Listen at WEAA Live Stream: http://amber.streamguys.com.4020/live.m3uFrom 5-7 P.M. It’s about 90 days before the start of the 2017 legislative session in Annapolis, and this week the Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland is sponsoring a public hearing on some the most important issues from their perspective including, the HBCU lawsuit, public safety and criminal justice. We’ll talk to Dayvon Love, co-founder of Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle about the hearing and upcoming session. And we’ll open the phone lines to air the concerns of our listeners…410.319.8888. These stories and much more on AFRO’s First Edition with Sean Yoes .
One Month Ago Rock & Stock Stats Last One Year Ago Silver Stocks (SIL) 18.24 21.11 24.05 Gold Producers (GDX) 37.11 42.32 53.32 Louis James Senior Metals Investment Strategist Casey Research TSX Venture 1,117.85 1,205.81 1,634.34 Gold 1,575.10 1,666.90 1,698.70 Copper 3.52 3.76 3.79 Silver 28.81 31.44 33.83 Gold Junior Stocks (GDXJ) 16.10 18.51 26.98 Oil 91.56 95.72 106.58 TSX (Toronto Stock Exchange) 12,835.61 12,801.23 12,461.93 A company that we call an “exploration play with cash flow announced excellent drill results last week. BIG GOLD This gold producer has found itself in a catfight with another company for an acquisition. Here’s our take. Winning By Louis James Have you ever heard of a national or international champion baseball, football, or basketball team that won every single game it played in a season? How often does even the best tennis player win every set in a match, or every match on his or her way to a championship? Or even within a single game, how often does one side win every possession or score every point? To the sports fans among us – please don’t send me answers to these questions: they are rhetorical. The point is to recognize and accept that setbacks are normal, even on the way to the greatest victories. Further, lower-ranked teams can and do beat top-ranked competitors. Similarly, outnumbered military forces can win battles, and dark-horse candidates can win elections. The main attribute of a winner is not necessarily superiority but perseverance. It helps to be right, of course, to be the best – but many people are completely in the right, or are very strong, and still fail. Failure, alas, is all too common. Courage in the face of adversity is not – and that’s why real champions are so rare, and so rightly admired. Shifting gears to the world of finance, let me ask: what prices move in straight lines? Only prices set by policy. In a market, prices fluctuate – as well they should – in response to changes in costs, demand, and myriad other factors. This isn’t just normal, it’s necessary (and government attempts to prevent it always lead to disaster, sooner or later). The Imperative Combine these truths – what it takes to be a winner, and the imperative of free-market price discovery – and you can see where I find the courage to be a contrarian. In order to win, one must be able to overcome obstacles and deal with setbacks. Perfection is not required – which is a good thing, as no mortal ever is. What is required is the courage to endure – to stick with the game plan and see it through. You’ve heard it before, so I won’t repeat the whole story of the 2008 crash. I will simply reiterate that what truly distressed me the most was the wholesale panic among people who should have known better and ended up inverting the “buy low, sell high” formula. My friends – and I have met enough of you at conferences or have exchanged emails with enough of you that I do consider you my friends – we have a game plan that is tried and true. Part of this plan is an expectation that prices will fluctuate – greatly. Doug Casey was neither kidding nor exaggerating when he called our stocks the most volatile on earth. This is why we buy in tranches and prepare stink bids for big fluctuations. Well, we’ve got a big fluctuation on our hands, so it’s time to go hunting with stink-bid bullets and see if we can bag ourselves some big game. It is precisely when others are panicking that courage offers its greatest rewards. Critical Point: Price and value are not the same thing. That a given stock is up or down when the whole market sector is up or down means absolutely nothing about the merit of the particular play. If the stock is higher and the value of the company hasn’t changed, that’s a signal to consider taking profits. If the stock is lower and the value hasn’t changed, that’s a signal to consider buying more. It’s the very fact that price and value often differ that makes speculation possible. And that’s really what the International Speculator is all about. It is precisely at times like the present when Doug Casey, Rick Rule, and even yours truly have made the most money. We are and will be putting our own money into the market, just as we’re recommending you do. If we’re wrong, we will take the same losses. But we expect to be right, and we expect those who place their bets alongside us to make a fortune. Literally. Short version: If you want to win, you must stay the course. Gold and Silver HEADLINES American Eagle Early 2013 Gold Bullion Coin Sales Soar (Mineweb) The US Mint reports that gold bullion coin sales increased a whopping 283% this February to 80,500 ounces. Gold coin sales in the first two months reached 230,500 ounces, up 56% compared to the same period of 2012. Silver coin sales grew 127% year-on-year in February 2013 (3.4 million ounces and 1.5 million ounces respectively). On one hand, we have a lot of informational noise about the end of gold bull market. On the other hand, bullion sales suggest demand isn’t letting up. And you know our viewpoint: we think buying on dips is wise. China Reserves Ample to Buy World’s Gold Twice (Bloomberg) In its Chart of the Day, Bloomberg shows that China’s foreign currency reserves have soared more than 700% since 2004 and now surpass the value of all official bullion holdings by a factor of two. About two-thirds of China’s US$3.3-trillion assets are dollar-denominated, with another 25% in euros. At the end of 2012, this amount accounted for 30.2% of the world’s total, compared with 14% in the beginning of 2004. There is a lot of speculation on how these reserves may be utilized. Diversification into gold is very probable, yet not officially documented, as Chinese authorities do not report their gold reserves regularly. We have only indirect evidence that this process continues – growing gold demand within the country that involves massive imports, while the country is itself the biggest gold producer and lets little of the gold mined to leave the country. Infographics on a History of Gold Confiscation (Mining.com) Mining.com has created an infographic providing background on historical precedents of gold confiscation that turned out to be a not-so-uncommon practice when push came to shove. Visualizing All the Silver in the World (Zero Hedge) This infographic “visualizes the 1.411 million tonnes of silver that has been mined in history, and compares that to the world government reserve holdings (and gold).” This Week in International Speculator and BIG GOLD – Key Updates for Subscribers International Speculator One of our favorite exploration-stage companies announced a deal that provides a lot of upside exposure to its shareholders. Dear Reader, I traveled to Toronto last week for the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada conference, the biggest metals and mining conference of the year. As usual, it was packed, with tens of thousands of attendees. But that was the only usual thing about it. Some companies reported getting no traffic to their booths – a ghost town with 30,000 ghosts. Some companies reported high traffic, though a fair amount of that came from other company people looking to sell something and professionals in the field looking for work. I didn’t see any fisticuffs, but I hear there were quite a few angry investors around as well. A few companies did report having a good show. More striking to me was that all the companies I saw were peddling their stories with such energetic optimism, one might imagine that the bull had regained his stride and that they were all on their way to happy endings. This is such a disconnect with the lack of financing in the junior resource sector that I felt as though I were attending a Las Vegas magic show; nothing could be what it seemed. There are not many conclusions to draw from this, but there is one important one: our market is weak and depressed, but it has not yet reached the point of capitulation. There was just too much optimism in the air at PDAC for that to be so. And that means, I’m sorry to say, that the market is vulnerable to much stronger correction if the prices of the underlying commodities – gold in particular – take another, and perhaps larger, drop in the weeks and months ahead. What to do? Well, the good news is that if precious metals lose their “safe haven” luster based on good news on the economy, that should be good for our base metals and industrial minerals picks. The better news, for those who have the courage, is that there might be some terrific buying opportunities yet ahead. The bad news is that many will be spooked into realizing losses they don’t have to – and should not – take. This is my great concern today, and for this reason, I want to share the introduction to the current issue of the International Speculator with all Daily Dispatch readers. I’ve been told by readers that the perspective is an important one, and something everyone in the market should consider. I hope you find it useful. Sincerely,
Install Linux Mint on it; a user-friendly version of the program.
A little skit ran through my head the other day… The house lights dimmed and the bright American flag glistened in the background. The crowd hushed as a tall man in a strange costume strode confidently onto the stage. Curly turned to Larry and Moe and exclaimed, “Oh my, that’s our favorite—Uncle Sam, our boyhood hero.” Moe put his finger to his lips as if to say “Shhh!” Uncle Sam rapped the microphone with his fingernail and the sound echoed throughout the hall. He then bellowed out, “Hello, my fellow Americans!” and the crowd cheered wildly. He continued, “Today I want to announce the deal of a lifetime. We all know that IRAs and 401(k)s are tools greedy rich people use to save for retirement. I’m here to announce a new retirement program for everyday, ordinary people. Everyone should have the right to retire safely and with dignity, and that is what we are going to do for you.” Uncle Sam paused until the applause died down. “Today we have introduced a new retirement program called myRA. It’s pretty simple. Your employer can withdraw as little as $5 from your paycheck, and it will be invested in a new government bond that will earn the same variable-rate interest as those available through the government Thrift Saving Plan Government Securities Investment Fund (G fund). If you change jobs, it is totally portable. You can take it with you. “While the final details are still being worked out, you can invest your money into safe, interest-bearing bonds and let it grow tax free. And the best part is: when you take your distribution out, you don’t have to pay taxes on it either. “So, there you have it! You can have money taken out of your paycheck in small amounts. It will be invested in variable-interest government bonds paying a good return, and it will be there for your retirement along with Social Security, TAX FREE! Don’t ever say your Uncle Sam isn’t looking out for you. “I know everyone is anxious to get started, but I will answer some questions now. Please raise your hand.” Curly raised his hand and Uncle Sam pointed in his direction. “You, baldy, what’s your question?” Curly cleared his throat and asked, “It looks to me like the government is acting like an insurance company. We give you our money and you look after it for our retirement. Is that correct?” “Exactly right,” Uncle Sam responded. “Who else can keep money as safe as the US government?” Curly, Larry, and Moe looked at each other quizzically. Moe raised his hand. Uncle Sam spotted him and said, “You, mop head, what is your question?” Moe said, “The national debt clock shows the government already has over $127 trillion in unfunded promises to others. How will our money be invested? Will it be used to make good on promises already made to other people?” Uncle Sam paused for a moment and said, “Those details will be worked out. While that may happen, younger people will take part in this program too, so they will help pay for your retirement when the time comes.” Moe could barely contain himself. “Isn’t that a Ponzi scheme? I thought they were illegal?” Uncle Sam paused and said, “Ponzi schemes are illegal, unless they are run by the government. What’s your problem? I mean, come on! Doesn’t everyone trust the government?” 51% of the audience cheered wildly while the other 49% remained silent. Larry, not wanting to be outdone by his friends, raised his hand. “You, half-bald mop-head, what’s on your mind?” Larry replied, “I have a two-part question. Why not use a Roth IRA instead? Aren’t they available to everyone? Also, can’t all self-directed retirement plans invest in government bonds now if they want to?” Uncle Sam’s face grew red as he responded, “Obviously, you don’t get it. Nothing is safer than a retirement program totally invested with the government. You earn a decent yield without any worry.” Larry shouted, “Wait a minute! The government has already made over $127 trillion in promises it cannot keep. Now you want us to invest our money with you, at an interest rate that you control? What’s the catch?” Uncle Sam’s face grew bright red as he exclaimed, “Everyone knows the government can do a better job of looking after your money than you can. You guys are just a bunch of stooges. This program is so good, but you dummies are too stupid to see that!“ Curly turned to Larry and Moe and said, “When Uncle Sam calls it an myRA he is right. ‘My’ means it is his. We may be dumb, but we are not that stupid. This is a terrible idea. They are just trying to grab our money so they can keep buying votes in the next election. I am not touching it.” “I heard that!” Uncle Sam screamed. “You are the kind of people who have torn America apart—greedy, selfish, and without compassion for the little guy. Audience, you heard them. Don’t you agree?” 51% jumped to their feet screaming wildly while the other 49% sat silent. Once the noise died down, Larry uttered through the microphone, “It sounds to me like another money grab. We might be better off just leaving the county.” Uncle Sam realized this was an argument he had to win. “Look, you un-American radicals! We don’t want your kind in this country. Those values have no place in a modern society. Go ahead! Get the hell out of here! Just leave your money behind. Audience, don’t you agree it is time to tell those greedy buggers to hit the road? If they don’t want to share, let them go elsewhere. I am sick of their selfish ways.” Again, 51% jumped to their feet screaming wildly, glaring at Larry, Curly, and Moe. The screaming would not stop. 49% quietly headed to the exits with the three stooges leading the way. Moe, speaking in almost a whisper, commented, “It seems the real stooges are the ones who fall for the scheme.” The 49% nodded their heads in silent agreement. Personally, I am a registered independent and have been for over 50 years. Both political parties have pushed the government to make $130 trillion worth of promises—with our money—that it cannot afford to pay. What a terrible burden to place on future generations! Our national debt clock shows government liabilities of $1.1 million per taxpayer. They spend our money to buy votes to stay in power. The system is beyond repair. Humor is a good outlet to help work through issues that might otherwise drive my blood pressure—and yours—to an all-time high. Here’s the scary part we cannot laugh away: myRAs are real. I recommend reviewing a few of the details from MarketWatch. My advice: Just say no to myRA and open up a Roth IRA instead. You receive the same tax benefits but more options to invest your money ahead of inflation so you can actually enjoy retirement. Snake oil is snake oil, no matter how you try to package it. As a person who has spent the last several years trying to help people understand investing so they may retire comfortably, I become more frustrated with the government every day. No one needs a myRA when they can invest in a Roth IRA with the same benefits but greater flexibility.On the Lighter Side I must admit I felt like a bit of a stooge myself when I discovered that our team had sent an email alerting all Miller’s Money Weekly readers that the February issue of Money Forever had gone live on Tuesday. I send my sincerest apologies on behalf of our entire team for that snafu. We’d like to make amends for any confusion or inconvenience that email caused by offering you 50% off on a new subscription to Money Forever. If you’d like to take us up on that offer, please click here. I have been hitting the treadmill much more regularly since the doctor scolded me about my weight last fall. My walk time flew by the other morning when I had the TV tuned to the ending of the US-Russia hockey game. Congratulations to T. J. Oshie for the amazing 4 shoot-out goals. That is something I have never seen before. I would guess he made the people in his hometown of Warroad, MN very proud. If it were not for all the law firms advertising, who would advertise on daytime television? We have come a long way since I was a kid when they advertised soap detergent and miracle cleaners with a mom in a dress and apron. For the most part, moms now work outside of the home. Times have changed! Thank you to the many subscribers who sent us nice notes last week. We love hearing from you. And finally… My wife Jo sent me something pretty clever. It is no wonder English is a tough language to learn. Homographs are words of like spelling but with more than one meaning. A homograph that is also pronounced differently is a heteronym. The bandage was wound around the wound. The farm was used to produce produce. The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse. We must polish the Polish furniture. He could lead if he would get the lead out. The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert. Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present. A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum. When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes. I did not object to the object. Until next week…