Out With the Old… (DIA,XRT,PIR,FIT,SLV,XBI,XLE,GS,UIS,SIRI,RSX,QQQ)

Out With the Old… (DIA,XRT,PIR,FIT,SLV,XBI,XLE,GS,UIS,SIRI,RSX,QQQ)   The local authorities in my city have just notified me that my newborn son’s name is  not acceptable to them, and that I’m going to have to change it.   If ever there were a case of government overreach, this is it.   They’ve informed me that in order to keep the moniker that I’ve longed to give him, I’ll have to go to the courthouse on my own time and at my own expense to have the child’s name officially registered before a judge.   If, of course, the judge agrees. In this day and I age, there’s no shortage of asininity in the world.  I can be…

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High Yield Meat (HYG,SLV)

High Yield Meat (HYG,SLV)   Some assumptions are safer to make than others.   Until recently, for example, it was assumed that the financial markets would automatically be backstopped by the Federal Reserve and Treasury at the first sign of distress.  After all, we went through several rounds of Quantitative Easing, state-initiated bond purchases, government directed corporate bailouts and more over the last seven years, so why shouldn’t the process continue?   Why, indeed?   Well, it seems some at the Fed and in Washington now believe that the stimulus has to end.  With interest rates projected to bump higher several times in 2018 and the gradual reduction of the Fed’s balance sheet already commenced,…

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Bitcoin and the Irony of “Real” Money (SLV)

Bitcoin and the Irony of “Real” Money (SLV)   One of the most fascinating aspects of the Bitcoin phenomenon is its ability to deflect investor attention from weightier matters and create such a frothy interest in something that, we feel, will ultimately lead to oblivion.   That’s a fully packed sentence, we know.  So let’s offer a little exegesis.   First, why call Bitcoin a ‘phenomenon’?  After all, its promoters and staunchest believers tell us it’s real money, not the phony fiat fraudulence we’ve grown accustomed to.   And because there’s a limit to how much of it can be made and the speed at which it can be produced, there are effective controls in…

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The Wages of SIN! (BF.B,QQQ,SLV)

The Wages of SIN! (BF.B,QQQ,SLV)   There’s not enough time in the day to catalog all the possible sources of information, all the data series and analytics that Wall Street produces on the broad market and specific asset classes and stocks – let alone read them.   One has to focus on the macro if one wants to be a generalist.  Or specialize, if one prefers to be a niche player.   But here at Normandy, we attempt to do both.  We have our advisory group that meets once a month to discuss longer term trends and possible near term surprises.  And we have our in-house analysts and interns who crunch the numbers and scan…

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New Leg Afoot (HYG,DIA,QQQ,SLV)

New Leg Afoot (HYG,DIA,QQQ,SLV)   When you start dreaming that you’re a close associate and friend of former presidents and various other statesmen it’s very likely something’s wrong.   Now, that’s not to say that all who mucky-muck about with the bigshots have mental problems; certainly not.  But we ham and eggers have to keep our feet on the ground.   After all, if we’ve never even met or seen these fellers in person, what could there possibly be to dream about?   It was with that in mind that we assured the Mrs. our next visit to Dr. Ludmilla would settle the matter; we’d tell her the whole story, purge ourselves of our nonsense…

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Gold is History (GLD,SLV)

Gold is History (GLD,SLV)   Despite the latest dipsy-doodle in the precious metals market, with silver diving almost fifteen percent in under a month, the outlook for the money metals still looks reasonably good.   We’ll get to the proof and the charts in just a moment, but first a little history.   Silver topped out back in the spring of 2011, losing three quarters of its value in a grinding, torturous bear market that spanned a full five years.   Gold, on the other hand, began its bear later that year, plateauing in September of 2011 and bottoming alongside her cheapskate sister as the bells of New Year’s, 2016 were still pealing.   The…

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Precious Inversus Correlatus (SLV,QQQ)

Precious Inversus Correlatus (SLV,QQQ)   There’s no easy way to speak about what’s coming down the pipe.   There’s going to be a great deal of difficulty headed our way in both the financial and social realms shortly, and there’s going to be a good deal of suffering, too.  It’s our firm belief, however, that there are immediate, practical steps you can take today to prepare yourself for that eventuality and to insulate yourself – to some extent – from the slings and arrows that this way cometh. When we talk about ‘close’, we mean inside a decade.   When we talk about ‘financial distress’, we mean a banking and currency crisis that will more…

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Financial Drone Strike! (NOC,DBC,JCP,LOW,SLV,UUP)

There’s been a great deal of press lately regarding a handful of tech companies and the outsized role they’ve played in goosing the market averages.   And, indeed, it’s the case that Amazon, Alphabet (Google), Microsoft, Facebook and Apple have all been climbing recently, and contributed in great measure to the success of the NASDAQ, not to mention the S&P 500 in the last fortnight.   But a look at breadth figures for the rest of the big caps shows that the big five are not alone; nearly all the index components have been pulling their weight. The percentage of S&P stocks trading above their 50 day moving averages, a rudimentary indicator of bullishness, climbed…

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Spring Cleaning (UUP,SLV)

Spring Cleaning (UUP,SLV)   Propagandists and sales and marketing professionals know the value of repeating the message ad nauseum.  They know that with enough time they’ll eventually crack through their audience’s cortex and implant themselves there for good.   There’s something about the human psyche, it seems (call it an inborn weakness), that eventually relents, and then wholeheartedly believes after the 650th repetition of “CLEANS WHILE IT DISINFECTS” that the product actually does what it says.   The marketing pros in the brokerage and mutual fund businesses are also aware of this, and the techniques they use are exactly the same. When we first started out in this business nearly thirty years ago, we experienced…

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Break Out the New Silverware (SLV,C,FAZ)

Break Out the New Silverware (SLV,C,FAZ) There are those who go through life happy to be around people, cajoling and backslapping, but desperately uncomfortable in their own skin.  And then there are those who prefer solitude, but are quite content with who they are.  The former we often refer to as ‘extroverts’.  Some prefer to call them ‘politicians’.  The latter are labeled ‘introverts’.  But a better term might be ‘wise’.   Now, of course, there’s a broad spectrum of people that fall in between these two extremes, and our point in offering all this today is to get you thinking of roughly where you fall in that space.  Why?  Because it’s more than likely that…

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