Global Market Comments
August 4, 2021
(WHERE THE ECONOMIST “BIG MAC” INDEX FINDS CURRENCY VALUE TODAY),
(UUP), (FXE), (FXY), (CYB)
Global Market Comments
August 4, 2021
(WHERE THE ECONOMIST “BIG MAC” INDEX FINDS CURRENCY VALUE TODAY),
(UUP), (FXE), (FXY), (CYB)
Global Market Comments
January 8, 2021
(JANUARY 6 BIWEEKLY STRATEGY WEBINAR Q&A),
(TSLA), (SQM), (GLD), (SLV), (GOLD), (WPM), (TLT), (FCX), (IBB), (XOM), (UPS), (FDX), (ZM), (DOCU), (VZ), (T), (RTX), (UT), (NOC),
(FXE), (FXY), (FXA), (UUP)
Global Market Comments
December 7, 2020
(MARKET OUTLOOK FOR THE WEEK AHEAD, or A DICEY LANDING)
(SPY), (TLT), (AMZN), (TSLA), (CRM), (JPM), (CAT), (BABA),
(FCX), (GLD), (SLV), (UUP), (FXE), (FXA), (FXB), (FXY), (FXI), (EWZ), (THD), (EPU)
Landing my 1932 de Havilland Tiger Moth biplane can be dicey.
For a start, it has no brakes. That means I can only land on grass fields and hope my tail skid catches before I run out of landing strip. If it doesn’t, the plane will hit the end, nose over, and dump a fractured gas tank on top of me. Bathing in 30 gallons of 100 octane gasoline with sparks flying is definitely NOT a good long term health plan.
The stock market is starting to remind me of landing that Tiger Moth. On Friday, all four main stock indexes closed at all-time highs for the first time since pre-pandemic January. A record $115 billion poured into equity mutual funds in November. This has all been the result of multiple expansion, not newfound earnings.
Yet, stocks seem hell-bent on closing out 2020 at the highs.
And there is a major factor that the market is completely ignoring. What if the Democrats win the Senate in Georgia?
If so, Biden will have the weaponry to go bold. The economy goes from zero stimulus to maybe $6 trillion raining down upon it over the next six months. That will go crazy, possibly picking up another 10%, or 3,000 Dow points on top of the post-election 4,000 points we have seen so far.
That is definitely NOT in the market.
The other big decade-long trend that is only just starting is the weak US dollar. Lower interest rates for longer were reaffirmed by the appointment of my former economics professor Janet Yellen as Treasury Secretary.
A feeble dollar brings us a fading bond market, as half the buyers are foreigners. A sickened greenback also provides the launching pad for all non-dollar assets to take off like a rocket, including commodities (FCX), precious metals (GLD), (SLV), Bitcoin, and the currencies (UUP), (FXE), (FXA), (FXB), (FXY), and emerging stock markets like China (FXI), Brazil (EWZ), Thailand (THD), and Peru (EPU).
All of this is happening in the face of a US economy that is clearly falling apart. Weekly jobless claims for November came in at 245,000, compared to a robust 638,000 in October, taking the headline unemployment rate down to 6.9%. The real U6 unemployment rate stands at an eye-popping 12.0%, or 20 million.
Some 10.7 million remain jobless, 900,000 higher than in February. Transportation and Warehousing were up 140,000, Professional & Business Services by 60,000, and Health Care 46,000. Retail was down 35,000 as stores shut down at a record pace.
OPEC cuts a deal, adding 500,000 barrels a day to the global supply. The hopes are that a synchronized global recovery can take additional supply. Texas tea finally busts through a month’s long $44 cap, the highest since March. Avoid energy. I’d rather buy more Tesla, the anti-energy.
Black Friday was a disaster, with in-store shopping down 52%. Long lines and 25% capacity restrictions kept the crowds at bay. If you don’t have an online presence, you’re dead. In the meantime, online spending surged by 26%.
Amazon (AMZN) hires 437,000 in 2020, probably the greatest hiring binge since WWII, and is continuing at the incredible rate of 3,000 a week. That takes its global workforce to 1.2 million. Most are $12 an hour warehouse and delivery positions. The company has been far and away the biggest beneficiary of the pandemic as the world rushed to online commerce.
Tesla’s (TSLA) full self-driving software may be out in two weeks, instead of the earlier indicated two years. The current version only works on freeways. The full street to street version could be worth $8,000 a car in upgrades. Another reason to go gaga over Tesla stock.
Goldman Sachs raised Tesla target to $780, the Musk increased market share to a growing market. No threat from General Motors yet, just talk. Volkswagen is on the distant horizon. In the meantime, Tesla super bear Jim Chanos announced he is finally cutting back his position. He finally came to the stunning conclusion that Tesla is not being valued as a car company. Go figure. Short interest in Tesla has plunged from a peak of 35% in March to 6% today. It’s learning the hard way.
The U.S. manufacturing sector pauses, activity in the U.S. manufacturing sector barely ticked up in November as production and new orders cratered, data from a survey compiled by the Institute for Supply Management showed on Tuesday. The ISM Manufacturing Report on Business PMI for November stood at 57.5, slipping from 59.3 in October.
Salesforce (CRM) overpays for workplace app Slack, knocking its stock down 9%. This is worth a buy the dip trade in the short-term and this is still a great tech company which is why the Mad Hedge Tech Letter sent out a tech alert on Salesforce on the dip.
Weekly Jobless Claims dive, with Americans applying for unemployment benefits falling last week to 712,000 down from 787,000 the week before. The weakness is unsurprising as we head into seasonal Christmas hiring.
The end of the tunnel for Boeing (BA) as they bring to an end an awful 2020. Irish-based airline Ryanair Holdings placed a large order for a set of brand new Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, giving the plane maker a shot in the arm as the single-aisle jet comes off an unprecedented 20-month grounding.
Ryanair, Europe’s low-cost carrier, has 135 Boeing 737 MAX jets on order and options to bring the total to 200 or more. Hopefully, they won’t crash this time around. My fingers are crossed.
Dollar Hits 2-1/2 Year Low. With global economies recovering, the next big-money move will be out of the greenback and into the Euro (FXE), the Aussie (FXA), the Looney (FXC), the Japanese yen (FXY), the British pound (FXB), and Bitcoin. Keeping interest rates lower for longer will accelerate the downtrend.
When we come out the other side of this pandemic, we will be perfectly poised to launch into my new American Golden Age, or the next Roaring Twenties. With interest rates still at zero, oil cheap, there will be no reason not to. The Dow Average will rise by 400% to 120,000 or more in the coming decade. The American coming out the other side of the pandemic will be far more efficient and profitable than the old. Dow 120,000 here we come!
My Global Trading Dispatch catapulted to another new all-time high. December is up 5.34%, taking my 2020 year-to-date up to a new high of 61.78%.
That brings my eleven-year total return to 417.69% or double the S&P 500 over the same period. My 11-year average annualized return now stands at a nosebleed new high of 38.00%. My trailing one-year return exploded to 64.56%. I’m running out of superlatives, so there!
I managed to catch the 50%, two-week Tesla melt-up with a 5X long position, which is always nice for performance.
The coming week will be a slow one on the data front. We also need to keep an eye on the number of US Coronavirus cases at 14.5 million and deaths at 285,000, which you can find here.
When the market starts to focus on this, we may have a problem.
On Monday, December 7 at 4:00 PM EST, US Consumer Credit is out.
On Tuesday, December 8 at 11:00 AM, the NFIB Business Optimism Index is published.
On Wednesday, December 9 at 8:00 AM, MBA Mortgage Applications for the previous week are released.
On Thursday, December 10 at 8:30 AM, the Weekly Jobless Claims are published. At 9:30 AM, US Core Inflation is printed.
On Friday, November 11, at 9:30 AM EST, the US Producer Price Index is announced. At 2:00 PM, we learn the Baker-Hughes Rig Count.
As for me, at least there is one positive outcome from the pandemic. Boy Scout Christmas tree sales are absolutely through the roof! We took delivery of 1,300 trees from Oregon for our annual fundraiser expected to sell them in two weeks. We cleared out our entire inventory in a mere six days!
We sold trees as fast as we could load them. With the scouts tying the knots, only one fell onto the freeway on the way home. An “all hands on deck” call has gone out to shift the inventory.
It turns out that tree sales are booming nationally. The $2 billion a year market places 21 million trees annually at an average price of $8 and are important fundraisers for many non-profit organizations. It seems that people just want something to feel good about this year.
Governor Gavin Newsome’s order to go into a one-month lockdown Sunday night inspired the greatest sales effort I have ever seen, and I worked on a Morgan Stanley sales desk! We shifted the last tree hours before the deadline, which was full of mud with broken branches and had clearly been run over by a truck at a well-deserved 50% discount.
I can’t wait until next year!
CEO & Publisher
The Diary of a Mad Hedge Fund Trader
Global Market Comments
November 27, 2020
(NOVEMBER 25 BIWEEKLY STRATEGY WEBINAR Q&A),
(TSLA), (CRM), (CRSP), (CVS), (SQ), (CRSP), (LUV), (GLD). (SLV), (SPY), (TMO), (UUP), (TAN), (FXA), (FXE), (FXY), (FXB), (CYB)
Below please find subscribers’ Q&A for the November 25 Mad Hedge Fund Trader Global Strategy Webinar broadcast from Silicon Valley, CA with my guest and co-host Bill Davis.
Q: Is gold (GLD) still a hold?
A: Long term yes; short term no. Short term, cash is being drained out of gold in order to buy Bitcoin, just like silver. And once Bitcoin peaks, which could be today or tomorrow when it hits 20,000, then you could get a round of profit-taking and a nice little pop in gold. So, it’s basically moving totally counter-cyclically to Bitcoin and the other cryptocurrencies right now.
(Note: since this webinar, Bitcoin has crashed by $3,000)
Q: A competitor of yours claims that asymptomatic transmission of COVID does not occur.
A: I would bet money that person does not have a medical degree. Asymptomatic transmission occurs in almost all diseases, so why COVID would be an exception is beyond me. I suggest that somebody is trying to sell newsletters at your expense with zero knowledge about the topic. Ask him to kiss a Covid victim. This is common in my industry where 99% of the people are crooks. This is also an example of the vast amounts of information that have been spread during an election year.
Q: Will you take a vaccine when it’s out or will you let others try it first?
A: Actually, by the time the public gets the vaccine, more than a million people will have already tried it, so I think it will be fairly safe. I am probably already the most vaccinated person on the planet; I’ve had flu shots every year for 40 years, so I will happily try it out. At my age, I have little to lose. And I would like to travel again, and that’s going to be a requirement for international travel. I am worried there could be long term side effects that we’ve seen with other drugs in the past, like all future children being born without arms and legs, which is what happened in the 1950s with Thalidomide.
Q: If the Senate flips to the Democrats, how do you see it affecting the market?
A: It doesn’t really affect the market overall; what it will do is affect sector reallocation. Solar, alternative energy and ESG companies do a lot better in A Democratic Senate, and energy oil companies do a lot worse. All you do is short the losers and buy the winners; it really makes no difference who wins. Most of the big conflicts over issues these days are social ones that don’t affect the market.
Q: Where do you see Tesla (TSLA) by the end of the year?
A: Well, this morning, it’s at an all-time high of $565. It looks like it wants to take a run at $600, and then we will be up 50% from where the news was announced that it was joining the S&P 500. That seems to me like a heck of a move on no real fundamental news. During this news, the market completely ignores a Model X recall and a Model Y pan from Consumer Reports. I would be inclined to take profits there or at least roll the strikes up on my options positions.
Q: What’s a good stock to play a commodity recovery?
A: You can’t do any better than Freeport-McMoRan (FCX), which I’ve been following for almost 50 years since I covered it for the Australian Financial Review newspapers.
Q: Will Salesforce (CRM) hold?
A: Yes, it’s just a matter of time before we break out to substantial new highs, and this is a stock that could double next year.
Q: What brokers do you suggest?
A: I would pick tastyworks, owned by my friend Tom Sosnoff who will be speaking at the Mad Hedge Traders & Investors Summit next week and will be answering all your questions. Click here for their site. To register for the summit, click here.
Q: Is CVS (CVS) a good buy?
A: I would say yes; a billion Covid-19 vaccine doses will need to be distributed next year. You can’t do that without all the drug companies participating big time.
Q: Does Trump have a chance to win in his lawsuits?
A: It’s more likely that I will be elected the next Miss America; so, I wouldn’t place any bets on that. Some 30 consecutive Republican judges ruling against him does not augur well for his future.
Q: Would you buy any LEAPS here (Long Term Equity Participation Securities)?
A: Only in special one-off situations in the domestic stocks that haven’t moved in ten years. There are a lot of those out there now that I have been recommending. Those are all fertile territory for LEAPs, especially going out 2 years where you get the maximum bang for the buck and a 1,000% return. Don’t touch LEAPs in technology stocks here, and don’t touch Tesla in LEAPs.
Q: What’s your outlook on Southwest Air (LUV)?
A: I like it; it’s one of the healthiest domestic airlines most likely to come back.
Q: Are you going to update your long-term portfolio?
A: Yes, but I only update it twice a year and my next turn is on January 22. If you bought the last update on July 22, you made a fortune getting into Freeport McMoRan at $12 (it’s now $23), CRISPER Therapeutics at $80 (CRSP) (it’s now $110), and Square (SQ) at $110 (the current is $212). You can find it by logging into www.madhedgefundtrader.com, going to My Account, clicking on Global Trading Dispatch, on the drop-down menu, click on the Long-Term Portfolio tab and then clicking on the red tab for the Long-Term Portfolio. That lets you download an excel spreadsheet.
Q: Do you have any LEAPS to suggest now?
A: I only put out portfolios of LEAPS at giant market bottoms like we had in March. Then I put out lists and lists of LEAPS. At all-time highs, it’s not good LEAPS territory, except for specific names. So, if you want to get involved in that on a regular basis, I suggest you sign up for our Mad Hedge Concierge Service. There they are making millions of dollars a week right now.
Q: Where does the US dollar (UUP) go from here?
A: Straight down; the outlook for the buck couldn’t be worse. I would be selling short the US dollar like crazy right now except that there are much better trades in US equities.
Q: Just to be clear, there’s no voter fraud?
A: There’s probably never been an election in US history without voter fraud on all sides; it’s just a question of who’s better at it. In the 1948 Texas Democratic Party runoff, back when the party owned Texas, Lyndon Johnson won by 87 votes out of 988,295 cast. It was later found that in five Hispanic-dominated counties that bordered Mexico, everyone had voted 100% for Johnson ….in alphabetical order. Johnson then took the seat with a 66% margin and went on to dominate the US Senate. I remember in the 1960 election, all the military absentee votes were sent flying around in circles over the Atlantic so Kennedy would win; that’s a story that’s been out there for a long time.
Q: You said stay away from other EVs except for Tesla?
A: A few have gone crazy this week, but that doesn’t mean they can actually make a car. So, you might get lucky on a quick trade on some of these, but long term, I don’t think any of the other non-Tesla EV companies are going to make it except for General Motors, which is plowing $27 billion into the sector. Even if (GM) may be able to put out a lot of cars, but they won’t be able to make very much money at it because they’re nowhere near the neighborhood of Tesla with the software where all the money is made.
Q: As the dollar gets weaker, will you expand your international stock picks?
A: Yes, we put out the first one in a long time, Ali Baba (BABA), on Monday, and we’ll be adding to that a bunch. I think the dollar could be weak for 5 or 10 years, a lot like it was in the 1970s.
Q: What’s your outlook for silver (SLV)?
A: Same as for gold (GLD). Quiet for the short term, double for the long term.
Q: Favorite names in biotech?
A: For that, you really need to subscribe to the biotech letter; we’re giving you two names a week there and all of them have done great. But another one might be Thermo Fisher (TMO), which seems to double every time I recommend it. It’s a great takeover target too.
Q: Is there any possibility of a 30% dip in the market (SPY) in 2021?
A: No, I don’t see more than a 10% dip in 2021. The tailwinds now are gale-force, generational, and will run for a decade.
Q: How do you sell the US dollar rally?
A: You buy all the ETFs that we cover in our foreign exchange sections. Those are the Australian dollar (FXA), the Euro (FXE), the Japanese Yen (FXY), the British pound (FXB), and the Chinese Yuan (CYB). Those are five ETFs that will do well on a weak dollar for the next several years.
Q: What about the Invesco Solar ETF TAN?
A: We have been recommending (TAN) for many years and it has done spectacularly well. I still love it long term, but it’s had one heck of a run; it’s up 300% from the March low. I think the entire country is about to have a solar explosion because the costs are now quite simply less than for oil. It’s an economic question. We are going to an all-Electric America.
Q: What do you think about LEAPS on gold?
A: It’s not really LEAPs territory yet, but on a two-year view, you’d have to do well on gold LEAPs.
Q: Is the Invesco DB US Dollar Index Bullish Fund (UUP) good to buy?
A: You should be looking to short the UUP. It’s a long dollar basket which we think will do terribly.
Good Luck and Stay Healthy.
CEO & Publisher
The Diary of a Mad Hedge Fund Trader
Global Market Comments
July 17, 2020
(JULY 15 BIWEEKLY STRATEGY WEBINAR Q&A),
(EEM), (GLD), (GDX), (NEM), (GOLD), (UUP), (FXA), (FXE), (FXY), (AMZN), (AAPL), (GOOGL), (FB), (BIDU), (TLT), (TBT), (IBB), (ROM)
Below please find subscribers’ Q&A for the July 15 Mad Hedge Fund Trader Global Strategy Webinar broadcast from Lake Tahoe, NV with my guest and co-host Bill Davis of the Mad Day Trader. Keep those questions coming!
Q: Do you expect foreign equities to begin to outperform US equities sometime soon?
A: I expect them to outperform imminently simply because Europe did their shutdown properly, a total shutdown, and got rid of the virus, so their economy and schools are opening. We did a partial shutdown, some states did not shut down at all, and as a result, the epidemic is on fire here, and our shutdown will have to last an extra six months to a year. So that means you’ll probably want to be rotating out of US stocks and into emerging stocks, and the (EEM) is the ETF to go with there.
Q: Would you buy gold LEAPS at this point?
A: Normally, I say only buy LEAPS on capitulation selloffs like we had in March. We actually put out 25 LEAP recommendations on the long side in tech and biotech in March and they all proved spectacular winners. However, at this point, gold is just short of an all-time high; if you break the high you could get a $500 or $1,000 move very quickly to the upside. If you want to do LEAPS, I would go out one year, I would go fairly close to the money, something like a $200-$210 LEAP in the (GLD) ETF. Your much bigger bang, by the way, would be to do LEAPS on the individual stocks; go 10% or 20% out of the money, you might make 100%-200% on those and the stocks to do there would be Newmont Mining (NEM) and Barrick Gold (GOLD).
Q: Would the US or any other country consider backing their currency with gold?
A: Absolutely not. We went off the gold standard in 1972 for a reason. That’s because they’re not making it anymore; there isn’t enough gold to support growth in a global economy. On the other hand, a supply of paper is unlimited, and that’s why we’ve had such terrific economic growth since we’ve gone off the gold standard.
Q: I’m seeing some really great deals in energy. Should I get involved?
A: Absolutely not. Don’t confuse “gone down a lot” with “cheap.” We think the oil business is long term going out of business. It can’t compete with alternatives and electric cars; the economics for investing in a non-scalable energy form just are not there. It’s like asking an analog adding machine to compete with a computer.
Q: Is it too late to sell the US dollar or the Invesco DB US Dollar Index Bullish Fund ETF (UUP)?
A: No, we’re only in the very early stages of the collapse of the US dollar, so you want to be buying all of the nondollar ETFs like the Australian dollar (FXA), the euro (FXE), and the Japanese yen (FXY). Massive over issuance of currency will destroy its value, that’s one of the seminal lessons of currency markets. The US is not immune to that.
Q: Biotech is getting overheated here—should I buy the rumor, sell the news?
A: We’re also just in the opening stages of the biotech golden age. Even if they cure corona tomorrow, there are another 100 diseases they will cure over the next 10 years using all of the new advanced technology that has just been developed, like gene editing, monoclonal antibodies, and quantum computers. It’s another reason to subscribe to the Mad Hedge Biotech and Healthcare Letter for $1,500 a year (click here).
Q: I see Bill Gross is bullish on value stocks—would you go with that view?
A: No, leave the value stocks for Bill Gross. He’s semi-retired and hasn’t been as good on the stock market lately as he used to be, as much as he is a dear friend. This is a chasing-a-winner type market. I would wait for value stocks. You could die a long horrible death by the time value stocks turn around so I would avoid them. Go for earnings growth, that’s the only thing that counts in the future.
Q: What would you recommend as a portfolio starter?
A: I would recommend 100% cash. I know you don’t want to hear that you should keep cash if you just bought an expensive trade alert service, but the fact is the risk now is the highest it’s been in years. I only add new trade at market sweet spots, and you don’t get those every day of the year. I will send you an alert if I see a low-risk high-return trade. Wait for the summer correction—that will set up another bet-the-ranch opportunity. Don’t worry about trade alerts, we’ll be doing about 400 of them this year, but they do tend to come in bunches at market bottoms and market tops.
Q: Do American companies have much of a chance against Chinese tech?
A: The US has an overwhelming lead, which will probably increase at an exponential rate. I think the threat of Chinese tech is vastly overstated by the administration. They needed an enemy to protect us from to stick around. The reality is that the US is so far ahead it’s unbelievable; that’s the reason they steal our technology. And they only have leads in very specific areas, such as surveillance of large populations. I wouldn’t worry too much about tech—if the Chinese really had a lead on tech, would Amazon (AMZN), Apple (AAPL), Alphabet (GOOGL), Facebook (FB) all be going to new highs every day, while Baidu (BIDU) lagged?
Q: Should we close out the Regeneron call spread?
A: At this point, we’re so far in the money I would just wait two more days and it will expire at its maximum $10 value, and you can avoid all the fees. You’ll end up making $1,600 or 16.28% 15 trading days.
Q: Presidential candidate Joe Biden has just had a huge surge in the polls in battleground states. Will he be damaging to the market?
A: No, ever since he started his rise in the polls, the stock market has been rising almost every day, and that’s even after announcing in advance that he’s going to raise corporate taxes from 21% to 28%. He’s also going to eliminate the carried interest, which should have been eliminated a long time ago. I imagine there will be some super punitive Roosevelt style 90% tax on net taxable income over a billion dollars—a real billionaire’s punishment tax, as they’ve basically made all the money for the last 30 years. The stock market is voting with confidence for the future Biden government, who am I to disagree? The market is always right.
Q: Will gold hit a new high?
A: Yes, I think we will have a new high in a couple of weeks. That’s why I said it’s a rare case when you actually buy LEAPS in a rising market, especially if you go one or two years out. Guess where gold will be in two years? My bet is $3,000, so a $200/$210 LEAP in the (GLD) could bring in a 1,000% return, The overwhelming fundamentals are in favor of gold. I’ll keep hammering away at that in the newsletter.
Q: I only trade stocks; how can I take advantage of your recommendations?
A: First of all, buy the stocks. Second, you can buy stocks on margin, which gives you double exposure. Third, there are many 2X ETFs on the stocks or sectors we recommend, like the (TBT), which you can also trade in a stock account. For example, for biotech, you can get your exposure there through the (IBB), and through tech, you can buy the 2X (ROM); but I wouldn’t buy it today because it is too high. In fact, only about 25% of our followers do options, the rest trade stocks or use it to manage their own long-term portfolios.
Q: Will we hit 0% yielding US Treasuries (TLT)?
A: Probably not, that move is behind us. We got down to a 31 basis points yield at the lows. Now, massive oversupply from the US government will be the primary factor dictating Treasury prices, and that means going down a lot.
Good Luck and Stay Healthy
CEO & Publisher
The Diary of a Mad Hedge Fund Trader
Global Market Comments
March 19, 2020
(INVESTING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE CORONA VIRUS),
(SPY), (INDU), (FXE), (FXY), (UNG),
(EEM), (USO), (TLT), (TSLA)
The Coronavirus has just set up the investment opportunity of the century.
In a matter of three weeks, stocks have gone from wildly overbought to ridiculously cheap. Price earnings multiples have plunged from 20X to 13X, well below the 15.5X long term historical average. The Dow Average is now 5% lower than when Donald Trump assumed the presidency more than three years ago. The world of investing after Coronavirus is looking pretty good.
I believe that as a result of this meltdown, the global economy is setting up for a new Golden Age reminiscent of the one the United States enjoyed during the 1950s, and which I still remember fondly. In other words, when it comes to investing after Coronavirus, we are on the cusp of a new “Roaring Twenties.”
This is not some pie in the sky prediction.
It simply assumes a continuation of existing trends in demographics, technology, politics, and economics. The implications for your investment portfolio will be huge.
For a start, medical science is about to compress 5-10 years of advancement into a matter of months. The traditional FDA approval process has been dumped in the trash. Any company can bring any medicine, vaccine, or anti-viral they want to the market, government be damned. You and I will benefit enormously, but a few people may die along the way.
What I call “intergenerational arbitrage” will be the principal impetus. The main reason that we are now enduring two “lost decades” of economic growth is that 80 million baby boomers are retiring to be followed by only 65 million “Gen Xer’s”.
When the majority of the population is in retirement mode, it means that there are fewer buyers of real estate, home appliances, and “RISK ON” assets like equities, and more buyers of assisted living facilities, healthcare, and “RISK OFF” assets like bonds.
The net result of this is slower economic growth, higher budget deficits, a weak currency, and registered investment advisors who have distilled their practices down to only municipal bond sales.
Fast forward two years when the reverse happens and the baby boomers are out of the economy, worried about whether their diapers get changed on time or if their favorite flavor of Ensure is in stock at the nursing home.
That is when you have 65 million Gen Xer’s being chased by 85 million of the “millennial” generation trying to buy their assets.
By then, we will not have built new homes in appreciable numbers for 20 years and a severe scarcity of housing hits. Residential real estate prices will soar. Labor shortages will force wage hikes.
The middle-class standard of living will reverse a then 40-year decline. Annual GDP growth will return from the current subdued 2% rate to near the torrid 4% seen during the 1990s.
The stock market rockets in this scenario. And this pandemic has just given us a very low base from which to start, making investing after Coronavirus a promising prospect.
Once the virus is beaten, we could see the same fourfold return we saw from 2009 to 2020. That would take us from The Thursday low of 18,917 to 76,000 in only a few years.
If I’m wrong, it will hit 100,000 instead.
Emerging stock markets (EEM) with much higher growth rates do far better.
This is not just a demographic story. The next ten years should bring a fundamental restructuring of our energy infrastructure as well.
The 100-year supply of natural gas (UNG) we have recently discovered through the new “fracking” technology will finally make it to end users, replacing coal (KOL) and oil (USO), so this sort of energy investing after Coronavirus in particular is looking undoubtedly promising.
Fracking applied to oilfields is also unlocking vast new supplies.
Since 1995, the US Geological Survey estimate of recoverable reserves has ballooned from 150 million barrels to 8 billion. OPEC’s share of global reserves is collapsing.
This is all happening while the use of electric cars is exploding, from zero to 4% of the market over the past decade.
Mileage for the average US car has jumped from 23 to 24.9 miles per gallon in the last couple of years, and the administration is targeting 50 mpg by 2025. Total gasoline consumption is now at a five-year low and collapsing.
Alternative energy technologies will also contribute in an important way in states like California, which will see 100% of total electric power generation come from alternatives by 2030.
I now have an all-electric garage, with a Tesla Model 3 for local errands and a Tesla Model X (TSLA) for longer trips, allowing me to disappear from the gasoline market completely. Millions will follow. Both cars are powered by my rooftop solar system.
The net result of all of this is lower energy prices for everyone.
It will also flip the US from a net importer to an exporter of energy, with hugely positive implications for America’s balance of payments.
Eliminating our largest import and adding an important export is very dollar bullish for the long term.
That sets up a multiyear short for the world’s big energy-consuming currencies, especially the Japanese yen (FXY) and the Euro (FXE). A strong greenback further reinforces the bull case for stocks.
Accelerating technology will bring another continuing positive for investing after Coronavirus.
Of course, it’s great to have new toys to play with on the weekends, send out Facebook photos to the family, and edit your own home videos. But at the enterprise level, this is enabling speedy improvements in productivity that are filtering down to every business in the US, lower costs everywhere.
This is why corporate earnings have been outperforming the economy as a whole by a large margin.
Profit margins are at an all-time high.
Living near booming Silicon Valley, I can tell you that there are thousands of new technologies and business models that you have never heard of under development.
When the winners emerge, they will have a big cross-leveraged effect on the economy.
New healthcare breakthroughs, which are also being spearheaded in the San Francisco Bay area, will make serious disease a thing of the past.
This is because the Golden State thumbed its nose at the federal government 18 years ago when the stem cell research ban was implemented.
It raised $3 billion through a bond issue to fund its own research, even though it couldn’t afford it.
I tell my kids they will never be afflicted by my maladies. When they get cancer in 20 years, they will just go down to Wal-Mart and buy a bottle of cancer pills for $5, and it will be gone by Friday.
What is this worth to the global economy? Oh, about $2 trillion a year, or 4% of GDP. Who is overwhelmingly in the driver’s seat on these innovations? The USA.
There is a political element to the new Golden Age as well. Gridlock in Washington can’t last forever. Eventually, one side or another will prevail with a clear majority.
This will allow the government to push through needed long-term structural reforms, the solution of which everyone agrees on now but nobody wants to be blamed for.
That means raising the retirement age from 66 to 70 where it belongs and means-testing recipients. Billionaires don’t need the maximum $45,480 Social Security benefit. Nor do I.
The ending of our foreign wars and the elimination of extravagant unneeded weapons systems cut defense spending from $755 billion a year to $400 billion, or back to the 2000, pre-9/11 level. Guess what happens when we cut defense spending? So does everyone else.
I can tell you from personal experience that staying friendly with someone is far cheaper than blowing them up.
A Pax Americana would ensue.
That means China will have to defend its own oil supply, instead of relying on us to do it for them for free. That’s why they have recently bought a second used aircraft carrier. The Middle East is now their headache, not ours.
The national debt then comes under control, and we don’t end up like Greece.
The long-awaited Treasury bond (TLT) crash never happens.
The reality is that the global economy will soon spin off profits faster than it can find places to invest them, so the money ends up in bonds instead.
Sure, this is all very long-term, over the horizon stuff. You can expect the financial markets to start discounting a few years hence, even though the main drivers won’t kick in for another decade.
But some individual industries and companies will start to discount this rosy scenario now.
Perhaps this is what the nonstop rally in stocks since 2009 has been trying to tell us.
Needless to say, investing after Coronavirus runs it’s course will be a welcome change for both individual investors and the economy as a whole.
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