Asset protection

Views From the Crowsnest

Rather than attempt to re-live, re-frame or re-litigate the last two years of our upside-down world at a granular level, I’ll be as succinct as I can muster; I’ll revert to being annoyingly practical and direct – for which I’m rather infamous. We recently attended the online version of Martin Armstrong’s World Economic Conference (WEC) – my 8th consecutive edition. Each successive WEC builds upon previous conferences and Marty’s ongoing blog posts, distills critical information between familiar anecdotes, and most importantly provides “over the horizon” insights into geopolitics and economics.

Spoiler alert: there’s bad news, and good.

While some of Marty’s political views are too acerbic and cutting for some (not me), all of his forecasts are generated by his Socrates program. Over time, both his politic opinions and market forecasts have proven freakishly accurate.

First the bad news, none of which will surprise dedicated Money Talks and Armstrong blog followers. In summary, the unsustainable systems and ideologies, the incoherent solutions that exacerbate rather than repair, and the glaring conflicts of interest that seem to drive so much of the modern world…they’re all accelerating on a collision course. That’s the red pill part.

Specifically, elected western leaders are intent upon forcing “green solutions” before they can adequately replace oil, natural gas and nuclear power. Result: soaring energy and food costs, rolling blackouts, supply shortfalls and economic hardship for all but the wealthiest. My late mother’s expression warning of such folly was, “Don’t throw away your old shoes until you have new ones.”

Europe is obviously being hit the worst, and this winter will undoubtedly bring news of innocent citizens dying of cold and hunger. Here in North America, supplies of essentials will be more reliable, but wages never rise as quickly as prices during stagflation.

Sanctions on Russia’s energy exports, destruction of two submerged natural gas pipelines, unenforceable price caps and incessant bluster from EU, NATO, UK and US spokespeople have hurt the west exponentially more than Russia. In fact, they’ve driven China, Iran and North Korea closer to Russia as the power axis opposing the west. I call these boomerang sanctions.

All the while, the western MSM transcribes press releases from the relevant institutions. Gone are the days when media outlets consistently engage in acts of journalism. They stoke the tribalist impulses that escalate violence, e.g. Putin is evil and Zelensky is a hero. It’s simplistic and very effective; nuance is relegated to the dust bin. The MSM seems most concerned with staying in the good graces of the powerful, rather than informing the public, occasionally questioning obviously false official narratives…thereby supporting the continued escalation of the war in Ukraine. They care not about the death, destruction and displacement of hundreds of thousands still in Ukraine or the millions who fled the conflict early on.

And predictably, the military industrial complex (MIC) is making bank as they ramp up production of weapons to replace those sent to Ukraine. Western stockpiles are dangerously low and will take years to rebuild to minimal readiness levels. This proxy war with Russia will also provide a plausible excuse, “cover” if you will, for the accelerating collapse of UK and European bond markets…and the insolvency of public pensions throughout the region.

Governments, big finance, mainstream media and the MIC all have naked conflicts of interest. Who cares about the death of people thousands of miles away?

This is NOT a black pill situation by any means. It would be easy to descend into despair for the future, including our financial wellbeing, were it not for the fact that we can indeed see over the horizon. It’s not that the forecasts call for peace, stability and a rapid return to business as usual; they don’t. The saving grace is that we can see the problems coming and take defensive measures to minimize the damage…at least the financial damage to our nest eggs. And knowing when and where to shift for recovery will help heal the financial wounds. That’s the white pill/good news part.

In early January 2023 we’ll be presenting our next webinar, and will share some more specific insights from the WEC and other independent sources we’ve come to trust based on their consistent accuracy. Here are a few areas we’ll be addressing: equity market volatility early in 2023, the path ahead for fossil fuels and their producers, the final bottom of the precious metals markets before they enter a robust bull market in all currencies, and the future of $USD as the world’s de-facto reserve currency.

April and May 2023 appear to be the timing targets of escalation, panic cycles and directional changes in MANY of the countries and financial markets that most affect our clients. Thus, we’ll be sharing as much as we can with our Portfolio Managers in the weeks ahead. In sports and investments, “offense sells tickets but defense wins championships.”

As this will be our final broad communication of 2022, please accept our entire team’s sincere wishes for a blessed Christmas, Hanukah, or whatever occasion you might celebrate. We’re truly blessed to live here in North America, despite the many challenges we continue to experience. Re-connect as you can with family and others you hold dear…our collective souls need the refreshment and sustenance that only loving, face to face, human connection can offer.

Patience and discipline are accretive to your wealth, health and happiness – so focus on these.

Andrew H. Ruhland, CFP

Founder, Integrated Wealth Management Inc.

As it stands, the broad stock market hasn’t entered bear territory, defined as a 20% decline from recent highs. As of midday Tuesday, the S&P 500 was trading 18.5% below its January peak. But that doesn’t mean you aren’t experiencing your own personal version, especially if you own individual stocks or cryptocurrency.

“Technically we’re not in a bear market, but the average investor is in a bear market,” says Ryan Detrick, chief market strategist for LPL Financial. “The median stock is down 25%. Half the stocks in the Nasdaq have been cut in half. Investors feel like it’s a bear if they look at their portfolios.”

If you’ve made some speculative bets in your portfolio that look like losers lately, your situation may get worse. That’s because you may be prone to unconscious biases that guide your choices around your individual investments that could hurt your portfolio further, say behavioral finance experts.

“All of these investor biases tend to run into each other, but when markets get really volatile, some of them really stand out,” says Scott Nations, president of investment volatility analytics firm NationsShares and author of “The Anxious Investor.”…read more.

Sponsor content received from Integrated Wealth Management

Hundreds of billions of dollars in cash have been amassed by big investors in the last few weeks of 2021, setting the stage for a massive risk-on move into equities in the new year.

Investors added more than $43 billion into money market funds last week, bringing the total amount of cash raised in the past seven weeks to a massive $226 billion, according data from Goldman Sachs. The money market stockpile has not declined in 2021 despite the rally in stocks, with assets under management in cash equivalents standing near a record $4.7 trillion, the data showed.

“My core thesis is that money will come out of negative real yielding cash and out of bonds aggressively and early in 2022 following December board room asset allocation meetings,” Scott Rubner, analyst at Goldman Sachs’ global markets division, said in a note.

“Every private wealth advisor in the world is conducting ‘year-end allocation review’ meetings right now. The feedback will be largely that investors hold too much cash with rising inflation,” Rubner said…read more.

Justinflation is wreaking havoc, so why is everyone ignoring it?

Sponsor content received from Integrated Wealth Management

Justin Trudeau’s Just-inflation is driving up the cost of everything, and yet, the media, bankers and the Liberal government insist that mysterious global forces – not the Fed’s unprecedented spending, borrowing and printing of money – are to blame.

Today on the Candice Malcolm show, Candice is joined by Conservative MP and Finance Critic Pierre Poilievre.

Pierre is the leading voice fighting back against Trudeau’s reckless policies.

On today’s show, he not only clearly articulates the problem but also provides specific solutions to get Canada back on track, and make life more affordable for working Canadians…read more.

Cybersecurity Update – Live Webinar

Join Plurilock CEO Ian Paterson on Monday Nov 29th at noon pacific time, 1pm MT, for an update on the cybersecurity sector, an overview of PLUR’s string of acquisitions and record earnings in Q3, plus Q & A for investors considering adding cybersecurity to their portfolios. CLICK HERE to register.