Why I’m Doubling Up My Shorts

Market Floor

I don’t double up short positions very often. I am too old to lose all my money and go back to work as an entry-level analyst at Morgan Stanley. Besides, they probably wouldn’t have me back anyway. It is a different company than it was 30 years ago, a lot different. However, the dead cat, short covering bounce we got off this morning’s Hong Kong dump does allow me to get back … [Read more...]

China’s Long and Winding Road

Chinese Woman

In the wake of the latest round of pro democracy demonstrations in China, I spent the evening speaking to Gao Jie, a Beijing civil judge who left the bench to join China's growing environmental movement when her kids came home from school one day coughing and wheezing. You only have to inhale in the capitol city these days to understand that they have a huge problem there. … [Read more...]

September 30, 2014 – Quote of the Day

John Adams

“I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce, and agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain,” said John Adams, the … [Read more...]

September 29, 2014

Global Market CommentsSeptember 29, 2014Fiat Lux Featured Trade:(FRIDAY OCTOBER 24 SAN FRANCISCO STRATEGY LUNCHEON),(KEEP GILEAD SCIENCES ON YOUR RADAR),(GILD, (XLV), (SPY),(PLEASE USE MY FREE DATA BASE SEARCH),(TESTIMONIAL) Gilead Sciences Inc. (GILD)Health Care Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLV)SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY) … [Read more...]

Friday October 24, San Francisco Strategy Luncheon

San Francisco

Come join me for lunch at the Mad Hedge Fund Trader’s Global Strategy Update, which I will be conducting in San Francisco on Friday, October 24, 2014. An excellent meal will be followed by a wide-ranging discussion and an extended question and answer period. I’ll be giving you my up to date view on stocks, bonds, currencies, commodities, precious metals, and real estate. And … [Read more...]

Keep Gilead Sciences on Your Radar

Pills

I am going to continue to use this correction in the stock market as an opportunity to put new names in front of you for inclusion in your investment portfolio. That way, when the markets turn, you can strike with the speed of a rattlesnake in returning to a “RISK ON” posture. Major turnarounds are not the time to engage in deep, fundamental research. It is when you should be … [Read more...]

Please Use My Free Data Base Search

Computer with Magnifying Glass

The original purpose of this letter was to build a database of ideas to draw on in the management of my hedge fund. When a certain trade comes into play, I merely type in the symbol, name, currency, or commodity into the search box, and the entire fundamental argument in favor of that position pops up. You can do the same. Just type anything into the search box with the little … [Read more...]

Testimonial

John Thomas

A short note to thank John for 3 hours of great information and insight during his Melbourne strategy lunch. Listening to John’s ideas face to face was awesome and I have committed to myself to keep following his research and trade ideas because the performance has been outstanding. Regards, Dallas Melbourne, Australia … [Read more...]

September 29, 2014 – Quote of the Day

Man Clouds Chart

“It’s not like stocks are so compelling. It’s that there is nowhere else to put your cash. There’s a ton of capital coming in here. When it feels this easy, it’s usually time to be cautious,” said Barry Sternwood, CEO of the Starwood Capital Group. … [Read more...]

September 26, 2014

Global Market CommentsSeptember 26, 2014Fiat Lux Featured Trade:(HOLDER RETIREMENT COULD SEND BANK OF AMERICA FLYING),(BAC), (XLF), (SPY), (BABA), (HYG),(PETER F. DRUCKER ON MANAGEMENT),(THANK GOODNESS I DON’T LIVE IN SWEDEN), (EWD) Bank of America Corporation (BAC)Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLF)SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY)Alibaba Group Holding Limited (BABA)iShares … [Read more...]

Holder Retirement Could Send Bank of America Flying

Bank of America - ATM

Watching the market melt down today, I have been hurriedly compiling a shopping list of stocks to buy, and writing the Trade Alerts in advance for readers to execute. If I am right about interest rates remaining flat or rising for the rest of the year, then financials have to be at the absolute top of such a list. Bank of America (BAC) certainly was the chief whipping boy of … [Read more...]

Peter F. Drucker on Management

The Essential Drucker

If you have been living in a cave for the last 74 years and missed the work of management guru, Peter F. Drucker, here is your chance to catch up. I just finished reading The Essential Drucker, a weighty tome of 368 pages which summarized the high points and pearls of wisdom of the author's 38 books published since 1939. A self-described 'social ecologist', Drucker was a … [Read more...]

Thank Goodness I Don’t Live in Sweden!

Model

I recently found the chart below showing world tax rates as a percentage of GDP for the past 40 years. Sweden suffers the world's heaviest tax burden at 51%, compared to only 27% in the US. The US has among the world's lowest tax burdens in terms of actual taxes paid, which has been falling for the last ten years. Listening to TV pundits, you would think we had the world's … [Read more...]

September 26, 2014 – Quote of the Day

scale

“You can reduce discretionary spending down to zero and it won’t have much impact on our fiscal problems because it’s such a small proportion of the total,” said Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve. … [Read more...]

September 25, 2014

Global Market Comments September 25, 2014 Fiat Lux SPECIAL TESLA ISSUE Featured Trade: (PLUNGING BACK INTO TESLA), (TSLA) Tesla Motors, Inc. (TSLA) … [Read more...]

Plunging Back into Tesla

Tesla Plant

During last month’s Concourse d’ Elegance vintage car show at Pebble Beach, California, I managed to catch up with Tesla’s senior management. All lights were flashing green, and it was full speed ahead. The new Gigafactory being built outside Reno, Nevada will pave the way for the firm’s entry into the mass market. The big issue in selecting a site was not cost or subsidies, … [Read more...]

September 25, 2014 – Quote of the Day

Tesla

“Tesla (TSLA) is running faster than everyone else, so it’s hard to see how others can close the gap. I think the market smells this,” said Colin Rusch of Northland Capital Markets, and early investor in the Tesla IPO. … [Read more...]

September 24, 2014

Global Market CommentsSeptember 24, 2014Fiat Lux Featured Trade:(TIME TO BAIL ON THE SMALL CAPS),(IWM), (RWM), (TZA), (TSLA), (SPY),(A VERY BRIGHT SPOT IN REAL ESTATE),(THE POPULATION BOMB ECHOES), (POT), (MOS), (AGU), (WEAT), (CORN), (SOYB), (DE) iShares Russell 2000 (IWM)ProShares Short Russell2000 (RWM)Direxion Daily Small Cap Bear 3X ETF (TZA)Tesla Motors, Inc. (TSLA)SPDR … [Read more...]

Time to Bail on the Small Caps

Burning Building

It now appears that the “Alibaba” correction (BABA) is at hand. I warned you, pleaded with you, and begged you about this yesterday, and on May 8 (click here for “Will Alibaba Blow Up the Market”). The longer the company postponed the mother of all IPO’s, the higher the prices flew, until we finally got a print at the absolute apex of the market. Now, it’s time to pay the … [Read more...]

A Very Bright Spot in Real Estate

Apartments

I feel obliged to reveal one corner of this bubbling market that might actually make sense. By 2050 the population of California will soar from 37 million to 50 million, and that of the US from 300 million to 400 million, according to data released by the US Census Bureau and the CIA Fact Book (check out the population pyramid below). That means enormous demand for the low … [Read more...]

The ‘Population Bomb’ Echoes

Fruit Market

With the entire agricultural space one of the preeminent investment disasters this year. You’d be hard pressed to find a long-term bullish argument for the troubled sector. You know all those John Deere (DE) and Caterpillar (CAT) hats I saw American tourists wearing in Venice, Italy two years ago? This year, I didn’t see one! That is, of course, unless you read this … [Read more...]

September 23, 2014

Global Market CommentsSeptember 23, 2014Fiat Lux Featured Trade:(DON’T BUY ALIBABA),(BABA), (YHOO), (SFTBY), (AMZN), (EBAY)(A SHORT HISTORY OF HEDGE FUNDS),(A DIFFERENT VIEW OF THE US) Alibaba Group Holding Limited (BABA)Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO)SoftBank Corp. (SFTBY)Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN)eBay Inc. (EBAY) … [Read more...]

Don’t Buy Alibaba

Masayoshi Son

Long time readers of this letter have known for years that the Alibaba IPO was coming, that it had massive implications for the market, and could well signal an interim market top. I’m sticking to my guns. You have to hand it to the underwriters of the company’s initial public offering, the largest in history. Some $25 billion in capital was raised. At the Friday high of $94, … [Read more...]

A Short History of Hedge Funds

Money, Arms Full

Legendary Fortune Magazine editor, Winslow Jones, created the first hedge fund out of a shabby office on Broadway in New York City in 1948, and generated monster returns over the next 20 years. He got the idea of a 20% performance bonus, now an industry standard, from ancient Phoenician sea captains who kept a fifth of the profits from successful voyages. Jones must have had an … [Read more...]

A Different View of the US

USStates10

My mother lives in Pakistan, my daughter in Greece, and I have a ski chalet in in Peru. What's more, I have strategy luncheons planned for Australia, Thailand, and Turkey. At least these would be my conclusions after looking at a map prepared by my esteemed former employer, The Economist magazine, of the United States, renaming each state with its international equivalent in … [Read more...]

September 23, 2014 – Quote of the Day

Soldiers-Ancient

When the legendary economist, John Maynard Keynes, was asked if the world had ever seen a Great Depression before, he responded, “Yes, it was called the Dark Ages, and it lasted 400 years.” … [Read more...]

September 22, 2014

Global Market Comments September 22, 2014 Fiat Lux Featured Trade: (FRIDAY OCTOBER 24 SAN FRANCISCO STRATEGY LUNCHEON), (WHY I’M CHASING THE EURO), (FXE), (EUO), (SEPTEMBER 24 GLOBAL STRATEGY WEBINAR) CurrencyShares Euro ETF (FXE) ProShares UltraShort Euro (EUO) … [Read more...]

Friday, October 24 San Francisco Strategy Luncheon

San Francisco

Come join me for lunch at the Mad Hedge Fund Trader’s Global Strategy Update, which I will be conducting in San Francisco on Friday, October 24, 2014. An excellent meal will be followed by a wide-ranging discussion and an extended question and answer period. I’ll be giving you my up to date view on stocks, bonds, currencies, commodities, precious metals and real estate. And to … [Read more...]

Why I’m Chasing the Euro

Printing Press

I’m not a person inclined to chase winning positions. Making money on one trade is certainly no guarantee that you will repeat the win on the next. Lightening doesn’t strikes twice in the same place. Well, actually it does sometimes, especially when it comes to selling short the Currency Shares Euro Trust (FXE). Given the European Central Bank’s dramatic action weeks ago to … [Read more...]

September 22, 2014 – Quote of the Day

Bubbles

“I’m worried that we now have the third bubble in three decades. We had the Dotcom bubble in the nineties, the property bubble in the 2000’s, and now we have the government bond bubble. Real interest rates are now massively negative. That’s where the bubble is.” said a Wall Street trader. … [Read more...]

September 19, 2014

Global Market CommentsSeptember 19, 2014Fiat Lux Featured Trade:(THE DEATH OF GOLD),(GLD), (ABX), (GDX),(THE STRUCTURAL BEAR CASE FOR TREASURY BONDS),(TLT), (TBT) SPDR Gold Shares (GLD)Barrick Gold Corporation (ABX)Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX)iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond (TLT)ProShares UltraShort 20+ Year Treasury (TBT) … [Read more...]

The Death of Gold

John Thomas -Gold

One of the most impressive moves in the wake of the Fed’s Wednesday move to maintain ultra low interest rates was to be found in gold. From the moment the news broke the airwaves until the next morning’s opening, the yellow metal dove $20. The damage was even worse in silver, which broke to a new four year low of a mere $17.63 an ounce. Now, here is the really bad new. The … [Read more...]

The Structural Bear Case for Treasury Bonds

Uncle Sam

If you want to delve into the case against the long-term future of US Treasury bonds in all their darkness, consider these arguments. The US has not had a history of excessive debt since the Revolutionary War, except during WWII, when it briefly exceeded 100% of GDP. That abruptly changed in 2001, when George W. Bush took office. In short order, the new president … [Read more...]

September 18, 2014

Global Market CommentsSeptember 18, 2014Fiat Lux Featured Trade:(SHE SPEAKS!),(SPY), (FXE), (EUO), (FXY), (YCS), (GLD), (SLV), (TLT), (TBT),(THE RECEPTION THAT THE STARS FELL UPON) SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY)CurrencyShares Euro ETF (FXE)ProShares UltraShort Euro (EUO)CurrencyShares Japanese Yen ETF (FXY)ProShares UltraShort Yen (YCS)SPDR Gold Shares (GLD)iShares Silver Trust … [Read more...]

She Speaks!

John Thomas

Like a deer frozen in a car’s onrushing headlights, markets have been comatose awaiting Federal Reserve governor Janet Yellen’s decision on monetary policy and interest rates. Interest rates are unchanged. Quantitative easing gets cut by $15 billion next month, and then goes to zero. Most importantly the key “considerable period” language stayed in the FOMC statements, meaning … [Read more...]

The Reception That the Stars Fell Upon

George Shultz

My friend was having a hard time finding someone to attend a reception who was knowledgeable about financial markets, White House intrigue, international politics, and nuclear weapons. I asked who was coming. She said Reagan’s Treasury Secretary George Shultz, Clinton’s Defense Secretary William Perry, and Senate Armed Services Chairman Sam Nunn. I said I’d be there wearing my … [Read more...]

September 18, 2014 – Quote of the Day

Cold War

“We are about to do something terrible to you. We are going to deprive you of an enemy,” Soviet commentator, Georgi Arbitov, told Secretary of State George Schultz at the end of the cold war. … [Read more...]

September 17, 2014

Global Market CommentsSeptember 17, 2014Fiat Lux Featured Trade:(THURSDAY OCTOBER 9 INCLINE VILLAGE, NEVADA STRATEGY LUNCHEON),(WHY I HAVE NO POSITIONS),(TLT), (TBT), (AAPL), (XLE), (XLV), (IBB), (BIDU), (FXE), (FXY), (YCS),(TAKING A BITE OUT OF STEALTH INFLATION), (SGG), (WEAT) iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond (TLT)ProShares UltraShort 20+ Year Treasury (TBT)Apple Inc. … [Read more...]

Why I Have No Positions

John Thomas

For the first time in three years, the model trading portfolio of my Trade Alert service has no positions. It is 100% in cash. I took a small profit on my last remaining position on Friday, a long in the ProShares Ultra Short 20+ Year Treasury ETF (TBT), a bet that Treasury bond prices would fall and yields would rise. Call it rocketing back up to breakeven. It’s not that I … [Read more...]

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 17, 2014 – Quote of the Day

Joan Rivers

“They say when you get old, you become wise. The truth is that when you get old, all the people who know you are stupid are dead,” said the late comedian, Joan Rivers. … [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 12, 2014 – Quote of the Day

Clown

“The fundamental argument against gold is so fundamentally one-sided that it is almost comical,” said options trader, Jim Iuorio, of TJM Institutional Services. … [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 9, 2014 – Quote of the Day

Computer

“Apple will never be a consumer products company,” said John Sculley, the Apple CEO who fired Steve Jobs in 1985. Today Apple is the world’s largest and most profitable consumer products company. … [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...]

A Euro Collapse At Last!

Dollar Certificate

European Central Bank president Mario Draghi pulled the rug out from under the Euro (FXE), (EUO) this morning, announcing a surprise cut in interest rate and substantially adding to its program of quantitative easing. The action caused the beleaguered currency to immediately gap down two full cents against the dollar, the ETF hitting a 15 month low of $127.40. Surprise, that … [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 Case for Buying Financials

John Thomas and Barney Frank

Regular readers of this letter are probably weary of me harping away about the financials as a great place to put your money for the rest of 2014. Never mind that these names have all jumped 10% in the past month. But this is not an “I told you so” story. This is more of a “But wait, there’s more,” story. The basis for my call is quite simple. I believe that bond prices are … [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...]

Tackling the Low Inflation Myth

David Stockman

I have long told my listeners at conferences, webinars and strategy luncheons my definition of the “new inflation”: The price for whatever you have to buy is rising, as with energy, health care and a college education. The price of the things you need to sell, such as your labor and services, is falling. So while official government numbers show that the overall rate of … [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...]

Taking a Look at Solar City

John Thomas - Tesla

In recent weeks, I couldn’t help but notice the green and white vans of Solar City (SCTY) visiting my neighbors. My trader’s radar went up, so I thought there might be an opportunity here. With my second Tesla (TSLA) about to be delivered, the Model X SUV, it was time for me to review my electricity bill. My first Tesla, an S-1, boosted my monthly power consumption from 600 … [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...]

What to Do About Apple?

iPhones

Those who followed my advice to buy Apple a year ago are now drowning in riches (click here for “Buy Apple on the Dip”). Since the July, 2013 bottom, the shares have risen by a meteoric 92%. It is the largest company in the world once again. As a result, I have heard of my readers shopping for second homes on Lake Tahoe, sponsoring NASCAR teams, or buying new Rolex watches for … [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...]

Why I’m Covering Some Euro Shorts

Falling 100 Bills-Euros

We have snatched 92% of the potential profit in the Currency Shares Euro Trust (FXE) September, 2014 $133-$135 in-the-money bear put spread, riding the Euro (FXE) down on the short side, from $1.33 down to $1.30. The risk/reward of continuing with such a large position is no longer justified. So I am going to reduce my overweight position down from 20% back to a more normal … [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...]

My End 2014 Stock Market Forecast

Uncle Sam - Fist

If anyone had any doubts about the future direction of stocks this year, you better take a look at the chart below for the S&P 500. It shows a very convincing trend upward at almost a perfect 45-degree angle going back for the past year. The range is 100 points wide. It’s almost as if an architect drew it with drafting tools. To take maximum advantage of this trend, you … [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...]

August 22, 2014

Global Market Comments August 22, 2014 Fiat Lux Featured Trade: (AUGUST 27 GLOBAL STRATEGY WEBINAR), (MIXING WITH THE 1% AT THE PEBBLE BEACH CONCOURSE D’ ELEGANCE) … [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...]