Smokey Bear is an American advertising icon created by the U.S. Forest Service with artist Albert Staehle,[1][2] possibly in collaboration with writer and art critic Harold Rosenberg.[3] In the longest-running public service advertising campaign in United States history, the Ad Council, the United States Forest Service (USFS), and the National Association of State Foresters (NASF) employ Smokey Bear to educate the public about the dangers of unplanned human-caused wildfires.[4][5]
A little more than thirty years ago Tom Clancy was a Maryland insurance broker with a passion for naval history. Years before, he had been an English major at Baltimore’s Loyola College and had always dreamed of writing a novel. His first effort, The Hunt for Red October—the first of the phenomenally successful Jack Ryan novels—sold briskly as a result of rave reviews, then catapulted onto the New York Times bestseller list after President Reagan pronounced it “the perfect yarn.” From that day forward, Clancy established himself as an undisputed master at blending exceptional realism and authenticity, intricate plotting, and razor-sharp suspense. He passed away in October 2013.
A bear market rally is when the stock market posts gains for days or even weeks. It can easily trick many investors into thinking the stock market trend has reversed, and a new bull market has begun. But nothing in nature or the stock market moves in a straight line. Even with a normal bear market, there will be days or months when the trend is upward. But until it moves up 20 percent or more, it is still in a bear market.
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
Enclosed are our Student Aid Report and a copy of (Another University’s) Award Letter per our recent telephone conversation. We discussed our family’s present financial situation and how it would be financially difficult for Heather to attend Anywhere University unless the university reconsiders her financial aid amount. You said you would do everything possible to provide additional assistance for Heather and suggested we send you the above-stated information.
As the stock markets continue setting records day after day, many investors are becoming more and more concerned about the potential over-valuation and a possible market correction. The widely-followed cyclically-adjusted price-earnings ratio (Shiller PE) reached 31.2, almost twice as much as the historical average of 16.8. While market valuation may not be a good timing indicator (see If Jeremy Grantham Has a Changing Heart on Value Investing, Should You?),  does it have any impact on the severity of a bear market when it happens?

Some may argue that a healthy labor market in the past couple of years in contrast to the dark days of the Great Recession will certainly help the broader market gain traction. After all, the unemployment rate remains below the 4% mark for the past several months, weekly jobless claims touch a 49-year low and wage growth hits the fastest pace since 2009.
"Bring on the Trade War!"Today is Jobs Friday, but before I get to the jobs report, I want to talk a little bit about the escalation of the trade war, In fact, some stories I'm reading are that the trade war began today, or last night. A lot of the tariffs are finally being imposed. The market reacted positively; the Dow was up 100 points today ...…
The chart formation built in the course of the early February sell-off and subsequent rebound continues to look ominous, so we are closely watching the proceedings. There are now numerous new divergences in place that clearly represent a major warning signal for the stock market. For example, here is a chart comparing the SPX to the NDX (Nasdaq 100 Index) and the broad-based NYA (NYSE Composite Index). Read More
The market is not fair, but it also does not fail to show us what lies ahead if we look at its internal action very closely. This is because these market internals show us what “Big Money” is doing with their money, not what they are saying. Of course, their spokesmen and “talking heads” will try to soothe investors’ fears now. But we should vow to “follow the money”, I’d suggest. See what the Big Money is doing. We want to “anticipate the anticipations” of others (as Keynes said). But as Keynes also said, the market tends to go to extremes. At times, it is ruled by “animal spirits” rather than rationality. And as he would agree, capitalism by its very nature produces big disparities of wealth and therefore under-consumption and over-production. I would say, we are back in the 1920s again, at least in terms of Trump’s economic policies (de-regulation, tax cuts for the rich and tariffs). These are very similar to Coolidge’s main economic policies. The bull market back then lasted 8 years, August 1921 to August 1929. Our has lasted almost nine years, March 2009 to January 2018. So, a bear market is due….
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
If you believe that there will be a significant change in global economic paradigms over the next 10 years, consider this book as part of developing an applicable investment strategy. Basically the author is focusing on commodities as they will do well in an inflationary period and, reading between the lines, commodities never go to zero (unless one is so leveraged up that one is forced to sell when commodities sell). Fortunately for us small investors the author does provide a road map to utilize his strategy by way of ETFs. With the government rolling the printing presses to shore up and stimulate our economy, inflation will result. This book examines the issues with inflation and how to invest in response.
Investing in stock drives the production of better goods and services, but currency isn’t a commodity which will depreciate due to the nature of its own decay. It’s not a service which could lose its public appeal in a few years. Intellectual property is a closer metaphor, but a dollar will still never hold intrinsic value, ironically, unless it is one day viewed as an antique. Read More

The Accountable Capitalism ActElizabeth Warren unveiled her new idea in an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal. It is her new bill, called the Accountable Capitalism Act. Of course, I have said this before, there is no truth in advertising when it comes to legislation. Whenever Congress passes a bill, the name of the bill is generally the opposite ...…


If you listened to Friday's podcast, I mentioned that I thought I would probably be doing a lot of podcasts this week. I did one yesterday, and I am doing another one today because my feeling about the stock market was confirmed today with an 831 point rout in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, down 3.15%. This is the biggest decline that the Dow has had since that 1000+ point drop that we had in February. I think it is maybe the third biggest down day ever, point-wise. Percentage-wise it's not even close.


Here’s a scarier thought: At least 10 of the 11 FISA judges were appointed by OVomit. Recall, if you will, the forum shopping that is done in all of the cases against Pres. Trump for something he did or something he didn’t do. The FISA judge(s) may be as activist as the 9th Circuit, so they wouldn’t be concerned at all about the veracity of the pleadings he/she was looking at behind the FISA application. Remember Judge Boasberg, saw nothing wrong with ruling that the Comey memos could not be released to Judicial Watch, et al., even though some have already been leaked “because [the release] might prematurely reveal . . . the nature, scope, direction and focus of its investigations” involving Russia’s interference in the 2016 election”…in other words they’re being used by Mueller in his witch hunt. What I’m saying is THE FISA COURT, the secret court charged with authority to breach any American citizen’s 4th Amendment rights based on no witnesses, just documents, grant FISA approvals based on that documentation that shows probable cause based on the veracity of these documents. So here’s another “the fix is in” to ruin candidate Trump, president-elect Trump & President Trump & this time it is 1 or more OVomit-appointed FISA judges. Another clue: Where the H**ll is the ACLU?
What I think fed this perception by clients was that they thought these were normal markets. I graduated with a Finance degree in May 1982. The S&P 500 had only one negative year of return between 1982 through 1999, and that was 1990, and that was triggered by the start of the First Gulf War - and at the time, although we didn't know it, we were on the verge of the first banking crisis.
As to his second point, one should never confuse suppressed with impossible.By President Roosevelt's edict in 1933, the government made it illegal for Americans to possess the metal—as in a go-to-prison criminal act. The government busted every gold bond. Of course, under such conditions, gold could not be useful or procreative. If they wanted to keep their gold, people kept it well hidden. Read More
The “agreement” Ramsey sees comes from a number of major equity indexes hitting new highs at the same time. Not only have the Dow DJIA, +1.46% S&P 500 SPX, +1.55% Nasdaq COMP, +2.06% and Russell 2000 RUT, +1.21%  been hitting repeated records of late, but so have a number of closely watched sectors, including transports DJT, +1.04% utilities DJU, +0.59%  (which hit a record in September), and financials XLF, +2.08% which are trading at a 10-year high.

It’s not a coincidence that populism emerged as a political force in both the 1920s–1930s, and again today. In each case, people at the bottom could tell the economy wasn’t working in their favor. The best tool they had to do something about it was the vote, so they elected FDR then, and Trump now. Two very different presidents, but both responsive to the most intensely angered voters of their eras.


During the first half of the year, I repeatedly suggested that most folks lighten up on equities and hold 25% to 50% in cash. That included five consecutive columns on MarketWatch between February and May which discussed different reasons for my thinking. I took quite the verbal thrashing from some commentators that I dare suggest the cyclical bull market was approaching risky levels.
In the beginning of 2017, you could buy 1 Bitcoin for around $700-$900. Throughout the summer, Bitcoins price started to soar and seemed to reach new highs on almost a daily basis. In the fall of 2017, Bitcoin continued its impressive run, doubling in price in a 30 day period while breaking through the much anticipated $10,000 USD mark. On December 7th, Bitcoin went parabolic and breached $19,000 USD before settling in the $15,000 – $17,000 range. Even long-term Bitcoin enthusiasts were shocked at this price movement. With these spectacular new highs, more people are discovering Bitcoin and it’s becoming increasingly difficult for media pundits to write Bitcoin off as some cypherpunk fad or anomaly. Make no mistake, for better or for worse, Bitcoin has arrived in a big way and it has officially put the financial world on notice.  Read More
The economies of the world are at an inflection point.  Enough data points have now presented themselves to be able to see the outlines of a major shift in the markets of the world.  We are at a pay attention moment.  There comes a time when a successful investor must make some hard decisions to position himself to be able to take advantage of opportunities down the road.  The markets are telling us now is such a moment.

The above shows how Vanguard is just lucky to operate in the U.S. where the economic growth has been a bit stronger than in the Netherlands, and it enjoys the self-reinforcing effect of $2 billion coming into the market every day. However, the bulk of Vanguard’s success was made in the 1980s and 1990s, while the returns since 2000 have been minimal.
So what are the prospects for another rally in bonds?  In our view, it is not a rosy picture.  For the first time in a very long time the fundamentals and technicals of investing in bonds have become aligned.  The global economy has transitioned into a period of synchronised growth, spare capacity is being used up and unemployment is close to the lows seen for many years.  All that suggests inflation risks are on the upside.  Deflation risks are waning and sooner or later this will need to be priced into bond prices. On the technical side, central banks are now winding down their quantitative easing programmes.  This means that Governments will have to finance their deficits from private investors rather than relying on central banks.  The increase in supply of bonds on a global scale to institutional investors runs into trillions of US Dollars over the next few years, made worse by the fact that Governments are now relaxing their fiscal straightjackets, imposed after the financial crisis.
4. I don’t know whether G. Shilling is right or not on deflation. I think he is right on the economic slowdown, but not necessarily on the inflation piece (can have slowdown AND inflation). But, I’ll give it the following probabilities: 20% chance of another decade or so of Japan-like deflation; 80% chance of sustained, lasting inflation for decades (sustained bouts of stagflation).
It is human nature to allow emotions such as fear, greed and egotism get in the way. Overconfidence is one of the biggest killers of portfolios. Barber and Odean in a 2000 paper show that “after accounting for trading costs, individual investors underperform relevant benchmarks. Those who trade the most realize, by far, the worst performance. This is what the models of overconfident investors predict” (http://faculty.haas.berkeley.edu...)
This chart does a simple comparison of Osaka condo and Tokyo condo prices which does not reflect the entirety of the Japanese housing market.  Yet the path seems very similar.  Large areas with a real estate frenzy that hit high peaks and have struggled ever since.  In fact, if we look at nationwide prices we realize that Japan has seen a 20 year bear market in real estate:

After a period of excellent returns since 2008, Gilts will no longer be a profitable investment and those investors that ventured into Gilts as a way of increasing income from cash could get a nasty surprise when they realise how sensitive Gilt prices are to changes in yield.  With the 10 year yield at just 1.3% compared to an inflation rate of 3.1%, those investors are already suffering a loss in real terms.  But if we get an adjustment back to a positive real yield, the capital loss will be extremely damaging to prices.  For long dated securities, losses could be in excess of 20% for a movement in yield of just 1% and that would be just the start of the adjustment.  That recovery period could stretch into years.
Many of us do think that something isn’t quite right with the world economy. One in a million actually understands, where does it go wrong? Powers that be, do not want you to know about it as it’s your ignorance which keeps them at the top of the financial food chain. I don’t know of any other example in history where so many were looted by so few.
Panic of 1901 Panic of 1907 Depression of 1920–21 Wall Street Crash of 1929 Recession of 1937–38 1971 Brazilian markets crash 1973–74 stock market crash Souk Al-Manakh stock market crash (1982) Japanese asset price bubble (1986–1991) Black Monday (1987) Rio de Janeiro Stock Exchange collapse Friday the 13th mini-crash (1989) 1990s Japanese stock market crash Dot-com bubble (1995–2000) 1997 Asian financial crisis October 27, 1997, mini-crash 1998 Russian financial crisis

One famed investor who has explored this question is “Bond King” Jeffrey Gundlach. The man needs no introduction, but I’ll give him one anyway. Jeffrey is the CEO of DoubleLine Capital, where he manages $116 billion—and has a stellar track record. Jeffrey has outperformed 92% of his peers over the last five years. His flagship DoubleLine Total Return Bond Fund (DBLTX) has also outperformed its benchmark by a wide margin over the same period.
One of the most commonly asked questions among market participants and non-participants alike is, “What will cause the stock market to stop rising?” Normally, investors would be thrilled at the prospect of a perpetual rise in equity prices. Yet, with so few direct participants nowadays compared to former years, there is a growing desire among many for a major decline which will allow non-participants to buy stocks at a much lower price. As we’ll discuss in this commentary, that scenario will likely remain a pipe dream for an extended period before it ever becomes a reality. Read More
But when markets crash, what many investors don't know is that almost everything crashes.  The whole point of "diversification" is to buy different types of investments that DO NOT correlate with one another.  If one investment has a correlation coefficient of zero, that means that it doesn't correlate at all with U.S. Stocks.  If the coefficient is equivalent to -1.0, then it's negatively correlated, meaning that, when stocks fall, the investment in question goes up.  
How fast and furious it goes will depend on many things and is somewhat hard to predict. The tax cut means a lotta corporate cash is coming back for stock buybacks. This counteracts the trend from the Fed portfolio decline. On the other hand more and more being are seeing the professional market cheerleaders for what they are - con artists or children. So that trickle could easily be overwhelmed by the thundering waterfall of people whose eyes have been opened up to the overwhelming heroic assumptions required to keep this bubble inflated this high.
Presidential Tweets Express Anger at the FedThe catalyst today was more tweets from President Trump where he is expressing anger, not only at the Federal Reserve, and at the ECB and at the Bank of China, because he is accusing both Europe and China of being currency manipulators; taking advantage of us by weakening their currencies. He's saying ...…
Good short-term returns, moreover, increase egos, and complacency comes into play. One of the biggest reasons is that the information is all there transparently, so there is no such thing as a free lunch. Remember, all the information about companies is publicly available and there are people whose job it is to look at this information and weight the pros and cons of all that information.
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.
*** “Treasury officials said their decision to halt the issuance of the 30-year bonds was intended to save the government money,” writes Gretchen Mortgensen in the NY Times. “Traders scoffed at that explanation, viewing the move as an almost desperate attempt to push down long- term interest rates, and prod both corporate and individual borrowers to spend again.”

Erik Townsend welcomes Jim Grant to MacroVoices. Erik and Jim discuss new Fed governor Powell, treasury yields and how far the FED go before something breaks. They discuss his outlook on inflation, gold, junk bonds, China and the drivers of long term debt cycles. They reflect on History and what happened when the FED did not bail out the banks in 1920 and considerations on what actions the US government can take to deal with the debt.
Traffic in Knoxville, Tennessee, can be a bear anytime, but in late spring the slowdowns on Neyland Drive are often caused by Canada geese. — Joelle Anthony, Audubon, November-December 2004 True, the rally has been around the corner since Memorial Day. But bears have dominated market sentiment for so long since the Federal Reserve Board raised interest rates last February, that traders feel the market is headed for a major tectonic shift … — Anthony Ramirez, New York Times, 19 July 1994 Hikers in the woods are far more likely to wear a bell to deter bears than to take precautions against bees. But bears kill two to seven people in North America annually, bee stings kill 600 to 900. — Allan J. Davison, Chemical & Engineering News, 15 Mar. 1993 a mother bear and her cubs The bears outnumbered the bulls on Wall Street today.
By the way, investors are keeping an eye on Washington’s relationship with other major economies, including Canada. Both the United States and Canada are yet to secure a deal that would replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Lest we forget, Trump did threaten to leave Canada out of the new NAFTA. He said that there was “no political necessity” to have Canada in the new NAFTA deal. This has been challenged by Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO. Trumka categorically mentioned that NAFTA won’t work if Canada isn’t included and that the new deal structure remains too vague.
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.
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Dennis Slothower has been leading a small but profitable group of investors to some extraordinary profits in both good markets and bad over the course of a 38+ year investment career, starting as a stock broker in 1979. In 2011 Dennis was named the top performer by Hulbert Financial Digest for avoiding the Crash of 2008. Now, he is bringing his extensive experience to the public through Outsider Club, Stealth Stocks Daily Alert, and Wall Street's Underground Profits. For more about Dennis, check out his editor page.

Bear markets typically begin when investor confidence begins to wane following a period of more favorable stock prices. As investors grow increasingly pessimistic about the state of the market, they tend to sell off their investments in order to avoid losing money from the falling stock prices they anticipate. This behavior can cause widespread panic, and when it does, stock prices can plummet. When this happens, trading activity tends to decrease, as do dividend yields. At some point during a bear market, investors will typically try to capitalize on low stock prices by reinvesting in the market. As trading activity increases and investor confidence begins to grow, a bear market can eventually transition to a bull market.

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…
He is, in addition, the author of a pair of political biographies: John Adams: Party of One, a life of the second president of the United States (Farrar, Straus, 2005) and Mr. Speaker! The Life and Times of Thomas B. Reed, the Man Who Broke the Filibuster (Simon & Schuster, 2011). His new biography of Walter Bagehot, the Victorian man of letters and financial journalist, will be published in 2018.
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