" Is raising rates from effectively zero to slightly north of zero going ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

6/12/2015: The Younger Generation (so-called Millennials) The latest Allstate/National Journal Heartland Monitor Poll finds 32% of "younger" Americans believe paying off credit card and student loan debt is the best use of the money they have right now. The survey classified respondents into two groups, including "younger" Americans who are ages 18 to 24 and those ages 25 to 29 who answered that they were still "getting started" in life. "Older" Americans are age 30 ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

6/11/2015: When Were You Born? If you were born in May, congratulations. You have a lower risk of disease than people born in any other month, according to researchers at Columbia University Medical Center. Sorry, October babies. You have the highest risk of disease. Scientists examined New York City medical databases and found 55 diseases that were linked with the month of birth. "This data could help scientists uncover ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

6/09/2015: Marty Weiss' Take on the Global Situation Martin here with a quick update on the multiple crises overseas that are driving new waves of flight capital to the world's safest havens ... Schloss Elmau, Krün, Germany - While wars erupt globally, President Obama and other leaders of the G7 revel in a fantasy world at this idyllic Bavarian resort. They "reaffirm their resolve" against Russia's Vladimir Putin's new ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

6/08/2015: More on American Pharaoh Back at Churchill Downs, Triple Crown champ American Pharaoh rests, meets adoring fans. Workers at Churchill Downs put the finishing touches on a sign commemorating American Pharaoh’s status as racing's newest Triple Crown winner ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

6/04/2015: Fighting the Last War By Rodney Johnson The problem with most humans is that we're really bad at letting go of what happened yesterday. So too with nations. When estimating potential threats, it's easy for leaders to adapt to whatever happened in the latest conflict, developing their military...>>Full Article | Back to Top

6/03/2015: Inflation vs. Price Gauging By Rodney Johnson, Senior Editor, Economy & Markets Just like the rest of the country, Florida has distinct seasons. We just call them by different names. Instead of winter, spring, summer and fall, we have "snowbird," "spring break," "family time" and "the quiet period." Other people might mark the start of summer by a change in temperature or kids getting out of school. Our season starts...>>Full Article | Back to Top

6/02/2015: US Oil Independence...I Doubt It Let me keep this simple. American energy independence is an enormous red herring, no matter how much the U.S. shale hawks and politicians want it to be true. I can already I can hear the air over the other side of the Atlantic turning blue as I sit in my airplane seat at 33,000 feet on the way to the OPEC meeting in Vienna. But just bear with me for a moment. What the U.S. shale industry ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

June 2015

5/29/2015: Blackrock SPEAKS: Larry Fink may not be a household name but he's certainly one of the most powerful men on Wall Street-and in all of American business. He's also a man steeped in parsing risk, someone who sees around corners to succeed. As the co-founder and CEO of BlackRock (BLK), the biggest asset manager on the planet with over $4.6 trillion (that's with a "T") of clients' funds under ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

5/22/2015: SMILE!!! You will smile as you read it ..... Because as stupid as it may sound, this is exactly what we do! GOD to ST. FRANCIS : Frank , ... You know all about gardens and nature. What in the world is going on down there on the planet? What happened to the dandelions, violets, milkweeds and stuff I started eons ago? I had a perfect no-maintenance garden plan. Those plants grow in any type of soil, withstand drought ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

5/21/2015: We're Certainly DUE for a -10% to -20% Correction Everywhere I go these days, the same question seems to weigh on investors' minds. "Don't you think this market is overdue for a correction?" I always answer the same way: I sure hope so. "But don't you own stocks?" they typically reply, with a look of puzzlement. Of course. "So why would you root for a correction?" Let me count the ways. According to InvesTech Research...>>Full Article | Back to Top

5/19/2015: The Oxford Club's Opinion There's no end in sight for this bull market. As long as money is cheap, the gains will continue. It's great news as we embark on our journey to unleash liberty through wealth. But before I show you why there are plenty more gains to come, let me remind you of two key facts. First, it's an Oxford Club maxim that stocks ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

5/18/2015: May-Sep Romance The markets are caught up in a May-September romance. As the back half of May unfolds, a large majority of Wall Street play callers are projecting that September will be when the Federal Reserve finally will be able and willing to begin lifting short-term rates off the zero mark. And investors, for now, seem pretty...>>Full Article | Back to Top

5/15/2015: THE Major Problem Is... Billionaire investor Stan Druckenmiller said an aging population will present a "massive, massive problem" for the U.S. in 15 years. "The young people are not going to be talking about cutting back," Druckenmiller said Wednesday night in New York at an event hosted by Addepar, a technology company that provides software to financial advisers, fund managers and ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

5/14/2015: Lookout for the Dollar! The U.S. dollar has started out today's North American session on the back foot, hurt by comments from William Dudley, the influential President of the New York Federal Reserve. In comments during a panel discussion in Zurich, Dudley bluntly stated that he did not know when the Fed would hike rates and...>>Full Article | Back to Top

5/13/2015: Social Security Might be in Worse Shape Than You Thought The Social Security Administration projects that its trust funds will be depleted by 2033-not an optimistic forecast. But it may be even bleaker than that. New studies from Harvard and Dartmouth researchers find that the SSA's actuarial forecasts have been consistently overstating the financial health of the program's trust funds since 2000. "These biases are getting bigger and they are ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

5/11/2015: Be Aware of the Up-Coming Risks Friday ended with a sharp rally following a turbulent week. With the day's 1%-plus rally, the major indices closed on the plus side for the week. Two key factors were attributed to Friday's advance. First was the surprising victory in the U.K. of the Conservative Party, which gained a clear majority in Parliament. The Vanguard FTSE Europe ETF ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

5/08/2015: Amazon is Flying to a Front Door near YOU..and at a $1 charge!!!!!. May 5, 2015|by Tasha Keeney, ARK Analyst| Since its initial publication, ARK has scrutinized the assumptions and refined the estimates. Even with more conservative figures, ARK finds that Amazon could deliver a package for $1 and still turn a profit. Here are the assumptions, broken down ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

5/07/2015: Yellen vs. Small Caps On Wednesday, comments from Federal Reserve Chief Janet Yellen that stocks are generally overpriced sent the market into a tailspin. However, in the last hour, bargain hunters jumped in, recovering about half of the decline. The Dow industrials and S&P 500 lost 0.5%, and the Nasdaq fell 0.4%, although small caps ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

5/01/2015: Here's Marc Faber's report on how bad the next bubble-burst is going to be With the S&P 500 index hovering less than 2 percent below its record high, many market participants are calling for a correction of about 10 percent. Marc Faber, editor of The Gloom, Boom & Doom Report, is calling for a little more than that. "For the last two years, I've been thinking that U.S. stocks are due for a correction," he told ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

May 2015

4/30/2015: Just in Time for the DERBY! How to Make THE PERFECT MINT JULEP There are three common mistakes that people make with mint juleps, Bill Samuels believes. The first is using a low-grade Bourbon that has a strong, hot bite. The next mistake is using too much mint in an effort to cover up the Bourbon's strong bite. And ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

4/16/2015: Do You Really Need 80% of Your Current Salary In Retirement? Conventional wisdom says you need retirement income equal to 80% of your final salary. But there is a decent chance you could happily retire with far less. Let's start with reality: Most of us don't have a well-honed financial plan in which we set out to amass a specific sum and quit the workforce only when we hit our...>>Full Article | Back to Top

4/14/2015: This is the Scariest Article I saw Last Week I. THIS IS THE SCARIEST ARTICLE I'VE SEEN ALL WEEK This article has comments by Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan, the world's eighth largest bank with over $2.4 trillion in assets, and over $70 trillion in derivatives exposure. Dimon describes the October 15, 2014 flash crash in bond yields as something that happens once every "3-billion years." There's only one ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

4/13/2015: Earnings Season has Begun... will it be + or- Earnings season is officially upon us, with Alcoa (AA) kicking things off Wednesday night. Alcoa is traditionally the herald of what a new market season will bring. And if that's the case this quarter, Wall Street needs to either relax its expectations or brace for a lot of disappointment ahead. Alcoa r was essentially punished for a great quarter by any normal...>>Full Article | Back to Top

4/06/2015: From BAD to WORSE...1st Quarter Misery With rallies in U.S. stocks falling apart on a daily basis, one measure of trader anxiety in the options market is flashing more pessimism than any time in six years. Bearish puts on the Standard & Poor's 500 Index outnumber bullish calls by the most since October 2008, with the ratio steepening amid a run of economic reports that trailed...>>Full Article | Back to Top

4/02/2015: Sit Back; Read; and Digest ALL OF THIS! House Republicans are proposing to cut $5.5 trillion in federal spending and balance the budget in nine years by cutting Medicaid and food stamps and partially privatizing Medicare. The House plan released Tuesday, straight from Representative Paul Ryan's budgets of the past, is sure to ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

4/01/2015: Obama and His Buddies Strike Again President Barack Obama said Monday that he supports the idea of reducing military retirement pay by about 20 percent. According to the Washington Times, Obama wrote a letter to congressional leaders saying he favors the recommendations put forth by a military commission. Under the plan, troops serving...>>Full Article | Back to Top

April 2015

3/31/2015: You Better Pay Attention to This Consistently identify the market's most profitable opportunities and know exactly how much to pay for them AHEAD OF TIME - and even when to sell... "Buy-and-hold" hasn't been this risky since June 2008. Investors suffered then - and...>>Full Article | Back to Top

3/27/2015: LTC (Long-Term Care) The United States is one big happy country - but a public college in one state can charge students from another state a high out-of-state tuition rate. Domestic travelers may have trouble getting hunting and fish licenses outside their home...>>Full Article | Back to Top

3/26/2015: If it Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It! Pressured by the health care industry, Congress is rushing to permanently raise pay for doctors who participate in Medicare. A new bill would replace the decade-long practice of funding periodic pay increases for physicians by cutting spending in other parts of the $622 billion program. This Washington rite is known...>>Full Article | Back to Top

3/25/2015: The Case for $20 Oil ... THIS YEAR! There's the makings of a crisis swirling in America's oil-storage tanks, and the next few months will determine whether it's a minor annoyance, or a major blow, to U.S. oil. The basic problem is that too much oil is being pumped, and not enough is being used up. America is running out of places to store all of the excess crude. That's a problem, and it could send prices plummeting ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

3/24/2015: 3 Things about the Euro The euro hit a 12-year low vs the dollar Wednesday, continuing a dramatic slump for the single currency. It's the biggest story in the financial markets today (so far at least) so here are three things you need to know about the tumbling Euro: #1: The dollar bears were dead ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

3/17/2015: Democrats Are Waking-up! Despite the backlash against the open letter sent last week by Republicans to Iran's leaders, Democrats say they are still prepared to support legislation that could impose new sanctions on Iran or give Congress review power over the deal, Politico ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

3/12/2015: The Bakken May Be Breaking Under Low Oil Prices? A decision by Whiting Petroleum Corp., the largest producer in North Dakota's Bakken shale basin, to put itself up for sale looks to be the first tremor in a potential wave of consolidation as $50-a-barrel prices undercut companies with heavy...>>Full Article | Back to Top

3/09/2015: What to Do About the FEDfrom FirstTrust Advisors This diatribe about the Fed is only for those who are really interested OR who have nothing better to do than to pour over all of this data. It's always amazing to me to learn more and more about the inner workings of the largest financial organization in the world. Some in Congress want to "Audit the Fed." But an audit, unless the word is used in a very broad sense, would be redundant and basically irrelevant. The Fed is already audited, by Deloitte & Touche LLP and it releases an annual ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

3/06/2015: Do You Believe that Oil is at $95 a Barrel??? There's one place in the world where oil is still $95 a barrel. On paper...at least. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission requires drillers to calculate the value of their oil reserves every year using average prices from the first trading days in each of the previous 12 months. Because oil didn't start its freefall to about $45 till after the OPEC meeting in late November, companies in their latest regulatory filings used $95 a barrel to figure out how...>>Full Article | Back to Top

3/04/2015: What About LOW Oil Prices and Politics? Low oil prices will compound political risks across emerging markets this year, according to a new report released Wednesday. Low oil prices will compound political risks across emerging markets this year, according to a new report released Wednesday. Aon's Political Risk Map for 2015 warns that countries ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

March 2015

2/25/2015: US Is "KING"...at Least for Now The US economy is expected to grow faster than the world economy as a whole in 2015, according to the IMF. China's growth is slowing and Europe is taking baby steps out of its long funk, though the euro/dollar exchange will help lift exports for the continent. The US stock market is also leading the pack. It's just one of three where more than 50% of companies are outperforming ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

2/23/2015: What to do about OIL? The media has only talked negatively about oil since it started crashing. These are the same media, of course, who were cheering on the fracking bull right up until it collapsed. Why do we listen to them - instead of paying attention to facts? Here is one fact: U.S. gasoline and oil demand is surging. That may surprise you, but it's ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

2/19/2015: Inheriting an Inherited IRA: A Confusing Process Inherited IRA accounts are becoming more common, and advisors have learned the differences between the options a spouse has versus the options available to a non-spouse who inherits a retirement account. But do you know how to treat an IRA that was inherited from someone who inherited it from someone else? This is where the rules really get complex. Karen Smith's father died at the age of 69 ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

2/17/2015: "D-DAY" by Jeff Gordon D-Day has been postponed till the end of this year. And by "D-Day," I mean the date when every adult American will be able to invest in startups. Right now, you have to make $200,000 or have personal assets of at least $1 million. And you can't include your own home. Later on this year, the stakes get much bigger. Millions of Americans will become eligible to invest in startups for the first time. But bigger for whom ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

2/13/2015: The Effects of long-term LOW Oil Prices Oil prices have gotten crushed for the last six months. The extent to which that was caused by an excess of supply or by a slowdown in demand has big implications for where prices will head next. People wishing for a big rebound may not want to read farther. Goldman Sachs released an intriguing analysis ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

2/11/2015: An Exercise in Buying Gold Coins If there is one little secret that is not so secret about today's gold coin market, it is the obsessive focus on quality. Of course, when you think about it, quality is always king, whether you're talking vintage hot rods, fine wines, or period antiques. But even after 33 years in this business I am still awe-struck by the stratospheric prices that tip-top quality, "Best of the Best" Gem ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

2/10/2015: The Republican Alternative to ObamaCare After years of criticizing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the GOP has unveiled an alternative plan to the controversial law that would scrap PPACA's mandates but still offer tax credits for those buying private insurance. The plan debuts the same week the House cast its first vote ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

2/05/2015: Where's the Oil Savings Money Going? "Since the recession, you have a much more cautious consumer," Wayne Best tells The Wall Street Journal. Mr. Best is chief economist at Visa. His firm is out with a survey that sought to discover what Americans are doing with the windfall they're getting from lower gasoline prices. The Energy Department estimates that windfall will amount to $750 in the typical U.S. household this year. The survey shows...>>Full Article | Back to Top

2/04/2015: A Closer Look at Hillary It seems that most of the talk about the 2016 presidential election has been about the Republicans. There are a lot of potential Republican candidates, but there is not a wide slate of Democrats. As of right now, Hillary Clinton is the presumed frontrunner, although she has not officially ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

February 2015

1/29/2015: Gold at $3000...All But Guaranteed Europe is about to completely melt down. And if you don't think it matters to us here in the United States, think again. Europe never emerged from the Great Recession, as the continent continues to suffer from high unemployment, stagnant wage growth, and high taxes. The truth is, the U.S. never recovered either, not if you put aside trillions of dollars in Fed...>>Full Article | Back to Top

1/26/2015: The Saudi's OIL Strategy "If I reduce, what happens to my market share? The price will go up, and the Russians, the Brazilians, U.S. shale oil producers will take my share." That quote is from Saudi Oil Minister Ali Al-Naimi. And it's the official justification for why Saudi Arabia won't cut its oil production to be more in line with current demand. Heck, Saudi Arabia has been cutting deals with China and others to sell its oil at below ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

1/20/2015: The State of the Union Just Isn't What It Used to Be Sure, the pageantry and theatrics of the annual presidential address will all be there. The stem-winder of a speech from President Barack Obama . The standing ovations from his supporters, and strategic smirks and scowls from his opponents. The wall-to-wall media coverage and cable news countdown clocks. But viewership is falling, with 20 million fewer people watching last...>>Full Article | Back to Top

1/15/2015: The Swiss Franc in Play AGAIN! The big news this morning in the early going comes not from the oil pits but rather the Swiss National Bank. In a surprise move, the SNB announced that they were cutting interest rates by 0.50% and abandoning the bank's cap of the Swiss franc relative to the euro. The now 3-year old cap on the franc had been 1.20 to the euro. In a statement, the bank said that "enforcing and maintaining the minimum...>>Full Article | Back to Top

1/14/2015: A "Nuttsy" Headline for Sure "Is the age of McDonald's over?" That was the headline of a recent Yahoo! Finance article on the fast food giant (NYSE: MCD). It lists slumping sales and a string of negative PR incidents overseas-like a tooth found in chicken McNuggets in Japan-as reasons investors should sell their MCD shares. The article goes on to say MCD shares appear locked into a "sideways" pattern. This means share prices fail to "break out" to new highs. They stay in a narrow range as time passes. Most investors...>>Full Article | Back to Top

1/13/2015: Gross was FIRED from PIMCO Bill Gross said he was fired from Pacific Investment Management Co., the first time he has publicly stated that he was dismissed from the firm he co-founded in 1971. Gross, speaking in an interview with Bloomberg View's Barry Ritholtz, said he offered to step down from the executive committee and compensation committee and oversee closed-end funds after differences with management over his personality and business ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

1/12/2015: GLD Ready to Shine Again? This commodity exchange-traded fund (ETF) is a rare pure play on gold since it holds physical gold bullion and seeks to track the price of the metal, minus fees and expenses. Gold is generally considered to be a countercyclical investment, meaning it is often purchased as a way to hedge global economic crises. That may make it attractive to some investors at the current juncture. Despite its volatility ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

1/02/2015: It Could be FLORIDA Again In recent presidential election cycles, Florida's primary has basically decided the Republican nomination. In 2008 John McCain received the endorsement of then-Republican Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, and after winning the sunshine state's primary, never looked back. Even more dramatically, Mitt Romney reversed what seemed to be a potentially fatal loss to Newt Gingrich in the South Carolina primary by besting the former speaker just days later ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

January 2015

12/30/2014: Same Song...Same Key "Russia and Greece" The song remains largely the same on this next-to last trading day of 2014 as the focus remains on Russia, oil, and Greece. Stocks continue to struggle in Russia with the major index losing nearly 10% yesterday and down another 2.4% today. On a chart basis, it would appear that a retest of the mid-month lows is taking place. The primary issue remains the ruble and the outlook for the economy. Recall that yesterday's data, which did not include the impact of the December dive ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

12/29/2014: Have a Laugh...Just for Today Have you laughed today? No? Well, we have to fix that. Laughter is important. While we do serious work at Roundpeg, part of what fuels our creativity are distractions like short videos or a silly art project which results in new items being added to our bulletin board. Maybe you don't work with fun creative people. That is no excuse- you still need to find time to laugh. Just in case you haven't run into anything ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

12/26/2014: The "Demographic Cliff" is Dead Ahead Since 2009, we've had the Fed and central banks from around the world deliver decent to better Christmas seasons... but this should be the last one for now. The economy is the best it's been since late 2007. Car sales are higher than ever. The affluent, which comprises many of our subscribers, are doing better than ever. But clouds are gathering ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

12/24/2014: Pennies, Nickels, Dimes, and Quarters The U.S. Mint has released its latest biennial report to Congress. For all four major coins - pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters - production costs fell in 2014. The Mint says it "saved" $29 million in production costs as compared to last year, primarily due to lower copper prices. The catch is that the Mint is still ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

12/18/2014: Annuity Update: The insured retirement industry is "financially sound" and should do well in the year ahead, the Insured Retirement Institute said in a state-of-the-industry report released Tuesday. "Fixed indexed annuities and immediate and deferred income annuities are showing especially strong growth," Cathy Weatherford, IRI president and CEO, said in a statement. The report said Deferred Income Annuity sales more than doubled in 2013 to $2.2 billion and were likely to be ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

12/17/2014: Oil BELOW $60...Who'd-a-thunk-it? Brent crude oil hit a fresh five-year low close to $60 a barrel on Monday after producer group OPEC restated its determination not to cut output despite a global fuel glut, but the North Sea benchmark later rallied to above $62.Market momentum appeared to be downwards, with analysts saying oil could plumb ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

12/11/2014: Financial Planning...It Ain't What It Used to Be! Once upon a time, the typical American family consisted of a husband who was the family's primary breadwinner, a stay-at-home wife and their 2.5 children. Traditional life insurance policies were developed during this bygone era and based on this common family dynamic to protect the wife and children in the event of the husband's untimely death. It was pretty simple. However, times have ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

12/10/2014: Eyes Remain on OIL The focal points in the market remain largely the same on this fine Wednesday morning. Oil continues to be the big topic of discussion with both the EIA and OPEC reducing their demand forecasts today. In addition, Iran says that oil could fall to $40 or below as price wars take hold among OPEC...>>Full Article | Back to Top

12/09/2014: The Latest on OIL For a while on Monday morning, it began to feel like the Holidays had started early. While stocks had opened down on some new weak data in Europe, the indices recovered relatively quickly. No, make that almost instantaneously, as the opening down draft lasted a total of two minutes. And after the requisite rebound,...>>Full Article | Back to Top

12/08/2014: The Latest on the VIX Data from VIX News. VIX drifted to close under 12.00 for the first time since late August as the S&P 500 made more new highs. The leftover fear from the market's dive in October seems to be gone just like all our Thanksgiving leftovers. At least one derivative strategist thinks lower VIX levels are on the near term horizon. Buzz Gregory from Goldman Sachs was featured ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

12/05/2014: 1 MONTH Does Not a Trend Make U.S. employers added the largest number of workers in nearly three years in November and wage gains picked up, a sign of economic strength that could draw the Federal Reserve closer to raising interest rates. Nonfarm payrolls surged by 321,000 last month, the most since January 2012, the Labor Department said on Friday. The unemployment ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

12/03/2014: Nuclear Power Stocks Will SOAR in 2015 You don't have to be a rocket scientist to have seen some upward trends in the nuclear industry lately. There are several key indicators that point in a bullish direction on nuclear stocks, and all are worth examining before adding any uranium-themed investments to your portfolio. No doubt the global nuclear energy market is growing. So-called "green" alternatives like wind and solar haven't made much of a dent ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

12/01/2014: OPEC "Blew It" Saudi Arabia did it. After stonewalling for weeks, all attention is on the House of Saud and its refusal to let OPEC cut production, even by a modest 2 million barrels a day. The immediate impact of this decision was felt with WTI falling to $65.99, its lowest point in over four years, while Brent settled at $70.07 after a near $7.67 drop. That Saudi Arabia thought this to be "a great decision" shows the defiance of the...>>Full Article | Back to Top

December 2014

11/28/2014: Beware the Parasites If you have money, you will come to grasp one thing about the financial industry. It is largely parasitic. Like a bloodthirsty flea the size of Manhattan. Parasites attach to you and drain your blood. Its interests are against yours. The stockbroker, for example, wants to encourage you ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

11/26/2014: A Thanksgiving Missive Surveys regularly show that the majority of Americans believe the nation's best days are behind us, that our children face a diminished future, and that the country is decidedly on the wrong track. If you truly feel this way, however, it's tough to invest in equities and reap the higher returns that they offer. After all, stocks represent a claim ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

11/24/2014: I Told You SO...I've Been Harping on This Since 2002 It is not an accurate characterization to say that the United States is a capitalist country. Just the same, it is not a socialist country either. There are elements of both and certain elements are more prevalent in certain sectors. If anything, the U.S. has more of a fascist economy, especially when it comes to such things as banking and healthcare. In using the term fascist, it means ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

11/22/2014: 6 Points from Obama's Speech on Immigration Prior to Obama's speech, the White House distributed a fact sheet with a more detailed list of the various parts of his plan. It included a slew of changes to existing programs and new initiatives, but there were six main components: • Protecting Parents of Naturalized Children: One of the groups ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

11/20/2014: FOMC...Ho-Hum FOMC Minutes are the notes of the most prior Fed meeting, which is the bankster gathering that decides how global interest rates should move. The last time that the FOMC Minutes were released, the Fit Hit the Shan: market volatility SPIKED! The most recent FOMC Minutes to be released ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

11/18/2014: All Right...Kensian Economics Has Been A Dismal Failure Voters don't like the Republicans any better than they like the Democrats. But last week, Obama and the Dems were held responsible for the economy. They got off easy. In my opinion, a hanging would have been more appropriate. We have mentioned many times how median household income is now lower than it was when the 21st century began. The median ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

11/14/2014: Regulations! A majority of investors (92%) surveyed by FINRA agreed they want a cop on the beat to protect investors and police the markets. --- Nearly three-quarters of investors (70%) of investors surveyed by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) strongly agreed and 24% of investors somewhat agreed it is important that regulators use the ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

11/13/2014: Merry Christmas???????? Lower gas prices may give a big gift to consumers this holiday season. That could translate to great news for retailers - and their stocks. According to a study by Macquarie Research, if gasoline prices stay at current levels, that will be the equivalent of $100 more in the pocket of each consumer in 2014. "We find this could provide a boost of more than $40 billion to annualized ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

11/12/2014: Real Change is in the Air While many flay away, trying to figure out the meaning of last week's GOP wave election, it seems simple. The government has tried for more than five years to turn a Plow Horse economy into a Race Horse, and failed. Yes, the economy is growing and creating jobs, but living standards are growing slowly...>>Full Article | Back to Top

11/07/2014: The Recipe for Ruining America This piece was sent to me by Ed Hamilton in Florida. Read it slowly and determine for yourself if he has the correct take on this. Wherever you stand on this issue, please take the time to read this; it should wake you from your slumber on this important truth. We know Dick Lamm as the former Governor of Colorado. In that context his thoughts are particularly ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

11/05/2014: The Biggest Financial Heist in History By: Bill Bonner. If Mr. Market is afraid, he is putting on a brave face. The Fed's QE ended on Wednesday. On Thursday, the Dow rose 221 points. This is good news for Janet Yellen. She must think she has made a clean getaway. She has fled the scene of the biggest financial heist ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

11/04/2014: Why Japan's Big Move Means the Euro is Going Lower Last week, the Bank of Japan announced an incredible monetary stimulus plan. It sent Japanese stocks to seven-year highs... and it sent Japan's currency, the yen, to multiyear lows. The Bank of Japan is dead set on creating inflation and stimulating its economy. And although you're not hearing it in the mainstream press, this is big ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

November 2014

10/31/2014: The Fed's QE Isn't Dead But it's off the job. For now. ZIRP (zero-interest-rate policy) is still at work. The Fed says it will keep short-term interest rates near zero for "considerable time." Stocks didn't crash. The Dow fell only 31 points. Does this mean that the economy is stronger than we ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

10/30/2014: FED DAY The FOMC 2-day meeting ended Wednesday and its afternoon statement didn't contain many surprises.QE3 is over, but ZIRP remains. Some headlines follow... *FED ENDS THIRD ROUND OF QUANTITATIVE EASING AS PLANNED *FED SEES 'SOLID JOB GAINS' WITH LOWER UNEMPLOYMENT *FED REPEATS RATES TO STAY LOW FOR 'CONSIDERABLE TIME' And a small portion ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

10/29/2014: Oil!!! The drop in oil prices surprised just about everyone. Oil prices have fallen 25% since mid-June, when a barrel had sold for above $107 and tumult in the Middle East rattled markets about potential supply disruptions. The decline follows the longest period of high oil prices in the history of the US, where higher...>>Full Article | Back to Top

10/28/2014: Stocks: Up or Down for the Rest of the Year? Following the best week of the year for stocks, the S&P 500 (^GSPC) has nearly wiped out all of October's losses, and two strategists told CNBC on Monday the market should forge ahead and deliver double-digit gains for 2014...>>Full Article | Back to Top

10/23/2014: MESSED UP! With another massive up day in the markets on Tuesday on dismally low volume, it is officially back to the baffling and the bizarre. Whatever the incumbent politicians will tel you in their stump speeches as we approach the mid-term elections, the "economic recovery" that we keep hearing about is less than...>>Full Article | Back to Top

10/22/2014: QE4 is Nearly Upon US And how do you like that James Bullard? Stocks have barely begun to correct (the S&P 500 is down about 7% from its September high) and the St. Louis Fed president is already preparing for QE4. But where is the proof - from logic or experience - that QE pays ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

10/21/2014: Will Gold Really Protect You if the Currency Collapses? Every day, my email inbox is littered with urgent notices and important warnings. They're all trying to convince me of an impending monetary collapse and devaluation of the United States dollar. Consequently, every one of these messages comes from people who either sell gold and silver, or are sponsored by ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

10/16/2014: Year-to-Date Market Review The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 Index have achieved new highs while the Russell 2000 Index of small companies has struggled; currently, the Russell 2000 is negative for the year. During several periods of market volatility, each of the indices went into negative territory; earlier inthe spring ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

10/14/2014: The Knock-out Punch is on it's Way Bill Bonner sent me this piece yesterday. So, here's a piece from depths of my feeble brain that explains why I believe that the Fed's attempt to rescue the economy is doomed to fail... and why real pain for stock and bond investors is yet to come. The Market's Knockout Punch Is Still ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

10/13/2014: Words from some HEAVY WEIGHTS "We're in a period with many daily (often hourly) points that represent pixels in the market's picture. The short-run trends (the cyclical cycles) of the market are hard to predict. Without extraordinary powers of clairvoyance, the best plan is a diversified, non-correlated portfolio with a few engines to counterbalance the weaker components of the ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

10/09/2014: Here's My Latest Research Paper from Harry Dent Dent Research Employment Index Reveals Jobs Quality is Getting Worse Dear Otto, Despite all the excitement, the September jobs report is a disappointment. Sure, the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics BLS) revealed a significant increase in the workforce and a decrease in the unemployment rate. But proprietary analysis...>>Full Article | Back to Top

10/08/2014: Just My Opinion Improving finances is among the top concerns for most people trying to reach a comfortable retirement. But money alone won't provide you with a successful retirement. There are many facets of living a fulfilled and content retirement, and money is just one component. Having a singular focus on building wealth can get you into trouble in retirement. Even if you amass millions, it's important ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

10/07/2014: Can You Believe This??? In the fallout over President Barack Obama blaming the intelligence community for the rise of the Islamic State, a new report has surfaced showing that he attended less than half of his daily intel briefings. The Government Accountability Institute, an investigative research organization, said the president went to only 42.1 percent of his intelligence meetings, known as the Presidential Daily Brief, or PDB, in the 2,079 days of his presidency ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

10/06/2014: Dick Morris' NEW BOOK Dick Morris, the Democratic strategist credited with reigniting former President Bill Clinton's political hopes in the mid-1990s, is warning that President Barack Obama is implementing an agenda to destroy two-party rule in America. Morris appeared Thursday night on ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

10/03/2014: VOLATILITY...Up or Down? The volatility we've seen in stocks in the past week is merely the latest permutation of selling that's hit pretty much every other asset class since mid-year. Trickle-down selling, if you will. It started with commodities, which have been slammed by a breakout in the U.S. dollar (up nearly 7 percent heading into the end of the quarter). It spread to areas like emerging market and European stocks. Lately, it's been focused ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

10/02/2014: The DOW vs. the S&P 500 The major difference between these two indexes is that the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) includes a price-weighted average of 30 stocks whereas the Standard & Poor's 500 (S&P 500) is a market value-weighted index of 500 stocks. The editors of the Wall Street Journal, which is owned ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

10/01/2014: Marty Weiss Has Sent me the Following... Now that America has mobilized a global anti-ISIS coalition; and now that they're launching daily air strikes against the enemy, you'd think the terrorist group would soon be decimated - or at least on the run. Unfortunately, nothing could be farther from the truth! In fact, if wealthy investors in the region were fearful for their money and for their families a month ago, they're likely to be in a PANIC today - because ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

October 2014

9/30/2014: 5 Real Threats! On November 14, 2012, Congressman Ron Paul delivered his farewell address. In it, he presented what he believes are the five greatest dangers the American people face today that impede the goal of a free society. Although I'm not typically one to buy what anyone in Washington is...>>Full Article | Back to Top

9/29/2014: Freedom and the Economy My Opinion: There is no doubt that some countries are far more economically free than others. Having a free economy means having strong property rights, a generally stable form of money, and few government regulations. Where there is more economic freedom, there is usually more prosperity. There is less poverty and a higher standard of living. When people are allowed ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

9/26/2014: Is This the Beginning of Downturn? Wait, what? On Wednesday, stocks blasted higher on the back of Super Mario singing a dovish song, word that China was about to sack the head of its central bank in favor of someone more modern, and not one, not two, but three Fed Governors suggesting that the Fed would likely take their time when it comes...>>Full Article | Back to Top

9/25/2014: "Commander in Chief????" For criticism of President Barack Obama's offensive against Islamic State, look no farther than the president's own words. In January, he dismissed the Islamic militants as "a jayvee team," amateurs who posed little threat. In August, he derided the Syrian rebels who now will be key allies as "former doctors, farmers, pharmacists" with less capacity ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

9/24/2014: Sen. Hatch Gets Straight A's The Urban Institute, a left-leaning think tank, has given "straight A's" to a conservative U.S. Senator's retirement savings legislation. The Secure Annuities for Employee (SAFE) Retirement Act (S. 1270), authored by Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), recently received "straight A" grades on seven separate criteria under the Institute's new grading model that was developed to analyze public pension ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

9/23/2014: It's an ASSET for Cryin' Outloud!!! Most people view insurance as a burdensome but necessary purchase. They're forced to pay money to protect against a "what if" that might never happen. Life insurance gets lumped into the same category, but it shouldn't. As a recent article on LifeHealthPro pointed out, unlike home, auto or health insurance, life insurance isn't just a protection product. It's also a financial asset, offering a rate of return that other insurance policies...>>Full Article | Back to Top

9/22/2014: Here's the Ultimate Answer Experts predict that by the year 2020, 89 percent of the federal budget will be devoted to paying the interest on the national debt and funding Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. There are two approaches to solving this problem: One, Congress could adjust social welfare spending to where the nation could live within its means, maintain a strong defense, and still care for the truly needy. Or, two: Congress ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

9/19/2014: Boring, Boring, BORING After yesterday's meeting of the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee (FOMC), Fed Chair Janet Yellen read a statement and gave a press conference. There were lots of reporters and many commentators weighing in on the importance of her words and what they mean for the economy in the months and years to come. It was boring. She said ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

9/18/2014: IPOs Are a FOOLS GAME Will you be buying shares of the "Ebay, PayPal and Amazon of China?" This Friday, Alibaba's initial public offering (IPO) will begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "BABA." The IPO is rumored to be priced around $68 per share (according to latest filings.) With over 320 million shares expected to be offered, the deal ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

9/16/2014: The Coming WAR and the Markets If there ever was a time for the President and his buddies to go play golf, ITS NOW and let the military professionals do the deed. The bumblers: Obama and Kerry need to stay our of it. They bring nothing to the table except confusion. The drumbeat for a U.S.-led war with ISIS is growing louder...>>Full Article | Back to Top

9/15/2014: Act NOW to Refinance Your Mortgage...It's Called HARP! (Kentucky) - There has never been a better time to refinance your home. That's because of a little-known government program called the Home Affordable Refinance Plan (HARP). This allows Americans to refinance their homes at shockingly low rates, and reduce their payments by an average of $4,100 a year. But here's the catch - like most government programs, this is likely temporary. ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

9/12/2014: The DOW...UP or DOWN From Here? The Dow 30 Industrial Average is at a point of huge resolve. On the one hand, we hear the bulls declaring that there is going to be a sustained rise over the next year or so. On the other hand, the bears are calling for a massive drop. What's it going to do? Just look at the monthly chart of the Dow below... It is log scaled, and you can see that the...>>Full Article | Back to Top

9/10/2014: The 10 Most Important Things RIGHT NOW 1. Apple unveiled the iPhone 6 and other new products in a mega-event on Tuesday. 2. The Dutch Safety Board will publish a preliminary report on the investigation into the crash of flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine in July. According to the safety board website: "The investigation team collected information from various sources, such as the cockpit voice recorder, the flight data recorder, satellite and other images, and ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

9/08/2014: Just for Fun TODAY PRESBYTERIAN: When you rearrange the letters: BEST IN PRAYER ASTRONOMER: When you rearrange the letters: MOON STARER ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

9/05/2014: Women and Financial Advisors Let's take a look at some of the retirement challenges women in particular face today: There are many: • Retirement Challenge No. 1: Women tend to invest more conservatively than men. Recent articles published in the Journal of Financial Planning show that women are more intimidated about financial issues than men. A study undertaken by Fidelity Research indicated that, although the number of women claiming ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

9/04/2014: Wal-Mart The following piece was sent to me by Bill Kent in Florida.. 1. Americans spend $36,000,000 at Wal-Mart Every hour of every day. 2. This works out to $20,928 profit every minute! 3. Wal-Mart will sell more from January 1 to St. Patrick's Day (March 17th) ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

9/03/2014: WORK LOAD The US economy is entering the 63rd month of expansion, but unlike typical recoveries this one has struggled with employment. The unemployment rate dipped to its lowest level in six years in June, yet the 6.1% level is deceiving. The percentage of adult American workers who are actually in the workforce is at its lowest level in 36 years, with no rebound...>>Full Article | Back to Top

9/01/2014: TransAmerica's New Survey of Gen X Our newest affiliation for 401-k plans is Transamerica and here is a telling survey: A new survey report from the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies (TCRS) finds nearly nine in 10 (85%) Gen X workers-defined by Transamerica as those born between 1965 and 1978-believe they will have a much harder time achieving financial...>>Full Article | Back to Top

September 2010

8/28/2014: 12 Money Mistakes Everybody messes up with money now and then. Ask anyone. If they're honest, they'll tell you their regrets. Maybe they moved their 401(k) savings into cash accounts after the stock market crashed in 2008, missing the market gains since then. Or maybe they bought a house they couldn't afford. Or waited to...>>Full Article | Back to Top

8/27/2014: How About This For An Example of LEADERSHIP! This was sent to me by Ed Montgomery in Florida. No wonder he was selected by Forbes as the most powerful person in the world. In my opinion, this is one time our elected leaders should pay attention to the advice of Vladimir Putin. I would suggest that not only our leaders but every citizen should pay attention to this advice. How scary is that? It is a sad day when a Communist ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

8/26/2014: JACKSON HOLE The market waited all week for the Fed Chair, Janet Yellen, to make her speech at the conference of central planners in Jackson Hole Wyoming. The market was expecting to hear of more QE-fairies in the not too distant future; however, it wasn't ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

8/25/2014: MAJOR Bear Market Begins on AUGUST 21!!!! Lon Witter - August 22, 2014 Witter & Westlake is calling a bull market top with the S&P 500 cash at or near 2000. This is the first time in my 38 years of investment experience that I have seen all the indicators signal a sell at the same ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

8/22/2014: Politics and the Oil Markets In the oil markets today there's a lot to talk about, almost too much. I have never seen such a disarray of geopolitical influences on the oil market at any other point in my 25-year career and it comes at a time when financial influences are similarly changing quickly. Stay with me for a moment, because the only way I can get you to understand what's happening in oil, now and in the ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

8/21/2014: Why Oil Prices That Should be Going Higher Are Indeed Going Lower The world has changed. Even two years ago, with a war going on by proxy between Russia and Ukraine, we'd have seen a ten dollar rally in the price of crude, not prices below $97, like we're seeing today. Add to that the Iraq crisis in the North, the continuing Syrian conflict, the destabilization in the oil producing countries ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

8/20/2014: Social Security Claiming Strategies President Barack Obama's 2015 budget proposal has targeted one of the best retirement income planning tools on advisers' shelves: Social Security-claiming strategies. Buried on the 150th page of the 214 page, $3.9 trillion budget for 2015, which was released on Tuesday, is a sentence spelling out the plan to prevent duplicative or excessive benefit payments through the disability ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

8/19/2014: How OverValued is the Stock Market? Since late July's push to new record highs, stocks have cooled a little. Some of this is due to tensions in Iraq, Ukraine, Israel and elsewhere. Some of this has been due to the volatility in the high-yield bond market. Some of this has been driven by an improving economic outlook, which counter-intuitively is a negative, since it risks bringing forward the timing ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

8/18/2014: Newsletter 8-18-2014.pdf Perry's General Counsel, Mary Anne Wiley, said the veto was made in accordance with veto authority afforded under the Texas Constitution. Texas Governor Rick Perry was indicted on Friday by a grand jury in Texas on two counts of abuse of power and coercion over a funding veto he made last year that was seen as being intended to force a local prosecutor to ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

8/15/2014: Are the Bulls Advancing? A week ago today the S&P 500 dropped 10 points bringing the weekly bearish tab to 15 points. Seven days ago, the only real positive was the potential support we noted on August 7 (see chart below)....>>Full Article | Back to Top

8/14/2014: "Overvaluations" Are WORSE Today than in 1999 Arguments the stock market is "overvalued" are pretty common these days. But MarketWatch columnist Brett Arends raised eyebrows in a recent column in which he argues "valuations are higher today than they were at the peak in 1999-2000." The dot.com era was notable for its excesses, he says,...>>Full Article | Back to Top

8/12/2014: The VIX and the VSXT Stocks meandered through an up-and-down trading range during July, which ended with a bearish thud last week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average erased all of its gains year-to-date, with a decline of 2.6 percent last week. The S&P 500 Index, Nasdaq and Russell 2000 Index also fell more than 2 percent, as the U.S. stock market closed out the month ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

8/11/2014: It's Really Getting Dangerous "The DJIA was down 2.75% for the week, erasing the entire gain for 2014. The fact that stocks were so weak during a period that typically sports a positive bias (the end of the month and start of the next one) indicates how exhausted the uptrend had become. Yesterday's 317-point "Dow decline occurred with nearly 10 stocks down for every one up on the NYSE. Volume jumped to over 4 billion shares traded and the percentage ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

8/08/2014: The Problem with So-Called INVESTING They call it "investing." But that is mere flattery. Someone else already did the investing when they built the factories and developed the business. "Investing" means you are doing something that will result in more or better products and services in the future... something that improves productivity and makes us better off. When someone buys shares in a company ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

8/07/2014: Is the Glass Half FULL... Or Half Empty If you're an investor looking for a reason to be worried, there are plenty of headlines to light the fuse. Widening war in the Middle East, turmoil in eastern Ukraine (or is that western Russia?), a debt default by Argentina...problems with some Portuguese bank...Ebola...tapering. It's not a short list, and equities are down roughly 3% since their peak on July 24th. Maybe, just maybe, a long-awaited stock-market correction has begun. We can't confirm or deny that prediction. All we know...>>Full Article | Back to Top

8/06/2014: Our Road to Japan Longtime readers will remember that for at least 10 years we have regarded Japan as a useful model to help determine how the bursting of the US credit bubble in 2008 would play out. It is not where we want to go... but we are condemned by the gods to follow in Japan's footsteps. Why? We don't really know. But we do know Japan ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

8/05/2014: THREE Lessons from Warren Buffett Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-A) reported its biggest quarterly earnings haul ever after the bell on Friday. Warren Buffett's masterpiece of capitalism reported profits up 41% to $6.4 billion. If Berkshire's annual letters are 50 Shades of Financial Grey for the masses the 10Qs are like a peek in the Marquis de Sade's private diary. I spent a few hours this ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

8/01/2014: Subject: I'm Moving to Mexico By: Bruce Richards. Dear President Obama: I'm planning to move my family and extended family into Mexico for my health, and I would like to ask you to assist me. We're planning to simply walk across the border from the U.S. into Mexico , and we'll need your help to make a few arrangements. We plan to skip all the legal ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

August 2014

7/31/2014: 7 "Things" Investors Don't Believe In Investors learn important truths, but we sometimes choose to suspend this knowledge when it feels better not to be encumbered by it. As an investment advisor, I come into contact with this phenomenon on a daily basis. No one is immune to it, myself included. Below are seven essential truths of investing that we ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

7/30/2014: Is the Small Cap Market Trying to REVERSE? Sam Collin's take: Earnings took a back seat as geopolitical concerns finally took center stage. The U.S. and European Union adopted new economic sanctions against Russia, and the longer-term implications have investors concerned. Another concern is the Federal Reserve's monetary policy statement due today. The Fed is expected to cut another $10 billion from the current $35 billion monthly bond-buying program. And many believe ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

7/29/2014: More on the Coming CRASH! This is the busiest week of the summer. We have the rest of earnings which by the way Facebook has now come in 100X earnings. In addition to jobs reporting Friday this is a Fed week and while it certainly is not rare to have so many numbers coming at us, because it is the middle of the summer does, it feel strange. Yes, Facebook came in at 100X earnings. So I was not under the influence of anything when I came out and told you last week I believe this is going to end badly. If anything, since I wrote last week's column, I am more convinced ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

7/28/2014: WAR With Russia? 22 Senators Are Planning for It! By Paul Craig Roberts, a former Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury and former associate editor of the Wall Street Journal, has been reporting shocking cases of what he says is prosecutorial abuse for two decades. A new edition of his book, The Tyranny of Good Intentions, co-authored with Lawrence Stratton, a documented account of how Americans lost the protection of law, has been released by Random House. Visit his website. ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

7/25/2014: How Risky Are the BIGGEST Banks? That question is at the heart of a debate that has raged since the financial crisis, and it is central for policy makers deciding how big banks should be regulated. The Senate Banking Committee has called a hearing on the topic Wednesday. Here's a report from the Wall Street Journal: Last month, the Federal Reserve released ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

7/24/2014: Gold Advances as Unrest Continues "Dr. Doom' Faber: He reports yet again that stocks are in a bubble, his advice: Buy Gold. Gold futures advanced for the third time in four sessions as mounting tension over Ukraine boosted demand for haven assets. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said yesterday that circumstantial evidence suggests Russia provided the missile that Ukrainian rebels used to shoot down a passenger plane. European Union foreign ministers meeting in Brussels tomorrow ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

7/23/2014: Hotels are Prepared...Is Your Home? Hotels are prepared for the aging population, but is your home ready for you to age in place? I am not a road warrior like some of you who are reading this, but I have stayed in a few hotels this year to notice some interesting trends. They had something missing or added in the bathroom. It was a walk in shower (one place had both a shower and a huge tub). Not just any ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

7/22/2014: Gaza Deaths Surge! Putin Digs In! How Will Gold and Oil React? Gold +$3.60 to $1,313 Crude Oil +$1.76 to $104.89 Investors went into the weekend hoping things would settle down in Gaza and Ukraine. But they did anything but - and stocks crumbled as a result! In the Middle East, Israel dramatically escalated ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

7/21/2014: Beware of Black Swans...and Maybe a PINK One Also There are thousands... millions... gazillions of dots in the universe. Today, we connect two of them. First, let us note that so Zen-like and calm are investors that the worries of Thursday - triggered by the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine - were forgotten by Friday. The Dow closed up 123 points on the last day of the week. Gold sold off. So, let's return to our dots. The first one is epistemological. The second ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

7/18/2014: Watch Your Advice Source The world is rife with awful advice on finances. Everyone from your slimy brother-in-law who cannot seem to hold down a job but always has a hot stock tip to your neighbor's dippy daughter who barely eked out her communications degree before landing a sales job with the local Edward Jones branch is up for telling you what to do with your money. And what most of them are telling you is wrong. But this band of motley fools can be...>>Full Article | Back to Top

7/16/2014: Questions for the Congress...BEFORE the Recess! U.S. House of Representatives September 10, 2002 QUESTIONS THAT WON'T BE ASKED ABOUT IRAQ Soon we hope to have hearings on the pending war with Iraq. I am concerned there are some questions that won't be asked - and maybe will not even be allowed to be asked. Here are some questions I would like answered by those who are urging us to start ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

7/15/2014: BIS Says BEWARE of the Coming Crash The Bank of International Settlements, an international finance watchdog that serves as a counter-party for national central banks, has again warned that investors are unprepared for a potential financial crash. Jaime Caruana, head of the BIS, told The Telegraph that he believed the world economy is as vulnerable to crisis now as it was ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

7/14/2014: Fed Sows the Seeds for the NEXT Financial Crisis! by Mike Burnick. Dear Otto, It has been said that investors are operating in an era of unprecedented "financial repression" these days. Since the financial crisis nearly sunk the global economy and financial markets in 2008, central banks led by the Federal Reserve, but ably assisted by the Bank of England, European Central Bank, Bank of Japan, etc. have pumped out trillions of dollars of easy money. What has all this ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

7/11/2014: Fodder for the Environmentalists....Bloomberg Squinting into a laptop perched on the back of his pickup, Austin Holland searches for a signal from a coffee-can-sized sensor buried under the grassy prairie. Holland, Oklahoma's seismology chief, is determined to find the cause of an unprecedented earthquake epidemic in the state. And he suspects pumping wastewater from oil and gas drilling back into the Earth has a lot to do with it. ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

7/10/2014: Does Volume Really Matter? In Wall Street circles, laments about limp stock-trading volumes are as common, and as banal, as complaints about the enervating summer heat. But the swelter of New York is about the same every year, and, as it turns out, trading volume isn't particularly punk right now. The relatively sluggish pace of share turnover that has accompanied the headline indexes' steady march to record heights has been generally presented as a point of underlying weakness or market dysfunction. The Wall Street Journal headline ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

7/09/2014: 5 Investing Tips for Hot Markets The strongest performing groups in the equity sector so far in 2014 could be promising in the coming months. There's still something to cheer about. The stock markets are on a tear. "The major indexes cruised to new all-time highs more times than one can count in 2014, and with minimal volatility," said Ben Warwick, contributing editor of quantitative equity strategies for Searching for Alpha in a recent blog. Some analysts say valuations are not overheated...>>Full Article | Back to Top

7/08/2014: The trouble with capitalism's guardians is that they have no respect for it Markets have been around for at least 2,000 years. Since then they have evolved in many directions, with fancy and sophisticated techniques... and elaborate systems and complicated instruments that take a PhD to understand. But despite all the brain power put into trying to figure them out, markets still surprise, confound and puzzle everyone. There is still no formula for predicting market movements. And even the smartest and most experienced ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

7/07/2014: Marty Weiss' Latest GOLD Update Marty and his #1 Gold Analyst, Larry Edelson have a new and revealing report. Pay Attention!...Gold is at three-month highs. Investors are snapping up the world's largest bullion ETF at the fastest pace since 2011. And so far this year, gold bullion has risen more quickly than commodity indexes, stock averages or bonds. Why? Because a perfect storm is gathering ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

7/04/2014: And You Thought the S&P's Were Static Indexes... The S&P Dow Jones Indexes unveiled changes earlier this week to the S&P 500, S&P MidCap 400 and S&P SmallCap 600 indexes. Among the changes announced Tuesday, Affiliated Managers Group (NYSE AMG) will replace Forest Laboratories Inc. (NYSE: FRX) in the S&P 500 after the close of trading on Monday, June 30. LaSalle Hotel Properties (NYSE: LHO) will replace Affiliated Managers in the S&P MidCap 400 and Sagent Pharmaceuticals Inc...>>Full Article | Back to Top

7/03/2014: How Hospitals Make You Pay Their Obamacare Penalties Earlier this week, we told you about government programs that have become so complex it's impossible for anyone to control them, let alone understand them. Even the NSA couldn't comply with a court order that demanded they stop destroying potential evidence. Today, we're back with another story of government misfortune. This one, however, will probably hit a little closer to home. Imagine this scenario: You wake up in the middle of ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

7/02/2014: Lamentations on my Absolutely LEAST Favorite Sport of All Time I've held off on writing anything about soccer for a long, long time - or about the length of the average soccer game - so as not to offend anyone. But enough is enough. I really had a good time putting this rant down on paper this past week. In my opinion, any growing interest in soccer can only be a sign of the nation's moral decay. It's right up there with my total discust of the "great Northern ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

7/01/2014: The Next Bull Market In Bonds Starts Now By Austin Hatley at Street Smart. 1982 was a great year to become a U.S. bond investor. At the time, energy prices were high and the economy was in shambles. To make matters worse, the U.S. adopted a tight monetary policy due to high inflation in the 1970s. The outlook for bonds was bleak. Yields were at all-time highs and prices were at historic lows. At one point the 10-year treasury yielded north of 14%. While no one realized it at the time, this was the ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

July 2014

6/27/2014: More on Dave Ramsey By: Thomas De Jong. still can't figure out why Dave refuses to acknowledge the difference between average annual returns and compounded rates of return. In the past few months I've received two e-newsletters from Dave Ramsey. The first was titled "The 12 Percent Reality." The article defends Dave's belief that the market has performed at a 12% rate over time (with no sources cited), and ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

6/26/2014: Dave Ramsey - Part II I knew it! It Doesn't Exist!! I cringe, whenever he mentions that people should put their savings into - in his words - "a good growth stock mutual fund because it will earn 12 percent annually. " Whether it is on his radio show, his website, his books or his educational programs, Dave Ramsey quotes that 12 percent figure ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

6/25/2014: Dave Ramsey vs. Stoffel It looks like Ramsey has been spouting incorrect data all these years! But maybe this is all one huge misunderstanding. Could Ramsey simply have been mistaken about his math? We all make mistakes, after all. Nope. Not at all. This guy doesn't really understand "returns" and what they mean. And think ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

6/24/2014: Sector Watch - PART 2 When we left off yesterday, we promised to take up an important theme on the morrow. The morrow is here. True to our word, we will do so. The subject is wages. And we are digging in. On the surface, we lament the lack of any forward progress in US hourly compensation over the last half century. Deeper down, in the clay and subsoil, we wonder how it is possible that the world's richest and most technologically advanced economy ever, operating ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

6/23/2014: Sector Watch - Part 1 I have a very simple question for today. If you were going to limit all of your investments to only one sector of the economy - only one type of business or one kind of stock - what would you buy? We've come to believe that, for outside and passive investors (common shareholders), there are really only three sectors that offer truly extraordinary rates of return and that don't require taking any material risk. Let me be clear ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

6/19/2014: Listening to Economists May Be Dangerous to Your Wealth According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, consumer prices are rising at a 2.1% annual rate. This suggests to us that the current stock market boom will die with a bang, rather than a whimper. The Dow rose 98 points yesterday in anticipation. Fed economists say they don't think inflation rates are rising. (See more below from Chris.) They think the most recent reading is a fluke. But why does anyone take them ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

6/18/2014: OIL and IRAQ The turmoil and violence in Iraq continued unabated on Monday and Tuesday as ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) militants continued on their quest to acquire additional strongholds in northern Iraq. But from the market's perspective, the question of the day is whether the situation in Iraq is likely to turn into a global geopolitical/economic crisis - or - remain a local conflict. As human beings, anyone who understands what is ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

6/17/2014: Is TESLA For Real or NOT? Shares of controversial automaker Tesla Motors (TSLA) ran over bears yesterday as a three prong attack of decent news sent shares up more than eight percent. At $224 Tesla shares are the highest they've been since the beginning of April. This is a high vol, high risk name so before you should even think of getting long, let alone short, you need to know how to tell the real catalysts from the ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

6/16/2014: 6 Ways to Tell if You Are Ready to Retire Early After 30+ years in this business, I've noticed that the question of "early retirement" very seldom comes up anymore. Early retirement sounds pretty good when you're stuck in a cubicle counting down the hours until the weekend. If you don't enjoy your job anymore and are looking forward to spending more time pursuing your own ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

6/12/2014: David Hunter...Contrarian! So the beat goes on. We get shallow corrections in the equity markets, followed by rallies to new highs. We haven't had so much as a ten-percent correction in two years. More and more investors are jumping on the bandwagon, and more and more pundits are proclaiming that we are in the middle of a secular bull market that has a long ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

6/11/2014: Sell in May and Walk Away... Historically, stocks have performed better between Halloween and Debry Day. Thus the old saw, "Sell in May and go away." "Unlike most other seasonal patterns that capture Wall Street's attention," writes Mark Hulbert, "this one has a very strong statistical foundation. It's been discovered in the stock markets of 36 of 37 countries that were studied, and as ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

6/10/2014: 14 Year Recession - Part 2 What's In Your GDP. GDP is the economic statistic bankers, politicians and media pundits use to convince the masses the economy is growing and their lives are improving. Therefore, it is the statistic most likely to be manipulated, twisted and engineered in order to portray the storyline required by the oligarchs. Two consecutive quarters ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

6/09/2014: The 14-year Recession - Part I James Quinn just sent me his latest diatribe on the US economy. I've broken it down into several smaller pieces for inclusion in my email Newsletter this week. Sometimes, even the government can't hide the truth. Especially when it comes to the economy. The government's own Commerce Department released numbers confirming what you've probably already known. In fact,...>>Full Article | Back to Top

6/06/2014: OIL and Me - Part III Investors betting on lower oil prices may be in for a nasty surprise despite the so-called "oil glut" in the US. Historically, oil prices tend to peak around Memorial Day and then decline for a couple of months before rallying as we head into Labor Day. With Memorial Day behind us and with oil ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

6/05/2014: Oil and ME! - Part II We say this plasphemy, knowing we court the wrath of conventional wisdom... "The U.S. shale oil revolution which has been quietly unfolding behind the scenes has now begun to exert a direct influence on foreign exchange markets - to the benefit of the U.S. dollar," says a report from UBS "Global reserve currency status allied ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

6/04/2014: Oil and ME! - Part I If you're a longtime reader, you know how we feel about solar energy, which is red hot in the markets right now. You also know we're excited about the potential of thorium, and eventually, fusion energy. But realistically, the kings of the energy industry that still reign are oil and natural gas. It's not that these energies are necessarily technologically superior, but they are more tied to established interests than any other ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

6/03/2014: Some Advisors Aren't Worth Their Salt We all recognize that there are a number of areas in life where the purported answer we receive depends almost entirely upon the person to whom the question is asked. If you ask a Chevy salesman for a car recommendation, it isn't likely that you will be pitched a Ford. After a political debate, the various support ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

6/02/2014: You're an Absolutely TERRIBLE Driver If it's any condolence, though, so am I - along with just about every other human being who has ever sat down behind the wheel. According to the International Organization for Road Accident Prevention, 90% of road accidents are a product of human error. This fact shouldn't be too surprising considering how commonly we change lanes without signaling, fail to check our blind spots, and even ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

June 2014

5/30/2014: COMMENCEMENT...Part III We're still on our commencement day address, where our callow graduates find out that they've been set up. (You can catch up with parts I and II of our address here and here.) Dear Class of '14: Except in the sciences and engineering, a college education may do more harm than good. As I explained yesterday, to be taught, studied and learned, the arts and humanities must be reduced to a caricature. People are turned into stick figures. Complex story lines become narratives ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

5/29/2014: Commencement...Part II You are heirs to a great society, a great economy, a great government... and more snaky illusions than you can shake a stick at. Memorial Day gave us an opportunity to salute the fallen. Without a moment's hesitation or thought (which is the only way to do it) those who protect us rush to the barricades or recruiting offices. Germans, French, Vietnamese... Protestant...>>Full Article | Back to Top

5/28/2014: Congratulations to the "Chumps" of the Graduating Class of 2014 There are 4,495 colleges and universities in the US. By our count, they reckoned there were at least 4,495 commencement speakers more suitable than your humble financial advisor. Not one asked us to give the graduation address. That was probably a good decision on their part. Nevertheless, we prepared an address we would have delivered had we been asked. I also have another one for High School Commencements ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

5/27/2014: Shiller Challenged! There's a lot of data out there that both bulls and bears cite to support their market views. Unfortunately, many of these oft-cited data points aren't subject to real statistical analysis, according to Tobias Levkovich, chief U.S. equity strategist at Citigroup. Levkovich discusses some of these "mythical data" with...>>Full Article | Back to Top

5/26/2014: The BULL MARKET Isn't Over...It's Just Changing Since early 2009, when many of the world's equity markets correctly began to anticipate the end of the Great Recession, investors have enjoyed a remarkably pleasant ride. Of course, there have been rough patches-debt crises in Europe, political impasse in the U.S., persistent deflation in Japan-but markets, especially in the developed world, have generally responded by reaching ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

5/23/2014: Alzheimer's: You Can Smell It Coming It seems strange, but your sense of smell could determine how likely you are to develop Alzheimer's disease. That's because one of the first areas of the brain to be affected by the disease is the olfactory center. This is the area of the brain that's responsible for perceiving odors and scents. Loss of sense of smell is quite common. A quarter of the population over the age of 50 has some impairment, and many factors ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

5/22/2014: "What Middle Class? - Part III Why Being Middle Class in America Is a Deadly Trap. A new study by Princeton University political scientist Martin Gilens and Northwestern University political scientist Benjamin Page, reveals that the US is no longer a capitalist democracy. It's an oligarchy. You might not like it, but instead of Washington responding to your ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

5/21/2014: WHAT Middle Class? - PART II When we left you on Tuesday, we were delighted. We had found a kindred spirit... a like mind... a man as cheerful and as lighthearted as we are... in the person of Charles Hugh Smith, author and chief writer for OfTwoMinds.com. Smith doesn't whine about wealth inequality or call for wealth redistribution like the numbskulls on the editorial pages. Instead, he opens ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

5/20/2014: "What Middle Class?" - Part I We have reached the age where we have to resist the urge to give unwanted advice to younger people. Just this morning, a young woman was crossing the street: "Hey, none of my business, but that's a dangerous place to cross. The cars whip around the corner here... and they can't see you because of the scaffolding." "Thanks," came the ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

5/19/2014: More Than You Wanted to Know About TESLA (TSLA) and It's New Battery Plant By Brian Hicks | Thursday, May 15th, 2014. As you may already know, the world's hippest electric car maker, Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA), is about to broaden its revenue profile by building the world's biggest rechargeable battery production facility. The factory, whose exact location...>>Full Article | Back to Top

5/16/2014: Extremely Hilarious! As most of you know, I am very critical of the speech of many teenage girls (and 20-30 year old especially women who wish they were still teenagers) and their embracing of the "Great Northern City Vowel Migration") of the English Language. The last time the vowel sounds were systematically changed was when ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

5/15/2014: Here's the "Scoop" on China and GOLD StreetAuthority's chief commodities analyst, Dave Forest, just got back from a business trip to China. What he learned abroad has caused quite a stir around our office... Simply put, while he was there he got the inside scoop on China's massive stockpile of gold. It's information that nobody -- not even the U.S. government -- has been able to get their hands on. See, for years we've known that China is buying gold. We can tell ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

5/14/2014: A "Mini Bear Market?" Frustrating the Masses. Not only does the market like to climb a wall of worry, it also has an annoying tendency to frustrate the masses at every opportunity. And according to the plethora of experts gracing the airways and stock market blogs everywhere, the stock market is "supposed" to be going to heck in a hand basket right about now. As such, there are probably ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

5/13/2014: It Certainly is Worrisome The Dow Jones and the S&P 500 hit record highs today... That explains why the Volatility Index (the "VIX") - the market's fear gauge - dropped more than 5% today. As we've written before, the VIX measures the prices people are willing to pay for options in the form of "portfolio...>>Full Article | Back to Top

5/12/2014: Watch Out for These SIX Social Security TRAPS! If you're looking forward to turning age 62 so you can begin collecting Social Security benefits and live on Easy Street, you might get caught off guard. Some of the Social Security rules can be frighteningly complex. Because it will likely represent a large portion of your retirement income, it's important to understand how the government program works. For instance, there are limits on how much you can earn while collecting benefits, and if you exceed those limits, your Social Security benefits will get cut substantially. That's just ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

5/08/2014: Let's Try to Make Some Sense Out of RealEstate Gallup just conducted a recent poll on what Americans think is the best place for long-term investments. I don't have to tell you that most people are always wrong about such things. In fact, there is nothing better to bank on than going contrary to popular opinion. Fifteen years ago, I would've bet that poll showed stocks as number one. But I knew before I saw the results that it would not be stocks ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

5/07/2014: HERE It IS!...The "Dow Theory" BUY Signal Modest gains were achieved by all of the major indices Wednesday, but the spotlight was on the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The industrials ended at a new record closing high for the first time this year. The new high was made despite an announcement that the Federal Reserve was reducing its bond-buying program by $10 billion to $45 billion. And the indices resisted another headwind in the form of weaker-than-expected U.S. economic growth. In the first quarter, the ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

5/02/2014: How Did We Let This Happen? In a revealing article, The New York Times marks how Congress has reached a shocking milestone: More than half the House and Senate are now millionaires... along with the President. Democrats held the greatest share of wealth with a median net worth of $1.04 million. But the untold story is how many members ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

5/01/2014: Yellen's Latest Amazing Admission Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen is concerned that the standard models central banks use to forecast inflation may be broken. Behind her disquiet: the failure of the models to foresee the path of prices in the U.S. during the last recession and its aftermath and in Japan ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

May 2014

4/30/2014: Some Good News...Some Bad News Some six in 10 Baby Boomers and Generation Xers are projected to have sufficient financial resources for retirement expenses, according to recent research. That's the good news from the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), a non-partisan research group based in Washington, D.C. The bad news? Roughly four in 10 early Baby Boomers, those born between 1948 and...>>Full Article | Back to Top

4/29/2014: PIMCO PROBLEMS Mohamed El-Erian, former Pimco CEO, told CNBC on Monday that the bond market has figured out what stocks haven't yet: The Federal Reserve, while remaining committed to supporting asset prices, are "targeting different things." According to a Bloomberg report "We are in a transition [at the Fed] from a ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

4/28/2014: Get Ready For The Real Obamacare Disasters As People Start To Use It We have finally (almost, sort of) reached the end of Obamacare signups. The White House is claiming over seven million people have signed up with several million more now on the Medicaid rolls. Democrats are desperate to find a success somewhere in the Obamacare narrative, so reaching seven million ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

4/24/2014: Saving Money Is Not a Sin... I'm not sure why, but our culture seems to revile people who try to save a buck. In fact, Americans largely celebrate the opposite: People who spend beyond their means, take on more debt than they can handle, and generally make the worst financial decisions possible. Maybe nothing embodies that spirit more than the now-ubiquitous acronym, "YOLO," which stands for "you only live once." ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

4/23/2014: Finally, Some Bright Spots in the Economy After a very cold winter with lots of confusing economic data, some important recent indicators suggest that the economy may be coming out of hibernation at last. We'll take a look at these reports below. After a strong showing in the 3Q of last year, with GDP jumping a better than expected 4.1% (annual rate), the economy disappointed in the 4Q with growth of only ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

4/22/2014: Cable television is losing steam to Internet streaming services A new report from Experian Marketing Services says there is a growing number of people who have high-speed Internet, but no cable or satellite television subscription. These "cord-cutters" have jumped in number from 5.1 million households in 2010 to 7.6 million in 2013 - an increase of 44 percent in just three years. An estimated 6.5 percent of U.S....>>Full Article | Back to Top

4/21/2014: Stock Investors...Pay Attention! About one-third of the entire Dow Jones industrial average will report their quarterly earnings this week including such important names as McDonald's, AT&T, Boeing, Procter & Gamble, Microsoft and Visa, among others. Our DOW DIVIDEND ROYALTY portfolio at FFCG has been performing very well. The only ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

4/17/2014: Here's the Complete Text of Janet Yellens Speech Yesterday April 16 (Reuters) - Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen prepared the following remarks for a speech on Wednesday to the Economic Club of New York. "Nearly five years into the expansion that began after the financial crisis and the Great Recession, the recovery has come a long way. More than 8 million jobs have been added to nonfarm payrolls since 2009, almost the same ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

4/16/2014: OVER-STATED??? Over the last few weeks, we've seen the S&P 500 hit a new all-time high at 1,897. And we've seen an as-yet unfinished 4% correction. Now, I often use Yahoo! Finance to monitor intra-day market action. (Of course, because Yahoo's numbers aren't always reliable, I do my own research with 10Qs and 10Ks.) But Yahoo! is just for stock watching - for entertainment ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

4/15/2014: Get Some Perspective The bull market has warped your brain. For the better part of the past year, stocks have offered nothing but backslaps and high-fives. Your favorite names streaked higher. Your losing trades were few and far between. And most importantly, every single setback ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

4/14/2014: Consider ALTERNATIVES NOW! The modern financial advice industry may have never experienced a time when the case for allocating assets into alternative strategies made perfect sense. Until now. With the equity market at an all-time high, bond yields hovering near record lows, volatility spiking and global geopolitical risks rising, diversifying into products and ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

4/11/2014: The "LAST WORD" on IRAs and TAXES With just a few days left before tax day, I wanted to give you some last-minute moves that you can consider making right now. Obviously, if you haven't yet completed your return for this year you should do all the usual things like making sure you take every deduction you're entitled to. I would also point out that if you're receiving a refund from Uncle Sam this year, it's possible to have as much as $5,000 returned to you in the form of I Bonds, which I wrote about last month, by using form 8888. (Editor's note: This is actually the ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

4/10/2014: Is High-Frequency Trading a Hindrance to Your Portfolio Thanks to Ed Garruto for this piece. Ed is the former GM of the Caesar Riverboat Casino here in So. Indiana and is now a Financial Planner in New York. He asks the question "Is the stock market rigged in favor of high-speed electronic ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

4/09/2014: Global Warming...I don't think so! For the last couple of months it's been an open question whether US economic growth was slower because of brutal winter weather or if something more serious and worrisome was going on. We have consistently sided with the "weather theory." The winter of 2014 was one of the coldest and snowiest in the past 30 years, at least in the population centers in the East and Midwest. It was likely enough to slow real GDP growth from the 2.6% pace ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

4/08/2014: The DEATH of Land-lines According to data provided by the Center of Disease Control and Prevention, landline phones are gradually losing relevance in the United States. The CDC has tracked phone ownership by U.S. households as a by-product of its biannual National Health Survey since 2004. Since then the percentage of households that have a landline phone has dropped from 92.7 percent to...>>Full Article | Back to Top

4/07/2014: The Questionable Economy? While the US economy continues to grow, the rate of growth is slowing. This troubling trend suggests that the US economy is, once again, at risk of slipping into recession. This should not be a surprise given the historic patterns of economic cycles, the overall weakness blanketing much of the global economies and the escalating political conflicts abroad. Nevertheless, for those ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

4/04/2014: Another Piece on RE We still hear more lawyer jokes than Realtor jokes. I prefer the candid teasing to the veiled hostility I sometimes sense around real estate professionals. Realtors are the life blood of the cornerstone of our wealth portfolio. How's that? Realtors have established a reliable market for real estate over the past 100 years by creating a complex infrastructure...>>Full Article | Back to Top

4/03/2014: The State of Residential RE Frustrated shoppers and would-be sellers are setting the pace for the housing market's spring selling season, the March through June period when more than half of U.S. home sales take place. The market's getting a late start this year because so much of the country has been in the grips of bad weather. There aren't many people ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

4/02/2014: The Modern View of the Stock Market The great insights of the 1960s, half a century later. By: John Rekenthaler, 03/27/2014. Earlier this month, Cliff Asness and John Liew published "The Great Divide over Market Efficiency" in Institutional Investor. The article's title refers to the half-century-long debate in the academic and institutional-investment communities, between those who advanced the theory in the 1960s that the stock market was very efficiently priced, and those who view pricing errors as commonplace. The 2013 Nobel Prize selections of Eugene ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

4/01/2014: RIGGED?...Not Quite A piece on this past Sunday's 60-Minutes program roiled the financial media Monday. Why? Acclaimed author, Michael Lewis, was interviewed about his new book Flash Boys. In his book, and on the television show, Mr. Lewis calls the US stock market "rigged" due to predatory HFT (High Frequency Trading) firms. Of course the financial media wants ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

April 2014

3/31/2014: WHY We Use Index Funds... What do 25%, 25%, 25% and 25% have in common? Besides adding up to 100%, it's a pattern of active fund underperformance versus indexes that consistently occurs in the mutual fund marketplace. On average, over a five-year period, about 25% of actively ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

3/28/2014: Asset Class Investing...DANGEROUS Focusing on the big picture led investors astray during the financial crisis. In late 2008 the world financial system was on the verge of shutting down-and with one or two notable exceptions investors had nowhere to hide. Every asset dropped in price: stocks, bonds, commodities, real estate and precious metals-there wasn't...>>Full Article | Back to Top

3/27/2014: Here's Another Bubble-in-the-making Over the past few months, I've been getting more and more concerned about shale oil. Namely, that it's more comparable to a Ponzi scheme than any sort of boom. Analyists have articulated the reasons for this thesis, including fast decline rates, the amount of new rigs and wells needed, and a cost of production that's been higher than the price of sale for some ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

3/26/2014: What's the alternative to Buy Term and Invest the Difference? This is really the question: Is there a life insurance product out there that matches this risk profile more closely than term insurance? Yes, there is, and it turns out that everybody may have been wrong about this one...including most financial planners and other financial types! The issues with term insurance have been explored yesterday on these pages, but what about the cash-value life ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

3/25/2014: Buy Term and Invest the Rest...Not necessarily so... In the last year, one of the major tenets of financial planning came under fire as studies uncovered that the 4% withdrawal rule for retirement may not be sustainable. As significant as that news is, perhaps the more important part of the exercise is questioning the conventional wisdom in the first place. That process leads to any number of other tried and true "rules" of financial ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

3/21/2014: This "Ain't Purddy" Pilgrim We live in an instant gratification society. The house, the car, and annual vacation take precedence over contributions to retirement and savings accounts. It therefore comes as no surprise to me that Americans spend more time planning for vacation than they do on planning for retirement. Given the choice of spending or saving, Americans in large part choose "spend now, save later." In other words, Americans choose ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

3/20/2014: The Next CRISIS Is Looming Remember how everyone sensible knew the housing market was in a bubble 10 years ago but nobody really focused on what that would mean? I wonder today if we are in a similar situation regarding retirement. Everybody sensible knows we are facing a looming retirement crisis. Tens of millions of baby boomers ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

3/18/2014: Gold and Silver?...Maybe not! Gold and silver are getting all the headlines right now. After a miserable 2013, both precious metals are enjoying big gains this year. Gold is up over 12% in just a little over two months. Silver is up over 10%. But there's another precious metal that has been quietly rallying ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

3/14/2014: Life Insurance Is an ASSET (from FPA) One of the more challenging aspects of advising clients about life insurance is helping them to recognize that life insurance is an asset, rather than an expense. For many people, this view is a bit of a foreign concept in a world where other types of insurance (auto, homeowners, health...>>Full Article | Back to Top

3/10/2014: How Many Different Ways Can He Propose HIGHER TAXES? President Obama released his proposed FY 2015 budget March 4. The $3.901 trillion budget would raise taxes, expand existing tax credits and fund a variety of entitlement programs. The budget also contains several retirement-related ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

3/07/2014: More than You Wanted to Know About the Minimum Wage Controversary When Washington residents voted in 1998 to raise the state's minimum wage and link it to the cost of living, opponents warned the measure would be a job-killer. The prediction hasn't been borne out. In the 15 years that followed, the state's ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

3/06/2014: I Wonder WHY They're D-E-A-D!!! Is the recent spate of banker suicides (murders?) telling us something? The mainstream media is not covering this story, but it certainly caught my attention when I noticed a common thread amongst these individuals: big banks and derivative ties. I have been watching this ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

3/05/2013: Cold Weather and the NEW Cold War Where is Ronal Reagan when you need him. Russia thumbs its nose to the West and moved to take control of the Crimean Peninsula causing sharp spikes in energy and precious metals as Putin's gambit poses risk to the global economy and peace in the world. President Obama is calling for sanctions and secretary of State John Kerry is on his ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

3/04/2014: The Bull Continues Stocks rallied Tuesday following a recall of troops from Russia's border with Ukraine. The S&P 500 surged to a record closing high, and the Dow industrials had their best day since December. All 10 sectors of the S&P 500 participated in the rally, and the Nasdaq rose 1.8% - its biggest...>>Full Article | Back to Top

3/03/2014: Market Indicator Status The following chart shows ALL of the indicators that we follow... EVERYDAY. And as you can see the 2nd column indicates all but one are in a column of Xs AND the are above 60% participation from the members. We also follow ALL of the ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

March 2014

2/27/2014: States RIGHTS and States W-R-O-N-G-S States' rights has been a loaded term as far back as the 1940s, when it was all too often invoked in the name of segregation. It's a shame, then, that any argument today in favor of them falls under that ugly shadow. Be that as it may, I've long argued that states are much more effective at taking care of their residents than ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

2/26/2014: Another Inflation Gauge AND THIS ONE JUST MIGHT BE MORE ACCURATE... The Dent Inflation Index was introduced earlier today by Dent Research, a leading economic forecasting and investment research firm. This key economic measurement strips away questionable components and breaks down the data to provide a more realistic indication of inflation among different age groups in ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

2/25/2014: The Olympic Tax You Might Not Know About The 2014 Winter Olympics wrapped up last Sunday night with great fanfare. With news stories journalists finding their hotels half finished, and riots under the Great Gate of KIEV (Moussorsky would have a fit) there were plenty of things to talk about outside the games. But what can you expect when you task ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

2/24/2014: The "RealEstate THING" Wow, that was faster than a short-track sprint, or, a luge run. In the blink of an eye, conventional wisdom says the US housing recovery has gone from non-existent, to a new-bubble, and now back to a full-scale meltdown. I don't believe any of this. Since the Panic of 2008, emotion ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

2/21/2014: 401(k)s - 5 Steps to Take Now The 2013 year-end company 401(k) retirement plan statements have been opened, and the account values are filed away. But this year is not likely to be such a powerful windfall year for 401(k) plan participants, and that means the challenge and opportunity of 2014 go hand in hand: It's a good time to let everyone know that the same ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

2/19/2014: US Automakers SLIP in Quality DETROIT (Reuters) - Engine and transmission problems caused quality in the U.S. auto industry to slip for the first time in 16 years in a vehicle dependability study of owners of 3-year-old cars and trucks, falling from last year's record-high levels. The industry's 2011-model cars, introduced ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

2/18/2014: What do you Think of this? Tom Perkins is at it again. After comparing what he believes is a progressive "war" on the American wealth today to Nazi attacks on Jews ahead of the Holocaust last month, the venture capitalist is now out with another big idea: The rich should get more votes. Tom Perkins' big idea: The rich should get more votes CNNMoney.com Investor ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

2/14/2014: Did You Hear the News About "BITCOIN?" "Bitcoin software has a bug that allows fraud," Tokyo-based bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox said Monday. Fortunately for Bitcoin holders, "conversions of bitcoins to conventional currencies and bitcoin transfers to other Mt. Gox addresses are not affected" according to PCWorld. As you can imagine, Bitcoin took a big hit in value -- it's down ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

2/13/2014: The Recovery is Not a Sugar High Here is another more positive take on the economy by the guys at Monday Morning Outlook: What happened to stocks in January and early February is nothing new. It's happened quite a few times in the past four years and eleven months. Ever since mark-to-market accounting was fixed in March/April 2009, these corrections have been short-lived and relatively mild. And once they were over the market went higher. It's been a ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

2/12/2014: The Great Recession is haunting today's millennials New York public high-school teacher Brian Heiss is hardworking and as financially conservative as someone born during the Great Depression -and a surprising new study reveals that his approach is typical of his 21- to 36-year-old age group.The study, by UBS Wealth Management, also dispels notions of millennials ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

2/11/2014: Maybe It's Not THAT Bad What happened to stock markets over the past few weeks is nothing new. It's been happening off and on for the past four years and eleven months. Ever since mark-to-market accounting was fixed in March/April 2009, the stock market has been rising along with profits and the economy. But very few investors ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

2/10/2014: The FED vs. Reality The 2009-2013 bull market in financial assets (stocks and bonds) and real estate was created by the reckless policies of central banks around the world. These banks have been creating immense new amounts of fiat, paper money and using these funds to buy trillions of dollars' worth of financial assets. This is a paper pyramid of wealth. It will soon ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

2/07/2014: A BADWORD...Retirement One of the most "beat to death" phrases in the financial world is the concept of "retirement." Its a ludicous thought of working for 30 years at a low to mid-level job and then not working for 30 years and have "enough" money to live a fine life-style. The only way that this works for you is if you inherit a ton of money, or you own your own business and/or have been very astute ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

2/04/2014: It's FORD...in Our Own Backyard! Last Thursday, Joe Hinrichs, President of the Americas for Ford gave a followup presentation of his morning press announcement to my Rotary Club at the Galt House. The gist of the day was an expansion of the truck plant that Ford says will create 350 new jobs. The plant produces heavy-duty versions ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

February 2014

1/31/2014: TURKEY? The title of this missive could be, "Is There Really a Crisis in Emerging Markets? " The primary point is that although stocks are off their recent highs and things have become much more volatile this year, the charts of the greenback, gold and bonds did not seem to confirm that the U.S. stock market is currently in all-out crisis mode. We looked at charts of the corresponding ETF's and can ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

1/29/2014: Here's Why Last Week's Selloff Worries Me More than a Little Bit... "Is This Sell-Off the Big One?" - CNBC "What About a 50% Crash?" - MarketWatch "Investors Flock to Treasuries" - Reuters U.S. markets bounced briefly higher Monday morning, but let's face it: Last week's selloff was a lot to deal with. Especially Friday's plunge, when ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

1/27/2014: Financial Statements Earnings season is judgment day for stocks. It happens four times a year, after the last month of each quarter (March, June, September, December), as public companies release their earnings results from the previous quarter. Traditionally, Alcoa (AA)'s results "kick off" the season, and away we go. Federal securities laws require companies to disclose revenue and earnings in a...>>Full Article | Back to Top

1/24/2014: The Keynes fiasco! Please don't accuse me of ignoring "everything" John Maynard Keynes said. The truth is I ignore just 99%. What most people are taught about Keynes is that government spending is the equivalent of, or through the spending multiplier, more powerful than, private spending. Very few ever try to argue with this idea, especially after professors ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

1/23/2014: Why Male Workers Are Disappearing in America The plunge in new jobs to only 74,000 in December is worrisome enough, but if you dig deeper into the data, you find something even more disturbing. Only 71.8% of working-age men have a job or are looking for work. That's a huge decline from 80% in 1970! The question is, why are so many men disappearing ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

1/22/2014: The "SCOOP" on Unemployment Last month's unemployment rate plunged from 7% in November all the way to 6.7% in December, which was lower than any of the pre-report estimates. That should be a great thing, right? Wrong! The unemployment rate fell because more Americans gave up looking for work and dropped out of the labor ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

1/15/2014: ELECTRIC VEHICLES... I've long believed the key to hybrid and electric car growth is high gas prices. The higher the gas price, the more vibrant the market for fuel-efficient vehicles. But maybe I've been wrong... You see, in 2012, the average price of gasoline was $3.61. In 2013, the average...>>Full Article | Back to Top

1/14/2014: Double Talk For most of the major US equity indices Monday's plunge was the worst day since August 27th. All indices are now negative year-to-date as the outperforming Dow Transports were smacked over 1.8% from its intraday highs. NASDAQ once again touched green year-to-date early on in the day, then tumbled...>>Full Article | Back to Top

1/13/2014: Will Your Retirement Savings Last? Increasing life expectancies mean you're likely looking at a longer retirement than the previous generation of workers. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the average person spends 20 years in retirement-while others put the figure at 30 years or longer. And financial advisors generally suggest you'll need ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

1/09/2014: Earnings...PROFITS! For something that happens with such regularity and is so important, it's surprising that earnings season can still sneak up on us. And yet, with Alcoa (AA) reporting this afternoon and JPMorgan (JPM), Wells Fargo (WFC), Bank of America (BAC) and more set to deliver results next week, fourth quarter earnings ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

January 2014

12/30/2013: MY ANNUAL YEAR-END RHYME 'Tis a few days before the New Year and so it is time For the 23rd edition of my Year-End Rhyme. It seems forever ago that 2013 really began, But the calendar says surely it's "in the can." ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

12/27/2013: MEXICO...Some NEWS! If Mexico was to witness an energy rebirth like the United States, it would be because of one resource: oil. But thanks to massive corruption, a lack of foresight and inadequate spending on technology and repairs, Mexican oil fields are underproducing. Current production numbers show a decline from around 3.5 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2005 to less than 3 million bpd in 2013. And the Mexican government ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

12/24/2013: Wall Street's biggest PR nightmares of 2013 Making news for all the wrong reasons - it was a common theme on Wall Street in 2013. In July, we listed a dozen of the most head-scratching banker moves that made news during the first six months of the year, ranging from a sleep-induced $293 million wire transfer to an investment banker whose Excel spreadsheet of online dating adventures went mistakenly ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

12/23/2013: The Markets Are Doing the "Santa Claus Rally" On Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average not only set another new high but, according to The Wall Street Journal, it "closed at a record after adjusting for inflation." This means that the index has finally regained all of the lost ground of the past 14 years. The Journal said, "In that sense, the stock market's 'lost decade,' which in fact lasted longer ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

12/20/2013: More on Tapering! The Federal Reserve's funneling of trillions of dollars into the economy over the past five years has provided a shot in America's arm. The stimulus has affected consumers more than they realize, experts say, as will the tapering. Related Stories on Wednesday, the Fed announced it would begin to wind down the quantitative easing program known as QE3. Analysts say consumers should start to prepare now - especially those who are ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

12/19/2013: Taper The bearded-banker's swan song was to leave the chairmanship of the Federal Reserve with a slight "taper" of his seemingly never ending QE policy. During his final press conference after the release of the Fed's statement, Chairman MaoNanke admitted that nothing had really changed while answering one of the many puffball questions of financial...>>Full Article | Back to Top

12/18/2013: 'Tis the Season (for Warnings and Worry) It's that magical time of the year when all of our problems can be set aside and we can focus on the joy and wonder of the Christmas season... (or at least that's how it's supposed to work). Unfortunately, things don't always work out quite the way ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

12/17/2013: The Single Most Important Chart for 2014 "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." Franklin D. Roosevelt spoke those incredible words 80 years ago, which were then echoed by John F. Kennedy in 1960. They're iconic. But what would happen ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

12/16/2013: 5 Year End Investment Moves I know, you're busy in December. Holiday shopping, parties and visiting friends and family. December is a great time for cleaning up your portfolio too. Don't put these things off. They are important too. Particularly now with the market at all time highs...and threatening to move substantially lower. Here's 5 Year End Investment Moves to ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

12/13/2013: The BEST Christmas Gift I wrote this piece for your children and grandchildren. You've probably heard about America's huge debt load. The U.S. government's financial obligations now exceed $663,000 per American family. This burden will fall on the youngest Americans. It's unethical. It's unfortunate. But it's the ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

12/12/2013: Volcker Rule The Volcker rule was adopted Tuesday, should we care? The rule, championed by former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker, was a last-minute addition to the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law that ostensibly bans the banks from proprietary trading, or speculative trading for their own profits. It was passed yesterday in a coordinated ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

12/11/2013: GOOD NEWS We had some terrific economic news late last week. The 3Q GDP report and the November unemployment report were so strong that some are wondering if the data are credible, and are likely to be revised lower next month. The government reported that 3Q Gross Domestic Product jumped from 2.8% as reported last month to a whopping 3.6% in its second estimate last ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

12/06/2013: Bull Vacation First, I am sadden by the passing of Nelson Mandela. So often I write about corrupt politicians, conspiring bankers, and inept regulators that I forget to honor those who truly helped the world. Mandela was one of those men. As for the markets, "Good news" once again proved ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

12/04/2012: 6 easy ways you can lower your upcoming tax bill Decenber is the best time for this review: Strategy 1: Prepay Deductible Expenditures. Prepaying a few of next year's expenditures that are deductible on your taxes is a great way to reduce what you owe. You have to itemize your deductions in order to be able to write-off these expenditures, but they are ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

12/02/2013: Amazon Floats the Notion of Delivery Drones Jeff Bezos, as always, is thinking outside the box - way, way outside. Amazon's Futuristic Delivery Method? Prime Air -- Kindles Delivered by Drone. AllThingsD Amazon Prime Air drones revealed on 60 Minutes, aim to deliver in half an hour (video) Engadget Amazon.com developing delivery drones Associated Press Amazon Developing Delivery Drones The Wall Street Journal ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

December 2013

11/29/2013: The TWO "Best Run" States in America Before you read any farther along, make a note of your guess; I bet you're wrong. It can be difficult to objectively assess the quality of a state's management. The economy and standard of living can be affected by decisions made decades ago, forces outside the control of the state's government and administrators...>>Full Article | Back to Top

11/27/2013: The Mystery Around IUL Over the last two years, we have been privileged to assist dozens of clients with setting up part of their income in retirement to be tax-free. For some, we use Roths. For many, we use a combination of Roths and indexed universal life (IUL). We like IULs a lot, but the first thing we tell clients is ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

11/26/2013: THE Chart to Watch There are a lot of different indicators and studies that technical analysts use, and all of those tools came into usage due to some degree of merit. But the one factor which seems to be trumping everything else lately is what the Fed is doing with its QEternity program, which shows no sign of stopping anytime soon, or ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

11/25/2013: It's Worse than We Thought Geoffrey Pike sent me this very clear but lengthy diatribe on the next ten years and how bad the Government Debt is and what he thinks they will do about it. The national debt for the U.S. federal government now sits at over $17 trillion. This news has been getting more attention lately, particularly with the debates ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

11/22/2013: 5 pieces of health care news to be thankful for Let's be honest. This year - and the last couple months in particular - has not been kind to health care in America. That's mainly exacerbated by the issues revolving around the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: the botched HealthCare.gov site, the delays, the apologies, the low enrollment numbers, the high prices...>>Full Article | Back to Top

11/21/2013: It's the "VELOCITY" of Money That Bernanke is Counting On This is how he "HOPES" it will work. (Thanks to Norm Milhiser , CPA for this piece.) Imagine a small town on the East Coast where the holiday season is in full swing. But like in the rest of U.S., there is not much business ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

11/20/2013: Looney Tunes by Lon Witter The Federal Reserve has been borrowing $1 trillion dollars a year, called quantitative easing (QE), for the express purpose of stimulating the economy to produce more jobs. Is QE working? Let's consider the facts: 1. The economy shows anemic growth of 2% five years after the Great Recession. 2. The work force has shrunk to the lowest level since 1978 ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

11/18/2013: One More Reason Stocks Could Go Higher From Here After 28% gains so far this year, U.S. stocks are on pace for their best year since 1997. But like the rest of the world, this probably has you worried. Most investors see high prices as a bad thing. They believe higher prices mean higher risk. And they expect a crash to come any day to fix the problem. Of course, this is all wrong ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

11/14/2013: Correction or NOT! The S&P 500 has gone 531 trading days without a 10% decline. Therefore, a correction has to be waiting in the shadows, ready to gut trading accounts and scare away the money that found its way back into stocks so far this year...Or maybe not....>>Full Article | Back to Top

11/13/2013: Oil is Being Manipulated? Ask most Americans and they'll tell you the oil markets are controlled by OPEC. But a recent lawsuit brought by four veteran floor traders alleges the global oil market is being manipulated from the waters off Scandinavia, not via the Middle East or Venezuela. Specifically, ex-NYMEX board member Kevin McDonnell and three other floor traders allege ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

11/12/2013: A Surefire Way To Lose Money On High-Yield Stocks It's tough to retire on a 2% yield. Factor in inflation, and you're all but guaranteed to lose money on many traditional income products, including high-quality government bonds, bank certificates of deposit and savings accounts. Even riskier corporate and government debt ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

11/11/2013: Here's a Great Tribute to Our Veterans "FREEDOM" From the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier To the silver-haired crowns of our fathers From the Shores of Tripoli To the Pacific's peal-green waters...>>Full Article | Back to Top

11/08/2013: Expect Debt Defaults to Go from a Trickle to a Torrent Underfunded public pensions are a big part of the nation's debt crisis. The U.S. federal government showed again that it's good at kicking the can down the road now that the Congressional vote postponed the debt ceiling deadline until Feb. 7. It's true that a default on the nation's debt was averted, but an actual ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

11/05/2013: Don't Be Shocked if Tesla Beats Forecasts Since we at Feddern Financial Consulting Group consturcted our "solar portfolio" this past Summer, our holdings have had nice gains...far better than the market. It is time for the electrically driven rubber to hit the road. Plenty of ink has been spilled about whether Tesla Motors Inc.'s shares are in a bubble. Its third-quarter results, due today, will give ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

11/04/2013: PIMCO's Gross Calls for Tax Hike on Rich, Laments 1% 'Scrooges' Street manifesto, bond billionaire Bill Gross' current investment outlook rails against the Here's another example aligned with Buffet. Bond billionaire says it is time to end lower taxes on capital than labor. How about lower taxes on labor Bill? Reading almost like an Occupy Wall privilege of the 1% while ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

11/01/2013: A Piece of Google for $10 ! ! ! Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) made history a few weeks back when it broke through the rarified $1,000/share mark for the first time in company history. The problem with a $1,000/share stock - or a $340 billion company, for that matter - is that no matter how big, diversified, or ubiquitous they are, to most ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

November 2013

10/31/2013: CHINA'S Gold "Ace-in-the -HOLE" Hardly anyone sees it. Yet it's coming. I'm talking about China's covert plot to overthrow the U.S. dollar. It will make them the world's dominant economic power - and throw America into chaos. This is why China's buying and hoarding gold at record levels - even gold mining operations. The plan is to back their currency - the Yuan - with gold. That's how the U.S. dollar originally became ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

10/30/2013: QE Infinity? No end in sight for money printing Market consensus quickly adapted to the reality that Federal Reserve easing will go full-throttle until at least March. But even that thinking may be too aggressive. After all, when the U.S. central bank began the third round of its bond-buying program known as quantitative easing, it made it clear that it was an "open-ended" endeavor. That meant the $85 billion a month of so-called money printing would continue ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

10/28/2013: NOT SURPRIZING! A building - One Chase Plaza - was sold last Thursday in New York for $750 million. Not surprisingly, the building was bought by a Chinese asset-management firm, Fosun. This piece is about this deal... and the massive economic forces that lie behind it. The story of One Chase Plaza is the story of how America was sold to its bankers. It's the story of how inflation plundered our wages. It's the story of how credit,...>>Full Article | Back to Top

10/25/2013: Buying a Stake in... Athletes? I don't know if you saw this, but Arian Foster and Fantex Holdings Inc. are participating in a massive experiment or incredibly high-risk. Of all things they want to sell investments in athletes. As you probably know, I'm certainly not a sports fan...>>Full Article | Back to Top

10/21/2013: China's Screwed! It's not as if we didn't see this coming. In fact, we've been writing about it for years now. And just last week, it became official... China has now become the world's largest importer of oil. According to the most recent EIA data, oil consumption in ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

10/18/2013: Exporting Crude Oil?...I Don't Think So! I would like to make my points with you. Because I do think there is a benefit to not exporting oil and gas today. The background is simple, in the 1970s, the Arab Oil Embargo scared the U.S. into blocking oil exports. We were running out and the supply was in the hands of our enemies. Fast forward to today. Oil production is back up to 1992 levels and rising. For some reason, folks are fired up about exporting oil. This is one of my favorite subjects right ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

10/16/2013: The 2013-2015 Bear Market Has Begun By Lon Witter: A bear market is defined as a minimum 20% drop from peak to trough. Witter & Westlake believes the current bear market will see a 30-50% decline. The average bear market experiences a 30% drop. In order to understand why W&W believes the stock market has now entered a bear market, one must examine the...>>Full Article | Back to Top

10/15/2013: HERE's What's About to Happen U.S. workers could see their retirement savings tumble 20% if Congress and the President fail to craft a deal to raise the federal government's $16.7 trillion debt ceiling, a new report shows. --- Such is the conclusion of a group that I have been a member for years, the American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries (ASPPA) "Retirement Savings Will ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

10/14/2013: EXAMPLES of How Bad It's Going to Be The municipal bankruptcy of Vallejo, Calif., might be viewed as a cautionary tale for other cities that fail to get a handle on their pension costs. There's no debate that cities around the country are facing budget pressures because of the slow economic recovery and that the annual contributions required to meet future pension liabilities are a huge part of the problem, siphoning away money needed ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

10/11/2013: Feeling dizzy yet? After a dismal start to the month, stocks have found some footing. The Dow jumped nearly 323 points-a feat we haven't witnessed since December 2011. The S&P has erased all of its October losses. After tanking for weeks, a broad rally has emerged in this manic market. And the 200-day moving average has ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

10/10/2013: All I know About the NEW FED Nominee The decision to nominate 67-year-old Janet Yellen to succeed Ben Bernanke as chairman of the Federal Reserve didn't come as a surprise to Wall Street. President Obama has not only chosen the frontrunner, the first woman ever, and the most qualified individual to oversee our central bank, but he's signed on to a way...>>Full Article | Back to Top

10/08/2013: It's the Only Game in Town It's strange times in the United States. The government is partially shut down and isn't releasing any statistics. Even John Muir wouldn't be allowed to hike in a national park. All the while, the President and the Treasury Secretary are predicting an economic calamity for the US (and maybe the globe) if the debt ceiling isn't ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

10/03/2013: The "Ol' DOW" "The turnover in the Dow is getting ridiculous," declared Dave Gonigam in yesterday's 5 Min. Forecast. "Any chart of the index that goes back more than a couple of years is an apples-to-oranges comparison. Come Sept. 23, seven of the Dow's 30 components will be new arrivals within the last six years. Two of those slots have turned over twice during that span." Dave's gripe is in reaction to the Dow's musical ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

10/02/2013: The Number One Threat to the Market I have a couple of quotes this morning about what might represent the biggest threat to the stock market this month. I view Syria as a side show and I do not believe "valuations" are too high or represent a threat of their own volition. I also think the debt ceiling and budget deadlines, while they may offer up volatility-generating headlines, are probably more likely ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

October 2013

9/27/2013: DIVIDENDS..the Case! Imagine if you had bought these stocks 20 years ago. If you had, then right now you'd be earning dividend yields of... 27%... 33%... even as high as 40%. And that's from brand-name companies like Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG) and Lowe's (NYSE: LOW). Unfortunately, most investors will never see dividend yields like ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

9/26/2013: Pay-off the House or NOT? All right...sit back and get ready to learn more than you want to know about the subject. What's more, that debt isn't going away after retirement. Among people age 65 to 74, almost half had mortgages or other loans on their primary residences, and more than a third held credit card debt according to the paper, Debt and Debt Management ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

9/25/2013: 3 "Telling" Charts There are signs, though, that this bounce is nearing an end. The same signs that had us looking for a bounce a few weeks ago are now warning of a potential decline... The McClellan Oscillator is approaching overbought levels. Take a look ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

9/23/2013: The Plow-Horse Economy/GDP Like a Plow Horse, the US economy keeps plodding along - GDP and payrolls keep growing. This confounds many pessimistic, debt-focused, perma-bear investors, who fall back on the belief that anything good must simply be a lie. Hey, I trying to be as positive as possible. They claim the government is lying about jobs, lying about ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

9/20/2013: Is a CRASH Really Coming? Warnings of Market Crash Similar to '87 Abound as Main Street Pain Worsens Observers see reasons for correction as decline in labor force and increase in hunger show evidence of economywide pain. The drumbeat of warnings about an imminent market crash continues to rise in volume - which is probably only to be expected five years after the Lehman Brothers crash, during which time the market's value has increased by ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

9/19/2013: "Taper Talk and Taper Lite" Robert Frost once said, "In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life - it goes on." Somehow these immortal words from the greatest American poet seem fitting for today, the day after Fed day, and the precipice that awaits us on the other side of a meeting that's been hyped, discussed and anticipated for the better part of four months. What aggravates me the most is that the bozo-talking heads on the financial tubes seems to try to blame the Fed for the surprise when it was THEIR own making ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

9/18/2013: 3-D Printing! 3 Perfect Storms Josh Grasmick 0f th Daily Reckoning sends me the following piece on 3-D Printing: As you know, a perfect storm arises when a rare brew of forces meet. Usually, you hear about these events when fierce winds join on the ocean or coastline. But they can occur in finance too, when barriers are broken and human action enables market movement. Today, we show you such a financial perfect storm that is brewing in the tech sector. And as you are about to see, whether you are an investor or not... you are in for a hell of a ride. "...the massive number of key patents set...>>Full Article | Back to Top

9/17/2013: OBAMACARE...Yuk??? In less than a month, {State} insurance marketplaces open and shortly after that the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, will begin to hit actual American pocketbooks. The good news, according to a study by the Kaiser Family Foundation is that the pain will probably be less than you think. Whether Obamacare is affordable as far as you are concerned, is a more difficult question ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

9/13/2013: Why Facebook is Worthless and Google is Priceless My personal opinion...of course. I've been on the phone with Brian Hicks for the better part of THREE hours discussing the merits of Facebood vs. Google. We here at our shop are trying to determine the benefits of having a presence on Facebook (BTW-we DO have a corporate FaceBook page, but no one is really dedicated to making it ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

9/12/2013: America Edges Closer to the "Helium Cliff" I want to talk to you about gas. No... not that kind of gas! I'm referring to one that probably never crosses your mind, unless you're blowing up a balloon, or trying to sound like Mickey Mouse. Helium. Helium is the second-most abundant substance in the world and accounts for almost one-quarter of the mass of ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

9/11/2013: The much-heralded housing recovery may be over Greg Guenthner sent me the following diatribe about Real Estate: "No, you won't see a bunch of new foreclosures in your neighborhood. And I doubt the value of your home will plummet. But the big, first phase of the housing market's under-the-radar rise is finally cooked. "That means no more easy gains from homebuilding ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

9/09/2013: Looks Like DEFLATION May Be a RISK! According to the guys at Robert Prechter's ELLIOTT WAVE THEORISTS the possibility of deflation is something most everyone is missing or at least discounting. Starting around the summer of 2008, the Fed began expanding its balance sheet at a historically rapid rate. People speak of the Fed "buying" assets; but it can't buy assets, because it produces nothing of value with which...>>Full Article | Back to Top

9/06/2013: They Call Them "JUNK" for a Reason... The US Federal Reserve talked in early summer about tapering its quantitative easing plan and raising interest rates-in part to stop investors from chasing yield into the arms of riskier loans. In the high-yield market, however, the conversation had exactly the opposite effect. The shock of the Fed's potential moves ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

9/05/2013: Go Ahead, Let Rates Rise by Mitch Zacks, Senior Portfolio Manager - The Federal Reserve has been on a bond-buying spree since the start of the financial crisis, trying to flood the economy with cheap money. The Fed is currently buying $85 billion worth of Treasury and Mortgage-backed securities each month to help stave off deflation and accelerate economic growth. While the Fed's ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

9/04/2013: Here's My Take on the Syrian WAR EFFORTS This is a seriously TOO LONG diatribe by me on this subject; but since so many of you have asked about, HERE GOES: Oil will certainly spike to the upside immediately after the so-called 'conflict" begins. But then immediately collapse back to current levels or ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

9/03/2013: Avoid the VIX Trap: Too Many People Expect Volatility Breakout Like an angry bear that's been prematurely scared awake from his Winter hibernation, the CBOE Volatiltiy Index has come roaring back to life lately and is suddenly the hottest mover in an otherwise jittery market ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

September 2013

8/30/2013: Small Caps Look Set to Free Fall While the indices suffered a broad sell-off, the Russell 2000 put in a decidedly weak performance. Stocks suffered a broad sell-off this past Tuesday, falling to a two-month low on fears that U.S. military forces would become involved in the Syrian war. Those worries were heightened by uncertainty regarding future Fed policy ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

8/29/2013: NASDAQ Glitch Hits ETF Market Here is the ZACKs analysis of what happened last week. After a series of trading glitches impacting major U.S. exchanges, it appears as though the NASDAQ was the next in line for issues. The all-electronic trading platform experienced a huge technical problem which kept their market shutdown ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

8/28/2013: Is Nuclear Power Coming BACK? 300 tons a day. That's how much radiated water has been flowing into the Pacific Ocean for two and half years now. And last week, we found out that there's another leak coming from a storage tank at Fukushima. Alternative media sources actually picked up...>>Full Article | Back to Top

8/27/2013: U.S. durable goods post largest drop in nearly a year! TROUBLE AHEAD? WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Orders for long-lasting U.S. manufactured goods recorded their biggest drop in nearly a year in July and a gauge of planned business spending on capital goods tumbled, casting a shadow over the economy early ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

8/26/2013: Is Gold Back? An abatement in the wave of speculative selling pressure is allowing strong demand for physical gold (COMEX:GCU13) from Asian buyers to assert its influence over the price and there is a growing case to be positive over the prospects of the yellow metal. However, a number of factors have hurt gold ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

8/23/2013: A Currency WAR? You may have heard - Japan is getting aggressive about devaluing the "Yen." And it's alarming central banks in the U.S. and Eurozone... As well it should. Japan is playing with fire... because ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

8/21/2013: Reform will boost Mexico's oil investment By John Paul Rathbone - The Financial Times in London - The head of Mexico's state oil monopoly expects the energy reform announced this week to boost oil investment by $10bn a year, even though the foreign companies that it hopes to attract will not be able to book reserves. "To hit production forecasts of another 1 million barrels a day, we expect an extra $10bn a year until 2025," Emilio Lozoya...>>Full Article | Back to Top

8/20/2013: Is There a U.S. Bond Bubble? By Martin Tillier - When you work in financial markets, there are certain things that are embedded in your thought process over time. When you leave and return to the real world, it comes as a shock that what is obvious to you is seen differently by retail investors. There is a perception gap between ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

8/19/2013: The So-Called HOUSING RECOVERY The much-heralded housing recovery is over. No, you won't see a bunch of new foreclosures in your neighborhood. And I doubt the value of your home will plummet. But the big, first phase of the housing market's under-the-radar rise is finally cooked. That means no more easy gains ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

8/16/2013: The HealthCare Details Altered by the ACA, limited medical plans may actually increase in popularity for some workers. The Affordable Care Act will eliminate one type of mini medical plan, while making minor changes to another, experts say. Even so, there is an onus to act now. Under the act, expense-incurred plans will cease to exist, as they fail ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

8/14/2013: GDP Gone Amuck! Along with Wednesday's FOMC statement we received the government's latest and greatest revision (scam) of GDP data. When you don't like the coming results AND you control the game - just change the rules. Voila, results accomplished. The US government has been constantly changing...>>Full Article | Back to Top

8/13/2013: The Saudi's are Running SCARED This past week, Texas billionaire George P. Mitchell-the pioneer of shale-drilling that transformed the global oil market-passed away at the age of 94. It was Mitchell who, in the 1990s, started employing horizontal drilling techniques and hydraulic fracturing to get gas out of rock that no one thought was penetrable. This was the Barnett Shale, and this was the start of a revolution...>>Full Article | Back to Top

8/12/2013: Solar STUFF...and a new stock for us The annual market for distributed generation will reach $12.7 billion in about three years. This figure is based on a recent Pike Research report on microgrids, and has since been shown to be a sound estimate. In fact, Fitch Ratings recently chimed in with its own data on distributed generation...>>Full Article | Back to Top

8/09/2013: Silver is a volatile beast It moves like a sidewinder missal; - that is, silver won't flow in a straight line, but it is laser focused on where it has to go. And it looks like it's going up. The last major bull market for silver (prior to 2010, that is) was the 1970s. In the decade of disco, the price of silver ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

8/08/2013: Making Money Off of the Poor! It was a Friday night tradition back in the early 1980s. After my father got home from work, we'd all climb into our 1982 Oldsmobile Cutlass Cruiser station wagon and head to Burger King for dinner. To this day, I still remember what we always ordered: My father never wavered from the classic Whopper. My mother was loyal to her Whopper Jr. with cheese, mayonnaise ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

8/07/2013: My Vote for the Next Fed Chairman Here's Shah Gilani tongue-in-cheek piece on: LARRY SUMMERS FOR FED CHAIRMAN! Why? You just have to get to know the guy, and you'll see he's perfectly qualified to head the central banking system of the United States of America. Here's just part of his résumé. From 1982-1983, Lawrence Summers ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

8/06/2013: Texas Oil Showdown By Keith Kohl - Every cent of the vast oil fortunes made in West Texas over the last 92 years have Mitchell County to thank. A single discovery well drilled into the Westbrook Field in Mitchell back in 1921 is what kick-started oil production in the Permian Basin. After drilling nearly 2,500 feet into the ground, the first commercial well ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

8/05/2013: Bogle and Morningstar...WRONG AGAIN! This is one those simplistic ideas that provoke a serious over-reaction on my part. This is the usual rubbish that comes from the Mutual Fund industry and their minions designed to keep you "fully invested" through the thick and the thin because they just don't believe that you can make rational decisions as to when to BUY-HOLD-SELL their funds. WHY do they do this?: because none of them gets paid if you're in cash or an Inverse...>>Full Article | Back to Top

8/02/2013: Maybe It Ain't China's Fault AFTER ALL Challenging a long-held assumption about commodities There's no denying China's massive economic growth over the past decade, as the country recorded an average GDP of more than 10% per year. In only seven years, China's economy doubled; in 13 years, it tripled. With this incredible expansion, China began to import ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

8/01/2013: The Labor Unions REBEL!!! Well, well. Labor unions are among the key institutions responsible for the passage of Obamacare. They spent tons of money electing Democrats to Congress in 2006 and 2008, and fought hard to push the health law through the legislature in 2009 and 2010. But now, unions are waking up to the fact that Obamacare is heavily disruptive...>>Full Article | Back to Top

August 2013

7/31/2013: Liberty & How Things Are Not Always As They Seem By: Chris Rossini - We live in a time where the prospects for liberty do not look good. The advances of The State (over the last decade especially) have been extraordinary. In the blink of an eye, our every move is now up for grabs to be monitored; and unfortunately prying eyes are not the limit. Prying hands grab and grope our most intimate ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

7/30/2013: An Old Joke from the guys at DayHagan - A mathematician, an accountant and an economist apply for the same job. The interviewer calls in the mathematician and asks "What do two plus two equal?" The mathematician replies "Four." The interviewer asks "Four, exactly?" The mathematician...>>Full Article | Back to Top

7/29/2013: Beware of Rising Interest Rates The S&P 500 gained 32% between November 1986 and August 1987. Investors were giddy. They were making piles of cash. And almost no one seemed concerned about what was going on over in the bond market... After declining sharply for most of 1986, the interest rate on the 30-year Treasury bond had surged from 7.4% in late 1986 to 9.2% less than a year ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

7/26/2013: DETROIT...Bankrupt! If the courts allow it. Detroit became the largest US city to ever file for bankruptcy on Thursday, seeking protection from its creditors as it restructures more than $18bn in debt. Richard Snyder, Michigan's Republican governor, said in a letter included in the filing. "Detroit simply cannot raise enough revenue ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

7/25/2013: You Won't Believe THIS! Wow, let's give giant "kudos" today to journalist Gretchen Morgenson, researcher Alain Delaquérière, and the New York Times, where those two hang their investigative journalist hats. As you know, the Times is certainly not my favorite ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

7/23/2013: How to Profit from the Interest Rate Panic Here is Louis Navellier's take on rising interest rates. Interest rates are going UP...and there are TWO crucial facts that you need to know about rising interest rates that can make you A LOT of money in the next 12 to 24 months: Fact #1: When interest rates go up, investors briefly panic...and the market becomes more volatile. We've seen that yet again in recent ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

7/19/2013: The Dow Is Back at NEW All-Time Highs But you might really consider having an exit plan. Our Risk Management Seminar that we present once a month on SAT 10 A is a real guide as to what to do. We can either do it for you OR you can "do it yourself." The next one is AUG 10 here in my conference room. Those of you who are out of town can join us by an invitation with GoToMeeting ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

7/18/2013: A Surefire Signal the Market Top Has Arrived: "The Streisand Signal" When ordinary folks-or even celebrities-think the market can beaten so easily, it says something about investor psychology that I just can't ignore. Stock enthusiasm in popular culture is almost always a sign of the top. These principles allowed me to burn my mortgage at age 36, ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

7/17/2013: Are You Scared YET? Over the past few months, you've probably heard some very scary numbers about gold and gold stocks. You've probably heard the benchmark gold stock index is down 50% in 2013. You've probably heard gold is down from its 2011 high of $1,900 to $1,250 an ounce right now. But the scariest number long-term gold-stock investors haven't heard much about is "$5.5 billion." Last week, I told you that large gold miners ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

7/16/2013: Don't EVER "Bet the Farm" on Gold A lot of financial pundits are talking about when they will "back up the truck" and load up on Gold... We NEVER recommend that you do this...on ANYTHING...PERIOD! The precious metal has fallen from its 2011 high of $1,900 an ounce to around $1,250 today... The experts are saying it will bottom between $1,000 and $1,100. Whether gold gets down to that level or not,...>>Full Article | Back to Top

7/15/2013: HERE'S A GHOULISH dilemma A Florida widow, now 90, and her late husband took out a $2 million second-to-die universal life insurance policy in 1996 and put it in a trust for their three kids. It was a standard bit of estate planning for the well-off: The parents could make annual tax-free gifts of $10,000 per child to cover the policy's $30,000 yearly premiums, and on the death ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

7/12/2013: How About MORE on OBAMACARE? Here's my personal take on the situation. For much of the past four years, I've felt like psychologists who constantly must help hypochondriacs over their fear of one thing after another. There is no reason to remind everyone of "the list" - it's been endless, but the stock market and the economy have moved consistently higher despite these fears. Remember, the ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

7/11/2013: The "Crackdown" is Coming JPMorgan Chase (JPM), which is bracing for a crackdown over its credit card debt collections practices, is trying to give regulators less ammunition. The nation's largest bank has halted most sales to third-party collectors of debts it has already charged off its own books. Bank executives have cited concerns that such sales could cause further damage to its reputation, according to sources familiar with its actions. Court records show that third-party collectors' lawsuits ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

7/08/2013: Stay the Course for GOLD! Owning Gold is an exercise in faith! I'm talking about the metal. Traders stampeded out of gold, emerging markets and bonds this month, setting record monthly outflows in June. Ever since the Federal Reserve hinted in May that signs of a stronger economy could allow for a slowdown of stimulus, markets have protested ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

7/05/2013: Rejecting PPACA exchanges, but not the federal grants Some states that have rejected participation in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act health insurance exchange program have been quicker than others to return Obama's PPACA exchange development grant money. Officials at the U.S. Government Accountability Office ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

7/03/2013: A "Relief Rally?" The second half of the year began quietly this week. The broad market sprinted out of the gate. But as the days played out, stocks started to sputter. While the major indexes still managed to finish solidly in the green, Monday ands Tuesday were hardly a victory for the ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

7/02/2013: Bulls May Get Battered By Beltway... Again Jeff Saut, chief investment strategist at Raymond James, has been correctly bullish in the darkest of times over the last few years; including the period immediately prior to the elections of 2012 when others were saying the then three-year old rally was getting long in the tooth. Given that track record it's worth paying attention when Saut changes his tune, especially when he's talking about Washington...>>Full Article | Back to Top

7/01/2013: Target-date Funds and Indexing Target-date series perhaps beginning to earn their keep in 401(k) plans. A new Morningstar study out today finds that these retirement investments are getting cheaper, and post-2008 returns have been strong, reflecting broad market trends. Well of course they're doing better ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

July 2013

6/28/2013: "Mission Accomplished!" That was the banner statement displayed on the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln when President George W. Bush made his now infamous televised declaration that major combat operations had come to an end in Iraq. And even though Saddam Hussein's government had been quickly toppled a month prior, the speech delivered on May 1, 2003 turned out to be sadly premature, as ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

6/27/2013: This Can't Last Forever... Can It? The U.S. oil industry started to take root in the latter half of the 19th century. But it wasn't until much later that things really started to flourish. Even the famous discovery on Spindletop, which shot 100,000 barrels of crude per day over 150 feet into the air for more than a week, was more of a starting point for domestic production. In the three decades following ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

6/26/2013: Some Thoughts on GOLD Legendary businessman Steve Forbes once said, "Everyone is a disciplined, long-term investor until the market goes down." It's challenging to have the fortitude to hold on to investments during a one-day carnage event like last Thursday. Everywhere you looked there was red on the screen, as U.S. stocks lost 2.5%, commodity equities ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

6/25/2013: This is WHY we're always interested in REAL ESTATE On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, prices in the 20 cities rose 2.5 percent, the biggest monthly gain in the index's history, the report said. A tightening of inventory available for sale, fewer foreclosures and buying from investors has helped push prices higher over the past year as the battered housing sector has gotten back on its feet. U.S. stock index futures held ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

6/24/2013: OBAMACARE Confusion, skepticism, anxiety and dramatically increased health costs - welcome to the new world of ObamaCare. You may not know this, but open enrollment in ObamaCare exchanges begins in just three short months. You probably don't know if you are required to buy insurance on the exchange, how to even do it - or what your employer may do once ObamaCare takes ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

6/21/2013: The Right Time to Buy Gold (or Any Asset) In the beginning of February, gold traded around $1,675 per ounce. As of this writing, it trades for $ 1,293. This decline, as you know, reached near panic when gold fell off the table in mid-April. It dropped from $1,550 to $1,350 in just days. Silver sat at $32 per ounce in the beginning ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

6/19/2013: Cash-only doctors abandon the insurance system Fed up with declining payments and rising red tape, a small but growing number of doctors is opting out of the insurance system completely. They're expecting patients to pony up with cash. Some doctors who have gone that route love it, saying they can spend more time with and provide higher-quality care to their patients. Health advocates are skeptical, ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

6/18/2013: Ethanol Industry Declares War on Taxpayer How do you reduce gas prices? According to Brian Jennings, you use ethanol. Of course, Jennings is the Executive Vice President of the American Coalition for Ethanol, so what else would you expect? That being said, the question itself is ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

6/17/2013: CHINA: It's Complicated China's relationship with the United States is increasingly complex and competitive, and it's bound to get even more complex as China pursues an aggressive growth strategy. As Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Obama met last weekend in California to try and mend their often tenuous relationship, it was clear that China had its own agenda and this meeting was more show than a sincere desire ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

6/14/2013: Either This Commodity Goes Higher... or the Lights Go Out I just talked to one of the most trusted insiders in the natural-resource space about what he calls "the ultimate contrarian investment." Nobody on Wall Street is paying attention to this commodity. Longtime readers are familiar with the story here... But I'm not sure you understand the scope of the opportunity ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

6/13/2013: If This Pattern Holds, the Rich Will Get Much Richer by Justice Litle, Editor, Strategic Wealth Report: F. Scott Fitzgerald once wrote, "Let me tell you about the very rich. They are very different from you and me." To which Ernest Hemingway scoffed, "Yes, they have more money." They also own a lot more stocks. The following data, from The Economist, is eye-opening: The most recent figures show that the top 10% of households ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

6/12/2013: Dallas Fed Chief: Markets Hooked on 'Monetary Cocaine" It is important that the Federal Reserve monitor the impact of rising bond yields, but the central bank cannot live in fear of how markets will react once it starts to withdraw stimulus, Richard Fisher, president of the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank said. "We cannot live in fear that gee whiz the market is ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

6/10/2013: Are Storm Clouds Gathering on the Fixed-Income Horizon? We at FFCG have been OUT of the bond market in all platforms beginning at the first of May. Long thought to be an investment with a guaranteed return, the upside/downside ratio on traditional fixed-income products is unsustainably low, a white paper warns. --- Fixed-income investment managers ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

6/07/2013: Where's the Recovery? Don't count on the American consumer to drive this economic recovery, according to Stephen Roach, a senior fellow at Yale University's Jackson Institute of Global Affairs and former chairman for Morgan Stanley Asia. Some say falling unemployment, rising home values and ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

6/06/2013: 7 Questions to Ask Your Investment Advisor The S&P 500 recently reached an all-time high, increasing approximately 145% since March 2009 lows. It really didn't matter what sector or market cap you invested in because as long as you were in stocks, you most likely have seen the value of your portfolio rise. However, things are getting tougher. As I mentioned ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

6/05/2013: A Positive Word or Two on Social Security? Social Security and Medicare can be saved with just minor changes, says Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman. "The truth is that the long-term outlook for Social Security and Medicare, while not great, actually isn't all that bad," Krugman writes in his New York Times column. "It's time to stop obsessing about how we'll pay benefits ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

6/04/2013: Roth, Traditional, or Taxable? Why Your Best Answer May Be 'Yes' - By Christine Benz - Although Roth IRAs have grown more popular since their introduction in 1999, just 17% of U.S. households include someone who owns a Roth IRA, according to Investment Company Institute data. The uptake of Roth 401(k)s has also moved fairly slowly. According to a 2009 Aon Hewitt survey, just 7.4% of employees ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

6/03/2013: Thinking About Switching Wireless Providers? AT&T vs. Sprint vs. T-Mobile vs. Verizon Wireless: Who has the Momentum? During March ChangeWave surveyed 4,011 consumers on key wireless service provider trends - including customer satisfaction, loyalty, and and future demand trends. Consumer Satisfaction - Verizon Wireless continues to lead the ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

June 2013

5/31/2013: FIVE Reasons You Should Own Dividend Stocks Today Yield is becoming increasingly difficult for investors to find in this era of ultra-low interest rates. With U.S. Government bond yields and CDs paying almost nothing, income investors are looking elsewhere to meet their needs. One of the most common places they turn is dividend paying stocks. At Feddern Financial Consulting Group...>>Full Article | Back to Top

5/30/2013: This Sector Is Starting to Break Down I've noticed in my 29+ years in this business that prices that go straight up tend to come straight back down. The academics call it "reversion to the mean." It doesn't matter whether we're talking about stocks, currencies, or commodities. The more "straight up" they go, the harder they fall. Jeff Clark writes, "Parabolic moves ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

5/29/2013: How the Bitcoin will make a difference The supply of bitcoins are capped, unlike government fiat money. That's one of the reasons governments hate it so. If Bitcoin becomes adopted on a broad scale, it will increase in value near globally against fiat currencies whose supplies are regularly inflated. This is why governments may attempt to try and shutdown Bitcoin in its entirety. Bitcoin (and other crypto currencies) provide an alternative ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

5/28/2013: Why the Stock Market Could Go MUCH Higher From Here To understand why the stock market does what it does, you need to think like a money manager. A very specific type of money manager... That's because individual investors don't have much influence on stock prices. Nor do professional speculators or hedge funds. The market goes up 200 points today...WHY? So what is the strongest force ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

5/24/2013: Time to Sell Stocks? Consult This Bear Market Checklist First - It's 0-9. But when it comes to a particular stock market indicator, it's actually a reason to celebrate. And guess what? It may be time to break out the bubbly! I can't tell you how many investors routinely accuse me of being too optimistic OR too pessimistic. And I'll readily admit that I'm generally a "glass half full" ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

5/23/2013: "LET 'ER RIP" Like Rip Van Winkle, imagine you went to sleep on October 9, 2007 and didn't wake up until yesterday. On 10/9/2007, equities were at record highs: 14,165 for the Dow Jones Industrial Average and 1,565 for the S&P 500. You slept right through a housing bust, a financial panic, the deepest recession since the Great Depression, the passing (and upholding) of Obamacare, multiple bouts ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

5/21/2013: Would You Believe there are: Five Types of Earnings Per Share Earnings Per Share, or EPS, is one of the simplest but most important metrics to know. Among other uses, EPS helps you assess how "expensive" a stock is relative to its historic value and relative to other stocks. Last week I wrote about how to calculate EPS and a few ways in which it can be useful to every investment decision. Because EPS is such an important financial calculation...>>Full Article | Back to Top

5/20/2013: Is it a REAL RECOVERY? You probably don't need to look at these charts to understand what's happening. You probably already feel it in your bones. The economic "recovery" Washington and Wall Street have been touting isn't playing out the same way for all Americans. Sure, there is a real recovery for bankers, insiders and ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

5/16/2013: A "Game-Changer" The PHS measures housing contract activity and is based on signed contracts for existing single-family homes, condos and co-ops. Basically, the PHS is the closest thing to a "real time" measure of sales activity in the existing home market. Because the pending home sales data reflects volume, not price, it's a good ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

5/14/2013: Inflation Will Likely Remain Contained This Year, but After That ... Why isn't inflation higher today? The U.S. is clearly facing longer term risks for higher inflation. While some may wonder why inflation isn't higher today, the better question may be "Why is inflation so high amid elevated levels of unemployment, tight access to credit for households and the ongoing deleveraging?" ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

5/13/2013: NOW We're Talking the Best Dividend Stocks I'd bet many of you don't even know about the S&P Dividend Aristocrats Index. We've been researching it for a long time and are now including it side-by-side with our Dow Dividend Royalty portfolio. These 10 along with the Dow 10 provide us with "the best of the best" dividend stocks. To be included in this index, an S&P 500 company must have raised its dividend annually for at least the past 25 years. The standard is brutal: One slip and you're...>>Full Article | Back to Top

5/10/2013: Gold: Big picture unchanged This piece is TOO LONG and is only for serious Gold Investors: Long gold holders were taken for a wild ride over the past couple of weeks, enduring one of the largest one day sell-offs in history on April 15 as panic gripped the market. By the end of the rout, gold had fallen more than 15% peak-to-trough in just three trading sessions, bottoming ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

5/09/2013: Who Gives a Bitcoin? I'm talking about Bitcoin. Not familiar with Bitcoin? It's the virtual currency that is suddenly - inexplicably - all the rage on Wall Street. You can't open The Wall Street Journal or click on a financial blog without reading about it. Why is an obscure currency few people had ever heard ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

5/08/2013: It's a "plow-horse" Real GDP grew at a 2.5% annual rate in the first quarter, according to Friday's initial estimate. But the way it was reported in some places, you'd think we were on the verge of another recession. The overall economy lagged expectations of 3% growth and it would have been better if less of the growth came from inventories. However, excluding government purchases,...>>Full Article | Back to Top

5/07/2013: If You Feel Safe in Any Location, TAKE ANOTHER LOOK AROUND! THIS IS GOOD INFORMATION sent to me by my long-time friend Bill Kent in Orlando Florida: *Otto, read all the way down. Takes a couple minutes but worth it*. *I promise this will make you think!* Do you know who Juval Aviv is? He was Golda Meir's bodyguard and the Israeli Agent upon whom the movie 'Munich' was based. Golda Meir appointed ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

5/06/2013: If You're Not Rich, You're Not Trying Tom Dyson sent me this piece last week: You'll never guess where I found one of the most valuable nuggets of investment wisdom... My wife is the activities director at a local home for the elderly. Knowing how interested in history I am, she suggested I come in and interview the eldest resident. His name is John, he's 98 years old and he has a memory ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

5/03/2013: Electric Cars and BATTERIES A good friend of mine in California recently took delivery of a brand-new Tesla Model S. This is the electric car you may have read about in the media before: a sleek, all-electric vehicle boasting high-end luxury, state-of-the-art design, and an all-electric driving range of 300 miles... ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

5/02/2013: Is Canada the Next BUBBLE? Justice Litle, Editor of Strategic Wealth Report just sent me this piece: Many believe that US Treasury bonds are the next major bubble to burst. According to the Congressional Budget Office - the nonpartisan budget watchers in Washington - the federal deficit for fiscal 2013 will be $845 billion. The Fed is buying up Treasury debt at a pace of $45 billion ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

5/01/2013: A Ph.D. in Monetary Catastrophe I just received this communiqué from Bill Bonner on his recent trip to Argentina. They use the peso as their currency. You won't believe all of this: "Stocks down again yesterday. The Dow slipping 139 points. Gold down slightly. Gold has fallen so hard so fast we can't help but feel sorry for the losers. But who were they? ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

May 2013

4/30/2013: Obama Budget Slams Small Business Retirement Plans Yeah...Let's punish 'em Some More for Being Successful - Small Business Retirement Cap 40% Less Than the President's Own Pension Wouldn't you know! The following is a statement from Brian H. Graff, Executive Director & CEO of The American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA) in response to the proposed fiscal year 2014 budget released by President ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

4/29/2013: Score ONE for John Hussman Hussman manages TWO of the "alternative" funds in our 1 % @ Risk model portfolios. Monetary and fiscal policies have driven our economy into an unstable equilibrium, pushing investors into higher-yielding securities, according to Hussman. But those higher yields are illusory, he said, because corporate profit margins are too high to be sustainable. "This creates an environment where ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

4/26/2013: Let's Hear It for NORTH DAKOTA...and Others According to the press release: North Dakota's oil tax fund is nearing $1 billion in assets. The Legacy Fund gets 30% of the state's oil tax collections. None of the money can be spent until 2017, and even then it takes a two-thirds vote of the Legislature to dip into it. March deposits were about $87 million. That brings ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

4/25/2013: They'll call it the next Solyndra Here's an interesting piece from Energy and Capital by Jeff Siegel. It's certainly not my favorite topic, but I thought you should know about these developments: Fisker Automotive, the electric car manufacturer known for its high-end "Fisker Karma," is set to make an installment on a $529 million DOE loan in just a few weeks. And leading up to that installment,...>>Full Article | Back to Top

4/24/2013: The "Sky is Falling"...NOT Last week, The New York Times published former Reagan OMB Director David Stockman's "sky is falling" critique of the current economy and financial markets. State Wrecked: The Corruption of Capitalism in America. Stockman says the US is broke - "fiscally, morally, intellectually" - and says ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

4/23/2013: Every Big Economic Collapse Has a First Domino When will the dominoes begin to tumble, or has it already begun? You've probably seen video clips of the annual Domino Day competition, where contestants topple elaborate structures made of thousands of dominos. The nudge of a single domino launches a cascade that knocks down the whole beautiful set-up within a few moments. Are those "interconnected" ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

4/22/2013: 20 Market Indicators That Most Investors Know NOTHING About. Here is a synopsis of the indicators offered by EWI (Elliott Wave Investors): 1) Intraday TICK- The TICK reading indicates the net number of stocks that last traded on an uptick vs. a downtick. Since the first trading day of the year, the final 30-minute TICK bar has repeatedly been the highest or nearly the highest of the ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

4/19/2013: The End of Money...Can You Spell "Bitcoins?" Justice Litle, Editor at Strategic Wealth Report has done some interesting research on this topic: "The world's monetary system stands on a precipice... It may not feel like it. But we are fast approaching what I call "the end of money." The process that will lead to the end of money has already ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

4/19/2013: The End of Money...Can You Spell "Bitcoins?" Justice Litle, Editor at Strategic Wealth Report has done some interesting research on this topic: "The world's monetary system stands on a precipice... It may not feel like it. But we are fast approaching what I call "the end of money." The process that will lead to the end of money has already ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

4/18/2013: High Frequency Trading (HFT) We didn't know, for example, what to make of the first nugget today when we ran across it over the weekend: Hackers, we're told by the U.K. edition of Wired, can now generate phony GPS signals. That fact could be annoying if you're trying to find an unfamiliar place... but let's face it, your efforts to locate a new restaurant are not likely to be the direct target of ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

4/17/2013: U.S. to Export Oil to Saudi Arabia I just found out, at a recent meeting of oil investors, a man by the name of Justin White painted a very grim picture. He asked those in attendance to imagine the most economically unsustainable environment for oil production. Think about that for a moment, then consider the ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

4/16/2013: GOLD! It was inescapable yesterday, and for good reason. That is, it was impossible to not see, read or hear something about the monumental meltdown in Gold (and other metals). In fact, as of this writing, Gold bullion experienced its third worst sell-off in history! And worst day in 30 years (since February 1983), as it collapsed -9.15% (based on the London Gold PM Fixing). This dramatic sell-off in Gold comes on the heels of what was a nasty trading session on Friday in which ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

4/15/2013: These Insiders Are Fleeing the Market... Should You Too? I've been following insider activity in the stock market for decades, and while officers and directors are the epitome of "smart money," the mainstream media - as usual - is painting an incomplete picture. Let's start with the facts. In recent weeks, insider selling ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

4/12/2013: The $6,000 Tax Deduction That You're Probably Forgetting By Miranda Marquit - You've maxed out on contributions to your traditional IRA, so there's nothing left for you to do, right? Wrong. You can make previous year contributions to your Health Savings Account (HSA) until April 15. What is an HSA? ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

4/11/2013: Why "Safe" Dividend Stocks Aren't As Safe As You Think They say there is safety in numbers. That may be true heading into battle, but it's not necessarily true in the investment world. Whether it's tulips, dot-com stocks or houses, popularity can push the short-term price of assets past their true long-term value. But while bubbles can build over time, price corrections can be ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

4/10/2013: 3 last-minute moves to lower your tax bill Although 2012 is in your rear-view mirror, it's not too late to make some moves that will save taxes on Form 1040 and maybe on your state income tax return as well. Here are three possibilities. 1. Choose to deduct sales taxes if you made major purchases If you live in a state with low or no personal income tax, be aware ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

4/09/2013: Time to Invest in Marijuana Inc? Ian Wyatt from Investor Bistro has done a lot of work on this subject. Why?...I don't know. After decades of classifying marijuana as a "gateway drug," public opinion and state laws are finally making pot more socially accepted and legal. With the industry growing, investors may be wondering if now is the time to invest in Marijuana ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

4/08/2013: Medical Excise Tax on Retail Receipts I just received this from my client Carl Holden: A sales receipt from Cabela's, a popular sporting goods store. The 2.3% Medical Excise Tax that began on January 1st is supposed to be 'hidden' from the consumer, but it's been brought to the public's attention by hunting and fishing store Cabela's who have refused to hide it and are showing it as a separate ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

4/04/2013: The BIGGEST risk...living TOO LONG! Eighty-seven percent of middle-income Americans ages 55 and older do not often contemplate or discuss their own longevity. --- A study released by the Bankers Life and Casualty Company Center for a Secure Retirement (CSR) found 50% of respondents have discussed longevity with their doctor, 40% with a spouse or partner, 34% with their children, 21% with ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

4/03/2013: Subject: Economics 101 Submitted by client - Melvin Jenson - An economics professor at a local college made a statement that he had never failed a single student before, but had recently failed an entire class. That class had insisted that Obama's socialism worked, and that no one would be poor and no one would be rich, a great equalizer. The professor then said, "OK, we will have an experiment...>>Full Article | Back to Top

4/02/2013: Oil and gas, that's all it's ever been about ... Last week, Oilprice.com's Jen Alic took us through the nuances of this game, noting that Russia could bail out Cyprus in return for a nice chuck of exploration acreage offshore. By the close of the week, that is exactly how things appeared to be unfolding. Later in the day, it began to emerge that Gazprom had reportedly offered Cyprus a bailout deal in return for offshore exploration ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

4/01/2013: Four kinds of inflation driven by money printing When most people think of inflation they think of price and wage inflation. But there are actually five types of inflation: *Wage and price *Economic outputGDP *Savings and debt repayment or default *Financial asset inflation *Trade deficit inflation ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

April 2013

3/29/2013: Four Simple Moves to Resurrect Your Portfolio This week is a big one for the Jewish and Christian faiths. On Monday and Tuesday, Jewish people celebrated Passover, commemorating their ancestors' escape from slavery by the Egyptians. The story, immortalized on film in the classic movie The Ten Commandments, features Moses ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

3/27/2013: Is The Government Lying To Us About Inflation? Answer: YES! Let me remind you about a few significant facts concerning the Consumer Price Index (CPI) that mainstream economists and the media tend to ignore. The central question is whether the CPI is really indicative of the actual inflation rate. Not likely, in my opinion...>>Full Article | Back to Top

3/26/2013: How college basketball refs By Vera Chan - As most of my readers know, I am certainly not a fanatical sports fan in any sense of the word; but I did find this article by Vera Chan very interesting from a dollar-and-cents point of view: Coaches swear a blue streak at them. Players deride them. Fans boo them....>>Full Article | Back to Top

3/25/2013: Fed's $4 Trillion Question: Where's the Exit Door? The Federal Reserve faces a $4 trillion question, and the stock market's seemingly unstoppable rally could hang on the answer. With increasing fervor, investors are asking what is the U.S. central bank's exit strategy for getting rid of all the government debt it has bought in an effort to stimulate ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

3/22/2013: Let's Hear It For Barney Frank! Four years ago, on March 9, 2009, the House Financial Services Committee (chaired by Barney Frank, D-MA, now retired) announced a hearing to be held on March 12, 2009. The hearing was with representatives of FASB and the SEC and the topic ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

3/21/2013: Why Gold Might be the Best Asset in Today's Market Whenever I see a headline that reads similar to "How to Invest in Uncertain Times" I shake my head. I shake my head because the headline implies there is a time when the outlook is certain. The reality is all times are ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

3/20/2013: Natural gas climbs as long-term demand rises Demand! It's Only Natural! By Phil Flynn - Natural gas surged to a 15-month high inspired by a bullish supply report from the Energy Information Administration and surprisingly strong demand. While many attribute the surge in demand to all of the cold weather, just below the surface ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

3/19/2013: More than You EVER Wanted to Know About Silver Source: JT Long of The Gold Report (3/13/13)- Silver has been trading sideways so far in 2013, but what will the rest of the year bring? Will 2013 be the year silver prices break out or crash and burn? What is a sustainable silver price for mining companies and where will the metal ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

3/18/2013: New Highs and the Absence of Fear The party on Wall Street keeps going, and going and going, kind of like that cute little pink bunny from the Energizer battery commercials. As of midday Wednesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was on pace to close at its ninth-consecutive all-time high. That's quite impressive, and it shows that the bulls still are drinking ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

3/15/2013: You've Been Warned: This Rally Will End in an Epic Crash by Chris Hunter, Editorial Director, Bonner & Partners: Unless you've been living under a rock, you'll know that last week the Dow passed its nominal high of five years ago. There has been much pompom waving in the mainstream media. Even discredited forecasters now feel it's safe to start regurgitating failed predictions of stocks...>>Full Article | Back to Top

3/14/2013: 2013 Tax Law Changes Affecting For most of us, times are tough enough as it is. The last thing anyone wants is for the things they buy on a regular basis -- milk, gas, bread, toothpaste, whatever -- to get more expensive. But that's what seems to be happening. The latest numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' monthly Consumer Price Index -- for January ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

3/13/2013: DIVIDENDS Make the DIFFERENCE Why Dividend Stocks?: Most "little-guy" investors are buying stocks with the hope that share prices will eventually rise high enough to sell for tidy profits. We call it "Buy and Hope." It really works well in a "rising" market...forget it when times get ugly. But often, this means a long wait and a disappointing ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

3/12/2013: The "Goofy" Energy Policy It's actually getting ready to take us to the cleaners. Too much attention has been given to the recent budget talks. Though making a responsible budget is an important task, America faces an even greater problem that needs prompt addressing. In my opinion President Obama and his misguided energy policy ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

3/11/2013: Some Income Investors Are Getting DESPERATE As CD's continue to mature and Money Markets continue to have NEGATIVE yields, investors looking for income AND saftey have only ONE choice. Money Markets are yeilding such a poor return, that after taxes and even the low inflation numbers that the Government puts out, your actually LOOSING money in these historically "safe" investments. With the Fed reiterating its intention to keep ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

3/08/2013: Is the Age of Growth Over? Whisper it... but despite recent gains in the stock market, the age of U.S. economic growth could be coming to an end. As in over for good. At least for the rest of your investing lifetime. That's the conclusion of Northwestern University economist Robert Gordon. You may not ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

3/07/2013: Here's Obama's Biggest Blunder Yet The rising deficit and raging debate over fiscal budget issues have been noticeable dark spots of the Obama presidency. But Obama has another, less talked about, blemish. In fact, it could turn out to be his biggest blunder. Though the deficit and budget are larger (in terms of cost), this mishap ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

3/06/2013: Why the Casey Research Brain Trust Is Convinced That Precious Metals Will Rise Again This is a L-O-N-G and comprehensive piece ONLY is presented here for those of you who have a serious interest in Gold! If you're one of those, you owe it to yourself to become the best informed person you know on the subject of GOLD!! Casey Research, February 26, 2013 ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

3/05/2013: The Biggest Lie in Investing... You hear it all the time... but it's completely wrong and backwards. I know, I know... It sounds so right and sensible, it must be true. But it's completely false. It drives me nuts. "Expert" after "expert" repeats this lie on the financial news... and the "experts" sitting across from them never correct ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

3/04/2013: This Hasn't Happened to Gold Since 1998 The last three weeks have been torrid for gold investors. Over that time, the gold price has fallen by about $100 -- a loss of about 5%. And unless gold closes above $1,605/oz gold will see what is called a "death cross" of its 50-day and 200-day moving averages ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

3/01/2013: Gold: Is the bull market over? There has been a cascade of factors over the past five months driving gold down from what was arguably an exaggerated high, culminating in a series of news this past week. *Improving U.S. economic reports along with a strong global stock market, has led to a sense that gold was no longer so necessary ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

March 2013

2/28/2013: Obamacare Taxes Are Coming -- Here Are 6 Ways To Limit What You Owe Starting this year, many investors likely will see tax hikes because of the new taxes imposed as a result of health care reform. Because the only certainties in life are death and taxes, you likely will pay higher taxes no matter what you do. But you can soften the blow if you plan your tax strategy now. But first, a little background on what you face ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

2/27/2013: If George Soros Did Not Trigger the Recent Selloff in Gold, Then Who, or What, Did? If there were ever three words that do not belong together, they are "poor" and "George Soros." Obviously, 'poor' doesn't apply to any billionaire -- unless he/she's at the other end of poor logic regarding what (and who) makes markets move. Here's what happened: On Feb. 15, gold ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

2/26/2013: Inflation Is Tame... The CPI (consumer price inflation) was flat in January and is up only 1.6% from a year ago. The PPI (producer prices) rose a small 0.2% in January and is up just 1.4% from a year ago. And even though energy prices spiked in February, the...>>Full Article | Back to Top

2/25/2013: The Key Factor That Leads Directly to an Economic Depression Stock market action leads the economy. Get investable insights sent to your inbox at least once a week - for free. Challenge the way you think about investing with The EWI Independent. What leads directly to an economic depression? Some argue that trends like mounting debt and an ever-widening ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

2/22/2013: Worried About an Audit? If history is any indicator slightly more than one percent of Americans will get audited this year. But I'm sure nearly 100 percent of us will be worrying that it will be us until tax season is over. Before you worry too much about an audit, know that IRS statistics ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

2/21/2013: It's Hyperopia During the housing boom a few years ago - while home equity values were climbing - American consumers went on a world-class spending spree. The personal savings rate dropped to zero, then went negative. Consumers were actually spending more than they were earning. But the housing collapse and resulting ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

2/20/2013: OUT of WHACK!!! The world's money system - the scales upon which the world's market functions - is being deliberately destroyed. And so, the monetary signals that guide the markets - which are supposed to represent the supply and demand decisions of billions of people - have become distorted. You can see the signs ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

2/18/2013: For Your Sake, I Hope You Wake up to This Urgent Reality Only four in 10 working Americans have ever even tried to figure out how much money they'll need for the 20-30 years they will live in retirement. This leaves a staggering six in 10 working Americans who haven't even tried to figure out how much money they'll need to live for up to three decades ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

2/15/2013: HEY THERE EPA Can You Spell D-R-O-U-G-H-T?ell It's been labeled the worst U.S. drought in more than fifty years. Crops have been wiped out, farms have gone under, and herds of cattle and pigs have been destroyed because there simply hasn't been enough low-cost feed available to keep them alive. Of course, if you really want to dive into the issue, the fact that we continue to feed...>>Full Article | Back to Top

2/14/2013: A Dose of Reality One of my high school friends, Bill, now is a corporate lawyer. He met his wife while attending an Ivy League law school. She's from Louisiana and is an attorney as well. After he graduated, he moved from Maryland to New Orleans. He's been there for 20 years with his wife and their two ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

2/13/2013: Legendary Investor Says Doomed to Crash Investors take Grantham's views seriously. He predicted massive declines (before they occurred) in U.S. stocks in 2000 and Japanese stocks in 1989. So he's been around for long enough to understand how market cycles evolve. His expertise makes his conclusion...>>Full Article | Back to Top

2/12/2013: The Bernanke Shock By Peter Schiff: Either way, Germany appears to be waking up to a reality for which central banks around the world have been preparing: the dollar is no longer the world's safe-haven asset and the US government is no longer a trustworthy banker for foreign nations. It looks like their fears are well-grounded, given ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

2/11/2013: Here's the Scoop on Chicago Newtown happens and the 2nd amendment should be repealed or altered. Newtown children 19 of 20 are white. Chicago children mostly are black. Media silent about Chicago violence. WHY????? Chicago: 446 school age children shot so far this year ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

2/08/2013: The Treasury Has Already Minted Two $1,000,000,000,000 Coins I just received an analysis of what the financial-types in our government are doing AND indeed have done without you noticing it. No doubt, you've heard about the latest batch of irresponsible fiscal/monetary proposals to be floated by the bozo members of Congress ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

2/07/2013: Deja Vu All Over Again (Or Not)? For the last three years, all of the major stock market rallies have ended abruptly courtesy of the European debt crisis that seems to know no end. Although the big declines in 2010, 2011, and again in 2012 also coincided with the "sell in May and go away" seasonal period, all three dances to the downside were helped along in no small part by the crisis ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

2/06/2013: 8 Daily Habits That Will Make You Stronger You have unlimited power over your mind - not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength - Marcus Aurelius. These small changes recommended to me years ago by Zig Ziglar in my daily routine, has made a major difference in my life by letting me inb my opinion grow stronger...>>Full Article | Back to Top

February 2013

1/29/2013: Despite Lack of Savings, Some Are Still Hopeful There is a disconnect between the saving habits of some consumers and their rosy retirement forecasts, a poll found. What's the difference between objective forecasting and cockeyed optimism? A new survey by the credit card comparison site CreditDonkey.com suggests that it's the difference between some people's saving ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

1/28/2013: Dividends...Be Careful! Savvy investors are always on the lookout for companies that have a long history of paying out high-yield dividends. But that also means being careful not to get caught in the trap in which an inviting yield results from a falling share price and worse, a failing...>>Full Article | Back to Top

1/24/2013: For T-Bonds, a Crucial Test of Support Looms By Ron Surz. Are T-Bond futures breaking down? It's important that we get it right, since, if they are and market forces are about to lay bare the biggest financial shell game in history, we want to be watching from the sidelines when the inevitable ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

1/23/2013: The "Wall of Worry" You've probably heard about the "Wall of Worry" that the stock market climbs. At this time last year, the bears (the negative guys) were feeling pretty good about themselves. Although stocks were actually rising, they were fairly confident that the Eurozone was going to implode and ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

1/21/2013: Economic Reports It has been quite a while since we had several economic reports in one day like we had last Friday. One reason why the recent week+ of trading days has been so incredibly lame could be that there were no data. Two important ones were weekly unemployment claims and the Philly ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

1/18/2012: Where is the Exit? by Lon Witter Lon Witter, a top-notch money manager and financial analyst here in Louisville, sent me the following letter concerning his evaluation of Fed actions-to-date. It certainly bears your close scrutiny. Dear Otto: From the time I was small, I remember being instructed ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

1/16/2013: The Bull Market Almost Everyone is Missing A powerful new bull market in stocks is just beginning to take off. Yet virtually no one you know - including seasoned investors - is taking advantage of it. No, I'm not talking about the U.S. market, which is in the midst of its own three-and-a-half-year upswing. I'm talking about ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

1/15/2013: Apple Cuts Orders For iPhone Parts As Demand Slips Apple Inc. has cut its orders for components for the iPhone 5 due to weaker-than-expected demand, people familiar with the situation said Monday. Apple's orders for iPhone 5 screens for the January-March quarter, for example, have dropped to roughly half ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

1/14/2013: Market Perspective on CPI and Inflation With the U.S., Europe and China leading the way in economic stimulus efforts, why should we pay attention to a surge in inflation? CPI data from China last week reported that inflation in December rose 2.5% from the same time last year. Well, that's what ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

1/10/2013: Here's the Answer as the WHY... Have you ever wondered why the CPI, GDP and employment numbers run counter to your personal and business experiences? The problem lies in biased and often-manipulated government reporting. Primers on Government Economic Reports. What you've suspected but were afraid to...>>Full Article | Back to Top

1/09/2013: Do you lie to yourself about retirement? Lying to yourself-...it sounds so harsh when you put it that way. The more gentle way to frame the question is: "Do you tell yourself reassuring things, things that probably aren't entirely true, so that you can live with the financial decisions and compromises ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

1/08/2013: Nomination seals break with past policies AP REPORTS: With the nomination of Chuck Hagel to run the Pentagon, Obama has done more than assemble his second-term national security team - he has also sealed the abandonment of much of George W. Bush's foreign...>>Full Article | Back to Top

1/07/2013: Emerging Markets: Not Less Risky...Just More Opportunity Emerging markets will still have more volatility and instability than the advanced industrial democracies. Some still make good (if not safe) bets for the same reasons they have in the past--outsized growth potential makes "tail risk" more acceptable, but the era of emerging market abundance is ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

1/04/2013: US adds 155,000 jobs in December According to the Government Agency responsible for the following info: -The US added 155,000 jobs in December in a sign that the economy shrugged off concerns about the fiscal cliff and continued to grow at a modest pace. -The unemployment rate rose slightly, from 7.7 to 7.8 per cent, which was unchanged after slight revisions to the previous month...>>Full Article | Back to Top

January 2013

12/31/2012: MY ANNUAL YEAR-END RHYME 'Tis a few days before the New Year and so it is time For the 21st edition of my Year-End Rhyme. It seems forever ago that 2012 really began, But the calendar says surely it's "in the can." ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

12/26/2012: Should You Refinance at or Near Retirement? From MarketWatch. Temptingly low interest rates continue to make headlines, making refinancing your mortgage look attractive. But when retirement isn't far off, the decision to refinance can get more complicated. After all, most pre-retirees are trying to reduce debt before ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

12/21/2012: Today's Lesson in Irony: The Food Stamp Program, administered by the U. S. Department of Agriculture, is proud to be distributing this year the greatest amount of free Meals and Food Stamps ever, to 46 million people. Meanwhile, the National Park Service, administered by the U. S. Department of the Interior, asks us ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

12/20/2012: The Ultimate Christmas Gift... From the Fed The Fed just made it a very merry Christmas! When it comes to the direction of bond prices and yields, no one, and I mean no one, in recent memory has even been close on their predictions. It's been a four-year parade of nonstop goof-ups. Bill Gross, one of the best minds in the...>>Full Article | Back to Top

12/19/2012: ObamaCare Strikes Again! Remember when Pelosi said we had to pass the 2,700 page healthcare abortion of a bill in order to find out what was in it? Remember when Obama told us that families would save $2,500 per year if Obamacare was passed? Remember when Obama and Reid ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

12/17/2012: Here's What Happened to the "Experts" Certain kinds of investment and certain investors have been accorded legendary status in the investment community. Most of the time, this amounts to worshipping a false idol. Either that or legendary investors are just exceptionally good at public relations. We at FFCG are striving ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

12/15/2012: QE4 or NOT! The Federal Reserve meets this week. Analysts are supposing and predicting what the statement will say and if the Fed will change its economic projections. We think this is all much ado about not much. The Fed won't change the federal funds rate, the short-term interest rate it targets for Interbank lending. It appears that Ben Bernanke wants it where it ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

12/13/2012: Here Is the REAL Explanation This piece is way to L-O-N-G, but I simply got carried-away as I got further into it. I'm trying to explain not only to you but also to actually to me, what happened with this last election and WHY there's very little positive direction that our Country can now pursue. Do you know anyone ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

12/12/2012: Boring, Boring, B-O-R-I-N-G !!! "Equating tax hikes and spending cuts in the U.S. with a 'fiscal cliff' is like calling a spot of exercise and a balanced diet 'Caloric Armageddon' for the morbidly obese." So quipped The Daily Reckoning's Joel Bowman ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

12/11/2012: Seven ways to reduce your tax burden before year-end As the year draws to a close, there's still time to reduce your 2012 tax bill and plan ahead for 2013. The following are a few potential tax-saving opportunities. While none of us can predict the outcome of the fiscal cliff drama unfolding in Washington -- except to say that it will be torturous ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

12/10/2012: Hey...It's COAL! It's not that I'm a huge fan of coal-fired power generation. In fact, when faced with the choice between coal or any other form of power generation, I'll always choose the latter. But no matter how you slice it, many of the conveniences we take for granted today exist because of a very "coal-centric" ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

12/07/2012: OIL and GAS!!! Oil and gas drillers are hot, extra yield with less risk! Barrons' reported that since the BP (NYSE: BP) oil spill in the Gulf, deep water drilling worldwide has exceeded pre-disaster levels. And, the rig count worldwide is expected to grow by 30% in the next five years. Dahlman Rose is forecasting...>>Full Article | Back to Top

12/06/2012: We're on the Verge of a Tremendous Buying Opportunity According to Jeff Clark at the Growth Stock Wire. At this time of the year I always review "stuff" like this to see if the assumptions still hold true in spite of all the craziness in DC. Jeff has a little, faded yellow sticky note posted in the upper right-hand corner of his computer ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

12/05/2012: It's not only gun sales that spiked after Election Day So did the sale of Gold Eagles from the U.S. Mint. While Eagle sales hardly set a "record" last month, as touted at the Drudge Report, they did turn in the best number since July 2010, and the best November since 1998. The final figures out this morning from the Mint indicate ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

12/04/2012: I'm Mad as Hell and I'm Not Going to Take It Anymore I'm a longtime admirer of Warren Buffett. He's taught a lot of people about stock investing, including the most important thing to know: Forget about guessing and focus instead on identifying businesses that are selling for less than they are worth. While Buffett is a genius at equity ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

12/03/2012: In Defense of the Military The U.S. Military is responsible for more technology breakthroughs than any other organization on the planet! How about: Calculators... Digital watches... Velcro... Satellite positioning systems...>>Full Article | Back to Top

December 2012

11/30/2012: The New Musical Paradigm Despite all the bad news coming from the music industry - tales of record companies going bankrupt, of artists suing music-sharing sites, and the decimating effect iTunes is having - there is still money to be made off of music. In fact, I would argue that music today is a much more dynamic industry than ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

11/29/2012: The Fiscal Cliff? Fresh off the election, it looked like Democrats and Republicans could quickly forge a bipartisan agreement to avoid the fiscal cliff. President Obama was talking about raising taxes but wasn't wedded to higher tax rates. Meanwhile, Speaker Boehner put higher revenue on the table, as long as tax rates did not go up. So they could have extended all the tax cuts just one ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

11/28/2012: The Latest on Gold! "Analyst forecasts on gold have been wrong for years," says Chris Mayer, busting still more conventional wisdom this morning. "And they've been wrong always in the same direction -- too low!" Chris is reviewing his notes from Grant's Fall Investment Conference -- which includes the following chart from a presentation by Pierre Lassonde. Lassonde f...>>Full Article | Back to Top

11/26/2012: Yet Another Blow to Modern Portfolio Theory from DorseyWright: Modern Portfolio Theory is predicated on the ability to construct an efficient frontier based on returns, correlations, and volatility. Each of these parameters needs to be accurate for the efficient frontier to be accurate. Since forecasting is tough, often historical averages are used. Since the next five or ten years is never exactly like the last 50 years, that method has significant ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

11/20/2012: GOLD! About a year ago, 700 bankers, traders and investors sat in a room at the annual London Bullion Market Association conference and predicted that gold would rise above $2,000 an ounce by the end of 2012. This week, those same gold industry bigwigs ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

11/19/2012: Whole Foods at half price? Whole Foods' comparatively expensive natural and organic groceries earned the chain the moniker "Whole Paycheck." But last quarter the company used a technique that's counter to its reputation and increased profit 49%: lower prices. The chain narrowed the price gap between its stores ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

11/16/2012: Here's the Scoop on Inflation US consumer prices rise slightly as higher rents, costlier food offset cheaper gas. The consumer price index rose a seasonally adjusted 0.1 percent in October, down from sharp gains of 0.6 percent in the previous two months, the Labor Department said Thursday. In the past year, prices ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

11/15/2012: VW buys parts abroad as energy costs bite According to this morning's Financial Times briefing, Volkswagen said rising German energy prices had forced it to switch the buying of some parts from domestic to foreign suppliers, with Europe's largest carmaker warning that the trend could eventually threaten entire manufacturing sectors in the country. "High energy costs mean Germany ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

11/14/2012: Japan nears fifth recession in 15 years Isn't it interesting that Japan has been struggling with recessions for over 15 years. They're not able to politically get the need legislation passed to get them on the right course. FIFTEEN years for the US would be 2027!!! The Japanese economy has shrunk at its fastest ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

11/13/2012: I Tend to Agree with Jim Rogers A newly re-elected President Barack Obama will continue encouraging loose monetary policies that will fuel inflation rates down the road, and "investors need to get ready now," said famed commodities investor Jim Rogers. Under Obama's first term in office, the Federal Reserve slashed interest rates ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

11/12/2012: NOW WHAT? The people have spoken, and it is going to be four more years for President Obama. The Congress remains divided, with Democrats in control of the Senate and Republicans in control of the House. As we've seen in today's trading, the markets don't seem too pleased ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

11/09/2012: The Bear Case For Oil By Matt Badiali, editor, S&A Resource Report. Wednesday, November 7, 2012. Oil prices aren't done falling... not by a long shot. Seven months back, I told you "conditions are right for a drop in oil prices." Oil inventories were way above average. There was just too much supply. Since then, the benchmark U.S. crude price ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

11/08/2012: The Death of Wal-Mart? The Real Cash Kings Changing the Face of Retail. Here's a great piece from the Motley Fool: For decades, it seemed as if consumers were on an all-out shopping spree, fueling massive growth in the retail sector. But now that run is over. The recession forced the nation's...>>Full Article | Back to Top

11/06/2012: Is The Data Now Too Good? In one of last week's Newsletters, I wondered if we might be seeing the beginnings of a shift in the trend of the economic data. This would be important because from a big-picture standpoint, the macroeconomic outlook has been a driving force behind the three important trends seen in the stock market so far...>>Full Article | Back to Top

11/05/2012: The Charts TELL ALL The United States markets moved higher this week, despite Hurricane Sandy's impact on New York. Major stock exchanges shut down for the early part of the week, resulting in thin trading on the physical exchanges, while many traders were left without power and others simply took the week off. But, last week's corporate earnings sell-off seems to have halted for the time being, even though many economic indicators ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

11/02/2012: It's Time to Take Profits in Natural Gas Stocks "Natural gas prices seem cheap," is shat I've been hearing from the analists. My own research confirmed what they're saying. It appears that it may be time to take profits in natural gas stocks... Natural gas producers are on fire. Over the past six months...>>Full Article | Back to Top

11/01/2012: GROWTH in China...Positive China's manufacturers return to growth By Simon Rabinovitch in Beijing. China's manufacturing sector has returned to growth, according to a survey that adds to the evidence that the world's second-largest economy is in the midst of a moderate rebound. The official purchasing managers' index...>>Full Article | Back to Top

November 2012

10/31/2012: Two Simple Money Rules Everyone Should Know When you life enough years, you come up with various "truths" that were learned just because of living through the years. The following "advice" is mostly for young people who just haven't lived long enough to understand these "rules." For the young folks ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

10/30/2012: Your WINTER Heating Bills May Get CHEAPER! The weather is getting cooler and consumers are starting to worry about prices for heating fuels, but this year they probably won't see a huge spike, despite forecasts for a colder winter than last. That's because last winter ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

10/29/2012: India is Coming to America! This piece is one of the longest that I've done over the years. But as I began my research some time ago, more and more info kept being funneled my way that I just could not "filter" much of it out. The personal interviews were taken from Bloomberg. Well, so...>>Full Article | Back to Top

10/26/2012: Top market-timer DeMark: The S&P 500 is forming a significant top The Standard & Poor's 500 Index (SPX) will advance 5 percent to about 1,480 over the next two weeks before the rally ends and stocks fall, according to Tom DeMark, the creator of indicators to show turning points in...>>Full Article | Back to Top

10/25/2012: An Election Day Decision for the Stock Market Get ready for some more fireworks. Stocks are gearing up for a big move. For the past six weeks - ever since the Fed announced its third round of quantitative easing - the S&P 500 has been waffling back and forth between about 1,430 and 1,465. That's a relatively tight trading range...>>Full Article | Back to Top

10/24/2012: IRAN in Trouble? FINALLY, more worrisome signs are emerging of deteriorating economic conditions in Iran. Here are some of the latest news quotes: 1. Crude output is slowing. NYT: - Daily oil production in Iran, the most important component of its economy, fell in September to the weakest level in nearly a quarter-century...>>Full Article | Back to Top

10/23/2012: Do You Remember the CRASH of 1987? Well, I Do! Exactly 25 years ago this past week the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 22.6%. What came to be known as Black Monday was actually the culmination of a four-day slide of over 30%. At that time, I was a stockbroker at the time working for J. C. Bradford. And I'm here to tell you that ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

10/19/2012: A Roth for your Kids and Grandkids Making modest contributions during a child's teenage years can add up to a good amount by retirement. It's also tax smart. Shutterstock.com Working at a tender age is an American tradition. I'm sure lots of kids did just that over the summer, and some are still be doing it after school and over the weekends. What isn't so traditional ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

10/18/2012: NumbersUSA Comments on the Debate There were a lot of revelations and nuances about immigration in last night's second presidential candidates debate. I have a lot of comments on a range of them in my blog at...>>Full Article | Back to Top

10/16/2012: BofA profits drop after Merrill charge Bank of America earned $340m in the third quarter, compared with $6.2bn a year earlier, as a charge to settle a shareholder lawsuit almost wiped out profits. The second-biggest US bank by assets reported revenues of $20.7bn compared with $28.7bn a year earlier. An accounting treatment that forces banks to take profits or losses on movements in their own credit ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

10/15/2012: UNSTIMULUS If your predictions are wildly out-of-whack with reality, you need to change your approach. Here's a 2009 Obama administration graph authored by Jared Bernstein and Christy Romer showing their calculations for future unemployment levels with and without the Obama stimulus, updated ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

10/12/2012: What Do Women KNOW? Bull market coming? Do women know something men don't for 2013? Are men more likely to see a bear market coming in 2013? Maybe even create it, a self-fulfilling prophecy? Why are women upbeat, optimistic, positive thinkers, betting on a solid ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

10/11/2012: The Myth That Markets Move Together I can't tell you how many times I've heard this comment: it doesn't matter where in the world I invest because markets always move together." Really? Than why is the Shanghai Composite down 40% ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

10/10/2012: An Update on the Biggest Long-Term Trend in the Market Today "We're all in..." Joel Feucht is an executive with Caterpillar, the world's largest producer of heavy equipment. And at a conference last week, he sounded like he was about to lead the crowd into battle. "We're the biggest product ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

10/08/2012: THE Most Important Chart For the last several years I've been pounding the table about the clowns in DC ruining our economy and showed what I believe is "The Most Important Chart in the World Right Now." The current U.S. debt trajectory is so dangerous... and how you can track exactly how much damage it was doing in one simple chart. It's pretty simple that more important than understanding the size of ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

10/05/2012: What's the VLMAP? Would you be interested in a stock market timing model that not only was bearish at the stock market top in 2007, but also was screaming "buy" at the bottom in March 2009? Of course you would. And that means you should pay close attention to Dan Seiver, a member ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

10/04/2012: How About This for HOUSING! Here's another sign that a housing recovery is afoot: Prices on a per-square-foot basis rose in 78 of the nation's 100 most active housing markets over the latest three-month period, according to the latest figures from the field. For the most part, price-per-foot increases were in single digits. But several "core-based statistical areas," including ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

10/02/2012: Geithner under attack for 'protecting' Citi Tim Geithner, the US Treasury secretary, acted to shield Citigroup's bondholders and management from accountability at the height of the financial crisis while taxpayers were left on the hook, a former US bank regulator has alleged. Sheila Bair, who served as chairman of the ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

10/01/2012: Where's the PLAN? The U.S. Postal Service, on the brink of default on a second multibillion-dollar payment it can't afford to pay, is sounding a new cautionary note that having squeezed out all the cost savings within its power, the mail agency's viability now lies almost entirely with Congress. In an interview, Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

October 2012

9/28/2012: Shovel Ready?...I Don't Think So! You can tell a lot about a nation by the condition of its infrastructure. So what does our infrastructure say about us? It says that we are in a very advanced state of decay. At this point, much of America is being held together with spit, duct tape, and prayers. Our roads are crumbling and thousands ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

9/27/2012: The Latest on OIL Is it priceless oil... or just worthless mud? For decades, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) wouldn't allow Canadian oil-sands promoters to call their assets "oil reserves." Instead, the SEC required them to be classified as "mining reserves...>>Full Article | Back to Top

9/26/2012: The GURUS SPEAK: What will happen to the U.S. economy and the dollar in the near term? Will inflation increase dramatically? What is the outlook for gold, and where should you put your money? BIG GOLD asked a world-class panel of economists, authors, and investment advisors what they expect for the future...>>Full Article | Back to Top

9/25/2012: Hey Uncle Ben, Just Send Us a Check! Maybe the Federal Reserve should just send each of us a check for $1 million. Why not? Then we would all be millionaires. We'd all be prosperous. No one would have to work. I hope you appreciate the absurdity of my suggestion. After all, if more money were the key to prosperity, Weimar Republic Germany and Zimbabwe would rule the world. Prosperity isn't predicated ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

9/21/2012: The REAL DEAL in the Mid-East The YouTube video depicting Mohammed is nothing more than the straw that broke the camel's back. This kind of violent uprising against American power and interests in the region has been a long time in the making. It is not just the continuation of drone strikes ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

9/19/2012: A Market Signal Not To Be Ignored Strategist Although the DJIA finished lower Monday for the fourteenth time out of the last fifteen weeks, I found some good news when running through my weekly review of our favorite stock market indicators. But before I get into what could easily be viewed as a bullish argument going forward, let me offer the caveat that stocks have...>>Full Article | Back to Top

9/18/2012: 10 Quotes about QE3 Ready or not, QE3 is here, and the long-term effects of this reckless money printing by the Federal Reserve are going to be absolutely nightmarish. The Federal Reserve is hoping that buying $40 billion worth of mortgage-backed securities per month will spur more lending and more economic activity. But that didn't happen with either QE1 or QE2. Both times ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

9/17/2012: TWO TELLING CHARTS that you better heed! Dr. Mark J. Perry is a professor of economics and finance in the at the Flint campus of the University of Michigan and he has sent me the following:...>>Full Article | Back to Top

9/14/2012: THEY DID IT! The Federal Reserve today announced a third round of quantitative easing, making an open-ended commitment to buy additional mortgage-backed securities at a pace of $40 billion per month. The Fed said it also will "closely monitor" the economy and financial markets and continue these purchases and possibly ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

9/13/2012: Bullish Signal! by: Lon Witter The last short-term pullback (>2%) ended July 25th with the S&P 500 cash closing at 1337.89. The most bullish signal in my studies is when the S&P 500 cash rises greater than 6% from the previous short-term low and is making new short-term highs after 30 trading days. Previously, we ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

9/12/2012: China Is Having MORE Difficulties We shouldn't be afraid of China's success," says Dr. Cheng Li. "We should be much more worried about China's failure." The headlines from China this week are all about the disappearance of a man named Xi Jinping. He hasn't been seen in public all month -- a bit odd for someone who is supposed to ascend to the Chinese presidency ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

9/11/2012: INDICATORS and JUDGEMENT Yes, we still own the majority of the stock funds in our discressionary 1% at Risk Portfolios! Yes, I'm worried. Yes they keep me up at night. Today, I'm giving a presentation at the national PANC (Plan Advisor National Conference ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

9/10/2012: It's Looking Dangerous...So Pay Attention Here's the latest from our friends at Agora Financial: "The federal tax system is about to start robbing graves again," warns Byron King, referring to what he dubs the "Countdown to Taxmageddon" Yesterday, we had Byron over to explain what we have to (not) look forward to come New Year's Day. Today, he's back and ready to discuss what this means for you... and what you can do ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

9/07/2012: Five Smart Money Moves to Make Now I was speaking with a friend of mine recently about how investment opportunities come and go, how they literally do a slow dance right under our noses but we fail to recognize them until it's too late. In fact, almost every investment opportunity seems that way with 20/20 hindsight but while it's upon us, strange that we are as humans, we fail to recognize these ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

9/06/2012: The Problem with Obama's Arithmetic The release last month of the Congressional Budget Office's update to the budget and economic outlook for the next decade rightly draws attention to the "fiscal cliff" - the large tax increases and spending cuts that are currently scheduled for January 1. But there's more to the CBO report ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

9/05/2012: As China goes, so goes oil; as oil goes, up goes the U.S. dollar! From Jack Crooks - I realize it's never easy and rarely simple. But today I'm going to help you understand why global money-flow drives key markets and how that flow could be reversing. If I am right, it is good news for long-term dollar bulls like me, bad news ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

9/04/2012: 'Fiscal Cliff' ... an Illusion or Reality? We do get these buzz phrases about the economy, don't we? A special jargon of the financial press and the commentaries, shorthand expressions intended to suggest the speaker has an especially intimate understanding of economic events. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

September 2012

8/31/2012: I am Really Optimistic! A synopsis of the article in The American, "The Next Great Growth Cycle," by Mark P. Mills, CEO of the Digital Power Group and adjunct fellow of the Manhattan Institute: Apple went public in December 1980. And there followed the longest run of ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

8/30/2012: The THREE BIGGEST ISSUES for the Rest of the Year The market over the summer has been quieter than we had expected - thanks to Draghi's threats placating-words and Bernanke's promises. Equities rallied, Bunds and Treasuries sold off, and government spreads in Europe declined. All these markets look more constructive. However, ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

8/29/2012: Back in the Economic Danger Zone In its State Coincident Indexes report, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia publishes gauges, calculated from four state-level indicators that summarize current economic conditions in each of the 50 states. The Philly Fed also produce one- and three-month diffusion indexes derived from aggregate changes in the ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

8/28/2012: This Gets a Little Complicated Federal Reserve is clearly ready to do something. In recently released minutes from the 7/31-8/1 meeting and a letter from Chairman Bernanke to Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA), the Fed argued that its actions had helped the economy already and that the Fed was ready to ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

8/27/2012: OIL...Remember When We FIRST Talked about this Several years Ago? The economy is recovering, they say. Really, it is. Ignore the fact that applications for first-time unemployment benefits rose by 4,000 last week, bringing the four-week average increase to 3,750. And don't worry about the fact the unemployment rate - which started the year at 8.3% and dipped slightly - has swooped right back ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

8/24/2012: China: A Slowing Giant Is Still a Giant Almost every investor I speak with wants to know what's going on in China and how it will affect them. At Wellington Management, many of our portfolio managers, analysts, and economists live in or travel often to China, and among these professionals, there's a consistent view that while China's economy is without a doubt slowing, there will be no ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

8/22/2012: 7 Products, Concepts, and Ideas That Won't Exist by 2025 By Sean Williams - I'm sort of ashamed to admit that Friday night's baseball game between the San Francisco Giants and Colorado Rockies is the inspiration for this article. As a sidebar to the actual game itself, the broadcasters noted that someone had built a replica DeLorean hovercraft and was riding it around...>>Full Article | Back to Top

8/21/2012: A Tidal Swell of Delusion Lifts Stocks With U.S. stocks blithely on the rise against a darkening global economic picture, we keep telling ourselves it's only a movie, it's only a movie, it's only a movie. Except that it isn't a movie. It's an epochal tide of delusion; it is quite real; and if it hasn't yet reached flood levels, it will soon, inundating stock ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

8/20/2012: The Death of the EURO Anyone who spends their time analyzing the euro debt crisis will know that there is one question you get asked again and again. When will the single currency finally collapse? You can have fun giving a spuriously precise answer - July 28th, 2014, is my favorite (look it up on Wikipedia if you ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

8/17/2012: Obama and the Stock Market Barack Obama often gets slammed for his stewardship of the U.S. economy, but for stock investors, he's been one of the best presidents since World War Two. At 1,400, the S&P 500 on Friday was closing in on a four-year high and was up 74 percent since January 20, 2009, the day Obama took office. Not since Dwight Eisenhower's first term has a president had such ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

8/16/2012: Government vs. Prosperity by Martin D. Weiss, Ph.D. As the once-united Europe comes unglued at the seams ... As the once-powerful Federal Reserve runs out of cures for a sick economy ... And as our once-proud Treasury marches blindly toward a fiscal cliff ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

8/15/2012: Here's What Larry Edelson Thinks Two weeks ago I told you that August would see dramatic trending moves, and that we wouldn't have to wait long for them to unfold. Well, they're here NOW. Nearly all markets are pressing extreme resistance levels in what most traders and investors believe are breakouts. They see a surge in gold, and think it's going ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

8/14/2012: Here's My Take on the ROMNEY/RYAN Ticket When Mitt Romney chose Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate he guaranteed that the 2012 presidential race will be about two opposing economic philosophies. Not even 1980 had such a clear choice. The economy was in recession with double-digit inflation - people demanded change. It's true that Reagan spoke about getting government off our backs, but ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

8/09/2012: The Disaster that Romneycare is Becoming Anyone who understands basic economics and how interventionist government leads to greater interventionist government knew this was going to happen. Market price signals are destroyed, supply and demand distortions start to occur and the regulative power centers are captured by insiders. Costs go up, care goes down and the only solution the interventionists ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

8/08/2012: Should You Cash Out of Gold... ...And send your kids to college? Just like the non-barking dog in the Sherlock Holmes story, the gold price has become strangely insensitive to the usual stimuli. The eurozone remains locked in an existential crisis. Growth is fading in the US and China, and policy makers appear ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

8/07/2012: Things" Are Looking DIFFICULT... The "R: word (recession) is rearing it's ugly head yet again. Most S&P 500 companies have reported earnings (profits) for the second quarter of 2012 and, thus far, the ratio of negative-to-positive forecasts has produced the highest negative reading since 2011. (Source: Wall Street Journal, July 31, 2012.) The earnings outlook ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

8/06/2012: What's keeping a lid on prices right now? It's simple... In a commodity like oil, when you remove the "risk" premium, you're left with the fundamentals - simple supply and demand. And the supply and demand picture is downright lousy today. Let's start with supply ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

8/03/2012: According to Marty Weiss At this time of year folks should be thinking about weekend getaways at the beach ... or some other mid-summer relaxation with friends and family. But for investors, this summer has been another white-knuckle ride of market volatility ... For the third ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

8/02/2012: Another BUBBLE?...NOT! Nothing like looking for a bubble in all the wrong places. For years, mainstream "experts" insisted gold was in a bubble. Never mind that most of these experts failed to spot the bubble in tech stocks in the late '90s... or in real estate the previous decade. Now, with gold still gathering ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

8/01/2012: The Fed To Signal More Easing But stops short of big steps. WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Federal Reserve is likely to show on Wednesday that it is ready to act against a weakening economy but stop short of aggressive measures for now. Economists say the central bank...>>Full Article | Back to Top

August 2012

7/31/2012: The OLYMPICS...the COSTS! On Friday, I watched the opening ceremonies of the 2012 Olympics, which are being held in London. I haven't watched the opening ceremonies in years, but for some reason that I can't explain, I felt compelled to see what was going on. Perhaps it was the media ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

7/30/2012: Audit the Fed? By Rick Ackerman Only if the GOP Retakes the Senate. Rep. Ron Paul's bill to subject the Fed to broad audits sailed through the U.S. House of Representatives yesterday; now it goes to the Senate, where it is certain to die. If you believe that this is ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

7/26/2012: The Most Important Question Every Investor Has to Ask By Dan Ferris: I want you to stop right now and ask yourself what a stock is... It's a piece of a business. When you're a shareholder, you own "equity" in a business. What does that mean? Well, it means you're just not that important. It means you're going ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

7/25/2012: He Agrees with ME! Sandy Weil (former CitiBank Chair) was on MSNBC's Squalk Box this morning and dropped a "BOMB SHELL" which left the various hosts speechless! For those of you who have followed my "stuff" over the years realize that ever since the early 1990s I have been to the say the least "concerned" about the demise of the old GlassStegle rule that was ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

7/23/2012: Stocks vs. Bonds Government bond prices have fallen for the past 30 years. Thanks to Ronald Reagan and Paul Volker in the early 1980s. The 10-year Treasury now yields less than 1.5%. Most people buy bonds for income. And the yields they receive today are ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

7/20/2012: A Clueless President! "Surely, I thought his words were being taken out of context," said Laissez Faire Books executive editor Jeffrey Tucker. Mr. Tucker takes part in a morning conference call with us via Skype. We were discussing the president's now-infamous words: "If you've got a business - you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen." ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

7/19/2012: Depression... Inflation... Destruction Depression now. Then Inflation (and possibly hyperinflation) later. The formula above is a working hypothesis. And not a bad description of the world we've been in since the financial markets blew ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

7/18/2012: How to Buy Silver Below Spot Price Most investors are skeptical when you tell them that they can actually buy silver below spot prices. But it's absolutely true. And there's no word play or gimmicks. Anyone can do it right now. The only caveat is, to buy silver below spot prices you have to make bulk purchases of the ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

7/17/2012: GOLD TIMING! Looking to time your next purchase of gold? There's no time like the present: The ideal seasonal "window" for gold purchases opened yesterday. The annual Thackray's Investor's Guide attempts to pinpoint the best times of year in which to buy various asset classes. The 2012 edition notes...>>Full Article | Back to Top

7/16/2012: Roubini: My 'Perfect Storm' Is Unfolding Now "Dr. Doom" Nouriel Roubini, says the "perfect storm" scenario he forecast for the global economy earlier this year is unfolding right now as growth slows in the U.S., Europe as well as China. In May, Roubini predicted four elements ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

7/12/2012: This Indicator Just Flashed a Rare "Double Sell" Signal Although the McClellan Oscillator, a momentum indicator that helps point out overbought and oversold conditions, is not an indicator that is part of our "daily diet of information;" it has reached a level that had often preceded sharp declines in the past. So it seemed like a good time to extra viligent ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

7/10/2012: Democracy Reaches Its Limit Government finance at all levels seems to be unraveling. I just noticed that the city of Stockton, California, declared bankruptcy -- the largest city in U.S. history to do so. North Las Vegas, Nevada, would be in the same boat if the state of Nevada allowed ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

7/09/2012: The BANKSTERS Strike Again! Part 1 A few months ago when news broke that JPMorgan had lost several billion in trading, most of the public was shocked. Why? Because JPMorgan is run by Jamie Dimon, who is considered the "king of safety." At the time, the loss was estimated ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

7/03/2012: German taxpayers shouldn't bail out their neighbors... Instead, Germany should consider leaving the euro. Over the weekend, Germany's neighbors convinced Germany to sign on for even more help. The Europeans agreed on having a pan-European Banking Union. The idea is that all of Europe would bail out European banks when...>>Full Article | Back to Top

7/02/2012: My Thoughts on LAST THURSDAY! The Supreme Court's decision Thursday to uphold the bulk of the landmark health-care overhaul will leave intact some popular provisions, such as requiring insurers to accept people with pre-existing conditions and to cover children up to age 26 on parents' plans, but it may mean higher health ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

July 2012

6/29/2012: Price of Crude Set to Plunge: By Rick Ackerman Crude oil prices appear primed for a nearly 30% collapse, implying that the global economic slowdown is starting to take hold. Our minimum downside projection for August Crude, currently trading for around $80 a barrel, is $55.69. That target was derived using our proprietary method of technical ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

6/28/2012: Cyprus Requests Eurozone Bailout Well, well...wouldn't you know. Here's yet another shoe dropping in Southern Europe! Cyprus has become the latest eurozone country to seek a bailout amid mounting economic problems and fresh challenges for its banks after a credit rating agency downgrade. Bowing to eurozone pressure,...>>Full Article | Back to Top

6/27/2012: The Market Draws a Line in the Sand: By Lon Witter June 25, 2012 Last week there was a Fed meeting and an important Greek vote. The stock market made an almost perfect Fibonacci retracement of the recent decline and bumped into important resistance at 1360. The confluence of these events ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

6/25/2012: GOOD GRIEF! A funny thing happened to the Market on the way to another "hopium-fueled rally": it was body slammed! Somehow the hopium ran out. Quick, call Ben Bernanke for another fix. Perhaps that will come MONDAY, with at least an inside day - right? Yesterday we found out that Ben Bernanke ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

6/24/2012: Currency Riches 101: How to Multiply Your Money Whether Stocks Sink or Soar! Here is a diatribe by Jack Crooks, part of the Weiss Group - and his mission right now is to help you grab huge profit potential as Europe's great debt crisis continues ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

6/22/2012: Truth vs. Reality vs. Government I'm not a fan of the "anti-fossil fuel" clan. As you know, if you're a reader of my "stuff," I can't and don't subscribe to the environmental wackos who want us to have windmills on the top of our cars and water heaters for our house that work when the sun's out. Yes, I know that's simplistic...>>Full Article | Back to Top

6/21/2012: The Most Accurate Forecaster on Record...EVER! As you know, I have very little respect with people who try to predict what the markets will do. Most of the so-called fundamental analysts, are really "market timers;" trying to get you to buy their idea because "it will work-out in the future." Now they vehemently denounce timing...but that's what they ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

6/20/2012: Microsoft's NEW "Surface" ©GettyMicrosoft has made a belated entrance into tablet computing and a market dominated by Apple's iPad with the unveiling of the Surface, a device it said would merge the best of PCs and mobile computing. The new device, which will run the ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

6/19/2012: 40% DOWN Family net worth plummets nearly 40%. Income and net worth fell from 2007 to 2010. The average American family's net worth dropped almost 40% between 2007 and 2010, according to a triennial study released Monday by the Federal Reserve. The stunning drop in median net worth -- from $126,400 in 2007 ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

6/18/2012: Can Government Prevent the Next Big Disaster? by Martin D. Weiss, Ph.D...Even as I write these words, the world's largest economy - the E.U. - is coming unglued at the seams. The world's second largest - the U.S. - is careening headlong toward a fiscal cliff that promises to gut its GDP. Nearly all of Asia - including ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

6/15/2012: The POOR DOLLAR...or Is It? The value of the U.S. dollar has been rising at an alarmingly rapid rate - an unsustainable rate, really. And history reminds us of that. Since early September, the dollar has escalated 12%, with the U.S. dollar index ballooning from 74 to just under 83 as of this morning. Twelve-percent moves in the dollar usually don't ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

6/14/2012: We'll Bet There's NO QE3 Since the financial crisis in 2008 the Federal Reserve has done extraordinary things - lowered interest rates to essentially zero, increased the size of its balance sheet by $2 trillion and announced Operation Twist. With unemployment still relatively high and real GDP growing at a 2% rate in the past year, there are many on (and off) the Fed who think more should be done. If we thought liquidity was a problem, we might agree, but it's not. The reason the economy is growing more slowly than many Americans would like ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

6/13/2012: Clark and Floyd Counties Now in National Cost of Living Index New Albany, Indiana - (June 5, 2012) - An independent audit of the cost of living and doing business around the nation has added Clark and Floyd Counties to the Cost of Living Index and has calculated that the metropolitan region offers businesses and residents an attractive, cost-effective environment. Clark and Floyd Counties' composite index figure of 87.4 and Louisville's ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

6/11/2012: Paul Krugman's Non-sense Rises Again Our economy faces depression-like conditions, according to Paul Krugman, in its alarmingly high unemployment rate. It needn't be that way, though, Krugman says - a few simple steps could quickly solve our problems. His premise is correct; the devastating toll inflicted by high unemployment is a crisis of depressionary proportions. But Krugman's diagnosis ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

6/08/2012: What the Saudis Aren't Telling Us Suffice to say the triple-digit oil prices we've seen over the past few years have been good to the Kingdom of Saud.By the end of next year, Saudi assets are projected to top $1 trillion. When two-thirds of your income is tucked away in your oil industry, it allows you to increase spending on other things, namely education, health care, jobs and ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

6/07/2012: A Slight Detour on the Road to Riches believe we're still in the Bernanke Asset Bubble... When it's all over, this could turn out to be the greatest bubble in U.S. history. Investors in stocks, commodities, and real estate could all make triple-digit gains. And just about all "risky" assets will benefit. But since early April, commodities have been clobbered...>>Full Article | Back to Top

6/06/2012: Stock market faces serious technical damage It's a tough recovery; however, bears lack solidarity seen in past drops Let's face it, it was a tough week. We started out last Sunday night with the European traders sniffing the laughing gas based on Monti's comments from the prior Thursday. Not this past Thursday but ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

6/05/2012: US reports feeble jobs growth for May The world's largest economy (the US) created only 69,000 jobs in May as a dismal payrolls report confirmed that the US recovery has lost momentum once again. Feeble job growth in May came on top of downward revisions to earlier months. The figure for April was revised down ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

6/04/2012: Don't Worry About Spain The Eurozone is back in the news again and - needless to say - it isn't good. The problem is Spain. Unemployment is almost 24%. Among those under 25, it's 50%. Last year, the budget deficit was 8.5% of GDP. Tax revenue is down sharply. And the IMF projects that this year's deficit is going to be ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

6/01/2012: Well...I Told You So! We cautioned you about the Facebook "thing" several weeks before the offering. Something about "too good to be true." Observing Facebook's price action on its IPO day earlier this week, one might have thought that fear, greed and stupidity had taken the day off. How could the over-hyped, socko-boffo stock of the year - of the decade ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

June 2012

5/31/2012: Are We Looking BETTER for Gold? Last Wednesday was looking like hell for gold bugs... You should always be looking for a better "entry point" for your gold purchases. And now it looks like you've got it! Just remember, purchasing the yellow metal (coins, bullion, and the like) is not done for trading ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

5/29/2012: The TSA and Communism...What Do You Think? When President George W. Bush pushed through the nationalization of airport security, he fundamentally changed a crucial sector of modern life for every America. It has been catastrophic in so many ways. The following account, however, doesn't deal directly with the abuse ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

5/24/2012: Heard of H.R. 1380? It's also called: "New Alternative Transportation to Give Americans Solutions Act of 2011." Or the acronym NAT GAS. Get it? Hey, I think it's pretty good for the country. So does President Obama... It's been said he endorses it -- and is set to rubber-stamp it once it winds its way through Congress ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

5/23/2012: My Current Take on GOLD Gold Takes It On the Chin...What's Next? The market reacted strongly to the elevated debt crisis in Europe by liquidating positions in multiple asset classes. Gold fell 3 percent this week, losing its safe haven status as the dollar grew stronger and the 10-year government note headed lower. Seasoned advisors...>>Full Article | Back to Top

5/22/2012: How to Deal with a Traffic Ticket YUK!, This is not how you would want my day to go! Let's say you were driving along a somewhat obscure one lane highway in central Indiana or Kentucky one weekend. It's mostly farms along the drive with very few houses close to the road; really all you see is scrub land and cattle and maybe...>>Full Article | Back to Top

5/21/2012: What's Wrong with Gold and Silver? There's no point in pretending it's those sleazy, child-molesting bullion bankers at Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and oh yes, J.P. Morgan who have been pounding on mining stocks and bullion futures in the last few months. Lately, it has felt like the whole world has been dumping them. For the record, we are ourselves cautious buyers ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

5/17/2012: Here's the FALLOUT of the JP MORGAN Debacle It's an ignominious end to a 30-year career. Ina Drew, the head of the unit that caused a $2 billion trading loss (maybe $4 and upto $24) at J.P. Morgan will resign, expected to leave as early as today, according to The Wall Street Journal. One of the bank's highest ranking women, as head of the Chief Investment Office she earned $15.5 million in total...>>Full Article | Back to Top

5/15/2012: Conditions in the United States and Europe are Bad News for Investors Here's what the "Austrian School of Finance and Economics" says about the current situation. Pay attention pilgrim, these guys are brilliant! The latest negative market conditions for investors include slowing gross domestic product (GDP) growth and poor employment reports in the United States, as well ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

5/14/2012: Market Conditions...They Are "A-Changin'" The latest negative market conditions for investors include slowing gross domestic product (GDP) growth and poor employment reports in the United States, as well as bad news in Europe. GDP growth in the United States edged down ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

5/09/2012: TROUBLE BREWING IN EUROPE! Here's a schedule of the BROAD rise in Youth Unemployment Rates, across the EU (this March, versus March of last year): --- Bulgaria ... 32.8% ... up from 26.7% --- Portugal ... 36.1% ... up from 27.6% --- Denmark ... 15.1% ... up from 13.7% ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

5/08/2012: Everyone believes interest rates After all, at less than 2%, 10-year Treasury bond yields are the lowest in U.S. history. They HAVE to go up... right? If you believe that, you are part of "the crowd." History says rates could stay this low for a long time. And possibly fall even lower in the next few years. Let me explain ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

5/04/2012: The Industry Has COME ALIIVE!!! This past Monday, we got the news that a pipeline company will buy Sunoco for $5.3 billion. Then on Tuesday, we learned Delta will buy a refinery in Philadelphia. A huge move. And to top it all off... a quick spike in the price of natural gas. There is an energy industry transformation ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

5/03/2012: Is Your Boss Any Good? Some of the most successful CEOs in the world revealed their management secrets. I learned that the "best of the best" tend to share the following eight core beliefs and I try to emulate them on a daily basis:...>>Full Article | Back to Top

5/02/2012: The Week That Was Let's call this the week that AAPL profits, the FED, and the consumer "saved" the market, along with various other earnings beats. The major indices all gapped down Monday morning off various European concerns and then spent the rest of the week moving steadily higher, goosed by Apple's earnings blowout ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

5/01/2012: Richard Band's Take...This is Serious Stuff The clock is ticking, so I'll be brief. If Congress can't defuse the fiscal time bomb they built last year by December 31st: 1.The payroll-tax holiday they gifted to the public will come to a shocking halt and trigger an immediate tax increase of 2% on all Americans. 2.What's more, the Bush ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

May 2012

4/30/2012: Who's in Charge?...the BULLS or the BEARS? Five days ago, the bears seemed to have everything going their way. After one of the best first quarter performances in years, the stock market was overbought, sentiment had become too upbeat (or at the very least, traders had become more than a little complacent), and hedge fund managers were falling all over themselves trying to play catch up...>>Full Article | Back to Top

4/27/2012: Wal-Mart the PROBLEM? I don't think so, pilgrim! Over the last weekend, we were treated to a preposterous display of hectoring of allegations that Wal-Mart Mexico (prepare yourself for a shock) paid bribes to public officials for the legal right to do business in that country. You see, to do serious business in America requires vast campaign contributions to several layers of elected politicians...>>Full Article | Back to Top

4/26/2012: Market Manipulation: This Number Changes Everything This is the most disturbing figure I have seen since the day the market imploded in 2008. What it means for the fate of the American economy, the health of our society and your wealth... I honestly can't say...>>Full Article | Back to Top

4/23/2012: Get ready for an attack on the unemployed With the economy improving and more companies hiring, people who are desperate to find a job finally have some opportunities. Yet there's still a generous government safety net in place for the unemployed, including federal programs that extend jobless benefits for up to 99 weeks. And now, there's growing anecdotal evidence that people who might be able...>>Full Article | Back to Top

4/18/2012: Wouldn't You Know If you are like every other person who's ever invested, you've probably wondered what it takes to "beat" Wall Street. I mean... what does it take to consistently outperform the market and come out ahead of 99% of ordinary investors? Or even 50% of investors? The truth is you may not be smart enough to do it. Try all you want... invest all you've got... the odds are Wall Street will still win. ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

4/17/2012: Here We Go Again...BE CAREFUL! From the first day of 2012 we predicted, and have done so until we were blue in the face, that 2012 would be a carbon copy of 2011... and thus 2010. Unfortunately when setting the screenplay, the central planners of the world really don't have that much imagination and recycling scripts is the best they can do. And while this forecast will not be glaringly obvious until the ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

4/16/2012: The Making of a "Super-Bubble" Back in the 1930s, Russian economist Nikolai Kondratieff produced a theory that explained that TRULY HARD TIMES come in broad, long cycles, or "Super-Bubbles." These "Super-Bubbles" are typically made up of several smaller or "normal" bubbles. Here's the interesting thing: Kondratieff ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

4/13/2012: Lon Witter's Latest Missive Here is the latest market comment from Lon Witter. Lon is the Investment Manager that has a unique discipline he calls "Daily Mean Reversion." He is a real "student" of the markets and has a tremendous grasp of the intricacies of making money with reduced risk: Whenever the S&P 500 can break to new six month highs and rally 30 trading days without a 2% pullback, the momentum of the market begins ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

4/12/2012: Even at $200, Oil Won't Cause a Recession Last Friday's weak unemployment numbers, with only 120,000 jobs created, brought renewed wails that high oil prices were causing a recession. Having heard this refrain so many times, I thought I'd dig a little deeper. After all, a peak of $145 per barrel in the West Texas Intermediate oil price pretty well coincided with the onset of the 2008 recession. The question is whether or not high oil prices are always correlated ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

4/11/2012: Optimistic Economists Hope For Renewed US Global Leadership The Bloomberg Comfort Index is at a four year high. Some economists are so optimistic; they're taking this as a sign that the US might regain its status as global leader of growth and prosperity. Rising consumer confidence and increases in personal spending seem ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

4/09/2012: The Who, How, and Why Behind Silver Manipulation No one knows the machinations of the day-to-day silver price better than Ted Butler. Ted publishes bi-weekly commentary at www.butlerresearch.com, with a special focus on the silver market, which he's been closely following for over 30 years. Ted is an expert's expert. So naturally, that's whom I turned to for an in-depth perspective on ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

4/08/2012: Alternative FUELS! We've written extensively about alternative fuels and how ridiculous some of the "political" solutions are. This piece is much too long, but the info is quite enlightening in my opinion. Much of the content here, is from an in depth piece by Newt Gingrich in his most recent letter to ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

4/06/2012: Is GOLD Finished? Gold has been holding steady in the $1,600-$1,800 band since early October. This could be attributed to consolidation after last summer's historic run up to $1,895, but I think this wait-and-see attitude reflects current market sentiment toward the US dollar. In fact, the first few days of April have seen ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

4/04/2012: TAX TIME is REALLY HERE!!! We're heading toward the finish line for tax season. There are two extra filing days due to the Emancipation Day holiday in Washington, DC. What should you be doing now? Here are four things to do early this month, plus a couple of time-savers, to make your life easier. ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

4/03/2012: This is Incredible It was a fascinating week for those of us who have dedicated our careers to studying the link between government and business. Over the past two generations, the wall between regulation and commerce has been weakened. And now the Supreme Court has the monumental task of deciding whether Congress has the right to knock ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

4/02/2012: Are THINGS Getting Better? A&E's Emmy-nominated show, "Hoarders," documents people with an inability to part with any belongings. Well, it appears Corporate America has a hoarding problem, too. I know we keep hearing about record stock buybacks and dividend increases. But don't be fooled into thinking companies are emptying ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

April 2012

3/30/2012: Have You Heard About CSG? Have you heard about coal seam gas? It is the hottest new energy play in Australia. But more important, it is the latest nail in the coffin for the hoax that is America's supposed LNG export industry. I've just received a report from Andrew Snyder, Editorial Director of Inside Investing: Let me make this crystal clear... America will never ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

3/28/2012: Will China and India Torpedo Gold Prices? The price of gold has been rising for over a decade. It's a trend that many people attribute to fears of inflation and a severe devaluation of paper currencies. Yet there's another explanation that's discussed far less. The idea that gold demand in China and India - the two largest purchasers of gold in the world - has been skyrocketing. And if that turns out to be the leading indicator of gold prices, look out below. Because all evidence is pointing to a massive decrease in gold demand in...>>Full Article | Back to Top

3/27/2012: The Argument on Gold Rages: Buffett vs. Schiff CEO and chief global strategist of Euro Pacific Capital Inc., Peter Schiff has a bone to pick with the Oracle of Omaha. The fund manager, author and financial commentator known for his bearish views on the dollar and bullish take on investments in tangible assets as well as foreign stocks and currencies, called Warren Buffett "a hypocrite." When Buffett speaks, most ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

3/25/2012: Patent Filings: The Next Great Leading Indicator For most of my career, I've been a tireless advocate of a single investing principle. That stock prices ultimately follow earnings. By that I mean, if a company continues to increase its earnings, quarter after quarter, its stock price is bound to trade higher, too. And vice versa. My faith, mind you, is well founded...>>Full Article | Back to Top

3/26/2012: Remember When Apple Shares Sold for $4? Can you remember when Apple shares were trading for around four bucks? I can, because at the time, in 1997, I was so certain the company was headed for oblivion that I made it the subject of my daily newsletters. Back then, it looked as though Apple had finally lost the battle for market share ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

3/22/2012: The RAGING BULL? Last week was the strongest week of the year for the DJIA and the S&P 500, both up 2.4%. The reason for the weekly advance was primarily economic: Initial jobless claims were down, producer prices rose, consumer prices were up and manufacturing in March showed a ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

3/21/2012: Here's a Suggestion for the Guys at APPLE Fighting the Fed is one thing. But fighting a global monetary blowout? Forget it. The financial system is so glutted with virtual dollars these days that U.S. stocks would probably hold their ground even if nuclear war were to erupt. Although Friday's news admittedly fell shy of that ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

3/20/2012: APPLE Takes a Big Bite It looks like China will beat America in the race to energy independence. When I first wrote about China's huge natural gas discovery in late December, my phone lit up. I had reporters across the U.S. and even Europe wanting to know why I wrote what I did. Now, just three months later, the ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

3/19/2012: The FIVE STAGES of negative economic thinking The economic bears have had it rough the past few years. They keep bashing the economy, but it keeps recovering. Watching them fight through the five stages of grief is educational. First there was denial, then anger (some are still in this stage), now it's bargaining. The bears say, yes, the jobs numbers were...>>Full Article | Back to Top

3/16/2012: One of the Market's Most Reliable Indicators Says "Sell" Odds are, by this time next month the S&P 500 will be sharply lower! Stocks have somehow managed to shrug off European debt concerns, ignore a host of negative technical indicators, and continue to defy gravity by marching even higher. The pundits call this "climing the wall of worry." So it seems silly to keep harping ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

3/15/2012: Gain $152,000 by Smart Filing for Social Security Social Security benefits can represent a big stack of cash. A typical monthly benefit of $2,200 has a present value well over $500,000. Consider all your Social Security options carefully to avoid making a costly mistake. Like all government law, Social Security is not a simple piece ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

3/14/2012: Praying for Obamacare...Can you BELIEVE IT? In a strange coincidence, the least-religious administration in American history is relying on the power of something that they would normally scorn: prayer. That's right, the president who, as a candidate mocked Americans for clinging to religion, and consistently verbalizes the "holy Quran," (never once uttering the "holy Bible") is himself asking Christian supporters to pray for a positive result for ObamaCare ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

3/12/2012: Hey Pilgrims, the NUMBER IS ZERO! To the nearest whole number, the percentage of the world's energy that comes from wind turbines today is: zero. Despite the regressive subsidy (pushing pensioners into fuel poverty while improving the wine cellars of grand estates), despite tearing rural communities apart, killing jobs, despoiling views, erecting pylons, felling forests, killing bats and eagles, causing industrial accidents, clogging motorways, polluting lakes in Inner Mongolia with the toxic and radioactive tailings from refining ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

March 2012

2/13/2012: A Tide of Funny Money Denies Europe's Drift Fighting the Fed is one thing. But fighting a global monetary blowout? Forget it. The financial system is so glutted with virtual dollars these days that U.S. stocks would probably hold their ground even if nuclear war were to erupt. ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

February 2012

6/16/2010: Wall Street is Really Out to Get You! Most investors make a mistake using the same investment approach regardless of the type of market they are in. The biggest victims of this type of investment bias are buy and hold investors, and boy have they been ravaged over the last ten years. The buy and hold method is a terrific approach to use during a secular bull market, and that is exactly what we ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

6/03/2010: FINALLY, He Fesses-up!!! A former emperor with no clothes is finally telling the naked truth. His name: Alan Greenspan. His primary role in history: Chief architect of the boom-and-bust cycle that caused the fiscal madness he now condemns. His most recent act: To issue four warnings in the past Friday's Wall Street Journal that are precisely the same as those that were issued in Money and Markets months earlier ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

6/02/2010: GOLD and the Tax Ramifications Proper planning with your finances is incomplete until you consider the endgame consequences of your investment decisions today. So, what are the tax consequences of selling gold, gold ETF's, and gold stocks? There’s lots of conflicting and inaccurate tax information on the Internet about this. We know of one site that claims the sale of silver Eagles is exempt ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

6/01/2010: The TOBIN TAX German Chancellor Angela Merkel recently came out in favor of a "Tobin tax" - a small tax on financial transactions, proportionate to the size of the transaction. The Tobin tax idea also has been proposed by Britain's former prime minister, Gordon Brown, and was proposed in Congress by U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-OR. Now with all of those dubious recommendations...>>Full Article | Back to Top

June 2010

5/03/2010: SYSTEMS Galore! Let’s look at some of the major methods behind investing and see what they can tell us: - Trend following – If you buy what’s going up, it will probably continue. - Value Investing – Buy what’s undervalued; it will eventually become overvalued. - Seasonality – The market tends to show seasonal patterns that you can capitalize upon. ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

5/01/2010: The Case for Gold…AGAIN!!! Two big numbers made news yesterday as we approached the market close. No one, to our knowledge, made a connection between the two. But to us, the connection is screamingly obvious. And frankly, your financial future hinges on that connection. Here’s the first number: $82.7 billion. That’s the deficit the U.S. Treasury posted last month. That’s awful for April, which usually records a positive number ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

May 2010

4/30/2010: The Welfare State Meets Mathematics The simple matter is that many nations have been living beyond their means and investors are beginning to doubt governments are good credit risks. That’s saying something, when governments can simply confiscate from the public the money needed to pay bond holders. But debt-to-GDP levels are now so high across the Western world that bond investors (and ratings agencies) are having serious ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

4/22/2010: Transportation Conundrum We have written on several occasions concerning an indicator called the Baltic Dry Index as closely watched an indicator as any on Wall Street. In several instances in the recent past its predictive value has been nothing short of phenomenal. For those unaware, the BDI is an index that measures prices for ocean-going dry bulk carriers. In essence, it measures what it costs ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

4/20/2010: “401-k vs. IRAs” We continue to get questions concerning the viability of 401-ks vs. IRAs. Today I want to talk about how those two different accounts relate to each other. Let's start with a simple question ... Which Is Better — A 401(k) Plan or an Individual Retirement Account? We'll assume that your employer offers a 401(k) plan and that you also meet the income requirements ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

4/19/2010: “Seven Signs This Bull Market Could Continue” Alright already! I’ve searched high and low for a logical, believable dissertation concerning the continuation of this BULL MARKET that is 13 months old. This best we were able to find comes from Louis Basenese, Small Cap and Special Situations Expert from Investment U:“Last April, I insulted some people when I wrote a column, suggesting that we were at “the start of a new bull market ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

4/01/2010: “Derivatives” Is Not a Dirty Word Your average so-called investment advisor, has probably jumped on the band-wagon that contains most of the news media, nearly all of the politicians, and many marginal-experts trying to explain the 2007-2009 financial melt-down by trashing derivatives. Some people freak out when they hear the D-word. Yet derivatives are just a tool. Like all tools, they can be very useful if they're handled properly. If not, they can do a lot of damage just like ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

April 2010

3/29/2010: A “RAW” Look at Social Security! Alright! One of the “things” that has taken a backseat in our musings over the last year or so is that of Social Security. Recent statistics show that six out of every 10 people will rely on Social Security benefits for over half their retirement income. If you are a "Baby Boomer" between the ages of 46 and 64 . . . you will want to pay close attention to the THREE MAJOR PROBLEMS ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

3/22/2010: Mauldin’s “Muddle Through” Revisited AND Krugman the Clown! Over the past several years, John Mauldin has been one of the clearest thinkers we know on many topics…but especially the economies of the US and our trading partners. Here is his latest missive to us: “I have pretty well laid out over the past decade that I think the US will Muddle Through what promises to be a period of below-trend growth and a long-term secular bear market. It will not be pleasant or fun - there will be a lot of pain - ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

3/16/2010: PENSION CRISIS…An Example We wrote in the past about the perilous situation of public pension systems nationwide, and the Massachusetts state pension system is no exception. The severe problems Massachusetts faces - created by years of generous worker benefits and declining asset values - mirror challenges faced by many other ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

3/15/2010: The Greatest Business!...NOT!!! We have a major announcement to share with you! We are launching a very big new business – a bank. I'd always thought the investment advisory business was a great business... but I've found something else much, much better – banking! Banking will allow us to leverage our capital 15 to 20 times. It offers us guaranteed profit margins, thanks to the Fed's manipulation ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

3/14/2010: The Three BIGGEST Disasters of 2010-2012 Of all the major disasters and threats to your security ahead — and all the major profit opportunities — according to Sean Brodrick, of Money and Markets, three stand out as the most imminent of all: Disaster #1: America's Empire of Debt. If you think Americans are living a normal life, think again. Our entire consumer economy, lifestyle, livelihood — and nearly all or wealth — is predicated on one thing ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

3/13/2010: ETFs in 2009 John Gabriel, Morningstar Advisor gives us a complete analysis of “what happened” in the ETF markets over the last 12-14 months: The U.S. exchange-traded fund industry continues to evolve and attract assets. U.S. ETFs closed out 2009 with $785 billion in assets, up from roughly $533 billion at the end of 2008. In 2009, investors poured $104.1 billion in net new assets into ETFs, following a banner year in 2008 that saw ETFs draw some $156.6 billion ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

3/11/2010: The Case for Ending the FED The legal tender laws of the United States are found in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution and grant power to Congress to “coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, and fix the standard of weights and measures.” Nothing more. In the Constitution’s Article I, Section 10, the states were restricted in regard to money: “No state shall ... coin money; emit bills of credit; make anything but gold and silver coin a tender in payment ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

3/06/2010: Templeton Predicted Financial Chaos Will Last Many Years When Sir John Templeton passed away in July of 2008, we lost one of the greatest investment minds of our time. But with great lucidity, in June of 2005, Sir John penned a memorandum to friends and family that is uncanny and prophetic in its vision of what would happen to the U.S. and global economy. The first two words — so pithy yet so powerful — are bolded and highlighted on his original document. They read, simply: “Financial Chaos.” ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

3/05/2010: Don’t Bet It All on a Recovery It is astounding how many economists, government officials, and Wall Street strategists construe the current economic conditions as evidence of a bona fide recovery. It is a testament to the power of the rose-colored glasses handed out by our nation’s leading universities that such a feeling could be widely held despite the clear and present danger that ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

3/04/2010: “NEGATIVE DIVERGENCE” When price rises, but volume falls, it is called a negative volume divergence and non-confirmation price action. Now we know that’s a mouth full of gobbledygook, but it turns out to be a rather faithful indicator. This is bearish. In addition, we should see large bursts of volume accompany periods of declining volume (these are your optimal trading days). Investors should be ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

3/03/2010: HERE IT COMES…INFLATION! Inflationary periods share three major points: 1. They have taken place under fiat (paper) money. 2. They’re caused by huge public deficits, which are largely financed by money creation. 3. And oh yes, they are man made, always the result of deliberate political decisions ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

March 2010

2/25/2010: How About Those PE’s We have no idea where the markets will go... only an inkling of where they ought to go. And where they ought to go is back to the mean, as everything eventually does. Right now, the S&P goes for around 22-25 times earnings, considerably higher than the long-term mean, which Yale University’s Robert Shiller ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

2/22/2010: Banks Are Hindering the Recovery When U.S. President Barack Obama unveiled the $787 billion "stimulus" bill of extra spending and modest tax cuts last year, it became clear that the U.S. budget deficit was going to eclipse the 10% of gross domestic product (GDP) level for at least one year (and, as we now know, probably three ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

2/11/2010: SELL Bank Stocks NOW!!! Whoever said, “Opposites attract,” didn’t know what they were talking about...or maybe they did know and just didn’t provide all the details. The world around us provides ample evidence that opposites do, in fact, attract...but not always toward a favorable outcome. Sometimes ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

2/10/2010: Another One Down! Last Friday U.S. regulators shuttered 1st American State Bank of Minnesota in Hancock, pushing up U.S. bank failures to 16 so far in 2010. This compares to total number of bank failures of 140 in 2009, 25 in 2008 and only 3 in 2007. While we expect economic recovery to gain momentum soon, there remain lingering concerns in the banking ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

2/09/2010: The Case for Commodities in 2010 Tight production and huge demand growth from developing nations will keep the commodities super-cycle going in the years ahead. The biggest emerging economies have ambitious plans that require a greater share of the world's limited commodities. This trend is spurring profound and permanent disruptions in how these resources are allocated now and in the future. For investors, these disruptions ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

2/07/2010: Marc Faber’s GOLD! LONDON (Commodity Online): Global investing guru and publisher of the famous Gloom, Boom and Doom report Marc Faber says gold price may continue to drop as low as $950 to $1,050 an ounce, but that is not any reason to sell gold. “The dip in gold price is a correction and this should be taken ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

2/02/2010: This is THE REAL Story About AIG Just last week, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform held a hearing on the U.S. Federal Reserve's decision to directly pay billions of dollars to banks as part of its scheme to bail out insurance giant ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

2/01/2010: INFLATION…What Is it Anyway? How do you define inflation? In some ways it’s a slippery thing, like trying to nail Jell-O to a tree. One common definition amounts to “a general and sustained rise in the price of goods and services.” Another is “a persistent decline in the purchasing power of money.” Others argue that inflation is directly ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

February 2010

1/28/2010: 5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Buy Another Stock After looking like they wanted to move higher (early last week), the markets broke sharply at the end of the week on news of China's efforts to curtail bank lending. Not only have the major indexes broken below their 20- and now 50-day moving averages., but we've also seen the indexes break below their long-term uptrend lines that have been in place since the March 2009 ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

1/27/2010: The Banking System is What Needs REFORMING The real analysis can be had by reverting to America's Founding Fathers and how this Republic was constructed. In a nutshell, they were really afraid of any concentration of power…and rightly so! They were particularly afraid that banking interests could hijack our fledgling democracy. Just look at where all of the power now rests...Washington ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

1/20/2010: Cheap Oil is Gone, and That's Good News Over the next year or two, you will likely find yourself paying a LOT more at the gas pump. Big changes are taking place in the oil industry. With increased global demand and declining supply, easy oil is not so easy anymore. Everything is about to get more expensive. From gasoline to anti-freeze, life jackets to golf balls, and eye glasses ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

1/19/2010: MORE and MORE Taxes…Anyway Possible! Witness the Administration’s latest disincentive, the "financial crisis responsibility fee." Good grief! The new tax will force about 50 large financial institutions to pay the federal government a total of about $90 billion over 10 years. About 70% of the firms would be U.S. companies, with the rest ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

1/18/2010: The Biggest Financial Deception of the Decade What do you think? Enron? Bear Stearns? Bernie Madoff? They’re all big stories about big losses and have hurt a lot of employees and investors. But none come close to getting my vote for the decade’s most dastardly deception... First came Enron, with $65.5 billion in assets, going belly-up and becoming the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history at that time. Chairman Kenneth Lay said that Enron’s decision to file bankruptcy would “stabilize the company,” but ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

1/15/2010: Will China Supersede Saudi Arabia as the Key to U.S. Oil Prices? The signs are everywhere that oil is headed for stratospheric highs - $200, $250 or even $300 a barrel. Some of these signs are just plain obvious. But even the subtle indicators are telling us that some very expensive energy costs headed our way. Let me tell you about one such indicator that I came across over the New Year holiday. A tiny news item said that Saudi Arabian oil concern ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

1/14/2010: Six Months to Live James Howard Kunstler, of Whiskey & Gunpowder gives me his prescient analysis of what he expects over the year of 2010…or actually the next 6-months. The economy that is. Especially the part that consists of swapping paper certificates. That’s the buzz I’ve gotten the first two weeks of 2010, and forgive me for not presenting a sheaf of charts and graphs to make the case. Just about everybody else yakking about these things ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

1/12/2010: America slides deeper into depression as Wall Street revels December was the worst month for US unemployment since the Great Recession began. History repeating itself? President Obama has been accused by some economists of making the same mistakes policymakers in the US made in the Great Depression, which followed the Wall Street crash of 1929. The labor force contracted by 661,000. This did not show up in the headline jobless rate because so many Americans dropped out of the system. The broad ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

1/06/2010: 2010 Outlook - Keep your Eye on the Dollar The 2008-2009 recession was not a normal, business led recession and the recovery from this recession will not be normal either. Statistics on past recoveries from normal, business led recessions are irrelevant and misleading; they give a false sense of security. Witter & Westlake believes ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

1/05/2010: The Truth About the Health Care Bills “Well, I have done it! I have read the entire text of proposed House Bill 3200: The Affordable Health Care Choices Act of 2009. I studied it with particular emphasis from my area of expertise, constitutional law. I was frankly concerned that parts of the proposed law that were being ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

1/04/2010: WARNING! You May Not be Making as Much on Gold as You Think Millions of investors who bought gold in the last 12 months are undoubtedly very happy at the moment – considering that the yellow metal has risen 60% since November of ‘07to a recent close of $1,138.60 an ounce on Monday. But chances are good that many won’t be smiling when they discover just what the taxman has planned for their gains ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

January 2010

12/21/2009: Our Best Guess for 2010! To say the least, 2009 has been a wild year for the economy AND the markets. The stock market soared, but the U.S. economy was hampered by rising unemployment and tight credit markets. If you’ve been IN this market, you have an unmitigated penchant for RISK! And I bet you were also one of those who were “all-in” during 2008. Which means that you are STILL 20-30% UNDERWATER! ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

12/14/2009: FREE MONEY…the Best Kind! Spread the Word: 'Free Money' for homes is one of those “perks” from the recent Government “spending binge.” You may have no idea that "free money" is now available for the purchase of a home. We’re looking aggressively to develop a seminar series to present to you on “How to Take Advantage of the FREE Money” with a potential real estate professional and CPA. ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

12/10/2009: FIAT Currency…the Scourge of Real Money It's a fraud because a fiat currency or paper money system allows politicians to create new money out of thin air. Historically, they typically created the most money to pay for wars or social giveaway programs. When they create money out of thin air, it dilutes the value of the existing money. It's a silent theft from ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

12/07/2009: The Global Warming Swindle REVISITED Some day in the future, human beings will likely colonize Mars. But if we suggested you invest in its colonization now, you’d rightly think we were a few cards short of a full deck. The same is true of much-ballyhooed “alternative energy” according to a recent ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

12/01/2009: US Bankruptcy Is All but Certain! This number is certainly beyond comprehension, it's one of those numbers that's so unbelievable you have to actually think about it for a while... Get this, within the next 12 months; the U.S. Treasury will have to refinance $2 trillion in short-term debt. And that's not counting any additional deficit spending, which is estimated to be around $1.5 trillion. Put the two numbers together. Then ask yourself,...>>Full Article | Back to Top

December 2009

11/30/2009: Platinum Investing Rules for You and Your Children 1) Save something every month. 2) Start young. 3) Invest consistently over time but beware of the fallacy of “dollar-cost averaging.” Averaging DOWN is folly! Just wait until the “down” is over and the “up” is underway. 4) Never commit to “Buy and Hold/Hope...>>Full Article | Back to Top

11/17/2009: WARNING! You May Not be Making as Much on Gold as You Think Millions of investors who bought gold in the last 12 months are undoubtedly very happy at the moment – considering that the yellow metal has risen 60% since last November to a recent close of $1,138.60 an ounce on Monday. But chances are good that many ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

11/13/2009: Securitization Screwed It All Up Surprise, surprise!...Securitization – the product of the finest brains of Wall Street for more than two decades – doesn’t work as advertised. Historically, mortgage loans were made by small local institutions, which knew the borrowers personally and took the credit risk themselves. It’s the main driving force for us to have recommended ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

11/12/2009: INDIA, CHINA and GOLD Let’s review the big picture for gold. What’s going on? And what are people saying? For much of 2009, gold traded in the range of low-mid $900 per ounce. There was a dip over the summer, with a strong upswing starting in September. Gold is now trading well over $1,000 per ounce, in fact ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

11/09/2009: Bond ETFs and Their Problems A lot of noise has been made recently about the trouble that bond ETFs have been having when it comes to tracking their respective indexes. It takes two to create tracking error: an ETF and its index. So, how come all the focus...>>Full Article | Back to Top

11/08/2009: A Message for Retirees Jeremy Grantham, president of investment management firm GMO LLC, has been getting a lot of press lately. At the market's top, he warned of an impending bear market. At the bottom in March, he forecast a historic rally. Today, he says the market is 25% overvalued. Should you be worried?...>>Full Article | Back to Top

11/07/2009: Putting Your Food in Your Tank! British financial journalist Ambrose Evans-Pritchard says that food will never be so cheap again, and biofuels are at least partly to blame. Barack Obama has not reversed the Bush policy on biofuels, despite food riots in a string of poor countries last year and calls for a moratorium. The subsidy of ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

11/06/2009: CHINA and GOLD! The following essay by Jeff Clark of Casey Research is an incredible insight into the power and motivation of China along with its commitment to Gold Reserves. As you read this, the Chinese government is doing an extraordinary thing... something nearly unheard of in the ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

11/05/2009: The US’ Answer to “Peak Oil”! The U. S. Geological Service issued a report in April ('08) that only scientists and oil men knew was coming, but man was it big. It was a revised report (hadn't been updated since '95) on how much oil was in this area of the western 2/3...>>Full Article | Back to Top

11/04/2009: It Ain’t Easy Doin’ What We Do! In the Fall of 2007, we had a series of tense meetings on the state of the economy and how our investment process reacts to grief, agony, and miseration. We were convinced that the whole thing was about to come unglued. In fact, things looked so bad to us that we spent a good deal of time talki...>>Full Article | Back to Top

11/03/2009: Is the So-Called Housing Recovery on Hiatus? Real estate announcements dominated recent macroeconomic reports with what appeared to be disappointing housing starts and soaring existing home sales. After several months of steady increases, housing prices showed a modest 0.3% decline during ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

November 2009

10/30/2009: An Update on GOLD It looks like the smart money is going to be right again. And that's good news for anyone hoping to buy gold below $1,000 per ounce. A couple weeks I ago, I told you commercial gold ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

10/29/2009: It’s a Strong Dollar…It’s a Weak Dollar After a surge during the early stages of the financial crisis, the U.S. dollar has resumed its secular trend downward. Many applaud this dollar weakening as a way to spur exports and economic growth. Martin Feldstein, the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Reagan...>>Full Article | Back to Top

10/20/2009: An Update on Peak Oil As you know, if you’ve been following our missives over the years, we have been writing about the phenomenon of “Peak Oil” and how it will play-out during our lifetime. Byron King of Whiskey and Gunpowder quotes Marcio Mello, the former explorationist from Petrobras ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

10/19/2009: A “Roadblock” Guy? Jason Simpkins, Managing Editor of Money Morning recently proposed the question: “Is Timothy Geithner a Roadblock to reforming the financial system?” “Financial disclosure forms revealed last week that some of U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner’s closest aides earned millions of dollars a year working for ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

10/18/2009: The 401(k) Swindle Many people who are followers of our writings remember when we first introduced the “Global Warming Swindle” which totally repudiated all of the puffery of global warming including Al Gore’s flawed Nobel Prize-winning film! Wow, the Nobel-boys sure get it wrong time and time again....>>Full Article | Back to Top

10/17/2009: The FOUR Most Dangerous Words For as long as I have been in the business, people have been repeating Sir John Templeton's statement: The four most dangerous words in investing are "this time it's different." I think what he meant was that...>>Full Article | Back to Top

10/16/2009: Here We Go AGAIN! The Federal Housing Administration, “appears destined for a taxpayer bailout in the next 24-36 months,” Edward Pinto said at a congressional hearing yesterday. As the former chief credit officer for Fannie Mae, he should know all about...>>Full Article | Back to Top

10/15/2009: How Can Anyone Be A Conservative? By: Kendrick N. Mills, Jr. Senior Investment Advisor, Feddern Financial Consulting Group. If one considers that we are a nation created and established with Christian values, then obviously we are called to be charitable and...>>Full Article | Back to Top

10/14/2009: Is the US on SALE? When more than $14 billion in merger-and-acquisition deals were announced in a single day two weeks ago, U.S. stock prices zoomed as investors embraced a suddenly more-bullish outlook. As the following Monday...>>Full Article | Back to Top

10/13/2009: A “Dagger” in the Heart of Peak Oil? BP claims that there may be 200 billion barrels of oil and oil equivalents under the region above the Arctic Circle. Norway is exploring the area of its northern coast in the belief that a large portion of these fields belong to it. The BP estimate...>>Full Article | Back to Top

10/12/2009: Consumer Restaurant Spending Report An Uptick in Restaurant Spending. Here is an in-depth report from our friends at ChangeWave Reports on the “situation” with restaurants. After four consecutive monthly surveys of virtually no change, we’re seeing an uptick in...>>Full Article | Back to Top

10/11/2009: Harry Dent REBUFFED! Alexander Gant has the following poignant rebuttal of Harry Dent’s futuristic economic pronouncements. This is simply a rather logical look-back at Dent’s past projections versus his results. As they...>>Full Article | Back to Top

10/09/2009: When Nothing is Something By Daniel Hannan. You may remember Daniel Hannan for his rather direct and brazenly eloquent critique of Gordon "The Devalued Prime Minister of a Devalued Government" Brown last spring. If not, it is quite easy to get...>>Full Article | Back to Top

10/08/2009: China’s Status China is “movin’ on up…” Sixty years ago this past week, China began its communist experiment and slow rise as a world power. This anniversary was not left unnoted by the Red Nation, which staged a massive...>>Full Article | Back to Top

10/06/2009: Social “InSecurity” Ethan Roberts, A contributing editor of The Tycoon Report has sent me a tremendous analysis of the pending Social Security debacle. Yes, we know…here comes more Gloom and Doom from those guys at Feddern Financial...>>Full Article | Back to Top

10/05/2009: More on CRUDE We’ve been doing some additional, or should we say continuing work on Crude Oil, especially since our new Commodity Trader, Mike Harrison has begun to be very active in this area with a few of our accounts...>>Full Article | Back to Top

10/04/2009: A Gold Fable What if everyone in the world wanted a one-ounce gold coin? If we’re right about where the price of gold is headed, the general public will someday clamor to buy all things gold. While gold stocks will be where the real leverage is, the rush will start with gold itself. As a gold editor, I have a very natural question: is there enough to go around?...>>Full Article | Back to Top

10/03/2009: A “Cover-the-Waterfront” Diatribe As we write this missive, the third quarter has ended in what continues to be a most eventful year for the stock markets and the economy. It’s also one year since the weekend that shook the foundations of Wall Street and of the global financial system – when Lehman Brothers collapsed...>>Full Article | Back to Top

10/02/2009: The Alphabet Soup of Recessions What will be our economic trajectory? How will we do as we come out of the recession of 2008-2009? There are those foolish optimists who predict that the recession is now OVER!...>>Full Article | Back to Top

10/01/2009: A “Disaster in Waiting”? At this point we should make something very, very clear. None of us in our shop thinks highly of the current rally in stock market. However, as Bill Clinton would say “it IS what it IS.” We certainly may have an ever-so-slightly playable portion of this up-cycle left (provided all of us are observant, nimble and cynical enough to be willing to hand off to a greater fool at the end), ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

October 2009

9/30/2009: John Maynard Keynes Most people know John Maynard Keynes as a famous British economist considered by some to be one of the most influential economists of the 20th century. His ideas on “interventionist policies” have helped guide many governments...>>Full Article | Back to Top

9/29/2009: ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds) Revisited Exchange-traded funds, once the purview of retail and small institutional investors, are increasingly flowing into the investment portfolios of larger institutions globally...>>Full Article | Back to Top

9/28/2009: The Fallacy of Math… When It comes to Investing Imagine this: Your brother Bill, a retired scientist and amateur investor, wants to go into publishing just the way he picks stocks: He would ask for authors' submissions, then let a computer pick the best manuscripts, based on the key factors that make a book into a bestseller...>>Full Article | Back to Top

9/25/2009: SEX…or the Lack of It…Is There Another Bubble Brewing? Get used to it: Your house is just a home…not an investment! Governments and media are engaged in a full-blown campaign to punish the villains responsible for the global financial crisis spawned by the bursting of home price bubbles across most of the Western world...>>Full Article | Back to Top

9/24/2009: Is There Another Bubble Brewing? A contributing writer for Money Morning, Shah Gilani, gives us an eye-opening analysis of yet another potential credit disaster. He begins with the question: “Is the government creating another subprime-mortgage bubble?”...>>Full Article | Back to Top

9/23/2009: The Real Price of Gold Adrian Ash of Whiskey and Gunpowder gives us a thorough missive on one of the most outstanding commodities for our times. Two charts and three measures of gold’s “real” price today ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

9/22/2009: Oil Going to $30 THIS FALL? Sept. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Oil traders are paying more than ever in the options market to protect against a plunge in crude prices. The gap between prices of options betting on a decline and those that would ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

9/21/2009: When Correlations Go to “1” When correlations go to “1” you and your traditionally trained financial advisor have egg all over the proverbial face of your portfolio. As a quick explanation: When correlations of investments are “1,” it means that they basically move up...>>Full Article | Back to Top

9/20/2009: CHINA and GOLD The yellow stuff is now over $1,000. In fact, it looks like $1,000 could be a new support level for the metal - with most of the support coming from the Chinese. China has relatively little gold in its central bank. It must see what we see - the weakness...>>Full Article | Back to Top

9/19/2009: Convoluted Education Part II Consider the question: What causes rain? Now get this: The answer now-a-days is wet walks”. We know this is true because every time the sidewalks are wet, we see rain! It is a common fallacy to “reverse causality” in ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

9/18/2009: Convoluted Education Part I Well…well. It’s really FALL! The leaves are changing and the kids have returned to school. For most of the life of the United States of America one of the biggest dreams was that the next generation would exceed what their parents had...>>Full Article | Back to Top

9/15/2009: SIX Myths Concerning the 2008 Collapse Here it is, one year later, and we continue to hear an enormous amount of misinformation about the Credit Crisis: What were the actual causes, what could have been done, what should have been done. Lets consider the...>>Full Article | Back to Top

9/14/2009: CHINA…One Man’s Opinion One of the “on the ground” analysts concerning China is Keith Fitz-Gerald, Investment Director of New China Trader. Keith has a real conviction about the opportunities in China…NOW! His report begins: “I'll tell you right up...>>Full Article | Back to Top

9/11/2009: Broken China? Maybe NOT! We’re continuing our quest to better understand what’s happening in China. The reason being that THEY will probably be a key factor in the world-wide recovery…maybe! After nearly doubling in the first seven months of...>>Full Article | Back to Top

9/10/2009: My Top 10 Reasons for a CHINA PULL-BACK #1: More Froth Than a Starbucks Cappuccino: To say Chinese stocks were slightly overvalued is… well, an understatement. Last fall, Chinese stocks traded at 12.9 times earnings. After just eight months, they rallied to...>>Full Article | Back to Top

9/09/2009: An Interview with Jim Rogers Rogers is one of the most successful money managers in history. He made so much money investing and trading during the 1970s, he left the conventional side of work to travel and run his own money. You can read more about him in one of...>>Full Article | Back to Top

9/08/2009: Australia vs. CHINA A $15 billion deal for liquefied natural gas (LNG) involving Australia, China and global-oil heavyweight Exxon-Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) has prompted many investors to worry that China may be using its global-markets muscle to...>>Full Article | Back to Top

9/04/2009: “Farewell America!” Have you ever read something that sent a shivery goose-pimple feeling up and down your spine? Well, here it is, even if you seldom succumb to delving into financial-type diatribes for fun and games like we do! This missive alerts you to...>>Full Article | Back to Top

9/03/2009: Ever Hear of the “Baltic Dry Index?” As the Baltic Dry Index (a global shipping "price" mechanism) works its way back to early May levels despite a "recovering global economy," one must ask what are the drivers? But as always with the stock market, news does not matter until...>>Full Article | Back to Top

September 2009

8/28/2009: HYSTERIA! "HYSTERIA: Exposing the secret agenda behind today's obsession with global warming" The U.N. recently announced global warming is leading inexorably to global catastrophe. Al Gore won the "best documentary" Oscar for...>>Full Article | Back to Top

8/26/2009: "and Forgive Us Our Debts" According to some, the United States is in the third and fatal stage of a great country’s life-cycle – the political stage. In this stage, money and power migrate from the financial community where its been for decades to the political community which certainly won’t last nearly that long. ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

8/24/2009: Recovery…Not Now…MAYBE NEVER! It’s obvious that we live in miraculous times! Communications with the likes of a tiny cell phone between two six-year olds and 50 CEOs on a conference call is nothing short of phenomenal. Using an Internet-based phone both groups...>>Full Article | Back to Top

8/22/2009: More “funny stuff” with ETFs – from We’re often asked why we have not established a new ETF portfolio for our current 1%@Risk portfolio models. (Check out our website for the models: www.fedderngroup.com). The answer is simple but certainly not easy to...>>Full Article | Back to Top

8/21/2009: How’s Real Estate REALLY Doin’? Good news has been swirling around the housing market lately. The Commerce Department reported on Wednesday that sales of new U.S. homes surged 9.6% in July. A week before, the National Association of...>>Full Article | Back to Top

8/20/2009: The China BUST! One of the academic and financial conundrums involves debating whether the recent rise in the Chinese stock market means there's a bubble -- and if so, when it's going to burst. Who cares? What happens to the broader Chinese...>>Full Article | Back to Top

8/19/2009: Social Security? NOT In Rude Awakening, Bill Bonner and Addison Wiggin had the following essay about Social Security and the fact that it’s main problem is not the benefits but the demographics behind the benefits! It follows right along with...>>Full Article | Back to Top

8/18/2009: AUGUST 18, 2009 Indeed, at important turning points in economic history, the difference between success and failure is often just knowing whether the trend is moving up or down. If you miscalculate, based on wishful thinking or foolish delusion, you might never recover. We have already seen... >>Full Article | Back to Top

8/17/2009: Some GDP “stuff” OTTO THIS IS UN-EDITED FROM JOHN MAULDIN (GAVCAL). We are hearing concerns, from some clients and friends, that the brutal corporate cost-cutting seen in the wake of the subprime crisis will delay the recovery, because this trend is killing the US consumer. In other words, how can one spend if he has lost his... >>Full Article | Back to Top

8/16/2009: The Ultimate Bush Bash! We have never been in the camp of the Bush Bashers of yester-year. Actually they continue on to this day…and perhaps with some real credibility! He and his cronies will apparently get away scot-free with their crimes; better they had all been brought up before a tribunal and tried for crimes against humanity in... >>Full Article | Back to Top

8/15/2009: So You Think it’s a HEALTHY STOCKMARKET? Think again! Look at the following piece done by Lon Witter of Witter and Westlake here in Louisville: A healthy stock market environment requires a healthy economy, which in turn requires a healthy consumer. The American consumer is the engine that drives 70% of our... >>Full Article | Back to Top

8/15/2009: 7 TIME BOMBS for the Next 12-Months What if the worst happens? It’s no longer is a matter of “if.” Now it is a matter of “when.” Everyone needs to think about the unthinkable…and prepare! Our premise is and has always been NOT TO LOSE. It’s a strategy and methodology that we call 1%@Risk and it has worked spectacularly... >>Full Article | Back to Top

8/14/2009: Remember “Peak-Oil?” We see more confirmation of “peak oil” theory along with two very interesting charts that confirm our long-term outlook on oil. We began looking at oil reserves many years ago with work done by Charlie Maxwell, the first “oil guru” that I ever knew. Not only is it obvious even to a layman that oil will not, indeed can not... >>Full Article | Back to Top

8/13/2009: The Realities of the “Math of Demography” Here’s a dose of reality ONLY for those who really want to know how bad our situation is! Social Security? We don’t think so. For those of you who attend our monthly meetings of LUGs and AAII, you remember the Harry Dent presentation featuring the concepts in his books as regards to... >>Full Article | Back to Top

8/12/2009: Land of the Lost Decades! Some gurus estimate that it would take 19 years for the economy to complete its de-leveraging or “correction phase.” It’s not a very scientific estimate. But total debt has gone down about $2 trillion over the last 24 months. So, if it continued at that rate, it would take about 19 years to erase the extraordinary... >>Full Article | Back to Top

8/11/2009: Currencies: Why There’s ALWAYS Huge Opportunities The following piece from the folks at Taipan Publishing gives an analysis of currency markets that is woefully lacking most anywhere else. They begin their piece with: “If corporations were people, a good many of them would be psychopaths. That was the conclusion of a study... >>Full Article | Back to Top

8/10/2009: The Hidden Risks of ETFs Over the last few years, we at FFCG have studied and analyzed the merits of including an ETF platform in our 1%@Risk. In fact, Kendrick developed a very diversified portfolio using his RS (Relative Strength) methodology. Back in the Fall of 2007, we actually began by owning about 20 ETFs and we applied our... >>Full Article | Back to Top

8/08/2009: What’s a VAT? A value-added tax (VAT) is a fee that is assessed against businesses by a government at various points in the production of goods or services – usually any time a product is sold, resold, or value is added to it. For tax purposes, value is added whenever the value of a product increases as a result of the application of a company’s factors... >>Full Article | Back to Top

8/07/2009: Adapt or DIE Jeff Clark, in Growth Stock Wire, gives us some new insights into what the markets are doing and most importantly WHY. “Darwin's theory of evolution applies equally as well to traders on Wall Street as it does to beasts in the jungle. The difference, though, is while it may take a lion dozens of generations to adapt to changes in his... >>Full Article | Back to Top

8/06/2009: “HUNKY DORY” My father used the headline phrase with me when I was in trouble! Believe me when I say that phrase was truly feared with a fierce passion. Whenever the herd mentality lines up along a course leading to “permanent prosperity,” or a yellow brick road lined with green shoots, or something like that, we tend to see the edge of a cliff up ahead. The diminishing returns of... >>Full Article | Back to Top

8/05/2009: The Great “Reflation Experiment” of 2009 The whole thing appears to be run by rank amatures! How about a little history courtesy of John Mauldin in Dallas Texas concerning private sector credit AND debt? The origins of post-war inflation go back to the late 1950s and early 1960s, though some would take it back much further. In the 1960s, the US... >>Full Article | Back to Top

8/04/2009: The “DOW Theory” You may have never heard of the Dow Theory; but surely you have at least heard of Charles Dow, the first editor of the Wall Street Journal and creator of the famous DOW Industrials and the DOW Transports. For those of you who have delved into our “1%@Risk” Risk Management techniques, realize that his historic Point... >>Full Article | Back to Top

8/03/2009: More “Deficit Stuff” As it becomes increasingly clear to them that spending truly monstrous and mind-boggling quantities of your money – and the money of your children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren – is producing no satisfactory result, except for propagating the problem, you can expect the government to expand its... >>Full Article | Back to Top

8/02/2009: More “China Stuff” - Agriculture China leads the world in many things, including the amount of ground lost to desertification or ecological disaster. Maybe we could bus some our environmental activists to them! And believe it or not, at the same time, the Chinese are changing their... >>Full Article | Back to Top

8/01/2009: Welcome to “Pop-ville” Get ready! Here comes yet another “ready-for-the-pin” bubble! (Bloomberg) July 29: The Shanghai composite Index fell 5% as investors raised fears that Chinese authorities might tighten credit available through the banking system which has facilitated the increase in equity and property markets. The Index has... >>Full Article | Back to Top

August 2009

7/26/2009: Flaws in Case Shiller By Robert Huebscher, Advisor Perspectives To forecast economic growth, it’s essential to understand the trajectory of the housing market. Most observers rely on widely publicized data like the Case Shiller index, but those metrics can be very misleading if you don’t understand how they are calculated. If you don’t... >>Full Article | Back to Top

7/25/2009: A President to Believe In… According to David Galland, Managing Director of Casey Research, LLC: “In the history of American presidential politics, there has rarely been one like him; a man of humble origins who seemingly appeared out of nowhere, with no serious chance of actually winning the presidency, but who won nonetheless. Perhaps his success... >>Full Article | Back to Top

7/24/2009: The “Currency Effect” It's earnings season. And more and more companies are talking about currencies. The headlines read like this: "Alliance Data 2Q Profit Down 37 Percent, Hurt By Currency Headwinds" "McDonald's Profit Narrows By 8 Percent On Currency Exchange Impact" "Pepsi 2Q Down 2 Percent On Currency, North American Pressures"... >>Full Article | Back to Top

7/23/2009: Charity? Humbug! by Doug Casey If Warren Buffett really wanted to be charitable with his billions, he would have concentrated on making billions more. Simply put, I don't believe in philanthropy or charitable giving — at least not the ordinary kind. Charitable giving and the concept of charity itself are among the stupidest and most destructive... >>Full Article | Back to Top

7/22/2009: BEWARE of Enthusiasm of FOOLS! It all comes down to one thing… Make the right moves with your money right now and you’ll be set for life. That's not an exaggeration… But make just one wrong move, and your portfolio could take another 41% hit. That’s something few – if any – Americans can recover from… Ever… You see, the underbelly... >>Full Article | Back to Top

7/21/2009: Would You Believe $23.7 TRILLION!!!! From: Newsmax WASHINGTON -- The federal government has devoted $4.7 trillion to help the financial sector through its crisis, a level of assistance equal to about one-third of the overall U.S. economy, a watchdog report said Monday. Under the worst of circumstances, the report said, the government's... >>Full Article | Back to Top

7/20/2009: Looks Like LIFE-SUPPORT to Us Keep a close eye on earnings releases ... across all sectors and industries. That's because earnings results are an important yardstick for sizing up the overall health of the stock markets and the underlying economy. And equally important is the market's reaction to the earnings reports coming out. What we’re finding... >>Full Article | Back to Top

7/19/2009: GOLDMAN SACHS-The Great American Bubble Machine From tech stocks to high gas prices, Goldman Sachs has engineered every major market manipulation since the Great Depression - and according to Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone magazine, “they're about to do it again.” Thanks to our office manager at FFCG, Debra Partin, for calling our... >>Full Article | Back to Top

7/18/2009: Looks Like LIFE-SUPPORT to Us According to Bill Bonner at The Daily Reckoning, “Our faith is weakening. That is, our faith that the government will be able to cause inflation, sooner or later.” Let's review our own recent discussion: deflation now?, inflation later? It's very simple. Maybe too simple. After a half a century of credit expansion, we now have... >>Full Article | Back to Top

7/17/2009: The Deflation vs. Inflation – PART II Could inflation be back already? Yesterday, the PPI reading came out. If you recall, producer inflation popped 1.8% in June, twice as much as Wall Street was expecting and the biggest monthly gain since late 2007. Today, it’s the same story for us lowly American consumers. The CPI rose 0.7% in June, says the Labor Department... >>Full Article | Back to Top

7/16/2009: The Deflation vs. Inflation – PART I We have made the comment more than once that is it unusual for two major bubbles to burst (Real Estate and Credit) and for the conversation to be all about rising inflation and not a serious problem with deflation. As Niels Jensen pointed out last week in a piece in John Mauldin’s Outside the Box, the most important... >>Full Article | Back to Top

7/15/2009: Where Oh Where Is Paul Volker by Justice Litle, Editorial Director, Taipan Publishing Group When it comes to the ups and downs of the economy, there is only one man who can claim to have seen it all – Paul Volcker. At six-foot-seven, Volcker towers over all other policy makers in both the literal and figurative sense. In a role that would later deem him... >>Full Article | Back to Top

7/14/2009: What Happened YESTERDAY! By Adam Lass, Taipan Daily I may as well start the column with the question everyone is asking me. “If everything is as bad as you guys say, if the shoots are all shriveling, if banks are all screwed, if the technicals are calling for a whopping breakdown, why is the Dow breaking out?” Are things really better all around... >>Full Article | Back to Top

7/13/2009: How GOOD or BAD Is it? This may be more than you want to know! According to Nouriel Roubini’s latest analysis in the RGE Alert, the “June employment report suggests that the alleged ‘green shoots’ are mostly yellow weeds that may eventually turn into brown manure.” The employment report shows that conditions in the labor market... >>Full Article | Back to Top

7/12/2009: All Right Pilgrims; Here’s How It Works Thanks to Dick Ernst from our AAII Chapter for this piece It is a slow day in the East Texas town of Madisonville. It is raining, and the little town looks totally deserted. Times are tough, everybody is in debt and everybody lives on credit. On this particular day a rich tourist from the East is driving through... >>Full Article | Back to Top

7/11/2009: The Plunge Protection Team Material for this piece is from Steve Christ of Wealth Daily The June employment report suggests that the alleged ‘green shoots’ are mostly yellow weeds that may eventually turn into brown manure. The employment report shows that conditions in the labor market continue to be extremely weak, with job losses in June of over... >>Full Article | Back to Top

7/09/2009: The California Debacle! Commentary by Kevin Hassett July 6 (Bloomberg) – “Last week, we discovered that the state of California will gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today. With California mired in a budget crisis, largely the result of a political impasse that makes spending cuts and tax increases impossible, Controller John Chiang said the... >>Full Article | Back to Top

7/08/2009: The Ultimate HALL OF SHAME! The folks at BillShrink at The Daily Crux sent us this piece. “Specialists play an important role in society, disseminating expert knowledge to those without time or inclination to become the same. There are gurus in all areas of... >>Full Article | Back to Top

7/06/2009: No Recovery in Sight…Call it What it Is By Bill Bonner at The Daily Reckoning We have spent the last few days holding back tears... Michael Jackson! Robert McNamara! And now our heart goes out to Nantucket Island. Word came this morning that the rich are not living it up like they used to. The New York Times reports that it's the slowest summer on... >>Full Article | Back to Top

7/05/2009: WILL AMERICANS PUSH FOR THIS? The U. S. Geological Service issued a report in April ('08) that only scientists and oil men knew was coming, but man was it big. It was a revised report (hadn't been updated since '95) on how much oil was in this area of the western 2/3 of North Dakota ; western South Dakota ; and extreme eastern Montana... >>Full Article | Back to Top

7/03/2009: T. Boone Pickens Bites the Dust! On Tuesday, Texas oilman and energy security character T. Boone Pickens announced that he will delay, and likely permanently scuttle, plans for a 687 turbine wind project in the Texas panhandle. We warned you of this foolishness late last year when he first proposed this Don Quixote look alike project. We questioned... >>Full Article | Back to Top

7/02/2009: Natural Gas Primer…and Just in Time! Chris Mayer from Rude Awakening has put together a dissertation on Natural Gas that everyone needs to heed. As most people know, our CTA (Commodity Trading Advisor) based on the West Coast, Victor Lyons had a very profitable what he called “target trade” on Crude Oil earlier this past Spring. It was spot on... >>Full Article | Back to Top

7/01/2009: New Program: One on One by Lon Witter For over 30 years, I have been developing and researching investment programs. The quest has been to find the most reliable and consistent investment program that will earn 10-20% a year with the least amount of risk. If a program shows promise, Witter & Westlake runs a pilot program with our own money for... >>Full Article | Back to Top

July 2009

6/29/2009: The End of the Recession? From John Mauldin I walked into the office yesterday evening and there was someone on CNBC talking about how the 50-day moving average of the S&P 500 rising above the 200-day moving average was telling us the market was getting ready to rise and the recovery had started. I listened to his babbling for... >>Full Article | Back to Top

6/28/2009: A Primmer on How Currencies Work by Bryan Rich, Money and Markets If you were to travel outside of your home country and encountered a McDonald's, would you pay more or less for a Big Mac? Well that depends ... You would likely notice a difference though. A major cause of this difference is the value of the local currency relative to your home country's... >>Full Article | Back to Top

6/24/2009: Was Milton Friedman RIGHT? In 1961, the great free-market economist Milton Friedman wrote a paper called "The Lag in Effect of Monetary Policy," wherein he discovered a six-to-nine month delay in how long it would take for a change in monetary policy to be felt in the economy and the stock market. Since then, it has been known... >>Full Article | Back to Top

6/23/2009: A Jobless Recovery? Martin Hutchinson, Contributing Editor to Money Morning gives us the following grim picture: “When the Labor Department recently reported that U.S. payrolls fell by 345,000 jobs in May - the lowest total in eight months - commentators were suddenly spotting “green shoots” of economic recovery virtually everywhere... >>Full Article | Back to Top

6/22/2009: CURRENCIES…A Little History for Your Consideration As regular readers of our Newsletters know, we are constantly searching for investment opportunities in non-correlated assets. Actually, this has only been the case for the last 18-20 months. It is during this period that our market indicators, which we developed over the past nine years, 2 began telling us... >>Full Article | Back to Top

6/21/2009: The Doomsday for Business! This commentary is by Kevin Hassett, director of economic-policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute. (Bloomberg) -- I’ve finally figured out the Obama economic strategy. President Barack Obama and his team have been having so much fun wielding dictatorial power while rescuing “failed” firms, that they have... >>Full Article | Back to Top

6/20/2009: The Kiss of Death Is Upon Us! And no matter what your investment or political persuasion, there can be no question and no doubt that, with nearly $14 trillion spent, lent and guaranteed to bail out troubled banks, insurance companies, favored brokerages, GSE’s, auto companies, AND to generally stimulate the economy, Washington's... >>Full Article | Back to Top

6/19/2009: Is INFLATION Really Coming On? You Bet-cha! It’s called the Law of Unintended Consequence. And according to Mike Lawson from Money and Markets it goes like this: “So let me see if I get this straight. From their recent lows ... Crude oil prices have more than doubled — to $72 a barrel from $33.55. Gasoline prices have surged 62 percent... >>Full Article | Back to Top

6/17/2009: Obama vs. Israel! Amid the rhetoric of U.S. President Barack Obama’s speech June 4 in Cairo, there was one substantial indication of change, not in the U.S. relationship to the Islamic world but in the U.S. relationship to Israel. This shift actually emerged prior to the speech, and the speech merely touched on it. But it is not a minor change and it must... >>Full Article | Back to Top

6/15/2009: You Need to Know ALL of This About OIL…THIRD Ron Harwood is an old friend of Chick Lanphier (our convertible securities manager in Hawaii) (35+ years). Chick forwarded to me this diatribe on Oil which dovetails very nicely with our current missives on the subject. According to Chick, Ron has been associated with the oil and gas business from... >>Full Article | Back to Top

6/14/2009: You Need to Know ALL of This About OIL…SECOND. Adam Lass, Senior Editor at WaveStrength Options Weekly send me this piece with a totally different tack on what’s really moving oil prices. His conclusion is basically the same as ours; however, “Peak Oil” that was in our previous piece has little to do with his reasoning. His basic conclusion... >>Full Article | Back to Top

6/13/2009: You Need to Know ALL of This About OIL…FIRST. THIS IS AN URGENT WARNING: One famous expert warns, "There will be panic." Says CNN Money, "The cat is out of the bag... " Even the U.S. government admits this single seismic event may cost us over $4 trillion... And it's ALREADY HAPPENED... Are you relieved to see oil... >>Full Article | Back to Top

6/12/2009: STUDENTS OF THE MARKETS!...Read This! Here is the scoop on how Fed is working in collusion with the Treasury to RUIN the US Dollar and to foist higher interest rates on all of us…BIG TIME! Lots of folks, including some of our readers, think the Federal Reserve is in control of the money supply. That simply ain’t true – not by a long shot. The main thing... >>Full Article | Back to Top

6/11/2009: Buy ‘n Hold…YUCK! One of our most respected investment gurus is John Mauldin in Dallas Texas. His continuing insight over the last 3-4 years has been an incredible stabilizing force as we have navigated our client portfolios through the most difficult time period in our life-time. Julie Crawshaw of Newsmax has sent us a classic analysis of the follies of... >>Full Article | Back to Top

6/10/2009: Tim’s Embarrassing Trip to China We have to only guess that members of this administration are so full-of themselves that believe that jaw-boning foreign countries (Tim w/China), bowing to sheiks (Obama w/Saudis), and otherwise believing that we should depend on TALK and their gift of gab to vet our way through to a positive outcomes that... >>Full Article | Back to Top

6/08/2009: Does Your Financial Advisor Know ANYTHING? ANSWER: Probably NOT!!! Now before you get defensive with us about your current guy or gal, let’s get some perspective. Most people change “advisors” on somewhat of a regular basis for a myriad of reasons. Some of reasons are personal and emotion-based; others are because of... >>Full Article | Back to Top

6/07/2009: RISK and the Weather Until last fall, Pam Nintrup (this is a fictitious name) thought the financial adviser (not us!) she had hired two and a half years before was doing a good job. He'd consolidated her and her husband's scattered accounts onto one statement and run computer Monty Carlo simulations and scenarios to determine whether her goal... >>Full Article | Back to Top

6/06/2009: More on the Latest Real Estate Figures We’re having a long-running disagreement with some of the pundits-talking heads about the direction of the national housing market. They call real estate "the investment of the century." We think it's more likely to be "the disappointment of the decade." Some say that housing prices are about to... >>Full Article | Back to Top

6/05/2009: The Case for a Depression! (Edited by Leslie Adler of The Daily CRUX) NEW YORK (Reuters) - Technical analyst Robert Prechter on Monday said he sees the United States losing its top AAA credit rating by the end of 2010, as he stuck by a deeply bearish outlook on the U.S. economy and stock market. Prechter, known for predicting the 1987 stock... >>Full Article | Back to Top

6/04/2009: OH!...the Poor Dollar! It seems to us that the US Dollar is poised for at least “difficulty” for at least an extended period of time. And it just may be the Chinese that are going to really call the shots. The Chinese can see that U.S. dollars – like all the rest of the world’s paper currencies – tend to lose value over time…lots of value. The Chinese can also see that... >>Full Article | Back to Top

6/03/2009: More EMA Confirmation As everyone knows who follow our “stuff” in these Newsletter, our final long-term indicator for market health and direction is our 40-week EMA (Exponential Moving Average). Now let’s not get into what the “exponential” math is: suffice it to say that this type of moving average weights the current data (in our case weeks) MORE than... >>Full Article | Back to Top

6/02/2009: Changes in the Mighty DOW Courtesy of Money and Markets The bankruptcy of General Motors isn't surprising ... in fact, Martin repeatedly warned Money & Markets readers — for years — that it was coming. Still, the effects of this bankruptcy will reach all corners of the U.S. economy. Common stock holders will likely get wiped out... >>Full Article | Back to Top

June 2009

5/26/2009: Good Grief!..RE Again! The following is a short excerpt from Dan Ferris at the S&A Digest: "Foreclosures were bad last year? It's going to get worse," University of Wisconsin professor Morris A. Davis told the New York Times. And this time, the problem lies within the more numerous and more creditworthy prime loans. Economists are referring to this... >>Full Article | Back to Top

5/23/2009: And You Think the Fed is Your Friend Few people remember it today, but the Federal Reserve System was concocted on an island off the coast of Georgia under great secrecy. It had to be kept secret because most people of the day would have been furious at its hidden purpose: to control and inflate the U.S. dollar. Greg Dorsey of Real World Investing states... >>Full Article | Back to Top

5/21/2009: How About Rescinding the Nobel Prize for Economics? “Throw the bums out!” The blame-game is always being played especially when things go wrong. The following diatribe is pretty much a self-analysis of the economists and why they certainly missed the ball on the current mess that has presented itself. “You may have noticed that the economy has... >>Full Article | Back to Top

5/20/2009: Wharton School of Economics “Suggested Reading” Many of you have asked on numerous occasions about additional reading and research material on the various economic and market “situations.” The follow list is a plethora of topics from the Wharton School of Economics at Princeton. Great information and insights at... >>Full Article | Back to Top

5/19/2009: Another Way to Look At It The attached chart was sent to us by Doug Wolford, Sales Manager of Niel Huffman Nissan, and a long-time follower of our “stuff.” As most of you probably know, 1955 was one of those “water-shed” dates when something REALLY CHANGED in the investment world. At that time the dividend yield on stocks began... >>Full Article | Back to Top

5/18/2009: Money and Its “TRAVELING” Bill Bergman sent us the following graphs and commentary concerning the flow of money and how it impacts critical thinking about the banking system. In recent months, the currency component of M1--currency circulating outside of banks--has taken off like a banshee. In fact, since August 2008, just before... >>Full Article | Back to Top

5/17/2009: And On it Goes… Just this past Friday, announcements about the TARP funds flowing to many more insurance companies in addition to AIG comes to hit us between the eyes! And these are some of the “stalwarts” of the industry: Allstate, Prudential, Ameriprise, Hartford Financial, Lincoln National and Principal Financial Prudential, and more. Good grief, when... >>Full Article | Back to Top

5/16/2009: Be Careful What You Wish For… An economics professor at Texas Tech said he had never failed a single student before but had, once, failed an entire class. That class had insisted that socialism worked and that no one would be poor and no one would be rich, a great equalizer. The professor then said ok, we will have an experiment in this... >>Full Article | Back to Top

5/15/2009: If it Ain’t Broke…BREAK IT! University of Chicago economist and Nobel Laureate, Milton Friedman's view on the Great Depression holds that the stock market bubble of the Roaring 20s was not the reason for the Depression. Instead, it was the wrong fiscal and monetary policy in the years after the bubble had burst that caused the Depression. Ben Bernake... >>Full Article | Back to Top

5/14/2009: U.S. Stocks vs. the DOLLAR In times of stress you can't rely on normal conditions to hold. In fact, reactions to stress can be quite the opposite ... completely unpredictable. It's no different in financial markets. During normal conditions, you have a good grasp on expectations of how markets relate to each other and how one market might respond to... >>Full Article | Back to Top

5/13/2009: What REALLY Worries Us Whiskey & Gunpowder By May 8, 2009 Saratoga Springs, New York, U.S.A.Euphoria managed to out-run swine flu last week as the epidemic-du-jour, with “consumer” confidence jumping and the big bank stocks nudging up. The H1N1 virus fizzled for now, at least in terms of kill ratio, though we’re warned it might boomerang... >>Full Article | Back to Top

5/12/2009: What REALLY Worries Us On a regular basis, we continue to get comments from investors, clients, prospects, and fiduciaries of Foundations and Endowments asking us “Do you see anything positive, especially since the markets have risen the past NINE weeks?” Perhaps they’re beginning to question our sanity, logic, and beliefs! Believe it…we question... >>Full Article | Back to Top

5/11/2009: A Real Estate UPDATE As the markets continue their march upward AND our Real Estate SECTOR continues to flash BUYS both Short and Intermediate-term, it warrants a fresh look at the fundamentals. If you've been reading our pronouncements over the past two years, then you've been ahead of the real estate pack every... >>Full Article | Back to Top

5/10/2009: 25 Warren Buffett Quotes On Investing 1. “Rule No.1: Never lose money. Rule No.2: Never forget rule No.1.” 2. “It’s far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price than a fair company at a wonderful price.” 3. “Only buy something that you’d be perfectly happy to hold if the market shut down for 10 years.” 4. “We simply attempt to be fearful... >>Full Article | Back to Top

5/09/2009: The Chrysler Bankruptcy: What Does It Mean? Quoted from RGE Monitor “On April 30, Chrysler filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection from its current creditors. As such, Chrysler will be able to operate as a going concern, while the company renegotiates its debt structure and other obligations. The U.S. government has described Chrysler’s action as... >>Full Article | Back to Top

5/07/2009: Let’s Look at the Other Side of the Coin Stocks broke up through some major price-resistance areas last Friday, following a slew of positive economic developments. The Dow Jones Industrial Average broke above resistance at 8,200, while the S&P 500 Index penetrated resistance at the 870 level and the Nasdaq Composite Index broke above... >>Full Article | Back to Top

5/06/2009: “PLAN A” Needs Major Revision See if you can guess if Plan A will work: Crooked bankers and brokers give crooked regulators advice on what to do with crooked assets. Talk about clueless! This is Plan A. Do you honestly believe the result will be either a) not crooked or b) crooked? Now we’re not in the camp that everything that comes out of... >>Full Article | Back to Top

5/05/2009: Look Out! Show Me the Money One question that has so far been avoided by practically all the commentators, talking heads, and well-wishers is this: where’s the money to come from? In the popular mind, if you can call it that, the government’s pockets are infinitely deep. Reach down far enough and you will pull up whatever... >>Full Article | Back to Top

5/01/2009: And You Wonder Why We’re UPSET? Now that the Chicago Tribune is in bankruptcy, this poignant cartoon from 1934 says it all! This telling cartoon could just as well been published TODAY for all that matters. It simply re-enforces that old adage of: “The only thing we learn from history is that we learn... >>Full Article | Back to Top

May 2009

4/29/2009: The Next “Bubble” is Bursting! Alright folks! Get out of the way! The next popping sound that you will hear is bursting of the US Government Bond market! Yes, we know what you’e probably thinking, “What else can go wrong?” Last Fall investors chased long-term Treasury prices higher and higher. We were very leery of this process... >>Full Article | Back to Top

4/28/2009: What is this “Carbon Cap ‘n Trade” Stuff? Now if you really, really, really want to know and understand what all the fuss is over “Carbon Cap ‘n Trade,” sit down in your favorite chair; get a really, really, really TALL goblet of your favorite libation; and send everyone out of the room as you turn off the TV! This puts you in a position... >>Full Article | Back to Top

4/27/2009: SIX Lies! The truth hurts. But it also heals. That's the lesson of the Great Depression of the 1930s, the S&L disaster of the 1980s, the giant insurance failures of the 1990s, and the tech wreck of the early 2000s. As long as Wall Street and Washington hid the real facts and lied about their true consequences, the crisis lingered and deepened. It wasn't until they confessed to past blunders, flushed out the bad assets... >>Full Article | Back to Top

4/26/2009: Unemployment! The MAIN Indicator. In an effort to be “fair and balanced” as they say. We are constantly reviewing the pros and cons of what is happening to our country, our economy, and our markets. As most of you know by the measly two or three Mutual Fund positions in our discressionary accounts, we see very little to be bullish (think POSITIVE) about. However, as we continue to monitor ALL... >>Full Article | Back to Top

4/25/2009: The DEATH of Modern Portfolio Theory "The ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed the world is ruled by little else. Practical men, who believe themselves to be exempt from any intellectual influences, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist. Madmen in authority... >>Full Article | Back to Top

4/24/2009: Signals from the Fed Model Michele Gambera has posted the following chart and analysis on the Morningstar Advisor site. The chart shows an evaluation of the so-called Fed model. We like these kinds of analysis because of the lack of emotional content. This model of tactical asset allocation suggests that an investor should invest in stocks ("be in the market") when the earnings yield of stocks... >>Full Article | Back to Top

4/23/2009: Beware of All the “Green” Stuff Let’s all get real about the hoopla about alternative energy. You really have to agree with the process and premises of developing additional sources of energy or you’ll be laughed at for being naïve. But for cryin’ out loud lets be realistic in our expectations. It’s going to take a lot of money that we don’t have, in spite of the incredibly insane budget... >>Full Article | Back to Top

4/22/2009: No Wonder Investors are “Mad as Hell and Not Going to Take It Anymore” Pension and Investments sent me this horrific analysis by Aaron Elstein of payscales from yet more in the financial world who continue to lose money for investors…BIG TIME! It looks as if the title of best-paid chief executive on Wall Street belongs to money manager Mario Gabelli, who took home an impressive... >>Full Article | Back to Top

4/21/2009: The “Beige Book’s” Latest Positive Non-sense The “Beige Book” for those of you who wonder about it, is a written history of the last FOMC’s (Federal Open Market Committee) Meeting. Last week, Bernanke asserted that the U.S. economy's decline was slowing. The Fed released the results of its Beige Book, which (surprise, surprise) backed Big Ben's assessment. The business survey showed... >>Full Article | Back to Top

4/20/2009: What About the Original Dow Jones 30 Stocks? By John Mauldin. The piece quoted here gives you some real details of the DOW’s history. It’s very interesting for those of you who follow such stuff! “The Dow Industrials was expanded to 30 names from 20 on October 1 of 1928. Today, only nine names of the original 30 remain in the Dow. The committee at Dow Jones has replaced... >>Full Article | Back to Top

4/19/2009: How Influential is Goldman Sachs? In a nutshell socialism is simply the government running everything…at least everything that is important in our lives. Correct-thinking citizens say that they probably don’t want it. “Get real, pilgrim” as John Wayne was wont to say. We are really marching down that road! Most of us who worry and write about this stuff see our Government taking control... >>Full Article | Back to Top

4/18/2009: Bear Market Rally OR Bull Market Start? Since sinking to a 12-year low of 676.53 on March 9, the Standard and Poor’s 500 Index had risen about 24% — the best 6-week deal since 1933. But this isn’t 1933 and you shouldn’t trust the rally. Happy Days are NOT necessarily here again, at least not yet. Let’s look at the History of THEN and NOW according to... >>Full Article | Back to Top

4/17/2009: An Unknown Wall Street SECRET! According to Keith Fitz-Gerald with the Money Map Report: “Studies show that most investors – even ultra-wealthy ones – lose money over time because they don’t, or can’t, stick to a well-defined set of rules. For some, this is driven by reckless personal behavior in search of profits. For others, it’s the constant... >>Full Article | Back to Top

4/16/2009: Believe It or Not: Some Say the Bear Market Is DEAD! Based on the classic Wall Street definitions, we're in a new bull market. As of Friday April 4, all three major market indices recovered more than 20% from their March 9 lows. BE CAREFUL!...Of course, we've been here before. Or as Yogi Berra liked to say, "It's like déjà vu all over again." Recall, back in November of 2008 the markets... >>Full Article | Back to Top

4/15/2009: Market Collapse and It’s Effect on 401-k’s The financial market collapse and its spread to the economy has resulted in tax code Section 401(k) plan balances dropping 30 percent of their value and employers cutting back on their matches, the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College said in a report released March 3. According to the report, An Update on 401(k) Plans... >>Full Article | Back to Top

4/14/2009: Fibonacci: Who is This Guy and Why Should You Care? We continue to look at additional indicators to help us navigate through the malaise of the current market situation. The Italian economist and mathematician Fibonacci invented a numbers-based projection system in the 13th century that attempts to measure “human behavior and how it will manifest itself going forward. Now if technical analysis is... >>Full Article | Back to Top

4/13/2009: The Light at the End of the Tunnel Be careful! That light at the end of the tunnel could be a locomotive at full throttle. The G20 meeting is widely seen as a triumph. The money is flowing. Some people think we've seen the bottom. Jim Cramer, our favorite cartoon character says “the bottom has come and gone.” Well, well that's certainly all... >>Full Article | Back to Top

4/12/2009: The ‘Skinny” on Unemployment Alright readers…Pay attention yet again as we discuss some bogus economic numbers. But we're not the only ones finding fatal flaws in official numbers and conclusions. John Williams of ShadowStats.com has been persistently doing so with the government's official data on inflation and unemployment, among other key measures. His latest estimate of the true March... >>Full Article | Back to Top

4/10/2009: How to REALLY Run a Bank In order to correct and re-establish the voracity and credibility of the banking system a back-to-basics is the catalysts to make it happen. The following piece by Frank Shostak with the Mises Institute is precisely the “recipe” for real savings and lending and how it should work (and actually did work in the “olden-days”). “Consider John the baker who has produced... >>Full Article | Back to Top

4/08/2009: Currencies and FOREX…”WHY?” Several days ago, we received a transcript of an interview with Marty Weiss, one our “deep thinking” individuals along with his incredibly insightful staff concerning currencies and the FOREX market and why this group of “alternatives” is a real opportunity to truly diversify a portfolio of stocks and bonds. Of course, it is even more useful to us... >>Full Article | Back to Top

4/07/2009: Diversification Doesn’t Work…ANYMORE! Diversification has long been considered an essential tool for those seeking to minimize their risk in a volatile market. But a recent study presented to the CFA Institute shows diversification doesn’t accomplish its goals, working best in up markets when investors could use a little less of it and failing to protect them in down markets when... >>Full Article | Back to Top

4/06/2009: Talk About “Fuzzy Math” Comprehend this massive missive from the Tycoon Report: “Right now, the FASB recommends a mark-to-market practice for a majority of financial assets. But Congress wants to mark to model — because that’s what ailing banks want. To see what marking to model looks like, let me give an example of how that would work for your 401(k) quarterly report. Each quarter... >>Full Article | Back to Top

4/05/2009: “It Was the Best of Times. It Was the Worst of Times.” The headline topic above of course is the opening line from Charles Dickens’ Tale of Two Cities as he begins to immediately lead the reader into a comparison of London and Paris. We are in the same scenario with our tack on the current market situation. So, we have done some research on both sides of the question: Is this the beginning of... >>Full Article | Back to Top

4/04/2009: Get Ready to Reduce Your Standard of Living Our President is on his way to Europe where official hostility is rising against the Anglo-American method of shoveling monetary sand down the sink-holes of corrupt debt, bankrupt institutions, and bubble-inflated bonds. Our poised and charming leader may escape personal attack from the quaint old-world street folk, but most of the other... >>Full Article | Back to Top

4/03/2009: Good God!...the BANKS Again! Marty Weiss has been the bright beacon of warning about this mess that we continue to find ourselves. He was almost a “lone wolf” when he, along with us, warned everyone about the collapse in banking and real estate in the Fall of 2007. If you have been readers of our missives like this AND perhaps attendees at our seminars, you have been way ahead... >>Full Article | Back to Top

4/02/2009: CHINA: Friend or Foe? Just about everyone we know has some opinion of China. Looking into the details gives us a clearer picture of the options. As you probably know, you can hardly look at a clothing label without seeing “made in China.” Same for electronics, toys, furniture, hardware, kitchen utensils, you name it! When you think about, China has become VERY dependent on us, the US, for... >>Full Article | Back to Top

4/01/2009: The MESS: Some Details As we continue to “assess the mess” that our non-representative representatives in Washington continue to promote, we wonder WHEN and WHERE it will all end. Hopefully they will come to their senses before the coming revolution tears it all apart. Well maybe we are a bit over-reacting, but the facts are getting “in you face.” The St. Louis Federal Reserve Office has... >>Full Article | Back to Top

April 2009

3/31/2009: The MESS: What Happened and When June 7, 2007 Bear Stearns informs investors that it is suspending redemptions from its High-Grade Structured Credit Strategies Enhanced Leverage Fund. July 11, 2007 Standard and Poor’s places 612 securities backed by subprime residential mortgages on a credit watch. July 31, 2007 Bear Stearns liquidates two hedge funds that invested... >>Full Article | Back to Top

3/30/2009: Definable and Provable INSANITY As we continue to get more and more “government solutions” to our economic problems, we tend to ask the obvious question: Why doesn’t our government do what it’s designed to do AND QUIT trying to re-invent the wheel? Yes, the administration has made a believer out of all of us in that... >>Full Article | Back to Top

3/28/2009: How to KILL a Few Banks How many times have you heard that “we’re in uncharted waters.” This “uncharted” stuff seems to give our government a blank check to do what ever they want in the name of BAILOUT. It looks like Geithner is about to kill some banks. Another question that will consistently be heard over... >>Full Article | Back to Top

3/27/2009: Perpetual Motion: It Can’t Be Done Tell the truth: Does this whole Federal Reserve/Treasury note debacle have you a tad confused? Don’t feel too bad about it. Because you’ve got some 10 million fellow investors banging their heads on their desks right along with you. Most every financial editor and cable news... >>Full Article | Back to Top

3/26/2009: A REAL Housing Solution Several years ago, I attended an investment advisor-type conference in La Jolla, CA sponsored and promoted by John Mauldin who is one of the brightest bulbs in the Newsletter business. John also has a company that evaluates CTAs (Commodity Trading Advisors) for high net-worth individuals and institutions like... >>Full Article | Back to Top

3/24/2009: Deflation: No Longer a Threat? Jeff Benjamin of Investment News recently wrote an interesting piece concerning deflation. We liberally quote from his piece: “By some measures, deflation is no longer a threat; it is a reality. The most obvious examples of deflationary trends can be found in the real estate and automobile sectors, where prices can't... >>Full Article | Back to Top

3/23/2009: One More Pass at the AIG Thing "Give us back our money," yelled a protestor at Edward Liddy, AIG CEO, as he was entering the building for his NEXT hearing with the politicians.. The taxpayers are upset. The politicians are pretending to be upset. And the media thinks it has a hot story. But what is remarkable is... >>Full Article | Back to Top

3/22/2009: How About This Simple Solution? Long time Money Morning subscriber Jerry Seapoff wrote with a great idea, "if California is issuing IOUs for tax refunds, why can't AIG issue IOUs for bonuses to be paid in arrears after the US taxpayers are made whole and the company becomes a viable entity?" As you know we’re not tax experts, but maybe... >>Full Article | Back to Top

3/21/2009: GAMBLING: It Generally Doesn’t Work Even When You WIN! Good grief. As we have been know to say “If you want to gamble, go to the casino and at least have some fun losing your money.” But in reality, some people DO win at the casinos, lottery tickets, scratch-offs, etc! Over the weekend there was an article about a Colorado woman, Cathy Ortiz, who lost her job as... >>Full Article | Back to Top

3/20/2009: “Blue Chip” Treasuries…NOT In the U.S. version of money creation, circa 2009, the Fed uses pieces of green paper called 'dollars' to buy up the government debt. Not exactly...where do the dollars come from? Oh, of course, they come from the same place that shares in the South Sea Company... >>Full Article | Back to Top

3/19/2009: What Would You Do If You Owned a Bank? In an effort to promote liquidity and boost the economy, the Federal Reserve recently announced plans to grow the money supply by another 50 percent to 60 percent! This ignores the profound observation of Gen. George Patton: "You can't push a string." The economy just can’t... >>Full Article | Back to Top

3/18/2009: China to Obama: “PAY ATTENTION!” Here’s an interesting proposal “What would happen if your boss cut your salary, you had no savings, and none of the banks or credit card companies would lend you any money? You'd be in some deep doo-doo, wouldn't you?” This is exactly the situation the U.S. is potentially staring at us if foreign governments (especially China and Japan) decide... >>Full Article | Back to Top

3/17/2009: JOKE: “Bluest of the Blue Chips” We continue to be amazed at the likes of so-called wise, educated, and professional investment managers/idealogs. They continue to hold on to their failed ideology of the past! We just heard another utterance last week from a fiduciary of... >>Full Article | Back to Top

3/16/2009: Read This Carefully IF you Think Oil is Going Higher As you know, we have been looking for Crude Oil to rise at least to the “bounce-stage” of $67 since late last year. Not sure WHEN, but it does seem like a logical call at this point. Nobody…we repeat NOBODY knows the bottom of a bear market…especially one that’s as hateful as this one... >>Full Article | Back to Top

3/14/2009: The “D-WORD” Raises It’s Ugly Head in Spades Rex Dwyer from Angora Financial states in his latest missive to us: “I’m throwing in the towel, calling a depression.” Yes, there could be a huge rally back up to 7,500 or 8,000 on the Dow. But the over the next six to nine months should still be down. Fundamentals have deteriorated further. Many Americans were looking at their retirement plans and realizing that... >>Full Article | Back to Top

3/13/2009: Where in the World Are WE? It's barely two months into the year, and 2009 will already go down in history as the worst start to the investment year ever in U.S. history. Nor have global markets fared any better. Only three markets in the world are in positive territory in 2009: China, Chile and Venezuela. As of last week, the U.S. markets are down 22%, while pan European (euro area) indices were down... >>Full Article | Back to Top

3/12/2009: Let’s Not Kid Ourselves The horror of AIG is almost unbelievable when you dig into the details. The $162 billion bailout of AIG is a nontransparent, opaque and green eyeshades bailout of AIG’s buddies: Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch and other domestic AND foreign financial institutions. So where does the buck stop when it comes to the financial crisis? Many people say that... >>Full Article | Back to Top

3/11/2009: Where’s the Bottom? The answer in a nut shell is: NOBODY KNOWS! And to here the media pundits and so-called government experts, (from the President on down) portend to give us the definitive answer to this moving target is most ludicrous. Now we hear that the Fed is proposing to bring ALL financial institutions under their dominance, purporting that they... >>Full Article | Back to Top

3/10/2009: Are You CRAZY, SCARED, or JUST NOT PAYING ATTENTION! Of course, if you’ve been reading and adapting these missives of ours over the last 18 months, your portfolios HAVE NOT LOST! If you’ve done anything else, your underwater to a breath-taking level. CRAZY: Regardless of whether or not you voted FOR or AGAINST the current Washington DC bozos, OR... >>Full Article | Back to Top

3/09/2009: “THE STIMULUS IS A STEP IN THE WRONG DIRECTION” Actually, we don’t even know Tom Coburn, or frankly what State he represents NOR is political party. What his speech DOES is expose what happening in Washington DC right before our eyes. You can challenge his politics, but the facts speak for themselves! In February Senator Coburn gave this speech... >>Full Article | Back to Top

3/08/2009: The Faces of RISK and GOLD As we begin to have more and more meetings both here in the office AND in business offices in the THREE States (Ky-In-Tn), the overriding concern from the people that we converse is “How did all of this happen AND Is it over…yet?” Investors and Fiduciaries are not only weary but also... >>Full Article | Back to Top

3/05/2009: Hey! Don’t You Guys at FFCG Know ANYTHING Positive? The standard tongue-in-cheek answer that we sometimes joke with you and others about is “Yes most certainly, we are VERY POSITIVE that your personal portfolio/IRA Rollover/401-k/Endowment- Foundation should have been mainly in CASH beginning November of 2007…“ >>Full Article | Back to Top

3/04/2009: BANKS: Do You Remember? It's not as if we're still worried that banks are going under. After all, the government has made it clear that the largest banks aren't going anywhere. Those that were already too big to fail only got bigger thanks to you and me and all of our heirs’ current and future tax money. For our Government to do “selective salvation”... >>Full Article | Back to Top

3/03/2009: THREE Issues that Scream “It Ain’t Over ‘til Its OVER” As most of you know, we’re worriers by nature! We can't help it. Our job is to try to figure out what's happening NOW…not yesterday, everyone knows that; and certainly not tomorrow, no one knows that. And right now, according to Mike Lawson at Money and Markets there are three troubling developments... >>Full Article | Back to Top

3/01/2009: 11 Years in the Wilderness – A New Look at BEAR MARKETS Well, we’ve wonder in the wilderness of the stock market for 11-years and we’re back to ground ZERO…can you believe it? The Taipan Daily gives us access to the chart on the next page so that you can look at all the bear markets (down markets) in history. What the chart shows is a combination of depth and duration for... >>Full Article | Back to Top

March 2009

2/28/2009: A NEW Look at China and the US The following commentary is from Larry Edelson, with Money and Markets. “Could the economy and the financial system get any worse than they already are? Absolutely! As I've often warned here in my Money and Markets columns, central banks and governments of the world will do anything and everything to try and prevent a meltdown of... >>Full Article | Back to Top

2/27/2009: Someone Else is using a EMA Chart Jeff Clark at the Growth Stock Wire has discovered the value of looking at the market (S&P 500) and comparing it to a 20-month EMA (Exponential Moving Average.) Now HOLD IT! For those of you relatively new to these missives of mine, it’s now nearly as complicated as it sounds. Just bare with this process for just a minute. It’s easy to understand that... >>Full Article | Back to Top

2/26/2009: Deep Thinking…Internationally All right! If you really want to know what’s probably going to happen, you need to “suffer through” the reading and understanding of this piece. Nouriel Roubini has done some incredible work on the foreign market economies and how they will affect each other AND the rest of the world INCLUDING THE US. Get ready, you may want to do this in sections... >>Full Article | Back to Top

2/25/2009: A Brief Discussion About GOLD Business was so good at a local pawn shop which is run by a long-time friend of mine, that they had to hire a security guard to handle the crowd in their shop. "We've been serving about 100 cups of coffee a day, going through three or four pounds daily," said an assistant, hurrying away to fill the empty pot. Of course, the above happened in 1980... >>Full Article | Back to Top

2/24/2009: The Crazies Are Still There You’ve got to be careful about what you read AND more importantly, what you believe! Can you imagine the following statements from so-called authorities like the U.S. Federal Reserve, New York’s Conference Board and well-placed sources at several hedge funds saying: “All the secret signs say it’s a bottom. From here, things just start... >>Full Article | Back to Top

2/23/2009: Einstein and Smith Have the Insight In one of his typically insightful statements Einstein stated “In the nuclear age, it is difficult to overstate the perils confronting the human race. The unleashed power of the atom has changed everything save our modes of thinking, and we thus drift toward unparalleled catastrophes . . . a new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive.” Desperately Seeking Analogies... >>Full Article | Back to Top

2/19/2009: How Did GM Get to This Stage? So, how was the trolley ride to work today? Were you able to get a seat, or did you have to hang onto a strap? What, there are no trolleys where you live? Instead, did you spend an hour grinding through gridlock in your car? That’s because there are virtually no trolley lines left. Seems that someone bought them up and scrapped them... >>Full Article | Back to Top

2/18/2009: This Is Really Getting Ugly This is not the change “we can all believe in.” This is throwing money at something Washington doesn’t even begin to understand. The Obama Factor is not the beginning of the end of our problems, it is the end of the beginning of a major problem for everyone. All the charm, all the promises, all the intellect cannot disguise that iron fisted, blunt force that imposes this stimulus plan upon us... >>Full Article | Back to Top

2/17/2009: Dow 3931 is “Fair Value!” The incredible “Shrinking” Dow: 16,000 12,000 10,000 8,000 We are really closing in on 7,000, and the next “stopping” point may just be 6,000! The question is: Where will this all end? And maybe more important is WHEN? It seems to us that the market will... >>Full Article | Back to Top

2/16/2009: Be Careful with GOLD! Louis Basenese, Senior Analyst at The Oxford Club, gives us some pause to at least reconsider and re-evaluate our growing penchant for jumping on the Gold band wagon. As you known, we have always said that “in the final analysis, gold is money.” Our Gold internal indicators show... >>Full Article | Back to Top

2/13/2009: Mr. Spock…A Little HELP, Please! President Obama says we have to act boldly to solve the financial crisis. On Tuesday, supposedly explaining the new and improved bank bailout plan, serial tax evader and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner added that we have to try things that have never been tried before. The Obama team wants to boldly take our economy... >>Full Article | Back to Top

2/12/2009: Somebody’s Brilliant or Stupid! FIRST Example: We believe it was Winston Churchill that said “The only think we learn from history is that we don’t learn anything from history!” SECOND Example: And someone else said “Those who don’t learn from the mistakes of the past are destined to repeat those mistakes.” And here’s the ultimate Example... >>Full Article | Back to Top

2/09/2009: A Battle Between the Market and the Meddlers! The ‘d’ word (depression) is beginning to be thrown around in the financial media quite a bit. What good is $1 trillion in boondoggle spending going to do anyway? Last Friday, the Dow was up 217 points. Oil held steady at $40. Gold didn’t move either; it remains at $914. But let’s take a quick look at the combatants... >>Full Article | Back to Top

2/06/2009: A Real Shocker! Eric Fry, of Angora Financial, gives us and interesting look into the current Government Money/Taxpayer Money being “distributed” in various ways to various financial institutions. “Well, well, well, what a shock! Just like that, Morgan Stanley is feeling all better. The formerly ailing bank will repay, lickety-split, the $10 billion it borrowed from the government's ... >>Full Article | Back to Top

2/05/2009: Psst…Could This Be Positive? A rare bit of good news: Can you believe it? The U.S. economy may have performed better than expected in January. Both the U.S. manufacturing and service sectors perked up during the month, the Institute for Supply Management reported this week. The ISM released its manufacturing survey... >>Full Article | Back to Top

2/04/2009: Pork to the EXTREME! Last week, The New York Times posted a recipe for something called “the Bacon Explosion” that the Taipan Daily brought to our attention. Since we are an avid “avoider” of the Times, the recipe consists of... >>Full Article | Back to Top

2/03/2009: ANOTHER EXPERT HEARD FROM THIS YEAR MARKS SEVENTIETH ANNIVERSARY of the apotheosis of the Golden Age of Hollywood with the release of both Gone With the Wind and The Wizard of Oz in 1939. Don’t you long for those days. But the period isn't... >>Full Article | Back to Top

February 2009

1/31/2009: A Group of “B.S.ers” Meet in Switzerland Jeff Clark of the Growth Stock Wire gives us some unusual perspectives on the ‘world situation.’ His analysis of the Davos, Switzerlad so-called economic conference is very interesting. “Every year during the waning days of January and the early days of February, 2,500 business, political, religious, and community leaders gather... >>Full Article | Back to Top

1/30/2009: “Banksters” is What They Are! Is there any worse of a low-down huckster than a Big Bank executive and his buddies in the top echelons of former respectable institutions like Bank-of- America, Citi Bank, etc. This group of crooks, along with the clueless Uncle Ben Bernake at the Fed and our new 4-year tax cheating-newly appointed head of the Treasury are getting ready for... >>Full Article | Back to Top

1/29/2009: A Look at Some Retail Do you see any signs of improvement in our FOUR indicators of recovery listed above? Adam Lass, one of the Senior Editors at Taipan Daily has done an in-depth look some of the more interesting disasters in the Retail Sector. He is an options guru and edits one of their newsletters. Portions of his latest diatribe... >>Full Article | Back to Top

1/28/2009: Europe & the UK: Worse than the U.S. According to The UK and the EU will experience a more difficult economic environment than the U.S. in 2009 with a recovery more likely in 2010. Economic growth has been lackluster coming into the current recession and will only get worse as Europe suffers from... >>Full Article | Back to Top

1/27/2009: Some Random Thoughts The above four points will continue to be the headline of all future Newsletters until we see the promised recovery at least in its beginning stage. The United States remains the focal point of the global economy and prospects for a recovery remain tied to the U.S.’s ability to work its way out of the current recession. Some people are saying that the recession may turn out to be less severe... >>Full Article | Back to Top

1/26/2009: 2009 Outlook 2009 begins with some cautious optimism and hope by some, resonating many of the words President Obama has repeated over the past 2 years of his campaign (which actually felt like a whole presidential term). But in our opinion, he is inheriting an economy with huge problems; and that “feel good” rhetoric will not solve them... >>Full Article | Back to Top

1/21/2009: When Will This Be Over? We’ve just come from the monthly meeting of the Kentucky Chapter of the AAII (Am. Assoc. of Independent Investors). We had a presentation by a Vice President of Zacks Investment Research’s Wealth Management Division. Out of all of the “systems” of selecting stocks to Buy or Sell... >>Full Article | Back to Top

1/20/2009: Happy Inauguration Day...MAYBE! Don't worry, we haven’t changed from our extremely cautions stance just because “Yes we can,” “Hope,” and “Change” are now the substitute rhetoric for sound economic and fiscal policy. But first we must say that now PRESIDENT Obama appears to be... >>Full Article | Back to Top

1/19/2009: How Do “Things” Look NOW? How much is $1.186 trillion — or $1,186,000,000,000, written out the long way? According to the data compiled by Mike Lawson at Money and Markets: • It's more than the inflation-adjusted cost of the Vietnam ($698 billion) and Korean Wars ($454 billion). • It's more than the... >>Full Article | Back to Top

1/18/2009: Before It Goes, A Look At the Dollar In order to really “read” this missive, you’ll need to pull-out a real dollar bill and have it in front of you. The information contained herein has never been changed during all of the various “re-designs” of our dollar bill throughout the past 200+ years. We know that the dollar... >>Full Article | Back to Top

1/17/2009: The “American Recovery and Reinvestment Bill of 2009” GET READY! Here it comes in all of its “glory.” The bill calls for $825 billion in stimulus, of which roughly $550 billion is allocated for stimulus spending and $275 billion is for tax cuts. Notice how the word billion begins to simply roll-off the tongue with very little astonishment. This is mainly because the word TRILLION has... >>Full Article | Back to Top

1/16/2009: The Cracked Foundation of Our Economy Now we get even more confirmed bad news on the housing and mortgage front. As you know, it is our opinion that this sector MUST show at least the beginning of a recovery. It’s undergoing its worst slump since the Great Depression. Single family home prices have already plunged... >>Full Article | Back to Top

1/15/2009: We’re All Becoming Numb… The plethora of data that floods my in-box on a daily basis is over-whelming most days. The vast majority of all of this is extremely negative…almost fearful of the future, at least the near-term. Anytime we see one of the “gurus” with a nearpositive tack, they immediately become suspect and we spend an inordinate amount of time trying to glean WHERE THEY GOT THEIR INFORMATION that allows them to... >>Full Article | Back to Top

1/14/2009: So what have we learned in 2 Millennia? "The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of... >>Full Article | Back to Top

1/13/2009: Five Fearless 2009 Predictions By Tony Sagami 2008 has been a very difficult year for investors. And most are eager to put it behind them while hoping for a better 2009. I don't have a crystal ball. But I believe there are five powerful trends that can... >>Full Article | Back to Top

1/12/2009: Said the Joker to the Thief By Bill Bonner Bill Bonner, the editor of the Daily Reckoning, gives a tremendous accounting of the fools of 2008 and how pitiful their insight was. The year of our Lord 2008 died in disgrace. It was tossed in a hasty grave...and mud was thrown on its face as though on a dead dictator. ‘Good riddance’ says practically everyone. But here at The Daily Reckoning , we’re going to miss and mourn it. It may have been the worst year in stock market history, but we can’t remember when... >> Full Article | Back to Top

1/11/2009: 12 Urgent Questions for 2009 By Marty Weiss Q - I: I see disturbing similarities between this crisis and The Great Depression. Both were triggered by the bursting of massive debt bubbles, for instance. But this time, the government is doing so much more to pump up the economy. So is it safe to assume that... >> Full Article | Back to Top

1/10/2009: Another Voice Registers Concern Those investors, including market absolutists, who interpret the current economic state-of-things as just a typical downturn that a few tax cuts and some good, old-fashioned, free market-based supply side economics can solve, may want to... >> Full Article | Back to Top

1/09/2009: What Do You Believe? If 2008 was the year of the black swan, what does that portend for 2009? The year of the phoenix? The golden goose? The dodo bird? Prognostications are rife at the start of the New Year, so we’re simply asking you the title question: Do You Believe That: 1. The world markets have begun a correction... >> Full Article | Back to Top

1/08/2009: What a Difference a 100 Years Makes THE YEAR 1908 This will boggle your mind, I know it did mine! The year is 1908. One hundred years ago. What a difference a century makes! Here are some statistics for the Year 1908... >> Full Article | Back to Top

1/07/2009: Millionaires Lose Trust in Advisors…No Joke! Charles Paikert of Investment News reports on a survey that makes logical sense to us. It simply confirms that the traditional, classically trained, so-called investment advisors simply don’t have a clue on how to protect the downside. They actually never consider anything other than... >> Full Article | Back to Top

1/06/2009: Is the Worst Behind Us OR In Front of Us? The numbers tell us that the global financial system in 2008 experienced its worst crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Major financial institutions went bust. Others were bought up on the cheap or... >> Full Article | Back to Top

1/05/2009: The Next Bubble May Have Already Collapsed Treasury bond yields have been falling for 27 years. Eight weeks ago, they moved into the "blow off" stage. I use the 30-year Treasury bond as the benchmark for this market. On October 27, the 30-year bond closed with a yield of 4.37%. After eight straight weeks of declines... >> Full Article | Back to Top

1/01/2009: Musings on Residential Real Estate You're not going to believe this... But U.S. residential real estate is now more affordable (read “LOWER IN VALUE”) than it's been since 1973. Record low mortgage rates (Some local banks are offering 30-year fixed mortgages under 4.9%) and the median home price is down $50,000 on average nationwide according to the Case/Shiller Report... >> Full Article | Back to Top

January 2009

12/29/2008: It’s the End of the Year…Not the World Most people will be glad to see 2008 end and go forever into the record books. Actually, the only ones with this bias are those poor souls who have been and probably still are on the “Buy ‘n Hold” OR “Buy ‘n Hope” treadmill. We’ve been preaching for over a year that CASH is a viable asset class when... >> Full Article | Back to Top

12/28/2008: The “Greatest” Scandal of All Time! Before the year-end, we just had to comment in some detailed way concerning the $50 Billion Ponzi scheme perpetrated on so-call unsuspecting investors by the former head of the NASDAQ! Bernie Madoff is his name, and his bilking of... >> Full Article | Back to Top

12/27/2008: Welcome Back to the World-of-Negative! Ouch! Public sentiment toward the accelerating economic fiasco has shifted, seemingly overnight, from a mood of nauseated amazement to one of panicked grievance as the United States moves closer to an apparent... >> Full Article | Back to Top

12/25/2008: Trying to Look for Something Positive! It’s a real stretch for us to assemble the enclosed ideas. However, there is some meager evidence mounting that we may be pulling away from the extremes. Among the gloomy picture drawn by us for the past 13 months (which by the way have certainly come home to roost); a few most recent economic numbers and... >> Full Article | Back to Top

12/24/2008: A Key Interest-rate is now ZERO! The concept of interest rates at ZERO is truly a bizarre concept for our country. As you may know, Japan has had these rates for an incredibly long time…and their economy failed to respond. There’s more to it than just... >> Full Article | Back to Top

12/19/2008: Merry Christmas to the Bail-out Boys Looks like Friday was the day for bailouts. First, the automakers finally got the money they had been begging for – to the tune of $17.4 billion. Second, Obama and Congressional democrats entered discussions on another economic stimulus bill (read: bailout) that could include... >> Full Article | Back to Top

12/18/2008: What Do You Really Think is Happening? Have you had a chance to really talk to a small business owner, executive or even a neighbor/consumer during the past few months about the “situation” we’re facing... First, Lehman Brothers, a Federal Reserve primary dealer and Washington Mutual, one of the nation’s biggest banks, have both failed. Then, AIG, the world’s largest insurance... >> Full Article | Back to Top

12/17/2008: Deflation is a Nightmare! Marty Weiss is quoted below from his latest letter to us. It’s all part our ongoing concern about you and your money. To do NOTHING is the greatest folly of all! At this juncture, moving to safety is not only prudent but absolutely critical. Most financial types... >> Full Article | Back to Top

12/16/2008: Why CASH Is a Viable Asset Class In our opinion, the most successful investors in any market aren’t always invested. They’re only invested when the odds weigh heavily in their favor. It’s inconceivable for us to understand why anyone would go to... >> Full Article | Back to Top

12/15/2008: Another Oil Visit The following report from Joel Bowman is a wonderful follow-up to a video that we shared with many of you earlier this year when Crude was $147 a barrel. It’s rather comforting to see what is happening to these characters now that the number is $44! If you don’t... >> Full Article | Back to Top

12/14/2008: Did Congress Sell Out the U. S. Economy? According to the Tycoon report, there is a stink in the air, and it's coming from Washington! You just may not believe what the... >> Full Article | Back to Top

12/13/2008: Another Look at History Some additional thoughts on the current and future condition of the US: In the twilight of the Bush days, in the twilight of the twilight season, a consensus has formed by many of us in this business that we are headed... >> Full Article | Back to Top

12/12/2008: Another Look at Inflation Last week, the Fed took its first step in a new, more desperate tactic to fix the financial system... Up until last week, the Fed's operations since the beginning of the credit crunch had not created any real new money supply. It had been swapping troubled assets... >> Full Article | Back to Top

12/11/2008: Another Look at Oil This past week crude suffered its biggest weekly drop since the Persian Gulf War in 1991. The drop in the price of crude capped a bad week for energy, in which The International Energy Agency, The U.S. Energy Department and OPEC all lowered their forecasts for world oil demand, as the global recession... >> Full Article | Back to Top

12/10/2008: Another Look at the Dollar In an effort to try to keep us on an “even keel,” we constantly try to assimilate as much information on the economy and the markets as possible. It does NOTHING to influence our decision-making process for our discressionary accounts. But it does tend to... >> Full Article | Back to Top

12/09/2008: Another Look at Gold So you can see, trying to compare yesterday's gold price to today's — on an even basis— is like trying to compare apples and armadillos! Take a look at... >> Full Article | Back to Top

12/05/2008: Hire a CEO for $1.00 – What a Deal! The labor situation has become so dire that you can now hire a US Blue Chip CEO for a buck – and a ride to work on a bus instead of a corporate jet! The old “former” Wall Street houses are forgoing bonuses this year for nearly everyone. Now we hear that GM’s Rick Wagoner and Ford’s Alan Mulally have cut themselves back to a mere dollar each for 2009. Isn’t that a wonderful gesture as they ask... >> Full Article | Back to Top

12/04/2008: Just Trying to Figure It All Out Shopping: the patriotic duty of every American…but the recession actually began in December of 2007...The inevitable meltdown – just another process of capitalism... all the New York moneymen are just too smart for us simple folk...can someone explain how this all works? Why economists favor inflation over deflation... >> Full Article | Back to Top

12/01/2008: Beware of the “Up Daze” We’ve listed on this page some of our immediate concerns that all of us need to ponder: There are always positive days during any Bear Market…they’re put there by the evil gods to fake you out … Brace yourself – this correction’s gonna hurt... >> Full Article | Back to Top

December 2008

Thanksgiving letter: All of our families and probably yours too, gather at the familiar places, for the traditional food stuffs and celebrations. You may have planned a grand feast...  >> Full Article | Back to Top

11/26/2008: The Half Empty, Half Full Glass Many readers of our near-daily Newsletters have been challenging us to “find something positive to say for a change.” The main positive thing that we can say at this point is that “we’re positive that the worst is yet to come.” The U.S. economy...   >> Full Article | Back to Top

11/25/2008: Even Some “EXPERTS” Don’t Get It The Old Dudes don't panic at all. They've experienced this type of thing many times in their investment careers. This panic hardly raises their pulse... except with excitement about the opportunities. Combined, these three Old Dudes have been investing for nearly 150 years. Two of them are self-made billionaires – and they got there by... >> Full Article | Back to Top

11/24/2008: Even Some “EXPERTS” Don’t Get It Question: "It looks like you’re getting more interested in the markets?” is a comment we’re receiving now that some of our Mutual Funds are showing up in our discressionary accounts. Answer: “NO not really.” If you look closely at our BUYS over the last month or so, they are largely Inverse Funds... >> Full Article | Back to Top

11/21/2008: Are you FOOLING Yourself? If you’re still in this market on the long side OR even if you’re looking for a bottom of the current malaise, you are really, really in extreme denial!... The back page of this missive is the daily chart of the 40 sectors of the markets that we follow on a daily...>> Full Article | Back to Top

11/20/2008: Consumer Spending Plans as of NOW! “Are we at the low-point of this market melt-down?” is a question that many people are asking. The pundits and talking heads AND MAYBE YOUR FINANCIAL ADVISOR are beginning to tout “searching for a bottom or searching for... >> Full Article | Back to Top

11/19/2008: Real Estate: How About THIS Solution? One of the three or four deepest thinkers in the financial services arena is Lon Witter who is a money manager here in Louisville. The following piece is his solution to one of the “messes” that we frequently discuss in our Newsletters, that of the... >> Full Article | Back to Top

11/18/2008: The Case for Inflation We have nearly daily discussions about the planned roll-out of our “ULTIMATE 401-k” in December. The basic concepts must be understandable to an eighth-grader. Not because everyone is simple-minded or childish, but because all our buzz-words and complicated processes tend to make things difficult to understand. Right now, EVERYONE’S 401-k has been... >> Full Article | Back to Top

11/17/2008: Why we Are … like we Are Up until November 2007, we had a general optimism and usually sunny disposition. But then we became a renewed champion for depressing economic forecasts. We say renewed because... >> Full Article | Back to Top

11/14/2008: Is the Bull Dead? We certainly hope that the Bull is not dead! But it certainly has very little possibility of charging-on anytime soon. The “long sleep” that is the first decade of this millennium shows no signs of ending. When you consider the stock market (S&P 500) performance... >> Full Article | Back to Top

11/13/2008: Emerging Markets; Yea or Nay? We’re getting more questions on a daily basis about comparing our economic dilemmas here in the US with other countries…especially the emerging markets. The questions are “Are they in better or worse shape AND are they...” >> Full Article | Back to Top

11/12/2008: Crash and Burn! When The Stock Market Crash of 1987 occurred it was about a 1,000 point down move on the Dow. If that was a crash then what's happening to this stock... >> Full Article | Back to Top

11/11/2008: WHAT A MESS! Over the last 40 years or so, the American economy has evolved from a manufacturing-based economy, to a service economy, and now to a financial economy. All along the way, the levels of debt (personal, governmental and corporate) have continued to grow as... >> Full Article | Back to Top

11/05/2008: Now What? Twenty-five years ago we began working in the financial services business as a traditional broker with a small regional firm named J. C. Bradford. Looking back at those early days, life seemed simpler and much... >> Full Article | Back to Top

11/04/2008: FINALLY OVER! Do you know the greatest thing about this election? It is that, its, finally OVER! As a nation we have been under siege by all sides. We’ve heard endless talk about the “undecideds,” but frankly, we’ve never met one! Everyone seemed to have their candidate on the radar... >>Full Article | Back to Top

November 2008

10/31/2008: Comparison: NOW vs. The Great Depression One advantage we have over the folks of 1930: we know this song. The response of government leaders since the crisis started in December 2006 (when the mortgage brokers began collapsing) has been slow, reactive, and... >> Full Article | Back to Top

10/30/2008: Is This YOU…or Someone That You Know? And we’re not talking about tomorrow’s Trick-or-Treat Halloween! This painting called “The Scream” by Edward Munch, fits very well into the current mind-set that many people have. They were certainly screamin’ during the recent collapse… >> Full Article | Back to Top

10/27/2008: The World is Ending…RIGHT? Well, not necessarily. At least after the last four weeks of market action its easy to go down that road. Perhaps its time to step back and take a deep breath. Time to focus and time to remain calm, especially if you have been in cash (Treasury Money Markets and Inverse Funds). It’s amazing how your perspective changes... >> Full Article | Back to Top

10/26/2008: Is it Inflationary or Deflationary? The Government printing press must be running at full speed…full time. The inflationary expectations are rampant in nearly all circles. Fiat Currencies (those backed only by paper) are perceived by many to be at risk... >> Full Article | Back to Top

10/24/2008: Is There a “PLAN B?” We, here at FFCG, are really enthused about our new “ultimate” 401-k platform that we hope to launch next month. The details of assembling all the various pieces into a well-oiled machine has been a daunting task for the last TWO years... >> Full Article | Back to Top

10/23/2008(a): New Retail Sales Report…POOR! Last Wednesday came the release of September retail sales, which were down right horribly, and this before the big October... >> Full Article | Back to Top

10/23/2008: The End of the Paper-Money Experiment? We’ve heard all these arguments many times. They almost always come from people who've worked in the financial industry. The truth is, gold is an incredibly useful commodity. Like any other commodity... >> Full Article | Back to Top

10/22/2008: Is it Time to Think about Getting Back In? The question in the title comes up every time the markets have a large bounce up OR DOWN! It’s the age old futile game of... >> Full Article | Back to Top

10/21/2008: An International Perspective This is a paper presented several weeks ago by Herb Meyer at a Davos, Switzerland meeting which was attended by most of the CEOs from all the major international corporations -- a very good summary of today’s key trends and... >> Full Article | Back to Top

10/19/2008: Anything That CAN Go Wrong… Welcome to Murphy’s Market. If you followed our advice and sold out of the stock market last year — or even back in June or early July 2008 — you probably feel pretty good right now. And if you took the cash and put it in Treasury Money Markets, then ... >> Full Article | Back to Top

10/16/2008: “Be Careful About Investing Advice” Regardless of which candidate you vote for in three weeks, our disastrous economic reality will not be washed away with the tide of the elections. Grotesquely high budget and trade deficits, obscene debt-levels led by off-the-chart consumer spending, low savings and impossible-to-obtain loans... >> Full Article | Back to Top

10/15/2008: Food for Thought (the Process) Behavioral economist Barbara van Leeuwen completed a study in 1998 which highlights the human preference for instant gratification. She posed the following question to her subjects: If you were deciding today , would you choose fruit or chocolate for next week ? Result: 74% chose ... >> Full Article | Back to Top

10/14/2008: Is There a September Jinx? There appears to be some sort of a September effect, as indicated by Figure 1, below. Since 1929, the worst-performing month on average, by far, is September, losing an average of -.8%... >> Full Article | Back to Top

10/09/2008: This past April, life in the various stock markets began to be tedious and contentious. Actually, we identified a “problem” last November, 2007. Our piece about “The Lost Decade in Stock Markets” has only gotten more grievous since then. Unless something extremely positive... >> Full Article | Back to Top

10/08/2008: What a mess. I like to use the "hangover analogy" to sometimes describe finance... You get drunk. Then, you get a hangover. After that, you feel better. That's the way finance works. You have a boom then a bust complete with a recession. The recession paves the way for a new... >> Full Article | Back to Top

10/06/2008: This is Marty Weiss’ most recent analysis of our current situation “Recession Rapidly Going Into Depression” by Martin D. Weiss, Ph.D. Dear Otto, This is the crisis that will change the course of history. Even before ivory-tower theorists have gotten around to officially calling it a "recession," the U.S. economy is...>> Full Article | Back to Top

10/04/2008: Contagious Complexity and Breathtaking Insolvency   EVERY ONCE IN a while, a report comes out from a government agency that’s so unassumingly candid you’re forced to admit a mistake has been made and that the document was mistakenly leaked, or that its author will... >> Full Article | Back to Top

10/02/2008: Fannie Mae Eases Credit To Aid Mortgage Lending By STEVEN A. HOLMES Notice the date that this article was published in the New York Times! Thanks to Dewey Walker. Published: September 30, 1999 “In a move that could help increase home ownership rates among minorities and low-income consumers, the Fannie Mae Corporation is easing the credit requirements on loans that it will purchase from banks and other lenders. The action, which will begin as a pilot program... >> Full Article | Back to Top

October 2008

9/26/2008: “The Fundamentals of the US Economy Are Strong”…NOT! Here we go again…trying to tell you the truth as we see and understand it. We do have to admit that the Washington DC-Brain Trust (as we affectionately call them), seems to have NOT A CLUE as to the gravity of the situation. Even the foreign economies are collapsing... >> Full Article | Back to Top

9/23/2008: Pondering the Last Wrench in the Tool Kit Will RTC(B) contain CDS? We wonder. Michael Warren of GRYPHON FINANCIAL sends us his analysis/charts of the current situation. “It is our view today that the state of affairs hangs in a precarious balance. All eyes are on Washington...>> Full Article | Back to Top

9/22/2008: “I’m Mad as Hell, and I’m Not Going to Take Anymore!” If the following information is correct, and there’s no reason to believe it isn’t; this “mess of a hess” that we’re in with our government trying to manage the stock market, is in our opinion inexcusable. Using THE TAXPAYERS as the source of all things great and wonderful for not only the irresponsible banks but also the marginal.... >> Full Article | Back to Top

9/19/2008: A New Idea for Those of Us in DENIAL Alright! Most readers have no idea what Brixton Brick is! We’ll get to it in just a few lines. Bear (no pun intended) with us. This is something for those of us who continue to be confounded by the level of “rescue” (read “interference’) that our... >> Full Article | Back to Top

9/16/2008: The Ultimate Wall Street Nightmare by Martin D. Weiss, Ph.D. Dear Otto, In the wake of Lehman's demise, Fed Chairman Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Paulson will try to put out the word that it's no great trauma. But it's a bluff and they know it... >> Full Article | Back to Top

9/11/2008: “The Real Story About OIL…WILD CARDS!” The great oil hoax. What George Bush was told behind closed doors. Discover the biggest lie of the last 30 years... >> Full Article | Back to Top

9/10/2008: From the Frying Pan into the Fire Our environmentalist friends have been sending us wonderful new research about the forth-coming “electric-plug in” cars and how they will be the salvation from our dependence on imported oil, carbon footprints, carbon credits, global... >> Full Article | Back to Top

9/03/2008: A Case for Our ETF Platform The oil industry along the Louisiana coast got off lightly from Hurricane Gustav. While 1.3 million barrels of oil and seven billion cubic feet of natural gas per day stopped pumping temporarily, most of the oil infrastructure escaped harm. And oil prices...>> Full Article | Back to Top

9/01/2008: Exports - Is There Hope for the Economy? Since the start of the U.S. housing downturn we've been told that consumers were in trouble. After the subprime market shakeout we were told our economy was in trouble. And after credit tightened up we were told to expect an inevitable... >> Full Article | Back to Top

September 2008

8/28/2008 b: Latest FDIC Report Reads Like a Horror Novel by Mike Larson Every three months the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) puts out "Quarterly Banking Profiles." Most investors have never heard of them. The mainstream press has largely ignored them... >> Full Article | Back to Top

8/28/2008 a: “The Current Discourse Needs to Eliminate this Word” We usually stay away from politics here at our shop; however, occasionally though, seismic regulatory shifts come from Washington that command our attention... >> Full Article | Back to Top

8/26/2008: “Inflation’s Effect” Tobin Smith at ChangeWave sent me this interesting chart of consumer sentiment and how it’s changed here in 2008... >> Full Article | Back to Top

8/21/2008 b: “The Worst Case Scenario” FOUR FINANCIAL PANICS for 2008 FINANCIAL PANIC #1: “YOU WILL PAY $8 A GALLON FOR GAS— almost as much as you will pay for…a loaf of bread! Your spending habits are about to undergo such a change... >> Full Article | Back to Top

8/21/2008 a: Rotary Endowment Committee Meeting ALTERNATIVES: What are they? 1. Basically ANY investment vehicle that is NOT... >> Full Article | Back to Top

8/15/2008: The REAL Numbers on the Credit Crunch Recently we gave you several real-world examples of lenders who were refusing to take the Federal Reserve's "bait."... >> Full Article | Back to Top

8/13/2008: The "Pickens Plan" Alright! We keep hearing about T. Boone Pickens and his recently revealed plan that he believes could be the only real solution to reducing our dependence on foreign oil. That's a pretty bold statement to make. But this is T. Boone Pickens we're talking about... >> Full Article | Back to Top

8/12/2008: Interesting News About Oil Here’s an interesting take on Crude Oil from our friend Ian Davis at Daily Wealth. Its on our must-reads on a daily basis. "It's official... Crude oil has entered a bear market. OK, I know... filling up the SUV will still shrink the wallet. And I know the long-term... >> Full Article | Back to Top

8/11/2008: The "X" List: The Next Big Failures (Edited Transcript of First Half of Program)Martin Weiss: Big banks and brokers have announced massive losses, with much more to come. But government regulators generally make it difficult for average citizens to figure out which banks or brokers are the weakest and which are the strongest ... >> Full Article | Back to Top

8/09/2008: What the Fed wants ... and what the Fed is getting Here’s a new piece from Mike Larson that really nails what is happening with the Fed, the Banks, and the general security... >> Full Article | Back to Top

8/08/2008: The “Big Mac” Index for 2008 It's the 23rd year running that the Economist has published its famed Big Mac Index -- a tongue and cheek way of measuring the purchasing power parity (PPP) -- that is, the relative over and undervaluation of the world's currencies... >> Full Article | Back to Top

8/06/2008: He who has never learned to obey cannot be a good commander. - Aristotle We just ran across this piece sent to us by Dewey Walker, long-time client. It features a poignant piece from Charlie Reese and wanted to share it with you. It has nothing to do with whether you are a democrat, republican or independent, these are interesting observations on how we should expect politicians to operate and make them work for us.  Its time that THEY have to live by the rules that they set for us... >> Full Article | Back to Top

8/04/2008: You Won’t Believe All of This! If you’re not interested in reality… and don’t want to know… or simply can’t face anymore negative information about our “state of affairs,” then I suggest you toss this month’s Newsletter in the circular file and do not read any further... >> Full Article | Back to Top

August 2008

7/25/2008: UP and DOWN Again The recent “bounce up” in the stock market and “bounce down” in oil and some other commodities gives the un-aware investor a FALSE SENSE OF... >> Full Article | Back to Top

7/22/1008: It’s ALL Negative to Us Alright! This is for all of the readers of these rants and raves who frequently ask “Why are you so negative on the economy, the stock markets, interest rates, the Fed, the Treasury Department, the politicians, the talking heads, etc. etc. etc.”... >> Full Article | Back to Top

7/17/2008: The Classical “Dow Theory” Proven RIGHT Once Again As you probably know, we are great fans of Charles Dow and his Point-and-Figure charting which he developed back in the late 1800s. According to the founding fathers of Dow Theory, which include Charles H. Dow,... >> Full Article | Back to Top

7/16/2008: The Great Financial Tsunami has BEGUN In our consulting practice here at FFCG, we never try to “predict” or even “forecast” the future. It’s difficult enough to get a handle on TODAY much less tomorrow or next week. As most of you know, our indicators are extremely negative and... >> Full Article | Back to Top

7/11/2008: Hope is NOT a Strategy I have just received a mid-year report from my friend Lon Witter at Witter and Westlake Money Managers here in Louisville. Lon’s superb insights over... >> Full Article | Back to Top

7/07/2008: One MAJOR Indicator Called EMA! We are frequently asked questions similar to “How have you been able to ‘time’ the markets so well?” Actually, we do not attempt to “time the markets” at all. However it is very important for us to know what we call the “health” of the markets... >> Full Article | Back to Top

7/03/2008: 2008 Mid-year Review-Consumer Confidence! Would you look at ALL of the Consumer Confidence measurements of the U.S. that have been created BY AND OUTSIDE INDEPENDENT FIRM IN CANADA! We haven’t seen it this bad…and NO we don’t believe that this is a bottom in the Stock and Bond Markets!!... >> Full Article | Back to Top

7/02/2008: 2008 Mid-year Review-Amplification of WW Markets THE FALL OF EUROPE... European markets have done even worse than the U.S. Of the three biggest countries there, the weakest have been France and Germany. Chart 1 shows the CAC-40 trading 28% off last year's high... >> Full Article | Back to Top

7/01/2008: 2008 Mid-year Review For those of you that communicated with us recently about our “Gloom and Doom” bias in our recent Newsletters, we encourage you to STOP READING this one and go back to doing what you were doing! This is NOT going to be pretty!! This last month was the worst June for the stock market since 1930!!!... >> Full Article | Back to Top

July 2008

6/19/2008: Could Oil be Headed for $50? Actually we doubt it. But some of the so-called pundits are talking like it may happen. Let’s put some history behind this and see indeed if... >> Full Article | Back to Top

6/17/2008: The Dollar MAY Be Showing Signs of Life Our thought-provoking analyst at Weiss Research, Jack Crooks offers an interesting commentary on the old “greenback.” The last few months have certainly left some currency traders scratching their heads... >> Full Article | Back to Top

6/16/2008: The Environmentalists and the Government vs. Us! Isn’t it interesting that our Government (read the Congress) has been so influenced by the Environmentalists and the UN that we are not allowed to explore and drill for oil and gas off our own shores.... >> Full Article | Back to Top

6/11/2008: The following “fictitious” letter was constructed by Porter Stansbury. His ire is focused on what we usually hear from top management of companies in trouble. It confirms the dire situation that some old-sage companies are having with our current economic situation... >> Full Article | Back to Top

6/09/2008: Oil Execs vs. Democrats The headline reads: “Oil Executives Try to Educate Senate Democrats, But Democrats Appear Hopeless.” One of the clear-cut issues that we face on the Crude Oil crisis is that there are no easy short-term fixes… >> Full Article | Back to Top

6/07/2008: Can You Spell “STAG-FLATION” ? Our worst fears are coming true! The unemployment rate yesterday; housing: bankruptcies’ huge increase! Amid the endless gasoline headlines crossing the news comes the headline from Germany that billionaire investment guru Warren Buffett sees the USA already in recession... >> Full Article | Back to Top

6/02/2008: Life Continues with Great Difficulty! One of the most insightful writers that we follow daily is Jeff Clark and the Growth Stock Wire. The basic content of this month’s What’s... >> Full Article | Back to Top

June 2008

5/17/2008: More Thoughts on…What Else…OIL! Congratulations to those of you who have taken our advice over the last two years and REALLY diversified by using ALTERNATIVES... >> Full Article | Back to Top

5/16/2008: What if We’re Wrong? As you probably know, we are expecting a “rough-row-to-hoe” for the economy for the rest of this year AND into 2009. Beyond that it looks even... >> Full Article | Back to Top

5/02/2008: More About “Same-o-Same-o” All right already! Some of you have called mentioning the 4-5% returns for some of the Stock Market Indices. Yes we are aware of this. Yes we still firmly believe your investments need to be focused NOT on the stock market but on... >> Full Article | Back to Top

5/01/2008: Housing Collapse Worse than Depression An influential economist who long predicted the housing market bubble, cautioned Tuesday that the slump in the U.S. housing market could cause prices to fall more than they did in the Great Depression and bailouts will be needed so... >> Full Article | Back to Top

May 2008

4/23/2008: Oil Tops $125! What's Next ... by Sean Brodrick Since trading as low as $50.53 early in 2007, oil prices have exploded higher, stunning the world. Just yesterday, crude jumped... >> Full Article | Back to Top

4/18/2008: Sean Brodrick with Marty Weiss’ Money and Markets has provided some very interesting and informative analysis of the FOOD situation worldwide. As some of you know, our ETF platform has had the agriculture fund DBA in it since we began last Fall... >> Full Article | Back to Top

4/16/2008: The LOST DECADE: It’s taken all the running the markets can do to stay in place! According to Tiburon’s Ron Surz, “Here we are, a little more than 8 years into the 21st Century, and stock market investors have barely broken even...” >> Full Article | Back to Top

4/11/2008: Kudlow: ‘Let’s Give Bernanke a Little Credit’ All right, some are saying that we are being too hard on “Uncle Ben” and the Federal Reserve. Maybe so, maybe not. Our good friend Kudlow from CNBC fame gives you the other side of what has become one of the most controversial... >> Full Article | Back to Top

4/08/2008: There's No Such Thing as a Gas or Oil Shortage First the good news: Automotive expert Ed Wallace says there's no gasoline or oil shortage in the U.S. today and near... >> Full Article | Back to Top

4/01/2008: We hope that you had a Happy Easter Day. We thought that we should begin to address the Recession that we’re obviously in and how it may possibly play out... >> Full Article | Back to Top

April 2008

3/24/2008: Rogers Blasts Treasury Secretary Paulson and the Bear Stearns Bailout You can add Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson to the list of U.S. economic officials who... >>Full Article | Back to Top

3/15/2008: WARNING: U.S. Headed for Japanese-Style Stagnation If the American economy was entering a normal downturn, a timely stimulus like the one devised by Washington might... >>Full Article | Back to Top

3/13/2008: Helicopter-Hovering Ben to the Rescue! In what some will call a final act of desperation, Helicopter-Hovering Ben Bernake has released the hounds and flooded the world with cheap cash. That gnashing and wailing you hear is the sound of the short sellers complaining...>>Full Article | Back to Top

3/01/2008: As we began preparing for this month’s newsletter, the economy and the markets continue to fall apart with haste. There are so many dichotomies facing the near-term outlook, that it is almost breath-taking. Marty Weiss’ latest newsletter began with “Most US Stocks falling! Home market crashing! Derivatives blowing up! Recession hitting...>>Full Article | Back to Top

March 2008

2/14/2008: “The Great Mortgage Meltdown of 2007-2008” One of my most respected “prognosticators” about the economy and the markets is Martin Weiss in New York. He has amassed a tremendous track-record in forecasting the comings-and-goings of…>> Full Article | Back to Top

2/01/2008: Well, well! Here we are at the beginning of February and its time for our monthly newsletter. It is our intention with these monthly missives to bring to your attention areas that we are thinking about and what we’re doing with your account(s) considering the current economic and market situations...>>Full Article | Back to Top

February 2008

none available for this month

January 2008

12/29/2007: “What Is Going On With the PPI?” Our previous White Paper 2007:4 dealt in great detail with the CPI and how it has actually become mangled in our opinion. However, there is another measure of price volatility that serves up another interesting challenge. Its called the Producer Price Index. In other words, WHOLESALE prices...>> Full Article | Back to Top

12/10/2007: “What Is Going On With the CPI?” One of the most critical indicators to nearly everyone, especially the Fed and it’s FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee), is the “infamous” CPI (Consumer Price Index). This one indicator, perhaps more than any other, is used for a myriad...>> Full Article | Back to Top

12/2007: You may remember that last month's newsletter was fearful that we would have a difficult end to 2007. Actually, I wish we were not so futuristic; because it doesn't get much worse than it is NOW. The Santa Clause rally is definitely being held at bay. As of this writing, all 40 of the Market...>> Full Article | Back to Top

December 2007

11/2007: Don't necessarily bet on a "year-end" rally. Yes, I know that we all expect the "Santa Claus Rally" to begin NOW and continue through the first of January. It usually does. Our CTA (Commodity Trading Advisor), Victor Lyons in San Diego who many of you have met, has made the observation...>>Full Article | Back to Top

November 2007

10/2007: ALRIGHT! The long-awaited BUY list for the new ETF (Exchange Traded Funds) AND the revised no-load Mutual Fund platforms were implemented last week... >>Full Article | Back to Top

October 2007

9/2007: The Cruise on the Captains Quarter's Yacht proved to be very successful. We received countless positive comments concerning our TWO proposals: 1. ETF (Exchange Traded Funds) in lieu of Mutual Funds) and 2. Victor Lyons our new CTA (Commodity Trading Advisor) for 20% of... >> Full Article | Back to Top

September 2007

8/2007: By the time you receive this Newsletter, you should have received a very special invitation for our client "Cruise" on the Captains Quarter's Yacht on Sunday August 19 from 1:00 PM - ...>>Full Article | Back to Top

August 2007

7/2007: As we continue to migrate through our first year of service as an independent, SEC Registered, RIA (Registered Investment Advisor), it has come to mind that you may want to see in writing the principals that guide us through our process...>>Full Article | Back to Top

July 2007

6/2007: We have just past the milestone of 9-months being an independent RIA (Registered Investment Advisor). It has been a challenging and rewarding process that has involved some tremendous work and dedication from our entire team of professionals... >>Full Article | Back to Top

June 2007

5/2007: "How to Make THE PERFECT MINT JULEP" Just recently, I had the opportunity to be with my long-time friend Bill Samuels, CEO of Maker’s Mark. He shared with me his “secret” recipe and gave me permission to pass it along to you (there goes the secret.) Forget what you think you know about mint juleps and how they taste; this one will make a believer out of you AND all of your Derby guests...>>Full Article | Back to Top

5/01/2007: “The Dollar is Really WORTHLESS!” How often have we heard the phrase “The dollar sure doesn’t buy what it used to?” Yes, it’s obvious to all of us with at least a few gray hairs that the purchasing power of the dollar is not what it was...>> Full Article | Back to Top

May 2007

4/2007: We are asked on a regular basis “Why do your accounts have such a large position in cash?” I do believe the answer has become obvious over this last quarter. Regardless of the apparent expertise of any talking-head, futurist, economists, or newsletter/magazine writer…these markets are vicious and dangerous at this time…PERIOD!...>>Full Article | Back to Top

April 2007

3/2007: As we come to the office this morning (Thursday 3/1/2007), we're faced with everyone's obvious question of "What happened to the stock market day before yesterday?...and What does it mean to our portfolios?"... >>Full Article | Back to Top

March 2007

2/13/2007: “OIL: Both Sides of the Issue” Our Primary Goal in our consulting practice is to “keep from losing”. In order to do this we spend an inordinate amount of time, effort, and money just to try to get a handle on what’s happening TODAY…and should we recommend any changes to clients...>> Full Article | Back to Top

2/2007: According to David M. Walker, Comptroller General of the US, in his long-term budget outlook, our fiscal and financial condition is worse than advertised. The US budget deficit is out of control. Each year since 1969, Congress has spent more money than its income. The Treasury Department has to borrow money to meet Congress's appropriations. The total borrowed is more than $8 Trillion and...>>Full Article | Back to Top

February 2007

1/2007: Well it's a new year and the obligatory "News Years Resolutions" comes to the forefront: Losing 10 pounds comes to mind! Now that you've decided that "ain't gonna happen" lets discuss one that you can really commit to and really make happen. "Establish a WRITTEN budget and get...>>Full Article | Back to Top

January 2007

12/2006: We hate to bring up a “sore” point, but there are some tax considerations that we recommend that you address NOW along with some additional year end planning ideas. Be sure to call us if you have any questions or need our assistance on any of these matters. Remember, we are not...>> Full Article | Back to Top

December 2006

 
 
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