Avoidable Risk

I’m always thinking about losing money as opposed
to making money. Don’t focus on making money,
focus on protecting what you have

–Paul Tudor Jones, Master Trader
(a guy who has made and kept
over four billion dollars in the market)

I lost half a house one afternoon in 1986. I was shorting naked put options, an insane strategy in which you can make a little money if you’re right and lose a ton if you’re wrong. It’s the sort of thing you do when you are dead solid certain of the future. It takes a few of these boneheaded decisions to make you realize that betting on the future is always a wrong thing to do.

The above may sound silly but, the truth is, you do not know what is going to happen next. All you know, if you’re paying attention, is what has already happened. For me, the right way to make investment decisions is to look over your shoulder. What was the last extreme?

The stock market is not a venue where utilitarian decisions hold forth. The super market is: I love steak, but at $20.09 a pound, I can eat hamburger some of the time. If, on the other hand, steak was a stock, the crowd would be hating it at a buck a pound and break down the doors to get it at a hundred bucks. Take a look at the volume on Apple as it went up the chart:

Apple Computer
AAPL volume

The driver for this behavior is fear of missing out. The notable thing about the fear is that it comes in to play well along in the stock’s move. There will be another time when fear brings the volume in. This will be toward the end to a crash in the stock, when fear of loss has the crowd piling out. Most times, the mass liquidation, also called capitulation, happens at the bottom. Logical? Of course: The crowd is always late to the party and late to give up.

This behavior is an immutable part of the human condition: we need confirmation in matters of uncertainty, so we don’t get on to a good thing until we see confirmation in the rise the stock, then we clamber aboard. Likewise, once we buy, it takes a lot of convincing to get us to sell, so we wait until we are almost wiped out to unload.

Obviously, the way to win is to go against the crowd. It starts by waiting until the entire market has been liquidated. That did not happen at the lows in 2009. That’s why we stayed in cash.

Looking over my shoulder, then, I see that the last extreme in the market has been overvaluation, so I won’t invest until the capital market cycle turns down in a bear market that ends in capitulation and a complete high volume liquidation by the crowd. After that, one brief rally (dead cat bounce), followed by a long drifting down to a low where there is no public interest in the market, despite the fact that steak can be had for pennies. The risk will be gone with the departed investors and the cycle can begin all over again.

Action in the market this past week is highly suggestive of my notion that the bear market that will destroy values on the way down to a buy point is now underway. The public is still fully invested. Their advisors are telling them to hold on. Comments like these are spewing forth from brokers across the land:

“In this environment, we advise investors to remain patient, stick with high-quality issues, and take advantage of this bout of volatility to rebalance portfolios in line with their goals.” (Merrill Lynch, 8/21/15)

Comments like these should be prosecutable as crimes against humanity. The global economy is free-falling into depression and bankers and brokers are offering smarmy palliatives instead of the only reasonable advice there is at a time like this: Get the fuck out!

Cheers,

Rod

No one should consider any part of this presentation as a recommendation to buy or sell any securities whatsoever.

 

 

Posted in On Markets | Comments Off on Avoidable Risk

Primer on Gambling

So what happens next? Well, it’s not like the sellside (bankers and brokers) is very useful in actually providing actionable advice when something not in the script happens…

–Zero Hedge 8/12/15

Then again, considering all of these strategists were 101% confident the 10Y would have a 3% before a 1% handle, feel free to ignore everything they just said.

–ZH 8/12/15

Your financial advisors don’t know squat. They tell you this up front. Anytime they make a recommendation, they hand you a prospectus that says, “Past performance is no guarantee of future results.” When the bottom falls out and you are losing your life savings they will say, “We did not see this coming.” They never tell you to sell. You are one hundred percent on your own, other than the fact that they will commiserate with you as you go broke.

A guy with a tie reads my blog. “I don’t think you’re right,” he says. How come? “Earnings are good,” he tells me. Jesus. Earnings are always good at tops. They will be lousy at the bottom when it’s time to buy.

If you are planning on retiring with any money at all in your 401k, you better understand that you’re a gambler and your one job is to avoid being a sucker in uncertainty. Puggy Pearson, two-time world poker champion said, “Ain’t only three things to gambling: knowing the 60/40 end of a proposition, money management, and knowing yourself.”

Start with the odds in the market. Puggy would be sitting on his hands here. How much can you make when the market is at the highest valuation in history in relation to earnings. You don’t know the answer? Find out, sucker. Your advisor is not gonna volunteer this information.

Proper money management says you reduce your exposure as values get to upper extremes and, no matter what the market does, you hang on to cash until the cycle turns in your favor. You don’t know when this will happen. Nobody does, but that doesn’t mean you should willingly get run over by the locomotive of the Lord.

The toughest thing for a  gambler is self knowledge. Look at your history. How did you feel in March of 2009? That’s when you should have bought, you know. How do you feel now? Comfortable with your fully invested portfolio going up every week? That’s a warning to check the valuation and sentiment numbers. Or put protective stops under your positions. Make yourself liquidate when prices drop below your stops.

Understand this: you will never willingly do what you should do in the market. You will hate selling when you are making money and you will have a hell of a time getting yourself to buy when the world is coming to a catastrophic end. Everyone feels like this. If you can’t overcome yourself and do the right thing when it seems wrong, you have no business gambling.

That might be the first decision if you don’t want to be a sucker.

Cheers,

Rod

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Primer on Gambling

In Plain View

There is superstition, writing on the wall
…in letters ten feet tall

–Stevie Wonder

If the market cracks big time (as you and I expect), every frickin’ economist on Wall Street will say, Nobody saw this coming! Really. When surveyed this past June, every single guy with a tie was incomprehensibly bullish. It’s ’07 redux.

My seven year old granddaughter could take one look at these charts and tell me a crisis was coming:

Debt: State and Local Government

Of Two Minds oneTax Receipts: State and Local Government

Of two minds two

Expenditures: State and Local Government

Of two minds three

Median Household Income in the U.S.

Of two minds four

Here’s how Charles Hugh-Smith (www.oftwominds.com) sorts it out:

  1. The bond market may choke if state and local governments try to “borrow our way to prosperity” as they did in the 2000s.
  2. If state and local taxes keep soaring while wages stagnate and household income declines, households will have less cash to spend on consumption.
  3. Declining consumer spending = recession.
  4. In recessions, sales and income taxes decline as households spending drops. This will crimp state and local tax revenues.
  5. This sets up an unvirtuous cycle: state and local governments will have to raise taxes to maintain their trend of higher spending. Higher taxes reduce household spending, which reduces income and sales tax revenues. In response, state and local governments raise taxes again. This further suppresses disposable income and consumption. In other words, raising taxes offers diminishing returns.

At some point, local government revenues will decline despite tax increases and the bond market will raise the premium on local government debt in response to the rising risks.

When borrowing becomes prohibitive (or impossible) and raising taxes no longer generates more revenues, state and local governments will have to cut expenditures. Given their many contractual obligations, these cuts will slice very quickly into sinews and bone.

If this doesn’t strike you a crisis, please check back in a few years. It is easily foreseeable, but very inconvenient. As a result, it too will be a crisis that “nobody saw coming.”

The frightening thing is that those clueless Brooks Bros. suits advise your advisors and your advisors advise you. Good luck!

Cheers,

Rod

 

Posted in Economy, On Markets | Comments Off on In Plain View

On Black Swans And Other Phenomena

Black Swan: A highly improbable event with three principle characteristics: It is unpredictable; it carries a massive impact; and, after the fact, we concoct an explanation that makes it appear less random, and more predictable than is was.

–N.N. Taleb

It would have been late ’72 that I had a cocktail conversation with an old salt who’d been a broker the thirties. I was bullish. “I don’t know,” he said, “I think there’s speculation.”

Didn’t mean a thing to me. There’s always speculation. That’s what we do, I thought. But he was talking about something else, a mindless, cautionless, plunging-a mania that I couldn’t see because I was naively caught up in it myself.

A mania is not necessarily a hair-on-fire compulsion to get-into-the-market-before-it soars experience, although it certainly can be that. It can also be a moment when there is unanimity of opinion. No fear, no second thoughts, just a wide-spread agreement that being fully invested in a market that is outrageously overpriced is the proper thing to do., and calmness prevails.

We have this calmness now, despite growing evidence that the economic support for the stock market is eroding.

A number of issues back, I compared investors’ calmness to mountain snowpack:

On a sunny day, the snow on a mountainside presents a picture of stability. But, beneath that serene white blanket, minute cracks are forming to weaken it. The longer it remains on the mountain, the more ubiquitous the cracks under the surface, until the snowpack reaches critical state. When this happens, scientists can predict that an avalanche will occur. They just can’t predict when the last snowflake will float down from a cloud to precipitate it.

My view is that we have reached critical state in the markets one more time. My old salt friend recalled an earlier one. “Who could have predicted it: the London pepper market cracked in ’29. It brought the whole thing down!” Today, we name these “unpredictable” catalysts Black Swans.

It is not the last snowflake, but the underlying condition that creates the highly impactful event. We are primed for one now. No telling what it will be, but afterwards, we’ll all say, “Of course! It was obvious!”

August 11, 2015: The Chinese did an extraordinary currency devaluation overnight, signaling panic. Something we may, after the fact, name a Black Swan.

Cheers,

Rod

Posted in On Markets | Comments Off on On Black Swans And Other Phenomena

Suckerville

To make profits and buy a BMW,
it would be a good idea to, first, survive.

–N.N. Taleb

My blog got an extraordinary number of hits a day or so ago. They were directed from another blog in which the authors cited the study I referenced in my essay titled  A Reader Offers Help.

The object of the study was to refute the work of a number of bearish market analysts. The authors claimed that the bears don’t know what they are talking about because the market has not yet gone down. Pretty silly. If a fire fighter tells you that conditions in your home town are dangerously vulnerable to wildfires, do you dismiss him as a dope because there has not yet been a fire?

The heart of the problem is the confusion about the nature of market forecasts. Properly given, a market forecast should give the investor an idea about the risk vs. reward in the market, stated in terms of probabilities. If a recommendation for action is given, a stop loss should also be recommended in the event that the forecast doesn’t yield results right away.

Robert Prechter’s forecasts were cited in the study for failing to produce the market decline he forecasted. Here is a review of Prechter’s analysis and recommendations:

Since March of 2000, he has held that the market was vulnerable to collapse. His recommendation for investors has been to avoid risk by holding cash. On four occasions since 2000 Prechter recommended shorting the S&P futures for aggressive traders. The market dropped immediately after he made the recommendations. On three occasions, the market halted it’s drop prior to completing a five wave pattern indicating continuation, and started back up. In each instance, the original protective stop loss had been moved down so that the trades were closed out with no loss. The fourth trade was different: Prechter recommended a short in the fall of ’07 when the S&P was at 1537. He closed out the trade in February of ’09 at 735 for a profit of 802 points. A single contract in the S&P futures would have made $40,100. The margin posted to carry the trade would have been $5,000, yielding a return of 800% in two years.

Throughout the period, conditions in the financial markets were not unlike the situation in the Western States of the nation: high risk of conflagration. So, the call for investors was to remain in cash until the financial weather improved.

It is no surprise to me that the authors of the article damning bearish analysts are mutual fund salesmen who argue that timing the market doesn’t work and that remaining fully invested at all times is the proper strategy. The fact that so many investors complacently buy the idea is confirming of my notion that the market is topping.

I believe that the primary goal in investing is to avoid being a sucker in uncertainty. What is known is that when markets get massively overdone like today, there will be a severe bear market. The uncertainty is when. These guys are putting their customers in jeopardy at a time when conditions are as risky as they’ve ever been. It cannot end well.

Cheers,

Rod

No one should consider any part of this presentation as a recommendation to buy or sell any securities whatsoever.

Posted in On Markets | Comments Off on Suckerville

What now for the Essayist?

Dénouement: n. the outcome or resolution
of a doubtful series of occurrences

En route to losing my job as chief  expector* of calamity, I’m reminded of nineteen seventy-two, another top like this one. Sixty-six had been the first time the Dow Industrials touched 1,000. After a setback it rallied back in sixty-eight before slipping off again. Then, in seventy-two, with the economy starting to get flaky, a final trip to a thousand before a bear market that would hold the Average well under that level for the next eleven years.

I was in my fourth year as a broker in ’72. Most of my clients were small business owners with a few bucks to speculate in stocks. I had them loaded with four or five big movers in the over-the-counter market (NASDAQ, now), and on margin. Our expectations, along with everyone else in the industry, were seriously high.

Top tick that year came right at the end of the year, and from January 1973 to August ’74 the blood ran in the streets. Meeting margin calls was grim, but the most painful thing was experiencing the destruction of our bullish convictions. Some of those stocks went to zero, but we just couldn’t give up. At some point, some time in 1974 we said, Sell now? We’re already down 80%!

After that, it was a long while before I could recommend stocks. I was paralyzed with fear in the fall of 1974, the best time to be buying. It was the beginning of a practical education in the art of making money in the market.

Today I use edges for making investment decisions. An edge is a combination of variables that, when present, tells the investor that one thing is more likely to happen than another. It is a probabilistic approach, the only sane way to deal with uncertainty.

The variables that matter to me today are just like they were in ’72: Lopsidedly bullish sentiment among investors, complacency in the face of a weakening economy, economists unanimously expecting the economy to accelerate, the highest valuations on record for stocks, with most of the gains in the S&P 500 Index this year accounted for by four big names: Apple, Amazon, Google, and Facebook, while more stocks are making new 52 week lows than highs. Meanwhile, both of the other Dow Averages, the Transportations and Utilities, are already headed down, diverging from the Industrials.

My edge today is to remain on the sidelines. If that is right, my long effort to argue the case for being in cash ends here. The next time I’ll have a compelling edge will be when, like 1974, all of the variables have reversed: The public has lost all its money and hates stocks, economists are predicting continued decline in the economy, and stocks are selling for the lowest prices and valuations in a hundred years. That’s when I’ll suggest that getting out of cash and into stocks is the thing to do. Not that anyone will believe me.

There won’t be much to discuss on the way to the buying edge, but I might post this chart, updating the “You are here” spot as it slides on down:

You are here

Cheers,

Rod

*Expector: dude who has been expecting something for a hell of a long time

No one should consider any part of this presentation as a recommendation to buy or sell any securities whatsoever.

 

Posted in On Markets | Comments Off on What now for the Essayist?

A Reader Offers Help

A reader, wanting to be helpful, sent me this e-mail:

Hi rod roth, Your friend, ……., has recommended this article entitled ‘Market Forecasters Are Like Blind Squirrels…‘ to you:

Market Forecasters Are Like Blind Squirrels… Posted By Barry Ritholtz On July 20, 2015 (6:30 am) In Analysts, Mathematics, Really, really bad calls

Earlier this summer, I tweeted a wonderful line from Brett Arends column, 25 things I wish I knew when I graduated from high school:

3 simple rules will explain 99% of human behavior 1: Most people don’t think. 2: Some people are jerks. 3: Everyone is selling something.

— Barry Ritholtz (@ritholtz) June 15, 2015

That led to a delightful column last week from Michael Johnston’s A Visual History of Market Crash Predictions.

Here are some of the more egregious calls, but the entire article is well worth your time to read:

bad calls

I, of course, appreciated the help. Here is my reply:

Hi ….,

I’ve not read the full Ritholtz article you sent, but glancing at the headlines, I imagine his clients are traders. As you know, I do trade, but my blog is not about trading.

I have one objective in my essays: to describe for myself the conditions under which I will recommend to Cindy that she invest her life savings. I use metrics on valuation and sentiment for that determination. I also use probability to anticipate when there might be such an opportunity.

Thus far, my studies in probability have not yielded a true forecast, and my evaluation of conditions continue to argue for remaining in cash. It would be nice if an investment opportunity came soon, but markets have a way of holding up longer than reasonable. I went through that from “66 to ’73, and the real opportunity—the chance to get in when the market got thoroughly liquidated didn’t come until mid ’74.

If I have any certainty about my work, it is that the cycle from extreme low valuation to extreme high and back again is immutable because it is driven by human behavior. So I’m looking for another ’74. When it comes, Cindy will be able to put her money to work in something like Vanguard’s S&P 500 index fund. She’ll be buying extreme value: a P/E ratio of 5 times trailing earnings or less and the book value will be more than the share price. She’ll get dividends in the range of 10-15% per annum, which she can reinvest until she needs income to live on. Then she will have an investment position that will not require any attention on her part for the remainder of her life. This will be good, because I would not like it if she had to rely on a banker, broker or investment advisor for guidance.

A “market call” is an exercise in timing. I have not in fifty years of involvement in the markets seen anyone make consistently good timing calls. Richard Russell used to say, “Watch a market timer who has been wrong for a while. He is probably about to be right.” I think this is because methodologies are better in some markets than others. In my futures trading, I do better in trending markets than swing markets. At any rate, if you are interested in timing the market, now may be a good time to watch the guys that have been wrong.

My effort for Cindy is not about timing. It is to patiently wait until I can give her the best opportunity to take risk. My sentiment and valuation studies, predictably, have gotten worse with each rise in the market. History tells us that the more extreme valuations get to in the bull phase, the more extreme they will get at the next bottom. Makes waiting all the more interesting.

Cheers,

Rod

No one should consider any part of this presentation as a recommendation to buy or sell any securities whatsoever.

 

 

Posted in On Markets | Comments Off on A Reader Offers Help

On Optimism

“Thinkin’ about not reading you anymore,” he says, “too damn pessimistic.”

“What do you want to read?”

“Good news, of course! Not your frickin’ end of history crap!”

OK, here:

We are constructive on the markets, advising a well diversified portfolio of high quality stocks. Also Treasury and municipal bonds

–Merrill Lynch-Bank of America, 2 July 2015

Our Vanguard Capital Markets Model (VCMM) simulations indicate that balanced portfolio returns over the next decade are likely to be below long-run historical averages, with those for a 60%/40% stock/bond portfolio tending to center in the 3%–5% range, adjusted for inflation. Even so, Vanguard still firmly believes that the principles of portfolio construction remain unchanged, given the expected risk-return trade-off between stocks and bonds.

–Vanguard, 12 July 2015

Bankers and brokers will give you all the good news you want, and they’ll never tell you to sell. Have at it.

I do optimism this way:

Confront the brutal facts of your current reality, yet never doubt that you will prevail.

–The Stockdale Paradox

As U.S. Navy pilot, Capt. Jim Stockdale was floating down in his parachute after being shot down in North Vietnam in 1968 he said to himself, “Five years, it will be Epictetus’ world.”

Even before he hit the ground and furious villagers were beating the shit out of him, he confronted his reality: he would now be in the hands of the enemy for an indeterminable time with no guarantee when he would get back to America.

In an instant, he assessed his situation, accepted it,  and moved on, determined to survive no matter what. Eight years later, he came home.

Years after returning to normal life, Author Jim Collins asked him who among the other prisoners did not survive.

“Oh, that’s easy,” he said. “The optimists.”

“The optimists? I don’t understand,” replied Collins.

“The optimists. They were the ones that said, “We’re going to be out by Christmas.” And Christmas would come and Christmas would go. Then they’d say, “We’re going to be out by Easter.” And Easter would come and Easter would go. And then Thanksgiving, and then it would be Christmas again. And they died of a broken heart.”

I’ve been asked, more times than I can count, “What makes you think what you write is going to happen?” I don’t have a short answer to the question.

My evolving views on the markets are informed by nearly fifty years of daily involvement with the financial markets as a stockbroker and a trader. For the first ten years, I accepted the recommendations of my firm’s research department and found them to be useless. This led me to independent research and a workable, probabilistic theory of markets. I’ve written 458 essays since 2001, mostly reflections on the application of the theory and my daily observations. My answer lies in those essays, which are posted on this blog.

This is my current assessment: It is now a one hundred percent certainty that a global deflationary depression is underway. The effect of this phenomenon will be an almost complete repudiation of most of the debt extant in the world, severe losses in all asset classes, and economic stress that has no modern equivalent.

There will be high unemployment and significant losses in income sources such as pension funds. There will be massive bankruptcies, the collapse of commodity prices and enormous shrinkage in all forms of business.

The only uncertainty in this expectation is the time lapse from start to the bottom, and the form of the markets’ declines. My best guess on this is that, starting now (China, Greece and Puerto Rico have now been recognized as insolvent entities), all markets should join in a sharp decline into the summer of 2016, when some important behavior cycles are expected to bottom, followed by a year or two of bounce before a longer and more destructive phase takes the globe into a low within a decade or so.

While I cannot personally anticipate how this all will affect me and my family, I think it is very probable that, like retirees in Greece today, there may be a time when my pension and my social security income will be reduced. Such an eventuality will be very difficult for me, but I am profoundly optimistic.

My optimism does not lie in the wishful thought that all will be well. It lies in the resilience that is available to anyone who accepts the current state of the world for what it is, and never doubts that he/she will prevail.

Cheers,

Rod

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on On Optimism

Real Estate: A Lump of Coal for Today’s Investor

And I’m wondering where the lions are…

–Bruce Cockburn

9 July, 2015–Suckers cluster around an auctioneer, cheeks flushed, heartbeats racing, furiously bidding properties up ten, twenty, twenty five percent over appraisal. Emotions are high. Winners think they stole the property. Losers are sick. Won’t be outbid on the next one. A toxic investment environment, this. Seeing the frenzy in full, the wiser man turns and heads home.

The real estate market is once again flashing danger signs. The driver of this mini-mania is memory of prices eight years ago. A compulsion to get in before it’s too late. Market psychology is white heat extreme. Correct action is to get out, not buy. Sell ’em if you own ’em, because, even after the market cools and prices begin to drop, the bottom fishers have to be taken out.

It was a false bottom. Markets move from extreme to extreme. At the next bottom, the true one, there will be no buyers. None. Even experienced operators will approach the offerings with clammy hands. The fear of loss will have replaced the fear of missing out. A Dead Cat Bounce is topping now. It will be years before the right kind of fear will pervade the real estate market again.

Pulte Homes

dead cat bounce, new

If I owned investment real estate I would use the enthusiasm to sell because a long slow collapse into the worst kind of situation for real estate investors is coming on the heels of this speculative bounce. Anyone doubting this expectation would do well to study the history of real estate in the 1930s.

With the onset of a global deflationary depression, the first thing to go will be renters who can be depended on to pay rent in a timely manner. The average renter today has little cash reserves, hasn’t had a meaningful increase in income in many years, and is vulnerable to being laid off from work. At the same time, there is a surge of homes coming on the market as rentals. Rents are high now, but they will come down when the supply of rental properties goes up.

Neighborhoods that were developed originally for middleclass home owners will deteriorate as the mix devolves to increasing numbers of rental homes. Owners of rental properties will be pinched when renters become unreliable. Maintenance will decline, bringing down values. Desperation will set in and the quality of renters will go down.

Good neighborhoods come apart when homeowners are hit with bad economic times. The decline is stealthy at first. By the time home owners see what is happening it’s often too late to get out. During the bear market of the late sixties-early seventies, beautiful neighborhoods in places like the Back Bay area of Boston slipped into disarray, ultimately descending into quagmires of crack houses and prostitution. It would be decades before those neighborhoods would be re-gentrified.

When he was alive, venerable investment letter writer, Richard Russell, would occasionally write about his dad, a real estate salesman in New York. In the thirties, many beautiful brownstone homes in Manhattan had been chopped into multifamily rental properties. During the worst of times, brownstones that were only half rented could be bought for ten thousand dollars and generate two thousand dollars annually in rent. A twenty percent return with the property half empty. There were no buyers. It was very frustrating to Russell’s dad, and it was the ideal time to buy.

Eventually, occupancy went up. Eventually, rents went up along with prices. Eventually, those great brownstone neighborhoods were reconverted into single family homes for wealthy buyers. Today, a home of that type sells for ten million dollars the day it comes on the market. Time to sell again.

Stocks will be bad enough in the period ahead, but they are liquid and can be sold immediately. Real estate will not generate a sell signal to investors until deep into the depression. By then, maintenance, taxes, neighborhood decline, sketchy rental income and a systemic rise in vacancies will add up to an investment nightmare. Not a good prospect.

Cheers,

Rod

No one should consider any part of this presentation as a recommendation to buy or sell any securities whatsoever.

Posted in On Markets | Comments Off on Real Estate: A Lump of Coal for Today’s Investor

It’s Over

3 July, 2015–A global bear market of Grand Supercycle dimension is underway, accompanied by a deflationary depression that will destroy values in:

U.S. Stocks
European Nation Stocks
Asian Nation Stocks
Emerging Nation Stocks
Corporate Bonds
Municipal Bonds
Commercial Paper
Sovereign Debt
Commercial Real Estate
Residential Real Estate
Oil
Copper
Iron Ore
Sugar
Aluminum
Propane
Scrap Metal
Tea
Milk
Art
Collectibles
Almost any tradable asset

There is no reference point for the extent of the calamity ahead. Declines of 90% will occur in most of the markets listed above. Those who lived through the Great Depression of the 1930s will have gotten a taste, but only a mild one, of what is in store for investors. The standard response to these comments will be disbelief, a natural sentiment reflecting the complacency which always precedes financial crises.

The general rise in prices of the last few years is over. Some markets are already on their way to severe loss. All asset classes will join the rout shortly. The downside movement will be persistent, at times violent, for some time to come. The only asset that will hold up, and actually increase in value will be the U.S. Dollar, a universally hated holding.

I speak carefully. This is a time to pay attention.

Cheers,

Rod

No one should consider any part of this presentation as a recommendation to buy or sell any securities whatsoever.

Posted in On Markets | Comments Off on It’s Over