There is Always Risk


There is always risk in investing, business and life… because there is always something we don’t know.

The great scientist, the late Stephen Hawking, was known for many achievements in science.  His books unveiled the great mysteries of the cosmos in simple, digestible language.

Hawking also made many predictions.

Some can make us feel good.… “Modern health care will make 100 years a normal lifetime”.

Others not so… “Humanity only has 100 years left on earth”.

Of course we do not know whether either forecast is really accurate.

However, we can relay on Hawking’s wisest and most accurate prognostication though; “Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.” 

The ability to adapt, to what we perceive is good or bad, can make us smarter than the smartest man in the world.

Adaptability is such a valuable asset because we can never envision how the future will unfold.

The Wall Street Journal article “Two Can Play at Trade War” (1) provides an example.

The article outlines tariffs that China has placed on US goods in retaliation for the levies on steel (25%) and aluminum (10%) imports from China.

Americans may see lower prices for pork and apples which are hit with the tariffs.

The article says “Greater damage may come from China’s 15% tariff on American fruits, nuts and sparkling wine. Apple growers in Washington State only gained full access to the Chinese market in 2015 and have seen rapid growth in exports from zero three years ago. Sales of American wine to China, almost all from California, grew 10% last year to $197 million, still a small percentage of total production. Such industries now face headwinds to building market share.”

The tariffs may even create some environmental good in the Western US as it could slow down almond production (a very thirsty crop).

California nut farmers are especially vulnerable since China is their largest export market. According to the Golden State’s agriculture department, they sold $530 million in pistachios and $518 million in almonds to China in 2016. For pistachio farmers, China accounts for 55% of total exports. Almond exports are down from five years ago because drought limited production, but sales to China rebounded 6% last year.

The article provided evidence of “How the best laid plans of mice and men go wrong”.  There is no way that these food producers could have anticipated these trade sanctions so they have to adapt.

Merri and I have turned several of our hobbies into businesses to expand our adaptability.

Writing and real estate have been our mainstay businesses but we turned our agricultural hobbies into businesses as well.

We have orange groves at our Florida home.  We raise trout at our North Carolina farm.  These small businesses in food and agriculture are satisfying, fun and add safety in our lives as we always have a food based survival income.

We also grow ginseng.

ginseng

Ginseng growing in our back yard.

The logic, beyond enjoying the process, is:

* Our farm is a natural habitat for ginseng.

* Ginseng prices are margins are high.

* Ginseng grows easily without much labor.

* Ginseng is an important Chinese medicinal root.

* China’s growing economy will increase the demand for ginseng.

ginseng

Planting ginseng at our North Carolina farm.

This all sounds like a good idea, but there is always something we do not know.  The Wall Street Journal article shows how the tariffs could also hurt the market for ginseng.

A Chinese medicinal root is one of the more obscure items on the 15% tariff list, and the impact will fall almost entirely on one county in central Wisconsin around the city of Wausau.  Ginseng from Marathon County is highly prized in Asia, and about $30 million of it is exported annually to China.

When we began planting ginseng many years ago, we could not have guessed that there was this risk.  Fortunately we have no need or plans to sell at this time.  As ginseng root grows so does its potential for profit.

Plus there is another important reason why we planted ginseng… it is an important medicinal root that we can personally use to maintain our vitality and health.

Our original thinking about the financial prospects of ginseng may be flawed, by tariffs,  but  we can still use it for our own natural health or perhaps create a local market, if we decide we need to harvest a crop.

Whatever comes, I’ll adapt.

I hope this reminder will refresh your thought process, so as you look forward into this risky future with equanimity.   If you do, embracing change and risk with an even mind can bring greater contentment, happiness and success.

Gary

Protect Your Wealth From a US Dollar Loss

Here are three steps to multi currency profits.   Seek value.  Cut losses.  Take profits.

Quotes from three great value investors support this thought.

Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful.” Warren Buffett

“In the short run, the market is a voting machine, but in the long run it is a weighing machine.” Ben Graham

We don’t have to be smarter than the rest. We have to be more disciplined than the rest.” Charlie Munger

We do not have to be brilliant to preserve our wealth.  When it comes to investing, discipline can make you smarter than the smartest man in the world.

sir issac newton

Sir Isaac Newton is widely regarded as one of the most influential scientists of all time.  His role was key in the scientific revolution.

His book “Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy” laid the foundations for mechanics.

He supplied a foundation to optics.

He helped develop modern calculus.

Newton formulated the laws of motion and gravitation and confirmed the heliocentric model of the cosmos.

Newton built the first practical reflecting telescope.

His theories about color and cooling and the speed of sound were spring boards in physics.

In math, Newton contributed to the study of power series, the binomial theorem to non-integer exponents, and a method for approximating the roots of a function.

He is said to have been the greatest genius who ever lived!

But Sir Issac Newton also lost his shirt in the stock market.  His comment was “I can calculate the motions of the heavenly bodies but not the madness of the people.

Sir Issac forgot the intelligence in seeking value. He ignored the fact that buying and selling discipline is more important than being smart.

How can we gain this discipline?  Discipline comes from simple math which is why two of the three exports I use in my Purposeful investing course (Pi) and mathematicians not economists.  I am happy to introduce an investing math program that instills investment discipline in our Pi course.

Use math, not emotion to protect your wealth.

There are time tested mathematical systems that can help you know when to take profits that maximizes gains and minimizes loss.

These systems help you seek value but also create disciplined exit strategies because one of the toughest decisions most of us have is to know when to sell a rising or falling share.

Human nature makes it harder to let winners run, than to cut loses.

To easily spot good value and stick to it, we use Keppler Asset Management  as our first source of data.  We follow the analysis of our friend, Michael Keppler.

Keppler’s analysis begins with a continual researches of corporate information on thousands of shares in 46 major stock markets. Keppler 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.

Fwd: keppler

Michael Kepler CEO Keppler Asset Management.

Keppler explains why a Top Value Country Selection Strategy for equities is important and says in his analysis: Among the generally accepted reasons for taking a global perspective in investments is the historical fact that no nation can maintain economic and political pre-eminence ad infinitum.

Studies have shown that, regardless of the investor’s national market and currency, diversified global equity portfolios, over longer periods, offer higher returns at lower risk than investments in national markets.

Keppler Asset Management Inc. (KAM) was  founded by Michael Keppler in 1992.  KAM is an SEC–registered investment advisory firm dedicated to finding and exploiting investment opportunities in the global equity markets. Based in New York, they advise institutional investors worldwide and help manage published mutual funds with total assets exceeding two billion US dollars. Plus they advise many private pension funds by specializing in active quantitative portfolio strategies that aim to deliver superior long-term performance and seek to limit risk through a firm commitment to value.

Starting in 2009, KAM was named Best Fund Company in the Fund category, five years in a row, by Capital, a leading German business magazine.

That’s my simplicity secret for keeping track of where to invest.  Using Keppler’s data has served me well for 25 years, allowing me time to get on with life rather than being drowned in a sea of conflicting opinions about what investment to make next.

More good news is that Keppler does not manage individual accounts and though SEC registered and headquartered in New York, does not mange funds for US customers.

That’s why I created our Purposeful Investing Course, one of the few, if not the only sources of Keppler analysis for individual investors.

Here is how to tap into this valuable information on a no risk basis right now.

The Purposeful Investing Course combines Keppler analysis with research on low cost, good value country ETFs.

This is why my core stock portfolio consists of 19 country ETFs, along with precious metals.   This is also why this position has hardly changed in four years. During this time we have been steadily accumulating the same 19 shares and have traded only three times.

This portfolio above is based on stock price to value analysis built around 91 years of stock market data.

The value analysis is used to create a portfolio of MSCI Country Benchmark Index ETFs that cover  stock markets that are undervalued.  I have combined my 50 years of investing experience with the study of the mathematical market value analysis of  Keppler Asset Management.

This is an easy, simple and effective approach to zeroing in on value because little time, 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 one stock in that country is an attractive investment.  This eliminates the need for hours of research aimed at picking specific shares.  It is not appropriate or enough to instruct a stockbroker to simply select stocks in the BUY rated countries.  Investing in the index is like investing in all the shares in the index.  You save time because all you have to do is invest in the ETF to gain the profit potential of the entire market.

Country Index ETFs are similar to an 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.

Here is the Pifolio I personally hold now.

70% of the equities is diversified into iShares ETFs that represent Keppler’s eight good value (BUY rated) developed markets: Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Norway, Singapore, Spain and the United Kingdom.

30% of the equities are invested in Keppler’s good value (BUY rated) emerging markets: Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, the Czech Republic, South Korea and Taiwan.

iShares Country ETFs make it easy to invest in each of the MSCI indicies of the good value BUY markets.

For example, the iShares MSCI Australia (symbol EWA) is a Country Index ETF that tracks the investment results the Morgan Stanley Capital Index MSCI Australia Index which is composed mainly of large cap and small cap stocks traded primarily on the Australian Stock Exchange mainly of companies in consumer staples, financials and materials. This ETF is non-diversified outside of Australia.

iShares is owned by Black Rock, Inc. the world’s largest asset manager with over $4 trillion in assets under management.

The equity ETFs in my portfolio are balanced with investments in silver, platinum and gold.

Get paid more now!

Current markets have turned economic history upside down.  Normally bonds pay the highest interest rates and add safety to a portfolio.  Not right now.

This chart from the New York Times article “The Mystery of High Stock Prices” (1) shows that equities pay a higher yield than bonds.

wsj.com

Most Important, Get Paid the Most Now!

Just because US stocks pay more than dollar denominated bonds, does not mean they offer the best income deal.  In fact the chart below shows that US shares pay one of the lousiest yields of the 46 stock markets we monitor around the world.

The US MSCI Index pays a modest 1.91%.  That’s a terrible yield, but better than the 1.6% you can get in AA rated corporate bonds.

Nine solid, top value stock markets (shown below) not only add diversification and the best long term profit potential, they pay 71% higher yield, 3.27% compared to the US yield of 1.91%.

This is why my core stock portfolio consists of a handful of top value share ETFs and this position has hardly changed in five years. 

Let me explain why this strategy adds safety, increases long term appreciation potential and pays almost double short term income right now.

In a moment, I’ll show how to push that yield to 4.07% per annum without adding additional risk.

keppler62020

During the past five years, I have been steadily accumulating the same good value ETFs.  I have traded only three times, so my trading costs, my fuss, fiddle and time spent have been kept to an absolute minimum.

I have been investing in iShare country ETFs.  Each one invests in the MSCI Index of one of the top (or neutral in the case of Canada and Australia) value markets above.

My strategy protects against stock market volatility and yet has potential for the best gains long term from rising share prices by holding an equally weighted portfolio of the best value based country ETFs.

The Purposeful Investing Course tracks 46 stock markets around the world into determine which markets offer the best value.

Since no one knows what the future will bring, investing in value makes the most long term sense.

Plus Value ETFs are Safer

The people who dominate stock markets include a pack of thieves.  This fact has always been true.  We were recently reminded of this fact when Wirecard AG, one of Europe’s most prestigious companies, listed on Germany’s premier stock-market index, the Dax 30 fooled everyone including its top grade, longtime auditor, Ernst & Young GMBH.

The shares in German fintech company Wirecard AG (symbol WDI fell 63.74% as it filed for insolvency proceedings, after revealing that more than $2 billion in cash missing from its balance sheet was all a fraud.  The company’s market value fell to less than €500 million from almost €13 billion in a week.

Investors have seen this type of rip off again and again, really big scams from Enron to Bernie Madoff and these are just the tip of the iceberg.

Shares in stock markets are manipulated all the time.  Stock markets (in fact almost all types of markets) are led by sharks plain and simple.  Count on this fact.  This is the nature of the beast and the number one goal of many big businesses is to take as much of your money as they can to line their pockets.

In the Wirecard AG example many  thousands of investors have seen their hard work, their thrift, their security and hopes for the future disappear, even though they seemingly did everything right by investing in a blue chip, new era, high tech company.

A study of 92 years of investment returns shows that, despite the fraud and cheating and deceit, stock markets are still a good way to make your money grow… if you invest long term and diversify.

keppler

Our Pi strategy makes it harder for cheaters to grab your wealth because it’s very hard to manipulate an entire stock market, much less a dozen or so stock markets around the world.

Manipulators have a hard time tricking an entire market, especially larger markets.  If you get the best value country ETFs, your chances of long term profits improve.

Our Purposeful Investing Course (Pi) teaches an an easy, simple and effective approach to zeroing in on value because little time, management and guesswork is required.  You are investing in a diversified portfolio of good value indices.

Sticking to math based stock market value and country ETFs eliminates the need for hours of research aimed at picking specific shares.   Investing in an index is like investing in all the major shares of the market.  You save time because all you have to do is invest in the ETF to gain the profit potential of the entire market.

To achieve this goal of diversification the Pi portfolio consists of iShare Country Index ETFs managed by Black Rock, Inc.

Country Index ETFs are similar to an 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.

I am updating my plan to increase my average yield to as much as 4.07%.

My developed market portfolio has been diversified into eight developed markets: Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Norway, Singapore, Spain and the United Kingdom.

iShares Country ETFs make it easy to invest in each of the good value markets.

The average yield of these nine markets combined was 3.27% as of June 2020.  By replacing the three lowest yielding markets, Austria (.64%), Germany (1.83%)  and Japan (2.51%)  with two better yielding neutral markets Australia (4.57%) and Canada (3.54%) the average annual yield on the entire portfolio rises to 4.07%.

4.07% is 154% higher than the 1.6% you can currently earn on AA rated corporate bonds!

The ETFs provide higher income and incredible diversification for safety, plus the highest long term profit potential.

iShares is owned by Black Rock, Inc. the world’s largest asset manager with over $4 trillion in assets under management.

There is an iShares country ETF for almost every market.

Here’s how you can create your own good value strategy.

I would like to send you, on a no risk basis, a 130 page basic training course that teaches the good value strategy I use.  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.

You also receive a 100+ 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 of all 46 markets.

This year I will celebrate my 52nd anniversary of global investing and 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 the Pi course.

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.

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%.

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 $124.50 off the subscription.

Guarantee

Enroll in Pi.  Get the basic training, the 46 market value report and access to all the updates of the past two years, plus all new updates over the next year.

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 in the first two months for a full no fuss full refund.

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

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic we have cut the subscription to $174.50.  You save $124.50!

Then because this global recovery from the pandemic is going to take years, we’ll maintain your subscription at just $99 a year rather than $299.  Your subscription will be autorenewed in 2021 at $99, though you can cancel at any time.

Click here to subscribe to Pi at the discounted rate of $174.50

Subscribe to Pi today and you get a year’s subscription to Pi now, get the 130 page basic training, the 120 page 46 market value analysis, access to over 100 previous Pifolio updates, plus begin receiving regular Pifolio updates throughout the year.

Gary

(1) www.nytimes.com: mystery of high stock market prices

(1) www.wsj.com: Two can play at trade war