I usually refrain from commenting on market conditions. There are two reasons for this.
First, I not really a financial markets guy. I get very bored with all those charts, waves, theories and so on. That’s probably one reason why I stand out from all the self-professed analysts out there on the net. On the rare occasions I do open my mouth about the markets, it’s because I have something serious to say.
My job is nuts and bolts offshore structuring. I’m talking, as regular readers of this blog are well aware, about offshore banking, offshore investing, offshore asset protection and hedging against currency collapses. I like active businesses. I do run a private offshore investment vehicle, but it doesn’t get involved in traditional financial markets – only in what might be termed ‘alternative investments.’
In other words, I prefer to invest my money in sound businesses that I can actually see and exercise some influence over. Businesses where I have the CEO’s personal cellphone number. Since my modest little fund doesn’t handle multiple billions, I naturally invest in small businesses without stock market listings. I look for small, recession proof businesses in growth areas that will not be affected by short-term financial swings. This is only a hobby at the moment, but over the last few years it has turned into a very profitable one.
Second, I don’t believe the markets are free at all. And again, why complain about something I don’t have any control over? Much better to focus my limited time on something like writing or helping my clients protect their assets.
Sure I keep a little play money in my offshore brokerage account. And I surprise myself sometimes by how successful I am. Markets depend first on psychology, second on manipulations by governments and certain elite forces, and a distant third on actual fundamentals. Then, I remember that I subscribe to a few really good investment research newsletters that certainly make me money. (I’ve listed some of them before, but if anyone is specifically interested, let me know) But really I only put money in my brokerage account that I can afford to play with.
But if clients come to me seeking advice on financial markets, that is not my area. All I can do is refer them to one of my several trusted contacts in this area.
I must say, however, that last week was abnormally glued to the screen. I always knew gold would go up, and I’m sure it will go a lot higher yet. But it certainly seems like Joe Bloggs on the street has decided gold is a good buy at the moment. The mainstream media hype, which is all that is backing the fiat currencies of the world, must be failing if even average investors are turning to gold. Heck, gold is now even sold in vending machines in Europe!
This week saw the news that French bank Societe Generale had released a report that Ambrose Evans-Pritchard in the British Daily Telegraph dubbed the ‘Bear Case Report.’ This report advises the bank’s clients on how to prepare for the dollar tumbling much further, global equities crashing below March lows, property prices tumbling (remember that email I sent a week ago to QWR members about the coming commercial real estate crash?) and oil falling below $50 per barrel.
The only solution seems to be for governments to inflate their way out of the problem. But, as was once famously said, inflation is like being pregnant – you can’t opt to be a little bit pregnant!
This was before the news that Dubai World asked for a 6 month break, admitting that they can’t keep up payments any more. Bearing in mind that failure to honour debt obligations is a crime punishable by prison in Dubai, it must have taken some courage, desperation or both for them to own up to that.
Then there was that weird ‘technical difficulty’ on the London Stock Market, which halted trading for a few hours. Now I’m not a conspiracy theorist at all, but that really had me suspecting something.
Oh, and just to take our minds off economic woes, swine flu is conveniently back on the agenda – with a huge jump in deaths in Europe this week. Which of course don’t have anything to do with the wintry weather.
The BBC reported that maybe eating garlic could prevent swine flu. The price of garlic has jumped 300% in China, so expect a global increase to filter through soon. Evil speculators are to blame of course. Maybe those same guys who read the SocGen report, that suggested investing in farm commodities?
Fortunatelyas I write this over the weekend I can see the funny side of things. When faced with apparent disasters, my rule of thumb is “will this matter in five years time?” And although I firmly believe things are going to get a lot worse before they get better, let’s put things in perspective. A private offshore banker from a small Swiss bank (one of the cantonal banks) told me the other day that her grandparents had lived through a real economic crisis – when they didn’t have any food to eat in Europe after the Second World War. For most people hit by the recession, the real net impact is that they will be buying cheaper Christmas presents this year.
Well I’ve rambled on a lot, but what can we learn from last week? I don’t think anything that happened that will be remembered in five weeks, never mind five years. If you want a hedge against inflation, buy gold. Do not buy paper or digital gold as it is most likely a scam. Buy real, physical, solid gold. Want to know how to buy physical gold offshore? Click here.
But if you are willing to be more aggressive, these turbulent times are generating so many new opportunities it’s just incredible. I am truly excited and optimistic about what is going on now making people think about pressing the reset button. If you are not happy with your life as it is, or simply your investment portfolio as it is, the message is loud and clear: you can do something about it! Start with The Q Wealth Report, and join us in Cancun in March for an intensive long weekend course on building offshore wealth!