Dollar Danger


Social Security runs out of surplus this year.

A recent Wall Street Journal article, “Social Security expected to-dip into its reserves this year” (1) says:  The Social Security program’s costs will exceed its income this year for the first time since 1982, forcing the program to dip into its nearly $3 trillion trust fund to cover benefits.

This is three years sooner than expected a year ago, partly due to lower economic growth projections, according to the latest annual report the trustees of Social Security and Medicare released Tuesday. The program’s income comes from tax revenue and interest from its trust fund.

The trust fund will be depleted in 2034 and Social Security will no longer be able to pay its full scheduled benefits unless Congress takes action to shore up the program’s finances. Without any changes, recipients then would receive only about three-quarters of their scheduled benefits from incoming tax revenues.

The report also said that Medicare’s hospital insurance fund would be depleted in 2026, three years earlier than anticipated in last year’s report. Absent changes, the program then would be able to handle 91% of costs.

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This chart from the Social Security site shows funds flowing into the Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) trust fund and how it is projected in 2032 the surplus will be gone.  From that time on, in current legislation, no specific amounts will be  guaranteed.

In other words Social Security dips into its three trillion dollars of reserves starting this  year.   The reserves will keep payments up as projected until 2032.  That’s great to have all that money stored up.

But wait a minute!

First keep in mind that the surplus is already being tapped sooner than projected.   How much can we trust the 2032 projection?

Plus what are these reserves composed of anyway?

The Social Security website (2) says: Social Security benefits are paid from the reserves of the Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) trust fund.  The reserves are funded from dedicated tax revenues and interest on accumulated reserve holdings, which are invested in Treasury securities.

The Social Security Act provides that the funds are maintained “on the books of the Treasury.” The Treasury manages the Social Security accounts in much the same way that a bank manages a checking account: Accurate accounts are kept of the cash deposits and the accruing interest; cash (plus interest) withdrawals are allowed whenever needed; and in the meantime, the bank can put the cash to other uses.

So the Social Security reserves are like money in the bank, but the bank is the Treasury  and the Treasury has invested that money?

Right?

Not quite!

The Social Security site goes on to say: Until the invested amounts are needed to pay benefits, the cash is intermingled with the Treasury’s cash operations for the rest of the government.

Although these procedures do not affect the budget accounts of the rest of the government, they do affect the Treasury’s cash operations. When the trust fund tax income is deposited with the Treasury, the amount of cash that the Treasury must borrow from the public for its other operations is reduced.

Because the surplus Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASDI) funds are essentially loaned to the rest of the government, a full understanding of the effects of  (OASDI) financing requires consideration of its effects on the Treasury’s general account cash flows.

Uh Oh.  Those reserves are not especially invested by the government in assets that maintain their value and create a profit.

For example in recent years US forces have fired over 400 M142 High Mobility Artillery Rockets from Jordan  into Syria.  The rockets cost about $400,000 each so that might be $160 million of Social Security reserves, gone up in smoke.

I am not in the least bit qualified to know if that expenditure was for the greater good or not, but, but what does seem apparent is that  it won’t create a return for the Social Security fund.

There is a bigger  problem as well.

The Social Security site also says that Social Security changes will impact on the rest of the federal budget.

The draw down of Social Security reserves will create pressures on other parts of the US budget.

In other words. Until this year, the US Government earned tax revenues, borrowed money and had Social Security reserves to spend.  Starting this year the US Government has tax revenues and has to PAY back to Social Security.  This means they have to borrow more.

This also means they will have to pay higher interest rates that creates the really big problem of rising national debt service. 

For more than a decade American national debt was skyrocketing.  At the same time interest rates were plunging and have remained really low.  Now rates are expected to rise as will the US debt service.

The chart from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) shows that debt service is expected to more than triple in the next ten years.

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This is an extra half trillion dollars a year that won’t be spent on roads, on the military, on health care, the environment or schools.  That rising debt service creates a vicious cycle that can only lead to a devaluation of the US dollar so the debt can be paid, but in phony terms.

This is why we the good value stock markets we track in our Purposeful Investing Course are non dollar denominated.

All investors need to diversify in more currencies than just the greenback.

Social Security runs out of surplus this year and though it has trillions in reserves… the word reserves, in this case, is part of a con game.   There are no reserves, just more demands on taxpayers.

The pressure these demands will make on the US Treasury will certainly cause the purchasing power of the US dollar to fall.

Gary

The Only 3 Reasons to Invest

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The stock market has always been the best place of places to protect and increase wealth over the long haul.   Yet it’s also been the worst place to lose money, a lot of it, quickly.

There are only three reasons why we should invest.  We invest for income.  We invest to resell our investments for more than we had invested.  We invest to make our world a better place.

The goal of investing should be to stabilize our security, bring feelings of comfort and elimination of stress!

We should not invest for fun, excitement or to get rich quickly. We should not divest in a panic due to market corrections.

This is why my core stock portfolio consists of 19 shares and this position has hardly changed in three years.  During this time we have been steadily accumulating the same 19 shares and have traded only twice.

This portfolio is built around a strategy that’s taught in my Purposeful Investing Course (Pi).  I call these shares my Pifolio.

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This portfolio more or less matched the S&P 500 until May 2018.  Then a stronger US dollar made the portfolio look like it was falling behind.   This currency illusion creates a special opportunity we’ll view in a moment.

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 Michael Keppler, CEO of Keppler Asset Management.

In my opinion, Keppler is one of the best market statisticians in the world.  Numerous very large fund managers use his analysis to manage over $2.5 billion of funds.  However because Keppler’s roots are in Germany (though he lives and operates from New York) and most of his funds registered for the European Union, Americans cannot normally access his data.

I was lucky to have crossed paths with Michael about 25 years ago, so I am one of the few Americans who receive this data and you will not find his information readily available in the US.

In a moment you’ll see how to remedy this fact.

The Pifolio analysis begins with Keppler’s research that continually monitors 46 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.  Then Keppler takes market’s history into account.

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Michael Kepler CEO Keppler Asset Management.

Michael’s analysis is rational, mathematical and does not cause worry about short term ups and downs.  Keppler’s strategy is to diversify into an equally weighted portfolio of the MSCI Indices of each good value (BUY) market.

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.

To achieve this goal of diversification the Pifolio consists of Country Index ETFs.

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 held at the beginning of 2019.

70% is diversified into Keppler’s good value (BUY rated) developed markets: Australia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Norway, Singapore, Spain and the United Kingdom.

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

There is an iShares country ETF for every market.

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.   I call this strategy Purposeful Investing (PI).  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 get this course when you enroll in our Purposeful Investing program (Pi) with a triple guarantee.

Triple Guarantee

Enroll in Pi.  Get the 130 page basic training, a 46 stock market value report, access to all the updates I have sent in the past three years, two more reports on investing (described below) and an online 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 118 page 46 market value analysis, access to over 100 previous Pifolio updates, the “Silver Dip 2019” and “Three Currency Patterns For 50% Profits or More” reports, and value investment seminar, plus begin receiving regular Pi updates throughout the year.

Subscribe to a Pi annual subscription for $99 and receive all the above.

You also begin receiving regular emailed Keppler analysis and online access to all that analysis of the last three years.  Each update examines the current activity in  Pi, how it is changing, why and how the changes might help your investing or not.

Included in the basic training is an additional 118 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 covering thousands of shares.

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 one of two reason why my Pifolio lagged behind the S&P 500 from May 2018.

The US dollar has become overly strong.

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 strong dollar gives non US shares extra profit potential.

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.

Enroll in Pi.  Get the 130 page basic training, a 46 stock market value report, access to all the updates I have sent in the past three years, two more reports on investing (described below) and an online Value Investing Seminar right away.  Subscribe to a Pi annual subscription for $99 and receive all the above.

The Time for Value is Near

Overseas, value investing is really a bargain following a dismal year in 2018.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/garyascott/30789695468/in/dateposted-public/

It’s no secret that value-based equities in the United States and overseas have lagged their growth cousins since 2009.  It’s unusual for value to lag growth this long (see above chart).

Why has value so badly trailed growth in this cycle?  Investors have embraced growth because of accelerated earnings and growing revenues in sectors of the market that continue to lead the charge in this bull market: technology.

Recent declines in tech shares suggests that we’ll soon see a return to value.

Plus get the $39.95 report “The Silver Dip 2019” 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 Dip Strategy with platinum.   The “Silver Dip 2019” 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 2019” about a leveraged speculation that can increase the returns in a safe portfolio by as much as eight times.

Subscribe to a Pi annual subscription for $99 and receive all the above.

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.

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

In 2018 I celebrated my 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.

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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.

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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 $366.90 If You Act Now

Subscribe to the first year of The Personal investing Course (Pi).  The annual fee is $99, but to introduce you to this online, course that is based on real time investing, I am including FREE the $29.95 report “Three Currency Patterns for 50% Profits or More”, the $39.95 report “Silver Dip 2019” and our latest $297 online seminar for a total savings of $366.90.

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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.

On other bit in the bargain is that after the first year, you will continue to receive the market analysis but for only $39 a year.   You can cancel at any time, but for just over $3 a month you’ll receive all my updates on global investing.

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 118 page 46 market value analysis, access to over 100 previous Pifolio updates, the “Silver Dip 2019” and “Three Currency Patterns For 50% Profits or More” reports, and value investment seminar, plus begin receiving regular Pi updates throughout the year.

Subscribe to a Pi annual subscription for $99 and receive all the above.

Gary

(1)  www.wsj.com: Social Security expected to-dip into its reserves this year

(2) www.ssa.gov: Social Security Trust Fund Cash Flows and Reserves

(3) www.armstrongeconomics.com/uncategorized/the-rise-fall-of-empires-nations-city-states/