Commodities

Jeremy Grantham: Avoid U.S. Stocks, ‘Heavily Overweight’ Emerging Market Equities

When I last blogged about “Crash Prophet” Jeremy Grantham right after Thanksgiving, the British-born investment strategist and founder/former chairman of Grantham, Mayo, Van Otterloo & Co. (currently overseeing $74 billion in client assets) had just mentioned in a Wall Street Journal interview that although U.S. stock prices were high, profit margins were also are unusually high, lending support to high valuations. In addition, low interest rates make equities more attractive than fixed-income investments. As a result, he didn’t forecast a crash is stock prices as much as a decades-long reversion to anywhere near the long-term average.

Now, regular readers of Survival And Prosperity know I like to read and pick apart Grantham’s quarterly letters on the GMO website. And his third quarter letter has just been released. Grantham, whose individual clients have included former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, penned the following about U.S. equities in “Career Risk and Stalin’s Pension Fund: Investing in a World of Overpriced Assets (With a Single Reasonably-Priced Asset)”:

The trend line will regress back toward the old normal but at a substantially slower rate than normal because some of the reasons for major differences in the last 20 years are structural and will be slow to change. Factors such as an increase in political influence and monopoly power of corporations; the style of central bank management, which pushes down on interest rates; the aging of the population; greater income inequality; slower innovation and lower productivity and GDP growth would be possible or even probable examples. Therefore, I argue that even in 20 years these factors will only be two-thirds of the way back to the old normal of pre-1998. This still leaves returns over the 20-year period significantly sub-par. Another sharp drop in prices, the third in this new 20-year era, will not change this outcome in my opinion, as prices will bounce back a third time

Near-term major declines suggest a much-increased value of cash reserves and a greater haven benefit from high-rated bonds.

My assumption of slow regression produces an expectation of a dismal 2.5% real for the S&P and 3.5% to 5% for other global equities over 20 years, but also a best guess of approximately the same over 7 years.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Grantham’s thoughts on where one might invest?

My conclusion is straightforward: heavily overweight EM equities, own some EAFE, and avoid US equities.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Referring to an exhibit, he pointed out:

1) developed ex-US is well below its 20-year average and 40% below the US; and 2) Emerging is 65% below its high in 2007.

There were also these nuggets from the letter:

Pension funds should brace themselves for a disastrous 1% to 3% return in the next 10 years.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

And:

My view on Resources is that the cycle has turned, global economies are doing quite well by recent standards, and oil prices are likely to rise for three years or so.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Yet another insightful letter from Grantham, which you can read here in its entirety on the GMO site.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s note: A qualified professional should be consulted prior to making a financial decision based on material found in this weblog. If this recommended course of action is not pursued, then it must be understood that the decision is the reader’s and the reader’s alone. Christopher E. Hill, the creator/Editor of this blog, is not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information presented on the site.)

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Related Reading On Offshore Safe Deposit Boxes Blog

Survival And Prosperity readers may have noticed not only was this blog “rebooted” on November 1, but Offshore Safe Deposit Boxes and it’s sister site Offshore Private Vaults as well.

And right now I’m in the middle of a series of posts on OSDB about physical gold and storing it overseas.

Posts so far this week have included “Nomad Capitalist’s ‘10 Tips For Buying Gold In 2018’” and “Mark Nestmann: Offshore Your Physical Gold”.

For the remainder of the week I’ll be blogging about gold coins, carrying these out of the U.S., and a comparison of several offshore jurisdictions for storing precious metals and other valuables.

Feel free to stop on by my Offshore Safe Deposit Boxes blog should you be interested in any of this related material.

Christopher E. Hill
Editor

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Wednesday, December 6th, 2017 Commodities, Housekeeping, Investing, Precious Metals No Comments

Peter Schiff: Invest Overseas, Buy Commodities To Avoid Either U.S. Stock, Dollar Plummet

Turning to “crash prophet” Peter Schiff this afternoon, the CEO of Euro Pacific Capital was recently interviewed by Scott Gamm of TheStreet. Schiff, who correctly-called the housing bust and economic crisis last decade, echoed colleague Jim Rogers in warning about a future bear market in U.S. stocks. From the exchange:

THESTREET: Peter, it’s been an incredible record run here. And the levels we’re seeing now even with this slight pullback were record highs not too long ago. So, what do you say?
SCHIFF: Well, the bubble keeps getting bigger. Donald Trump called it himself as a candidate. He said it was a big, fat, ugly bubble. He was right then. He’s wrong now because now he denies it’s a bubble because he’s now the President and so it’s his bubble. And so he’d rather it be a bull market. But the valuations here really are extreme. The complacency is also extreme. I mean, investors are willing to pay very high prices and have very little worry (chuckle) that the stock market is going to go down. And people have very short memories. I’ve mean, we’ve had two major 50 percent declines in the stock market this century, since 2000. So we’ve had the market cut in half twice and it can easily happen again, yet nobody seems concerned. And I think one of the reasons is because the last two times the market went down the Fed was able to bail out investors to bet on one bubble by inflating a bigger one. So a lot of investors may have been conditioned to believe that even if the market implodes, if they hold on, they’ll get their money back. But the third time might not be the charm. It’s possible that the Fed can’t blow a bubble big enough to bail out investors this time…
THESTREET: So do you think that tide kind of turns in the next year?
SCHIFF: Hey, I don’t know. There’s no way to know. I mean, I think Donald Trump has nominated somebody who will try and do his best to keep the air in the bubble- cut rates, QE 4. But at some point, the market forces will overwhelm the Fed. The market will go down. And if it doesn’t go down the dollar will collapse instead. But either way, you’re going to see the real value of U.S. stocks come way down, whether it happens nominally or not. And I have a feeling that if the Fed prints enough money to prevent the market from going down dramatically, then the real losses will be even bigger because of the implosion of the U.S. dollar.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

When asked about advice for investors as to where to put their money right now if they’re worried about U.S. stocks, the author of The Real Crash: America’s Coming Bankruptcy – How to Save Yourself and Your Country told viewers:

People who are in the U.S. market are overlooking much better returns from much better valuation levels that are happening overseas. So I think people should take advantage of the overpriced U.S. stock market, the overpriced U.S. dollar, and sell, and move money abroad. Get into the international markets- developed and emerging. Get into the commodities space. Look at oil hitting a new two-year high again today. This is going on in commodities across the board. We are coming off of major bear markets. We’re in the infancy of new bull markets. And I think the dollar is about to get killed. This is the first year in many years now that the dollar is down. But I think it’s the first of many. I think the dollar could fall for the next 5 to 10 years in a major, major bear market taking the dollar to all-time record lows. And this will enable enormous profits for people who are invested outside the U.S. in the right currencies, the right assets, the right companies. That’s what I think we’re doing with our clients at Euro Pacific Capital and that’s certainly what I’m doing with my own money.


“Peter Schiff Slams Bitcoin, Federal Reserve and Antitrust Regulators”
YouTube Video

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s note: A qualified professional should be consulted prior to making a financial decision based on material found in this weblog. If this recommended course of action is not pursued, then it must be understood that the decision is the reader’s and the reader’s alone. Christopher E. Hill, the creator/Editor of this blog, is not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information presented on the site.)

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Jim Rogers Predicts ‘A Canned Goods Kind Of Time’ In The Next Few Years

In our present discussion of money/investing matters on Survival And Prosperity I’ve already brought up one “crash prophet” this week in Jeremy Grantham. Today, I want to talk about another “prophet”- investor, author, and financial commentator Jim Rogers.

The former investing partner of George Soros in the legendary Quantum Fund is not as optimistic about the U.S. stock market as his British colleague. Rogers sat down with Pete Sweeney, Asia Editor of Reuters BREAKINGVIEWS, and issued the following warning in a November 22 podcast. From their exchange:

REUTERS: You’ve been predicting of late a big market crash to come. Now, as we have markets hitting new highs every minute it seems and people are shorting volatility indexes apparently. I just want to move us forward a little bit. Let’s assume it does happen next year. Let’s assume all this crazy happiness evaporates in a big disaster. What do you think the strategy is for positioning in terms of assets, regions?
ROGERS: Look, let me make sure that we have it clear. What I have said was, that we will have a bear market again some day. Now, Janet Yellen, the head of the Federal Reserve in America, says we won’t. She says everything is okay now and there won’t be anymore economic problems. I happen to disagree with her, and I know we will have bear markets again. And what I said was, the next one we have when it comes is going to be the worst in your life- the worst in my lifetime. And I think I’m older than you. The reason for that being, 2008 we had a problem- too much debt. We had a problem. The next time around debt, is so, so, so much higher Pete. In the last nine years debt has skyrocketed. So the next time we have a bear market, it’s going to be the worst in my lifetime. I wish I were smart enough to know when.
REUTERS: I’m just saying, for a hypothetical, because you’ve been watching these asset markets, because I hear people talking about this a lot. The question is, how do you make money off of it? You’re an investor. So you short everything? Do you buy canned goods, ammo, stuff? What looks attractive to you, assuming that you’re bearish on this?
ROGERS: Well, I’m not short. I bought stocks this week in China, in Japan, Zimbabwe, Taiwan. So I see opportunities on the long side in markets. Doesn’t mean I’m right. The bear market maybe start today. No, but I see opportunities. But if you’re worried about that you do need to learn how to sell short. Great fortunes can be made in a bear market selling short. I’m not sure canned goods is the place yet. No, no, don’t laugh, because we’re going to have some time in the next few years a canned goods kind of time. We’re going to have serious, serious problems in the world. I’m not sure canned goods is for the next bear market. But it’s… don’t forget your canned goods.

The commodities “guru” is still bullish on agriculture, suggesting:

If you’re worried about the world, and we are going to have a serious bear market, you should think about agriculture. Because agriculture will probably do well. That is a place that will probably disconnect, to use your term, in the next bear market.

The Chairman of Rogers Holdings and Beeland Interests, Inc. elaborated on his new acquisitions, telling listeners:

I bought Japanese ETFs, Chinese ETFs, Taiwan ETFs, and Zimbabwe, the comparable of ETFs in Zimbabwe.

Finally, Rogers shared the following as the interview came to a close:

I own Japanese shares. Am I going to make money? I don’t know. But my view is, the Japanese stock market may go back to its all-time highs. And that would be a double if it does…

At the moment, I still see reasons to be optimistic in some markets that are still very depressed compared to the ones going through the roof.

Good interview questions and even better replies from the Singapore-based Rogers. You can listen to the entire 13-minute interview on the Reuters BREAKINGVIEWS website here.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s note: A qualified professional should be consulted prior to making a financial decision based on material found in this weblog. If this recommended course of action is not pursued, then it must be understood that the decision is the reader’s and the reader’s alone. Christopher E. Hill, the creator/Editor of this blog, is not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information presented on the site.)

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Jim Rogers: ‘I Want To Own More Silver But I Want To Own It At A Lower Price Which I Expect’

Tonight I just got finished reading the transcript of a February 9, 2017, interview of well-known investor, author, and financial commentator Jim Rogers by Macro Voices’ Erik Townsend. As usual, the former investing partner of George Soros discussed a number of topics, including:

U.S. Stocks- “Happy days are here” if President Trump carries out those “wonderful things” he said he would (cut taxes, rebuild infrastructure, bring $3 trillion home which U.S. companies have overseas) and avoids trade wars

U.S. Dollar- Despite the correction, “it’s going to go too high, may turn into a bubble, at which point I hope I’m smart enough to sell it because at some point the market forces are going to cause the dollar to come back down because people are going to realize, oh my gosh, this is causing a lot of turmoil, economic problems in the world and it’s damaging the American economy.”

Junk Bonds- “I am shorting junk bonds still”

Precious Metals- “I’m still sitting and watching. I want to own more gold. I want to own more silver but I want to own it at a lower price which I expect.”

“War on Cash”- “Probably we are not going to have as many freedoms as we have now even though we are already losing our freedoms at a significant pace.”

The Singapore-based investor mentioned in a separate interview earlier this month regarding India’s demonetization efforts:

If governments do away with cash, it gives them more power and control.

Townsend’s interview was of Rogers was thorough and interesting, particularly that bit about silver. Head on over to the Macro Voices website here to listen to/read their exchange.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s notes: Info added to “Crash Prophets” page; a qualified professional should be consulted prior to making a financial decision based on material found in this weblog. If this recommended course of action is not pursued, then it must be understood that the decision is the reader’s and the reader’s alone. The creator/Editor of this blog is not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information contained herein.)

Source:

Wadhwa, Puneet. “Modi is doing everything he can to get votes: Jim Rogers.” Business Standard. 2 Feb. 2017. (http://www.business-standard.com/budget/article/modi-is-doing-everything-he-can-to-get-votes-jim-rogers-117020200389_1.html). 13 Feb. 2017.

Rogers’ latest book…

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Peter Schiff Predicts Resumption Of Dollar Decline, Gold Rally This Week

It’s been a while, but Euro Pacific Capital CEO Peter Schiff added a new entry to The Schiff Report YouTube vlog on Saturday. Schiff, who correctly-called the housing bust and economic crisis last decade, talked about a number of subjects, including his belief that the Federal Reserve has no intention of raising rates in March, “a lot” of dollar selling is coming, and the gold rally will resume. From the video:

The reason the Fed didn’t give a clue that it might be raising rates in March, is because it has no intention of doing so…

I think the trade deficits are going up. I think the budget deficits are going up. Certainly to the extent that we get some tax cuts. We continue to get more government spending. If we get more government spending under Trump on the military, on the border, on infrastructure. Rising trade deficits. Rising budget deficits. Rising inflation. All of this is going to be a big negative for the dollar. And of course, everybody was so loaded up long the dollar, I think the people who own the dollar- there’s a lot of dollar selling that’s coming. And I think the dollar bulls are going to end up losing a lot of money…

Since the beginning of this year the Dow is barely up more than 1 percent. You can contrast that to the price of gold which is up 6 percent so far this year. Look at gold stocks. Gold stocks are up 17 percent as a group so far in 2017. 17 percent. Everybody’s talking about the Dow. No one’s talking about gold stocks. In fact, gold stocks were the number one performing sector last year, by far. Wasn’t even close. And they’re already by far the number one performing sector this year. But nobody really wants to talk about it…

I think we’re going to see a resumption of the dollar decline and gold rally next week…


“Rising Unemployment Is Just The Excuse The Fed’s Been Waiting For”
YouTube Video

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s notes: Info added to “Crash Prophets” page. A qualified professional should be consulted prior to making a financial decision based on material found in this weblog. If this recommended course of action is not pursued, then it must be understood that the decision is the reader’s and the reader’s alone. The creator/Editor of this blog is not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information contained herein.)

Schiff’s latest book…

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Jim Rogers: ‘Next Period Of Economic Turmoil Is Going To Be Worse Than What We’ve Seen In Our Lifetime’

A couple of days ago I came across an interview with well-known investor, author, and financial commentator Jim Rogers that was published on The Globe and Mail (Canada) website back on January 26. The former investing partner of George Soros in the legendary Quantum Fund answered a number of questions, including one about expressing “some pessimism about the world, particularly the U.S.” Rogers pointed out:

Every four to seven years since the beginning of the Republic, we’ve had economic turmoil. It has now been eight years since we had our last problem. We’re overdue. Mr. Trump has sworn trade wars with Mexico, China and a few others. If that happens, it’s all over. Trade wars have always led to bankruptcies—and often have led to wars, as well…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Rogers added this warning later on in the exchange:

The next period of economic turmoil is going to be worse than what we’ve seen in our lifetime…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

When asked how he prepared financially for such upheaval, the Singapore-based investor replied:

I’m very long the U.S. dollar. It is not a safe haven- the U.S. is the biggest debtor nation in history- but people think it is, so there will be flight into it. It might even turn into a bubble, depending on how bad the turmoil is. Let’s hope I’m smart enough to sell. My plan then is to buy gold

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Greenback, then gold for Mr. Rogers.

Back on December 7, 2016, I blogged about a different interview in which this gameplan was mentioned.

On January 23, I brought up a MarketWatch article featuring Jim Rogers in which markets reporter Sue Chang wrote:

“This is a good time to add dollars,” said Rogers, who believes that the greenback will continue to rise through this year into 2018

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

The Chairman of Rogers Holding also talked about where he sees the best investment opportunities now and other interesting subjects in the insightful Globe and Mail piece, which you can read on their website here.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s notes: Info added to “Crash Prophets” page; a qualified professional should be consulted prior to making a financial decision based on material found in this weblog. If this recommended course of action is not pursued, then it must be understood that the decision is the reader’s and the reader’s alone. The creator/Editor of this blog is not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information contained herein.)

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