Seven Words Worth More than College


I was really lucky when it came to higher education.  Junior college was affordable.  I could work at night and pay my way during the first two years.   Then two years of night school at Portland State let me work day time to fill in the 180 hours, required.  That was not a pedigree higher education, but what I gained and learned in the process was worthwhile.

Little did I know that seven words I would gain were worth more than all that university study and would be free.

More importantly I exited college without a penny of student debt.  I am not sure such things existed at that time.  How the world turns. Though we helped them all, and though they all worked while in university, our children still ended up with student debt.  A Wall Street Journal article “Five Common Mistakes People Make When Paying for College”(1)  shows that today, getting a higher education, without debt, is harder.

Debt traps include obsessing about Elite Schools.

The article says: Think the Ivy League is the only college pedigree that matters?  “Students will do better if they go to a college they can afford that is a match for them academically—where they will be challenged but not overwhelmed,”  Research shows the more a college charges, the more people apply, says Prof. Goldrick-Rab: “Just because it is expensive doesn’t mean it is good.”

For boomers, this might not seem an issue, but it is!   Some of us have children who still need an education.  Others are thinking about helping grandkids.

In addition the rapid change in technology and its impact on employment opportunities mean we can no longer rely on keeping the career we started with.  Keeping up with change often means getting more education as we age.

We live in an ever richer but also increasingly divisive world created but disruptive progress.

The article “Americans Doing Better Financially, Except for Non-College Educated” (2)  paints the picture we face.

The article says:  A Federal Reserve survey says the financial health of American households overall has improved modestly in recent years.  Americans’ sense of their overall financial health improved modestly last year, but adults without any college education lost ground for the first time since 2013, according to a new Federal Reserve survey.

Some 70% of respondents polled in October 2016 said they were either “living comfortably” or “doing okay,” up from 69% the year before, and 62% when the question was first posed in 2013, the Fed found in its latest Survey of Household Economics and Decision Making, released Friday.

Yet the share of respondents with no more than a high-school diploma who said they were “living comfortably” or “doing okay” declined last year to 60% from 61% in 2015.

Day-to-day finances are still precarious for many Americans. The survey found 44% of respondents said they wouldn’t be able to cover an unexpected $400 expense like a car repair or medical bill, or would have to borrow money or sell something to meet it.

In another sign of the educational divide, 79% of those with at least a bachelor’s degree said they would still be able to pay all of their other bills in full if hit with a $400 charge. Just 52% of those with no more than a high school diploma said the same.

“Everybody on the low end feels like they’re in a different situation, almost like they’re in a different America than those with a bachelor’s or more,” said Jonathan Morduch, a New York University professor of public policy and an economist.

This forces many boomers into debt.

The article “More Boomers Refinancing, Taking Out Student Loans” (3) shows how student debt really is a problem that crosses generation.

The article says: Student loan debt isn’t just making it harder for millennials to own a home. According to data from Ameritech Financial, it’s also impacting the Boomer generation.

New analysis from Ameritech, based on data from the New York Federal Reserve, shows that student loan debt has increased eight times for people aged 60 or older—all between 2005 and 2015 alone. Student debt increased five times for people between 50 and 59 and two times for those under the age of 30.

My Most Important Education

The school of hard knocks was definitely more educational than university for me.

I was lucky almost 50 years ago after finishing higher education to get an opportunity to work in Hong Kong selling US mutual funds.  That was exactly the wrong place and time to be selling US funds.  The error in timing really clobbered me financially for awhile, but Noel Croucher, an eccentric Hong Kong expat, showed me how to cross the divide between those who are in debt and those who financially thrive.

I arrived in Hong Kong in 1968 to sell US mutual funds but this was just about the end of a great US market bull cycle.  The Dow was entering a 15 year bear.  However, Hong Kong was about to explode upwards.

I might have missed this fact but was lucky that one of my clients was Noel Croucher.  He lived to be 88, but when I walked in his door on a cold call, in the 1970s I suspect he was somewhere in his 70s.

There is a book “Quest of Noel Croucher” by Vaudine England” which tells his wonderful story.

croucher

See Amazon.com for the book “The Quest of Noel Croucher” by Vaudine England.

The book tells that Croucher was a man of many facets, some not very nice.  I knew he was a founder of the Stock Exchange and had been in Hong Kong so long that he could remember the colony before WWI.  I did not know that he was the wealthiest white man East of the Suez Canal and did not learn that until years later!

All I saw was his good side.  Perhaps he saw in me a similarity to his past, a young man just starting with nothing but a willingness to work.  Whatever the reason, Croucher was happy to provide me with many hours of his time. He was a wealth of legends and stories about the Colony.

Noel Croucher helped me see how times had changed and that I should be selling Hong Kong investments to Americans rather than American investments in Hong Kong!  Nothing could have been more brilliant.

Plus he gave me the best personal financial advice, just seven words, that is more important than any college career.

If you want money to work for you, instead of having to work for your money, there are only 3 things you need to do. Here are the seven words.

  • Spend less.
  • Earn more.
  • Save the difference.

Investing in good value is key to making these seven words work.  Once money works for you instead of against you, you have the freedom to do whatever you choose.

Gary

(1)  Five common mistakes people make when paying for college

(2) Financial health improved for mos Americans in recent years

(3) Boomers refinancing taking student loans

Will Bureau 121 Bring Wall Street Down?

What spark can ignite the crash of 2017?  It’s been 30 years since the October 19, stock market collapse.

Robert Shiller, who won a Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 2013, wrote this in the New York Times.

A Stock Market Panic Like 1987 Could Happen Again.

On Oct. 19, 1987, the stock market fell more than 20 percent. It would
be comforting to believe a crash couldn’t recur. But we are still at risk.

From this perspective, I believe a rough analogy for that 1987 market collapse can be found in another event — the panic of Aug. 28, 2016, at Los Angeles International Airport, when people believed erroneously that they were in grave danger. False reports of gunfire at the airport — in an era in which shootings in large crowds had already occurred — set some people running for the exits. Once the panic began, others ran, too.

Like the 2016 airport stampede, the 1987 stock market fall was a panic caused by fear and based on rumors, not on real danger. In 1987, a powerful feedback loop from human to human — not computer to computer — set the market spinning.

There is an investment in China.

The company has three times more customers than the entire US population… has leading edge technology and 71 billion dollars in cash.

We’ll see it… and why it’s an extreme good value right now in tomorrow’s message.

The same technology that makes this investment attractive also has the potential to bring the entire US stock market down.

Let’s look at that today.

Though it’s impossible to forecast when the US market will decline again – it’s now been over 18 months since we’ve seen a decline greater than 10% — a correction or worse is inevitable.

The next decline could be the big one.

We must wonder.

Which straw will be the one that bursts Wall Street’s back.

It could be sitting, in a basement, in China.

If you want to go to China to find out, you might end up in Shenyang.  Shenyang is the largest city in Northeast China with a population over six million.  This is an important place… an industrial center and transportation and commercial hub with Japan, Russia and South Korea.

If there, specifically in the Helping District, you might well stop by the Fat Dragon Alehouse.

Fat Dragon

Trip Advisor image of the Fat Dragon Alehouse.

This is the place to visit in Shenyang…if you’re into craft beers.

The bar is cozy, it is said, and the beer good, the burgers delicious.

The Fat Dragon is called a cool hangout spot, a very relaxed combination between craft beer salon, dive bar, and neighborhood bar and grill.

You’ll be connected.

You’ll feel comfortable in Shenyang, perhaps staying the the Hilton, Holiday Inn, Sheraton or one of the two Hyatts or Crowne Plazas.

While sipping your craft ale, you might not know that less than a quarter mile away is a room that could change everything you know…for the worse.

Screen Shot 2017-10-22 at 8.37.40 AM

Trip Advisor image of the Cholbosan Hotel.

Maybe instead of a US chain, you would choose the Cholbosan hotel, 2/10ths of a mile from the Fat Dragon at No.79-81 Shiyiwei Road, in the Helping District.  The rooms are new, spacious and immaculately clean, with tasteful touches of tapestries and pillows.  They have modern free-standing bathtubs that rival any 5-star hotel in Beijing.

After all, you would only be 360 or so miles from Beijing.

There is also an in-house restaurant that can bring delicious seafood to your room… the TangChao YuChi Zhuang Seafood restaurant.

You’ll most likely find the seafood wonderful, the fish fresh, the seasonings perfect.

And the Wifi in your room will be more than adequate.

In fact the Wifi might be spectacular because the TangChao YuChi Zhuang Seafood restaurant’s basement, according to the BBC, is where researchers think a key Bureau 121 outpost can be found.

The Cholbosan hotel is 226 miles Pyongyang and is a North Korean owned hotel.

The US stock market is at such a high level, only the tiniest of straws is required to bring it down… fast… even in minutes.

That crash could be started there at the Cholbosan… by Bureau 121.

The U.S. Office of the National Counterintelligence has stated that “development of the nation, rather than empowerment of the individual, appears to be driving DPRK [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] efforts to develop domestic IT infrastructure and industry.”

North Korea is a tiny country economically, but estimates are that a third of its total income is dedicated to military expenditure and as much as 20% of that budget is dedicated on IT divisions.

What is Bureau 121?

The head of North Korea’s military IT structure is called Unit 121.

This is an elite group with only two goals… cyber espionage and cyber crime.

The country selects the smartest, brightest minds, and from an early age teaches them cyber warfare.

Bureau 121 soldiers have the most privileged lives in North Korea.  They and their families are rich and honored.  Though they are soldiers, this is the white-collar job that North Koreans fantasize about having.

No one knows for sure how large Bureau 121 is, but South Korea claims that the North Koreans have the world’s third largest cyber unit.

Only the US and Russia have larger military IT units.

South Korea is training 5,000 people in their own cyber army to defend against Unit 121.

Bureau 121 has had success over the past 15 years, beginning simply wiping disks, spreading malware attacks, and setting up DDoS attacks.

In 2013, they knocked out 50,000 computers and servers in many South Korea’s media and financial institutions.  A year later they targeted South Korean hydroelectric plants and nuclear power plants.

This type of attack can create catastrophic losses of power grids and other critical control systems and infrastructures. The nuclear plant in the attack was not stopped but if a nuclear reactor was compromised, the damage could be unimaginably severe and casualties extensive.

Bureau 121 has gone after businesses as well, the best known is its attack on Sony Pictures. Evidence suggests that they breached Sony Pictures’ systems, took large amounts of sensitive documents made threats to the theaters. Sony delayed a film’s release and North Korea had won an important cyber battle.

Bureau 121 could well end the Wall Street party that investors have been enjoying for so long.

Warren Buffet once warned against the Cinderella effect.

He said “Don’t be fooled by that Cinderella feeling you get from great returns.  Nothing sedates rationality like large doses of effortless money.  After a heady experience of that kind, normally sensible people drift into behavior akin to that of Cinderella at the ball.  They know the party must end but nevertheless hate to miss a single minute of what is one helluva party.  Therefore, the giddy participants all plan to leave just seconds before midnight. There’s a problem, though: They are dancing in a room in which the clocks have no hands.”

Cinderella may have lost a shoe when she fled the party.  We can lose much more when we rush from a crashing stock market.

There is inherent disaster building in rising markets… especially now.

Almost everyone feels good.

The clock of economic reckoning is ticking.

No wants to see it.  Nothing rises forever and especially… not everything at the same time.

Choose investments based on markets instead of shares, diversify in value, rely on financial rather than economic news and keep investing simple, easy and at a low cost.

Diversify in value markets, not shares.  One strategy is to invest in country ETFs that easily provide diversified, risk-controlled investments in countries with stock markets of good value.  These ETFs provide an easy, simple and effective approach to zeroing in on value.  Little management and less guesswork is required.  The expense ratios for most ETFs are lower than those of the average mutual funds.  Plus a single country ETF provides diversification equal to investing in dozens, even hundreds of shares.

A minimum of knowledge, time, management or guesswork are required.

The importance of…

easy…

transparent…

and inexpensive. 

Keeping investing simple is one of the most valuable, but least looked at, ways to avoid disaster.  Simple and easy investing saves time.  How much is your time worth?  Simple investing costs less and avoids fast decisions during stressful times in complex situations where we are most likely to get it wrong.

Fear, regret and greed are an investor’s chief problem.  Human nature causes  investors to sell winners too soon, and hold losers too long.

Easy to use, low cost, mathematically based habits and routines help protect against negative emotions and impulse investing.

Take control of your investing.  Make decisions based on data and discipline, not gut feelings.  The Purposeful investing Course (Pi) teaches math based, low cost ways to diversify in good value markets and in ETFs  that cover these markets.  This course is based on my 50 years of investing experience combined with wisdom gained from some of the world’s best investment managers and economic mathematical scientists.

Enjoy Repeated Wealth With Pi

Pi’s mission is to make it easy for anyone to have a strategy and tactics that continually maintain safety and turn market turmoil into extra profit.

One secret is to invest with a purpose beyond the immediate returns.  This helps create faith in a strategy that adds stickiness to the plan.

Another tactic is to invest with enough staying power so you’re never caught short.

Never have to sell depressed assets during periods of loss.

Lessons from Pi are based on the creation and management of Model Portfolios, called Pifolios.

The success of Pifolios is based on ignoring economic news (often created by someone with vested interests) and using financial math that reveals deeper economic truths.

One Pifolio covers all the good value developed markets.  Another covers the emerging good value markets.

The Pifolio analysis begins with a continual research of 46 major stock markets that compares their value based on:

#1:  Current book to price

#2:  Cash flow to price

#3:  Earnings to price

#4:  Average dividend yield

#5:  Return on equity

#6:  Cash flow return.

#7:  Market history

This is a complete and continual study of almost all the developed major and emerging stock markets.

This mathematical analysis forms the basis of a Good Value Stock Market Strategy.   The analysis is rational, mathematical and does not worry about short term ups and downs.

This strategy is easy for anyone to follow and use.  Pi reveals the best value markets and provides contacts to managers and analysts and Country Index ETFs so almost anyone can create and follow their own strategy.

The course examines and regularly reports on the hows and whys of seven professionally managed portfolios so we can learn how managers find and invest in good value.  The Pifolios are:

  • Keppler Good Value Developed and Emerging Market Pifolios
  • State Street Global Advantage Emerging & Developed Market Pifolios
  • Gold & Silver Dip Pifolio
  • ENR Advisory Extra Pifolio
  • Tradestops.com Trailing Stops Pifiolio

tradestops

As you can see in this image (click to enlarge) the top performing Pifolio we are tracking is the State Street Global Advantage Pifolio is up 43.15%.  Here is the breakdown of that current Pifolio.

pifolio

Learn how to invest like a pro from the inside out.

State Street is one of the largest fund managers in the world and their Global Advantage funds invest in good value shares in good value markets.

In the updates we review each portfolio, what has been purchased and sold, why, the ramifications for high risk, medium risk and low risk investors.

As of autumn 2017 my personal Pifolio is based on select ETFs in the Keppler Developed and Emerging markets.  My Pifolio is invested in Country ETFs that cover seven developed and three emerging markets:

Norway
Australia
Hong Kong
Germany
Japan
Singapore
United Kingdom
Taiwan
South Korea
China

Don’t give up profit to gain ease and safety!

This portfolio has outperformed the US market this year as the chart below shows.

My portfolio blue.  S&P… green.

motif

Regardless of economic news, these markets represent good value and have been chosen based on four pillars of valuation.

  • Absolute Valuation
  • Relative Valuation
  • Current versus Historic Valuation
  • Current Relative versus Relative Historic Valuation

When you subscribe to Pi, you immediately receive a 120 page basic training course that teaches the Pi Strategy.   You learn all the Pi strategies, what they are, how to use them and what each can do for you, your lifestyle and investing.

You also begin receiving regular emailed Pifiolio updates and online access to all the Pifolio updates of the last two years.  Each update examines the current activity in a Pifolio, how it is changing, why and how the changes might help your investing or not.

Included in the basic training is an additional 120 page PDF value analysis of 46 stock markets (23 developed markets and 23 emerging stock markets).  This analysis looks at the price to book, price to earnings, average yield and much more.

You also receive two special reports.

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!

30 years ago, the US 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.  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  Good Value Stock Market research and Asset Allocation Analysis.

The report shows 20 good value investments and a really powerful tactic that shows the most effective and least expensive way to accumulate these bargains 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.

This report sells for $29.95 but in this special offer, you receive the report, “Three Currency Patterns for 50% Profits or More” FREE when you subscribe to Pi.

Plus get the $39.95 report “The Silver Dip 2017” free.

With investors watching global stock markets bounce up and down, many missed two really important profit generating events over the last two years.  The price of silver dipped below $14 an ounce as did shares of the iShares Silver ETF (SLV).   The second event is that the silver gold ratio hit 80, compared to a ratio of 230 only two years before.

In September 2015, I prepared a special report “Silver Dip 2015” about a silver speculation, leveraged with a British pound loan, that could increase the returns in a safe portfolio by as much as eight times.  The tactics described in that report generated 62.48% profit in just nine months.

I have updated this report and added how to use the Silver Dip Strategy with platinum.   The “Silver Dip 2017” report shares the latest in a series of long term lessons gained through 40 years of speculating and investing in precious metals.  I released the 2015 report, when the gold silver ratio slipped to 80.  The ratio has corrected and that profit has been taken and now a new precious metals dip has emerged.

I have prepared a new special report “Silver Dip 2017” about a leveraged speculation that can increase the returns in a safe portfolio by as much as eight times.

You also learn from the Value Investing Seminar, our premier course, that we have been conducting for over 30 years.  Tens of thousands of delegates have paid up to $999 to attend.  Now you can join the seminar online FREE in this special offer.

This three day course is available in sessions that are 10 to 20 minutes long for easy, convenient learning.   You can listen to each session any time and as often as you desire.

The sooner you hear what I have to say about current markets, the better you’ll be able to cash in on perhaps the best investing opportunity since 1982.

seminars

Tens of thousands have paid up to $999 to attend.

Next year I celebrate my 52nd anniversary in the investing business and 50th year of writing about global investing.  Our reports and seminars have helped readers have better lives, with less stress yet make fortunes during up and down markets for decades.  This information is invaluable to investors large and small because even small amounts can easily be invested in the good value shares we cover in our seminar.

Stock and currency markets are cyclical.  These cycles create extra profit for value investors who invest when everyone else has the markets wrong.  One special seminar session looks at how to spot value from cycles.  Stocks rise from the cycle of war, productivity and demographics.  Cycles create recurring profits.  Economies and stock markets cycle up and down around every 15 to 20 years as shown in this graph.

stock-Charts

The effect of war cycles on the US Stock Market since 1906.

Bull and bear cycles are based on cycles of human interaction, war, technology and productivity.  Economic downturns can create war.

The chart above shows the war – stock market cycle.  Military struggles (like the Civil War, WWI, WWII and the Cold War: WW III) super charge inventiveness that creates new forms of productivity…the steam engine, the internal combustion engine,  production line processes, jet engines, TV, farming techniques, plastics, telephone, computer and lastly during the Cold War, the internet.  The military technology shifts to domestic use.  A boom is created that leads to excess.  Excess leads to correction. Correction creates an economic downturn and again to war.

Details in the online seminar include:

* How to easily buy global currencies, shares and bonds.

* Trading down and the benefits of investing in real estate in Small Town USA.  We will share why this breakout value is special and why we have been recommending good value real estate in this area since 2009.

* What’s up with gold and silver?  One session looks at my current position on gold and silver and asset protection.  We review the state of the precious metal markets and potential problems ahead for US dollars.  Learn how low interest rates eliminate  opportunity costs of diversification in precious metals and foreign currencies.

* How to improve safety and increase profit with leverage and staying power.  The seminar reveals Warren Buffett’s value investing strategy from research published at Yale University’s website.  This research shows that the stocks Buffet 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). His big, extra profits come from leverage and staying power.  At times Buffet’s portfolio, as all value portfolios, 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 out performance 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.

Learn how much leverage to use.  Leverage is like medicine, the key is dose.  The best ratio is normally 1.6 to 1.  We’ll sum up the strategy; how to leverage cheap, safe, quality stocks and for what period of time based on the times and each individual’s circumstances.

Learn to plan in a way so you never run out of money.  The seminar also has a session on the importance of having and sticking to a plan.  See how success is dependent on conviction, wherewithal, and skill to operate with leverage and significant risk.  Learn a three point strategy based on my 50 years of investing experience combined with wisdom gained from some of the world’s best investment managers and economic mathematical scientists.

The online seminar also reveals  the results of a $80,000 share purchase cost test that found the least expensive way to invest in good value.  The keys to this portfolio are good value, low cost, minimal fuss and bother.  Plus a great savings of time.  Trading is minimal, usually not more than one or two shares are bought or sold in a year.  I wanted to find the very least expensive way to create and hold this portfolio so I performed this test.

I have good news about the cost of the seminar as well.   For almost three decades the seminar fee has been $799 for one or $999 for a couple. Tens of thousands paid this price, but online the seminar is $297.

In this special offer, you can get this online seminar FREE when you subscribe to our Personal investing Course.

Save $468.90 If You Act Now

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 FREE the $29.95 report “Three Currency Patterns for 50% Profits or More”, the $39.95 report “Silver Dip 2017” and our latest $297 online seminar for a total savings of $468.90.

ecuador-seminar

Triple Guarantee

Enroll in Pi.  Get the basic training, the 46 market value report, access to all the updates of the past two years, the two reports and the Value Investing Seminar 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, easy diversified investing.

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

#2:  I guarantee you can cancel your subscription within 60 days and I’ll refund your subscription fee in full, no questions asked.

#3:  You can keep the two reports and Value Investing Seminar as my thanks for trying.

You have nothing to lose except the fear.   You gain the ultimate form of financial security as you reduce risk and increase profit potential.

Subscribe to Pi now, get the 130 page basic training, the 120 page 46 market value analysis, access to over 100 previous Pifolio updates, the “Silver Dip 2017” and “Three Currency Patterns For 50% Profits or More” reports, and value investment seminar, plus begin receiving regular Pifolio updates throughout the year.

Subscribe to a Pi annual subscription for $197 and receive all the above.

Gary

 

 

 

 

 


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