For age 21 and under, a student is independent if, at any time after July 1, 2016, it can be determined that he is an unaccompanied youth who is homeless or is self-supporting and at risk of being homeless. The determination can be made by the Financial Aid Administrator (FAA) or various social support groups where the student is receiving their services. They forward their information to the FAA.
"Now investors are wondering if the housing market's problems will spill over into the economy. 'Housing is the one wild card that could, if it takes consumer confidence down with it, take the economy into a recession,' says James Stack of InvesTech Research... Could the housing troubles yank the broad stock market into a morass just as the tech-stock implosion did in 2000?... 'The parallel is amazing,' Stack says."
With the FANG stocks faltering lately investors are starting to become concerned about their impact on the broader market. And there is certainly something to this. Statistically speaking, these market generals have become increasingly important to the broad market indexes recently so it only stands to reason that an important reversal here could make for a more difficult equity environment in general. 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….
It’s just amazing what is happening in China. And I think that it represents a clear and present danger to everyone with money at risk. Not just the Chinese. Not just the real estate markets in countries favored by the Chinese, such as Australia. Not just in the industrial metals markets – China has been kind of 100% of the demand for the margin for steel and the like. But this debt thing is a very, very important low-hanging dark cloud over the world, and we have all gotten used to it.
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."
Here is a question for any and all of you that have ever purchased a lottery ticket or played the slots or bet on a horse: If you had proof that the outcomes were all rigged, would you still play? If someone showed you a video of pit bosses stacking decks or tampering with dice, would you ever enter that establishment again? If your wife or mother or employer knew that you would constantly blow your paychecks in a rigged casino, would you ever be able to face them? The answer to all of the above-mentioned scenarios is a resounding "NO!" Yet millions of people (albeit that figure is rapidly shrinking) are still committing many hundreds of millions of dollars every week to the Crimex Casino, which has now proven that every single input into determining prices for gold and silver (Bitcoin, too) is completely controlled by the bullion banks, the Crimex bosses and the regulators. Read More
It’s been 30-weeks since the last 6-month low (December). The intermediate cycle has averaged about 23-weeks, so we are well overdue for a bottom. Interestingly, while gold crashed nearly 10% in 2-months, gold miners remained relatively stable. Currently, they linger just 6% below their April highs; their resilience should not be ignored. It speaks of a hidden energy that once loose, should deliver brilliant gains. Read More
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:
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
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.
My hope is that President Trump will read Knowledge and Power and give a copy to all cabinet members—as Ronald Reagan did with Wealth and Poverty. Maybe I’m too optimistic, but if we began basing economic and monetary policy on George’s information theory of economics, I believe there would be a complete revitalization of the American entrepreneurial spirit.
Jim: It can certainly continue. Things do. I guess that people would perhaps be looking at real rates of interest rather than nominal ones. Perhaps the learned people in the bond market would be saying: In its history over the past 50 years, the average real interest rate, the average real yield, on the ten-year US Treasury is on the order of 2.1% or so (I think).
Department of Education 2017-2018 FAFSA changes provided the reinterpretation of the definition of homeless youth. For students older than 21 and younger than 24 who are unaccompanied and homeless or self-supporting, and at risk of being homeless qualify as independent students. This group can now self-qualify on the FAFSA (no need for Financial Aid Administrator approval).
If you were standing in the smoldering ashes of 9/11 trying to peer into the future, you might have been overjoyed to discover this happy snapshot of 2018: There has been no subsequent major terrorist attack on America from Al Qaeda or its heirs. American troops are not committed en masse to any ground war. American workers are enjoying a blissful 4 percent unemployment rate. The investment class and humble 401(k) holders alike are beneficiaries of a rising GDP and booming stock market that, as measured by the Dow, is up some 250 percent since its September 10, 2001, close. The most admired person in America, according to Gallup, is the nation’s first African-American president. Read More
Beginning in 2010, central banks around the world turned from being net sellers of gold to net buyers of gold. Last year official sector activity rose 36 percent to 366 tonnes – a substantial increase from 2016. The top 10 central banks with the largest gold reserves have remained mostly unchanged for the last few years. The United States holds the number one spot with over 8,000 tonnes of gold in its vaults – nearly as much as the next three countries combined.
Confidence and complacency are more acute now than any time I’ve seen before. All expressions of overvaluation are at historical extremes. Despite this, most money managers remain in the market. The thesis is “if it’s going up, regardless of anything else, I want to be in it.” Perhaps the best indicator of complacency is the VIX which at its current level of 13 tells us that investors see no reason to protect their positions. Every minor decline is seen as a buying opportunity. The rationale is that the Fed would not allow anything worse than a 10% decline. If the stock market starts sinking between now and October 1st, I will be most interested to see if the Fed eliminates QE.
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 ...…
A funny thing happened in the middle of one of Mike Maloney's deep-research sessions recently. As you know, he just released a brand new presentation, but while analyzing the stock market he wasn't satisfied with the way most valuation measures were calculated. With all due respect to Warren Buffet, even his indicator fell short in Mike’s view. It was time for something new, something more insightful, something more accurate.
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The current sell-off comes as a shock to investors who have grown accustomed to the eerie market calm and steady gains during much of the administration of President Trump. But this volatility is something you should get used to because it’s more typical of the advanced stages of a bull market, says Robert Bacarella, founder and chairman of Monetta Financial Services, who helps manage the Monetta Fund MONTX, -0.52% and the Monetta Core Growth Fund MYIFX, -0.67%
In this article I point to the pressures on the Fed to moderate monetary policy, but that will only affect the timing of the next cyclical credit crisis. That is going to happen anyway, triggered by the Fed or even a foreign central bank. In the very short term, a tendency to moderate monetary policy might allow the gold price to recover from its recent battering.
It’s important to keep in mind that the mining stocks have been sold to levels well-below their intrinsic value – in the case of larger-cap producing miners. Or their “optionality” value – in the case of junior mining companies with projects that have a good chance eventually of converting their deposits into mines. “Optionality” value is based on the idea that junior exploration companies with projects that have strong mineralization or a compliant resource have an implied value based on the varying degrees of probability that their projects will eventually be developed into a producing mine. Read More
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. 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").
Sorry this is all over the place, but there are multiple converging streams here. And as DHB constantly reminds us, there is absolutely no reason to believe that in an economy built on gambling, scamming, and computer automated profit skimming, ANYTHING is going to accrue bubble-type benefits to just you and me, anytime soon. Least of all your house.
I’ve been to Japan several times, and I can personally attest to the fact that the people there have been demoralized by the last two decades. The sense of forward movement that was common in Japan two decades ago has been replaced by a sense of lowered expectations and insecurity. In the US, I remember this demoralization in the early 1990’s, with that weak economy and high crime levels. But then the late 1990’s boom time came and all that was forgotten, and even the early 2000’s recession and 9/11 couldn’t shake the optimism. But now, the sense that things are going downhill seems to be back in the US, especially among the middle class (the moneyed class is doing fine).
For context, consider the last three bear markets. The most recent one, which lasted for 517 days from October 2007 to March 2009, saw a whopping 57% plunge in the S&P 500. During the 929-day bear market from March 2000 to October 2002, the benchmark lost 49%. And during the relatively brief, 101-day period from August to December 1987, the index tumbled 34%.
2019 is shaping up to be the year in which all the policies that worked in the past will no longer work. As we all know, the Global Financial Meltdown / recession of 2008-09 was halted by the coordinated policies of the major central banks, which lowered interest rates to near-zero, bought trillions of dollars of bonds and iffy assets such as mortgage-backed securities, and issued unlimited lines of credit to insolvent banks, i.e. unlimited liquidity.
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
Needless to say, we have reached the mane. What drove the US economy for the past three decades was debt expansion----private and public--- at rates far faster than GDP growth. But that entailed a steady ratcheting up of the national leverage ratio until we hit what amounts to the top of the tiger's back---that is, Peak Debt at 3.5X national income. Read More
*** “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.”
Leuthold Group chief investment strategist and economist Jim Paulsen was cautious about stocks ahead of the January-February rout. And he remained steadfastly cautious in front of the recent sell-off. He’s made a lot of good market calls like these in the 20-plus years I’ve tracked his work and known him. Now in the current weakness, he’s turning more bullish on stocks.
After falling from 1369 to 1167 in just four months, Gold is attempting to rally now, having risen to a high of 1237 recently. But as I shared in my previous article: “There is significant resistance ahead that could stall Gold’s rally, most notably 1244, the 38.2% Fibonacci retracement of the entire drop from 1369 to 1167, and 1251 on a closing basis (1360-1184). If we close above the latter, then the bottom is likely in place and a truly historic rally has begun. There is plenty of upside from there.” Read More
Gold’s breakout from its giant 5-year base pattern has had to wait for the dollar rally to run its course, which it now appears to have done, and this being the case, gold is now free to break out into a major bull market that looks set to dwarf all prior ones. We have in the past described gold’s base pattern from 2013 as a complex (multi-shouldered) Head-and-Shoulders bottom and while this description is still valid, it is perhaps more simply described as a Bowl or Saucer pattern, that is shown on its latest 10-year chart below. Read More
2. Should I choose to move and rent, the growing differential (between value and cost) becomes my growing rental income year in year out. And, this rental income goes up even if there is NO appreciation in the house’s value (the house, and rent the house can generate, merely moves up and keeps up with inflation; the real values stay flat). If I were to add the likely stream of increasing amounts on rental payments to my previous return calculation, I would get well over 5% annual returns previously mentioned.
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.”
Peoples’ enthusiasm is understandable: From 1965 to 2017, Buffett’s Berkshire share achieved an annual average return of 20.9 percent (after tax), while the S&P 500 returned only 9.9 percent (before taxes). Had you invested in Berkshire in 1965, today you would be pleased to see a total return of 2,404,784 percent: an investment of USD 1,000 turned into more than USD 24 million (USD 24,048,480, to be exact). Read More
I don’t wish to get too deep into the weeds here, but to explain this, you have to look to the money multiplier. The money multiplier is the amount of money that banks generate with each dollar of reserves. Due to the over-indebtedness of the economy—or more precisely, the lack of “savings”—the multiplier has plunged from 12.1 in 1985, to 3.6 today.
Per the latest COT report (note: this references the August 21st COT Report), the hedge fund (Managed Money) net short position in Comex paper gold was 90,000 contracts – by far a record short position for the hedge fund trader category. Conversely, the bank net long position (Swap Dealers) in Comex paper gold was close to an all-time high. It’s not quite as high it was in December 2015.
With the massive net short position in both gold and silver Comex paper precious metals, offset by the historic net long position of the “commercials” (banks, mining companies, users, hedgers), numerous rumors are swirling around the precious metals market. For certain, the availability of physical gold bars in London that can be delivered to the large eastern hemisphere buyers who demand delivery is growing tight. Apparently the retail silver coin/bar market is starting to feel supply strains. Read More
Waverton Investment Management (Waverton) is an independent, owner-managed investment management firm based in London. The cornerstone of our business is the active management of investment portfolios for institutions, advisers, family offices, charities and high net worth individuals via segregated portfolios or through specialist funds. As of 31st December 2017, Waverton had approximately £5.5 billion of assets under management, employing over 120 staff.
“If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys” is the perfect way to describe the current market. Investors are all playing the same game and reinforcing the passive investing trend by constantly plowing more money into passively managed funds. The management fee of the iShares Core S&P 500 ETF (NYSE: IVV) is just 0.04% which is extremely low and positive for investors. However the low fees, mindless investment strategies, and extremely high valuations will lead to a catastrophe when the same mindless buying reverts to panicked, mindless selling.
While the EU’s handling of the financial crisis hasn’t been good for business, I believe their mismanagement of the migrant crisis will prove to be their real downfall. According to Frontex, the EU border surveillance agency, over the course of 2015 and 2016, more than 2.3 million illegal crossings into Europe were detected. This influx of migrants hasn’t gone unnoticed.
The next credit crisis poses a major challenge to China’s manufacturing-based economy, because higher global and yuan interest rates are bound to have a devastating effect on Chinese business models and foreign consumer demand. Dealing with it is likely to be the biggest challenge faced by the Chinese Government since the ending of the Maoist era. However, China does have an escape route by stabilising both interest rates and the yuan by linking it to gold.
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
In 2007, John Del Vecchio managed a short only portfolio for Ranger Alternatives, L.P. which was later converted into the AdvisorShares Ranger Equity Bear ETF in 2011. Mr. Del Vecchio also launched an earnings quality index used for the Forensic Accounting ETF. He is the co-author of What's Behind the Numbers? A Guide to Exposing Financial Chicanery and Avoiding Huge Losses in Your Portfolio. Previously, he worked for renowned forensic accountant Dr. Howard Schilit, as well as short seller David Tice.
I have had an interesting life, in the course of my retirement from business; my retirement happened somewhat by chance, in the year 1988; one Friday evening I presided a meeting of a group directors of Elektra, a Mexican company the property of my father and myself. We had had some 500 of these meetings in past years; they took place every two weeks. My son Richard was present, having been with the company since 1980. (He had arrived in 1980 from Dallas, Texas, looking for a post at Elektra, after being fired from his job – he had called his supervisor a fool, if not something worse. He was probably right in his judgment of his superior officer’s decisions, but of course saying what you think is not the best way to get along in business). Read More
Would a market crash surprise me? No. Would a reversal to the upside surprise me? A little. But in this era, we need to be prepared for anything, because nothing is as it should be. The most important things to remember are that if you are healthy and somebody loves you, you've already won. These things pass. Maybe not quickly. But they always pass.
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.
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
Led by the S&P, the next move in global equities is a black-hole plunge. Rather than protect long portfolios with Puts, why not liquidate them entirely? The Fed's stimulatory hand is played-out, & the impending Crash will strike with such force that the Silver Bullet from the past will no longer suffice to resuscitate the market. Since the market forecasts the economy more accurately than any economist, this time it's we, who must bite the Silver Bullet. Genuine Bull Markets reflect economic expansion by sub-dividing into 5-waves; Bear Market Rallies, like the Roaring Twenties, and Bernanke's megalomaniac Put are illusory, 3-wave upsides within larger Bear Markets. Only a 5-wave Crash is final. Artificial stimulus is an illicit drug, for which the Fed is the Global Pusher . Rather than more ?hair of the dog?, addicted economies can only heal via cold turkey abstinence. In return for numbing the pain of economic contraction, we have prevented healing the addiction, to dramatically aggravating the economy's ability to heal. By distorting economic incentives to divert capital away from the most worthy ventures, stimulus has exacerbated excess to perpetuate illusory Bubbles. The price of stimulus is a far more austere & enduring Depression, required to wring-out the excess via a rapid, downward GDP spiral to back-out stimulus in its entirety. Once the dollar collapse gains momentum to become universally recognized, the massive exodus out of the Dollar-denominated assets will force interest rates to skyrocket, to balloon the national debt out of control. As documented by Rogoff and Reinhart documented, This Time is NEVER different - eight centuries of financial Folly -a US default of its foreign debt is inevitable. Just as the 1929 withdrawal of US gold reserves from Germany intensified bitter depression, a debased dollar will kill the US ability to borrow on international markets, to topple the American Empire
The rise in European yields is to some degree a reversal of the bizarre situation in which bond markets found themselves several weeks ago. The European Central Bank's quantitative easing program created a supply shortage for bonds, and in some cases yields fell deep into negative territory. They remained negative even as the Eurozone economy was showing signs of recovery and inflation expectations were rising. The sharp increase in yields in recent days could be seen as an overdue correction.