The Colder War is Heating Up as Putin Tightens His Grip on the Global Energy Trade

The Colder War is Heating Up as Putin Tightens His Grip on the Global Energy Trade

By Marin Katusa, Chief Energy Investment Strategist

Vladimir Putin is stronger than ever and judgement day for the petrodollar is here says Marin Katusa, author of the bestselling book, The Colder War, in a new interview with Bloomberg Radio.

Marin warns that America cannot achieve energy independence and that downward pressure on the price of oil will remain a near-term threat. He also reveals where he thinks the next big discoveries in oil will occur. Hint: It’s not America. And gives his insights on the deals happening between Russia and China and what’s in store for the future of OPEC and US oil exports.

For the full story on The Colder War and how it will directly affect you, click here to get your copy of Marin’s new book.

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Russia Back to Superpower Status

Marin Katusa: “Russia Back to Superpower Status”

By Marin Katusa, Chief Energy Investment Strategist

Russian President Vladimir Putin has re-established his country as a global superpower. “Not only that, he’s got the other emerging markets working in concert against U.S. interests, globally,” said Marin Katusa, author of The Colder War, during an interview on the “Steve Malzberg Show” on Newsmax TV. On top of that, Marin added, “Western Europe’s become more addicted to Russian sources of oil and natural gas.”

 

Click here to get your copy of Marin’s new book and discover how the struggle between Russia and the West to control the world’s energy trade will directly affect you and the future of global finance.

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Love What You Do

People seek to make money in many different ways, but money isn’t all there is to life. Perhaps people are looking at money in the wrong way. While money doesn’t buy happiness, not having money can bring sadness and stress and frustration and homelessness. People can decide to be happy with money. However, people are more likely to be sad without money. Money, in and of itself, is not what is of value. Money enables people to pursue what they love. If people can make money doing what they love, it’s even better.

Drop shipping is an excellent and easy way to make money without having to worry about overhead or inventory. However, it means keeping a sharp eye for things of value. Seller “B” lists an item for a buyer. Once the buyer buys the item listed, Seller “B” buys the item for a lesser amount from Seller “A” and has it shipped directly to the buyer. In this manner, Seller “B” makes a profit without having to keep inventory, go to the post office and without paying extra for postage. The key is to obtain items that buyers wouldn’t be able to and sell them for a marked up price.

Trading presents amazing freedom in generating cash flow. However, it should not be entered into unless a person knows what they’re doing. It’s important to have a rule of when to buy and when to sell. If a person is seeking to make money long-term, the chances that a person will turn a profit is unlikely. Trading must occur daily or in some other short duration of time. It’s important to learn about trading, and it’s important to learn about who to learn from. Checking out Reviews of Online Trading Academy is one way to discover who the best option is to learn from.

Real estate presents another hot way to make good money. Some people resort to flipping houses where they buy a house for a lesser amount, fix it up and sell for a profit. People need to know what they’re doing when they begin such an undertaking. Houses that are damaged or stripped of things due to a foreclosure present a wonderful opportunity to flip. However, many others get into rental properties to have a steady stream of income. Whatever a person decides to do, the key is to love it and have fun.

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The Madness of the EU’s Energy Policy

The Madness of the EU’s Energy Policy

By Marin Katusa, Chief Energy Investment Strategist

The stakes couldn’t be higher. Vladimir Putin has launched a devastating plan to turn Russia into an energy powerhouse. And Europe, dependent on Russian natural gas and oil for a third of its fuel needs, has fallen right into his hands: Putin can bend the EU to his will simply by twisting the valve shut.

Considering how precarious Europe’s economic security is, one would have thought that now would be a good time for the EU to reassess its energy policy and address the effect crippling energy costs are having on its struggling economy.

But the EU is never going to agree to a rational reappraisal of its policies, because eco-loons like its new energy commissioner, Violetta Bulc, have taken over the asylum.

A practicing fire walker and a shaman, she’s the sort of airy-fairy Goddard College type who only believes in the power of “positive energy.” What will guide us in this frightening new era is, according to her blog, the spirit of the White Lions:

The Legend says that White Lions are star beings, uniting star energy within earth form of Lions. The native ancestors were convinced that they are children of the Sun God, thus embodying Solar Logos and legends say that they came down to Earth to help save humanity at a time of crisis. There is no doubt that this time is right now.

With the European Commission stuffed with green anti-capitalist zealots, it’s not surprising that the EU’s response to the challenges of a resurgent Russia is a complete break with reality.

The EU has come up with an aggressive climate plan—just like Obama’s. In defiance of all logic—if not Putin—it’s agreed to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40% and make clean energy, like wind and solar, 27% of overall energy use by 2030.

Instead of guaranteeing the “survival of mankind,” this would cause the extinction of Europe’s industry—unless there’s a secret plan to massively expand nuclear power.

Fortunately for Europe, its leaders haven’t yet lost all their marbles.

These climate goals are just a bargaining chip in the runup to next year’s UN climate summit in Paris. They’re not legally binding. Unless the whole world commits to an equally radical policy of deindustrialization—which seems rather unlikely to say the least—the EU will “review” its climate targets.

This is just as well. In trying to meet the so-called 20:20 target—a 20% reduction in emissions by 2020—Germany and the UK have already discovered that renewable energy is too costly to maintain a competitive industry. As electricity prices skyrocket, Germany’s industrial giants are either having their power costs subsidized or are relocating to the US.

Both countries are struggling with the inability of wind and solar energy to provide reliable baseload power, which is threatening to cause blackouts.

The UK is putting its faith in fracking—and has managed to head off any EU legislation to ban shale-gas. But Germany and its fellow travelers, who have no qualms about reverting to coal, are simply overriding the EU Commission and its zero emissions utopia.

Knowing that EU climate policy would destroy international competitiveness and crush their economies, Poland, which depends on coal for 90% of its energy needs, and other low-income countries have taken a different approach. They’ve forced the Commission to give them special exemptions from any emissions reduction plan.

Unlike in the US—where Obama is taking executive action to wipe out the coal industry—lignite, or brown coal, is set to become an increasingly important part of Europe’s energy supply, as it is in much of the rest of the world. There are 19 new lignite power stations in various stages of approval and construction in Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Greece, Germany, Poland, Romania, and Slovenia. When completed, these will emit nearly as much CO2 as the UK.

Which is ironic. The UK is the only member of the EU to have been insane enough to impose a legally binding carbon dioxide reduction target intended to take it to 80 percent of 1990 levels by 2050. It’s also the only modern industrial nation where there’s serious talk of World War II-style energy rationing.

As you’ll discover in my new book, The Colder War, Europe and America need to wake up. They’ve never been so economically vulnerable. The time for indulging environmental fantasies and putting one’s faith in White Lions is over—unless, that is, you want to see Putin controlling the world.

Click here to get your copy of my new book. Inside, you’ll discover exactly how Putin is orchestrating a takeover of the global energy trade, what it means for the future of America, and how it will directly affect you and your personal savings.

The article The Madness of the EU’s Energy Policy was originally published at caseyresearch.com.

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Putin Signs Secret Pact to Crush NATO

Putin Signs Secret Pact to Crush NATO

By Marin Katusa, Chief Energy Investment Strategist

Back on September 11 and 12, there was a summit meeting in a city that involved an organization that most Americans have never heard of. Mainstream media coverage was all but nonexistent.

The place was Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan, a country few Westerners could correctly place on a map.

But you can bet your last ruble that Vladimir Putin knows exactly where Tajikistan is. Because the group that met there is the Russian president’s baby. It’s the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), consisting of six member states: Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.

The SCO was founded in 2001, ostensibly to collectively oppose extremism and enhance border security. But its real reason for being is larger. Putin sees it in a broad context, as a counterweight to NATO (a position that the SCO doesn’t deny, by the way). Its official stance may be to pledge nonalignment, nonconfrontation, and noninterference in other countries’ affairs, but—pointedly—the members do conduct joint military exercises.

Why should we care about this meeting in the middle of nowhere? Well, obviously, anything that Russia and China propose to do together warrants our attention. But there’s a whole lot more to the story.

Since the SCO’s inception, Russia has been treading somewhat softly, not wanting the group to become a possible stalking horse for Chinese expansion into what it considers its own strategic backyard, Central Asia. But at the same time, Putin has been making new friends around the world as fast as he can. If he is to challenge US global hegemony—a proposition that I examine in detail in my new book, The Colder War—he will need as many alliances as he can forge.

Many observers had been predicting that the Dushanbe meeting would be historic. The expectation was that the organization would open up to new members. However, expansion was tabled in order to concentrate on the situation in Ukraine. Members predictably backed the Russian position and voiced support for continuing talks in the country. They hailed the Minsk cease-fire agreement and lauded the Russian president’s achievement of a peace initiative.

However, the idea of adding new members was hardly forgotten. There are other countries which have been actively seeking to join for years. Now, with the rotating chairmanship of the organization passing to Moscow—and with the next summit scheduled for July 2015 in Ufa, Russia—conditions could favor the organization’s expansion process truly taking shape by next summer, says Putin.

To that end, the participants in Dushanbe signed documents that addressed the relevant issues: a “Model Memorandum on the Obligations of Applicant States for Obtaining SCO Member State Status,” and “On the Procedure for Granting the Status of the SCO Member States.”

This is extremely important, both to Russia and the West, because two of the nations clamoring for inclusion loom large in geopolitics: India and Pakistan. And waiting in the wings is yet another major player—Iran.

In explaining the putting off of a vote on admittance for those countries, Putin’s presidential aide Yuri Ushakov was candid. He told Russian media that expansion at this moment is still premature, due to potential difficulties stemming from the well-known acrimony between India and China, and India and Pakistan, as well as the Western sanctions against Iran. These conflicts could serve to weaken the alliance, and that’s something Russia wants to avoid.

Bringing longtime antagonists to the same table is going to require some delicate diplomatic maneuvering, but that’s not something Putin has ever shied away from. (Who else has managed to maintain cordial relationships with both Iran and Israel?)

As always, Putin is not thinking small or short term here. Among the priorities he’s laid out for the Russian chairmanship are: beefing up the role of the SCO in providing regional security; launching major multilateral economic projects; enhancing cultural and humanitarian ties between member nations; and designing comprehensive approaches to current global problems. He is also preparing an SCO development strategy for the 2015-2025 period and believes it will be ready by the time of the next summit.

We should care what’s going on inside the SCO. Once India and Pakistan get in (and they will) and Iran follows shortly thereafter, it’ll be a geopolitical game changer.

Putin is taking a leadership role in the creation of an international alliance among four of the ten most populous countries on the planet—its combined population constitutes over 40% of the world’s total, just short of 3 billion people. It encompasses the two fastest-growing global economies. Adding Iran means its members would control over half of all natural gas reserves. Development of Asian pipeline networks would boost the nations of the region economically and tie them more closely together.

If Putin has his way, the SCO could not only rival NATO, it could fashion a new financial structure that directly competes with the IMF and World Bank. The New Development Bank (FKA the BRICS Bank), created this past summer in Brazil, was a first step in that direction. And that could lead to the dethroning of the US dollar as the world’s reserve currency, with dire consequences for the American economy.

As I argue in The Colder War, I believe that this is Putin’s ultimate aim: to stage an assault on the dollar that brings the US down to the level of just one ordinary nation among many… and in the process, to elevate his motherland to the most exalted status possible.

What happened in Tajikistan this year and what will happen in Ufa next summer—these things matter. A lot.

Perhaps no one knows how dangerous Vladimir Putin is and how much he controls the flow of capital in the global energy trade than author of The Colder War, Marin Katusa.

Marin stakes millions on his deep knowledge of energy and politics. And as a result, his hedge funds have outperformed the TSXV index by 6-fold over the past 5 years. To discover everything Putin is planning and how it will directly affect you, click here to get a copy of Marin’s brand new book, The Colder War.

The article Putin Signs Secret Pact to Crush NATO was originally published at caseyresearch.com.

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4 Steps for Avoiding a Capital “C” Catastrophe in the Next Downturn

4 Steps for Avoiding a Capital “C” Catastrophe in the Next Downturn

By Dennis Miller

When the tech and real estate bubbles burst, many of my friends lost 40-50% of their retirement portfolios almost overnight. Is a similar downturn looming?

Take a look at the chart below showing the S&P’s performance since 2008.

Caution is in order. We may see a major correction, a huge downturn, or this bubble could continue to grow for quite some time. I’ll leave the timing predictions to others. Still, investor euphoria worries me. Even those playing with retirement money often ignore warning signs, thinking the parabolic rise in stock prices is never going to end. However, this time is NOT different.

Look at the Nasdaq’s performance just before the tech bubble crash:

From March of 1999 to March of 2000, the Nasdaq doubled, and investors were euphoric. Are you feeling that euphoria today?

Don’t Let the Next Downturn Make You Poor

The goal for a retirement portfolio is to create enough of an income stream that you can maintain your current lifestyle over the long haul while the balance grows ahead of inflation. This portfolio should also include enough safety measures to keep you whole regardless of what the market does.

Sounds simple, but it can feel like walking and chewing gum—to the power of 10. Treasuries are supposedly safe… but from what? Sure, you won’t lose your principal, but they won’t protect you from inflation. Certain stocks are solid; after all, many companies survived the Great Depression… but will they keep paying dividends when you need them? Investing in a turbulent market is a gyroscopic balancing act with endless variables.

4 Lifejackets

While outlining the entire Miller’s Money safety system is beyond our scope here, there are four must-do safety measures anyone can easily implement.

#1—Set strict position limits. No single investment should make up more than 5% of your overall portfolio. That means rebalancing at least once a year. I have a friend who brags about how well his portfolio has been doing. Turns out, 80% of his holdings are in Apple. While Apple is a fine company and has done well, he should consider locking up most of his gain and focusing on capital preservation.

#2—Use trailing stop losses. We recommend setting trailing stop losses at 20% or less on all market investments. Stop losses can prevent catastrophic damage to your portfolio. As our portfolio grows, a trailing stop can help lock in a gain. While you may still face setbacks from time to time, a trailing stop limits them. You’ll live to fight another day.

I’ve spoken to some retirement investors who limit each holding to 4% of their portfolio and set 25% trailing stops. Whatever makes sense! Just limit the size of each position—and in doing so the potential for catastrophe.

#3—Diversification is the name of the game. This means internationalizing, too. Holding 5-6 mutual funds all in the United States or in US dollars just won’t cut it. You must diversify into non-correlated assets all over the world; so, should one segment or market tank, it won’t bring down a major portion of your portfolio.

You should also review the correlation of the asset you’re considering. What events in the market will cause the price to rise and fall? And pay particular attention to the near term. For example, until recently, utility stocks were considered the gold standard for retirees. Now there is so much capital in this sector, the stocks are correlating much closer to changes in interest rates.

Look for assets that are either uncorrelated to the market or those which may move in the opposite direction (the market goes down, this goes up, and vice versa).

Again, the game is: hold on to as much capital as possible and live to fight another day.

#4—Look for low duration on income investments. Bond sellers tout the safety of US government and investment-grade bonds. They are correct as far as default is concerned; however, a sudden rise in interest rates would mean a large loss for an investor holding these bonds who resells them in the aftermarket.

Retirement investors normally hold bonds for interest income, and they hold them until maturity. While some say bonds are still a good investment, most of these folks are traders. They buy high duration bonds (their market price moves significantly with changes in interest rates), betting on interest rates continuing to decline, and plan to sell for a profit down the road. We are not traders or market timers. Unless you are comfortable holding a bond until maturity, stay away from it.

When you invest money earmarked for retirement, using models that were in vogue as recently as 10 years ago will leave you vulnerable. Whether you’re considering bonds, utilities or any other investment vehicle, having the most up-to-date information is imperative. You can learn more about where bonds fit—or don’t fit—in your retirement plan by downloading our timely and free special report, Bond Basics, today. Access your complimentary copy here.

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Four Things to Do If Your Retirement Savings Is Less Than Planned

If you are in your late 50s or early 60s and have not saved as much money for your retirement as you wanted to, there is still time to plan for your retirement with less money. The following are several things to consider that may help in making your retirement years better.

Plan on a more frugal way of life

This is not a bad idea regardless of the amount of money you will have available, but if it looks like you are going to have less than you planned, your first step will be to begin to think of ways to cut back on expenses. Housing is usually the most expensive cost you will need to address. If you can reduce your monthly cost for a roof over your head, you will make significant progress in lowering your cost of living.

Plan on working part time

Although working part time during your retirement is an obvious way to have a higher standard of living, you may find it difficult, if not impossible, to get a part-time job in your retirement years. The trick is to focus on self-employment. Try to find a way to turn a hobby into a part-time income. One example would be to provide music lessons for an instrument that you play. A part-time income can be generated in many ways doing things you have always enjoyed doing in your life, and this will fit well with a retirement style of living while providing additional money.

Pay off your mortgage

If you still have a mortgage, you can pay it off before retiring. If you begin your retirement with a house that is paid off, you will have a low cost place to live. Of course, there are many expenses involved in maintaining a house, but this money is generally much less than you would have to pay for renting an apartment.

Tap into the equity in your house

This can be done without selling your home. In fact, a lender will pay you a certain amount of money each month, and you will be able to stay in you home until the day you die. A reverse mortgage company can provide details of this type of mortgage arrangement.

If you have found yourself short of your financial goals for retirement, don’t fret about it. Simply focus on alternatives in retirement. The above mentioned ideas will give you a good start.

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The Fed’s Stealth Tightening

The Fed’s Stealth Tightening

By Bud Conrad, Chief Economist

As expected, the Fed tapered its purchases of mortgage-backed securities on Wednesday to $15 billion per month and its purchases of longer-term Treasury securities to $20 billion per month.

That means total monthly purchases, which were $85 billion last year, are now down to $35 billion. That’s a significant cut.

The Fed also cut the range of its full-year 2014 real GDP growth forecast, from 2.8% – 3.0% down to 2.1% – 2.3%. That was no surprise, considering that GDP in Q1 was negative 1%, and it may have been a bit of a warning.

Those who are familiar with my work know my no-confidence stance on Fed prognostication. But just to make my opinion clear: I think the Fed is in the business of obscuring the truth. Official inflation numbers vastly understate actual price rises:

  • Housing in California is back to its pre-crisis peak;
  • Stocks are at record levels;
  • Food prices jumped 0.7% in May alone; and
  • Anyone who drives knows that a tank of gas is far more expensive than it was a year ago.

The Fed’s claim that inflation is contained and that there is no need to raise interest rates is just a show put on for people who believe the government. If we applied a more accurate inflation rate to GDP calculations, real GDP would not be growing at all.

My point is that the Fed and the media tell us things are better than they actually are. Meanwhile, the Fed is taking secret actions that reveal where Yellen and friends really think the economy might be headed.

The Fed’s New Tool: Reverse Repo

Traders have used Repurchase Agreements (“repos”) for decades. A repo is essentially a collateralized loan. A borrower sells government securities to a lender and buys them back later at an agreed-upon date and slightly higher price. The lender takes on very little risk to earn a small amount of compensation while it holds the government securities as collateral.

Repos can last for any amount of time, but they are often ultra-short-term. Overnight repos are the most common.

The Fed has announced that it’s using “reverse repos” as a new tool to manage monetary policy. Don’t let “reverse” confuse you: Reverse repos are just a way the Fed soaks up cash from financial institutions. The Fed is the “borrower,” swapping its Treasuries for banks’ cash. You might call it the opposite of quantitative easing: reverse repos drain money from the financial system.

The Fed can also use repos to add money to the system, as it did in the early stages of the 2008 Credit Crisis:

By netting repos with reverse repos, we can see their combined effect on monetary policy over time:

As you can see, the Fed is quietly using reverse repos to drain the money supply. Remember, this is on top of the taper. Net, the Fed is being less accommodative than most are aware of.

How Repos Fit into the Fed’s Balance Sheet

The following chart illustrates how the Fed’s liabilities (sources of funding) changed dramatically during the financial crisis.

The Fed funded and continues to fund its quantitative easing programs with bank deposits. Here’s the rundown on how that works:

  1. The Fed creates cash from thin air.
  1. The Fed buys Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities (MBS) from banks with that freshly minted cash.

The Fed pays banks 0.25% interest as an incentive to keep the new cash on deposit at the Fed.

That huge $2.8 trillion in deposits is a risk source, because the financial institutions could withdraw those funds at any time, if they think they can generate better returns than the 0.25% interest that the Fed pays.

Reverse repos are also a source of funding for the Fed: they provide cash for the Fed to continue purchasing Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities.

Though reverse repos are only a small portion of the Fed’s balance sheet, they are important. As the growth of the yellow “deposits” has trailed off, reverse repos have picked up much of the slack.

In effect, the Fed has sopped up $200 billion in the last nine months in “stealth tightening.” I use the word “stealth,” because most investors, and even most Fed watchers, aren’t aware of the effects of reverse repos.

You’re probably wondering, “What’s the Fed’s ultimate plan here?”

I think that the Fed is using reverse repos to build up a hidden source of funding so that it can unwind its tightening quietly, if need be. The Fed now has $200 billion in “ammunition” that it can deploy without much (or any) fanfare, because nobody is following this closely. “Reverse Repos” isn’t the headline grabber that “Quantitative Easing” is.

As a side note, notice that the Fed’s capital is so small that you can barely see it. If the Fed were a bank subject to market forces, the slightest negative surprise would render it insolvent. But of course, it has a monopoly over the printing press, so it needn’t worry about such things.

One last reason the Fed might be secretly building a rainy-day fund: As my analysis in the newest issue of The Casey Report demonstrates, foreigners have recently stopped lending money to the US. That’s a huge problem for a country that had a $111.2 billion trade deficit in the first quarter alone, and will spend half a trillion more dollars than it takes in during 2014.

As I said earlier, the Fed has been very quiet about this repo program, so we can only surmise what its true motivations are. But as the US government’s lender of last resort, the Fed may be raising this source of cash so it can lend more money to the US government as foreign lending continues to dry up.

In conclusion, the credit crisis of 2008 changed our financial system in many ways. Whether this latest repo experiment is just another Band-Aid on the money balloon or something more, it’s well worth keeping an eye on.

You can find my data-driven analysis in every single edition of The Casey Report. Start your 90-day risk-free trial now to read the current issue plus two more, access all of the current stock picks, and peruse the archives before deciding if The Casey Report is for you. If it’s not, no problem—just call or email for a full and prompt refund. Click here to start your no-risk trial subscription to The Casey Report straightaway.]

The article The Fed’s Stealth Tightening was originally published at caseyresearch.com.

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Nasdaq Shorting Opportunity

ETF Trading Newsletter: Nasdaq Shorting Opportunity

It looks as though the Nasdaq is about ready for another leg lower. Watch these key resistance levels for a short trade this week.

Get These Trade Alerts Every Week with Chris Vermeulen’s ETF Trading Newsletter

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Special Report – Pharma Giant

Healthy Returns For This Pharma Retail Giant!

Rarely do you find a stock with as outstanding fundamentals, great valuation, and an exciting technical picture as (this stock). When you do though, you definitely take note!

This free report will share this hot pharma retail stock, plus explain:

* How the company’s top line revenues, core profits, and earnings-per-share point to a solid earnings outlook.
* Why a move to focus on healthcare was right on target.
* Why this stock’s technical and fundamental picture points to the upside.

View this complimentary report and learn the identity of this big powerhouse stock!

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What Is Worse Than Being at Risk?

What Is Worse Than Being at Risk?

By Dennis Miller

You may have heard the old adage: “What is worse than being lost? Not knowing you are lost.” In that same vein: What is worse than being at risk? You guessed it! Not knowing you’re at risk.

For many investors, portfolio diversification is just that. They think they are protected, only to find out later just how at risk they were.

Diversification is the holy grail of portfolio safety. Many investors think they are diversified in every which way. They believe they are as protected as is reasonably possible. You may even count yourself among that group. If, however, you answer “yes” to any of the following questions, or if you are just getting started, I urge you to read on.

  • Did your portfolio take a huge hit in the 2008 downturn?
  • Was your portfolio streaking to new highs until the metals prices came down a couple years ago?
  • Do oil price fluctuations have a major impact on your portfolio?
  • When interest rates tanked in the fall of 2008, did a major portion of your bonds and CDs get called in?
  • Are you nervous before each meeting of the Federal Reserve, wondering how much your portfolio will fluctuate depending on what they say?
  • Has your portfolio grown but your buying power been reduced by inflation?
  • Do you still have a tax loss carry forward from a stock you sold more than three years ago?

There are certain lessons most of us learn the hard way—through trial and error. But that can be very expensive. Ask anyone who has a loss carry forward and they will tell you that the government is your business partner when you are winning. When you are losing, you are on your own.

The old saying rings true here: “When the student is ready to learn, the teacher shall appear.” Sad to say, for many investors that happens after they have taken a huge hit and are trying to figure out how to prevent another one.

Alas, there is an easier way. Anyone who has tried to build and manage a nest egg will agree it is a long and tedious learning experience. The key is to get educated without losing too much money in the meantime.

Avoid Catastrophic Losses

The goal of diversification is to avoid catastrophic losses. In the past, we’ve mentioned correlation and shared an index related to our portfolio addition. The scale ranges from +1 to -1. If two things move in lockstep, their correlation rates a +1. If the price of oil goes up, as a general rule the price of oil stocks will also rise.

If the two things move in the opposite direction (a correlation of -1), we can also predict the results. If interest rates rise, long-term bond prices will fall and generally so will the stocks of homebuilders.

At the same time, a correlation of zero means there is no determinable relationship. If the price of high-grade uranium goes up, more than likely it will not affect the market price of Coca-Cola stock. So, your goal should be to minimize the net correlation of your portfolio so no single event can negatively impact it catastrophically.

General Market Trends

An investor with mutual funds invested in Large Cap, Mid Cap, and Small Cap stocks may think he is well diversified with investments in over 1,000 different companies. Ask anyone who owned a stable of stock mutual funds when the market tumbled in 2008 and they will tell you they learned a lesson.

Mr. Market is not known to be totally rational and many have lost money due to “guilt by association.” When the overall stock or bond market starts to fall, even the best-managed businesses are not immune to some fallout. While the Federal Reserve has pumped trillions of dollars into the system, there is no guarantee the market will rebound as quickly as it has in the last five years. The market tanked during the Great Depression and it took 25 years to return to its previous high.

If you listen to champions of the Austrian business cycle theory, they will tell you the longer the artificial boom, the longer and more painful the eventual bust. Mr. Market can dish out some cruel punishment.

Diversification is indeed the holy grail, but there are some risks which diversification cannot mitigate entirely. No matter how hard you try to fortify your bunker, sooner or later we will learn of a bunker buster. There are times when minimizing the damage and avoiding the catastrophic loss is all anyone can do.

Sectors

Allocating too much of your portfolio to one sector can be dangerous. This is particularly true if a single event can happen that could give you little time to react. While no one predicted the events of September 11, people who held a lot of airline stocks took some tough losses. Guilt by association also applied here. After September 11, the stocks of the best-managed airlines, hotels, and theme parks took a downturn.

When the tech bubble and real estate bubble burst, the stock prices of the best-run companies dropped along with the rest of the sector, leaving investors to hope their prices would rebound quickly.

Geography

One of the major factors to consider when investing in mining and oil stocks is where they are located. It is impossible to move a gold mine or an oil well that has been drilled. Many governments are now imposing draconian taxes on these companies, which negatively impacts shareholders. In some cases, this can be a correlation of -1. If an aggressive government is affecting a particular oil company, other companies in different locations may have to pick up the slack and their stock may rise in anticipation of increased sales.

Many governments around the world have become very aggressive with environmental regulation, costing the industry billions of dollars to comply. If you want to invest in companies that burn or sell anything to do with fossil fuels, you would do well to understand the political climate where their production takes place.

Investors who prefer municipal bonds must make their own geographical rating on top of the ratings provided for the various services. States like Michigan and Illinois are headed for some rough times. I wouldn’t be lending any of them my money in the current environment no matter what the interest rate might be.

Currency Issues

Inflation is public enemy number one for seniors and savers. One of the advantages of currencies is they always trade in pairs. If one currency goes up, another goes down. If the majority of your portfolio is in one currency, you are well served to have investments in metals and other vehicles good for mitigating inflation.

Tim Price sums it up this way in an article posted on Sovereign Man:

“Why do we continue to keep the faith with gold (and silver)? We can encapsulate the argument in one statistic.

“Last year, the US Federal Reserve enjoyed its 100th anniversary. … By 2007, the Fed’s balance sheet had grown to $800 billion. Under its current QE program (which may or may not get tapered according to the Fed’s current intentions), the Fed is printing $1 trillion a year. To put it another way, the Fed is printing roughly 100 years’ worth of money every 12 months. (Now that’s inflation.)”

It is difficult to determine when the rest of the world will lose faith in the US dollar. Once one major country starts aggressively unloading our dollars, the direction and speed of the tide could turn quickly.

Interest-Rate Risk

The Federal Reserve plays a major role in determining interest rates. Basically they have instituted their version of price controls and artificially held interest rates down for over five years. Interest-rate movement affects many markets: housing, capital goods, and some aspects of the bond markets. While it also makes it easier for businesses to borrow money, they are not likely to make major capital expenditures when they are uncertain about the direction of the economy.

While holders of long-term, high-interest bonds had an unexpected gain when the government dropped rates, their run will eventually come to an end as rates rise. Duration is an excellent tool for evaluating changes in interest rates and their effect on bond resale prices and bond funds. (See our free special report Bond Basics, for more on duration.)

While interest rates have been rising, when you factor in duration there is significant risk, even with the higher interest offered for 10- to 30-year maturities. Again, having a diversified portfolio with much shorter-term bonds helps to mitigate some of the risk.

Risk Categories of Individual Investments

While investors have been looking for better yield, there has been a major shift toward lower-rated (junk) bonds. Many pundits have pointed out that their default rate is “not that bad.”

At the same time, the lure of highly speculative investments in mining, metals, and start-up companies with good write-ups can be very appealing. There is merit to having small positions in both lower-rated bonds and speculative stocks because they offer terrific potential for nice gains.

So What Can Income Investors Do?

There are a number of solid investments out there that offer good return, with a minimal amount of risk exposure and that won’t move because of an arbitrary statement by the Fed. It’s not always easy to find them, but there is hope for people wondering what to do now that all of the old adages about retirement investing are no longer true.

There are three important facets of a strong portfolio: income, opportunities and safety measures. Miller’s Money Forever helps guide you through the better points of finance, and helps replace that income lost in our zero-interest-rate world—with minimal risk.

This is where the value of one of the best analyst teams in the world comes into focus. We focus on our subscribers’ income-investing needs, and I challenge our analysts to find safe, decent-yielding, fixed-income products that will not trade in tandem with the steroid-induced stock market—or alternatively, ones that will come back to life quickly if they do get knocked down with the market. They recently showed me seven different types of investments that met my criteria and still withstood our Five-Point Balancing Test.

My peers are of having holes blown in their retirement plans. While nuclear-bomb-shelter safe may be impossible, we still want a bulletproof plan.

This is what we’ve done at Money Forever: built a bulletproof, income-generating portfolio that will stand up to almost anything the market can throw at it.

It is time to evolve and learn about the vast market of income investments safe enough for even the most risk-wary retirees. Some investors may want to shoot for the moon, but we spent the bulk of our adult lives building our nest eggs; it’s time to let them work for us and enjoy retirement stress-free. Learn how to get in, now.

The article What Is Worse Than Being at Risk? was originally published at millersmoney.com.

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Junior Mining Stocks to Beat Previous Highs

Junior Mining Stocks to Beat Previous Highs

By Laurynas Vegys, Research Analyst

Despite last week’s pullback, the precious metals market is off to an impressive start in 2014. Gold is up 10.6%, silver 4.3%, and the PHLX Gold/Silver (XAU) 17.1%. Gold, in particular, had a great February, rising above $1,300 for the first time since November 7, 2013.

This has led to some very handsome gains in our Casey International Speculator portfolio, with a few of our recommendations already logging triple-digit gains from their recent bottoms.

Why Junior Gold Mining Stocks Are Our Favorite Speculations

One of Doug Casey’s mantras is that one should buy gold for prudence, and gold stocks for profit. These are very different kinds of asset deployment.

In other words, don’t think of gold as an investment, but as wealth protection. It’s the only highly liquid financial asset that is not simultaneously someone else’s obligation; it’s value you can liquidate and use to secure your needs. Possessing it is prudent.

Gold stocks are for speculation because they offer leverage to gold. This is actually true of all mining stocks, but the phenomenon is especially strong in the highly volatile precious metals.

Most typical “be happy you beat inflation” returns simply can’t hold a candle to stocks that achieved 10-bagger status (1,000% gains). In previous bubbles—some even generated 100-fold returns. And we may see such returns again.

It’s Not Too Late to Make a Fortune

Here’s a look at our top three year-to-date gainers.

What’s especially remarkable is that all three of these stocks shot up much more than gold itself, on essentially no company-specific news. This is dramatic proof of just how much leverage the right mining stocks can offer to movements in the underlying commodity—gold, in this case. Two of the stocks above are on our list of potential 10-baggers, by the way.

So have you missed the boat? Is it too late to buy?

Looking at the chart, two bullish factors jump out immediately:

  • Gold stocks have just now started to move up from a similar level in 2008.
  • Gold stocks remain severely undervalued compared to the gold price. A simple reversion to the mean implies a tremendous upside move.

Now consider the following data that point to a positive shift in the gold market.

  1. After 13 consecutive months of decline, GLD holdings were up over 10.5 tonnes last month. The trend is similar to other ETFs.
  1. Hedge funds and other large speculators more than doubled their bets on higher gold prices this year.
  1. Increase in M&A—for example, hostile bids from Osisko and HudBay Minerals to buy big assets.
  1. Apollo, KKR, and other large private equity groups have emerged as a new class of participants in the sector.
  1. Gold companies’ hedging of future production—usually a sign of insecurity among the miners—shrunk to the lowest level in 11 years.
  1. China continues to consume record amounts of gold and officially overtook India as the world’s largest buyer of gold in 2013.
  1. Large players in the gold futures market that were short have switched to being long.
  1. Central banks continue to be net buyers.

To top it off, there’s been no fallout (yet) from the unprecedented currency dilution undertaken since 2008—and we don’t believe in free lunches.

The gold mania train has not yet left the station, but the engine is running and the conductor has the whistle in his mouth. This means…

Any correction ahead is a potential last-chance buying opportunity before the final mania phase of this bull cycle takes our stock to new highs, well above previous interim peaks.

In spite of the good start to 2014, most of our 10-bagger gold stocks are still on the deep-discount rack. And you can get all of them with a risk-free, 3-month trial subscription to our monthly advisory focused on junior mining stocks, the Casey International Speculator.

If you sign up today, you can still get instant access to two special reports detailing which stocks are most likely to gain big this year: Louis James’ 10-Bagger List for 2014 and 7 Must-Own Stocks for 2014.

Test-drive the International Speculator for 3 months with a full money-back guarantee, and if it’s not everything you expected, just cancel for a prompt, courteous refund of every penny you paid. Click here to get started now.

I hope you will take advantage of this opportunity in front of us—while shares are still relatively cheap.

The article Junior Mining Stocks to Beat Previous Highs was originally published at caseyresearch.com.

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Check your credit score and deal with the discrepancies all by yourself

Credit score and the report are in a way the indicators of your financial well being. It is therefore essential that you understand how they work and learn the ways to get any of the discrepancies removed from them for your own benefit.

Credit score is a three digit numerical number which is very important for a person as it decides that whether you will be provided with finance or not. Lenders decide to lend money after looking on your credit score whether it is good or not. It is good for you that you check your credit score twice or thrice a year. You must have seen on internet or television advertisement regarding free credit report and scores.

There was a time when very few people where aware as to what the credit scores are and the way they influence our lives. However, with the passage of time and the coming in of the recession where majority of people were faced with a crisis situation, credit score is now at the forefront and the much talked about topic in the financial world. Everyone is aware of the way it influences an individuals financial credibility and also how important it is to deal with them in time.

Looking at the high number of cases of bad credit, the government is also keen to let people know about their credit score and educate them about the ways it affects them and the ways to deal with them and maintain high credit scores. In an attempt to make it easier for the common man to access their credit reports the government initiated an act whereby all the bureaus are required to offer free credit access to all the individuals once in a year.

To make things simpler here are some of the ways which can help you deal with your credit score and know exactly where you need to approach to get hands on your credit report.

Deal with your credit score

There are many ways to check your credit score but the best one is annualcreditreport.com in which you can look at your credit score for free once a year and after that you will be charged with $8 for each agencies where you will check your credit score. It gives this service free for the first time without any terms and conditions. One can get the access within no time by accessing the information trough the website and can take timely steps to catch hold of any errors in the report.

If in case you have used your free credit check service then you have  another option of viewing your credit score by going personally to the credit reporting agencies or you can go to myfico.com to look for your credit score which will charge you $15 for per report. If in case you are just planning to look for your credit score then it will be advisable that you go with only one agency and if you are viewing your credit score to improve it then it will be good for you to look for all three credit reporting agencies.

The last method of viewing your credit score is not a good option and experts recommend people to go with the first two options but not with this option as it’s very expensive. In this method they ask for your credit card number and allow you to view your credit report for a specific period of time and after that they start charging you monthly with some amount which will be added on your credit card bill. That is why it is very expensive method and you’ll get many complaints of customers for this website.

Loans and the credit score

Here are some reasons that why you need to check your credit score often

As you enter on a weight lose program then you generally notice that you have to keep on checking your weight regularly as to look whether it is decreasing or increasing, in the same way credit score is your financial health for which you have to keep on looking that whether your credit score is increasing or decreasing. If in case it’s decreasing then you have to take certain measures to improve your credit score as lenders decide by your credit score whether to lend you money or not.

Here in this article you’ll know further as to why credit score should be monitored.

You must have noticed that there are many people who face financial hardship. People usually blame bad economic condition behind their reason of getting in deep debt. But the actual reason for getting into deep debt is their bad financial management.

It is important for a person to keep on looking for their credit score time to time and if in case they find it getting decreases then they should find some measures to improve their credit score. Usually people look for their credit score when they need to borrow some money. Looking for credit score only while applying for loans for people with bad credit  is not the right thing; a person should keep on checking their credit score to be safe from further problems in getting approval for loan.

The most important reason for looking of your credit score is to be safe from identity theft. Usually it has been noticed that your identity is stolen and the n a loan is taken on your name. so that is why credit check is important as it will keep  a track on your fiancé and if there will be any miss movement by your name then you can easily track it and look out for measures to be safe from it. If in case your identity is stolen and someone else took a loan on your name then you your credit score will get lowered and if there will be no repayment of loan then your credit score will get affected negatively.

Another thing which states that there is necessity of checking your credit score time to time is to take out measures for repairing your credit score. Credit score is repaired slowly so you have to keep on looking on your credit score to find out ways by which you can get your credit score improved. People think that if they pay the monthly minimum balance of their credit card then their credit score get improved but the fact is it get lowered. To improve your credit score it is important for you to pay off your payday loans no credit check balance in full. It is important for a person to hold a strong credit score as every further financial decision by lenders are given on the basis of your credit score only.

Even you should keep on checking your credit score to look out for any type of errors in your credit report. Even sometimes there are times that credit reporting agencies enter some wrong information in credit report because of which your credit score is lowered down. You can track this wrong information and then you can report this mistake to credit reporting agencies with documents as a proof then your credit score will get repaired.

With all the knowledge about dealing with your credit report with you, all you need to do is to take the right approach and also take on the bureaus with a strong follow up in place to deal with all the discrepancies you have in your credit report. Learn how to assess the information in the credit report and deal with them at the earliest if you want to see your credit score in the top limits well above 700.

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9 Secrets for Successful Speculation

Doug Casey’s 9 Secrets for Successful Speculation

By Louis James, Chief Metals & Mining Investment Strategist

When I started working for Doug Casey almost 10 years ago, I probably knew as much about investing as the average Joe, but I now know that I knew absolutely nothing then about successful speculation.

Learning from the international speculator himself—and from his business partner, David Galland, to give credit where due—was like taking the proverbial drink from a fire hose. Fortunately, I was quite thirsty.

You see, just before Doug and David hired me in 2004, I’d had something of an epiphany. As a writer, most of what I was doing at the time was grant-proposal writing, asking wealthy philanthropists to support causes I believed in. After some years of meeting wealthy people and asking them for money, it suddenly dawned on me that they were nothing like the mean, greedy stereotypes the average American envisions.

It’s quite embarrassing, but I have to admit that I was surprised how much I liked these “rich” people—not for what they could do for me, but for what they had done with their own lives. Most of them started with nothing and created financial empires. Even the ones who were born into wealthy families took what fortune gave them and turned it into much more. And though I’m sure the sample was biased, since I was meeting libertarian millionaires, these people accumulated wealth by creating real value that benefited those they did business with. My key observation was they were all very serious about money—not obsessed with it, but conscious of using it wisely and putting it to most efficient use. I greatly admired this; it’s what I strive for myself now.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. The reason for my embarrassment is that my surprise told me something about myself; I discovered that I’d had a bad attitude about money.

This may seem like a philosophical digression, but it’s an absolutely critical point. Without realizing that I’d adopted a cultural norm without conscious choice, I was like many others who believe that it is unseemly to care too much about money. I was working on saving the world, which was reward enough for me, and wanted only enough money to provide for my family.

And at the same instant my surprise at liking my rich donors made me realize that—despite my decades of pro-market activism—I had been prejudiced against successful capitalists, I realized that people who thought the way I did never had very much money.

It seems painfully obvious in hindsight. If thinking about money and exerting yourself to earn more of it makes you pinch your nose in disgust, how can you possibly be effective at doing so?

Well, you can’t. I’m convinced that while almost nobody intends to be poor, this is why so many people are. They may want the benefits of being rich, but they actually don’t want to be rich and have a great mental aversion to thinking about money and acting in ways that will bring more of it into their lives.

So, in May of 2004, I decided to get serious about money. I liked my rich friends and admired them all greatly, but I didn’t see any of them as superhuman. There was no reason I could not have done what any of them had done, if I’d had the same willingness to do the work they did to achieve success.

Lo and behold, it was two months later that Doug and David offered me a job at Casey Research. That’s not magic, nor coincidence; if it hadn’t been Casey, I would have found someone else to learn from. The important thing is that had the offer come two months sooner, being a champion of noble causes and not a money-grubbing financier, I would have turned it down.

I’m still a champion of noble causes, but how things have changed since I enrolled in “Casey U” and got serious about learning how to put my money to work for me, instead of me having to always work for money!

Instead of asking people for donations, I’m now the one writing checks (which I believe will get much larger in the not-too-distant future). I can tell you this is much more fun.

How did I do it? I followed Doug’s advice, speculated alongside him—and took profits with him. Without getting into the details, I can say I had some winning investments early on. I went long during the crash of 2008 and used the proceeds to buy property in 2010. I took profits on the property last year and bought the same stocks I was recommending in the International Speculator last fall, close to what now appears to have been another bottom.

In the interim, I’ve gone from renting to being a homeowner. I’ve gone from being an investment virgin to being one of those expert investors you occasionally see on TV. I’ve gone from a significant negative net worth to a significant nest egg… which I am happily working on increasing.

And I want to help all our readers do the same. Not because all we here at Casey Research care about is money, but because accumulating wealth creates value, as Doug teaches us.

It’s impossible, of course, to communicate all I’ve learned over my years with Doug in a simple article like this. I’m sure I’ll write a book on it someday—perhaps after the current gold cycle passes its coming manic peak.

Still, I can boil what I’ve learned from Doug down to a few “secrets” that can help you as they have me. I urge you to think of these as a study guide, if you will, not a complete set of instructions.

As you read the list below, think about how you can learn more about each secret and adapt it to your own most effective use.

Secret #1: Contrarianism takes courage.

Everyone knows the essential investment formula: “Buy low, sell high,” but it is so much easier said than done, it might as well be a secret formula.

The way to really make it work is to invest in an asset or commodity that people want and need but that for reasons of market cyclicality or other temporary factors, no one else is buying. When the vast majority thinks something necessary is a bad investment, you want to be a buyer—that’s what it means to be a contrarian.

Obviously, if this were easy, everyone would do it, and there would be no such thing as a contrarian opportunity. But it is very hard for most people to think independently enough to risk hard-won cash in ways others think is mistaken or too dangerous. Hence, fortune favors the bold.

Secret #2: Success takes discipline.

It’s not just a matter of courage, of course; you can bravely follow a path right off a cliff if you’re not careful. So you have to have a game plan for risk mitigation. You have to expect market volatility and turn it to your advantage. And you’ll need an exit strategy.

The ways a successful speculator needs discipline are endless, but the most critical of all is to employ smart buying and selling tactics, so you don’t get goaded into paying too much or spooked into selling for too little.

Secret #3: Analysis over emotion.

This may seem like an obvious corollary to the above, but it’s a point well worth stressing on its own. To be a successful speculator does not require being an emotionless robot, but it does require abiding by reason at times when either fear or euphoria tempt us to veer from our game plans.

When a substantial investment in a speculative pick tanks—for no company-specific reason—the sense of gut-wrenching fear is very real. Panic often causes investors to sell at the very time they should be backing up the truck for more.

Similarly, when a stock is on a tear and friends are congratulating you on what a genius you are, the temptation to remain fully exposed—or even take on more risk in a play that is no longer undervalued—can be irresistible. But to ignore the numbers because of how you feel is extremely risky and leads to realizing unnecessary losses and letting terrific gains slip through your fingers.

Secret #4: Trust your gut.

Trusting a gut feeling sounds contradictory to the above, but it’s really not. The point is not to put feelings over logic, but to listen to what your feelings tell you—particularly about company people you meet and their words in press releases.

“People” is the first of Doug Casey’s famous Eight Ps of Resource Stock Evaluation, and if a CEO comes across like a used-car salesman, that is telling you something. If a press release omits critical numbers or seems to be gilding the lily, that, too, tells you something.

The more experience you accumulate in whatever sector you focus on, the more acute your intuitive “radar” becomes: listen to it. There’s nothing more frustrating than to take a chance on a story that looked good on paper but that your gut was warning you about, and then the investment disappoints. Kicking yourself is bad for your knees.

Secret #5: Assume Bulshytt.

As a speculator, investor, or really anyone who buys anything, you have to assume that everyone in business has an angle. Their interests may coincide with your own, but you can’t assume that.

It’s vital to keep in mind whom you are speaking with and what their interest might be. This applies to even the most honest people in mining, which is such a difficult business, no mine would ever get built if company CEOs put out a press release every time they ran into a problem.

A mine, from exploration to production to reclamation, is a nonstop flow of problems that need solving. But your brokers want to make commissions, your conference organizers want excitement, your bullion dealers want volume, etc. And, yes, your newsletter writers want to eat as well; ask yourself who pays them and whether their interests are aligned with yours or the companies they cover.

(Bulshytt is not a typo, but a reference to Neal Stephenson’s brilliant novel, Anathem, which defines the term, briefly, as words, phrases, or even entire books or speeches that are misleading or empty of meaning.)

Secret #6: The trend is your friend.

No one can predict the future, but anyone who applies him- or herself diligently enough can identify trends in the world that will have predictable consequences and outcomes.

If you identify a trend that is real—or that at least has an overwhelming amount of evidence in its favor—it can serve as both compass and chart, keeping you on course regardless of market chaos, irrational investors, and the ever-present flood of bulshytt.

Knowing that you are betting on a trend that makes great sense and is backed by hard data also helps maintain your courage. Remember; prices may fluctuate, but price and value are not the same thing. If you are right about the trend, it will be your friend. Also, remember that it’s easier to be right about the direction of a trend than its timing.

Secret #7: Only speculate with money you can afford to lose.

This is a logical corollary to the above. If you bet the farm or gamble away your children’s college tuition on risky speculations—and only relatively risky investments have the potential to generate the extraordinary returns that justify speculating in the first place—it will be almost impossible to maintain your cool and discipline when you need it.

As Doug likes to say; it’s better to risk 10% of your capital shooting for 100% gains than to risk 100% of your capital shooting for 10% gains.

Secret #8: Stack the odds in your favor.

Given the risks inherent in speculating for extraordinary gains, you have to stack the odds in your favor. If you can’t, don’t play.

There are several ways to do this, including betting on People with proven track records, buying when market corrections put companies on sale way below any objective valuation, and participating in private placements. The most critical may be to either conduct the due diligence most investors are too busy to be bothered with, or find someone you can trust to do it for you.

Secret #9: You can’t kiss all the girls.

This is one of Doug’s favorite sayings, and though seemingly obvious, it’s one of the main pitfalls for unwary speculators.

When you encounter a fantastic story or a stock going vertical and it feels like it’s getting away from you, it can be very, very difficult to do all the things I mention above. I can tell you from firsthand experience, it’s agonizing to identify a good bet, arrive too late, and see the ship sail off to great fortune—without you.

But if you let that push you into paying too much for your speculative picks, you can wipe out your own gains, even if you’re betting on the right trends.

You can’t kiss all the girls, and it only leads to trouble if you try. Fortunately, the universe of possible speculations is so vast, it simply doesn’t matter if someone else beats you to any particular one; there will always be another to ask for the next dance. Bide your time, and make your move only when all of the above is on your side.

Final Point

These are the principles I live and breathe every day as a speculator. The devil, of course, is in the details, which is why I’m happy to be the editor of the Casey International Speculator, where I can cover the ins and outs of all of the above in depth.

Right now, we’re looking at an opportunity the likes of which we haven’t seen in years: thanks to the downturn in gold—which now appears to have subsided—junior gold stocks are still drastically undervalued.

My team and I recently identified a set of junior mining companies that we believe have what it takes to potentially become 10-baggers, generating 1,000%+ gains. If you don’t yet subscribe, I encourage you to try the International Speculator risk-free today and get our detailed 10-Bagger List for 2014 that tells you exactly why we think these companies will be winners. Click here to learn more about the 10-Bagger List for 2014.

Whatever you do, the above distillation of Doug’s experience and wisdom should help you in your own quest.

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What GM, GS and XOM Do, So Does the Broad Market

Over the years working with professional traders I found it interesting how each individual has their bellwether stock they follow to gauge the stock markets trend and identify reversals before they take place.

About 10 years ago I traded with a floor trader who swore that whatever GS (Goldman Sachs) did the market followed. Another said he only used XOM (Exxon Mobile), while Stan Weinstein says GM (General Motors) was the stock to follow.

While each of these traders have been highly successful with their bellwether stock, I wanted to cover these in more detail and show you have to get the best of each of their strategies working for you. This will help you properly time the market, identify the overall market health and at which point you should be getting long or short stocks in your portfolio.

Watch this quick video below:

If you would like to successfully trade both bull and bear markets then join my trading and investing newsletter today and catch the next hot sectors for 2014 using my ETF Trading Strategies.

Chris Vermeulen
www.TheGoldAndOilGuy.com

Sincerely,

Chris Vermeulen
Founder of Technical Traders Ltd. – Partnership Program

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