Here are the latest news items and commentary on current economics news, market trends, stocks, investing opportunities, and the precious metals markets. We also cover hedges, derivatives, and obscura. And it bears mention that most of these items are from the “tangibles heavy” contrarian perspective of SurvivalBlog’s Founder and Senior Editor, JWR. Today’s focus is on out-of-production or not normally for civilian sale night vision and other military electro-optics. (See the Tangibles Investing section.)
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Economy & Finance:
At the James Turk blog: The Arrival Of The Credit Crisis
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The ZIRP Decade: SmallCap Debt Has Increased 400%, Earnings Only Fractionally; Global Economy ‘Headed for Recession’. (A hat tip to H.L. for the link.)
U.S. stocks closed slightly higher on Friday, but there is still great uncertainty in the markets, and there are some voices of warning. For instance, there was this, at Seeking Alpha: SPY: Bigger Declines Ahead?
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Forex & Cryptos:
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Chilean Citizens Will Begin Paying Cryptocurrency Taxes in 2019. JWR’s Comment: I suspect that this is just the beginning, as grabby governments around the world will start to slap on taxes.
Tangibles Investing (Military Electro-Optics):
Today I’d like to discuss investing in military electro-optics. Generally, buying most electronics as an investment is a bad idea, since they are commodities, and their prices generally fall, over time. For instance, the prices of big screen HDTVs have dropped nearly 80%. And the price decline in laptop computers needs no explanation. But there is one family of technologies that often runs contrary, and that is because of supply and demand: I’m talking about both out-of-production and “not normally for civilian sale” night vision and other military electro-optics. Some of these include:
- Laser Aiming Lights. The PAQ-4 is a tried and true design, and very few make it to the civilian market. Ditto for the PEQ-15. From what I’ve heard, the Army’s new Multifunction Aiming Light (MFAL), is sought after, but will soon be replaced.
- Laser Rangefinders. Some of the higher-power rangefinders have never been released as surplus, because they are not considered Eye Safe. These often command high prices with long range target shooters. I once owned a Russian surplus laser rangefinder. I sold it because it was bulky and it used impractical oddball batteries. A friend bought it and ran some tests. He told me that he successfully ranged a hilltop at just over 19 kilometers. Now that is high power!
- Light Amplification (“Starlight”) monoculars, binoculars, and weapons sights. With any of these, show great caution before you buy. Because so many have been legally release in large numbers, they are more or less a commodity. This means that they will probably go down in price, in the long term, unless it is a particularly sought-after discontinued model.
- Thermal sights. These were insanely expensive when the first few military models were approved for the U.S. civilian market sales. We can expect to see falling prices for these, in the next few years. But each time a new model is released, there will surely be a spike in demand.
A special note for those with overseas retreats or relatives: Keep in mind that nearly all U.S. military electro-optics are export restricted, under ITAR. Prosecutions are not very common, but when they do happen they are often result in huge fines or long prison sentences. So beware and stay legal.
Making money investing military electro-optics depends greatly on both what you know, and who you know. If you are serious about this, then become a subject matter expert. And, just as importantly, get to know your suppliers and potential buyers. At the high end of this market, you may end up as a broker between the two.
SurvivalBlog and its Editors are not paid investment counselors or advisers. Please see our Provisos page for our detailed disclaimers.
Please send your economics and investing news tips to JWR. (Either via e-mail of via our Contact form.) These are often especially relevant, because they come from folks who particularly watch individual markets. And due to their diligence and focus, we benefit from fresh “on target” investing news. We often get the scoop on economic and investing news that is probably ignored (or reported late) by mainstream American news outlets. Thanks!