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How This Central Bank Bubble Ends PDF Print E-mail
Written by Bill Bonner - Diary of a Rogue Economist & Chris Hunter   
Thursday, 27 March 2014 06:36

I sometimes get the feeling that somewhere across that huge puddle, in America, people sit in a lab and conduct experiments, as if with rats, without actually understanding the consequences of what they are doing.

– Vladimir Putin, 4 March 2014

We promised to explain how it ends. The world, that is. The world we live in now. The one in the middle of a rapidly inflating central bank bubble.

First, we need to understand that this is a very different world from the world of the 19th and early 20th centuries. It is a world where central bankers play a role somewhere between con artists, mad scientists and God Himself.

They deceive and cheat. They conduct their experiments without any real idea how they will affect people. And they move almost every price in the world – sending investors, householders and business people all running in one direction.

Their experiments change not only prices quoted on the Big Board and the supermarket. They also change the physical world. Jobs are lost to machines that – without such low interest rates – would not have been built.

Monetary Fantasy

Those in the 1% are only as rich as they are today thanks to the Fed’s manipulations. America’s super-sized houses also are largely the result of the Fed’s 2002-07 real estate bubble. And many a mansion has been built in Aspen or the Hamptons with money from Wall Street bonuses, which wouldn’t have been possible without central bankers’ grand designs.

And China is the way it is today – with its gleaming towers, its mega-factories, its empty cities and clogged roads – largely because US officials made it easy for Americans to buy things they didn’t need with money they didn’t have.

Central bankers – along with central governments – have created a kind of monetary fantasy… which depends on ever increasing amounts of credit.

But where can all this new money go? Real output can’t keep up with it. So prices must adjust. In the event, they bubble up… first one market, then another… first one sector, then another…

And after the bubble, what?

The bust!

That’s what we’re waiting for. A bust in the biggest debt bubble of all time.

When the credit inflation ball bounces off the ceiling, it produces an equal and opposite reaction in the other direction. Asset prices fall. This is deflation. It begins with asset prices… and then makes its way into consumer prices.

Making Volatility Your Friend

Most investors think they need to protect themselves from this kind of volatility.

Academic studies show that more volatile stocks under-perform less volatile stocks – they call it the “volatility anomaly.” And it is obvious that if your stock goes down 50% you need 100% on the upside to get back to where you started. Losses and gains have “asymmetric” effects on your portfolio.

But at our small family wealth advisory, Bonner & Partners Family Office, one of our principles is that you need to “make volatility your friend.” Because volatility is not the problem. The real problem is risk. There is risk that you will buy the wrong investment at the wrong price. Then you’ll get whacked.

EZ money policies – low rates, QE, paper money – produce an apparent stability. As long as the money flows freely, even some of the worst businesses and the worst speculators can borrow to cover their losses.

Stocks go up and up and up. It looks good. But it masks real risk. As the bubble in credit increases the risk of a major blow-up increases… until it becomes a certainty.

This is where volatility can be your enemy and your friend. Just as Fed policies have made stocks too expensive… the equal and opposite reaction of the financial markets will be to make them too cheap. (Stay tuned.)

So, there you have it. The first stage of “the end” will be a major selloff of stocks. At present prices, of course, they’ve got it coming anyway.

But the implosion of the debt bubble and the collapse of asset prices are not likely to be the end of the story. Not as long as we have delusional activists running central banks and central governments.

Tune in tomorrow for the second stage of the end.

Regards,

Bill

Market Insight:

Distorted Markets Are Dangerous Markets 

From the desk of Chris Hunter, Editor-in-Chief, Bonner & Partners

Investors continue to hang on the words of central bankers.

They are focused on the doctor (central bankers), not the patient (the economy).

Further evidence of this came on Friday, when the S&P 500 plunged following Janet Yellen’s comment, made during her post-FOMC press conference, that the Fed would consider raising short-term interest rates “something on the order of around six months” after the end of QE.

This was sooner than the roughly one-year gap the market had anticipated. Investors reacted by hitting the “SELL” button.

Here’s a look at the effect Yellen’s “six month” comment had on the S&P 500.

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Source: Bespoke Investment Group

A market that reprices stocks so quickly based on the utterances of a Ph.D. is a highly distorted one in our view. And highly distorted markets tend to be highly dangerous markets, too.

That’s because they are based on a fiction: that central bankers can perform miracles.

This fiction may explain why investors have been so sanguine about rising geopolitical tensions around the world: in Ukraine… Thailand… Venezuela… Turkey… Syria… Iran… and North Korea.

The logic goes that, sure, geopolitical tension may be on the rise. But central bankers “have investors’ backs.” If something major goes wrong, investors can expect even more dramatic credit easing from central banks… and a resumption of the uptrend in stock prices.

This is a dangerous fallacy.

Ignoring rising geopolitical tensions has been profitable of late. But nothing is more dangerous to your wealth than extrapolating past trends into the future.

Unhedged portfolios will suffer greatly if this trend reverses and underlying geopolitical tensions trigger a major selloff.

We recommend you hold plenty of cash and gold in your portfolio to offset potential stock market losses.

 
Interview: Peter Schiff & His Strategies PDF Print E-mail
Written by Nick Giambruno - International Man   
Thursday, 27 March 2014 06:27

UnknownOn the potential for another financial crisis in the US

I’d bet that most International Man readers are familiar with Peter Schiff. He is a financial commentator and author, CEO of Euro Pacific Capital, and is known for accurately predicting the 2008 financial crisis.

He also has a very keen understanding of internationalization. Peter shares with me his strategies in this must-read discussion below that I am happy to bring exclusively toInternational Man readers. (If you are not already a member, you can join for free here.)

Nick Giambruno: Peter, do you see the potential for another financial crisis in the US playing out in the not-so-distant future?

Peter Schiff: Unfortunately, yes. I mean, how soon is very difficult to tell. In fact, right now you’ve got a high level of complacency. The stock markets are rallying to new highs, nominal highs. People seem to be convinced that the worst is behind us, that the central banks of the world have solved their problems by papering them over. But, you know, I don’t think they’ve solved anything. I think they’ve compounded the underlying problems that caused the last crisis, and so now the next crisis will be that much worse because of what the central banks did, in particular the Federal Reserve.

The Fed is right now trying to prop the economy up, the housing market up with cheap money, and it is operating under the delusion that one day it can take that cheap money away and the economy and the housing market will just sustain on their own, but that’s not possible. The Fed is building an economy that is completely dependent on that cheap money. And so if you take it away, the economy implodes, but if you don’t take it away, then it’s worse.

Nick Giambruno: So what measures do you see coming into place—things such as capital controls?

Peter Schiff: Well, certainly as currencies depreciate, governments look to try to find ways to stop the bleeding. What’s really is going on with inflation is that you have a huge transfer of wealth from savers and lenders to debtors, and of course the US government is the world’s biggest debtor, but a lot of American voters are in debt too.

If you’re a saver and you don’t want to watch your assets confiscated through the printing press, then you’re going to try to protect yourself. You might do that by moving your dollars abroad, converting them to foreign currencies, trying to get out of harm’s way, and that’s when you have the government potentially coming in with capital controls.

Putting taxes on foreign currency transactions or maybe outright prohibiting them altogether, that will make it more difficult for you or more expensive to take protective measures. I think we’ve already got the beginnings of capital controls in the United States. The government is making it very difficult for Americans to do business abroad. Many foreign financial institutions, banks, and even bullion depositories are refusing to do business with American citizens for fear of retaliation by the IRS or other government agencies.

Nick Giambruno: So what can Americans and others living under a desperate government do to minimize this risk?

Peter Schiff: Well, the first thing that you could do is minimize your purchasing power risk. So you don’t have to get your money into a foreign bank or foreign brokerage account to get out of the dollar. I help Americans diversify globally within a US account, but their portfolio consists of foreign assets, whether it’s foreign bonds, government bonds, corporate bonds, foreign stocks, dividend-paying stocks, commodities, or precious metals. These are all things that will protect purchasing power in an inflationary time period, and things that the federal government—the Federal Reserve—can’t levy the inflation tax on.

If you’re more worried about political risk—about the US government seizing your assets—then you want to take the next step. This is not just getting out of the dollar, but getting your money out of the country. But again, the US government is making that more difficult right now.

I know personally. I set up a foreign brokerage firm as a subsidiary of my foreign bank, which I also set up, called Euro Pacific Bank. I did this predominantly for foreigners who were having trouble investing with my US brokerage firm. The securities rules and regulations are now so onerous that it almost caused me to view any foreigner as a terrorist. So if somebody in Australia wanted to open up an account with me, there was so much paperwork involved that oftentimes they would just give up halfway through the process. So what I did is I set up this foreign bank so that I wouldn’t have to operate under those confines, so I can be more competitive to a foreign investor, but I can’t offer these services to Americans.

My foreign bank is no different than many other foreign banks. In order to really protect the privacy of my foreign customers, I can’t accept American customers. And if I accepted American customers, my compliance cost would be so high that I would have to charge my foreign customers more for transactions to try to stay in business. So to mitigate all that regulation and the potential of having to share all the information on my foreign clients with the US government, I’m just not taking American customers with my foreign bank.

Nick Giambruno: So Euro Pacific Bank, where is it headquartered and why did you choose that jurisdiction?

Peter Schiff: It’s in St Vincent and the Grenadines (the Caribbean). I did it for a number of reasons: it’s close to me, but also because of the banking laws. You have secrecy, privacy, and you have no tax. They’re not going to impose any income tax on my company as an offshore bank, they’re also not going to impose any taxes, any withholding taxes on my bank’s customers’ interest income or their capital gains. And no one is going to pierce the wall of secrecy. You’re going to have to go in to a St. Vincent’s court and get a local court order to get any information from my bank.

The bank is regulated, but it’s not nearly as onerous as the type of regulations that I would face trying to do this business from the United States. In fact, some of the things we’re doing offshore might be completely impossible because they would no longer be economically viable if I tried to do them in America, but I can do them offshore because the government doesn’t impose these artificial barriers.

(Editor’s Note: You can find out more about Euro Pacific Bank here.)

Nick Giambruno: Generally speaking, which countries are you particularly bullish on?

Peter Schiff: It’s kind of like a monetary or economic triage; I’m always looking around the world to see which countries are in the least bad shape, which countries are the least reckless and the least irresponsible. You really can’t find any one country that’s doing it perfectly. You just have to find the ones that are making the fewest mistakes.

And I think high on that list are Singapore and Hong Kong. Those markets are relatively free of regulation, free of taxation. I mean, it’s not nonexistent, but on a relative basis you have a lot more freedom there, and so you have a lot more prosperity there. You have much better economic fundamentals. And not just in those two places, but in Southeast Asia in general, in a lot of the emerging economies, you’ll find a lot less government and a lot more freedom. People are working harder, they’re saving, they’re producing, and they’re exporting. You don’t have these trade deficits, budget deficits, and you don’t have armies of people looking to retire on government entitlements. In Europe, we still like Switzerland even though they are making mistakes tying their currency to the euro. I think eventually they will change that policy. Scandinavia, we have been investors in Norway, we’ve been investors in Sweden. Also Australia and New Zealand have been longtime favorites. We’ve been investing down there or even closer to home in Canada. We do have some investments in South America. We’re diversifying around the world trying to get into the right countries, the right currencies, the right asset classes.

Nick Giambruno: On a different note, we’ve seen the number of US citizens renouncing their citizenship sharply increase. We have also seen high-profile people like Tina Turner and Eduardo Saverin give up their US citizenship. Would Tina be eligible to use Euro Pacific Bank?

Peter Schiff: Yes, once you renounce your US citizenship. The only people who can’t bank with me are American citizens, or green card holders. So once you are no longer an American citizen, as long as you don’t reside in the United States, then you are welcome at the bank.

I think a lot of people are doing this obviously for tax reasons, although they can’t necessarily claim it’s for tax reasons. You have to fill out a form if you want to renounce your citizenship—which, by the way, you can only get from a foreign embassy or consulate. Those forms used to be free. Now they’re $500 apiece. So think about that. If they can charge you $500 for that form, they could charge $5,000, they could charge $5,000,000. They could basically make it impossible for you to leave. And they’re trying to make it more difficult ever since Eduardo Saverin from Facebook went to Singapore. Now the government is trying to come up with all sorts of ways to punish Americans who try to give up their citizenship, and this really is the sign of a nation in decay. Fifty years ago, nobody would want to give up American citizenship. They would cherish it. The fact that so many people are paying tremendous amounts of money to get this albatross off their neck shows you how much times have changed, that an American passport is not an asset to be cherished but a liability that people are willing to pay to get rid of.

Nick Giambruno: And what about yourself? Do you believe you are adequately diversified internationally?

Peter Schiff: I think my investments are; I own a lot of foreign stocks. I have a lot of precious metals, I have a lot of mining shares. But I still live in the United States, so I’m obviously still vulnerable here. My family is here, so I haven’t done anything about a physical exit strategy. Although I do think I have financial resources that would afford me the ability to relocate, but I haven’t actually taken any steps other than setting up a foreign business. I have the foreign bank in the Caribbean. I have a brokerage firm Euro Pacific Canada, and so I’ve got offices up there. I’m also thinking about opening up an office in Singapore and trying to move more of my business—particularly my asset management business—to move it from the US. Not only because of favorable tax treatment outside the US, but because of the regulatory environment. If you want to be globally competitive, you need to be in an area where you can minimize these costs because if I have those costs and my competitors don’t, then I am at a disadvantage. And also because I think that over time people are going to be more and more hesitant about sending their money to the United States. So if I’m going to manage money, I might have to manage it offshore, because I think people will be worried about sending it here. They might be worried that the US government might take it.

If it ever gets really, really bad that you feel that you have to leave, by then it might be illegal to take any gold or silver out of the country. Right now you can take more than $10,000 worth of cash or cash equivalents—which would include gold bullion—out of the country as long as you tell the government that you’re taking it. And if you don’t tell them and they catch you, there’s a big fine and jail penalty. But one day it might not be the case. It might be that you are prohibited from taking any significant amount of money out of the country, and who knows what the penalty might be if they catch you. But if it’s already out of the country, then you don’t have to worry, because you’re leaving with nothing and the money is on the other side of the border waiting for you.

Nick Giambruno: So the idea is to preempt capital controls?

Peter Schiff: Yeah, well, you get out the window before they slam it shut. That’s the whole idea, and right now those windows are shutting all around as more and more offshore institutions are saying “no thank you” to an American customer. But the other reason that you want to act sooner too is if they impose exchange controls or fees on purchasing precious metals. They don’t ban them, but they have a big tax on the transaction or a big tax on the foreign exchange. If you want to buy Swiss francs, they can have a transaction tax. You want to get your money out of the dollar before those taxes are imposed, because if you wait until they’re imposed, then you can’t get as much money out, because a lot of it is being lost to taxes. In getting out of the dollar, you’re trying to avoid the inflation tax, but they’re hitting you with some other kind of tax in the process because that’s really what they are trying to do. A lot of people are worrying about the income tax or the estate tax and they go through elaborate means to try to minimize those taxes, but then they leave themselves vulnerable to what might be the biggest tax of all: and that’s the inflation tax. So you have to act to protect yourself before so many people are trying to protect themselves that the government makes it almost impossible to do so.

Editor’s Note: Internationalization is your ultimate insurance policy. Whether it’s with a second passport, offshore physical gold storage, or other measures, it is critically important that you dilute the amount of control the bureaucrats in your home country wield over you by diversifying your political risk. You can find Casey Research’s A-Z guide on internationalization by clicking here.

 
The article Peter Schiff Shares His Offshore Strategies was originally published atinternationalman.com.
 
Investing in Geniuses: A Group Of Investors Is Buying A Stake In The Next Generation Of Geniuses PDF Print E-mail
Written by Business Insider   
Wednesday, 26 March 2014 13:02

Screen Shot 2014-03-26 at 1.16.04 PM"Connecting bright, ambitious young people with wealthy individuals who want to invest in their futures."

The Dream Machine

The stated goal of Upstart is to connect bright, ambitious young people with wealthy individuals who want to invest in their futures — and, with any luck, help them achieve their dreams. “Upstart was founded to help people do what they were meant to do,” the company announced at its launch in August 2012. “Many talented college grads take jobs they’re not excited about, rather than following their true passions. Whether constrained by debt or just comforted by traditional career options, too many students take the perceived ‘safe path.’”

'What makes human capital contracts unique is that the investment made is not in a particular company or idea, but in a person. After all, supporters argue, companies are no more than the product of the people who create them. So why not simplify the investment process? Why not treat the person as the startup — or, by Girouard’s clever inversion — the upstart?"

....continue reading A Group Of Investors Is Buying A Stake In The Next Generation Of Geniuses

 

 
Welcome to the Currency War: Russia China Bypass the Petrodollar PDF Print E-mail
Written by John Rubino - DollarCollapse.com   
Wednesday, 26 March 2014 12:15

As it tries to punish Russia for the latter’s dismemberment of Ukraine, the West is discovering that the balance of power isn’t what it used to be. Russia is a huge supplier of oil and gas — traded in US dollars — which gives it both leverage over near-term energy flows and, far more ominous for the US, the ability to threaten the dollar’s rein as the world’s reserve currency. And it’s taking some big, active steps towards that goal. As Zero Hedge noted on Tuesday:

Russia Prepares Mega-Deal With India After Locking Up China With “Holy Grail” Gas Deal

Last week we reported that while the West was busy alienating Russia in every diplomatic way possible, without of course exposing its crushing overreliance on Russian energy exports to keep European industries alive, Russia was just as busy cementing its ties with China, in this case courtesy of Europe’s most important company, Gazprom, which is preparing to announce the completion of a “holy grail” natural gas supply deal to Beijing. We also noted the following: “And as if pushing Russia into the warm embrace of the world’s most populous nation was not enough, there is also the second most populated country in the world, India.” Today we learn just how prescient this particular comment also was, when Reuters reported that Rosneft, the world’s top listed oil producer by output, may join forces with Indian state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corp to supply oil to India over the long term, the Russian state-controlled company said on Tuesday.

Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin, an ally of President Vladimir Putin, travelled to India on Sunday, part of a wider Asian trip to shore up ties with eastern allies at a time when Moscow is being shunned by the West over its annexation of Crimea. Rosneft said it had also agreed with ONGC they may join forces in Rosneft’s yet-to-be built liquefied natural gas plant in the far east of Russia to the benefit of Indian consumers.

We just have one question: will payment for crude and LNG be made in Rubles or Rupees? Or in gold. Because it certainly won’t be in dollars.

Rosneft, which is increasing oil flows to Asia to diversify away from Europe, did not provide any additional details but said it had discussed potential cooperation with Reliance Industries and Indian Oil.

It did not have to: it is quite clear what is going on. While the US is bumbling every possible foreign policy move in Ukraine (and how could it not with John Kerry at the helm), and certainly in the middle east, where it is alienating Israel and Saudi just to get closer to Iran, Russia is aggressively cementing the next, biggest (certainly in terms of population and natural resources), and most important New Normal geopolitical Eurasian axis: China – Russia – India.

There is only one country missing – Germany. Because while diplomatically Germany is ideologically as close to the US as can be, its economy is far more reliant on China and Russia, something the two nations realize all too well. The second the German industrialists make it clear they are shifting their allegiance to the Eurasian Axis and away from the Group of 6 (ex Germany) most insolvent countries in the world, that will be the moment the days of the current reserve petrocurrency will be numbered.

To understand why trade deals between Russia, China and India are potentially huge, a little history is useful: Back in the 1970s, the US cut a deal with Saudi Arabia — at the time the world’s biggest oil producer — calling for the US to prop up the kingdom’s corrupt monarchy in return for a Saudi pledge that it would accept only dollars in return for oil. The “petrodollar” became the currency in which oil and most other goods were traded internationally, requiring every central bank and major corporation to hold a lot of dollars and cementing the greenback’s status as the world’s reserve currency. This in turn has allowed the US to build a global military empire, a cradle-to-grave entitlement system, and a credit-based consumer culture, without having to worry about where to find the funds. We just borrow from a world voracious for dollars.

But if Russia, China and India decide to start trading oil in their own currencies — or, as Zero Hedge speculates, in gold — then the petrodollar becomes just one of several major currencies. Central banks and trading firms that now hold 60% of their reserves in dollar-denominated bonds would have to rebalance by converting dollars to those other currencies. Trillions of dollars would be dumped on the global market in a very short time, which would lower the dollar’s foreign exchange value in a disruptive rather than advantageous way, raise domestic US interest rates and make it vastly harder for us to bully the rest of the world economically or militarily.

For Russia, China and India this looks like a win/win. Their own currencies gain prestige, giving their governments more political and military muscle. The US, their nemesis in the Great Game, is diminished. And the gold and silver they’ve vacuumed up in recent years rise in value more than enough to offset their depreciating Treasury bonds.

The West seems not to have grasped just how vulnerable it was when it got involved in this latest backyard squabble. But it may be about to find out.

For Part 1-13 of The Currency War read HERE

 

logo dollarcollapse smAbout Dollar Collapse

DollarCollapse.com is managed by John Rubino, co-author, with GoldMoney’s James Turk, of The Collapse of the Dollar and How to Profit From It (Doubleday, 2007), and author of Clean Money: Picking Winners in the Green-Tech Boom (Wiley, 2008), How to Profit from the Coming Real Estate Bust (Rodale, 2003) and Main Street, Not Wall Street (Morrow, 1998). After earning a Finance MBA from New York University, he spent the 1980s on Wall Street, as a Eurodollar trader, equity analyst and junk bond analyst. During the 1990s he was a featured columnist with TheStreet.com and a frequent contributor to Individual Investor, Online Investor, and Consumers Digest, among many other publications. He currently writes for CFA Magazine.

 
Why a New Depression Would Be Good For Us PDF Print E-mail
Written by Bill Bonner - Diary of a Rogue Economist & Chris Hunter   
Wednesday, 26 March 2014 09:41

hindenburg-wideThe Dow rose 91 points yesterday. Gold was flat – after getting battered last week. 

Today, we go even farther into the unknown... beyond eventually and past sooner or later... to what happens next. 

Specifically, we don't think central bankers are going to take the end of the world lying down. They've got tricks up their sleeves. These are not new tricks. They've been used many times in many different forms. But they've never been used on the scale we now foresee. 

But before we begin guessing, let us tell you a bit about what is really happening here at Finca Gualfin, our ranch here in northwestern Argentina. 

Three days ago, Jorge – the farm manager – came to us with a problem: 

"Señor Bonner, we found two calves dead. They looked fat and healthy. I'm afraid it is a disease called la mancha. I saw it many years ago. Healthy young cows just all of a sudden fall down and die. It almost wiped out our herd." 

We still don't know what la mancha is. But it is evidently not something to trifle with. Word went to Salta, a city about six hours away, that we had an emergency. A veterinarian advised us to inoculate the whole herd. Within hours, the medicine was on a bus bound for the hamlet of Molinos, about an hour and a half from the ranch. 

The next morning, all the hands were turned out – including your editor. We mounted up and headed out to the campo – an immense valley of some thousands of acres. Our job was to sweep the valley of all the cows...driving them to the main corral, where they would be vaccinated. 

The operation took three days. Your editor was probably more of a liability than a help. Driving cattle is not as easy as the local gauchos make it look. 

More on this later...

When the Debt Bubble Pops


Meanwhile, away from the ranch... 

The end of the world comes when the debt bubble pops. But before we get there, we will see more attempts by central banks to keep the debt bubble expanding. From Richard Duncan, author of The New Depression: The Breakdown of the Paper Money System

Given that the Fed has been driving the economic recovery by inflating the price of stocks and property, it is unlikely to allow falling asset prices to drag the economy back down any time soon. To prevent that from happening, it looks as though the Fed will have to extend QE into 2015 and perhaps significantly beyond.

So far, so predictable. But there is a "sooner or later" for QE, too. There will come a time when the world can take no more debt... and at that point, the debt bubble will finally blow up. 

Then we get the equal and opposite reaction. Asset prices that have been inflated by debt will be deflated by debt de-leveraging. A depression will most likely follow. 

This is not a bad thing... not at all. Contrary to popular opinion, crashes and depressions do not destroy wealth. They merely tell you that the wealth you thought you had really didn't exist. 

As long as the EZ money flows freely, mistakes remain invisible. Rotten companies are kept alive. Bad speculations seem to pay off. Debts that can never be paid are still serviced. Stocks with little or no earnings shoot up. 

Then when the bubble explodes the mistakes become painfully obvious. Phony gains return from whence they came. Investors reprice assets at more realistic levels. (After first going to unrealistically low levels and presenting opportunities for patient investors with plenty of cash onboard). 

Only then, when the economy has been thoroughly thrashed can it get up, dust itself off and get back to work. 

But central bankers are not likely to let it happen. They've made their careers by pretending to improve the economy. When the bust comes they will swing into action with more quack cures. 

That is when we arrive at the second stage of the coming debt deflation. It is when we will wish we had bought more gold... more real estate... more old cars and new potatoes. 

Most likely (but this is not guaranteed) central banks will find new and bolder ways to get money into consumers' hands. (Remember Ben Bernanke's "helicopter" speech?) This will be followed by a crisis of a different sort: high levels of consumer price inflation. 

Put on your seat belt. It's gonna be one helluva ride. 

Regards,

Bill


Market Insight:
Wall Street's Dirty Secret 

From the desk of Chris Hunter, Editor-in-Chief, Bonner & Partners


Wall Street has a dirty secret... 

On average, over a five-year period, about 25% of actively managed funds outperform their indexes. 

That's just one in four funds that do a better job, on average, than an index-tracking ETF or passive mutual fund. 

Another roughly 25% will underperform by a small amount. Another roughly 25% will underperform by a large amount. And another roughly 25% will shut up shop before five years is over. 

In other words, by investing in actively managed funds you are giving yourself 3-to-1 odds of underperforming a passive index. 

Here are the results from the S&P Indices Versus Active Funds (SPIVA) US Scorecard for 2013. It shows the percentage of active funds outperformed by the index over five years ending 2013. 

DRE-03262014-ISSUE-pic
Source: SPIVA


As you can see, for the five years ending in 2013, small-cap funds did slightly better than usual. The small-cap index outperformed just 66.8% of them for the period. Large-cap funds did a couple of percentage points better than the average. And mid-cap funds did slightly worse than average. 

This is strong evidence that you're far better off holding plenty of diversified passive index funds in your portfolio, than chasing after elusive... and expensive... actively managed funds. 

Of course, you can seek out some outperformance with a small portion of your portfolio... by stock picking or getting someone else to stock pick for you. 

Just be aware that the odds are heavily stacked against your beating a passive-investing strategy over the long run.

 
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Page 35 of 1031
Greg Weldon
17 April 2014 ~ Michael Campbell's Commentary Service

We are pleased to introduce a new feature to the Inside Edge with the first of a regular contribution from Greg Weldon. Greg's video and...   Read more...

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