A Little Bit of Shock Value…

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I just published an article titled “Welcome to 2026.” It showcased my new-found optimism about the future of our economy and our markets. And, admittedly, I was going for a little bit of shock value when, near the end of the article, I declared the Dow Jones could hit 44,000 in ten years. The DJIA is currently around 18,500.

Here’s a link to the article in the local seniors’ paper, The Senior Beacon (article on page 24).

A FEW WARNINGS

After reading some scary articles about the very near-term, I wanted to repeat my warnings. We will absolutely have recessions, bear markets, catastrophes and other bad and volatile events. BUT…those things have never stopped the market in a super-bull cycle.

LOTS OF BAD THINGS

The world’s a total mess: there’s record-high government debt, record-low U.S. interest rates (indicating a weak economy), wars, invasions, bombings, negative global interest rates, worldwide growth slowdowns, Brexit–whoa, gotta wipe the sweat from my brow. Are you optimistic yet?

I’m aware of these major issues. They are important. But they’re not devastating.

WHAT WE’VE TRIUMPHED THROUGH

For example, the U.S. has survived most of those things before, including bigger trials like assassinations, Great Depressions, multiple World Wars, etc. You get the idea. All through this, the markets have reached new highs, generating new wealth.

I believe we’re on the cusp of another super-bull market. We had the latest in the ’80’s and ’90’s. Then we had the worst decade in the stock market. Ever. The worst ever. Even worse than the decade that includes the Depression.

That was the major down cycle. Now I think it’s time for the markets to move even higher up. Get ready for Dow 44,000…

Here’s a link to the article again. Check it out on page twenty-four.

If you’d like a free report that took 17 years to build, highlighting the ten most-repeated mistakes I’ve seen dozens of investors make, just email the word “ten” in the subject line to RonPhillipsAdvisor@gmail.com

This report can help you minimize risk, save you $1,000’s in unnecessary fees, protect you and your loved ones from financial devastation, and minimize or even eliminate your taxes on investments. Pull up your email program, put “ten” in the subject line, send to RonPhillipsAdvisor@gmail.com and sit back and wait for the most important free report you’ll ever read on your investments.

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“Wow,” was All I Could Muster For a Shocked Response

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The other day I picked up a copy of the Wall Street Journal. There was an article about The Great Depression by Morgan Housel. He mentioned a big hedge fund manager thinking that today’s economy is like the 1930s.

The two times are hugely different!

“Let me count the ways”:

1. Today’s economy: Up over 2% versus down 45% then

2. Today’s economy: 89% private and 11% government vs. about three percent federal government spending in The Great Depression (government spending = more diverse economy and on-going stimulus)(also, this doesn’t include current government payouts like Social Security, Medicare, etc. and their impact in the economy)

3. Today’s economy: internet, smart phones, apps, technology, biotechnology, alternative energies vs. none of that (in other words, we have a much-stronger, more-diverse economy)

4. Today’s unemployment: 5.5% vs. 25%

5. Today’s stock market: near historic highs vs. Dow Jones down 89% (and the current market is at an historically average price, when looking at forward 12-month earnings)

6. Today’s banking: FDIC insurance covering $250,000 per account vs. no bank insurance

7. Today’s brokerage: SIPC insurance covering $500,000 per account vs. no brokerage insurance during the 1930s

8. Today’s brokerage: margin limits of $1 equity to $1 debt vs. $1 equity and up to $9 debt! (this made the stock bubble and crash of the 1930s significantly worse and is even blamed for starting the depression)

9. Today’s retirement: Social Security income vs. none

10. Today’s retirement: Medicare coverage vs. none

(Both of these programs create an on-going stimulus from government dollars and a more-stable economy)

11. Today’s liquidity: corporate and personal cash of over $4.148 trillion vs. ??? (I really don’t know how much cash was around back then. I’m pretty sure that it was less than trillions, even adjusted for inflation)

12. Today’s Federal Reserve: experienced and aware of volatility caused by rate moves vs. inexperienced and short-sighted in The Great Depression

This list could be longer but you get the idea.

What was the hedge fund guru, Ray Dalio’s point? That the Federal Reserve is ready to raise rates and this could cause a market panic and drop. So have a lot of cash.

I agree with the “have cash” idea but that’s pretty well covered with over $4 trillion in cash.

Mr. Dalio’s other point was that the Fed Reserve was going to raise rates (like in the 1930s). That’s absolutely true. Rates are at zero. Most likely, there’s only one way to go with them…up. See my post for my predictions for 2015, including rate moves.

So worry not, dear investors, we will have stock market volatility. Probably a correction. Maybe even a moderate bear market. But we may also have a near-repeat of the record gains started in the late 1980s and running all the way through the 1990s.

You don’t want to miss a “super bull market.” Have cash but own a lot of equity….

Will a Dollar Crash Cause a “25 Year Depression”?

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I was on a website last Friday and saw an ad. I rarely click on ads but I couldn’t resist. The headline mentioned something about a 25-year depression. That’s a pretty bold claim. And I know there’s about a million of these outrageous claims on the internet. But what if??

So I clicked on it and started watching a video by Jim Rickards. He sounded pretty qualified despite the puffed-up claims to expertise. And he mentioned something I had read about before that really could be catastrophic: the world going off of the U.S. dollar.

I had worried about this for my kids and future grand kids. But I didn’t think it would happen too soon. Yet it could happen and it wouldn’t be good for America.

To oversimplify the issue, when the world completely drops the U.S. dollar as a reserve currency it will make the price of what we consume at home hugely more expensive. So we can then either consume less or finally start selling more. Or both.

The consume less part would happen right away. We would be forced to do that. Our weak dollar simply wouldn’t buy as much imported stuff (apologies to my high school teacher for using ‘stuff’ as an actual noun).

And we are, thankfully, already starting to sell a little more. Mainly fuels due to the dynamic oil/energy sector.

So it’s a worrisome problem. And it got me thinking: would the world just drop our currency overnight? Unlikely. It’s similar to the holding of our Treasury bonds by foreign investors. They wouldn’t want to sell these bonds all at once, dumping us. That would be horrendous for the values of the bonds. They would all lose billions & billions of dollars. Similarly, dumping the U.S. dollar would hurt the countries importing to America, namely China and other low-cost producers. Not to mention all of the European importing countries and Japan.

Would you harm your biggest client? I don’t think they would either. Everyone sells to everyone in this global mix. So the international community has a vested interest in seeing a slow removal from the dollar. If there’s a removal at all.

What can an investor do? You can increase your international exposure. If you use mutual funds you can get many that are denominated in those foreign currencies. Not only would you be diversifying your portfolio you’d be creating some “currency insurance” within it, too.

Check out this article for another way to diversify out of the U.S. market and dollar: Investing In Stuff