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The Great Market Tide Has Now Shifted To Risk-Off Assets

A global sea-change in risk appetite & sentiment
Friday, July 8, 2016, 3:03 PM

In the conventional investment perspective, risk-on assets (i.e. investments with higher risks and higher potential returns) such as stocks are on a see-saw with risk-off assets (investments with lower returns and lower risk, such as Treasury bonds). When risk appetites are high, institutional managers and speculators move money into stocks and high-yield junk bonds, and move money out of safe-haven assets such as gold and U.S. Treasuries.

But recently, markets are no longer following this convention. Safe haven assets such as precious metals and Treasuries are soaring at the same time that stock markets bounced strongly off the post-Brexit lows.

Risk-on assets (stocks) rising at the same time as safe-haven assets is akin to dogs marrying cats and living happily ever after. 

What the heck is going on? » Read more

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Investing For Crisis

The future of stocks, gold & safe havens
Friday, July 8, 2016, 3:03 PM

Executive Summary

  • Which coming developments we can predict with certainty
  • Why the next crisis won't be like 2008
  • Why what worked post-2008 won't work this time
  • Where stocks and gold are headed
  • Where to find safe haven for your investment capital

If you have not yet read The Great Market Tide Has Now Shifted To Risk-Off Assets, available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

In Part 1, we reviewed the market’s risk-on, risk-off gyrations and laid out the case for long-term declines in confidence, political stability and profits.  What does this new era of uncertainty mean for individual investors?

What’s Predictable?

We can start by asking—is there anything we can predict with any certainty?

I think we can very confidently predict that future central bank monetary policies will fail to generate sustainable growth or fix what’s broken in the global financial system.

I think we can predict that uncertainty will only increase with time rather than decrease. This rise of uncertainty will predictably lower the attractiveness of risk-on assets, other than as short-term speculative bets after some central banker issues yet another “whatever it takes” proclamation.

It’s also a pretty good bet that if central banks and states continue expanding credit/money that isn’t matched by a corresponding expansion of goods and services, the purchasing power of those currencies will decline.

We can very confidently predict that the authorities will continue to do more of what has failed spectacularly until they are removed from power or the system breaks down.

We can predict with some confidence that issuing more debt will provide little productive results.

I also think we can hazard a guess that the next financial crisis will be of a different sort than the 2008-09 Global Financial Meltdown.

Just as generals prepare to fight the last war, with predictably dismal results (unless the exact same war is replayed, which rarely seems to happen), central bankers are fully prepared to stave off a crisis like the one in 2008: a financial crisis that emerges from leveraged bets going bad in money-center investment banks.

My basic presumption is... » Read more

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Fortunes Will Be Made & Lost When Capital Flees To Safety

As safe havens are tiny markets
Friday, June 24, 2016, 4:46 PM

Little did I realize when creating the short video below how prescient it would quickly become in the wake of last night's Brexit vote...

It's message is simple: there's a preponderance of data that shows the world's major asset markets are dangerously overvalued. And when these asset bubbles start to burst, the 'save haven' markets that investment capital will try to flee to are ridiculously small. Investors who do not start moving their capital in advance of crisis will be forced to pay much higher prices for safety -- or may find they can't get into these markets at any price. » Read more

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The Year Of The Red Monkey: Volatility Reigns Supreme

To preserve capital, you need to outsmart the monkey
Friday, March 11, 2016, 3:16 PM

In the lunar calendar that started February 8, this is the Year of the Red Monkey. I found this description of the Red Monkey quite apt:

"According to Chinese Five Elements Horoscopes, Monkey contains Metal and Water. Metal is connected to gold. Water is connected to wisdom and danger. Therefore, we will deal with more financial events in the year of the Monkey. Monkey is a smart, naughty, wily and vigilant animal. If you want to have good return for your money investment, then you need to outsmart the Monkey. Metal is also connected to the Wind. That implies the status of events will be changing very quickly. Think twice before you leap when making changes for your finance, career, business relationship and people relationship."

(Source)

In other words, the financial world will be volatile. And few will have the agility and wile to outsmart the market-monkey. » Read more

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ALERT: Markets In Breakdown

Time to take emergency funds out of the banking system
Thursday, February 11, 2016, 1:47 PM

This is a formal ALERT.

We issue those very sparingly here at Peak Prosperity. We only issue them when world events have gotten to the point that we are personally taking new actions to shore up our preparations.

2016 is fast proving that the tranquility the world has enjoyed from 2010 up to now has been false; that the problems we face were merely temporarily papered-over by central planners, not resolved. That tranquility is now over. Prepare for more turbulent times. » Read more

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The Deflation Monster Has Arrived

And it sure looks angry
Friday, January 15, 2016, 8:53 PM

As we’ve been warning for quite a while (too long for my taste): the world’s grand experiment with debt has come to an end. And it’s now unraveling.

Just in the two weeks since the start of 2016, the US equity markets are down almost 10%. Their worst start to the year in history. Many other markets across the world are suffering worse.

If you watched stock prices today, you likely had flashbacks to the financial crisis of 2008. At one point the Dow was down over 500 points, the S&P cracked below key support at 1,900, and the price of oil dropped below $30/barrel. Scared investors are wondering:  What the heck is happening? Many are also fearfully asking: Are we re-entering another crisis? » Read more

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David Collum: The Next Recession Will Be A Barn-Burner

With very few places for capital to hide
Saturday, December 26, 2015, 9:05 PM

For those who enjoyed his encyclopedic 2015: Year In Review, this week we spend an hour with David Collum to ask: After processing through all of that information, what do you think the future is most likely to bring?

Perhaps it comes as little surprise that he sees the global economy headed back down into recession, one that will be deeper and more damaging than the 2008 crisis. » Read more

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In A World Of Artificial Liquidity – Cash Is King

And you'd better have some stashed out of the system
Friday, July 3, 2015, 12:19 PM

It's more crucial now than ever for people to consider extracting a portion of cash from their bank accounts. » Read more

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The Global Credit Market Is Now A Lit Powderkeg

And markets are totally unprepared
Friday, June 26, 2015, 12:53 PM

Although the Street seems to agonize over equity valuations and recent price volatility, as I see it the real issue is the global bond market. Why?

Globally, the value of outstanding credit instruments is three times the total value of publicly traded equities. Just which do you imagine is more important to institutional investors? » Read more

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What Awaits Us In The Future Of Higher Interest Rates

Having an action plan will be the key to preserving wealth
Friday, June 26, 2015, 12:53 PM

Executive Summary

  • Expect a bond market bloodbath as rates rise
  • Municipal, corporate and sovereign defaults will soon follow
  • Liquidity suffers as necessary goods prices rise, but securities prices fall
  • The new, nuclear risk of a derivatives market collapse

If you have not yet read Part 1: The Global Credit Market Is Now A Lit Powderkeg available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

You may remember that what caused then Fed Chairman Paul Volcker to drive interest rates up in the late 1970’s was embedded inflationary expectations on the part of investors and the public at large. Volcker needed to break that inflationary mindset. Once inflationary expectations take hold in any system, they are very hard to reverse.

A huge advantage for Central Bankers being able to “print money” in very large magnitude in the current cycle has been that inflationary expectations have remained subdued. In fact, consumer prices as measured by government statistics (CPI) have been very low in recent years.

When Central Bankers started to print money, many were worried this currency debasement would lead to rampant inflation. Again, that has not happened for a very specific reason. For the heightened levels of inflation to sustainably take hold, wage inflation must be present. I've studied historical inflationary cycles and have not been surprised at outcomes in the current cycle in the least, as in the current cycle, continued labor market pressures have resulted in the lowest wage growth of any cycle in recent memory. But is this about to change at the margin?

The chart below shows us... » Read more