Spring Cleaning (UUP,SLV)

Spring Cleaning (UUP,SLV)   Propagandists and sales and marketing professionals know the value of repeating the message ad nauseum.  They know that with enough time they’ll eventually crack through their audience’s cortex and implant themselves there for good.   There’s something about the human psyche, it seems (call it an inborn weakness), that eventually relents, and then wholeheartedly believes after the 650th repetition of “CLEANS WHILE IT DISINFECTS” that the product actually does what it says.   The marketing pros in the brokerage and mutual fund businesses are also aware of this, and the techniques they use are exactly the same. When we first started out in this business nearly thirty years ago, we experienced an epiphanic moment, when one of the more experienced brokers in our office, a highly strung chap in a camel colored suit, burst into the training session where we rookies were just about to break for lunch and yelled in an almost desperate voice, “If you guys think this business is any different from selling vacuum cleaners door-to-door, you’re wrong!”   Oh? Puzzled, we were at the time.   But today we understand.   Success on Wall Street resides in repeating the same message a…

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Break Out the New Silverware (SLV,C,FAZ)

Break Out the New Silverware (SLV,C,FAZ) There are those who go through life happy to be around people, cajoling and backslapping, but desperately uncomfortable in their own skin.  And then there are those who prefer solitude, but are quite content with who they are.  The former we often refer to as ‘extroverts’.  Some prefer to call them ‘politicians’.  The latter are labeled ‘introverts’.  But a better term might be ‘wise’.   Now, of course, there’s a broad spectrum of people that fall in between these two extremes, and our point in offering all this today is to get you thinking of roughly where you fall in that space.  Why?  Because it’s more than likely that if you’re from the latter, quieter camp, you’re going to fare better at the trading game than your more boisterous comrades.   And that’s because individuals who possess an inner calm, who know themselves better, as well as their abilities and limitations, who aren’t given to an exaggerated sense of self-worth, who don’t need the affirmations of others, who don’t need the latest model or biggest automobile to prove their worth, who get along just fine being an anonymous presence, and needn’t be laughing and…

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Precious Metals’ Bear in ICU (SLV,EPI)

Precious Metals’ Bear in ICU (SLV,EPI)   We want to turn to a discussion of commodities today, because the action there is starting to shape up in increasingly clear fashion.   And we’ll start our investigation with a brief look at the dollar, from which so much of the commodities complex takes its cue.   The dollar, remember, puts downward pressure on commodities’ prices as it rises, and upward when it falls.  That’s because the vast majority of the world’s metals, minerals and foodstuffs are traded in U.S. dollars, making them more or less expensive as the dollar fluctuates.   Have a look here – This is the Dollar Index for the last six months, and as you can see, it has been weakening of late.  In fact, at the bottom of the chart it becomes apparent that the momentum behind the dollar’s rise last fall was already weakening going into December.  Both RSI and MACD indicators began diverging lower from price at that time (black lines), giving us a clear indication that the top would be soon in coming.   Since then, a clear top formed at New Year’s, and the decline thereafter has been significant.   Could it…

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Markets Go BOING! (GDX,SLV)

We’ve got our eyes fixed on several items at the moment – the first is the dollar, the second the bond market, particularly the long end of the Treasury curve.   We’ve discussed both at length, and readers of these pages are familiar enough with our views.   So for those who are new to the glorious halls (and impeccable wit) of the Normandy mansion, we sum it up for you here in brief –   First, the dollar will continue to rise, particularly as the U.S. equity market and American assets are come to be seen as the last game in town.   The bond market will continue to sell off, with the lion’s share of the fund flows streaming into equities, as inflation and rising rates begin to bite, and all become convinced that the current tightening cycle is for real.   Both of the above processes will gather momentum as soon as the Fed is perceived to be behind the curve, and inflation becomes a thing to be feared rather than desired. But this last development could be a ways away.  Numbers #1 and #2 are not.   Paying More? Have a look at the following –…

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WAR! GOLD! DICTATOR! TRUTH! (SLV,GLD,F)

As we approach election day, the question of how the market will react to the ‘will of the people’ takes on new significance.   As of today, equities are moving in a muted, sideways fashion, uncertain of both the outcome of the contest and exactly what should play out beyond.   There are four distinct possibilities, of course, that could be triggered once the results are known.   A Republican win, and a breakout higher, or lower.   A Democrat win, and a breakout higher or lower.   Whatever happens, though, it’s almost certain the market will not continue its sideways grind much more than a day beyond the polls’ closing.   It’s also looking increasingly probable that the ensuing move will be sharp – higher or lower – should a clear winner be pronounced the day after. If the Hilarious one wins, we’re betting on a burst of Wall Street enthusiasm.  Should the Trump card get played, a steep move lower.   Now, we offer these prognostications not in any way to influence your vote, and with the additional caveat that it’s more than likely that in both cases we’ll see some swings to and fro before the market…

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Trade Secrets! (SLV,DIA)

There are two principles that have served us well over the years, and we feel now’s as good a time as any to elaborate on them.   Options trading is generally a matter of getting current direction right.  It doesn’t matter if you end up right in the long run.  With an option you just have to be on target by expiration.  That means first and foremost you’re a trend follower.  Nothing more.  You don’t have to call the top and bottom of any particular move, you just have to climb aboard midstream, ride the motherhumping SOB for a brief jack and then get the hell off with your money.   But it’s not as easy as it sounds, particularly because getting current direction right is not an easy task – even if it is, in the end, a 50-50 proposition. What makes the job difficult is the everpresent ‘noise’ that resounds daily from every direction.  That includes the financial news media, the shouts and hollers from family, neighbors, friends and colleagues, the bellowing of the elite class, including politicians and the so-called money experts that haunt the media, and last, but certainly not least, the ever-present din inside our…

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Military Efficiency (LMT,GDXJ,QQQ,GLD,SLV)

A system is put in place to create efficiencies.  That’s its role.  It’s not there to help you find your inner child or to bring out your innate human potential.   It’s about being faster and cheaper and glitch-free.   A criminal justice system therefore attempts to deal with criminals and crime in an ‘efficient’ manner.  An education system aims at ‘efficient’ indoctrination of facts and theories in its students.  A healthcare system desires to kill disease and administer to patients with the utmost proficiency.   And why?   Because that produces savings.  And savings means profits.  And everyone’s happy with profits. So what’s the problem?   The problem arises when the system gets too big, when it moves beyond a genuinely human-scale operation and turns industrial.  At that point, individuals are ‘processed’ through the system and all sense of humanity is lost.  Sure there may be a clerk or teacher or nurse in the building who still has a human touch, but by and large those qualities are weaned from workers, who are themselves extensively trained to work more ‘efficiently’.   On the edges, this means that individual souls are treated with contempt.   Those with learning disabilities or…

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U.K.E.U.X-IT… (DIA,QQQ,SLV,NEM)

Isn’t it just our luck.   On maybe the most important day for markets in the last five years, we’re expected to offer a trade.   Fergawdsake…   Not that we’re shy, or lacking in opinions.  You know us too well for that.   Just that this Brexit shtick could send things whirling over the near term and foil all our efforts to show you our true trading genius. We so want to please you…   Not to worry, though.  We’re still here in every way, even as we rigorously contemplate our own shortcomings and goings and question the value of our own intelligence, and admit: we haven’t the foggiest which way this vote’s going to go.   Lacking in Spies   What we’d really love is an old time spy to go way undercover for us and infiltrate the Bilderberg world, set up cameras in the Clinton Foundation and the Kardashian bidet Davos cocktail lounge.  We’d love to have someone dive under the rubble and record all the juicy goings-on of the real string pullers and egg shakers out there.   Maybe that way we’d have a clue.   But alas, we’ve none.  And in truth, that’s the way…

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Gulping Up the Silver (UUP,SLV,NFLX,FXI,DIA)

That’s it.  We’re in a downdraft.  A potentially short one, albeit, confined within a longer term uptrend.  But it’s a downdraft nonetheless.   Last Thursday, senior Normandy know it all, Matt McAbby, offered you a short term trade on the QQQs that’s worked out well.  Friday’s action saw the QUBES drop by better than one percent, and the setup still slightly favors a further decline.   We’ll have more to show-and-tell on short term market direction in a moment, but we want first to take an opportunity to discuss a few potential market-turning catalysts on the horizon.   Island Castaways   The first and most important item on the agenda is the upcoming vote on Britain’s exit from the European Union, a deal that’s come to be known as ‘Brexit’. The issue is a rather weighty one, though we can’t say it’ll affect markets in any meaningful way over the long term.  Certainly banks and bonds will be affected in the short term, but the decision is hardly likely to upend any one country or region, financially or economically, for keeps.     What’s rather more likely is that the market will be erratic going into the vote as well…

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Brand New Trading Regimen (UNH,NKE,GLD,SLV,SPXL)

Our thinkers and hardhats here at the monthly Normandy roundtable have been busy contemplating and pushing our brand in new directions as this final, mother of all bull markets winds to a close.   So we have some updates for you… As you know, our position as both investors and publishers has been consistent and clear from our founding – to provide you with the big picture and all the necessary tools you need to successfully trade markets, build and protect your wealth and survive the challenges of a potentially cataclysmic civil upheaval, if and when it should occur.   And we’ve been largely successful in all those ventures, as our monthly readership figures amply imply.  We’ve been growing in trajectories we never could have imagined when we first sat down to drink a quart of the bubbly mead.   That said, we’ve also documented our increasing alarm over the strange and changing nature of the investment game these last years, as government intervention in markets has created an unprecedented and highly volatile financial Frankenstein, whose end no one, including us, can foresee.   It won’t be healthy.   Regardless of the outcome, however, we do believe there’s a silver…

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