Blogs

  • Weapons of Economic Misdirection

    This week’s letter will deal with the problems of determining what GDP really is, and I’ll throw in a few quick remarks on what the recent GDP revision means for the Fed and whether they’ll raise rates.

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    Posted to Thoughts From The Frontline by John Mauldin on 09-03-2015
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  • Stocks Fell Off A Cliff in Late August - What To Do Now

    What an absolutely CRAZY couple of weeks we’ve just been through! The collapse of stock prices around the world has stunned investors. By some measures, the plunge in the Dow and the S&P 500 in August was the worst in 75 years, even worse than the Crash of 1987. While I advised readers to reduce long-only equity exposure significantly in April and May, I was not expecting a 15% spike down in just a few trading sessions.

    Later in today’s E-Letter, I will introduce you to the latest money manager to make it on to our recommended list. This money manager specializes in buying and selling options on stock index contracts. This is one of the more unusual strategies I have seen over the years, but when you see the results, you’ll understand why I’m so excited to add ZEGA Financial to our stable of recommended Advisors.

    Before we get to the above issues, let me briefly comment on last Thursday’s better than expected report on 2Q Gross Domestic Product.

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    Posted to Forecasts & Trends by Gary D. Halbert on 09-02-2015
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  • Round Two Of Global Melt Down – Watch This Unfold…

    Within the United States, the US Federal Government and The US Federal Reserve Bank interventions have failed. These manipulations, by the central bank, in order to maintain the current stock bubble, and the real estate bubble, are currently reflecting...
    Posted to The Gold And Oil Guy by Chris Vermeulen on 09-01-2015
  • The Corruption of American Freedom

    This is going to be an unusual Outside the Box. I’ve been part of the political process, both as a practitioner and an observer, for some 40 years. I cast my first vote in the presidential election for George McGovern but by the 1980s had made a hard right turn. Over the last decade I’ve been far less involved but no less interested.

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    Posted to John Mauldin's Outside the Box by John Mauldin on 08-27-2015
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  • US & Canadian Stock Market Trading Trend & Guidance

    U.S. stocks closed lower Tuesday after a failed attempt to rally from the Dow’s worst 3-day point decline. It’s something I have not seen since the 2008 GLOBAL financial crisis. The market had its first rally of the downtrend yesterday but...
    Posted to The Gold And Oil Guy by Chris Vermeulen on 08-27-2015
  • The Global Economy’s Health Is Not That Complicated

    The Federal Reserve Bank has printed trillions of dollars to monetize US government debt just to keep the government afloat. Any significant rise in interest rates will probably decimate US government finances, the fragile housing market and in the bond...
    Posted to The Gold And Oil Guy by Chris Vermeulen on 08-20-2015
  • Riding the Energy Wave to the Future

    Today I’ll tell you about some big shifts in the energy industry. These shifts are about as positive as can be, unless you need high oil prices to run your country. In the long run, these changes are bullish for the whole world, which I think this will surprise many of you. And though we’ve been used to thinking about energy and technology as two different facets of modern life, today they are inextricably linked.

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    Posted to Thoughts From The Frontline by John Mauldin on 08-19-2015
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  • Population Growth & Productivity Headed in Wrong Direction

    Today we’ll focus on some longer-term economic data which shows, unfortunately, that the US economy is in a multi-decade slide that will be very difficult to reverse. Population growth and worker productivity – the keys to sustained economic growth – are both in decline, trends that are not likely to change anytime soon.

    US Gross Domestic Product averaged 3.74% annual growth from 1950 to 1990, but has since  slowed dramatically to average only 2.21% from 2010 to 2014. Even worse, worker productivity that averaged 2.5% annual growth from 1948 to 2007 has been slashed by over 50% to only 1.2% annually from 2010 to 2014.

    Throughout its history, the US has been a productivity powerhouse. US worker productivity growth averaged around 3% annually during the period 1996-2004, but fell to 1.5% in 2005-2012, and more recently has slipped even further to just above 1%.

    What’s at stake is the very future of America. Without faster growth, the US can’t create enough jobs for those who want them, and Americans will have to get used to much smaller increases in their paychecks. The middle class will likely shrink even more, and the poor would be even worse off. Are we doomed to a dimmer future?

    The question is, what can be done to reverse these troubling trends? The answers are not simple, nor politically correct in most cases. Another question is, do any of the politicians running today have the knowledge and/or conviction to tackle these critical problems?

    That’s what we will talk about today. But before we get to that discussion, let’s look at the Fed’s latest prediction for the economy in the 3Q. The latest GDPNow forecast will surprise you.

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    Posted to Forecasts & Trends by Gary D. Halbert on 08-18-2015
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  • Some good news and not so good news…

    Since we started sharing the new and improved algorithmic trading systems (S10 and D30) a few weeks ago we have received a lot of great feedback and demand. We do have more good and some not so good news… The good news is that the system kick started...
    Posted to The Gold And Oil Guy by Chris Vermeulen on 08-18-2015
  • Global Markets and Dow Jones Fire Warning Shot Across Investors Bow!

    Last week, the global equity markets were quite undecided. China’s and Japan’s equity prices have been moving higher. The Japanese Nikkei reached its highest level since 1996 on Tuesday, August 11 th , but then pulled back at the end of the...
    Posted to The Gold And Oil Guy by Chris Vermeulen on 08-17-2015
  • Global Economic Slowdown - Implications For US Stocks

    The global economy is rolling over to the downside for the most part. The question is, will this global slowdown take the US economy down with it? While no one knows for sure, that possibility simply cannot be ruled out. If the softening in the global economy leads to a slowdown in the US, that will almost certainly result in a weakening of our stock markets.

    In my March 17 E-Letter, I recommended that investors in traditional “buy-and-hold” equity funds reduce stock market exposure (or hedge long positions partially or fully) due to increasing global risks at that time. I repeated that recommendation twice since then.

    Since March 17, the S&P 500 Index has moved sideways to lower as of this writing. Could the US equity markets be setting up for a significant downward correction? It would be unwise in my opinion to rule it out.

    The slowdown in the global economy and the implications for the US economy and our stock markets will be our main topic for today, but before we get to that, let’s take a quick look at last Friday’s unemployment report for July.

    At the end of today’s letter, I will briefly comment on Obama’s new Clean Energy Plan which will raise electricity costs significantly, if enacted, and give you a link to the full story. I will also comment further on the Dodd-Frank law I wrote about in my Blog last Thursday.

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    Posted to Forecasts & Trends by Gary D. Halbert on 08-11-2015
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  • Ugly Outlook – Global Economics, Quantitative Easing and Equities

    A take on the global economy and equities markets that paints a simple and clear pictures I think. The DJIA index has recorded seven consecutive down days in a row! These 7 distribution days are a sign that many institutions are taking profits or establishing...
    Posted to The Gold And Oil Guy by Chris Vermeulen on 08-10-2015
  • When China Stopped Acting Chinese

    Much of the world is focused on what is happening in Greece and Europe. A lot of people are paying attention to the Middle East and geopolitics. These are significant concerns, for sure; but what has been happening in China the past few months has more far-reaching global investment implications than Europe or the Middle East do. Most people are aware of the amazing run-up in the Shanghai stock index and the recent “crash.” The government intervened and for a time has halted the rapid drop in the markets.

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    Posted to Thoughts From The Frontline by John Mauldin on 08-05-2015
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  • "Renter Nation" - US Homeownership Hits 48-Year Low

    The government’s Census Bureau reported last week that the US homeownership rate fell to the lowest level in the last 48 years. It is indeed a sad awakening that the level of home ownership is now the lowest since 1967.

    Along this same line, the Census Bureau found that more Millennials (18 to 34 year-olds) are living with their parents today than at the worst point in the Great Recession. This is despite the fact that the economy and labor market conditions have improved in recent years.

    The issue is not that we aren’t forming more households. We are. The problem is that fewer and fewer households can afford to buy a house – despite record low interest rates – and more and more are renting rather than buying, whether by choice or by necessity.

    The fact that more and more Americans are choosing to rent their homes and apartments has resulted in rents going through the roof. It’s supply and demand, of course. But the fact that Americans are spending more and more on rent means that they have less and less to spend on buying other goods and services to spur the economy.

    The bottom line is that the American Dream of owning your own home is fading fast. This fact is affecting younger Americans the hardest. Way too many have given up the dream of owning their own home, as a recent Gallup poll has found.

    Today, we’ll look at this disturbing trend and try to discern why it is happening.

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    Posted to Forecasts & Trends by Gary D. Halbert on 08-04-2015
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  • Executive Order for Your Gold

    In 1933, with America five years deep into The Depression, the stage was set for an act of unprecedented proportions. History shows a wicked warlock at work. On March 6, 1933, Executive Order (EO) 6073 was passed by Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR), the...
    Posted to The Gold And Oil Guy by Chris Vermeulen on 08-04-2015
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