Taking a Bite Out of Stealth Inflation

Girlscouts

When I visited the local Safeway over the weekend, I was snared by some uniformed pre-teens, backed by beaming mothers behind a card table selling Girl Scout cookies. I was a pushover. I walked away with a bag of Thin Mints, Lemon Chalet Creams, Do-Si-Dos, and Tagalongs. I have to confess a lifetime addiction to Girl Scout cookies. During the early eighties, one of the … [Read more...]

September 16, 2014

Global Market CommentsSeptember 16, 2014Fiat Lux Featured Trade:(THE BULL MARKET IS ALIVE AND WELL),(SPY), (NFLX), (TSLA), (GOOG), (TLT), (BAC), (JPM), (AAPL), (COP), (OXY), (IBB)(IS THIS THE BIG TRADE OF 2015?),(JJC), (DBA), (CORN), (CU), (USO), (KOL),(TESTIMONIAL) SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY)Netflix, Inc. (NFLX)Tesla Motors, Inc. (TSLA)Google Inc. (GOOG)iShares 20+ Year … [Read more...]

The Bull Market is Alive and Well

John Thomas

It’s summer time again, when my most loyal readers are to be found strolling the boardwalk at Coney Island, basking on the beach in the Hamptons, or camping out on the pristine shores of lake Tahoe. Trading in the stock market is reflecting as much, with the index flat lining all month, and trading volumes at half of normal levels. What, you say! Half of the businesses at … [Read more...]

Is This the Big Trade of 2015?

Cinderella

Watching the entire commodity complex collapse in unison this year was nothing less than amazing, with many down 30% or more. And I mean the broader definition of commodity. It includes the base metals like copper (JJC), (CU), agricultural products (CORN), (SOYB), (DBA), precious metals (GLD), (SLV), and even energy (USO), (KOL). The only products to escape the slaughter were … [Read more...]

Testimonial

John Thomas - Bomber

Thank you for the call I received from your staff the other day, but I’m afraid I’m not going to be able to renew my subscription to the Mad Hedge Fund Trader. There’s nothing I’d like to do more than renew. I truly enjoy your insights on the markets and a description of your many travels. I have been following you for years and it is really a great deal. However, I am active … [Read more...]

September 15, 2014

Global Market CommentsSeptember 15, 2014Fiat Lux Featured Trade:(RAILROADS ARE BREAKING OUT ALL OVER),(UNP), (CSX), (NSC), (CP), (ACI),(TESTIMONIAL) Union Pacific Corporation (UNP)CSX Corp. (CSX)Norfolk Southern Corporation (NSC)Canadian Pacific Railway Limited (CP)Arch Coal Inc. (ACI) … [Read more...]

Railroads Are Breaking Out All Over

Train-Cargo

When I rode Amtrak’s California Zephyr service from Chicago to San Francisco last year, I passed countless trains heading west, hauling hoppers full of coal for shipment to China. This year I took the same trip. The coal trains were gone. Instead I saw 100 car long tanker trains transporting crude oil from North Dakota south to the Gulf Coast. I thought, “There’s got to be a … [Read more...]

Testimonial

John Thomas

Greetings from the great white north. I am a BIG fan of yours and have rejoined your Trade Alert Service for another year. You have friends around the world you have yet to meet. Enclosed is a token of my appreciation. Thanks a 100 trillion! Bob Vancouver, Canada … [Read more...]

September 12, 2014

Global Market CommentsSeptember 12, 2014Fiat Lux Featured Trade:(MAD HEDGE FUND TRADER TOPS 30% GAIN IN 2014),(AAPL), (SPY), (TLT), (TBT), (FXE), (EUO),(THE BIPOLAR ECONOMY),(AAPL), (IBM), (INTC), (ORCL), (CAT) Apple Inc. (AAPL)SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY)iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond (TLT)ProShares UltraShort 20+ Year Treasury (TBT)CurrencyShares Euro ETF (FXE)ProShares … [Read more...]

The Bipolar Economy

theatre-mask1

Corporate earnings are up big! Buy! No wait! The economy is going down the toilet! Sell! Buy! Sell! Buy! Sell! Help!! Anyone would be forgiven for thinking that the stock market has become bipolar. There is, in fact, an explanation for this madness. According to the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis, the answer is that corporate profits accounts for only a … [Read more...]

September 11, 2014

Global Market Comments September 11, 2014 Fiat Lux Featured Trade: (THURSDAY OCTOBER 9 INCLINE VILLAGE, NEVADA STRATEGY LUNCHEON), (IS THE 30-YEAR MORTGAGE AN ENDANGERED SPECIES?), (HANGING OUT WITH THE WOZ), (AAPL), Apple Inc. (AAPL) … [Read more...]

Is the 30-Year Mortgage and Endangered Species?

Home Mansion

One of the great anomalies of the American credit markets has always been the existence of the 30-year fixed rate home mortgage. Long the favorite of homeowners, it has financed the majority of US residential property purchases since a Depression era housing stimulus program created them in 1938. That is until now. A perfect storm of institutional, political and economic … [Read more...]

Hanging Out With the Woz

Steve Wozniak

I first spoke to Steve Wozniak via HAM radio when I was 12 and he was the 14-year-old president of the Homestead High School Radio Club in Cupertino, California. With seven children, my dad was pretty stingy with allowance money. But when it came to electronic parts, I had an unlimited budget, as that is where he saw the future. So while other kids collected baseball cards, I … [Read more...]

September 10, 2014

Global Market CommentsSeptember 10, 2014Fiat Lux Featured Trade:(FRIDAY OCTOBER 24 SAN FRANCISCO STRATEGY LUNCHEON)(THE BOND CRASH HAS ONLY JUST STARTED),($TNX), (TLT), (TBT) 10 Year Tresury Note Yield INDX ($TNX)iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond (TLT)ProShares UltraShort 20+ Year Treasury (TBT) … [Read more...]

The Bond Crash Has Only Just Started

Grandpa Thomas

When I was a little kid in the early 1950’s, my grandfather used to endlessly rail against Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The WWI veteran, who was mustard gassed in the trenches of France and was a lifetime, died in the wool Republican, said the former president was a dictator and a traitor to his class, who trampled the constitution with complete disregard. Candidates Hoover, … [Read more...]

September 9, 2014

Global Market CommentsSeptember 9, 2014Fiat Lux Featured Trade:(SEPTEMBER 10 GLOBAL STRATEGY WEBINAR),(WHY SHAREHOLDER ACTIVISTS HAVE THE UPPER HAND),(JCP), (NFLX), (HLF), (AAPL),(INDIA IS CATCHING UP WITH CHINA),(FXI), (PIN), (INP), (TTM) J. C. Penney Company, Inc. (JCP)Netflix, Inc. (NFLX)Herbalife Ltd. (HLF)Apple Inc. (AAPL)iShares China Large-Cap (FXI)PowerShares India … [Read more...]

Why Activists Have the Upper Hand

Carl Icahn

Having been in this market for yonks, ages, and even a coon’s age, I have seen trading strategies come and go. First, there was the nifty fifty during the 1960’s. Junk bonds had their day in the sun. Then portfolio insurance was all the rage. While the dollar was weak, international diversification was the flavor of the day. After foreign stocks turned bitter, the IPO mania … [Read more...]

India is Catching Up With China

Rickshaw

When I first visited Calcutta in 1976, 800,000 people were sleeping on the sidewalks, I was hauled everywhere by a very lean, barefoot rickshaw driver, and drinking the water out of a tap was tantamount to committing suicide. Some 35 years later, and the subcontinent is poised to overtake China’s white hot growth rate. My friends at the International Monetary Fund issued a … [Read more...]

September 8, 2014

Global Market Comments September 8, 2014 Fiat Lux Featured Trade: (WELCOME TO MY NEW WEBSITE) (BEWARE THE COMING EQUITY FAMINE), (WHY WATER WILL SOON BE WORTH MORE THAN OIL), (CGW), (PHO), (FIW), (VE), (TTEK), (PNR) Guggenheim S&P Global Water ETF (CGW) PowerShares Water Resources ETF (PHO) First Trust ISE Water ETF (FIW) Veolia Environnement S.A. (VE) Tetra … [Read more...]

Welcome to My New Website

John Thomas

So, you thought I was lounging around Europe this summer, sipping Champagne and working on my tan? Well, I confess that I did do some of that. The sad fact is that I spent most of the summer engineering a major, ground up rebuild of my website, and an expansion of our services. By the time I got home, I felt like I needed a vacation. My loyal and hard working staff, spread … [Read more...]

Beware the Coming Equity Famine

Brokers

The world is about to suffer an acute shortage of equity capital over the next eight years, which could total $12.3 trillion. That is the conclusion of the McKinsey Global Institute, an affiliate of McKinsey &Co., a great well of long-term economic thinking which I have been drawing from for the last 40 years. The cause of the coming debacle is quite simple. Investable … [Read more...]

Why Water Will Soon Become More Valuable Than Oil

Waterfall

If you think that an energy shortage is bad, it will pale in comparison to the next water crisis. So investment in fresh water infrastructure is going to be a great recurring long-term investment theme. One theory about the endless wars in the Middle East since 1918 is that they have really been over water rights. Although Earth is often referred to as the water planet, only … [Read more...]

September 5, 2014

Global Market Comments September 5, 2014 Fiat Lux Featured Trade: (SEPTEMBER 10 GLOBAL STRATEGY WEBINAR), (DEMOGRAPHICS AS DESTINY), (FXE), (EUO), (UUP), (A EURO COLLAPSE AT LAST!), (SPY), (EWJ), (EWL), (EWU), (EWG), (EWY), (FXI), (EWI), (EIRL), (GREK), (EWP), (RSX), (IDX), (EPOL), (TUR), (EWZ), (PIN), (EIS) CurrencyShares Euro ETF (FXE) ProShares UltraShort Euro … [Read more...]

Demographics as Destiny

Matzos

If demographics is destiny, then America’s future looks bleak. At least, that is the inevitable conclusion if demographics is your only consideration. I have long been a fan of demographic investing, which creates opportunities for traders to execute on what I call “intergenerational arbitrage”.  When the numbers of the middle aged are falling, risk markets plunge. Front run … [Read more...]

September 4, 2014

Global Market Comments September 4, 2014 Fiat Lux Featured Trade: (WHAT’S REALLY HAPPENING IN THE MIDDLE EAST), (USO), (TLT), (SPY), (GLD), (UUP), (XLK), (XLI), (XLF) United States Oil (USO) iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond (TLT) SPDR S&P 500 (SPY) SPDR Gold Shares (GLD) PowerShares DB US Dollar Bullish ETF (UUP) Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK) Industrial … [Read more...]

What’s Really Happening in the Middle East

Missile

Long-term observers of financial markets are befuddled, confused, and amazed at their complete lack of interest in the rapidly unfolding events in the Middle East. It seems that the more horrific the atrocities, the higher stock prices want to climb. Go figure. ISIS is in fact accelerating the most important geopolitical event so far in this century, the rapprochement of … [Read more...]

September 3, 2014

Global Market Comments September 3, 2014 Fiat Lux Featured Trade: (THE CASE FOR BUYING FINANCIALS) (BAC), (C), (AXP), (TLT), (THE MYSTERY OF THE BRASHER DOUBLOON), (TESTIMONIAL) Bank of America Corporation (BAC) Citigroup Inc. (C) American Express Company (AXP) iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond (TLT) … [Read more...]

The Mystery of the Brasher Doubloon

Brasher Doubloon

I’ll never forget when my friend, Don Kagin, one of the world’s top dealers in rare coins, walked into the gym one day and announced that he made $1 million that morning.  I enquired “How is that, pray tell?” He told me that he was an investor and technical consultant to a venture hoping to discover the long lost USS Central America, which sunk in a storm off the Atlantic … [Read more...]

September 2, 2014

Global Market Comments September 2, 2014 Fiat Lux Featured Trade: (TACKLING THE INFLATION MYTH), (AAPL), (GOOG), (TWTR), (FB), (THE BULL MARKET IN AMERICAN COLLEGE DEGREES) Apple Inc. (AAPL) Google Inc. (GOOG) Twitter, Inc. (TWTR) Facebook, Inc. (FB) … [Read more...]

The Bull Market in American College Degrees

Graduation Cap

I recently spent a weekend attending a graduation in Washington State, a stone’s throw from where the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics were held. While sitting through the tedious reading of 550 names, I was struck by how many seemed to come from abroad. As I listened to the wailing ceremonial bagpipes, I did several calculations on the back of the commencement program and was … [Read more...]

September 1, 2014

Global Market Comments September 1, 2014 Fiat Lux Featured Trade: (SALUTING THE “OLD BREED”) (WHERE THE ECONOMIST “BIG MAC” INDEX FINDS CURRENCY VALUE), (MCD), (FXE), (YCS), (FXF), (CYB) (TESTIMONIAL) McDonald's Corp. (MCD) CurrencyShares Euro ETF (FXE) … [Read more...]

Saluting the “Old Breed”

The Pacific by Hugh Ambrose

It was with a mixture of nostalgia and awe that I attended the reunion luncheon celebrating the 72nd anniversary of America’s invasion of Guadalcanal. The event was hosted by my former division commander in Desert Storm, Major General Mike Myatt, at the Marines Memorial Association in San Francisco. I was there to represent the family. My Uncle, Colonel Mitchell Paige, won … [Read more...]

Where The Economist “Big Mac” Index Finds Currency Value

mcdonaldsJapan

My former employer, The Economist, once the ever tolerant editor of my flabby, disjointed, and juvenile prose (Thanks Peter and Marjorie), has released its “Big Mac” index of international currency valuations. Although initially launched by an imaginative journalist as a joke three decades ago, I have followed it religiously and found it an amazingly accurate predictor of … [Read more...]

August 29, 2014

Global Market Comments August 29, 2014 Fiat Lux Featured Trade: (MAKING HAY WITH THE EAGLE FORD SHALE), (USO), (UNG), (XOM), (CVX), (LNG), (CHK), (HAL) (THE PASSING OF A GREAT MAN) United States Oil (USO) United States Natural Gas (UNG) Exxon Mobil Corporation (XOM) Chevron Corporation (CVX) Cheniere Energy, Inc. (LNG) Chesapeake Energy Corporation … [Read more...]

Making Hay in the Eagle Ford Shale

House

Sell the shovels to the gold miners. That was the lesson of the 1849 California gold rush. How many individual gold miners can you name today? How about none, unless you are an expert on the obscure street names of San Francisco. And the companies that sold supplies and services to them? Try Wells Fargo (WFC), Bank of America (BAC), Union Pacific (UNP), and Levi Strauss. Some … [Read more...]

The Passing of a Great Man

Bob

It was with a heavy heart that I boarded a plane for Los Angeles to attend a funeral for Bob, the former scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 108. The event brought a convocation of ex-scouts from up and down the West coast, and said much about our age. Bob, 85, called me two weeks ago to tell me his CAT scan had just revealed advanced metastatic lung cancer. I said … [Read more...]

August 28, 2014

Global Market Comments August 28, 2014 Fiat Lux Featured Trade: (TAKING A LOOK AT SOLAR CITY), (SCTY), (TSLA), (PCG) (SAN FRANCISCO’S SUFFERING RENTERS TAKE ANOTHER HIT) SolarCity Corporation (SCTY) Tesla Motors, Inc. (TSLA) PG&E Corporation (PCG) … [Read more...]

San Francisco’s Suffering Renters Take Another Hit

Apt. Building

The San Francisco Bay area’s beleaguered renting class moaned again when the social media giant, Twitter (TWTR) finally went public. The deal immediately placed $1.82 billion into the pockets of early shareholders, almost all of whom live near the company’s San Francisco headquarters. This is adding insult to injury to those in the region who are desperately seeking a home. … [Read more...]

August 27, 2014

Global Market Comments August 27, 2014 Fiat Lux Featured Trade: (WHAT TO DO ABOUT APPLE?), (AAPL), (THE PARTY IS JUST GETTING STARTED WITH THE JAPANESE YEN), (FXY), (YCS), (DXJ) Apple Inc. (AAPL) CurrencyShares Japanese Yen ETF (FXY) ProShares UltraShort Yen (YCS) WisdomTree Japan Hedged Equity ETF (DXJ) … [Read more...]

The Party is Just Getting Started With the Japanese Yen

Japanese Lady-Sad

“Oh, how I despise the yen, let me count the ways.” I’m sure Shakespeare would have come up with a line of iambic pentameter similar to this if he were a foreign exchange trader. I firmly believe that a short position in the yen should be at the core of any hedged portfolio for the next decade. To remind you why you hate the currency of the land of the rising sun, I’ll refresh … [Read more...]

August 26, 2014

Global Market Comments August 26, 2014 Fiat Lux Featured Trade: (AUGUST 27 GLOBAL STRATEGY WEBINAR), (WHY I’M COVERING SOME EURO SHORTS), (FXE), (EUO), (THAT WAS SOME SHAKER!) CurrencyShares Euro ETF (FXE) ProShares UltraShort Euro (EUO) … [Read more...]

That was Some Shaker!

Napa Valley Earthquake 8-2014

Wow! There is nothing like being tossed out of bed at 3:20 AM by a massive earthquake! It really gets the juices flowing. I was really praying that the wooden roof creaking and groaning above was not about to land on my head. After hurriedly getting dressed, I grabbed a flashlight and ran downstairs to check the gas lines and water mains. So far, so good. Compliant with … [Read more...]

August 25, 2014

Global Market Comments August 25, 2014 Fiat Lux Featured Trade: (MY END 2014 STOCK MARKET FORECAST), (SPY), (ALL I WANT TO DO IS RETIRE), (TAKE A LOOK AT OCCIDENTAL PETROLEUM), (OXY), (BP), (OIL), (UNG),  (NSANY), (XOM) SPDR S&P 500 (SPY) Occidental Petroleum Corporation (OXY) BP plc (BP) iPath S&P GSCI Crude Oil TR ETN (OIL) United States Natural Gas … [Read more...]

All I Want to do is Retire

Dollar in Vice

I have always believed that if you don’t have a sense of humor, then you better get the hell out of this business. Below is a link to a YouTube video entitled “All I Want to do is Retire” which covers the decline of the brokerage industry over the last 20 years. The video is currently going viral, with 87,000 views so far, and was sent to me by a subscriber. Watch this … [Read more...]

Take a Look at Occidental Petroleum (OXY)

Faberge Egg

There are a lot of belles at the ball, but you can’t dance with all of them. While a student at UCLA in the early seventies, I took a World Politics course, which required me to pick a country, analyze its economy, and make recommendations for its economic development. I chose Algeria, a country where I had spent the summer of 1968 caravanning among the Bedouins, crawling out … [Read more...]

Mixing with the 1% at Pebble Beach

Ferrari 375 MM Scaglietti Coupe

On the right was my friend’s 1958 Ferrari Testa Rossa Scaglietta. On my left was a 1929 Dusenberg Murphy convertible sedan with a V-12 engine. I just walked past a 1914 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost Portholme Alpine Tourer. Yes, it’s August in Pebble Beach, California, and that can only mean one thing. It’s time for another Concourse d’ Elegance car show. This is my annual … [Read more...]

August 20, 2014

Global Market Comments August 20, 2014 Fiat Lux Featured Trade: (THE EURO BREAKS DOWN), (FXE), (EUO), (TLT), (APPLE BREAKS $100), (AAPL) CurrencyShares Euro ETF (FXE) ProShares UltraShort Euro (EUO) iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond (TLT) Apple Inc. (AAPL) … [Read more...]

Apple Breaks $100

Gibraltar

Since I am in a major patting myself on the back mood, I thought I would rerun a piece I ran last October entitled “Apple is Ready to Explode”. This is back when the shares were trading at a lowly $490 a share. Since then I have been urging readers to get in on the long side at every opportunity. They are now up a mind boggling 43% from that timely recommendation. They are … [Read more...]

August 19, 2014

Global Market Comments August 19, 2014 Fiat Lux Featured Trade: (WHY WE DON’T CARE ABOUT OIL), (USO), (UNG) (AUSTERITY HITS WALL STREET) (THE TWELVE DAY YEAR) United States Oil (USO) United States Natural Gas (UNG) … [Read more...]

Austerity Hits Wall Street

ny-taxi-cabs

This year, your bonus is that you get to keep your job. That is the bad news that will be dished out to many disappointed staff during annual reviews at the major Wall Street firms this year. We all know that volumes have been trading at subterranean levels, which have created a real draught of commission incomes. New regulations imposed by Dodd-Frank and the Volker rule mean … [Read more...]

The Twelve Day Year

Man Sleeping on Couch

I have reported in the past on the value of the Friday-Monday effect, whereby the bulk of the year's performance can be had through buying the Friday close in the stock market and then selling the Monday close (click here for “The Friday-Monday Effect Exposed”). Well, I have discovered a further distillation of this phenomenon. During 2010, the S&P 500 rose by 143 points. … [Read more...]

August 18, 2014

Global Market Comments August 18, 2014 Fiat Lux Featured Trade: (MAD HEDGE FUND TRADER SETS NEW ALL TIME HIGH WITH 27% GAIN IN 2014), (SPY), (TLT), (TBT), (FXE), (EUO), (WILL GOLD SUFFER THE FATE OF THE $10,000 BILL?) (GLD), (GDX) SPDR S&P 500 (SPY) iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond (TLT) ProShares UltraShort 20+ Year Treasury (TBT) CurrencyShares Euro ETF … [Read more...]

Mad Hedge Fund Trader Sets New All Time High with 27% Gain in 2014

John Thomas

If you think this letter is being written by someone who is stoned, you’d be at least partially right this morning. For that is the after effect of my attending the Paul McCartney concert at Candlestick Park in San Francisco last night. I was sitting in the infield in the most expensive $1,000 seats, well attended by Silicon Valley royalty. Excuse me Mr. Cook, can I please get … [Read more...]

Will Gold Coins Suffer the Fate of the $10,000 Bill?

ten-thousand-10000-dollar-bill

The conspiracy theorists will love this one. Buried deep in the bowels of the 2,000 page health care bill was a new requirement for gold dealers to file Form 1099's for all retail sales by individuals over $600. Specifically, the measure can be found in section 9006 of the Patient Protection and Affordability Act of 2010. For foreign readers unencumbered by such concerns, … [Read more...]

August 15, 2014

Global Market Comments August 15, 2014 Fiat Lux Featured Trade: (BONDS OR STOCKS: WHO’S RIGHT?), (TLT), (TBT), (SPY), (WHO SAYS THERE AREN’T ANY JOBS?), (TESTIMONIAL) iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond (TLT) ProShares UltraShort 20+ Year Treasury (TBT) SPDR S&P 500 (SPY) … [Read more...]

Who Says There Aren’t Any Jobs?

Marlon Brando

While recently winging my way across the South Pacific a few months ago, I spotted an unusual job offer: WANTED: Social worker, tax free salary of $60,000 with free accommodation and transportation, no experience necessary, must be flexible and self-sufficient. With the unemployment rate at 6.2%, and running as high as 45% for recent college grads, I was amazed that they were … [Read more...]

August 14, 2014

Global Market Comments August 14, 2014 Fiat Lux Featured Trade: (HOW THE UKRAINE CRISIS WILL PLAY OUT), (USO), (UNG), (WMT), (AAPL), (MCD) (MY PERSONAL ECONOMIC INDICATOR), (HMC), (NSANY), (GM), (F), (TSLA) United States Oil (USO) United States Natural Gas (UNG) Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) Apple Inc. (AAPL) McDonald's Corp. (MCD) Honda Motor Co., Ltd. (HMC) Nissan … [Read more...]

My Personal Leading Economic Indicator

Honda Car Lot

There is no limit to my desire to get an early and accurate read on the US economy, which at the end of the day is what dictates the future of all of our investments. I flew over one of my favorite leading economic indicators only yesterday. Honda (HMC) and Nissan (NSANY) import millions of cars each year through their Benicia, California facilities, where they are loaded on … [Read more...]

August 13, 2014

Global Market Comments August 13, 2014 Fiat Lux Featured Trade: (A SAD FAREWELL TO ROBIN WILLIAMS), (THE CASE AGAINST TREASURY BONDS), (TBT), (TLT), (MUB), (LQD), (LINE), (A NOTE ON THE FRIDAY OPTIONS EXPIRATION), (TLT) ProShares UltraShort 20+ Year Treasury (TBT) iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond (TLT) iShares National AMT-Free Muni Bond (MUB) iShares iBoxx $ Invst … [Read more...]

A Sad Farewell to Robin Williams

Robin Williams

Sorry to get the letter out late this morning, but I am still reeling the passing of my old friend, comedian Robin Williams. I heard about it last night on the radio, while on my nightly hike on nearby Grizzly Peak. His mother lived directly next door to my family for many years. A petite widow in her late seventies, we often looked in on her, and invited her into our … [Read more...]

The Case Against Treasury Bonds

Uncle Sam

My friend, Texan money manager Mike Robertson, asked me the other day if there was one asset class that I truly despised. I didn’t hesitate: bonds. In fact, fixed income investments are about to regain the nickname they earned during the 1980’s: “certificates of wealth confiscation.” With the ten year Treasury bond yield at a microscopic 2.40%, and 3.25% for the 30 year, you … [Read more...]

A Note on the Friday Options Expiration

John Thomas

We have a couple of options positions that expire on Friday, and I just want to explain to the newbies how to best maximize their profits. These include: iShares Barclay 20+ Year Treasury Bond Fund (TLT) August, 2014 $115-$118 in-the-money bear put spread with a cost of $2.70 iShares Barclay 20+ Year Treasury Bond Fund (TLT) August, 2014 $117-$120 in-the-money bear put … [Read more...]

August 12, 2014

Global Market Comments August 12, 2014 Fiat Lux Featured Trade: (AUGUST 13 GLOBAL STRATEGY WEBINAR), (THE COST OF AN AGING WORLD), (EWJ), (EWI), (EWG), (EWQ), (EWL), (EWU), (PIN), (TESTIMONIAL) iShares MSCI Japan (EWJ) iShares MSCI Italy Capped (EWI) iShares MSCI Germany (EWG) iShares MSCI France (EWQ) iShares MSCI Switzerland Capped Index (EWL) iShares MSCI United … [Read more...]

August 11, 2014

Global Market Comments August 11, 2014 Fiat Lux Featured Trade: (IS THE TURNAROUND AT HAND, AND TEN STOCKS TO BUY AT THE BOTTOM?), (SPX), (TLT), (UNLOADING MORE EUROS), (FXE), (EUO), (I’M BACK FROM EUROPE!) S&P 500 Index (SPX) iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond (TLT) CurrencyShares Euro ETF (FXE) ProShares UltraShort Euro (EUO) … [Read more...]

Unloading More Euros

Vladimir Putin

The entire foreign exchange world has been on hold this week, waiting for ECB president Mario Draghi to announce a well-deserved cut in Euro (FXE), (EUO) interest rates. The sanctions war with Russia is escalating by the day. Russia banned food imports from the US and Europe, a mere $1 billion trade hickey for us, but a $15 billion punch to the gut for the continentals. Some … [Read more...]

I’m Back From Europe!

How Americans See Europe

Before I checked out of my hotel in Zermatt, Switzerland, I took the owner of my hotel out to dinner. I asked what he had learned after many years of hosting foreign guests. This is what he told me: HEAVEN IS WHERE: The police are British The chefs are Italian The mechanics are German The lovers are French And it is all organized by the Swiss HELL IS WHERE: The … [Read more...]

August 8, 2014

Global Market Comments August 8, 2014 Fiat Lux Featured Trade: (AUGUST 13 GLOBAL STRATEGY WEBINAR), (ANNOUNCING THE MAD HEDGE FUND TRADER YOUTUBE VIDEO IN ISTANBUL) (AN UPDATE ON THE TESLA FIRE), (TSLA) Tesla Motors, Inc. (TSLA) … [Read more...]

Announcing the Mad Hedge Fund Trader YouTube Video in Istanbul

John Thomas - Harem

Come with me to visit one of the most lavish palaces ever built, complete with its own harem. Explore one of the boldest engineering works ever undertaken. Learn how to navigate your way around a Turkish bazaar. Admire some of the greatest wonders of the architectural world. These are just a few of the enticements to be found in my personal video tour of Istanbul, … [Read more...]

An Update on the Tesla Fire

Tesla

Once again, Tesla (TSLA) visionary, Elon Musk, surprised to the upside with his latest reports on earnings and production for his revolutionary vehicle. Musk, who also founded groundbreaking Space X and Solar City (SCTY), expanded on his plans to manufacture in China and expand sales in Europe, where 220 volts is already standard. The first ever left hand drive Model S-1 was … [Read more...]

August 7, 2014

Global Market Comments August 7, 2014 Fiat Lux Featured Trade: (WHY I’M COVERING MY STOCK SHORTS), (SPY), (SPX), (HYG), (TBT), (TLT), (AN AFTERNOON SURPISE IN SWITZERLAND) SPDR S&P 500 (SPY) S&P 500 Index (SPX) iShares iBoxx $ High Yield Corporate Bd (HYG) ProShares UltraShort 20+ Year Treasury (TBT) iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond (TLT) … [Read more...]

An Afternoon Surprise in Switzerland

40 Danks pin

Exhausted, and running on fumes, I returned to Zermatt from my assault on Monte Rose, at 15,203 feet, the highest mountain in Switzerland. You know, the one where I hung by a rope on a cliff face with one hand, while sending out a Trade Alert on my iPhone 5s to short the S&P 500 with the other? The desk clerk looked particularly grim. He said the city government had … [Read more...]

Testimonial

John Thomas

Hi John, I was a subscriber when you first started the service.  Then I got busy and did not renew.  I listened to your webinar yesterday and bought the January (TBT) calls. I have already made over $12,000 on the trade.  So, I guess that I need to sign up for the service again! Suzanne Cary, North Carolina … [Read more...]

Shaking the Hand that Killed Osama bin Laden

No Easy Day

The team fought their way up two flights of stairs in pitch-blackness, dispatching several fighters along the way. A tall figure emerged in the green glow of the night vision goggles. It hesitated. Two shots were fired, and the body hit the ground. That was how Navy Seal Team Six member, Mark Owen, described the last seconds of Al Qaida leader, Osama bin Laden, in the raid … [Read more...]

August 4, 2014

Global Market Comments August 4, 2014 Fiat Lux Featured Trade: (RUSSIAN SANCTIONS CRUSH EUROPEAN YIELDS), (FXE), (EUO), (TLT), (TBT), (UNG), (XOM) (TEA WITH FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE GEORGE SHULTZ) CurrencyShares Euro ETF (FXE) ProShares UltraShort Euro (EUO) iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond (TLT) ProShares UltraShort 20+ Year Treasury (TBT) United States Natural Gas … [Read more...]

Tea With Former Secretary of State George Shultz

George Shultz - Barak Obama

Having spent time as an economics professor at MIT, Dean of the University of Chicago business school, Treasury Secretary, and Secretary of State, George Shultz has certainly covered all the bases. Now 93, he is the senior statesman and eminence grise of San Francisco, as well as a major philanthropist. When I read his bio, I feel like my own life in comparison has been … [Read more...]

Report from the Matterhorn Summit

Matterhorn Summit

From where I stand, the rolling foothills of Northern Italy spread out below me to the south. On my left lie the distinctive peaks of the Dolomite Alps. On my right I can see the massive expanse of Mont Blanc, at 15,781 feet the highest mountain in Europe. I am standing at the summit of the Matterhorn. Knock another item off the bucket list. I have been trying to climb this … [Read more...]

July 31, 2014

Global Market Comments July 31, 2014 Fiat Lux Featured Trade: (MAD HEDGE FUND TRADER SETS NEW ALL TIME HIGH WITH 24% GAIN IN 2014), (TLT), (TBT), (FXE), (EUO), (SPY), (AAPL), (MSFT), (ONSHORING TAKES ANOTHER GREAT LEAP FORWARD), (TSLA), (UMX), (EWW) iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond (TLT) ProShares UltraShort 20+ Year Treasury (TBT) CurrencyShares Euro ETF … [Read more...]

Onshoring Takes another Great Leap Forward

Man Fixing Machine

Have you tried to hire a sewing machine operator lately? I haven’t, but I have friends running major apparel companies who have (guess where I get all those tight fitting jeans?). Guess what? There aren’t any to be had. Since, 1990, some 77% of the American textiles workforce has been lost, when China joined the world economy in force, and the offshoring trend took … [Read more...]

My Old Pal, Leonardo Fibonacci

Fibonacci Sequence - Power Plant Chimney

I remember the 12th century like it was yesterday. In those days, the leading intellectuals used to get together and drink wine by the gallon, which then was really little more than rotten grape juice. The problem was that we all used to pass out before anybody came up with a great idea. Then someone started importing coffee from the Middle East and thinkers stayed awake … [Read more...]

July 29, 2014

Global Market Comments July 29, 2014 Fiat Lux Featured Trade: (TAKING PROFITS ON MY EURO SHORT), (FXE), (EUO), (HAVE CALM WATERS RETURNED FOR SHIPPING STOCKS?), ($BDI), (DRYS), (SEA), (GNK),  (RIO), (BHP), (KOL), (FXA), (EWA) (TESTIMONIAL) CurrencyShares Euro ETF (FXE) ProShares UltraShort Euro (EUO) Baltic Dry Index ($BDI) DryShips, Inc. (DRYS) Claymore/Delta … [Read more...]

Taking Profits on my Euro Short

Euro Symbol

The market marked our Currency Shares Euro Trust (FXE) August, 2014 $136-$138 in-the-money bear put spread at its maximum value of $2.00 last Wednesday. So I accepted the invitation to take profits and get out. For purposes of my P&L I’ll assume that it costs you two cents to execute, so I posted a selling price of $1.98. That should add 151 basis points to your 2014 … [Read more...]

Have Calm Waters Returned for Shipping Stocks?

Lutine Bell

The shipping stocks have had an OK year so far in 2014. The big question remains: “Is it real,” and “Is it sustainable?” This sector has been down for so long that most investors left it for dead a long time ago. All that was missing was the tolling of the Lutine Bell at the insurance exchange, Lloyds of London. Lured by the heroin of artificially cheap financing during … [Read more...]

July 28, 2014

Global Market Comments July 28, 2014 Fiat Lux SPECIAL ITALY ISSUE Featured Trade: (JULY 30 GLOBAL STRATEGY WEBINAR FROM ZERMATT, SWITZERLAND), (WHAT TO DO ABOUT ITALY?), (EWI), (E), (TI), (LUX), (STM), (FIATY), (FXE) iShares MSCI Italy Capped (EWI) Eni SpA (E) Telecom Italia S.p.A. (TI) Luxottica Group SpA (LUX) STMicroelectronics NV (STM) Fiat S.p.A. … [Read more...]

What to do About Italy?

John Thomas-Roman Colosseum

When British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, was informed that Italy joined the side of the Germans in the Second World War, he infamously replied, “Well, that’s only fair. They were our allies in the First World War.” Many investment strategists are similarly vexed today, trying to decide what to do about the home of the Roman Empire. Over the past 12 months, the Italy … [Read more...]

July 25, 2014

Global Market Comments July 25, 2014 Fiat Lux Featured Trade: (JULY 30 GLOBAL STRATEGY WEBINAR FROM ZERMATT, SWITZERLAND), (A SPECIAL NOTE ON EXERCISED OPTIONS), (AN AFTERNOON WITH DR. PAUL EHRLICH), (POT), (MOS), (AGU), (CORN), (WEAT), (SOYB) Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan, Inc. (POT) The Mosaic Company (MOS) Agrium Inc. (AGU) Teucrium Corn ETF … [Read more...]

An Afternoon with Dr. Paul Ehrlich

India - Food

Pack your portfolios with agricultural plays like Potash (POT), Mosaic (MOS), and Agrium (AGU) if Dr. Paul Ehrlich is just partially right about the impending collapse in the world’s food supply. You might even throw in long positions in wheat, corn, soybeans, and rice. The never dull and often controversial Stanford biology professor told me he expects that global warming … [Read more...]

July 24, 2014

Global Market Comments July 24, 2014 Fiat Lux Featured Trade: (JAPAN TO LAUNCH IRA’S), (DXJ), (FXY), (YCS), (KISS THAT UNION JOB GOODBYE) WisdomTree Japan Hedged Equity (DXJ) CurrencyShares Japanese Yen ETF (FXY) ProShares UltraShort Yen (YCS) … [Read more...]

Japan to Launch IRA’s

Girl - Ticker

The Japanese government has introduced the Individual Retirement Account for individual investors in Japan for the first time. The move is part of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s multifaceted efforts to revive Japan’s economy, and could unleash as much as $690 billion in net buying into Japanese equities by 2018. The move was inspired American IRA’s, which were first introduced … [Read more...]