You are in safe hands now, with your trading portfolios up 34% 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 winging my way to Chicago to deliver the last global strategy lunch of the year (click here to buy).
After that, I will be making a beeline for my beachfront estate at Incline Village on the pristine shores of Lake Tahoe. The car will be packed with Christmas presents, ski equipment, snowshoes, board games (yes, “Qi” is a word in Scrabble), my backpack, and food for 12 guests for a week.
For proof that after working 12 hours a day, six days a week, to make you wealthier and wiser, please read my last research piece of the year, written tongue in cheek.
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, but then Tolstoy had to pen his with a quill and ink, not Word for Windows. I also managed to pump out over 200 trade alerts with a success ratio of 80%.
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. I’ll take the hint.
There, I will consume a suitcase full of research and, after much cogitation and contemplation, write my 2015 Annual Asset Review, which I will publish on Tuesday, January 6, 2015.
I will also be rethinking my business model, so if any of you have suggestions on how I can improve this service, send your thoughts to me at email@example.com. Just put “suggestions” in the subject line. My intention is to never stop improving the product, to under promise and over deliver.
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 trading 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. As for you, I’m not so sure. 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 because they are older than me.
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 the Raffles in Singapore. And I managed to haggle the merchants in Istanbul’s historic bazaar down in price of the most elegant Turkish carpets.
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, your support of my research, and your endless compliments made it all worth it.
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.
To leave you all in the Christmas spirit, I have posted a video and pictures of the Polar Express in Portland, Oregon. Taking my 86-year-old mother for a ride has become an annual event, and it is a thrill for my younger kids as well. To watch a short video of one of the largest steam engines in the world, please click here.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to All
Good Trading in 2015!
The Mad Hedge Fund Trader