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Having studied economics and being in finance for over two decades, I have learned that only one thing is certain – that almost nothing is certain. As we endeavor to come up with our best analysis of the world around us, the opportunities and risks, we have to try to overcome a myriad of issues including our own ignorance, biases and emotions. What follows are my attempts to overcome those obstacles. Welcome to my view.

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Freedom to Beat Wall Street

One of the things that makes America great is the opportunity. Unfortunately, since the early 1980s, much of that opportunity has been confiscated by the greedy, power hungry, dishonest, lazy and ideologically delusional. Wall Street, and the financial industry in general, are at the heart of the breakdown of opportunity in America. They aren’t alone of course, there is also a class of crony business executives, legal and accounting skimmers, […]

The Same Old Problems

This week we have Greece to talk about and we will get to that. First, I’d like to share a few thoughts about my trip out west last week. Seattle, Portland and Real Estate I spent the better part of a week in Seattle and Portland. Seattle was business, while Portland was for my brother’s wedding.  To say I was overwhelmed with the Seattle area geography would be an understatement. […]

SP500

Short Sellers Are Not the Smartest Guys on Wall Street

There is this weird idea floating around that the short sellers are the smartest guys on Wall Street and in the investing world. While there are some really smart guys who short sell from time to time, think Bill Ackman and David Einhorn, the idea that short sellers as a group are the elite, is well, short of common sense. I can prove it. Look at this chart:  S&P 500 […]

Janet Yellen’s Motivations

“It’s too late to fightIt’s too late to change meYou may be wrong for all I knowBut you may be rightYou may be rightI may be crazyBut it just may be a lunatic you’re looking forTurn out the lightDon’t try to save meYou may be wrong for all I knowBut you may be rightYou may be wrong but you may be rightYou may be wrong but you may be right” […]

Lessons in Investing: Accuracy vs Precision

“Lessons in Investing” is found in our Forum for subscribers. Here is a special public edition.   Many people do not take the time to think about the difference between accuracy and precision for traders and investors. While the definitions are essentially similar, there is a subtle difference between the two as I see it and treat it. Accuracy to me means getting the general idea right. Precision is not only […]

FCG Natural Gas ETF

The Value Opportunity in Natural Gas

Oil and gas stocks have been decimated in the past year as people fled the carnage. We saw a bottom in the market during the early winter and have had a rebound in recent months. While much of the focus is on oil, I believe the much bigger long-term opportunity is in natural gas. A few weeks ago David Einhorn put together a presentation that largely coincides with my view of […]

Oil & gas stocks setting up for a dip

Earlier this year in my Oil & Gas Outlook I once again discussed how the U.S. was leveraging Saudi Arabia to put pressure on Russia and Iran. It still isn’t a strong narrative in the media but it is clearly the case. I few astute analysts have caught on. I wonder if there is a concerted effort to keep this on the international down low.  In the past couple weeks we […]

The Always, Forever, Top 2 Goals of The United States Government

When people ask me how I look at things I usually give a simple answer. I do this because the level of complexity I am willing to accept as reality is far greater than most people are willing to explore. I’m also aware that when I give a long detailed explanation, I get a lot of distracted, confused and sometimes upset looks. Nevertheless, if I were in the Matrix, I’d clearly be […]

Central Banks might be leading us to lower standards of living

This week I am looking to see how the quarter ends and how quarterly earnings begin – as you know, I am not expecting good things, we’ll see if expectations are managed. Here’s a few of the past week’s more important or just interesting articles in the free or almost free media – if you aren’t at least registered for the Financial Times, do it. Some of the articles are nicely contradictory […]

It’s more than a Wall of Worry

I just wanted to point out some headlines from today and discuss portfolio construction a bit.  As you know, I have pulled in my horns. I am not short the markets, but I have moved towards market neutral with more cash on hand and some hedges.  I don’t believe that the globe can avoid a serious market event in the next few years. What is frustrating to people is not […]

The war between inflation and deflation

I’m up late, I’m fired up, what the heck, let’s light this fire. So, I wrote an article for MarketWatch about how Janet Yellen is flirting with a crash to avoid a correction. Also touched on how badly we’ve been jamming the Millennial Generation and that we’d better cut it out or we’re cutting our own throats. I then went on social media to fight with a troll. Hey, what […]

Hide and Seek with Vlad

Sometimes the only thing you can do is have fun with something that is potentially horribly scary. Vladimir Putin has not been seen in public for over a week now.  Why could this be potentially very frightening. Recently, the top NATO commander warned that Russia could easily be provoked into more aggressive actions. The U.S. announced a couple days ago, and was known before that, to be sending a convoy of Stryker vehicles through […]

Janet Yellen and the Feds

Tell me that Janet Yellen and the Feds doesn’t sound like a totally groovy band. For the past few months they have been singing that they will be raising interest rates this year sometime. Don’t ignore their music just because you might not like it. It’s an important sound man. It is more than hard to know exactly when interest rates will be raised, it’s impossible. However, I am moving […]

Cash and Berkshire Hathaway’s Annual Letter

For the past several weeks I have been cautioning investors. One of the points I have made was that the “big money” has been selling to the “small money” for a while now. This weekend Barron’s made it very clear that was going on. In a special section, Barron’s received surveys from 40 major wealth management firms that cater to 8 figure plus net worth families. In it they revealed that […]

This Bull Market is Getting Old

This week marked the third consecutive week that the stock market moved upward. A start reversal from January and in line with what I’ve been saying in my last two quarterly letters at my firm Bluemound Asset Management and my opening article of the year on MarketWatch – volatility will increase in 2015.  Interestingly, as the monthly swings have certainly become more apparent, the slow grind up, has masked that underlying volatility to many […]

Excess Capacity & Deflation

This past week the markets rallied on below average volume. While many momentum investors underplay the idea of volume, to me it tells a very important tale. Because 70%-90% of market activity in any period is typically large investors, when volume is low, that means big investors at a minimum are abstaining from buying. That is a bad sign for retail (small) investors, typcially including mutual fund and self-directed investors. […]

Catalysts for a Correction

Well my birthday week was good for the domestic markets as most ended up about 3% bringing us back to near the even line for the year. So far in 2015, we have had the type of volatility that I foreshadowed back in my October and January letters to clients of my firm and my opening letter on MarketWatch this year. In those articles I went over investments to avoid […]

Super Sunday

As I sit in my Green Bay Packers t-shirt at my keyboard I am still quietly lamenting that I will not be watching my team in the Super Bowl today. There is some consolation, I do like Russell Wilson, I have friends from Boston who will feel good if the Pats win and at least I’ll get to hear Katy Perrry Roar even if I can’t see a Packer score. […]

Greek Elections

I waited until the Greek elections were in to write this. What we have learned now is that Greece is indeed going to play hardball with the Troika and Germany. There is no telling what this might entail. My bet against the Euro which I described on Scutify in detail since October is now up over 200% since that time. It appears that the Euro is on its way to […]

Secular Bear Market So Far

Energy

This past week continued the volatility that we have been warning about and following. While Friday ended the week on a postive note, we are not sure how long that can last. As you can see on our webcast, the market remains under pressure despite some up days which are mixed in. Energy remains a big story. We are seeing the early stages of some reversals in the stocks that […]