The Case for Europe

I have been to Greece many times over the past 45 years, and I?ll tell you that I just love the place. The beaches are perfect, the Ouzo wine enticing, and I?ll never say ?No? to a good moussaka.

However, I don?t let Greece dictate my investment strategy.

Greece, in fact, accounts for less than 2% of Europe?s GDP. It is not a storm in a teacup that is going on there, but a storm in a thimble. Greece is really just a full employment contract for financial journalists, who like to throw around big words like bankruptcy, default and contagion.

I have other things to worry about.

In fact, I am starting to come around to the belief that Europe is looking pretty good right here. Cisco (CSCO) CEO, John Chambers, announced that he was seeing the early signs of a turnaround.

Fiat CEO, Sergio Marchionne, the brilliant personal savior of Chrysler during the crash, thinks the beleaguered continent is about to recover from ?hell? to only ?purgatory.?

Only a devout Catholic could come up with such a characterization. But I love Sergio nevertheless because he generously helps me with my Italian pronunciation when we speak (aspirapolvere for vacuum cleaner, really?).

What are the two best performing stock markets since the big ?RISK ON? move started last Thursday? Greece (GREK) (+5%) and Russia (RSX) (+7.5%)!

And here is where I come in with my own 30,000 foot view.

The undisputed lesson of the past five years is that you always want to own stock markets that are about to receive an overdose of quantitative easing.

Since the US Federal Reserve launched their aggressive monetary policy, the S&P 500 (SPY) nearly tripled off the bottom.? Look how well US markets have performed since American QE ended 18 months ago.

Europe has only just barely started QE, and it could run for five more years. Corporations across the pond are about to be force-fed mountains of cash at negative interest rates, much like a goose being fattened for a fine dish of foie gras (only decriminalized in California last year).

Mind you, it could be another year before we get another dose of Euro QE, which is why I just bought the Euro (FXE) for a short-term trade.

A cheaper currency automatically reduces the prices of continental exports, making them more competitive in the international markets, and boosting their economies. Needless to say, this is all great new for stock markets.

Get Europe off the mat, and you can also add 10% to US share prices as well, as the global economy revives. The Euro drag dies and goes to heaven.

Buy the Wisdom Tree International Hedged Equity Fund ETF (HEDJ) down here on dips, which is long a basket of European stocks and short the Euro (FXE). This could be the big performer this year.

Praise the Lord and pass the foie gras!








Foie Gras


It?s all a Matter of Perspective in Greece