Personal Note – Having laid my mother to rest Tuesday after being in hospice since November, some semblance of so-called “normalcy” has returned. Thanks to all who offered their support and sympathy.
Overall “Observation” – IMHO, America has already entered its worst social and political era (just look at the news each day) and is on the threshold of an economic cycle unlike anything since the Great Depression. That’s a bitter pill to swallow given all the Trump “Enthusiasm” on making America great again!
Let me make three points related to Trump:
- While I certainly think he was by far, the lesser of two evils in our choice for the Presidency, I am by no means a Trump “Groupie”.
- I do commend him for being a rare breed in actually doing what he said he would after being elected. I can’t recall any other “regular” politician who has come close to doing so. But I’m afraid unless he overcomes tremendous opposition from all sides fairly soon (yes, even within the Republican Party, where they may appear to be a better class, but also have their fair share of wolves dressed in sheep’s clothes), his ability to bring real change will be greatly diminished rather quickly.
- If I’m wrong and he can indeed stop America from falling into an abyss, we will still need to go through a very tough period that I find so few Americans financially, morally and spiritually prepared for.
Today’s Employment Report – We continue to see more or less the same we saw in 2016, 2015…. Low-paying jobs where wage growth is anemic, while weak business investment continues to lead to lower productivity. Yes, make “America Great Again” has lifted certain people’s spirits, but the 800-pound Gorilla in the room remains the ever-increasing debt burden Americans continue to place on themselves and their country. Until the reality of this coming tidal wave of financial, social and political pain hits us and washes away decades of mismanagement (that accelerated during the Obama administration), we will continue to muddle along at best.
- At the bottom of the stock market almost 40 years ago, an infamous front page of a leading business magazine proved to be terribly wrong. Here it is:
Now, as complacency among individuals and the “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” crowd (that makes up much of the financial services industry) is sky high, we get this front page assessment:
Thanks Barron’s, but I choose to be a live chicken versus a dead duck and can be found here until further notice:
- China carried the world during the last financial crisis, but it’s having its own serious troubles now (and isn’t being seriously accounted for by many when it comes to overall world economic health).
- Look for more signs of the inevitable breakup of the European Union as we know it as more countries within the union move to the far-right. A trade war with the U.S. is not out of the question.
- Death and taxes are indeed certainties, but in my book, so is a coming auto loan crisis and the end of consumers shopping at big, brick and mortar malls (death by Amazon).
- Last, but certainly not least, I continue to personally favor gold over financial assets. It’s likely to have some congestion as it approaches key moving averages and remains hated by just about everybody in the financial services industry. But anyone with an outlook past a day, week or month, should consider owning it for many reasons; but none so more as insurance. We have auto and home insurance, but hope never to have to use them. Owning gold and hoping we never have to count on it to make up for large losses in financial assets, seems prudent at this stage.