A Thank You from The Mad Hedge Fund Trader

You are in safe hands now, with your trading portfolios up 63% on the year, if you had followed every one of my Trade Alerts to the letter.

So I am calling it quits for the year. By the time you read this, I will be well on my way to my beachfront estate at Incline Village on the pristine shores of Lake Tahoe, the car packed with Christmas presents, ski equipment, snowshoes, board games (yes, “Qi” is a word), my backpack, and food for 12 guests for a week. (The Tesla doesn’t have four wheel drive….yet).

And what a year it has been. Over 26 trips and 40 speaking engagements in 20 countries, I managed to log 75,000 flight miles, a distance of roughly three times around the world.

Some 250,000 frequent flier miles were posted to my various accounts. Whenever I board Virgin Airlines, the crew lines up at attention and snaps off a brisk salute. Needless to say, first class, for me, is the Land of Milk and Honey.

The research I gathered was enough for me to publish 260 daily letters totaling 350,000 words. That is about half the length of Tolstoy’s War and Peace. I also managed to pump out over 230 trade alerts with a success ratio of 85%.

According to the email traffic, many of you did extremely well. If you are into triple digits, please send me an email. I would love to get a testimonial from you. And this was a year that many professionals describe as the most difficult of their careers.

You know that when they are advertising power tools and Pajamagrams on CNBC, it is time to get out of Dodge. This morning I will be driving through on icy roads to get to Incline Village, Nevada to take in the sparkling waters of Lake Tahoe. There, I will consume a suitcase full of research and, after much cogitation and contemplation, write my 2013 Annual Asset Review, which I will publish on Tuesday, January 7, 2014.

I will also be rethinking my business model, so if any of you have suggestions on how I can improve this service, send me an email at [email protected]. Just put “suggestions” in the subject line.

Please forgive me in advance if I take a few hours catching some ”big air” off of Squaw Valley’s treacherous double X black runs. If you have any questions, please seek me out on the northern section Tahoe Rim Trail around 11,000 feet, where I will be snowshoeing my way around the lake at in subzero temperatures.

I will probably be the only guy up there, so you can just follow the first set of tracks you find. That is, if the timber wolves don’t get you. I’ll have my Bowie knife and a can of bear spray, so I’ll be fine. This is what I do during my winter leisure time.

During my absence I will be posting some of my favorite pieces from the last year. I have thousands of new subscribers who will be reading these for the first time, and many legacy readers may have missed them the first time around, or forgotten the data. I hope you find them as another useful step towards your education on the global financial markets. Charts and data have been updated to make them relevant.

Finally, I want to thank you all for an incredible year. I rode the Orient express from London to Venice. I lived in the lap of luxury at the Hotel Cipriani in Venice and at Raffles in Singapore. I cocooned for a week in the owner’s suite of the incredible Queen Mary II. I had the opportunity to meet heads of state, CEO’s, top money managers, our nation’s military leaders, and even a Maori chieftain. I had the pleasure of flying the length of the Grand Canyon at low altitude, weaving my way along the Colorado River. And, oh yes, I finally made it to the top of the Matterhorn.

I really did get to rub shoulders with the high and mighty who run the world and harvest their pearls of wisdom, which I passed on to you. I logged 200 hours as a pilot flying to such diverse locations as Molycorp’s (MCP) Mountain Pass mine, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, and Honda’s loading docks in San Francisco. I never minded the horrendous jet lag, the well-deserved hangovers, or the traffic jams in China. Your subscriptions to my products and your support of my research made it all possible.

I always tell people that I am not in this for the money, and it’s true. Not a day goes by when I don’t receive an email from a grateful reader who claims that I have paid off their mortgage, a kid’s college education, a parent’s uninsured operation, or a child’s chemotherapy. They tell me that I am teaching them to fish; thus, sparing them from the frozen tasteless kind they sell at Safeway, which they must wait in line for to pay inflated prices. You can’t buy that kind of appreciation, not with all the money in the world.

It certainly beats the hell out of spending my retirement scoring a 98 on the local golf course. And I’ll never beat Tiger Woods, no matter how many blonds I date.

John Thomas with Santa