Kirk Spano, the winner of the first MarketWatch competition to find the world’s next great investing columnist, is a registered investment advisor and founder of Bluemound Asset Management, LLC  which seeks to provide investors with greater safety, growth, income and freedom. Kirk’s biography and various business endeavors can be found at KirkSpano.com. Follow Kirk on Twitter @KirkSpano or at the Bluemound Facebook page for his columns, company analysis, letters, trade notes and what he is reading.
So we have concluded (perhaps) the bull market in bonds that began in 1981 and that maybe ended in the early days of July 2016 (I think). So it might just be that interest rates are going up because they are going up. It sounds a little bit mysterious and indeed fatalistic, but I’m a little bit less inclined than others to assign causation to people and policies.
Beyond all this, there is the impulsiveness of our beloved President Trump who actually does what he says he would do in his campaign. Until the end of January 2018, Wall Street thought he could be controlled and would only do the things they approved of. But Trump has his own agenda. So, now Wall Street has no choice but to worry about a trade war that could easily escalate. Why do you think so many of Trump’s advisors have recently left or been fired? They wanted him to be more cautious. But Trump wanted to keep the faith with his base and put tariffs up on steel, etc. to protect American manufacturing. Never mind, the consequences of Smoot-Hawley in 1930 when Europe was already suffering. N ever mind, the fact that so very much of what we buy in the US now comes from China. We cannot possibly start to make all the things we now import. Never mind, how much consumer prices will rise. And never mind the fact that successful sales of US Treasuries to finance our national debt depends on China. Trump’s economic nationalism is a very abrupt change from the last 30+ years of internationalism. Wall Street has grown rich and fat on such internationalism. Stock prices, especially for the big multi-nationals in the DJIA and the NASDAQ can only make adjustments to Trump’s tariffs by declining. Even if Trump backs away from his tariffs’ plan, Wall Street cannot feel quite safe. Trump has shown he wants to get votes in the “Rust-belt” at Wall Street’s expense. Horrors!

Goldberg said that investors who continue to hold longer-term bonds should expect fluctuations and, if they look closely at statement this year, losses in the bond holdings. But it's not a reason to sell. And most retail investors aren't in bonds for the total return (i.e., performance) anyway. But they do need to understand that the market mechanics are much stronger for stocks than bonds now.
Shall I give you the time frames and % of price cuts done by various lenders in this area to dump the REO’s? They are so ver ver predictable …… 4-6 weeks to first cut of 9.87 -11.11%, another 4 -6 weeks and another cut of antoher 7/5 -10%,….another 6 weeks and now they are 23 -30% of the original list……. ANd they always end up taking offers that are 7 -15% off the list price du jour….
AnnS, your “tri-county area” is undoubtedly flyover/filler state crap. And that’s why the banks are quick to take it back and unload it as soon as possible, because it most likely didn’t run up significantly to begin with thus the losses won’t be steep (and most likely the bulk of these properties were already FHA/VA/FME/FRE backed or will be now). In prime areas the banks are looking at jumbo loan balances that they and they alone are on the hook for the losses – often to the tune of 6 or even 7 figures EACH.
Three weeks ago when GDX was trading around $17.90 I wrote a post titled "Why I Bought Gold Miners Today" in which I presented the concept that the gold miners were potentially all "sold-out" and ripe for a rally.  Since that day the GDX is up a little more than 3% but the price action has been far from convincing and GDX ran into stiff resistance just above $19 last week (double-top at $19.11 to be precise).  However, when one considers the totality of the picture it becomes easier to discern a potential head & shoulders bottoming pattern, with the recent choppy and lackluster price action as part of a larger bottoming process: Read More
Dr. Schiller has been an invaluable contributor to financial market dialogue for many years. He will eventually be right as investment psychology has a habit of going off the deep end from time to time. I offer the above only to try to analyze why we are where we are now. What will eventually put pressure on equity prices are competitive returns from debt instruments (higher interest rates) and that is not likely to happen soon since the power structure appears to favor the current status quo.
Having read Crash Proof and many other "Dollar is Doomed" books ..this give a great current synopsis on the happening events ... it is weird to read/hear Mr Schiff and is bolf predictions somehow come true. Even though flight to quality in the 'dollar' has hurt many of Mr. Schiffs investments ('currently') .. his insight on the future for our American way of life makes the book a must read.
*** “As events in the Mideast and Afghanistan heat up and the economy melts down,” writes John Myers in the Resource Trader Alert, “flight-to-quality becomes more of a necessity than a choice. And if today’s paper flight-to-quality alternatives like the dollar and U.S. Treasuries lose their allure, investment demand for metals – like silver – could renew and pay off big for investors.”
The sneaky thing about Amazon’s increased dominance in so many key aspects of our lives is that much of the perniciousness is hidden. No one’s going to tell you about all the retailers who have gotten pressured or destroyed via its tactics while you’re happily clicking “add to cart” and smiling about 2-day free shipping. In this sense, it can be best compared to the evils of factory farming. Most people just simply have no idea about the immense damage going on behind the scenes as they indulge in incredible convenience and what looks like a good deal.
This article considers the juxtaposition of colliding worldviews and the unified message that voters across the political spectrum are sending. While many investors are aware of the political change afoot, it seems that very few have considered how said changes might affect the economy and financial markets. In this article, we share some of our thoughts and encourage you to give the topic more consideration going forward. Read More
Not even a full minute into an interview with Alex Jones of Info Wars, Schiff says “it’s not a good thing” that the economy is going to crash and burn. “Unfortunately, that’s what Trump has inherited from Obama. But it’s not even really just Obama, it’s the federal reserve. It’s the monetary policy that has been passed like a baton from Clinton to Bush to Obama and now to Trump. And we’re near the end of the game and unfortunately, Trump’s gonna be the fall guy.  This thing is all gonna collapse while he’s president.” Read More
Food programs are widely considered welfare to the people using them. In fact they are welfare to the food industry: it is a direct transfer of government (tax) bling to the pockets of General Mills, General Foods, Cargill, ADM, Monsanto, and the other Big Food/Big Pharma companies. It is tax bling to the grocers as well. These companies can keep marking up food for profit, squeezing those who pay money for it AND pay taxes so those who can’t afford the food can give Munchy Bucks to their local food vendor, and those dollars are credited to the food industry.
The above chart may not seem like a big deal to some but keep in mind the United States had never witnessed a year over year drop in nationwide home prices since the Great Depression.  Not only has that been surpassed but home prices are now back to levels last seen 8 years ago.  The lost decade is now nipping at our heels but what about two lost decades like Japan?
Throughout the ages, whenever an empire has begun its inevitable collapse, no country has ever woken up and reversed the process. In every case, the government rides the decline to the bottom. And, along the way, a series of policies is invariably undertaken to save those in government in the downward rush. These policies are always at the expense of the populace. Read More
Brokers are the intermediate step between the underwriter and the actual bond holders, the cement-and-pavement financial professionals who answer orders for bond purchases. In most cases, underwriters will communicate and sell their maturities through multiple brokers. The broker seeks to distribute their bonds from the underwriter at a small percentage profit. Given the current legacy systems of the bond market, the distribution and sale of bonds is an exceptionally manual process requiring tremendous labor overhead and paperwork. As such, most municipal bond brokers only sell to high net worth individuals and organizations seeking to buy large quantities of bonds. Many of the people with direct ties to the impacted communities are therefore unable to contribute to their local governments, given little to no access to the profitable bond market.

The truth is California has been living off phony home equity gains for 40 years. Nothing was ever produced to create this money, Nothing. But, they all spent this counterfit cash into the economy like it was real. California has flourished under this scheme of ever increasing Real Estate prices, but the free ride is over. Now they’ll have to learn how to actually produce something to have prosperity.
Remember when we were assured that HRC was not a target of interest to the Russians and therefore we could be confident that they never even attempted to hack her server, which was conveniently still in it’s woefully under-protected state while this spy ring was targeting her specifically? The people who told us not to worry our pretty little heads are the same ones who knew all about this spy ring.
Members of the American libertarian movement, particularly extremist preppers, are often associated with a belief that a complete breakdown in society is the only outcome from government economic policies and will lead to complete social disintegration. At the centre of their concerns is monetary destruction, with other issues, such as the erosion of personal freedom and the right to bear arms, important but peripheral. They cite history, particularly the hyperinflationary collapses, from Rome to Zimbabwe, and now Venezuela. They draw on Austrian economic theory, which fans their dislike of government and their expectation of total chaos. Read More
Embrace uncertainty – Anyone who doesn’t follow this momentous maxim in coming years is likely to get one unpleasant shock after the next. Because the stable progression of the world economy since WWII is now coming to an end. What should have been a normal cyclical high in the next year or two, is now going to be the most massive implosion of a bubble full of debts and inflated assets. The system has been “successfully” manipulated for decades by central banks, certain commercial banks, the BIS in Basel and the IMF for the benefit of a small elite. Read More
For me, this is the most important part of George’s new economics. The entrepreneur must know that if his product or service succeeds at the market, it won’t be regulated out of existence. And the profits will not be taxed away. If he doesn’t have that assurance, the likelihood of turning his idea into a product or service is greatly diminished. That results in less entrepreneurial creations, which means less knowledge and wealth in the economy.
RATE AND REVIEW this podcast on Facebook.https://www.facebook.com/PeterSchiff/reviews/A Big Constituency of Highly Indebted PeopleThe fact that you have created this big constituency of highly indebted young people - they're like indentured servants. The government now loans them the money and now they are in debt to the government for the rest ...…
On Tuesday, March 10, Vikram Pandit the CEO of Citibank, said that his bank has been profitable the first two months of 2009 and was currently enjoying its best quarterly performance since 2007. On March 12, Ken Lewis, CEO of Bank of America, declared that bank had also been profitable in January and February, that he didn't foresee the bank needing further government funds, and that he expected to "see $50 billion in 2009 pre-tax revenue". The announcements caused multi-day rallies with double-digit percentage gains for a number of stocks both in and outside of the banking industry.[33][34]
In his book Nobody Knows Anything, my friend Bob Moriarty wrote about the difference between signal and noise. Unfortunately, much of the information in the gold space or what passes for such is really noise. Conspiracy theories around manipulation, price suppression and China are all too popular while important factors like real interest rates, investment demand and gold’s relationship to equities are neglected. At present the Gold market has experienced a critical breakdown yet in some circles a new theory and explanation is gaining traction.

Capitalism is not chiefly an incentive system but an information system. The key to economic growth is not acquisition of things by the pursuit of monetary rewards, but the expansion of wealth through learning and discovery. The economy grows by accumulating surprising knowledge through the conduct of the falsifiable experiments of free enterprises.
In fact, there is remarkably little evidence of organized bear raiding on the U.S. market following the October Crash. In order to dispel the myths, the economist of the New York Stock Exchange, Edward Meeker, published a book, entitled Short-Selling, in 1932. Meeker claimed that bears had not precipitated the crash. In November 1929, the NYSE found that around one hundredth of one percent of outstanding shares had been sold short. A later study in May 1931 found the short interest had risen to 3/5 of one percent of the total market value. More than ten times as many shares were held on margin. Nor could the stock exchange identify any bear raids in the subsequent market decline.
Economic cracks big enough to drive a car industry into are opening up all over the globe. Trade gaps are opening up between major allies. Widening spreads between the dollar and other currencies are shredding emerging markets. As we start into summer, these cracks and several others described below have become big enough to get everyone’s attention, just as I said last year would become the situation.
Two weeks after we reported that GE had found itself locked out of the commercial paper market following downgrades that made it ineligible for most money market investors, the pain has continued, and yesterday General Electric lost just over $5bn in market capitalization. While far less than the $49bn wiped out from AAPL the same day, it was arguably the bigger headline grabber.

Take your time! I was in your shoes 6 months ago. I thought I should take advantage of the low interest rates at the time, but since learned lower home price is better than low interest rates. (interest rates and home price are basically inversely proportional) At best, home prices will stay the same through this year. Read this blog, see a ton of homes, learn about housing, loans, the home buying process, curbing your emotions, etc…
Debt, my man, debt. In the rush to FIRE economy how could anything be better than DEBT? Particularly if you get the debtors to re-contract for that debt, and more, every so many months, resetting the terms of their interest payback to the beginning of the curve each time? As Ron said, this was all Monopoly money…that people agreed to pretend was real. The problem with speculation is that once you have more than a few people dancing atop the Milk the Suckers ponzi pyramid, it ceases to be a pyramid shape….
Maybe you suspect a bear market will start because the bull market has run on too long. Question One—is there a “right” time a bull market needs to last? No! There is no “right” length for a bull market. As bull markets run longer than average in duration, there is normally a steady stream of folks who say a bull market must end because it’s too old. (Read more on this phenomenon in Markets Never Forget.) That isn’t right. They all end for their own reasons and will end eventually—but age isn’t among them. People started saying the 1990s bull market was too old in 1994, only about six years too soon. “Irrational exuberance” was first uttered in 1996—again, way too early. Bull markets can die at any age.
The first chart comes from my friend, John Hussman, and shows his margin-adjusted version of the cyclically-adjusted price-to-earnings ratio. This improved version of the CAPE ratio (improved because it has a greater negative correlation with future 12-year returns) shows equity valuations have now surpassed both the dotcom mania peak in 2000 and the 1929 mania peak. Read More
The 5 percent down is not all that risky for fund investors because the quality of the borrowers is high and the fact that the Freedom Note would pay down to $294,557 by only the third year; while with the Slave Note, your balance is $654,809 by the third year. So with the Slave Note, after 3 years your balance has reduced by $45,190 or 6 percent while with the Freedom Note, even though the rate is over twice the Slave Note, it reduces its balance by $44,233 or 13% – yes 13 percent!
What I love most about this book is that I was able to read it in its entirety in one sitting and I actually feel like I learned something. The book discusses several strategies that can be used during a bear market to help the individual investor profit. I do wish there was more discussion on the type of accounts you would need along with financial requirements to actually take advantage of the methods presented. Some of the methods seem to require a good bit of cash on hand which most individual investors might not have. Then again, bear market trading can be more risky. Overall, I thought it was a fantastic book and Great addition to the Trading book shelf! Definitely recommend
In 2008 through 2011, new public service announcements (PSAs) featuring Smokey rendered in CGI were released.[57] In 2010, the PSAs encouraged young adults to “Get Your Smokey On” – that is, to become like Smokey and speak up appropriately when others are acting carelessly.[58] In 2011, the campaign launched its first mobile application, or app, to provide critical information about wildfire prevention, including a step-by-step guide to safely building and extinguishing campfires, as well as a map of current wildfires across America.[59]
DHB has done several an article on Culver City and the surrounding areas. Don’t doubt that the RE spring summer season will want the affluent-esque Culver RE participant to push this area up during this time. If you can wait, do so. Don’t get mixed up in with the buying season this year. I would think we’ll see some interesting price drops in the still bubble areas this fall/winter. Of course I’m a guy stashing away money in a rent free place just watching, reading, learning and waiting.
A while ago, I asked a regular commenter at the Automatic Earth, who goes by the moniker Dr. D, to try and write an article for us. Not long after, I received no less than 31 pages, and an even 12345 words. Way too long for today’s digital attention spans. We decided to split it into 5 chapters. After we work through those 5, we’ll post it as one piece as well. Dr. D, who insists on sticking with his nom de plume, picked his own topic, and it’s -fittingly- bitcoin. A topic about which one can cover a lot of ground in 12345 words. 
I have tried to explain this concept many times before but never had a chart to do it with. Please note the start date of the chart is 1971, this is not by any coincidence as that was the year the U.S. dollar became fully fiat and backed by nothing but “faith”. Before getting started, it is important to understand what August 15, 1971 really meant and why Nixon took us off the gold standard. The obvious is because with France and other nations demanding conversion of dollars into our gold, it would have only been a few short years before our stockpile was completely depleted. Read More
Wireless power technology recently became popular with its application in charging wireless-capable devices, (such as a smartphone) via a Powermat interface. There is one company currently building out a true wireless power supply without the need for an intermediary “pad,” which could develop into an investment opportunity of a lifetime if it or another company successfully launches an IPO, not to mention the upstream manufacturing interface components.  Read More
In his book, “1984”, George Orwell envisioned a future crushed by the iron grip of a collectivist oligarchy. The narrative told of the INGSOC Party which maintained power through a system of surveillance and brutality designed to monitor and control every aspect of society.  From the time of the book’s release in 1949, any ensuing vision of a dark dystopia depicting variations of jackboots stomping on human faces, forever, has been referenced as being “Orwellian”.  This is because Orwell’s narrative illustrated various disturbing and unjust conceptualizations of control, crime, and punishment. Read More

According to a 2017 study by the Federal Reserve, 44% of Americans wouldn’t be able to cover an unexpected $400 expense without borrowing or selling something. Yes, nearly half the country can’t come up with $400 cash in an emergency. That’s stunning. The slightest mishap—a toothache, a minor car problem—will send them into debt or force them to sell something.
That concludes the fifth and final installment in this series. I hope you have enjoyed reading my insights into these “big ideas” as much as I have enjoyed writing them. Although it’s over, I do have something special to send you in the coming days. It’s a personal video message that I just finished recording. Think of it as a stepping stone to taking these “big ideas” to the next level. I’ll tell you more about it in my series recap email, tomorrow.

Dow Ending a Down Week on a Positive NoteThe Dow managed to finish a down week on a positive note; the Dow Jones was up about 55 points - 24,270-ish is where we closed. Although intra-day, we were up better than 250 points, so most fo the losses came toward the end of the day, as the Dow was not able to hold on to all those gains. It held on to ...…
In his book, “1984”, George Orwell envisioned a future crushed by the iron grip of a collectivist oligarchy. The narrative told of the INGSOC Party which maintained power through a system of surveillance and brutality designed to monitor and control every aspect of society.  From the time of the book’s release in 1949, any ensuing vision of a dark dystopia depicting variations of jackboots stomping on human faces, forever, has been referenced as being “Orwellian”.  This is because Orwell’s narrative illustrated various disturbing and unjust conceptualizations of control, crime, and punishment. Read More
Exceptional Bear's guidance is an optimal tool to capably oversee the investment decisions of outside managers.  Once you understand this Market, facilitated by candle charts in color, represent market history, the wrong asset classes, become readily evident. By subscribing to Exceptional Bear,you'll be learning invaluable investment skills, which will allow you to "get it" on a deep level. The foundation of our methodology is the most advanced and refined version of RN Elliott's legacy - New-Wave Elliott™.  
Microsoft Corporation (MSFT - Free Report) develops, licenses, and supports software, services, devices, and solutions worldwide. The company has a Zacks Rank #1. In the last 60 days, 15 earnings estimates moved north, while none moved south for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings increased 7.3% in the same period. The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current quarter and year is 14.3% and 9.5%, respectively.
I am primarily a value investor. For me, the algorithms serve as a way to monitor whether my view about valuations is becoming accepted by other market participants. As I have mentioned, I believed earlier this year that we were in the late stage of a cyclical bull market. The markets are finally agreeing and turning the late-cycle bull into an early cycle bear.
A few days after we reported that the investment vehicle of Sweden's most powerful family, the Wallenbergs, has begun preparations for the next global crisis, concerns about the future have spread to one of China's largest state-backed asset manager which runs about HK$139 billion ($18 billion) in assets, and which said it was preparing to sell shares in as many as 30 stocks on concern that valuations worldwide have peaked. Read More
The level of panic that we witnessed on Wall Street on Wednesday was breathtaking.  After a promising start to the day, the Dow Jones Industrial Average started plunging, and at the close it was down another 608 points.  Since peaking at 26,951.81 on October 3rd, the Dow has now fallen 2,368 points, and all of the gains for 2018 have been completely wiped out.  But things are even worse when we look at the Nasdaq.  The percentage decline for the Nasdaq almost doubled the Dow’s stunning plunge on Wednesday, and it has now officially entered correction territory.  To say that it was a “bloodbath” for tech stocks on Wednesday would be a major understatement. Read More
All day today the presstitute scum at NPR went on and on about President Trump, using every kind of guest and issue to set him up for more criticism as an unfit occupant of the Oval Office, because, and only because, he threatens the massive budget of the military/security complex by attempting to normalize relations with Russia. The NPR scum even got an ambassador from Montenegro on the telephone and made every effort to goad the ambassador into denouncing Trump for saying that Montenegro had strong and aggressive people capable of defending themselves and were not in need of sending the sons of American families to defend them. Somehow this respectful compliment about the Monenegro people was supposed to be an insult. The ambassador refused to be put into opposition to Trump. NPR kept trying, but got nowhere. Read More
Earlier this year the total U.S. stock market cap surpassed $30 trillion. It then lost more than $1 trillion in a single month. Apple might very well become the first company worth over $1 trillion in the modern era. The U.S. national debt surpassed $21 trillion, and the deficit for next year is expected to add another $1 trillion. But just how big are these numbers? Can we get some perspective? Read More

It’s been several years since the markets started using the word contagion.  During the European debt crisis, this word was used constantly as traders worried that issues with Greece and Spain and Portugal would spread across Europe. Today, the markets are discussing another contagion as the Turkish Lira plunged 10% moving up to a higher of 6.25 versus the greenback before tracing some of its losses and settling near the 5.93 level. The close on Thursday was closer to 5 Turkish Lira per US dollar. The catalyst that drove the Lira lower seemed to be a lack of government concern that investors are waiting for an outline of a new economic plan. Read More


4. While 5% real annual return doesn’t seem like much, it is a highly stable and secure return. How would stocks fair in that same time frame? Taking into account a 2% annual inflation rate, you would need a 7% nominal annual return on stocks to keep up with a 5% real return on a house. What if inflation goes to 4% or higher? Can you imagine a sustained nominal return on stocks of 9% or higher (to achieve a 5% real return on stocks)??
Appeal Case: “I was not sure where to find help until I found your financial aid appeal page. Your service is exceptional, and that is rare these days. Just one of your strategies saved us over $8,000. I have told many people about what you are doing to help us, and I intend to tell everyone that I meet. Most of my acquaintances also have children in college. Thank you.”  –Sherry H. Maryland [ Appeal Award $29,000]
Beyond that, self-motivation is an issue even for people who are hard-working. Most of the people reading this have probably gone to the gym, tried to lose weight and/or gain muscle. How many have successes? How many of people reading this have remained constantly motivated day in day out, year in year out? That is tough, but being a rational investor, requires that kind of discllipine.

In 2005, Congressman Ron Paul (R-Texas) said section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (2002) which requires chief executive officers to certify the accuracy of financial statements caused capital flight away from the U.S. stock market.[18] Later in 2008, Paul said that the government bailouts of badly run corporations was rewarding bad behavior and punishing good behavior, and that it prevented resources from being allocated away from inefficient uses to more productive uses, and that this lowered the overall amount of wealth across the entire economy.[19]
I suspect it began with the top in Bitcon and the other 1300-1400 related pseudo currencies back in December. I did an interview in the first week of December where I said Bitcon was in a bubble. I believed it would do the same thing every other bubble in history did. It was going to crash and take all the money of most of the investors. The piece was posted on the 10 th of December. When I did the interview, Bitcon had been going virtually straight up for months and was about $16,858, a new high. Read More
It's true that Treasuries rallied last week, as yield-starved foreign investors poured into the market following the Fed's rate decision and equity markets tumbled on the Trump administration's tariffs targeting Chinese exports. But the most telling part of the action was the 10-year Treasury yields only managed to drop a measly three basis points on the week as the Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled more than 1400 points in its worst decline in more than two years.
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