Category: Z Legacy: Finance


Spot the oxymoron: “Growth down, optimism up”

June 20, 2014 Bangkok, Thailand With a nod to the absurd, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen freely admitted earlier this week that the Fed really has no idea what’s going to happen to the economy. Bear in mind this is the person who controls interest rates in the United States, effectively setting the

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Little by little, we went insane

June 9, 2014 London, England [Editor’s Note: This column was written by Tim Price, Director of Investment at PFP Wealth Management and frequent Sovereign Man contributor.] “Are we finished ? The answer is no.” – Mario Draghi, President of the European Central Bank, 5th June 2014, having just cut ECB deposit rates to

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How is this not a MASSIVE conflict of interest?

June 9, 2014 En route to Europe Henry Ford once said, “It is well that the people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.” He was right about at least one thing– it’s true that

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This is a CRITICAL part of having a Plan B

June 6, 2014 Hamilton, Bermuda Like most people, I love the beach. And Bermuda has plenty of really great beaches. It’s lovely here– advanced, civilized, and friendly. But let’s be honest, there are a lot of places in the world with great beaches. What really sets Bermuda apart– what makes it unique– is

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We all lost

[Editor’s note: This missive was penned by Tim Price, frequent Sovereign Man contributor and Director of Investment at PFP Wealth Management in the UK.] “I say to all those who bet against Greece and against Europe: you lost and Greece won. You lost and Europe won.” – Jean-Claude Juncker, former prime minister of

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The modern investor’s manifesto

May 20, 2014 London, England [Editor’s note: This letter was written by Simon’s colleague Tim Price in the UK, who is currently Director of Investment at PFP Wealth Management] “The stock market is filled with people who know the price of everything, but the value of nothing.” – Philip Fisher. A personal perspective

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No money down

The bubble expands: “no money down” loans come to Asia

May 8, 2014 Dallas, Texas, USA Remember all of those credit card and loan offers you used to receive in the mail? Bad credit? No credit? No problem.  0% APR for the first six months. Free balance transfers. No money down. And my personal favorite– no credit check. These were all classic signs

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Albert Einstein’s timeless advice for investors

May 6, 2014 London, England [Editor’s note: Tim Price, frequent Sovereign Man contributor and Director of Investment at PFP Wealth Management is filling in for Simon today.]   “If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on it, I would use the first 55 minutes determining the proper

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This is exactly how you destroy a banking system

May 5, 2014 New York City You might not realize it, but today is a very important date. Yes, of course, it’s Cinco de Mayo. But possibly more important, it’s also the deadline for banks around the world to sign up for information-sharing agreements with the IRS. Think about it like this: imagine

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Well this is rather embarrassing…

April 28, 2014 Santiago, Chile And another one bites the dust. Now it’s Bank of America, one of the largest banks in the Land of the Free, that is inadequately capitalized. Last month, Bank of America made a lot of noise about how they were going to buy back up to $5 billion

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Here’s why we’re investing in Japanese stocks

April 28, 2014 London, England [Editor’s note: This letter was written by Simon’s colleague Tim Price in the UK, who is currently Director of Investment at PFP Wealth Management] As contrarian investments go, we’re probably in three of the biggest. As regular readers will be aware, gold is one – subject to the

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Letter from a private banker

[Editor’s note: Michael O’Brian is a European private banker] One of the founding fathers of the United States famously remarked that death and taxes are the only certainties in life. And as tax day rolled around once again in the US, individuals the length and breadth of the country were participating in the

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Ex-Morgan Stanley Chief Economist: Fed is distorting markets

Stephen Roach is one of the top economists in the world and former Chief Economist at Morgan Stanley. This is a great, very recent interview. I recommend skipping to 13:05 for about 30 seconds of brilliance if you’re pressed for time: “The market has been distorted by far bigger forces than flash trading.

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Why the Australian dollar is going to get weaker

[Editor’s note: This column was written by Sovereign Man Chief Investment Strategist Tim Staermose] Earlier in the year I published a piece, setting out why I thought a weaker Australian dollar was inevitable. In light of the recent bounce in the Australian dollar, some people have asked me about it. My views have

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Stunning: US government calls 2% tax rate “extortion”

April 8, 2014 Santiago, Chile Pop quiz: how much do you weigh in kilograms? If you live in just about every country on the planet, you know the answer immediately. But if you live in the United States, you’re probably pulling out a calculator right now. That’s because the US is one of

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Balance Sheet

Nigeria just doubled the size of its economy with a stroke of a pen.

April 7, 2014 Santiago, Chile Over the weekend, Nigeria’s government made an accounting adjustment in how it calculates its GDP statistics. By changing the base-year in GDP calculations from 1990 to 2010, Nigeria increased the reported size of its economy by 89% over the weekend. So with a stroke of a pen, the

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Fed apologizes for 100 years of destroying the dollar

April 1, 2014 Santiago, Chile In an absolutely astounding announcement today, Janet Yellen made a stern and heartfelt apology for 100 years of asset bubbles, depressions, recessions, panics, banking crises, and all-around inflation caused by the Federal Reserve. Flanked on both sides by former Fed Chairmen Ben Bernanke, Alan Greenspan, and Paul Volker,

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US now spending 26% of available tax revenue just to pay interest

By the 19th century, the Ottoman Empire had become a has-been power whose glory days as the world’s superpower were well behind them. They had been supplanted the French, the British, and the Russian empires in all matters of economic, military, and diplomatic strength. Much of this was due to the Ottoman Empire’s

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Barack Obama does -not- want you to own this stock…

March 24, 2014 Sovereign Valley Farm, Chile When it comes to investing money, there’s no such thing as a sure thing. Even the ‘safest’ investment in the world (US Treasuries) is anything but safe. I mean… on what planet does it make sense to loan your hard-earned cash to the biggest debtor that

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How low does this go before there’s a currency crisis?

March 11, 2014 Caribbean coast, Honduras How’s this for irony– In our modern monetary system, the term ‘fiat currency’ refers to this absurd notion of paper currency that is conjured out of thin air by central bankers and backed by nothing but hollow promises. ‘Fiat’ is a subjunctive conjugation of the Latin verb

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Former central banker: “[Bankers] are making it up as they go along.”

March 3, 2014 London, England [Editors note: Tim Price, Director of Investment at PFP Wealth Management and frequent Sovereign Man contributor is filling in for Simon today.] A few weeks ago, William White (former economist at the Bank of England, the Bank of Canada, and Bank of International Settlements) made a frank admission.

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Presenting the #1 financial haven for dictators and criminals

February 26, 2014 Medellin, Colombia Pop quiz: When really nasty criminals and dictators want to hide their illicit gains, which country do they go to? I’ll make this easy for you– multiple choice: a) Switzerland b) British Virgin Islands c) Hong Kong With all the drama, history, and stigma surrounding Switzerland, most people

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IMF report: ‘Debt is good’. What are these people smoking?

February 18, 2014 Sovereign Valley Farm, Chile Probably every kid in the world has at some point dreamed of having a time machine and being able to travel back to the past… usually to see dinosaurs or something like that. Time travel is an almost universal fantasy. And if I could snap my

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This chart will make you want to sell your stocks

February 12, 2014 Santiago, Chile Three million percent. That’s the investment return that Andy Bechtolsheim has made on his Google investment. If you had parked $100,000 in Google stock when it IPO’d ten years ago, your investment would be worth $1.4 million today. Not bad. But Andy was one of the first major

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Not bank vaults

This is what banks do when they go broke

January 27, 2014 Santiago, Chile It’s happening again. This time HSBC branches in the UK are putting limits on customer withdrawals. Bank employees there have been telling customers that they first must demonstrate to the bank’s satisfaction WHY they want to withdraw their own money. The bank has simply decided in its sole

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Here’s a great way to lose a lot of money–

January 16, 2014 Santiago, Chile There’s a nasty little parasite that exists in nature known as the nematomorph hairworm (Spinochordodes tellinii) which typically infects grasshoppers and crickets. Once fully grown, the worm is able to profoundly affect the behavior of its host; most notably, the worm can actually compel a grasshopper to throw

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The safest currency in the world… selling for a big discount

January 10, 2014 Sovereign Valley Farm, Chile There’s no doubt that one of these days (hopefully very soon), our current monetary system will be viewed as one of the most absurd financial experiments in history. Consider the monetary system for what it really is– politicians award unelected central bankers with the power to

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Why do we have faith in gold? (one simple statistic)

January 6, 2014 London, England [Editor’s Note: Tim Price, Director of Investment at PFP Wealth Management and frequent Sovereign Man contributor is filling in for Simon today.] On December 31st, 1964, the Dow Jones Industrial Average stood at 874. On December 31st, 1981, it stood at 875. In Buffett’s words, “I’m known as

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Why I don’t invest in stocks (and where I do park my investment capital)

December 11, 2013 Santiago, Chile Earlier this week, Start-Up Chile announced the next round of new businesses who have been accepted to the program. If you’re not familiar with it, Start-Up Chile is a government program that provides $40,000 in equity-free seed capital (plus a residency visa) to entrepreneurs and their startup companies

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How Isaac Newton went flat broke chasing a stock bubble

December 10, 2013 London, England [Editor’s Note: Tim Price, Director of Investment at PFP Wealth Management and frequent Sovereign Man contributor is filling in for Simon today.] For practitioners of Schadenfreude, seeing high-profile investors losing their shirts is always amusing. But for the true connoisseur, the finest expression of the art comes when

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