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  1. Re: Brandon Smith’s new e-newsletter
    Thank you for letting us know. Brandon is an awesome financial analyst. His critical thinking and analysis are some of the best exports of The Redoubt.

  2. Re: America 2050

    Some observations

    Interesting the lack of confidence in politicians. One of the things that has changed in my personal thinking over the last several decades is my view of leaders. With a few exceptions I do not believe our best are in leadership roles at almost any level and particularly in government and big institutions. I think are best politicians are our best politicians. Meaning that their primary skill is simply acquiring power not beneficial decision making. I think we have been duped for virtually all of human history into thinking that our leaders had the answers to our problems. I think our leaders have the answers to some of THEIR problems. I think this applies to some degree in big business as well.

    Another thought is about income inequality. Compared to perhaps the 50s through the 70s we currently have pretty big income inequality. Compared to all of human history I do not think that is necessarily the case. Even the poor in the US today live better than Kings of old. I get the concerns particularly regarding the power that accompanies the money, but I think the income inequality focus of today is largely just the politics of envy and an illustration of why we have the commandment “Thou shalt not covet”. If you think about it socialism is the natural result of covetousness and we see the results of that.

    Polls in general are of limited value. They have limited predictive capability. Make people place bets on the future and you get better judgement. This has actually been illustrated in some testing done where people are allowed to bet on elections. The people betting usually do better at predicting outcomes than the polls.

  3. General observations on the current discussion of the yield curve (the relationship between interest rates on government securities of different maturities. There’s lots of speculation out there that we’re on the verge of a recession/depression/crisis, because parts of the yield curve have inverted. This is overblown. The most important part of the yield curve, the 10 year – 2 year Treasury, is still positive, although only slightly. Historically, when this part of the yield curve inverts (goes negative), a recession is usually 6-18 months away.

  4. Comment on gold-related stocks. Gold mining stocks may be surging, but anything that can go up quickly can go down quickly as well. There are several so-called “royalty” companies in the precious metals space, and they tend to grow almost as well but with less volatility. Some of them even pay dividends! Royalty companies don’t own mines (mining is an incredibly risky business); they purchase the right to sell the output from mines owned by others. Most experts suggest starting with one or more of the largest royalty companies, both in gold and silver. At that point investors with a higher risk tolerance might look for a newer and smaller royalty company for potentially higher gains.

  5. There are different ways to protect your portfolio from a significant downturn. You can use options, short stocks, use inverted ETF’s, or use out-of-the-market trailing stops. I really like the last option — I have stops on every stock and mutual fund I own. If any security drops to its stop level from its most recent high point, I get a text and an email and I sell it when the market opens the next day. This helps protect gains and cuts losses. If you want to stay in stocks for the next phase of the bull market, this will help protect your money and let you sleep better. You just have to sell when the system tells you to — no second-guessing. I use a website, http://www.tradestops.com (I have no connection with them other than my use.) There are probably others.

  6. RE: All of the World’s Money and Markets in One Visualization

    There are an estimated total of 1 billion ounces of silver above ground, or 28,350 tonnes.
    There are an estimated total of 187,200 tonnes of gold above ground.

    Logic would indicate that it would be wiser to invest in silver over gold.

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