The Power of Positive Part #1

Problems create opportunity and opportunity creates problems.

See three problems in three years and how to profit from a $10 billion war chest being built by major banks… what to do now that the fiscal cliff has been avoided and insights on how to invest during the looming battle over gun rights.

We had an unexpected high number of enrollments for next week’s Super Thinking + Investing and Business Seminar.   What a great opportunity!  The problem?  Our scheduled meeting room was too small.   Like a cascading fractal… life’s problem’s created by opportunity create more opportunity.  This is the exponential power of positive!

In this case, the problem of a larger meeting hall brings opportunity in Eustis. Florida.

eustis florida

Merri and Mah at the Lake Eustis Park in Old Eustis.

This site has posted many messages about real estate value in Florida and especially in Lake County.

Like Ecuador… Florida real estate has one really big advantage… sunshine.    Plus Florida real estate prices fell more than in many areas of the US… so they will rebound higher.

This creates a special opportunity we’ll look at in a moment.    First back to Eustis…. because there is a special little known potential there in the name of the Lake Community Foundation.

In 2004, Florida Hospital Waterman relocated to a new site and donated its Eustis property to the Foundation.   The revenue from the sale/redevelopment of the property is designated for charities and a comprehensive plan has been created.

eustis map

The area is developing nicely but there is one large parcel (C) not yet sold and designated for a hotel.

This and the fact that Eustis is one of the few cities that has not allowed development along the waterfront makes it extra attractive for its small town (15,000 population) and natural feel.

Merri and I have been buying real estate in this area for over three years now.  We took a stroll along Lake Eustis visiting restaurants.

While our friends and readers in the north and Pacific Northwest were struggling in the cold and snow, we enjoyed mid 70s and clear skies.

eustis florida

Lake Eustis.

We dined outside at the Lake Eustis Deli.

eustis florida

There are numerous picnic tables and this is a perfect place for a casual lunch.

Eustis also offers some exceptional real estate values already without the little known benefit.

For example this house is offered for $199,000.

eustis florida

This is near the lake.

eustis florida

Here is a photo I took (with a telephoto lens) the six blocks from this house to the lake.

eustis florida

Yet it has been on the market for a year and I suspect it will sell for less.

We have asked our friend and real estate broker, Shirley Peacock, to have a list of Eustis properties for sale and to be available for seminar delegates.

We will look at how to spot value in problems at this weekend’s Super Thinking + Investing and Business seminar.

Here are a few examples we’ll review of recent problems and our positive take on each.

#1  Problem:  Real Estate Collapse and hard to get mortgages. Winning Idea: Invest in real estate for rentals

A January 22, 2013 article in USA Today entitled “Rental Investors pant for next hot home market”  tells how home shoppers are now seeing multiple offers, bidding wars and shrinking supplies of homes for sale as investors swoop in.

Major institutional investors are amassing a $10 billion war chest to pursue the single-family rental market, JPMorgan Chase estimated in a recent research report.

This site posted an article about investing in rentals in December 2011.  Here is an excerpt.

Rentals are rising from the ruins.

economist graphs

From November 5, 2011 Economist article linked below “Rising from the ruins”

This site has promoted the idea of investing in necessities at this time… food… agriculture… shelter.

This site has always promoted the idea of having assets in more than one country.

Let’s look at why rental opportunities in North America must grow.

Excerpts from a November 5, 2011 Economist article “Rising from the ruins” explains why” The housing market still looks grim, but the rental side hints at recovery

THERE are two things everyone knows about American economic recoveries. The first is that the housing sector traditionally leads the economy out of recession. The second is that there is no chance of the housing sector leading the present economy anywhere, except deeper into the mire. In the two years after the recession of the early 1980s housing investment rose 56%; it is down 6.3% in the present recovery. America is saddled with a debilitating overhang of excess housing, the thinking goes, and as a result is doomed to years of slow growth and underemployment.

The economic landscape is unquestionably littered with the wreckage of the crash. Home prices languish near post-bubble lows, over 30% below peak. The plunge in prices has left nearly a quarter of all mortgage borrowers owing more than the value of their homes; nearly 10m are seriously delinquent on their loans or in foreclosure. The hardest-hit markets are ghost neighbourhoods, filled with dilapidated properties. Housing markets are far from healthy. Yet current pessimism seems overdone. A turnaround in sales, prices and construction may be closer than many imagine.

Rental markets, by contrast, look far stronger. America’s rental vacancy rate stood at 9.8% in the third quarter of 2011, down from a high above 11% in 2009. Vacancy rates in some cities are strikingly low—2.4% in New York City, for instance, and 3.6% in San Francisco—which translates into rising rents. Nationally, rents rose 2.1% in the year to August, in stark contrast to house prices (see chart 2).

economist graphs

Strength in the market for rentals is beginning to seep into the more troubled owner-occupied sector. Rising rents help housing markets heal on both the supply and demand side, by encouraging renters to consider buying and through the movement of supply into the rental market, easing the glut of houses for sale. The Obama administration hopes to take advantage of better rental conditions to unload some of the more than 200,000 foreclosed-on homes held by the two government-sponsored mortgage giants, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and the Federal Housing Administration (which account for roughly half of all such inventory), on to investors who may rent the properties out.

Rental-market strength is also rousing a long-dormant building industry. New housing starts rose 15% from August to September of this year, driven by a 53% surge in new structures containing five units or more. In the three months to September construction employment rose by 29,000 jobs. The sector is still some 2.2m jobs below its pre-recession peak, and new hiring there would help a dismal labour market.

Problem #2:  The Fiscal Cliff.   Winning Ideas: Borrow Yen. Invest in dollars.   The cliff was bound to be avoided and the dollar to rise. The yen was obviously too strong.

A December 12, 2012  message at this site said: Yen leverage has remained a wonderful overall long term strategy for 20 years.  Yen interest rates have normally been near or under 3% for 20 years!  Any  loan that was invested for more than 3% enjoyed pure extra profit!

Now the yen is too strong again (in my humble opinion).   Plus as you see below yen interest rates now are as low as 2%.

If I am correct, this is a good time to short the Japanese yen.

There are two easy ways to make this short yen speculation… one is through ETFs.

The way to short the yen is to borrow yen and use the loan to make investments that earn more than 3% in currencies that are likely to rise against the yen.

Since that article the dollar has risen from 82 yen per dollar to 90 yen per dollar bringing a double digit profit in a month. chart

Dollar yen chart at

Problem #3:  Government buying ammunition. Winning Idea: Shares in Alliant Techsystems (NYSE: ATK). chart

Chart of ATK shares at

Shares of ATK have risen from $57 to $66 per share since we wrote:  I stumbled across ATK because of a potential problem. Numerous readers began sending me copies of websites headlines like this: Fears that federal authorities are preparing for mass civil unrest have increased after it was revealed that the Department of Homeland Security is planning to buy a further 750 million rounds of ammo in addition to the 450 million rounds of hollow point bullets already purchased earlier this year.

The buzz is that the current administration is afraid of civil unrest in the USA and is arming up.

Perhaps so but my thinking focused on value instead of anarchy.  Instead of asking… is this true or not… what is the government’s intention… I asked… Who will make all that money?

For a fact… there is very little I can do about the government or its expenditures.  There is a lot I can do in my own actions and investing.

So I looked and found this news at   ATK Delivers 2 Billion 7.62mm Rounds to the U.S. Army from the Lake City Army Ammunition Plant (LCAAP).  ATK Delivers More than 350 Million 5.56mm Enhanced Performance Rounds Using Modernized Production Line Equipment
.   ATK Receives $131 Million in Small-Caliber Ammunition Orders

Over the past 10 years, the company produced an average return on equity of 31.51% by using financial leverage.

ATK debt is high but during the recession it never had problems with debt service.  All these facts suggest that  the shares of ATK are good value.

A little investigation found that stocks in the defense sector have been selling at historically cheap valuations and that ATK shares were selling a ratios far below the industry average. ATK Price/Earnings is 6.2 compared to an industry average of 13.2. ATK  Price/Book is 1.3 compared to industry average of  3.0 and its Price/Sales Ratio is 0.4 compared to 0.8.

The 10 year average P/E ratio for its shares has been 18% but is currently below 10%  about half  the ten year average.

These facts coupled with recent events in the Middle East suggest even more spending will be for defense.

Share the world’s  problems and how to gain the power of positive to turn them into opportunity this weekend in Eustis, Florida.

Multi Currency Value Investing Seminar

Live Long & Prosper More

One of the most frequent questions readers ask is “How can I make my savings safer but also sufficient for life?”

“What is the time horizon of a lifetime?” I ask.  Time horizons are one of the most important elements in investing and most of us will live longer than we expect.

For example in a moment, you’ll see how this exercise is actually connected to my investing portfolio because it alters my investing timeline.

llama walk

(Gary Scott doing Andean yoga.)

Overall US life expectancy at birth was 78.8 years in 2013.  Women live longer, 76.4 years for men, 81.2 years for women.  You’ll be happy to know that those statistics don’t apply to you and me.

How most of us think about life expectancy is wrong.  That overall rate is the average of all people, young and old.  The older we are, the longer our life expectancy grows.  Right now those who are 50 years old, life expectancy is 85.6 for women and 81.6 for men.  The expectancy of a 50 year old is 5 or 6 years longer than the overall expectancy.

As we age, the expectancy gets better.  At 65 the expect age is 87.9 for women and 85.3 for guys.  At 75  there is another boost to 88.6 and 90.5 years.

This is good news and even better is the fact that a succession of six technical panels established by the Social Security Advisory Board, in 1995, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011 2013 all stated that Social Security was assuming unrealistic mortality rate improvements.  In other words, life expectancy continues to grow.

There is a lot we can do to improve the odds of a long, active life even more.  In fact we can improve them much more.  A University of Washington publication “12 Reasons Yoga Helps Extend Lifespan” (1) shows 12 wasy that yoga extends life.

A UC San Francisco study “Lifestyle changes may lengthen telomeres that measure cell aging” (2) show that exercise, nutrition, meditation, diet, exercise, social support  and yoga can extend life even further, as much as 12 years.

This is why I practice yoga and meditate almost every day and adjust my investing to support a long, busy, lifeline.

How can we have a strategy so our savings, investments & income are sufficient for a full lifetime?

Our life expectancy can be much longer than statistics suggest. That’s really good to know but longer life expectancy is expected to worsen the shortfall in Social Security by 11 percent over the next 75 years.  What will a longer, active life due to our savings and budgets?

During nearly five decades of global investing I have noticed that some people, such as Warren Buffett, have a good value strategy that makes sure they do not lose, but increase their wealth again and again.

What is this strategy?  It is a good value strategy based on three tactics.

The first tactic is to seek safety before profit.

A research paper that studied Warren Buffett’s investing strategy was published at Yale University’s website. This research shows that the stocks he chooses are safe (with low beta and low volatility), cheap (value stocks with low price – to – book ratios), and high quality (stocks of companies that are profitable, stable, growing, and with high payout ratios).

The second tactic is to maintain staying power.  At times Buffet’s portfolio has fallen, but he has been willing and able to wait long periods for the value to reveal itself and prices to recover.

keppler asset management chart

This chart based on a 45 year portfolio study shows that holding a diversified good value portfolio (based on a  good value strategy) for 13 month’s time, increases the probability of outperformance to 70%.  However those who can hold the portfolio for five years gain a 88% probability of beating the bellwether in the market and after ten years the probability increases to 97.5%.  Time is your friend when you use a good value strategy.  The longer you can hold onto a well balanced good value portfolio the better the odds of outstanding success.

The Buffett strategy integrates time and value for safety and profit.

A third, limited leveraging, tactic in the strategy boosts profit.  Buffett leverages his portfolio at a ratio of approximately 1.6 to 1.   The Yale published research paper shows the leveraging methods used by Warren Buffett to amass his $50 billion fortune.  The researchers found that the returns from Buffett’s investment company, Berkshire Hathaway, far outweighed those achieved by any rival that has operated for 30 years or more.  The research shows that neither luck nor magic are involved.  Instead, the paper shows that Buffet’s success hinges on using leverage at the rate of 1.6.

This rate of expansion by the way is called the “Golden Ratio” and it is a mathematical formula that controls the growth of most natural things; trees, the shape of leaves, the spiral of shells, as well as the way economies and societies grow.

To sum up the strategy, Buffet uses Golden Ratio to make large purchases of “cheap, safe, quality stocks”.  He uses limits leverage so he can hold on for very long periods of time, surviving rough periods where others might have been forced into a fire sale or a career shift.

The study found that Buffett applies a leverage of about 1.6 to 1, boosting both his risk and excess return in that proportion.  He uses the Golden Mean in his borrowing, not too little, not too much.

Thus his many accomplishments include having the conviction, wherewithal, and skill to operate with leverage and significant risk over many decades.

Learn how to use this type of three point strategy with the Purposeful investing Course (Pi).  This course is based on my 50 (almost) years of investing experience combined with wisdom gained from some of the world’s best investment managers and economic mathematical scientists.

Pi reveals investing secrets and the sciences that make investing easy, safer, less time consuming and increases the chances of profit.

One secret is to invest with a purpose beyond the cash.  When we invest with purpose, doing what we love, we do better and we joyfully put in more energy, time and care.  This is nature’s irony.  If we chase just the money, human nature tends to make it run away.   If we pursue our passion and work with more than concern for the cash, the wealth can’t resist us.   This is the purpose behind, “Purposeful investing”.

Slow, Worry Free, Good Value Investing

Stress, worry and fear are three of an investor’s worst enemies.  These are major foundations of the Behavior Gap, a trait exhibited by most investors, that causes them to underperform any market they choose.  The behavior gap is created by natural human responses to fear.  The losses created by this gap grow when investors trade short term under stress.  More about the gap in a moment.

Learn how to create profitable strategies that combine good value investments with unique, personal goals.

Spanning the Behavior Gap

Behavior gaps are among the biggest reasons why so many investors fail.  Human evolution makes fear the second most powerful motivator.  (Greed is the third.)  Fear creates investment losses due to behavior gaps.  Fear motivates us more strongly than desire. By nature investors are risk adverse, when they should embrace risk.  Purpose is the most powerful motivator,  stronger than fear and greed.  One powerful way to overcome the behavior gap is to invest with a purpose.

Combine your needs and capabilities with the secrets and the math through the Pifolio – The Pi Model Portfolio

Lessons from Pi are based on the creation and management of a Primary Pi Model Portfolio, called the Pifolio.  There are no secrets about this portfolio except that it is based entirely on good math.

The Pifolio is a theoretical portfolio of MSCI Country Benchmark Index ETFs that cover all the good value markets using my (almost) 50 years of global experience and my study of the analysis of four mathematical investing geniuses (and friends): Michael Keppler, Eric Roseman, Thomas Fischer (for currency positions) and Richard Smith, PhD (for trailing stop alerts).

The Pifolio analysis begins with Keppler who continually researches international major stock markets and compares their value based on current book to price, cash flow to price, earnings to price, average dividend yield, return on equity and cash flow return.  He compares each major stock market’s history.

Fwd: keppler

Michael is a brilliant mathematician.  We have tracked his analysis for over 20 years.   He continually researches international major stock markets and compares their value based on current book to price, cash flow to price, earnings to price, average dividend yield, return on equity and cash flow return.  He compares each stock market’s history.  From this, he develops his Good Value Stock Market Strategy.  His analysis is rational, mathematical and does not cause worry about short term ups and downs.   To invest according to the Country Selection Strategy, it is necessary to construct diversified, risk-controlled, representative country portfolios in every BUY rated country, weighting each country approximately equally in the overall portfolio.  It is not appropriate or enough to instruct a stockbroker to simply select stocks in the BUY rated countries.

To achieve this goal of diversification the Pifolio consists of Country Index ETFs that are similar to index mutual fund but are shares normally traded on a major stock exchange that tracks an index of shares in a specific country. ETFs do not try to beat the index they represent. The management is passive and tries to emulate the performance of the index.

A country ETF provides diversification into a basket of equities in the country covered.  The expense ratios for most ETFs are lower than those of the average mutual fund as well so such ETFs provide diversification and cost efficiency.

This is an easy, simple and effective approach to zeroing in on value because little management and guesswork is required.  You are investing in a diversified portfolio of good value indices.  A BUY rating for an index does NOT imply that any stock in that country is an attractive investment, so you do not have to pick and choose shares.  You can invest in the index which is like investing in all the shares in the index.  All you have to do is invest in an ETF that in turn invests passively in all the shares of the index.

Pi adds my fifty years of experience and brings insights to numerous long term cycles that are part of the universal math that affects all investments.

For example in the 1980s, a remarkable set of two economic circumstances helped anyone who spotted them become remarkably rich.  Some of my readers made enough to retire.  Others picked up 50% currency gains.  Then the cycle ended.  Warren Buffett explained the importance of this ending in a 1999 Fortune magazine interview.  He said:  Let me summarize what I’ve been saying about the stock market: I think it’s very hard to come up with a persuasive case that equities will over the next 17 years perform anything like—anything like—they’ve performed in the past 17!

I did well then, but always thought, “I should have invested more!”  Now those circumstances have come together and I am investing in them again.

The circumstances that created fortunes 30 years ago were an overvalued US market (compared to global markets) and an overvalued US dollar.

The two conditions are in place again!  There are currently ten good value non US developed markets,  plus 10 good value emerging markets.

Pi shows how to easily create a diversified, worry free portfolio that includes each or all of these countries with Country Index ETFs.

The current strength of the US dollar is a second remarkable similarity to 30 years ago.  The dollar rose along with Wall Street.  Profits came quickly over three years.  Then the dollar dropped like a stone, by 51%  in just two years.  A repeat of this pattern is growing and could create up to 50% extra profit if we start using strong dollars to accumulate good value stock market ETFs in other currencies.

This is the most exciting opportunity I have seen since we started sending our reports on international investing ideas more than three decades ago.  There is so much more to write and the trends are so clear that I have created a short, but powerful report “Three Currency Patterns For 50% Profits or More.”  This report shows how to earn an extra 50% from currency shifts with even small investments.  I kept the report short and simple, but included links to 153 pages of Keppler Asset Stock Market and Asset Allocation Analysis so you can keep this as simple or as complex as you desire.

The report shows 20 good value investments and a really powerful tactic that allows you to accumulate these bargains now in large or even very small amounts (less than $5,000).  There is extra profit potential of at least 50% so the report is worth a lot.

Research shows that most people worry about having enough money if they live long enough.  This powerful profit wave can eliminate that concern.  My experience of the 17 years in the 1980s and 90s combined with the science shared by my four friends (Keppler, Roseman, Fischer and Smith) can make the next 17 years so rich, you’ll always be rich.

You’ll receive the report “Three Currency Patterns For 50% Profits or More” free when you subscribe to Pi.


The 50 years of experience the Pi course shares also explains when leverage provides extra potential.   For example in 1986 I issued a report called The Silver Dip that showed how to borrow 12,000 British pounds (at almost 1.6 to 1 dollars per pound the loan created US$18,600) and use the loan to buy 3835 ounces of silver at around US$4.85 an ounce.

silver chart

Imagine investing in a spike like this… with leverage!

Silver had crashed, I mean really crashed from $48 per ounce.   As prices decreased from early 1983 into 1986, total supply had fallen to 449.7 million ounces in 1986.  Mine production was restricted by the low prices at this time, with silver reaching a low for this period of $4.85 in May 1986.  Secondary recovery also was constricted by these low prices.

Then silver’s price skyrocketed to over $11 an ounce within a year. The $18,600 loan was now worth $42,185.

The loan was in pounds and in May 1986 the dollar pound rate was 1.55 dollars per pound.  So the 12,000 pound loan purchased $18,600 of silver.  The pound then crashed to 1.40 dollars per silver.  The loan could be paid off for $13,285 immediately creating an extra $5,314 profit.  The profit grew to $47,499 in just a year.

Conditions for the silver dip have returned.  The availability of low cost loans and silver are at an all time low.

With investors watching global stock markets bounce up and down, many missed two really important profit generating events.

The price of silver has crashed all the way from nearly $50 an ounce to below $14 an ounce as did shares of the iShares Silver ETF (SLV).  (Click on chart from  (1) to enlarge.)

At the same time the silver gold ratio hit 80, a strong sign to invest in precious metals.

I prepared a special report “Silver Dip 2015” about a leveraged silver speculation that can increase the returns in a safe portfolio by as much as eight times.  The purpose of the report is to share long term lessons gained through 30 years of speculating and investing in precious metals.  While working on the report, when the gold silver ratio slipped to 80 and the price of silver dropped below $14 an ounce, I knew I needed to share this immediately.

I released a new report “Silver Dip 2015” so readers can take advantage of these conditions and leverage 1.6 times as a speculation.

The speculation is so time sensitive with such fast profit (but also loss) potential that I will only offer it shortly.

You receive the Silver Dip 2015 FREE when you subscribe to Pi.

Save $158.95

Subscribe to the first year of The Personal investing Course (Pi). The annual fee is $299, but to introduce you to this online, course that is based on real time investing, I am knocking $102 off the subscription.  Plus you receive the $29.95 report “Three Currency Patterns For 50% Profits or More” and the $27 report “The Silver Dip 2015” free for a total savings of $158.95.

Triple Guarantee

Enroll in Pi.   Get the first monthly issue of Pi, the first five “Golden Rules of Investing” and the report “Three Currency Patterns For 50% Profits or More” and “The Silver Dip 2015” right away.

#1:  I guarantee you’ll learn ideas about investing that are unique and can reduce stress as they help you enhance your profits through slow, worry free purposeful investing.

If you are not totally happy, simply let me know.

#2:  I guarantee to cancel your subscription and refund your subscription fee in full, no questions asked.

#3:  I guarantee you can keep the golden rules of investing and “Three Currency Patterns For 50% Profits or More” and “The Silver Dip 2105” report as my thanks for trying.

You have nothing to lose except the fear.  You have the ultimate form of financial security to gain.

Save $158.95.   Subscribe to the Pi for $197.


(1) University of Washington “12 reason yoga helps extend lifespan”

(2) UC San Francisco “Lifestyle changes may lengthen telomeres measure cell aging”




Read the 2011 real estate rental article in our archives here

Read the entire September 14 ATK Message in our archives here.

Read the entire Dec 12, 2012 yen message in our archives


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