Bitcoin Isn’t the Bubble It’s the Pin!

I wish I could take credit for that perfect description of Bitcoin, but I can’t. That goes to JP Research.

This Bitcoin bubble will be the “pin” that bursts the more widespread bubble, just like the Nasdaq bubble burst the markets back in the early 2000s.

I wrote about this twice last week, showing you how the Bitcoin bubble compares to the internet bubble, and how much Bitcoin could potentially lose when the burst happens.

Then, last Friday, I took to Facebook with this video, elaborating more on the Bitcoin situation.

I explain why Bitcoin could make one more new-high at best and then what to expect… not only with Bitcoin, but the future of the cryptocurrency industry in general.

Watch this Facebook video, and comment with your thoughts on this Bitcoin bubble.

Harry

 

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Harry Dent – Economy and Markets ()




Why It’s Important to Cut Through the Hype to Find the Real Gems

I could do with fewer headlines. Or maybe I just want less yelling.

I remember a time, long ago, maybe in mid-2016, when CNBC didn’t spend 15 minutes straight talking about politics. But now, as I wake up every morning in the five o’clock hour central time and sip coffee, the hosts pour over daily political headlines and then squabble.

Afterward, they recount the president’s early morning tweets, which often include exclamation points. And this is on a financial news channel! After exercise, I eat breakfast and finish my morning with the papers, which once again scream at me with headlines about possible foul play and dirty deeds.

I understand why this happens. They all need me. They need my attention. They need me to watch the shows, receive the papers, and scan my eyeballs across their websites.

It’s nothing personal. Or rather, it’s everything personal. They must do whatever it takes to command my attention so they can stay relevant.

I get why the media resorts to hype. But every once in a while, it’d be nice if they’d stick to real news, just relating what happened instead of trying to sway me one way or the other. It will never happen, of course, because no one would buy the paper or tune in.

Who wants to watch a CNBC host say, “Not much is going on today, so we’re going to fill our time with cat videos from YouTube.”

And not many people will pay for a paper that goes from 30 pages to six. Still, it would make my life much easier by stripping away the noise.

Such a move would be too much of a revolution for many people. They’ve grown so accustomed to the emotional appeal for their attention that they have lost sight of what can really make a difference.

It reminds me of a scene from John Grisham’s book, The Firm. The lead character, Mitch McDeere, technically cooperates with the FBI, giving the agency what it needs to prosecute mob lawyers. But he doesn’t do it by giving up the mob. Instead, he provides records that prove mail fraud.

As the character tells an FBI agent, “It’s not sexy, but it has teeth.”

That should be a mantra in the news cycle and the financial markets today. Sexy has its place, but we’ve allowed the sensational to run amok. Our financial world now includes cryptocurrencies, sort-of money ideas that don’t exist but still command four-figure prices.

More than anything, I think that shows we’ve moved to the surreal world, based on financial hype, news hype, and the always-present political hype.

We’ve driven the markets to all-time highs, even though inflation remains modest, to say the least, and GDP is limping along, albeit assisted last quarter by auto replacements after Hurricane Harvey. Now is the time to take a step back and ask, “Is it really worth that?”

I don’t know if regulatory reform will keep pushing things higher. I don’t know if real tax reform or anything else they argue about on CNBC will pass.

But I do know we have to keep investing.

We have to keep looking for the smart ideas that have the best chance to grow, but aren’t based on air. After eight years of central bank intervention, it’s a tall order. It’s the sort of thing John Del Vecchio, our in-house forensic accountant, does well.

He spends his days specifically looking for undervalued companies that have great potential, but are currently flying under the radar. He doesn’t care about the hype. In fact, if a company has hype, it most likely doesn’t fit the bill.

Clearly John isn’t interested in developing fodder for cocktail parties. He simply wants to buy companies that go up in value.

Like Mitch McDeere’s legal charges, it’s not sexy, but it has teeth. In times like these, that’s a great thing.

Click here to sign up for John’s free broadcast right now.


Rodney Johnson
Follow me on Twitter @RJHSDent

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Rodney Johnson – Economy and Markets ()




What If It’s the 1990s All Over Again?

The 1990s were fun.

The internet was new, as was high-end coffee for most Americans.

You can say what you want about Starbucks, but do you even remember what pre-1990s canned Folgers tasted like? They wouldn’t serve that to prisoners on death row today. It would be inhumane!

The Cold War had just ended, gasoline was dirt cheap, and rock music was in the midst of its most creative decade since the 1960s.

The federal budget was balanced for the first (and last) time in decades. And, best of all, we had the turn of the millennium to look forward to.

So, yes, the 1990s were fun…

But the most fun of all was to be had in the stock market. It was the biggest stock bubble since the Roaring 1920s, and cheap online brokers made the market accessible to the masses. A lot of people got rich in the 1990s…

Let’s flash forward to today. After eight years of nearly uninterrupted bull market, it’s starting to feel a little like the late 1990s again.

To show you what I mean, let’s take a look at the Cyclically-Adjusted Price/Earnings Ratio (CAPE), or the Shiller P/E, named after Yale professor and economist Robert Shiller. The CAPE compares current S&P 500 stock prices to a 10-year average of companies’ earnings.

Today, the S&P 500 sits at a CAPE of just over 30, putting it at the level of 1929… right before the Great Crash. The CAPE has only been more expensive one time in the entire history of the stock market: the 1990s tech bubble, when it topped out at 44.

To put that in perspective, today’s CAPE is 83% higher than the long-term average…

Of course, before the CAPE hit 44 at the end of 1999, it had to pass through 30. That happened in mid-1997. So, for nearly two and a half more years, the market went from being “crazy expensive” to “even crazier expensive.”

I written for over two years now (see “Flat Returns for the Next 8 Years?”) that stocks are not priced to deliver good returns over the next decade. In fact, if history is any guide, they’re priced to lose money.

 

But that doesn’t mean they can’t go higher first.

So, what if…

What if we have a repeat of the 1990s and stocks just keep getting more expensive for another couple of years?

Sure, it would be irrational. But it was irrational back in the ‘90s too, and yet it still happened. And it would be just like Mr. Market to do what no one expects him to.

So, again… what if?

Should we just throw all caution to the wind, and buy and hold on for dear life?

Well, you could do that, but I wouldn’t recommend it. After all, we all know how the 1990s bubble ended. The tech bubble burst, and in the ensuing bear market the S&P 500 lost more than half its value.

My recommendation is to ride the market higher but keep your stops relatively tight. That’s the approach I’m taking in both Boom & Bust and Peak Income, and it’s working.

As I write, four positions in the former are sitting on double-digit gains, including one with over a 70% profit. In the latter four of our 22 income-generating positions have gained more than 19%, with six others in double-digits.

I’m talking about total returns, which include dividends, rather than just price returns. Whether the market goes up, down, or sideways from here, getting paid a regular stream of dividend income can help smooth out your returns.

And, perhaps most importantly in these market conditions, try taking a more nimble approach to your trading.

Adopt a strategy that can make money whether the market goes up, down or sideways, and gives you an opportunity to profit from any sudden changes. That’s where my friend Lance comes into play.

He’s got a solution to my “What if?” scenario, whether I’m right and it’s the 1990s all over again, or even if I’m wrong. Click here to sign up for his special event next week where he’ll explain all the details.

Charles Sizemore
Editor, Peak Income

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Charles Sizemore – Economy and Markets ()




It’s A National Bonfire: Fans All Over America Are Burning Jerseys To Show Their Anger With The NFL

Does the NFL actually think that it can go to war with the national anthem and the American flag and win?  Many are trying to frame this controversy as a “protest against Trump”, but the truth is that owners, coaches and players can speak out against President Trump any time that they want.  They have huge platforms and the mainstream media would soak up every word.  So there is absolutely no need to “take a knee” when our national anthem is being played and the American flag is being honored.  As I explained a couple days ago, the national anthem and the American flag are symbols that represent the entire country.  When someone disrespects those symbols, they are disrespecting our great land, everyone that lives here, and everyone that ever fought, bled and died for America.

Everyone involved with the NFL that participated in that absolutely shameful display on Sunday needs to apologize to all of the rest of us immediately.  In 2017, many Americans no longer understand the importance of the national anthem and the flag, but there are still millions of us that do.  And the outrage that has been unleashed as a result of this controversy is off the charts.  If you go on to YouTube, you will find dozens of videos of fans burning their NFL jerseys.  There is even a new hashtag (#NFLburnnotice) that has gone viral over the past couple of days because so many people are doing this, and many mainstream news outlets are publishing reports on this phenomenon

Outraged fans around the country are taking a stand as protests during the national anthem spread across NFL games.

Hundreds of players have taken the knee, locked arms or just stayed in the locker room to call attention to racial inequality in the nation. That’s offended many football fans, who see the act as unpatriotic. Some threatened to burn their team merchandise if protests continued, and now some are making good on that promise.

Yes, owners, coaches and players may have a First Amendment right to do what they did, but we also have a right to let them know what we think about what they just did.

As the weeks and months roll along, millions of former fans are going to be turning the games off and finding other ways to spend their Sunday afternoons.  And once these fans are gone, do you think that they will come back?

One Pittsburgh fan was so outraged that he burned “more than $ 1,000 worth of Pittsburgh Steelers merchandise”

Robert Smith posted a video of himself on Sunday burning more than $ 1,000 worth of Pittsburgh Steelers merchandise, the Daily Mail reported. Earlier that day, the Steelers had not participated in the anthem, with the exception of offensive tackle Alejandro Villanueva, who served three tours of duty as an Army Ranger in Afghanistan before beginning his NFL career.

“We have morals in this country. We stand for this country,” Smith says in the video, which has more than 50,000 views as of Monday afternoon. “My great-uncle’s bones are lying in the bottom of Pearl Harbor for this country, for this flag, for your freedom to play in the NFL.”

“Super Bowl, right? As if I care,” Smith continues, pouring lighter fluid on the gear. “I care about our country. I care about our freedom.”

And of course now it is inevitable that “taking a knee” will start spreading to other venues as well.

Sadly, a member of Congress has even decided to do this on the floor of the House of Representatives.  According to Texas Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, she did this in order to “stand against racism”

“There is no regulation that says that these young men cannot stand against the dishonoring of their mothers by you calling them ‘fire the son of a b.’ You tell me which of those children’s mothers is a son of a b. That is racism. You cannot deny it. You cannot run for it, and I kneel in honor of them,” Jackson Lee said.

“I kneel in front of the flag and on this floor,” she said as she took a knee behind the podium.

“I kneel in honor of the First Amendment. I kneel because the flag is a symbol for freedom. I kneel because I’m going to stand against racism. I kneel because I will stand with those young men, and I’ll stand with our soldiers. And I’ll stand with America, because I kneel.”

I have been fighting against racism for many years too, but this is not the way to do it.

It is never appropriate to disrespect our flag or our anthem, and this is a point that White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders made on Monday

“This isn’t about the president being against anyone. This is about the president and millions of Americans standing for something,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Monday. “Honoring the flag, the national anthem, and the men and women who fought to defend it.”

She added: “It is always appropriate for the president of this country to promote our flag, to promote our national anthem and ask people to respect it.”

It will be very interesting to see what the public opinion polls say in the coming days, but up to this point it has been exceedingly clear that most Americans do not support these kinds of “protests”

In 2016, a Quinnipac poll found that only 38 percent of those supported NFL players kneeling during the National Anthem. A Reuters poll found that 72 percent found the protest to be unpatriotic but also that 64 percent agreed there should be no punishment or fine.

When you disrespect the anthem or the flag, you are disrespecting all of us and everything that this country is supposed to stand for.

If you want to make a political point, find some other way to do it.  Treating our national symbols with contempt is never appropriate, and those that have done so should be utterly ashamed of themselves.

Michael Snyder is a Republican candidate for Congress in Idaho’s First Congressional District, and you can learn how you can get involved in the campaign on his official website. His new book entitled “Living A Life That Really Matters” is available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.

The Economic Collapse




Why It’s Time to Think Like a Roman

Years ago, when I was earning my master’s degree from the London School of Economics, I was known to skip out of lectures a little early on Fridays, throw on a backpack, and do some exploring on the weekends.

With just about anywhere in the U.K. or Europe accessible within a few hours, my decision on where to go was usually made by price. (I was, after all, on a grad student’s budget.)

Train tickets to northern England were cheap, so one September weekend I decided to hike along Hadrian’s Wall, the ancient boundary between Roman Britain and the barbarian north.

The wall stretches for 73 miles, mostly through sparsely inhabited farmland. It’s beautiful – in a harsh, rugged sort of way.

“Why here?” I asked myself as I hiked the Hadrian’s Wall Path.

There were other sites that could’ve worked as a defensive fortification. The island is thinner and a wall would be easier to defend further north in the Scottish lowlands. Or why not simply forget the wall, push northward, and conquer all of Scotland too?

No one really knows why the Romans built the wall exactly where they built it, but I have my own theories.

It came down to an analysis of risk versus reward.

Any military excursion puts lives and treasure at risk. But the added return of pushing into modern-day Scotland was minimal. (And the Scots wouldn’t invent golf or Scotch whiskey for another thousand years.)

Financing a war where the only spoils would be sheep and a craggy, windswept land inhabited by barbarians made little sense. The Romans were far better off drawing lines and consolidating what they already had.

That’s basically how I feel about the high-yield corners of the stock market right now.

It’s not that I think a crash is necessarily imminent; if I did, I’d recommend to my Peak Income readers that we lighten up on our existing income-producing positions, and I am distinctly not doing that…

This is more a feeling that, at current prices, the potential upside of adding new positions might not be worth the potential downside, particularly now that we’re in one of the market’s most dangerous seasonal periods.

Major corrections can come at any time of year, of course, but they tend to happen around September and October.

And, furthermore, we now have 22 open positions in the portfolio, many of which are recent additions. Before I added anything new this month, I thought it reasonable, and smart, to let what we have season a little.

So, in this month’s issue – in a more detailed and comprehensive way than I ever have before – I go through our existing portfolio recommendation by recommendation, to review why we own what we own and what our game plan should be going forward.

If you aren’t already a subscriber, it’s a perfect time to try Peak Income. If you missed it, I give “buy” or “hold” signals for all 22 positions in our model portfolio, and I re-recommend one of my earliest picks, laying out all the reasons for all the moves.

What I also really tried to drive home in the September issue is why bond yields are extremely important to what we do. All income-focused securities tend to react similarly to market conditions, which makes sense. They’re subject to the same buying and selling pressures from investors.

Lower bond yields mean higher bond prices… and higher prices for anything tied to bonds. A lot of our success so far in Peak Income – we currently have three positions with greater than 20% gains, seven others in double-digits, and only one showing a loss – has come from being willing to buy what I call “private income funds” at times when other investors panicked about falling bond prices.

Their overreaction was our opportunity.

Today bond yields are higher than they were two weeks ago, but the trend throughout 2017 has been one of falling yields.

I’m always looking out for catalysts that might cause yields to spike. And, at the moment, our biggest risk, oddly enough, is a functional government.

One of the reasons bond yields have slumped is that Mr. Market is losing faith that the pro-growth Trump agenda, including tax cuts, will pass. Slower growth means lower inflation, which, in turn, means lower bond yields and higher bond prices.

So a do-nothing government actually works in our favor.

I’m not going to suggest we sell everything and run for hills if Congress and President Trump suddenly discover how to work together. But I’d definitely be on high alert for a yield spike and would likely keep our stop-losses even tighter than usual.

That, too, is risk versus reward thinking, and it’s why I sometimes need to remind myself to do as the Romans did.

Charles Sizemore
Editor, Peak Income

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Charles Sizemore – Economy and Markets ()




It’s Over

French elections are over.

The Populist hydra has been slain (for now) and the world has taken a step back from a repeat of pre-WW2 political turmoil. Center globalist Macron bulldozed the “French Trump”, winning 66.1% of the vote.

Macron did very well among the rich and educated white collar demographic. Le Pen on the other hand attracted the blue collar, less “sophisticated” rural working class.

In essence, the vote was a battle between the “haves” and “have nots”. If you’re doing well in life, you don’t want Le Pen rocking the boat. But if you’re out of work and struggling, then you want someone who can overturn the established regime.

This is the exact dynamic we saw with Trump. The “haves” wanted the stability of Hillary. The “have nots” wanted Trump to shake things up and make factory jobs great again. In America’s case, there were a lot more “have nots” than what people thought — hence the Trump upset.

So what happened in France? Why wasn’t Le Pen able to do the same?

It’s because she didn’t persuade the old folk.

Both the Brexit and Trump events were heavily supported by older demographics. The older you were, the more likely you were to vote for the populist option.

But this wasn’t the case in French elections.

Le Pen supporters actually topped out around 40 years of age and then rapidly tailed off. Only passionate young people, still jockeying for position in the work force, wanted to upset the apple cart. The old folks didn’t want to live out their golden years in the midst of an EU breakup, with a currency change to boot.

Despite the bad beat, Le Pen actually took it pretty well. She was caught dancing away at a nightclub on the night of her defeat in classic French “C’est la vie” fashion.

Anyone paying attention to the markets knew what was coming. On the Friday before elections, investors were so confident in Macron, that they pushed French equities to new highs for the year.

Our team still covered our downside risk with EURUSD option spreads just in case of a surprise. A fluke upset would have decimated the risk-on holdings we’ve been nurturing since earlier this year.

To make money on this theme you would’ve had to be long equities well before the 2nd round of elections. In early April the markets were still scared of a Le Pen win. You could see this through the expensive options and stagnant equities. The crowd wasn’t privy to the coming retrace in populist sentiment.

But the Macro Ops team was. We bet on a likely Le Pen loss well before the trade became consensus.

Since the beginning of April, we’ve been pounding the table about how the populism cycle had reached a short-term top.

Politics, like price action, doesn’t travel in a straight line. It moves in waves. Large impulse moves higher are followed by corrections to the long-term trend. Then, once doubters have been shaken out, the trend resumes again, with another impulse move higher.

Our favorite chart of 2017, the World Economic Policy Uncertainty Index, made our analysis easy. It became clear that anti-establishment sentiment was overstretched post-Trump. We were due for some mean reversion.

This was a major reason why we called for a Le Pen defeat. Beggar-thy-neighbor politics had moved too far too fast.  

And like clockwork, the index continued to revert back to its long-term trend line on the back of a Macron win.

Going forward we can finally take a breather from politics (thank god). German elections should be a non-event and Italy’s election isn’t until next year.

Now that political risk has subsided, there’s not much data pointing to a reversal in trend. It’s not just Europe that’s strong, econ data is picking up around the globe.  

Since mid-2016, global PMI numbers have rapidly improved and continue to hold at expansionary levels.

And Citibank’s macro risk index is back near lows.

Notice the last time the chart was down to these levels — the end of 2009, the end of 2012, and now. All these periods were followed by major market rallies

The classic “risk-off” trades are all in the dumpster too. Gold looks weak. It’s stuck trading below its down-sloping 200-day MA.

And the rebound in bonds has proven to be short-lived as well.

For now, we’ll keep to the long side of markets while enjoying a respite from politics.

“It’s a bull market, you know.”

 

 

Macro Ops




It’s Time to Kick This New Mafia in the Balls

Just look at this chart!


If you were born in 1980, you only have a 50% chance of making more money than your parents.

But if you were born in 1950, you had a 79% chance, according to research that Raj Chetty and his team of economists did.

That’s one hell of a drop!

Upward mobility in the U.S. has almost halted. Of course, this is no news to us… and we can point a finger to at least one of the culprits.

Our colleges and universities.

They have essentially become strongholds for a new mafia, one that dons academic caps and gowns!

As I told 5 Day Forecast readers last Monday, the “Intelligentsiosi” have become bloated, greedy and mad with their own success.

Glowing campuses with grand buildings and exquisite landscaping…

Endless tenure and dreamy retirement plans for overpaid paper pushers, and sometimes professors as well…

Uncontrolled bureaucracy…

It’s all become a statue to their egos!

Unfortunately, there are two sets of victims of these crimes.

The first are the students trying to get a start in life. The poor suckers must clamp an iron ball of debt around their ankles just to get through the front door of these higher education institutions… unless their parents are rich enough to fund these stratospheric costs.

If the ball doesn’t drown them right out school, then they lug it around for decades while they slowly chip away at it.

It’s no wonder upward mobility is vanishing faster than crack in a whore house.

The second set of victims is the rest of us and the American economy!

The situation is now so far out of hand as to boggle the mind. In fact, our healthcare costs, which are twice as expensive as anywhere else in the world, now pale in comparison to how our education costs are rising. See for yourself…

There is no conceivable, valid justification for such inflation!

Education is an information industry!

As we meander through the tail end of the information revolution, the costs of accessing any information continue to decline rapidly. Yet the cost of a college degree is still rising like a rocket to the moon.

What the hell?!

People like me and many leading-edge experts could be streamed across college campuses at nominal costs, adding to what’s on offer from the local professors… and how could they be better than the best experts in the world when appropriate?

Computers and technology cost exponentially less today than a decade ago.

TVs and books tend to cost less as well.

So why the hell are costs for education still rising?!

Can’t these Intelligentsiosi see that their actions are robbing Americans of the opportunity for social and economic improvement?!

Upward mobility in the U.S., once one of the easiest accomplishments in the developed, is now ranked as one of the hardest.

Europeans and Canadians don’t have this problem. Their education costs aren’t so horrific, nor are their healthcare costs.

What happened to enabling more Horatio Algers?

Empowering penniless immigrants or citizens so they can rise to success against all the odds?

It seems to me these “wise” guys are more interested in landscaping than the American dream.

Back in the ’90s, when I lectured to successful small business owners at TEC (now Vistage) and YPO (Young Presidents Organization), most were self-made millionaires… not trust-fund brats.

Innovation depends on the ability of the lowest to rise to the top. It survives best from adversity.

Successful people tend to become complacent, so their kids often stumble when they’re adults. Just look at Lindsey Lohan. Perfect example.

But by withholding the opportunity for higher education – by putting the price tag way out of reach of anyone but the wealthy – we’re killing the golden goose.

It will be the end for our great country if we don’t have a revolution in education, at the very least.

Luckily, we WILL have a revolution.

Right now, the 250-year political and social revolution is converging with our economic winter season. The last time this happened was in the late 1700s. The result was democracy and capitalism – the two greatest breakthroughs of modern history.

Yes!

I’m talking revolution!

The real deal.

The three greatest impediments to democracy and capitalism are:

1) Special interests, that have taken over democracy.

2) Central banks hi-jacking free markets.

3) Unaffordable higher education, and healthcare.

I graduated from Harvard, but I refuse to send a penny of my substantial charity contributions to them. Still, they have a foundation and fund that is off the charts. So why do they have to charge so much for tuition?!

They do it because they can.

These bad fellas have had the Baby Boomers by the balls for decades. Now they’re holding Millennials hostage: “Pay up or live in your parents’ basement for the rest of your life!”

I can’t wait for the broader bubble to burst because it’ll will cascade across sectors, industries and the world.

It will finally bring everything back down to reality!

Mark my words: A revolution is coming in higher education and everywhere else. It will be painful.

And it can’t come soon enough.

Harry
Follow me on Twitter @harrydentjr

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Harry Dent – Economy and Markets ()




It’s Time to Shatter the Stones

I’m sorry, but I don’t have a healthcare problem.

I have a concierge doctor at a fixed annual fee, with free visits and discounts on blood tests and other things I need. On top of that, I have a highdeductible insurance policy that only covers unexpected costs over $ 6,000, like if I have a heart attack or something.

I’m accountable, which means I feel the expenses for my healthcare day to day, week to week, and month to month. I pay for my visits and expenses with a credit card linked to my HSA account. There’s no bureaucracy, there’s no paperwork, and there’s no confusion over what’s covered or not under the typical plan. 

And there’s no illusion that healthcare is free after I’ve paid my premium!

As a result, I don’t go to the doctor just for anything… just because it’s covered on my healthcare plan! Millions of others do, though. Why wouldn’t healthcare costs be spiraling out of control when people have no incentive to monitor and control their costs?

And then doctors have to cover their asses against endless lawsuits, so they over-test and over-diagnose everything… What the hell?! Why should people win the lottery when doctors make a one-out-of-a-thousand mistake?

There’s a reason our healthcare costs about twice as much as it does in other developed countries… 

Our system is full of B.S. special interests and insurance bureaucracy that adds layers and layers of costs! 

Every step of this chain of special interests is locked in by decades of lobbying efforts.

Insurance companies are NOT in the insurance business. They’re in the bureaucracy business, charging for endless paperwork in what should be a straightforward, pay-for-service-as-needed industry.

But a new trend – some light amid otherwise endless darkness – may just be winning out in this nightmare of special interests and bureaucracy…

The new “truth” is direct primary care, where people pay a monthly fee for doctors that give them more attention at a fixed and predictable cost – like $ 50 to $ 100 a month. There’s also a higher level of service – concierge medicine, where you may pay $ 200-plus per household a month.

Like I said, that’s what I have. It’s well worth it because I get visits whenever I need them, and, more importantly, I enjoy preferred access to specialists like cardiologists and internists when I need them.

My primary-care doctor is more accountable to fewer patients and has a more predictable revenue stream. My high-deductible insurance plan is exactly that: my insurance against the unpredictable.

Then there’s Obamacare… 

What idiot couldn’t figure out that if you suddenly added tens of millions of new people to a system with near-term fixed professional skills and healthcare facilities you’d see costs skyrocket?!

It’s Econ 101 stuff: supply and demand! Or in this case, inelastic demand.

There’s no market with less rationality and greater cost disincentives than our very own U.S. healthcare system.

And there’s no way to fix this perverted, special-interest-driven system. It needs to break down and be re-created from the bottom up… period!

That starts with consumer-driven, direct primary care systems that make both doctors and consumers accountable for real service. Insurance is only for the more extreme scenarios, and so it doesn’t add endless bureaucracy to the system… not to mention endless incentives to go for the “all you can eat buffet.”

Insurance companies will, of course, hate this plan. How would they make as much money without their inherent bureaucratic B.S.?!

I didn’t set out to organize my healthcare the way I did, but many others do. We just did the logical thing. 

We’re the revolution. 

And it’s going to take a revolution to change this overly bureaucratic and complicated industry, where every special interest has carved their fees, costs, and B.S. into stone.

It’s time to shatter those stones. 


 

 

 

Harry
Follow me on Twitter @harrydentjr

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Harry Dent – Economy and Markets ()




The Red States Have Had Their Say… Now It’s the Blue States’ Turn

We’ve not seen this level of political polarization since the Civil War. And it’s not unique to the U.S. It’s happening around the world… a backlash against globalization.

The red states scored a massive victory when President Donald Trump won against the odds. Six states switched from borderline blue to borderline red during that election.

But history has insights for us about such a revolution. For starters, they don’t tend to end where they started. Despite being a clear play of opposites, like conservative and liberal, history favors the progressive side. Over the longer term, the trends are only in one direction: toward increased affluence, greater freedom, more trade, and deeper political and social tolerance.

The south or red states had the momentum in the early part of the Civil War, but lost in the end. The nation moved in the progressive direction and became more unified than ever. While the south had more conviction and cause, the north had more people, technology and affluence and were on the right side of the longer-term trends.

What’s clear in the early stages of this latest revolution is that globalization has peaked, and likely for decades. We’re going to have to regroup politically around common and regional cultural and religious values before we can globalize and progress again.

But let’s see what happens when the blue states have their say – as they again have the edge in economic power. California is threatening to go to ballot in 2018 to secede from the union. The red states may have won round one of this civil war, but it’s just getting started.

A political and social reformation the magnitude of the American Revolution is in motion and will take several years to begin to resolve. Get all the details on the “Yes California” campaign, see what’s brought us to the point of this revolutionary movement and get a look into the historic shift ahead of the curve in our latest infographic below.

 

 

 

 

 

Harry
Follow me on Twitter @harrydentjr

The post The Red States Have Had Their Say… Now It’s the Blue States’ Turn appeared first on Economy and Markets.

Harry Dent – Economy and Markets ()




My Strategy for Retirement: It’s Not Like Yours and Shouldn’t Be!

I think most of you intuit that I’m not like the normal guy out there. I think outside the box, analyze everything, respect and revere cycles as much as I hate them for their downside and discipline.

The truth is, I’m an entrepreneur, more than I am an economist. In fact, I think economics is mostly a load of B.S., and there are only three classical economists I pay any attention to: Dr. Lacy Hunt, Steve Keen, and Robert Shiller.

As an entrepreneur that just happened to trip onto demographics while consulting to entrepreneurial businesses in the 1980s, I found a profession that was stale and ripe for radical new insights…

That’s how I became a “rogue economist.” And most economists hate me for daring to disrupt their nice, neat and academic “pipe and cloak” club.

The reason I respect Robert Shiller, who is more traditionally academic and now more respected, is that he came up with new indicators that showed that real estate doesn’t appreciate long term when adjusted for inflation… Damn! (The same is true for gold.)

And he adjusted P/E ratios (valuations for stocks) to iron out extreme cycles with a 10-year moving average for earnings… kudos again.

He saw the bubble peaking in late 2005 in real estate, as did I, and he is now worried again about another bubble in stocks.

But back to my story…

Since I am an entrepreneur by nature, I take big risks and I’m enticed by radical innovations that can change the world.

I have no interest in being in “the club.”

I have little interest in traditional asset allocation and balanced risk versus reward strategies.

So, I invested in the late 1990s and early 2000s, when I made the most money from books, speaking and investment – when I was bullish and popular. But those investments were largely in new ventures.

I invested in people who were potentially changing the world in a big way.

I could afford the risk to invest in my passion.

But I didn’t fully understand those risks.

Such new ventures have extreme failure rates. They’re like babies crawling in the streets without parents to protect them! I put most of my money in new ventures and saw almost all of them fail. I finally got it when I talked with a friend who was a major venture capitalist investor. He said: “Harry, we only make it on one out of 11 at best – and we’re the best at what we do.” Well, his one was Oracle… and his returns were way better than mine. It’s what he did… and he got lucky on top of that.

Still, that didn’t stop me. Eventually, that one for me was… my own company! I learned to “stick to my knitting.”

So, now that I’m older and “wiser,” do I still invest more in other new ventures as I approach retirement?

No *bleeping* way! My circumstances are different now, as are my needs. I need more income and lower risk as I get ever closer to retirement.

Of course, I have no intentions of ever retiring. I think the whole concept is complete idiocy. Human beings are not meant to sit idle for decades. Still, I realize that, as I age, I must prepare for a time when either health or something unexpected slows me down. I’m a risk taker, yes! But I’m not stupid.

So, I now have two baskets of assets. The first is a cash hoard. I’ll take 10% and profit from the initial 40% crash in the bubble burst ahead. The rest of that cash I’ll put to work in our array of investment plans for a balance of risk. I’ll start with Adam and Lance and John’s services and then move into the lower risk strategies like Rodney and Charles over time.

The second basket is my one real estate asset that has done better than any new ventures I tried. I’ve been renting my primary home since late 2005, when I forecast the real estate crash. After all, I eat my own cooking.

The only real estate I kept was a 25-acre lot on an island with the best view ever. I kept it both because it was my “get-away” if things get as bad or worse than I expect, but more because it was due for five-acre zoning which has now finally happened. That means I not only have a house worth a lot with almost no debt, but I now have four extra five-acre lots to sell, and they’re each worth 70% of what the original 25-acre lot was worth… oh yeah!

So, my strategy is to get more conservative while still taking some risks. And my real estate will become a cash flow machine through rentals… at least for now.

Then, around 2024/5, when the baby boom peaks in its retirement and vacation-home-buying cycle, I’ll sell my house and those four extra lots. That will greatly increase my nest egg for “retirement.”

You may be wondering about why I’ve got real estate as part of my retirement plan when I believe we’re in for another real estate bust. It’s a good question. And a simple one to answer. I bought this property decades ago, at barrel-bottom prices. Even once real estate prices reset, as I expect them to, I will still have a decent investment on my hands. It’s a win/win on real estate that otherwise would be a horrible investment for most.

So, that’s my retirement plan.

I’ll enjoy paradise, moving between a great San Juan condo and an ultimate vacation home – both with killer views – until well into my 70s. Then my wife and I will move back to Florida, to be close to the best medical facilities anywhere. We’ll steadily get more conservative, building income as much as possible, while still taking some risks. What can I say? Once a risk taker… always a risk taker.

 

 

 

 

Harry
Follow me on Twitter @harrydentjr

P.S. The key component of my retirement strategy is income. Everything I’m setting in place, with the exception of the 20% I’m risking – is designed to feed me more and steady streams of income with every year that passes. And that’s what Charles aims to do for Peak Income subscribers. You’ll be hearing more from Charles about why this is so important over the next couple of weeks, so do yourself a favor: listen to what he has to say.

 

The post My Strategy for Retirement: It’s Not Like Yours and Shouldn’t Be! appeared first on Economy and Markets.

Harry Dent – Economy and Markets ()