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.”
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).
No, it is invariably the bears who are blamed for the post-bubble crises and are the main objects of anti- speculative legislation. Yet during the bubble periods it is the bears who are generally the lone voice of reason, warning people of the folly of investing in overpriced markets. In the aftermath of a bubble, they continue their forensic work of exposing unsound securities and bringing prices back in line with intrinsic values, a point which must be reached before the recovery can start.
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!
In essence, if you are going to war, make sure the costs of war is borne by the enemy, not your own people. Instead of saying, “trade wars are good and easy to win”, Mr. Trump would be wise to follow the ancient general’s advice. Winning a trade war is not so easy, history shows that tariffs which are like taxes will hurt his own people in many ways. Read More
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%
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.
Suppose you have the opportunity and the means to create a gold mine, and decide to undertake the challenge; you invest in the building and installations of the gold mine, and in all the related salaries to carry out the building of the mine, by paying for all expenses in gold; finally the gold mine is selling the gold it produces, in exchange for dollars. So now you have an abundant income in dollars, because your mine has been a successful venture. Hurray!
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.
Today we are getting significant volatility as the world starts to wake up to the reality that global growth will never be the same again. The question many have now is "are the markets going to have another 2008-like crash?" I don't think so, but folks should begin to accept that we are going to have at least a normal bear market. In fact, the bear market has already begun.

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]
A major difference between the current bear market and the long bear market of the 1970s is the economic environment. During the 1970s, the growth rate of productivity fell by nearly half, while inflation reached double-digits. These factors contributed significantly to the poor performance of the stock market during that period. However, during the current bear market, productivity has held up well, while inflation is not seen to be a significant threat in the near future. In hindsight, it is clear that the sharp decline in the stock market over the past two years was driven in large measure by excessive optimism in the value of high technology to the economy, at least in the near term. This zeal likely contributed to a period of overinvestment by businesses, particularly in the computer and telecommunications sectors, which suffered substantially in the last recession and have been slow to recover. However, the long-run benefits of technological innovation to the economy should be a positive factor for corporate equities, particularly if inflation remains low. If this proves to be true, households should begin to weight stocks more heavily in their asset holdings, making it unlikely that we will see a replay of the protracted bear market of the 1970s.
Obviously nobody knows for sure. That is what makes investing interesting and sometimes downright scary. But we need to parse through the data available and find where our convictions lie. This article is meant to give readers all the ammunition they need to discern a position for themselves but we will also provide our assessment at the end. It is fine to disagree. We need investors on both sides of the argument. That is what makes up a marketplace in the first place.
Swiss-born Marc Faber, now a resident in Thailand, holds a PhD in economics and is an investment advisor and fund manager through his firm, Marc Faber Ltd. He also writes a monthly investment newsletter, "The Gloom, Boom and Doom Report." As Money notes, Faber is consistently bearish, and frequently is called "Dr. Doom." He sees two big red flags right now.
Phil Town is an investment advisor, hedge fund manager, 3x NY Times best-selling author, ex-Grand Canyon river guide and a former Lieutenant in the US Army Special Forces. He and his wife, Melissa, share a passion for horses, polo, and eventing. Phil’s goal is to help you learn how to invest and achieve financial independence. You can follow him on google+, facebook, and twitter.
The online battle royale game Fortnite: Battle Royale parodies Smokey and his motto in a loading screen featuring Cuddle Team Leader, a woman dressed in a teddy bear costume replacing Smokey and doing his signature finger-pointing pose. Below her is the message "Only YOU can prevent V-Buck scams", warning players not to risk security compromises by attempting to obtain free virtual currency offered by hackers as bait.[71]
When the market started falling, I was tormented by the prospect that it was just another January 29-February 9 blip. That is, a tease for the bears which would simply result in bitter disappointment. Almost the entire world felt this way, and with good reason: the bears have been cheated for nine solid years, and the BTFD crowd has been winning, so why should it be any different this time? Why not sustain such a thing until, oh, the year 2397? Read More
The most recent drop puts stock prices, even after more than two weeks of losses, only back to where they were in July of this year. And yet, we may be much closer to panic territory than it appears. Based on valuations, all it would take for stocks to enter a bear market would be a 5 percent drop in the S&P 500 from here. At the low on Tuesday, when the S&P 500 was down 60 points, the market was within 90 points of that threshold.
The disability payment and stock option distribution are one-time events which unfortunately inflates the family’s actual ability to contribute to Julie’s education. The disability payment has to provide care for the rest of John’s life, he is currently 53. The stock distribution was used to purchase living quarters that included making the home handicapped ready. This was necessary since his only income is Social Security and his wife earns $14,000 per year. It would be impossible to qualify for a mortgage.
You never know, at any point in time, if you are in a bear market. A bear market—commonly defined as a period in which a given stock index has dropped at least 20% from a peak—can only be identified after the fact. Until the market has dropped 20% from a peak, you are not yet in a bear market. Once it’s dropped 20%, you can say that you were in a bear market, but you still have no idea where the market’s going next of if you are in what will later be viewed as a bear market. Every uptick is potentially the end of a bear market and the beginning of a new bull market.
Municipal bonds may be general obligations of the issuer or secured by specified revenues. In the United States, interest income received by holders of municipal bonds is often excludable from gross income for federal income tax purposes under Section 103 of the Internal Revenue Code, and may be exempt from state income tax as well, depending on the applicable state income tax laws. The state and local exemption was the subject of recent litigation in Department of Revenue of Kentucky v. Davis, 553 U.S. 328 (2008).[4]
Over the last decade many traditional and new market participants have begun to apply current technology solutions to the municipal market remedying many of the latent problems associated with many aspects of the municipal bond market. The emergence of products like small denomination municipal bonds, for example, is a result of new bond financing platforms. Such products also open up the muni market to middle-income buyers who otherwise couldn't afford the large, $5,000 minimum price in which bonds are typically bundled. The general idea with modern platforms is to leverage technology to make the market more responsive to investors, more financially transparent and ultimately easier for issuers and buyers. Many believe that, in doing so, more people will compete to buy muni bonds and thus the cost of issuing debt will be lower for issuers.[15]
Variables may include; immigration reform that further “grows” our economy through assimilation of ever more people who can make each piece of the pie ever more expensive and buy up the overabundance of housing; and tax and policy structures that are favorable to population growth by making children less costly and even financially rewarding, increasing costs of pregnancy prevention, etc.
Of course, in that event, the FED will probably stand ready to provide liquidity to market makers and banks, but now, after the shame of the 2007–2008 bailouts, they would face much more political heat if they do try to prop up the market now. So, they will likely hesitate and that means there first must be a panic… Unless Powell surprises me and preempts this and says next week that the FED will stand by to stabilize the markets.
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

This week, gold rose slightly on balance, while silver maintained its climb out of a deep pit. In early-morning European trade today (Friday) gold was trading at $1199, up $7 from last Friday’s close. Silver was unchanged on the week at $14.50, but as can be seen on our headline chart, silver’s relative performance since the mid-September lows is encouraging.
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.
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.
Silver is a precious metal that tends to move when no one expects a break to the upon or downside. Silver also can lag moves in markets that send signals that the price should respond or display head fake price action frustrating those with long or short positions. Gold moved to a low in mid-August when the dollar index traded to a high of 96.865. While silver also fell to a lower low for 2018 in mid-August, gold recovered, and silver followed only to fail once again and declined to a lower low for this year as gold remained above its nadir. Read More
I wonder if one approach for your nervous friend would be to allocate say 10% of his portfolio to such a short, but to ask his broker/platform to trigger the purchase when the FTSE has dropped to a certain price (almost like a spreadbet). At the time of writing the FTSE100 is 5827, so the trigger could be a price of 5700 or whatever number scares your friend. I think one problem is working out the relationship between the FTSE’s value and the short ETF’s price.
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!
Furthermore, at their December meeting, the Fed hinted that they are willing to let inflation run a little over their 2% target. Although they upgraded GDP growth, their forecast for three hikes in 2017 remained unchanged. Given that Janet Yellen once said, “To me, a wise policy is occasionally to let inflation rise even when inflation is running above target,” this is no surprise.
When the market started falling, I was tormented by the prospect that it was just another January 29-February 9 blip. That is, a tease for the bears which would simply result in bitter disappointment. Almost the entire world felt this way, and with good reason: the bears have been cheated for nine solid years, and the BTFD crowd has been winning, so why should it be any different this time? Why not sustain such a thing until, oh, the year 2397? Read More
If you’re doing well right now, what else really matters? The stock market seems to be on a bizarro perpetual escalator to neverending prosperity, despite rafts of economic fundamentals that paint a portrait of debt-bloated, weak economy, oceans of free debt have been available for years on end to fund lifestyles well beyond earned means, and so long as one has sufficient exposure to risk assets, why bother worrying about big-picture insolvencies that are still years away? Read More
During the first three quarters of 2016 we were open to the possibility that a new cyclical gold bull market got underway in December of 2015, but over the past 18 months we have been consistent in our opinion that the December-2015 upward reversal in the US$ gold price did NOT mark the start of a bull market. Since late-2016 there have been some interesting rallies in the gold price, but at no time has there been a good reason to believe that we were dealing with a bull market. That’s still the case. The question is: what will it take to set a new cyclical gold bull market in motion? Read More
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
Tom Clancy's books have always been a favorite. I loved Jack Ryan, and I know he was a central figure in this novel as well. However, it appears I no longer have the patience to read until it becomes interesting for me to continue. Couldn't keep up with the characters, and although I hate to say this, I was just plain bored. A book is "good" for me if it is difficult to put down.
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It is difficult to find the words to describe just how serious America’s trade war with China is becoming.  As you will see below, the two largest economies on the entire planet are on a self-destructive course that almost seems irreversible at this point.  The only way that this trade war is going to come to a rapid conclusion is if one side is willing to totally submit and accept an extremely bitter and humiliating defeat on the global stage, and that is not likely to happen.  Read More

What if real estate prices remain the same for another decade?  As I look at economic trends in our nation including the jobs we are adding, it is becoming more apparent that we may be entering a time when low wage jobs dominate and home prices remain sluggish for a decade moving forward.  Why would this occur?  No one has a crystal ball but looking at the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing program, growth of lower paying jobs, baby boomers retiring, and the massive amount of excess housing inventory we start to see why Japan’s post-bubble real estate market is very likely to occur in the United States.  It is probably useful to mention that the Case-Shiller 20 City Index has already hit the rewind button to 2003 and many metro areas have already surpassed the lost decade mark in prices.  This is the aftermath of a bubble.  Prices cannot go back to previous peaks because those summits never reflected an economic reality that was sustainable.  A chart comparing both Japan and U.S. housing markets would be useful here.

Years ago when analysts used the term “globalist, there was an immediate recognition among liberty advocates as to who they were referring to. This was back when the movement for small government, the non-aggression principle and true free markets was small but growing. These days, it’s difficult to gauge how many liberty groups there are or even if they know what small government and the non-aggression principle represent, let alone what makes a “globalist” a globalist.
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.
Jim:      Well, Jay Powell has one commanding credential. And that credential is the absence of a PhD in economics on his resume. I say this because we have been under the thumb of the Doctors of Economics who have been conducting a policy of academic improv. They have set rates according to models which have been all too fallible. They lack of historical knowledge and, indeed, they lack the humility that comes from having been in markets and having been knocked around by Mr. Market (who you know is a very tough hombre).
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