Paul R. Ruedi, a CFP® financial advisor in Champaign, IL, suggest investors regularly do “lifeboat drills” before a bear market starts. He says investors should “...imagine a bear market has occurred and the stock portion of their portfolio is down 20% or 30%. How will they feel? How are they going to react? Are they going to panic, or remind themselves that “this too shall pass,” and stay the course with their investments? We remind our clients to do these all the time, and when a bear market occurs, they are spared the panic and emotions that consume most investors during bear markets.”


Or, passively intentional inflation through government policy, taxes and market skewing favorable tax structures, government subsidies, etc. will artificially pin housing prices to a new norm, screwing all those who saved and were responsible and all those who saved for retirement. Oh, and it will screw all the young people who will have to pay higher Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid taxes because Baby-boomers are going to be damned if they are going to have to pay the consequences of their failure.
While $1 billion may not sound like much when compared with the Peoples’ Bank of China total holdings of US Government debt of more than $1 trillion or to the US Federal debt today of over $20 trillion, it’s significance lies beyond the nominal amount. It’s a test run by both governments of the potential for state financing of infrastructure and other projects independent of dollar risk from such events as US Treasury financial sanctions. Read More

Once upon a time, there was a little-known energy company called Enron. In its 16-year life, it went from being dubbed America’s most innovative company by Fortune Magazine to being the poster child of American corporate deceit. Using a classic recipe for book-cooking, Enron ended up in bankruptcy with jail time for those involved. Its shareholders lost $74 billionin the four years leading up to its bankruptcy in 2001.

The nominal returns, before accounting for inflation, were actually pretty decent for bonds during these real bears. Over their 45 and 50-year real bear markets, 5-year treasuries and long-term bonds returned 4.6% and 4.7% respectively on an annual basis. Bond investors would kill for those types of returns at the moment if it didn’t come with that pesky inflation.


Caterpillar Inc. (CAT - Free Report) manufactures and sells construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines, and diesel-electric locomotives for construction, resource, and energy and transportation industries. The company has a Zacks Rank #2. In the last 60 days, 11 earnings estimates moved north, while none moved south for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings rose 8.4% in the same period. The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current quarter and year is 44.6% and 69.3%, respectively.
RATE AND REVIEW this podcast on iTunes!U.S. GDP Growth Reported at 4.1%Today we finally got the highly anticipated first look at U.S. economic growth, or really GDP growth, because the GDP is not that great a barometer of the economy. Nonetheless, thats the one that everybody uses to measure it, and that's the one that we're going to talk about ...…
Still, there are a lot of unknowns. Would millions of Americans switching from urban to rural living ignite a baby boom and cure our demographic problems? It’s certainly not out of the question. After all, birthrates are substantially higher in rural areas. Plus, families could dramatically reduce their cost of living by moving out of cities, allowing them to feed more mouths.
Pretending that it isn’t happening or hoping to hug it out is not a rational response to the chaos that is coming.  I know that some cling to their misguided views on the way the world works with the ferocity of a mother bear protecting cubs, but for the rest of us, there’s this thing called reality. When we accept it, we can prepare for it. Read More

Japan urban land prices are back to levels last seen in the 1980s.  You have to ask if there are parallels to our current condition.  The first point we all have to agree on is that both economies had extraordinarily large real estate bubbles.  For the United States the answer to this assumption is a big yes.  We can run off a check list of how our real estate markets run similarities:
It is isn’t egotism and lack of self-motivation that causes us to trade more. Panic and greed also play a part. It is a natural human emotion to want to invest more when markets are going well, or sell when markets are down or at least to stop contributing. Studies that shown that if you tell somebody that they have a 95% chance of making money, they are more likely to invest than if you tell them they have a 5% chance of losing money.

This system, defined as the Liberal International Order, is the framework of rules, alliances, and institutions that is credited with the relative peace and prosperity the world has enjoyed since 1945. So, if the order has lost support, will the world plunge into beggar-thy-neighbor protectionism? Worse, without the threat of military intervention by the US and its allies, will regional powers start to challenge one another?


Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement, leading to President Donald Trump’s nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, has thrown progressives, the Democratic Party and the news media into an out-and-out tizzy. The online magazine Slate declared, “Anthony Kennedy Just Destroyed His Legacy as a Gay Rights Hero.” The New York Times’ editorial board said about a second Trump court appointment, “It is a dark moment in the history of the court and the nation, and it’s about to get a lot darker.”

The calculator is based on industry average costs. Your move costs may vary depending on the actual weight of your goods, the services you request or are needed to complete the move, and/or on the pricing of each individual mover. Also, certain costs are not reflected in this calculation, for example any fuel surcharge that may be applicable at the time of your move and valuation costs.
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]

Sometimes the condition occurs completely by chance when you’re born, like my case. — Sarah Valenzuela, SELF, "My Congenital Disorder Confuses a Lot of Trainers, So I Have to Be My Own Fitness Expert," 9 Nov. 2018 So Ruby used massive amounts of data from Ancestry.com to investigate the role of genes in the lifespans of more than 400,000 people born in the 1800s and early 20th century. — Cathleen O'grady, Ars Technica, "Genetics play less of a role in lifespan than we thought," 8 Nov. 2018 Michigan’s Rashida Tlaib, born in Detroit to Palestinian parents, and Minnesota’s Ilhan Omar, who arrived in the United States from Somalia at 14, won their House races, becoming the first Muslim women elected to Congress. — Mary Jordan, The Seattle Times, "Record number of women appear headed for Congress," 6 Nov. 2018 But companies born in democracies sometimes display their values, as when social networks cite the First Amendment in drafting their policies around content moderation. — Casey Newton, The Verge, "The Google walkout offers a playbook for successful corporate protests," 2 Nov. 2018 If someone were born in northern Greece or Anatolia, the strontium signal would be different from that of Iron Gates natives. — Mark Barna, Discover Magazine, "When Farmers and Foragers First Met," 24 Oct. 2018 The new royal baby, whose name has yet to be made public, is the seventh grandchild for Princess Caroline (the third born in 2018), and the great-grandson of Grace Kelly. — Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Princess Grace's Granddaughter Charlotte Casiraghi Gives Birth to a Baby Boy," 24 Oct. 2018 When you're born into the royal family, things are naturally...different. — Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "Will Meghan Markle And Prince Harry’s Baby Be Born At Home? Plus, Other Bizarre Royal Birthing Rules," 15 Oct. 2018 Here are some quick facts to know about the key term: 1) Heteronormativity starts SUPER young A lot of people are victims of heteronormativity before they're even born because of the strange cultural phenomenon of gender reveal parties. — Megan Lasher, Seventeen, "Everything You Need To Know About 'Heteronormativity'," 4 Oct. 2018
The price of gold fell another ten bucks and that of silver another 28 cents. Perspective: if you’re waiting for the right moment to buy, the market is offering you a better deal than it did last week (literally, the price of gold is a 7.2% discount to the fundamental vs. 4.6% last week). If you wanted to sell, this wasn’t a good week to wait. Which is your intention, and why?
Municipal bond holders may purchase bonds either from the issuer or broker at the time of issuance (on the primary market), or from other bond holders at some time after issuance (on the secondary market). In exchange for an upfront investment of capital, the bond holder receives payments over time composed of interest on the invested principal, and a return of the invested principal itself (see bond).

Every once in a while the trading action in a given market breaks through its historically normal boundaries and starts exploring new territory. This can mean one of two things: Either something fundamental has changed, creating a “new normal” to which participants will have to adapt. Or the extreme move is a temporary aberration that will eventually be corrected by an equally extreme snap-back into the previous range. Read More

Editor's Note: It is unusual for "the Bear" to focus on non-financial issues. This story is revelant to your financial survival because of the depth of depravity that, not only Dees, but most, if not all of his associates participate. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) is a left wing control group that, in 2004, accused yours truely of running the only one man terrorist organization in the United States.


Of course, all of those ships have sailed. We live in a reality where past fiduciary mistakes are “corrected” by amplifying those same mistakes, as if the solution to having our heads buried in the sand is that we just haven’t buried them deeply enough; that maybe the tsunami created by generations of criminal, federal, financial mismanagement and unsustainable promises will disappear if we can just duck around this next corner and close our eyes long enough. Read More

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I recently ran across a terrific chart in Grant’s Interest Rate Observer that got me thinking about Hyman Minsky and The Financial Instability Hypothesis. After remaining relatively unknown during the course of his lifetime, Minsky really came to fame in the immediate aftermath of the financial crisis as his hypothesis helped to explain what left most economists baffled: the fundamental cause of the crisis. Clearly, though, he has been forgotten just as quickly because, considering where we stand today, it’s obvious the economists with the greatest power to prevent another crisis have still not adopted his insights into their frameworks. Read More
Last week, we shined a spotlight on a crack in the monetary system that few people outside of Switzerland (and not many inside either) were aware of. There is permanent gold backwardation measured in Swiss francs. Everyone knows that the Swiss franc has a negative interest rate, but so far as we know, Keith is the only one who predicted this would lead to its collapse (and he was quite early, having written that in January 2015).
Most people are aware that historically there have been speculative bubbles. Some of them can even name a few – the South Sea bubble, tulips, and more recently dot-coms. Some historians can go even further, quoting the famous account by Charles Mackay of the South Sea bubble, the tulip mania and the Mississippi bubble, published in the mid-nineteenth century.

Conventional economics holds that it is incentives—carrots and sticks—which drive individual economic actors to do what they do, and thus leads to economic growth. Although incentives are important, they are not the main driver of growth. The Neanderthal in his cave had the same incentive to eat and access to the same raw materials as we do today. Yet, our economy is vastly more advanced, why?
“We’re not overly worried about this being the early legs of a large-scale market correction in conjunction with a recession,” Joe Mallen, chief investment officer at Helios Quantitative Research, said Wednesday. “I don’t see anything so dire from an economic data perspective that will create a 20% plus drawdown. I think this is very technical in nature.”
First, more NYSE stocks are bought on margin now than at any time since the 1950s, and Faber interprets this as a sign of overvaluation. Indeed, he finds that stock prices are "out of control," per Money, with the market P/E ratio nearly double its historical average. Once a selloff begins, Faber expects it to become an avalanche in which "asset holders will lose 50% of their assets [and] some people will lose everything," as Money quotes him.

The first part of my answer is technical, what do the charts show. Well, a normal 50% DJIA retracement of its big gains from January 2016 to January 2018 would take this index down to 21070 and exactly fulfill the minimum requirement of a bear market, i.e. that the DJI falls 20%. The DJI now stands a little above 23500, about 12% down from its peak.
Intraday Data provided by SIX Financial Information and subject to terms of use. Historical and current end-of-day data provided by SIX Financial Information. All quotes are in local exchange time. Real-time last sale data for U.S. stock quotes reflect trades reported through Nasdaq only. Intraday data delayed at least 15 minutes or per exchange requirements.

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.

Identifying and measuring bear markets is both art and science. One common measure says that a bear market exists when at least 80% of all stock prices fall over an extended period. Another measure says that a bear market exists if certain market indexes -- such as the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 -- fall at least -15%. Of course, different market sectors may experience bear markets at different times. The bear market that occurred in the U.S. equity markets from 1929 to 1933 is one of the most famous bear markets in history.

One thing that turns a correction into a bear market can be investor psychology. Since much of investing, especially in the short term, is about trying to guess what other investors may be thinking and react accordingly, selling can breed more selling. That is, people who think other people are selling may try to get out of positions before they lose more value, depressing stock prices in the short term.


One of the most conservative strategies, and the most extreme, is to sell all investments before the downturn begins or before it hits its lowest point, and either hold cash or invest the proceeds into much more stable financial instruments, such as short-term government bonds. By doing this, an investor can attempt to reduce his or her exposure to the stock market and minimize the effects of a bear market.
Gross is alarmed by a financial economy that is growing faster than the real economy, Money says. He's also concerned about huge debt loads, an aging population, the automation of labor and weak productivity growth in the real economy, Money adds. All these factors "promise to stunt U.S. and global growth far below historical norms," Gross believes, per Money. Right now, "All markets are increasingly at risk," as Money quotes from Gross' June Investment Outlook letter. (For more, see also: Bill Gross: QE is "Financial Methadone.")

       We hope to buy a 2,000 sq., Ft., or larger single story, move in ready, single family residence with Good Bones and plenty of yard ( acres ) with privacy, (no Tracts or busy streets) and must be quiet area. We want to live modestly and without the cost and hassles of Mella Roos, HOAs or the many City ordinances. A ranch or farm land preferred. We hope to move once and to stay for at least 10 to 15 years before we retire, then move out of the area for good.
Municipal bond holders may purchase bonds either from the issuer or broker at the time of issuance (on the primary market), or from other bond holders at some time after issuance (on the secondary market). In exchange for an upfront investment of capital, the bond holder receives payments over time composed of interest on the invested principal, and a return of the invested principal itself (see bond).
Revenue bonds: Principal and interest are secured by revenues derived from tolls, charges or rents from the facility built with the proceeds of the bond issue. Public projects financed by revenue bonds include toll roads, bridges, airports, water and sewage treatment facilities, hospitals and subsidized housing. Many of these bonds are issued by special authorities created for that particular purpose.[1]
Last Monday, Morgan Stanley made quite a splash with its contrarian call, when in the aftermath of a handful of poor tech results, most notably from Facebook which lost as much as $150BN in market cap due to slowing user growth, the bank's chief equity strategist Michael Wilson boldly predicted that "the selling has just begun and this correction will be biggest since the one we experienced in February."
There are always cycles. The current cycle started at the bottom of the Great Recession and will last “until central banks put on the brakes,” said Ray Dalio, founder of Bridgewater Associates, in an interview with Bloomberg. “We’re in a perfect situation, inflation is not a problem, growth is good, but we have to keep in mind the part of the cycle we’re in.”
Gross is alarmed by a financial economy that is growing faster than the real economy, Money says. He's also concerned about huge debt loads, an aging population, the automation of labor and weak productivity growth in the real economy, Money adds. All these factors "promise to stunt U.S. and global growth far below historical norms," Gross believes, per Money. Right now, "All markets are increasingly at risk," as Money quotes from Gross' June Investment Outlook letter. (For more, see also: Bill Gross: QE is "Financial Methadone.")

Rebalancing back to 50-50 2x and cash daily will have provide the closest tracking, but the costs will kill. You can rebalance much less frequently, perhaps at 40% bands (when the weights have declined below 30%/risen above 70% for instance) and achieve similar general reward as the 1x with much less rebalance frequency (once every year or two perhaps), but likely with some tracking error – that has 50-50 probability of being better or worse.
I recently ran across a terrific chart in Grant’s Interest Rate Observer that got me thinking about Hyman Minsky and The Financial Instability Hypothesis. After remaining relatively unknown during the course of his lifetime, Minsky really came to fame in the immediate aftermath of the financial crisis as his hypothesis helped to explain what left most economists baffled: the fundamental cause of the crisis. Clearly, though, he has been forgotten just as quickly because, considering where we stand today, it’s obvious the economists with the greatest power to prevent another crisis have still not adopted his insights into their frameworks. Read More
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]

While the Liberal International Order and its institutions are credited with the relative peace the world has enjoyed since 1945, Niall says, “That's a very implausible argument.” He believes the world has been more peaceful because of the will and capacity of the US to be the principal guarantor of the system. This is often referred to as Pax Americana, in which the US employed its overwhelming military power to shape and direct global events.


As Niall pointed out: “Things are becoming quite disorderly for the liberal order.” Before we go on, I want to make a critical point. Whether you support military intervention, or not, isn’t the issue here. The issue is that without the US playing the role of guarantor, we are likely to see a rise in conflicts. That is going to affect financial markets and your portfolio.
Under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, municipal advisors gained an increasingly important role in overseeing financial and legal circumstances surrounding the issuance of bonds.[14] The municipal advisor serves as a fiduciary for the municipal issue, taking care of all of the assets and finances involved in the issuance process. Legally, the advisor is obligated to represent the interests of the issuer and serve as a source of financial advice. This entails offering advice on structuring, selling, and promoting bonds, as well as serving as the central liaison between other members of the financial team, especially the underwriters and credit rating agency. Although municipal financial advisory services have existed for many years, municipal advisors have played a key role in the bond issuance process since the Securities and Exchange Commission enacted the Municipal Advisor rule in 2014, which prohibits certain communications between issuers and broker-dealers unless one of four exceptions is met, one being that the issuer has retained an Independent Registered Municipal Advisor ("IRMA").[12]
I remember when America was a free country. You could get on an airliner without an ID. Driving licenses didn’t even have photos. If a friend was coming through your city on a flight and had a few hours layover, you could meet them inside the airport for lunch or dinner. You could meet friends, children, and relatives at the gate or see them off at the gate. Parents could actually put children on the plane and grandparents could take them off.

Early in 2018, we detailed Bridgewater's massive short bet against Europe, peaking at a record total short against the EU's biggest companies of around $22 billion. At the time we noted that, since Bridgewater is not known for picking individual stocks, the manager’s position was the result of a view on the wider economy according to James Helliwell, chief investment strategist of the Lex van Dam Trading Academy.
Most of us are aware of the inflationary pressures in the major economies, that so far are proving somewhat latent in the non-financial sector. But some central banks are on the alert as well, notably the Federal Reserve Board, which has taken the lead in trying to normalise interest rates. Others, such as the European Central Bank, the Bank of Japan and the Bank of England are yet to be convinced that price inflation is a potential problem.
Lower incomes, more debt, and less job security.  What this translated to in Japan was stagnant home prices for 20 full years.  We are nearing our 10 year bear market anniversary in real estate so another 10 is not impossible.  What can change this?  Higher median household incomes across the nation but at a time when gas costs $4 a gallon, grocery prices are increasing, college tuition is in a bubble, and the financial system operates with no reform and exploits the bubble of the day, it is hard to see why Americans would be pushing home prices higher.
There is perhaps no better illustration of the deep decay of the American political system than the Senate race in New Jersey. Sen. Bob Menendez, running for re-election, was censured by the Senate Ethics Committee for accepting bribes from the Florida businessman Salomon Melgen, who was convicted in 2017 of defrauding Medicare of $73 million. The senator had flown to the Dominican Republic with Melgen on the physician’s private jet and stayed in his private villa, where the men cavorted with young Dominican women who allegedly were prostitutes. Menendez performed numerous political favors for Melgen, including helping some of the Dominican women acquire visas to the United States. Menendez was indicted in a federal corruption trial but escaped sentencing because of a hung jury. Read More
The past two years have seen a rather aggressive change in corporate policies toward the very customers they used to covet. Not long ago, CEOs tended to keep their political views mostly in the closet. Companies remained publicly neutral because their goal was first and foremost to make money. When they wanted to influence politics or social norms, they bought politicians — you know, the good old-fashioned way. The big banks still do this by funneling cash to both Republicans and Democrats alike
The watchdog found that "valuations are also elevated" in bond markets. Of particular interest is the OFR's discussion on duration. Picking up where we left off in June 2016, and calculates that "at current duration levels, a 1 percentage point increase in interest rates would lead to a decline of almost $1.2 trillion in the securities underlying the index."
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