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Not your mate

[Editor’s note: Tim Price, London-based wealth manager, is filling in for Simon today.] The consumption of financial media can be dangerous. Mixed with overpriced global brands, it can be deadly. In August 2000, Fortune Magazine published an article entitled ‘Ten stocks to last the decade’. As befits something written during the latter stages

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Turn those machines back off!

Back in the 1970s, the BBC started broadcasting a children’s show called ‘Why Don’t You?’ Its full title: ‘Why Don’t You Just Switch Off Your Television Set And Go Out And Do Something Less Boring Instead?’ Out of the mouths of babes. Rolf Dobelli, the best-selling author of ‘The Art of Thinking Clearly’

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Is Deutsche Bank insolvent?

This is getting to be a habit. Previous late summer holidays by this correspondent coincided with the run on Northern Rock, and subsequently with the failure of Lehman Brothers. So the final crawl towards the probable nationalisation of Deutsche Bank came as no particular surprise this year, but it is tiresome to relate

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Ease this

[Editor’s note: Tim Price, London-based wealth manager, is filling in for Simon today.] “There is no simple, painless solution. The world has to reduce debt, shrink the financial part of the economy, and change the destructive incentive structures in finance. Individuals in developed countries have to save more and spend less. Companies have

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How to profit from market anomalies and irrationality

Tulips aren’t native to Holland. The first Tulips were brought over from Istanbul (then known as Constantinople) by a horticulturalist named Carolus Clusius in 1593. But the scent, shape, and rarity of the flower soon caught on and quickly became a status symbol among wealthy Dutch residents. As with any popular commodity, the

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Here’s what really happened in Jackson Hole

[Editor’s note: Tim Price, London-based wealth manager, is filling in for Simon today.] The scenic mountain resort of Jackson Hole in Wyoming played snowy host this weekend to the world’s major central bankers, meeting in conclave to discuss their latest victories over the world economy. Thronged by adoring savers, the so-called Ja’ss Holes

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How I went broke from my own arrogance

In 1999, as an arrogant 20-year old kid who thought he knew everything, I went flat broke. Actually, I was worse than broke. On top of losing all of my money, I was also in debt more than $22,000… so I had a negative net worth. That was an astronomical sum for me

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The ultimate breakdown likely to be surprising, sudden, intense, and large

[Editor’s note: This letter was co-written with Tim Price, London-based wealth manager and co-manager of the VT Price Value Portfolio.] On January 30, 2000, the 88+ million viewers of Superbowl XXXIV were treated to a commercial featuring a now infamous sock puppet. The advertisement was from a company called Pets.com, founded just two

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A crisis of intervention

[Editor’s note: Tim Price, London-based wealth manager, is filling in for Simon today.] For those that already have, Mark Carney is the gift that keeps on giving. Borrowed imprudently and struggling to make those interest payments ? Worry not; the Bank of England has your back. For those that don’t have, the Bank

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Just who is the enemy?

[Editor’s note: Tim Price, London-based wealth manager, is filling in for Simon today.] “..I sat at my desk wringing my hands, transfixed by the tragic slapstick of British politics.. “We are in the biggest domestic political crisis of my life.. “This is only the second time I can remember when the normal, trivial business

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The entire financial system is exposed to this junk bond market

[Editor’s note: Tim Price, London-based wealth manager, is filling in for Simon today.] Japan got there first. 15 years ago, we met a Japanese equity manager who made an astonishing prediction: “Japan was the dress rehearsal. The rest of the world will be the main event.” That seemed an extraordinary suggestion 15 years

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How to legally steal $35,000 from Vladimir Putin

Jim Rogers told me to come here. We were having dinner a few weeks ago in Singapore, and Jim had just returned that morning from Russia full of optimism for the improving economy. I had been meaning to come back here anyhow to scout out private equity deals. But after hearing Jim’s take

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These six former Goldman Sachs bankers want to destroy your savings

[Editor’s note: Tim Price, London-based wealth manager, is filling in for Simon today.] Rule #1 in central banking: Never go full Draghi. Mario Draghi, of course, is the President of the European Central Bank (ECB) who pledged to do “whatever it takes” to save the euro. Or was it save the world? We

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Opportunity: the most disastrous event since World War II

[Editor’s note: Tim Price, London-based wealth manager, is filling in for Simon today.] So the British people have finally spoken. The Establishment, however, chose not to hear them, turning its perpetual tin ear to criticism from below. As the flag-bearer for an unaccountable, hypocritical and increasingly bewildered elite, Martin Wolf for the Financial

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Safety in (the right) numbers

[Editor’s note: Tim Price, London-based wealth manager, is filling in for Simon today.] “Gross: Global yields lowest in 500 years of recorded history. $10 trillion of neg. rate bonds. This is a supernova that will explode one day.” – Tweet from Janus Capital. Bill Gross’ warning is, of course, tautological. A supernova is

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6 rules I follow when making any investment

This morning as I glanced at the headlines, I had to sit back and wonder– when did the world get so crazy? Interest rates across the West are at zero or negative. Bankrupt governments are selling 100-year bonds with tiny interest rates, while others have convinced investors to pay for the privilege of

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Why portfolio theory is wrong

[Editor’s note: Tim Price, London-based wealth manager, is filling in for Simon today.] “Suffice it to say that volatility and risk are not the same thing, but that for reasons which remain obscure most of the investment world chooses to treat them as if they are. The only one that makes any sense

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What a carve-up, as economists fake panic over Brexit

[Editor’s note: Tim Price, London-based wealth manager, is filling in for Simon today.] JW: “..Someone like Neil Woodford, star investor, who set up his own fund; he says the fundamentals of the economy will be unmoved [by Brexit] either way.. RA: “Well I’m afraid that every, every serious economic forecaster would not agree

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How to turn $10,000 into $22 million

[Editor’s note: Tim Price, London-based wealth manager and frequent Sovereign Man contributor, is filling in while Simon is en route to Europe.] As human beings it’s in our nature to seek out a great deal. Whether we bag a steep discount on a new car, or stumble across that hidden gem of extraordinarily

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This surprise asset outperformed stocks and bonds for 27 years

Out here in Eastern Washington’s Yakima Valley are beautiful, seemingly endless fields of abundance and wealth. But not ‘wealth’ in the conventional sense. I’m not talking about paper money that’s conjured out of thin air by central bankers. I’m talking about real wealth. Real assets. Growing up in a lower middle class household

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The game has changed. Time to learn the new rules.

[Editor’s note: Tim Price, London-based wealth manager, is filling in for Simon today.] In their efforts to jam the square peg of financial theory into the round hole of human nature, economists have perpetrated some pretty stupid things. But few of them are dumber than the efficient market hypothesis (EMH). EMH states that

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How to find companies selling for less than their bank balances

[Editor’s note: This letter was penned by Tim Staermose, Sovereign Man’s Chief Investment Strategist and editor of the 4th Pillar Investment Alert.] If you know me personally, you know I have a lot of hair. So when I go get a haircut, I always feel bad that the price is the same for

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It took me a year to close this deal (but it was worth it)

After a mind-numbing, year-long process, one of the longest business deals I’ve ever been involved with in my entire life finally closed a few days ago. I couldn’t be more excited. Through Sovereign Man’s parent company, we purchased a wonderful, Australia-based business that’s been around for over 20 years and is a pretty

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This gorgeous penthouse in the nicest part of town sold for $200,000

My friend Zac’s sprawling penthouse apartment is over 3,500 square feet. It boasts five bedrooms, a library, game room, office, two large terraces, and exceptional views of the entire city. Plus it’s located in the nicest part of town, just a short walk from all the best restaurants and nightlife. The price he

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Surviving Mission Creep

[Editor’s note: Tim Price, London-based wealth manager, is filling in for Simon today.] “So there is another reason why Europe isn’t growing and it’s one the central bank can do nothing about. Namely, the 19 governments of the Eurozone and the super-state in Brussels have essentially outlawed it. If you want to know

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It’s now almost impossible to save for retirement

My grandfather was something of a Renaissance Man. He was a farmer, schoolteacher, fisherman, collector, real estate investor… and one of those guys who always seemed to know how to do everything. He could take apart an engine, build a house with his bare hands, tame wild horses, treat life-threatening wounds, play the

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Raging bull

[Editor’s note: Tim Price, London-based wealth manager, is filling in for Simon today.] “The nonsense and frustrations we all witness in this industry every day is a red hot ember that drives us, a prime motivator to push back against the endless firehose of bullshit that the Wall Street machinery manufactures. The single

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Time to be bullish

[Editor’s note: Tim Price, London-based wealth manager, is filling in for Simon today.] “We don’t see a recession coming in the United States.” – Abby Joseph Cohen in a recent Bloomberg interview. US corporate profits are experiencing a “gut wrenching slump”, according to SocGen’s Albert Edwards, in a research note published last Thursday

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The original ‘too big to fail’ from 2,500 years ago

[Editor’s note: Tim Price, London-based wealth manager and frequent Sovereign Man contributor is filling in while Simon is en route to Colombia.] Successful investing requires having an edge. If you do not know what your edge is, you do not have one. One doesn’t need to be a rocket scientist, or even a

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The triumph of the invisible hand

[Editor’s note: Tim Price, London-based wealth manager, is filling in for Simon today.] “By virtue of exchange, one man’s prosperity is beneficial to all others.” – Frédéric Bastiat. It remains one of the most powerful metaphors in economics. In 1850 Frédéric Bastiat gave the world the story of the broken window. The son

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Our survey said

[Editor’s note: Tim Price, London-based wealth manager, is filling in for Simon today.] “It is because the public are a mass – inert, obtuse and passive – that they need to be shaken up from time to time so that we can tell from their bear-like grunts where they are – and also

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Kings of the wild frontier

[Editor’s note: Tim Price, London-based wealth manager, is filling in for Simon today.] “Simple but not easy” – The title of Richard Oldfield’s book about value investing. It has a young, highly educated population. 60% of its people are under the age of 35. It has a literacy rate of over 85%. Almost

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