Asset protection

Radical Self-Honesty

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Posted by Andrew Ruhland

on Monday, 09 January 2017 17:32


January is a time for reflection and planning. While it’s easy to admit we need to lose a few pounds or watch less TV, matters related to our skills and competence strike closer to home, i.e. closer to our ego. This is where it gets delicate, and also where real learning can lead to genuine progress. Courage always precedes radical honesty, especially when WE are the subject.

In the last ten weeks since I started writing again for the Money Talks blog, this is the kind of beautiful and painful honesty I’ve heard from readers who have contacted us.

“I/we started self-managing in 20XX because our advisor/broker didn’t prevent big losses when X or Y happened, and we felt like our trust was betrayed. Since then, I’ve done pretty well investing in some things, especially if it’s related to my work, but then I get busy with work or family life, and I don’t follow my own rules. Sometimes I struggle with patience and sell too soon. Other times I freeze when a position goes south and I excuse it because I like the company or the sector. That happened in gold/oil/technology stocks, and I sat there and watched $ X just evaporate. I know how this works intellectually, but my emotions take over when it’s real money in real time. And sometimes – like now - I feel like a deer in the headlights, too scared to get invested again because the world looks like it could come unravelled any second. I’ve made some very costly mistakes over the years and we cannot afford to keep making mistakes with our retirement funds. I don’t enjoy doing it anymore, I’m not that good at it, and we’re looking for someone we can trust with our life savings. What makes your firm different?”

All these people have real courage. Some folks are much harder on themselves. It’s both a privilege and a responsibility to hear their stories. Helping real people solve real pain and avoid repeating costly mistakes is what we specialize in…and it’s why we’re passionate about what we do.

Below are some questions for you to ask yourself…and maybe even share with your spouse. This is my Gift of Radical Honesty to those with the courage to unwrap the package. What you choose to do with the gift is completely up to you.

  • Do I genuinely enjoy managing our portfolio? Is it deeply satisfying, given the time I’ve invested?
  • Have I really made additional gains (or prevented additional losses) that more than make up for the investment fees we’re saving by self-managing? Does this extra return (or loss avoidance) fairly compensate me for my time and energy?
  • Is keeping up with market information still fun and stimulating, or has it started becoming more of a burden? Is it bordering on being an unhealthy obsession?
  • Have I been “beating the markets” consistently? Is this a realistic or necessary expectation?
  • Does the sense of being independent and “in control” outweigh the work required, or is “the thrill” gone?
  • Have I been generating the rate of return our family requires? Do I know the return we actually need to achieve our goals?
  • Am I able to consistently shut off my “investment mind” and be fully present at work, engaged with family and friends, with enough time left over for personal pursuits? Or do the markets come flooding back into my consciousness whenever I start to slow down?
  • Is managing our own portfolio feeding the healthiest parts of me, or has it shifted to highlighting my weaknesses (I’ve lost enthusiasm for this, I’m not very good at this, I keep making the same mistakes, etc.)…and it’s getting painful?
  • Do I find myself resenting the time it takes to properly manage our money? Or have I gradually stopped watching things closely and then had things go sour because I wasn’t paying close attention?
  • Is the idea of admitting to someone that I need or want help too painful to bear, so I’m just going to try harder, buy another research subscription, and put more time into it…or is it time to ask for help?
  • Is managing our own portfolio making me – and those around me - healthier, wealthier and happier?

Please watch Mike’s emails and the Money Talk blog over the next few weeks. I’ll be following this article up with questions to ask yourself about how you might select a new advisor, and questions to ask any advisors you might interview for the job.


Andrew H. Ruhland, CFP, CIM



Asset protection

Marc Faber: Investors are on the Titanic but there's still a few days to travel

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Posted by Marc Faber - Gloom Boom & Doom Report

on Tuesday, 03 January 2017 17:37

Screen Shot 2017-01-03 at 4.21.50 PM"We're all on the Titanic, but the Titanic still has maybe a few days to travel before it collapses so we might as well enjoy the journey," Faber, also known as Dr. Doom, told CNBC's "Squawk Box." 

....watch more HERE


Bursting Bond Bubble Greatest Risk To Secular Bull Market


Asset protection

What Could Go Wrong?

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Posted by John Mauldin - Mauldin Economics

on Monday, 02 January 2017 06:36

Trumping DC
Canadian Bubble
Crowded Exits in Europe
Asian Angst
DC, Florida, the Caymans, and a Few Final 2016 Thoughts

“Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes.”
– Oscar Wilde

“Mistakes are the usual bridge between inexperience and wisdom.”
– Phyllis Theroux

“Economists are often asked to predict what the economy is going to do. But economic predictions require predicting what politicians are going to do – and nothing is more unpredictable.”
– Thomas Sowell


We’ve reached that wonderful time of year when financial pundits pull out their forecaster hats and take a crack at the future. This time the exercise is particularly interesting because we’re at several turning points. Any one of them could remake the entire year overnight. I should probably say up front that I am actually somewhat optimistic about 2017 – optimistic, meaning I think we Muddle Through – but that’s a lot better outcome than I was expecting five months ago. And since my annual forecast has been “Muddle Through” for about six years now (which has been turned out to be the correct forecast), then, given all the speed bumps in front of us, this could be the year where I’m spectacularly wrong. Midcourse corrections may be warranted.



Asset protection

Three Mini-Bubbles Are Bursting

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Posted by John Rubino - DollarCollapse.com

on Thursday, 29 December 2016 07:47

4716964809 d5b0b6aa63The world has gotten so used to ultra-low interest rates that even economists and money managers seem to be shocked by what happens when rates start creeping back towards normal levels.

Some of the mini-bubbles that formed in an essentially free-money environment are now starting to leak. Notably:

US Housing

While the action in this sector is nothing like the raging mania of the 2000s, prices in many hot US markets are at all-time highs, while affordability is at or near an all-time low. And now rising mortgage rates are beginning to bite.

Pending Home Sales Reflect "Dispirited" Buyers



Asset protection

More on crashing sovereign debt markets …

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Posted by Larry Edelson - Money & Markets

on Thursday, 22 December 2016 10:32

One thing that is going to become abundantly clear to every living soul on the planet over the next few years is how much loss of wealth is going to occur as a result of this great sovereign debt crisis that is unfolding …

And which I’ve been predicting since late 2015.

I may have been a bit early, but since its peak in July of this year, the 30-year U.S. Treasury has lost $226,984 of its value (based on $1,000,000 face value bond), an astounding 19 percent.

The velocity of the damage was even worse starting the day after the U.S. elections through December 15 — as I am penning this column early due to upcoming travel plans and the holidays …

With the 30-year U.S. Treasury losing $108,497 of its value (based on $1,000,000 face value bond), an astounding 10 percent — in just 26 trading days.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note has shot up to 2.598 percent, a 40 percent jump since the elections. The 30-year yield has rocketed from a low of 2.616 percent on November 8 to its recent 3.18 high, a whopping 21.6 percent rise in just over a month.

That would be like gold rocketing from its recent low of $1,046 on December 3, 2015 to over $1,464 today. Or the Dow Industrials exploding higher from its recent high of 19,966.43 to 24,271 today. Astounding moves no matter how you measure it.

But it’s not just the 10-year interest rate that is rising. Rates on everything from two-year to 30-year terms are soaring. Plus, they’re not just rocketing higher in the United States. Interest rates are soaring all over the world.

So why are rates surging? The answers are simple:

Screen Shot 2016-12-22 at 9.21.41 AMFirst, investors all over the globe are starting to see what I’ve been telling you all along: that the sovereign bond markets of Europe, Japan and the United States is the world’s biggest financial bubble ever and it’s bursting.

There’s simply no way investors are going to keep putting money in bonds with rates so low and Western-style socialist governments’ balance sheets in such horrible shape.

The selling is hitting the bond market from virtually every angle. Overseas investors in our bond market, our creditors, are getting out as fast as they can. According to latest data, they dumped a net $403 billion in U.S. Treasuries over the past 12 months.

Second, bond investors no longer believe central banks can contain the interest rate rise. They’re right. No matter what the Fed says or does, it will not be able to control the actions of tens of millions of investors. Or the actions of the free market.



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