The Ticking Time Bomb That Will Wipe Out Virtually Every Pension Fund In America

Are millions of Americans about to see the big, juicy pensions that they were counting on to fund their golden years go up in flames in the biggest financial disaster in U.S. history? When Bloomberg published an editorial entitled “Pension Crisis Too Big for Markets to Ignore“, it simply confirmed what a lot of people already knew to be true.  Pension funds all over America are woefully underfunded, and they have been pouring mind boggling amounts of money into very risky investments such as Internet stocks and commercial mortgages.  Just like with subprime mortgages in 2008, this is a crisis […]

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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 high–deductible 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 […]

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It Is About Time That We Had A President That Was Willing To Go To War With The Mainstream Media

Thursday afternoon’s press conference was perhaps the most memorable moment of Donald Trump’s presidency so far.  Trump’s blistering attack on the media was quite a spectacle, but the truth is that it was desperately needed.  For decades, the mainstream media has dominated political discourse in this country no matter who has been in control of the White House or Congress.  They have become masters of guiding and shaping public opinion, and in recent years they have completely discarded any pretense of being “unbiased” or “objective”.  These monolithic media organizations relentlessly push the progressive agenda of their owners (the global elite), […]

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Will Cars Be the Death of Us This Time?

The shining star of the 2009-2016 recovery has been auto sales. We weren’t surprised. In fact, we saw it coming. After all, cars are the last large purchase people make before stepping quietly into their years of increased saving and decreased spending. From around the age of 57 to 64, one task takes center stage: save for retirement. In the durable goods sector, housing peaks first around age 40, then furnishings at age 46. Only automobiles continue to grow after the peak in spending at age 46. We’re in the midst of updating our consumer expenditure data. The biggest change […]

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Is It Just A Coincidence That The Dow Has Hit 20,000 At The Same Time The National Debt Is Reaching $20 Trillion?

The Dow Jones Industrial Average provides us with some pretty strong evidence that our “stock market boom” has been fueled by debt.  On Wednesday, the Dow crossed the 20,000 mark for the first time ever, and this comes at a time when the U.S. national debt is right on the verge of hitting 20 trillion dollars.  Is this just a coincidence?  As you will see, there has been a very close correlation between the national debt and the Dow Jones Industrial Average for a very long time. For example, when Ronald Reagan took office in 1991, the U.S. national debt […]

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Is Now a Good Time to Swap Stocks for Precious Metals?

Few U.S. investors own even an ounce of gold or silver bullion, so it should come as no surprise that almost none of them know of the various options to hold bullion in an IRA. It doesn’t help that financial professionals who coach people on what to hold in their retirement accounts typically aren’t much better educated than their clients when it comes to gold. Most investment advisers tout “diversification” as a key investment strategy. But they limit their clients to IRAs stuffed full of nothing but paper assets – stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. Wall Street pays them handsomely […]

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Instead Of Black Friday Materialism, Thanksgiving Weekend Should Be A Time To Live, Laugh And Love

On Friday, hordes of desperate zombies were spotted desperately trying to save a few dollars on toys, apparel and cheaply made electronic goods all over America.  Seemingly oblivious to the fact that virtually all of these goods were made outside of the United States in nations where it is legal to pay slave labor wages, these zombies often clashed violently with one another over items such as soap, toilet paper and jumbo-sized televisions.  Black Friday puts the worst excesses of American materialism on display for the whole world to see, but most Americans don’t seem to care how pathetic we […]

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This Thanksgiving, Don’t Regret Missing Personal Time

This month I received a jolt to my system, and I’m not talking about the election. The day before voters elected Donald Trump the next president, my brother died of brain cancer. He was diagnosed in February of 2015, and exhausted all treatment two months ago. He was 53. We weren’t especially close for much of our adult life, but we weren’t distant, either. From the late 1990s through the 2000s, his work and family commitments carried him just outside of our normal circle. There was no recrimination, no ill will or falling out to reconcile. Just the normal ebb […]

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A dent in the surface of time

This chart has been fascinating me for ages. It was produced by the Bank of England to illustrate a speech by Andy Haldane. Shock, horror – we have the lowest interest rates for 5,000 years. Even in the Great Depression they were higher than they are now. These are, of course, nominal interest rates. Real interest rates are even lower – though not by much, since inflation is close to zero in all major economies. Note also the divergence of long-term and short-term interest rates. This is encouraging, since it suggests that investors view future prospects as brighter, though hardly […]

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Living In A Van Down By The River – Time To Face The True State Of The Middle Class In America

Do you remember the old Saturday Night Live sketches in which comedian Chris Farley portrayed a motivational speaker that lived in a van down by the river?  Unfortunately, this is becoming a reality for way too many Americans.  As the middle class has shrunk and the cost of living has increased, a lot of people have decided to quite literally “live on the road”.  Whether it is a car, a truck, a van, a bus or an RV, an increasing number of Americans are using their vehicles as their homes.  Just recently, someone that I know took a trip down […]

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