Personal Finance

Illinois Passes on Pension Debt Interest Payments

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Posted by Mike Burnick via The Edelson Wave

on Friday, 10 March 2017 15:47

Screen Shot 2017-03-10 at 2.25.09 PMA report earlier this week revealed that Illinois isn’t paying the $9.1 billion annual interest payment on its pension debt.

You read that right: They’re not going to pay.

And it’s no wonder: As it stands, the Illinois state pension fund is underfunded by $130 billion. And likely to worsen if fund managers fall short of the 7% annual return that’s already baked into the cake.

Larry’s told you about the pension crisis in the past. And I knew it was bad in Illinois.

But not this bad.

Well then again, they haven’t had an annual budget for 19 months and they have accumulated $11 billion in unpaid bills.

What’s worse is that Illinois has the highest property taxes in the nation and the worst credit rating. As a result, residents are leaving at an alarming rate. And that’s crushing the tax base and pushing it toward decade lows.

Result: The debt spiral will get worse.

What are state legislators going to do?



Personal Finance

Martin Armstrong: Connecting the Dots

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Posted by Martin Armstrong - Armstrong Economics

on Thursday, 09 March 2017 09:43

Connecting-DotsUnderstanding that one must watch the world to ascertain the trend even domestically is critical – this is what separates a domestic trader from a professional hedge fund manager. You simply have to know what is happening out there on all fronts. Connecting the dots allows you to see the full picture of what exactly you are dealing with.

However, understanding what is taking place in Ukraine is more than a mere subject of depressing corruption and war. What you are looking at is how people respond to events, for when similar events unfold here, since we are all human, we will respond in a similar manner.

There are those who see this as purely a capitalistic system that we live in today. We by no means enjoy such freedom. Communism owns everything and you work for the benefit of the state. Socialism is where you own the property, but the state dictates how much you are allowed to keep from your earnings. Capitalism is where we have the freedom to be what we want. You hear claims on how Hillary was for the middle class yet all the big bankers, hedge funds, and foreign governments supported her. Was this to help the middle class or themselves? Corrupt politicians pretend to care for people and then sell loopholes to the highest bidder. This is not capitalism – this is an oligarchy.

Capitalism would be economic freedom and to achieve that it requires TERM LIMITS, end of political donations, and the end or over regulation such as there were 7 agencies that all approved the CDOs the bankers wanted. Not a single one reviewed anything with an eye on the economy.

This is the two-tier level of importance in observing the world around you. WE WILL GET THROUGH THIS, if we just for once learn how everything works. Then and only then can we take the next step in evolution.

...also from Martin: 
Jarrett & Obama Even Live Together – She is Said to be Fixated on Overthrowing Trump


Personal Finance

Rising Geopolitical Risks and War Cycles

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Posted by Larry Edelson - The Edelson Wave

on Friday, 17 February 2017 17:44

It’s happening on cue: Over the last few days, some of the world’s most volatile nations are provoking the Trump administration big-time. Consider what’s happened …

Test #1. North Korea test-launched a new ballistic missile into the East Sea. The U.N. Security Council and Japanese Prime Minister Abe strongly condemned the act. President Trump says the U.S. has Japan’s back — but we both know that’s not going to deter North Korea’s military ambitions. It failed to stop the previous four launches.

What we know: North Korea is making great strides in advancing their nuclear arsenal, with a new mobile launching system and the use of solid (nuclear) fuel. The ultimate goal: Attacking the U.S. and its allies. This new arsenal is harder to detect and increases its range — both providing a greater threat to national security.

Test #2. Russia spy ship spotted cruising along the Eastern U.S. seaboard. The ship is armed with surface-to-air missiles and is used to intercept communications.

Test #3. Four Russian jets fly within 200 yards of U.S. Navy destroyer USS Porter in the Black Sea. Interestingly, the Russian jets had transponders off and unable to acknowledge multiple radio calls from the American warship.

Test #4. There were reports this week that Russia deployed a new type of nuclear cruise missile that’s in direct conflict with the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with the U.S.

Screen Shot 2017-02-17 at 4.24.55 PMJust Coincidence?

It’s interesting how all these events are developing like a carefully orchestrated mission – in line with my war cycle forecasts.

Perhaps that’s why U.S. Defense Chief “Mad dog” Mattis prodded NATO member countries to pony up more capital into the defense fund. In fact, he’s looked for 2% of their GDP.

Officials from Germany and the U.K. agree, seeing the writing on the wall: It’s going to cost more to defend Western values in a challenging global environment.

But that’s exactly what I’ve been warning about since debuting forecasts of my war cycle research in December 2013. I said back then that the world would experience an environment of rising domestic and international unrest until at least 2020.

And that’s coming true in spades.

This geo-political hotbed could cause all kinds of economic and financial repercussions that could strip you of your wealth in the months and years ahead OR present once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to protect you and yours.

But it all depends on the quality of your guidance — and your ability to think for yourself, especially in times like these.

I know which way I’m headed … and which way I’m taking my subscribers and members.

Do you?

Best wishes, Larry @ https://edelsonwave.com


Personal Finance

Here's a Shocker! Exceptionally High CDN Mutual Fund Fees

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Posted by Alex via Questrade

on Friday, 17 February 2017 12:07

  • 0576.featured large.png-550x0Canadians pay some of the highest mutual fund fees in the world
  • The opportunity cost of investment fees impact your portfolio
  • Small fee reductions can mean big portfolio growth

Cage match: how do your mutual funds perform?

Let’s look at two different funds invested in the same securities, returning an average of 6% per year before management fees. For the purposes of these calculations, we will be using the mutual fund fee calculator from GetSmarterAboutMoney.ca.

If you start with a portfolio of $100,000 and contribute $10,000 a year, how much does the higher fee fund cost you over 25 years?

Fund #1

Fund #2

Initial investment



Annual investment



Average return before management fee



Management fee

2.42% per year

0.77% per year

Average return after management fee

3.58% per year

5.23% per year

Total after 25 years



Investing in the fund with the lower fee means your portfolio is almost a quarter of a million dollars larger than it would be if it was invested with the fund with a larger fee. The same amount invested; the difference in returns is an incredible $215,759.54.

...read the whole article HERE


Personal Finance

Precious Metals v. Mining Stocks: What You Need to Know

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Posted by The Morgan Report

on Friday, 03 February 2017 12:19

Most readers of this column own (or plan to own) physical precious metals – gold and silver, perhaps even some platinum or palladium. They may also own mining stocks.

But which category is "best"? It's like asking, "What's the most efficient exercise?" or "What's the best fishing lure?" Truth be known, it's really about what you wish to accomplish! Here is my considered opinion...

Precious Metals Offer Insurance First – Profit Second

One should strongly consider holding physical precious metals for "investment first, profit potential second."

The primary function of "metals in hand" is to help offset the possible loss of purchasing power that inflation or a changing business/regulatory climate might visit on a person's other asset classes, such as the broad stock market, real estate, collectibles, and certainly, bonds.

"The One-Ring" – Gold and Silver

gold-silver-ringThis last category appears to be ending a literal 30-year bull market, during which time interest rates declined (and bonds rose) to levels not seen in many decades.

(A change in the secular trend, to rising interest rates, would have severe ramifications for the value of bonds, whether or not they are held to maturity.)

A side advantage, common in India but not discussed in this country, is that gold and silver can be easily be "pawned" when a person might not have other options for a loan. Just like any item left in the pawn shop owner's care, precious metals can be redeemed when the loan has been paid off.

Indians have a much more nuanced – and relaxed – view about metals' ownership. Outlookindia.com takes the pulse about how its citizens deal with the idea of buying gold and silver, noting, "If you bought gold today and its price falls tomorrow, you don’t say, oh, wish I had not bought gold, I lost money. You just look at your gold and say, I have got 200 grams of gold. That’s it."

Mining Stocks Are Speculations



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