Posts

August 21, 2019

Global Market Comments
August 21, 2019
Fiat Lux

Featured Trade:

(WHY YOU MIISED THE TECHNOLOGY BOOM AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT NOW),
(AAPL), (AMZN), (MSFT), (NVDA), (TSLA), (WFC), (FB)

August 13, 2019

Global Market Comments
August 13, 2019
Fiat Lux

Featured Trade:

(THE TRADE OF THE CENTURY IS SETTING UP),
(TLT),

(HOW TO BUY A SOLAR SYSTEM),
(SCTY), (SPWR), (TSLA)

August 6, 2019

Global Market Comments
August 6, 2019
Fiat Lux

Featured Trade:
(I HAVE AN OPENING FOR THE MAD HEDGE FUND TRADER CONCIERGE SERVICE),

(DON’T MISS THE AUGUST 7 GLOBAL STRATEGY WEBINAR),
(HAVE WE SEEN “PEAK AUTO SALES”),
(GM), (TM), (F), (HMC), (TSLA), (NSANY), 

July 30, 2019

Global Market Comments
July 30, 2019
Fiat Lux

Featured Trade:

(THE IDIOT’S GUIDE TO INVESTING),
(TSLA), (BYND), (JPM)
(THE SECRET FED PLAN TO BUY GOLD),
(GLD), (GDX), (PALL), (PPLT),

July 26, 2019

Global Market Comments
July 26, 2019
Fiat Lux

Featured Trade:

(JULY 24 BIWEEKLY STRATEGY WEBINAR Q&A),
(FCX), (VIX), (VXX), (UUP), (TLT), (EEM), (ELD), (CEW), (GLD),
(FXA), (FXE), (FXC), (FXY), (FXB), (AMZN),
(TESTING TESLA’S SELF DRIVING TECHNOLOGY),
(TSLA)

July 22, 2019

Mad Hedge Technology Letter
July 22, 2019
Fiat Lux

Featured Trade:

(DOES ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE WORK FOR YOU?),
(TSLA), (AMZN), (FB)

Does Artificial Intelligence Work for You?

Anti-A.I. physicist Professor Stephen Hawking was a staunch supporter of preserving human interests against the future existential threat from machines and artificial intelligence (A.I.).

He was diagnosed with motor neuron disease, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, in 1963 at the age of 21 and sadly passed away March 14, 2018 at the age of 76.

Famed for his work on black holes, Professor Hawking represented the human quest to maintain its superiority against quickly advancing artificial acculturation.

His passing was a huge loss for mankind as his voice was a deterrent to A.I.’s relentless march to supremacy. He was one of the few who had the authority to opine on these issues. Gone is a voice of reason.

Critics have argued that living with A.I. poses a red alert threat to privacy, security, and society as a whole. Unfortunately, those most credible and knowledgeable about A.I. are tech firms. They have shown that policing themselves on this front is remarkably unproductive.

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook (FB), has labeled naysayers as “irresponsible” and dismissed the threat. After failing to prevent Russian interference in the last election, he is exhibiting the same defensive posture translating into a de facto admission of guilt. His track record of shirking accountability is becoming a trend.

Share prices will materially nosedive if A.I. is stonewalled and development stunted. Many CEOs who stake careers on doubling or tripling down on A.I. cannot see it die out. There is too much money to lose.

The world will see major improvements in the quality of life in the next 10 years. But there is another side to the coin which Zuckerberg and company refuse to delve into…the dark side of technology.

Defective Amazon (AMZN) Alexa recently produced unexplained laughter because of a mistaken command to start laughing. Despite avoiding calamity, these small events show the magnitude of potential chaos capable of haywire A.I. functions. If one day a user attempts to order a box of tissues and Alexa burns down the house, who is liable?

Tesla’s (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk has shared his anxiety about robots flipping the script on humans. Musk acknowledges that A.I. and autonomous vehicles are important factors in the battle for new technology.

The winner is yet to be determined as China has bet the ranch with unlimited resources from Chairman Xi.

The quagmire with China has been squarely centered around the great race for technological supremacy.

A.I. is the ultimate X factor in this race and whoever can harness and develop the fastest will win.

Musk has hinted that robots and humans could merge into one species in the future.

Is this the next point of competition among tech companies? The future is murky at best.

Bill Gates noted that robots should be taxed like humans.

This reflects the bubble in which the ultra-elite reside.

This comment implies that humans and robots are at the same level. It shows a severe lack of empathy for the 40% of working Americans who will be replaced by machines over the next 10 years.

The West is comprised of a deeply hierarchical system of winners and losers. Hawking’s premise that evolution has inbuilt greed can be found in the underpinnings of America’s economic miracle.

Wall Street has bred a culture that is entirely self-serving regardless of the bigger system in which it finds itself.

Most of us are participating in this perpetual money game chase because our system treats it as a natural part of life.

A.I. will help more people do well in this paper chase to the detriment of the majority.

Quarterly earnings performance is paramount for CEOs.

Return value back to shareholders, or face the sack in the morning.

It’s impossible to convince anyone that America’s capitalist model is deteriorating in the greatest bull market of all time.

Wall Street has an insatiable hunger for cutting-edge technology from companies that sequentially beat earnings and raise guidance.

Flourishing technology companies enrich the participants creating a Teflon-like resistance to downside market risk.

The issue with Professor Hawking’s work is that his timeframe is too far in the future.

Professor Hawking was probably correct, but it will take 25 years to prove it.

The world is quickly changing as science fiction becomes reality.

The year 2020 will signal the real beginning of A.I. in tangible form when autonomous fleets flood main streets and is another step in the direction of human’s overreliance on machines.

People on Wall Street are a product of the system in place and earn a tremendous amount of money because they proficiently execute a specialized job.

Traders are busy focusing on how to move ahead of the next guy.

Firms building autonomous cars are free to operate as is.

Hyper-accelerating technology spurs on the development of A.I., machine learning, and enhanced algorithms.

Record profits will topple, and investors will funnel investments back into an even narrower grouping of technology stocks after the weak hands are flushed out.

Professor Hawking said we need to explore our technological capabilities to the fullest in order to avoid extinction.

In 2019, exploring these new capabilities still equals monetizing through the medium of products and services.

This is all bullish for equities as the leading companies associated with A.I. have a red carpet laid out in front of them.

And let me remind you that technology is still the least regulated industry on the planet even if sentiment has pivoted this year.

The only solution is keeping companies accountable by a function of law or creating a third-party task force to regulate A.I.

In 2019, the thought of overseeing robots sounds crazy.

However, by 2020, it might be as normal as uncontrollable laughter from your smart home device.

July 8, 2019

Global Market Comments
July 8, 2019
Fiat Lux

Featured Trade:

(STANDBY FOR THE COMING GOLDEN AGE OF INVESTMENT),
(SPY), (INDU), (FXE), (FXY), (UNG), (EEM), (USO),
(TLT), (NSANY), (TSLA)

Standby for the Coming Golden Age of Investment

I believe that 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.

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.

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 Xers”.

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, health care, 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 six 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 Xers 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.

Share prices may rise very gradually for the rest of the teens as long as tepid 2-3% growth persists.

After that, we could see the same fourfold return we saw during the Clinton administration, taking the Dow to 100,000 by 2030.

If I’m wrong, it will hit 200,000 instead.

Emerging stock markets (EEM) with much higher growth rates do far better.

This is not just a demographic story. The next 20 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).

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 automobile efficiencies are rapidly improving and the use of public transportation soars. 

Mileage for the average US car has jumped from 23 to 24.7 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.

Alternative energy technologies will also contribute in an important way in states like California, accounting for 30% of total electric power generation by 2020.

I now have an all-electric garage with a Nissan Leaf (NSANY) for local errands and a Tesla Model S-1 (TSLA) for longer trips, allowing me to disappear from the gasoline market completely. Millions will follow.

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. 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 is 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 economy.

New health care breakthroughs will make serious disease a thing of the past which are also being spearheaded in the San Francisco Bay area.

This is because the Golden State thumbed its nose at the federal government ten 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 $30,156 annual supplement. Nor do I.

The ending of our foreign wars and the elimination of extravagant unneeded weapons systems cut defense spending from $800 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.

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 is already spinning 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.

 

Dow Average 1900-2015

 

Another American Golden Age is Coming

June 17, 2019

Global Market Comments
June 17, 2019
Fiat Lux

Featured Trade:
(THE MARKET OUTLOOK FOR THE WEEK AHEAD, or THE SCARY THING ABOUT THE MARKETS)
(SPY), (TLT), (GLD), (TSLA)