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1. I'm willing to risk at least 50%, while looking for at least 5X return on overall portfolio.
2. Buy at support, or a massive sell-off. Focus accumulation of uranium miners employing ISR techniques, gold miners with unique properties, royalty gold stocks, and firms with top management.
3. If any position doubles in value, sell half.
4. Hold the rest till top of market. For uranium miners, this is at least a price per pound of $140 in the uranium market; for gold, it depends: need to see a new international monetary agreement and some type of resolution to the global sovereign debt crisis.
5. Exit uranium if China and India back off nuclear.
6. Possibly exit on change of management.
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» How to Judge Your Financial Advisor (Dennis Miller)
Dec 10, 2013 - by InformedTrades
Originally Published by Casey Research
A friend of mine used to have three financial advisors whom he forced into competition. If one started underperforming, he would pull some money from him and give it to the other two. I’ve heard of similar strategies several times now. In some ways, it makes sense. However, this strategy misses the real purpose of having a financial advisor.View the Casey Research Guide to Crisis Investing on InformedTrades
What makes one financial advisor better than another is not whether he earned 15% this year while the other guy earned 13%. (Now, if we’re talking about a mutual fund manager, that’s a different story.) Nonetheless, many investors evaluate their financial advisor in this way. They see advisors as stock pickers. It doesn’t help that advisors often portray them*selves in this same light.
However, you have to remember your financial advisor’s role in a financial institution. For your purposes as a client, advisors are the salespeople. That does not mean “sales*people” is a dirty word. The truth is quite the opposite; a trustworthy salesperson can be indispensable. However, their job is to find you the right product, not to pick the winning stocks.
Your advisor is not staying up late reading company annual reports. He does not create valu*ation models of stocks. He doesn’t know the ins and outs of P/E ratios, PEG ratios, liquidity ratios, etc. Those are all roles of a proper equity research department. At best, the advisor has read through research reports and has a very basic and surface understanding of an invest*ment. For this reason, it doesn’t make sense to fire an advisor based on him earning a few points less than another one; but there are other ways to gauge their performance.
If returns aren’t the responsibility of the advisor, what services can they provide us and how should we judge them? Here is a checklist of questions to consider:
To sum it up, remember that your financial advisor is in the business of sales (a laudable field). And if he’s a good financial advisor and salesman, he or she will steer you toward investments that best suit your needs at the most reasonable prices. However, he’s not a stock picker, so your evaluation of an advisor’s services shouldn’t be primarily about return. Don’t praise his knowledge of hot tech stocks but rather his knowledge of financial products and ways to better organize your financial life.
- Is the advisor acting in your best interest? In particular, whether or not the advisor owes you a fiduciary duty is extremely important. I’d rather have an advisor who put me in a low, 0.5%- fee fund that earned 10% last year than an advisor who put me into a fund with near 2% fees that earned 15%. In the short run, the returns can blind you from the high expenses, but you shouldn’t reward a financial advisor for getting lucky. In the long run, you want someone who will find you the cheapest funds available. The job should be to save you money in the investment process; it is not to earn returns.
- Is the advisor knowledgeable beyond your investment portfolio? Since the advent of online brokerages, you really don’t need someone buying and selling stocks for you. You can basically do it on your own – especially with the help of a few good newsletters. Where an advisor can really add value is by organiz*ing your finances across the spectrum – from estate planning to insurance to your investment portfolio. Once again, it is not about returns, but rather how much the advisor knows about various financial products, some of which (like insurance) produce no return at all. The broader the advisor’s knowledge base, the better.
Also, remember to test their knowledge beyond just the basics. What do they sug*gest for inflation protection? Do they have more than one boilerplate idea like TIPS? And are they aware of interest-rate risks surrounding bonds? Your advisor does not need to be an expert in every field, but he should have a basic understanding of the options out there and the ability to reach out to other specialists when needed. The broader the advisor’s knowledgebase the better.
Remember the premise from the movie Wall Street. “I have hundreds of guys who tell me stuff I already know. What I want is someone to tell me what I don’t know.” There are too many times what we don’t know can hurt us financially; particularly when it comes to taxes. This is where a good advisor really separates himself from the ordinary stock pickers.
- Has the advisor adequately matched investments to your risk profile? Since everyone is different in risk tolerance, we can’t tailor our Money Forever recommendations to every person’s financial situation. As a result, working with a financial advisor can help you allocate investments to match your risk tolerance. Again, it’s not about return, but instead matching your risk tolerance.
If your port*folio earns 40% next year, you might be very happy, but the risks taken might have been extreme. Anything that can go up 40% can go down 40%. The advisor needs to find investments that meet your comfort level. Judge your advisor by your nights of sound sleep rather than percentage points gained.
- Are the investments performing as promised? This last category has a little bit to do with return, but not entirely. If your advi*sor says that your equity portion should move up with the market but it doesn’t, there’s a problem. If the market moved up 10% and your equity portion moved up only 8%, it isn’t necessarily grounds to fire an otherwise trustworthy advisor. However, suppose your investment only moved 2% in a similar market move. Then, there seems to be a problem with the investment selection. Maybe the advisor didn’t understand them properly, or perhaps the research department seriously messed up. Either way, there are some competence issues that need to be addressed; either the investment or the advisor needs to go. Also consider that if an advisor and his research team can’t properly predict perfor*mance under certain circumstances, then how can they possibly match the invest*ments to your risk profile?
You have to judge the financial advisor for what he does by looking at the overall picture. . If the market tanks by 30% that is beyond his control and you will take some losses. At the same time, did he have proper safeguards in place to protect you from catastrophic losses. When the market is rising, your financial advisor can make money for your portfolio is by saving you money on fees, insurance policies, and tax issues along the way. Those savings are a measure of his or her worth, as they are the direct result of his actions, not a roll of the dice in the stock market.
Financial advisors may all be salespeople, but that’s not such a bad thing in my book.
I trained salespeople all over the world for 35 years and worked with 40 of the Fortune 500 companies in the process. As a general rule, the top 20% of salespeople are respon*sible for 80% of sales.
At one point, several of my clients funded a study to find out what made their top sales*people different from the others. I traveled with these super-salespeople to pinpoint the attitudes and habits that set them apart.
During this study, I quickly discovered that it made no difference what they sold; the extraordinary salespeople all did the same thing. I recall one in particular – a salesman who sold plastic pellets, a fungible commodity – for a Fortune 500 company. I met the president of one of his largest clients and asked why he did business with this salesman’s company even though he knew its prices were a bit higher than the competition’s.
He went on to tell me a story. While he was having a casual lunch with the salesman, he complained that his company’s healthcare costs were skyrocketing. The salesman listened intently and said, “I think I can help you.”
The salesman went back to his own company, found the person responsible for its health*care costs, and asked if he would give his customer some ideas for saving money. He set up the meeting, and the end result was that his client saved over $1 million by implementing some of the ideas presented. On top of that, the salesman also brought in resources from his own company to help his client become ISO certified, which also saved a lot of money and improved the quality of its product.
In a nutshell, this salesman acted as a business consultant on his own initiative. The plastic pellets he sold were almost a secondary consideration. No one would dare dump this salesman’s company as a supplier. He saved his clients too much money by matching up his resources with their needs.
In my travels with the top salespeople, they were all doing the same thing: business con*sulting. They dealt with high-level management and helped solve their problems. In exchange, their clients were loyal and continued to buy from them.
This indeed is also how truly independent, professional financial advisors operate. They have a lot of product-specific knowledge, but they put their clients’ big-picture needs first. And if a client has a particularly thorny issue, they will consult a specialist, maybe an estate-planning attorney or an insurance expert. Just like the plastic-pellet salesman, they elevate themselves above average-Joe financial advisors by looking out for their clients’ overall best interests. This global, client-centric approach is what keeps clients coming back.
Integrity, my friends, is the name of the game. The top salespeople act as though they are fiduciaries, regardless of what they sell or what technical background they have. Who they are and how they do business is what sets them apart.
The Money Forever team is here to help you sift through the rubble and find the exceptional advisors. If you'd like to receive more information on how to find an advisor to prescribe the right financial solutions for you, please check out our special report, "The Financial Advisor Guide." If you are not already a subscriber, you can still get your own copy HERE.
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» Outside the Box: Cool Tech for Your Workouts (John Mauldin)
Dec 10, 2013 - by InformedTrades
Originally Published by Mauldin Economics
I know that what you'll encounter in today's Outside the Box is not macroeconomics. But we all have to live in the real world, and our health is as real as it gets. So this is just one guy telling his friends about something he found that has helped make his world a lot better.
My friend and colleague Pat Cox is always finding something new and different. When Pat first introduced me to this idea, I thought he was being a little over the top. But I happened to be in Palo Alto the following week and met with the scientists Pat mentioned and saw their results. Then I got a beta unit and used it for the first time on my last birthday last year.
I am in reasonable shape for my 64 years. I can do 50 pushups relatively easily and then go on to other parts of the gym, but I could never get past 40 for the second set and then even less if I attempted a third set. I would hit maybe 8 machines and exercises as part of one full upper-body set. The first time I used the AVAcore device you're going to read about, I did three sets of everything, including 3x50 pushups over about 75 minutes, then went home and told the kids – who expressed a certain amount of skepticism. I immediately dropped and did another 39. All in less than two hours. It was a good birthday.
And I was not sore the next day, which was even stranger. But let Pat explain the science. It all makes sense. I have talked with and seen interviews with lots of real athletes who swear by this. This is for real, but as Pat emphasizes, it is not Miracle-Grow. It will do nothing for you if you don’t work out, and baby workouts won’t cut it, either. But if you train seriously – and you should –this is the coolest thing ever (pardon the pun). It will increase your stamina and workout effectiveness.
This is really the first time the device has been offered to a general public audience. And yes, in one year it will be a different and better model and likely cost less. That’s the way of the world. So you can keep your current workout if you like, or you can do much better workouts, starting today. And you'll amaze your friends. This is a rather cool thing to take to the gym.
Your keeping cool and pounding reps analyst,
John Mauldin, Editor
Outside the Boxsubscribers@mauldineconomics.com
Cool Tech for Your Workouts
By Patrick Cox
Two Stanford University biologists have discovered a way to dramatically increase the benefits of exercise. I've used this technology for the last year and, like many other early users, have seen remarkable improvements in strength, endurance, and muscle mass. In fact, my results are better than they were thirty years ago when I was in my thirties.
I understand, by the way, that this sounds like the claims made in spam e-mails. Fortunately, you don't have to take my word for it. Multiple third-party studies from important academic institutions have verified that the device, about the size of a coffee maker, delivers benefits that are superior to those associated with moderate doses of anabolic steroids – with none of the negative side effects.
Moreover, use of this biotechnology is spreading rapidly through the world of professional athletics. Though these organizations are not quick to publicize competitive advantages, we know that the San Francisco 49ers, the Seattle Seahawks, and some US Olympic training facilities use it. Internationally, at least one major soccer team is employing the device, but they haven't said so publicly. The same is true in professional MMA and basketball.
If I have to convince you that exercise should be a priority in your life, you're probably not the person I want to talk to. Nevertheless, I'll point out that research has shown that cardiovascular and strength training can increase your life expectancy by preventing or reversing many serious health risks. These include arthritis, osteoporosis, obesity, loss of muscle mass (sarcopenia), age-related loss of function, diabetes, and cardiovascular and other chronic diseases. Exercise improves sleep, mood, metabolism, appearance, and creativity. Investors who do not recognize the economic value of their own health and longevity are not truly serious investors.
I understand, however, that it can be hard to find time for fitness. It can also be frustrating when results are slow in coming and the aftermath of exercise includes joint pain and muscle soreness. This is particularly true for those of us who are older, and the older you are the more true it becomes.
Until I started using the device a year ago, I felt I was only slowing my descent into age-related frailty. It was a fight I took seriously, but slow failure is not fun. Since integrating this technology into my workouts, however, I've put on serious muscle mass while increasing flexibility, strength, and endurance.
You're not going to see me on stage in a bikini bottom any time soon, but now I'm having serious fun and feeling better than I have in many, many years. I look forward to every workout and start planning the next one as soon I've finished the last. In the interest of full disclosure, I'm also engaged in a program of nutritional supplementation that includes clinically validated but little-known products. I don't have the space to get into that area today, however.
So, please allow me to give you the big scientific picture so you understand how this device radically improves the results of exercise. I should emphasize that I'm not speaking for the inventors of this technology. Some of what I say about cellular processes probably falls into the realm of speculation, but it is my best attempt to explain why this technology is so important and why it works as well as it does.
The story begins with two esteemed Stanford biologists, Drs. Craig Heller and Dennis Grahn, the world's leading authorities in the field of mammalian thermoregulation. Thermoregulation, the ability to moderate body temperature, is the key to steroid-like exercise gains, as I'll explain shortly.
Grahn and Heller are not minor actors in the area of biological research. Grahn is a senior research scientist in the Biological Sciences Department at Stanford University who has authored numerous important papers. Heller is past chairman of the Biological Sciences Department at Stanford and former chairman of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). He has coauthored a leading biology text and numerous research papers. I could go on, but I need to get to thermoregulation.
Heller and Grahn have studied hibernating mammals for decades, puzzling out the means by which animals maintain core body temperatures in both freezing cold and intense heat. Using modern electronics, including remote sensors and infrared photography, they solved a medical mystery that goes back to the time when researchers began dissecting corpses in ancient Egypt and Greece.
Specifically, I'm referring to the masses of densely packed veins found in the palms of your hands as well as the soles of your feet and cheeks. These veins are capable of expanding many times to carry large quantities of blood.
These are the retia venosa, and they present an evolutionary puzzle. Why, after all, would we have veins that bleed so profusely, if cut, near the surface of the skin, located where we are most likely to be injured? Ask any chef who has sliced a palm on a mandoline or a swimmer who has lacerated the arch of the foot on a sharp seashell.
Heller and Grahn solved the puzzle by observing bears and other well-insulated hibernating animals. Infrared photography of bears, who are covered in layers of fat and thick fur, revealed heat being vented from the pads in their paws as well as their noses. Humans are not furred animals, but we share the same characteristic of heat dissipation through our extremities.
Further research revealed that all mammals, including humans, have an alternative circulatory system that kicks in when core body temperature rises. Arterial blood is rerouted away from the normal capillary system that handles oxygen and nutrition delivery. Instead, blood moves into the arteriovenous anastomoses (AVA).
Seriously, this is so cool. When your body heats up, blood is routed away from the other tissues in your limbs and into the specialized AVA, where it travels directly to the retia venosa in your extremities. The veins of the retia venosa swell to many times their normal size to enable venting of excess heat. As you radiate heat, cooled blood then flows directly back to the heart and is used to protect the vulnerable brain, heart, and other organs of your core from overheating.
Meet the Wall
This is a marvelous system, of course. Unfortunately, this cooling system has its limits. Vigorous exercise can overwhelm your thermoregulatory system. When this happens, very bad things can happen, starting with heat stroke. However, your body, has several defense mechanisms to stop the overproduction of heat that can cause permanent damage to your brain and other organs.
One safety mechanism resides right in the brain, which tells you to stop exerting yourself. Exertion becomes extremely unpleasant. You may try to exert yourself at maximum force, but your brain won't send the signals needed to do it. You can still move your muscles, but with much less force.
On the cellular level, important changes are also taking place in muscle cells. As blood is routed away from limbs to protect the core, the normal flow of nutrients and oxygen is cut off. Heat and waste materials, such as lactic acid, build up. The mitochondria that convert food into usable biological energy (adenosine triphosphate) stop functioning, so cells run out of power.
While all these responses to overheating may seem dire, they are actually extremely important safety mechanisms. If you work out seriously, you've undoubtedly "hit the wall." The wall is your body's way of stopping the heat production that could seriously damage the organs of your core.
What's good for your core, however, can be hard on muscle and connective tissues, which are second-class citizens in the hierarchy of your body's priorities. While critical organs are being protected, muscle and connective tissues "slow cook" until core temperature and normal circulation are restored.
Delayed-onset muscle soreness is one result of this heat buildup, but it's by no means the most serious. Exercise provokes adaptation and strengthening, of course, but too much can create enough heat to cause serious cellular damage. If you hit the wall often and hard enough, overtraining can erase the health benefits of working out. Serious overtraining can cripple the immune system and lead to illness and death.
As a result, we have to walk the line between too little and too much exercise. One way to shift the balance toward muscle growth is through the use of anabolic steroids, which promote protein synthesis and recovery. Steroids, however, entail risks.
A better solution would be to rapidly cool the core during and after exercise. Normal circulation would then be restored to muscle and connective tissues. Excess heat would be cleared out within minutes and mitochondrial energy production would resume.
Cellular repair and adaptive strengthening would therefore be accelerated. The flow of oxygen and nutrients would return to muscle and connective tissues while waste gases and other products would be cleared. In short, adaptive strengthening would be maximized while the damage done by exercise, as well as the associated pain, would be minimized. The capacity to exercise would go up and recovery would be much more rapid. The gains from exercise would therefore be significantly greater.
This is not just theory; it is clinically validated reality. The story of how it came to pass is, in my opinion, fascinating.
Beat the Wall with AVAcore CoreControl
Once Heller and Grahn understood how the body deals with excess heat, they began to wonder if they could give it a hand. And they succeeded.
First, they figured out that they could drain heat and accelerate core cooling using cold moving water. Construction workers, by the way, already knew this. If overcome by heat, some know to put their palms under cold running tap water until they feel better.
Heller and Grahn, through exhaustive research, learned that they could do this optimally by putting the palm of one hand in contact with cold water at precisely the right temperature range. For convenience sake, they learned to move the cold water through a kind of soft plastic network of tubes called a perfusion pad. The big breakthrough, though, was discovering that a slight vacuum caused the veins in the retia venosa to expand and give up heat much, much faster.
Initially, they concentrated on the many medical uses that their technology opened up. By accident, however, they discovered that post-exercise recovery was radically improved, making workouts far more productive. So, while continuing to work on medical applications, they decided to make their technology available to people interested in maximizing the outcome of physical exercise.
The device has two parts. One contains ice water, a pump, and the microchip that controls water temperature and vacuum. The other portion is a kind of vacuum glove that seals around one hand. In it, water at the optimal temperature passes through the perfusion pad in contact with the palm.
This device, called AVAcore CoreControl, can restore core temperature in just a few minutes for individuals who are heated due to exercise. Typically, it can take hours after intense exercise for normal temperature to be restored.
In practical terms, this means that the cellular damage done by exercise is minimized while recovery is accelerated dramatically. This applies both to resistance and cardiovascular training. Results of resistance training, according to various studies, are comparable to the use of 600 mg of testosterone enanthate weekly, which is significant.
Unlike with steroids, however, the benefits of thermoregulatory augmentation accrue to aerobic and endurance training as well as strength training. Though it's not practical to run with the device at this time, it can be used on a treadmill, elliptical, or other stationary cardio machine.
Moreover, gains that come with use of the device can be maintained through normal exercise even if you stop using it. Personally, I think that the advantages of this device are particularly important for older people, because thermoregulatory abilities decline with age. As I said earlier, my current progress is better than it was when I was half my current age of 62.
Though studies have not been done yet to prove it, I believe the most important benefit to older people will be proven to be that the device protects and allows the strengthening of connective tissues. I'm doing exercises now that I couldn't do a year ago because of joint problems.
I feel like I should share some of what I've learned about optimizing the use of this technology after a year of regular usage, but this article is already long. Maybe I'll discuss supersets and other techniques on my own website, TransTechDigest.com, for those who do buy the AVAcore CoreControl.
I could easily go on for another ten thousand words, as I'm completely obsessed with this breakthrough and enormously grateful to Heller and Grahn. I believe thermoregulatory augmentation is the most important advancement in fitness technology since the ancient Greeks pioneered progressive training.
I'm also enthusiastic because this entirely unexpected breakthrough demonstrates a central premise of my work, that the most important impact of computer technology is its ability to unlock and exploit the secrets of a much older and more sophisticated system: human biology.
Regardless, I ought to make it clear that this is a relatively new technology and the device is, in a sense, at the beta testing stage. It's a little bit kludgey right now and will undoubtedly be improved in years to come, shrinking in size and improving in ease of use. I would not wait, however, if you want to improve your level of fitness.
If you are already serious about exercise, the AVAcore CoreControl device could help you recover quicker from your workouts and derive more impressive gains from your current fitness routine.
AVAcore's CoreControl device sells for $995. If you are interested in obtaining a CoreControl device for yourself or a family member, you may learn more and place your order here. If you want the device delivered in time for the upcoming holiday, you should place your order by noon on Thursday, December 19, and be sure to select the 3-day shipping option.
In the interest of full disclosure, you should know that Mauldin Economics will receive a referral fee if you purchase a CoreControl device. But as I mentioned earlier, I use the CoreControl device myself to aid in workout recovery. John uses the device as well and has reported gains similar to those I described. We are both serious about fitness and love AVAcore's technology.
I reiterate, however, that CoreControl is meant for you only if you already have a rigorous exercise routine in place. If you are more casual about exercise, this is probably not for you. But if you are serious, this product could help you reach the next level of health and fitness.
Here's the link to the company's website.Like Outside the Box?
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» RBNZ to exempt new residential construction loans from the loan-to-value (LVR) restrictions (ForexLive)
Dec 09, 2013 - by InformedTrades
Reserve Bank Deputy Governor Grant Spencer:
“The Reserve Bank has recently consulted with the building industry and banks on the impact of LVR restrictions on residential construction activity,” Mr Spencer said.* “While high LVR construction lending is only around 1 percent of total residential lending, it finances around 12 percent of residential building activity.The new exemption will apply to all qualifying construction loans from 1 October 2013.
*“This exemption means that low deposit lending will fall outside the 10 percent speed limit if it is financing the construction of a new house or apartment.”
*“This exemption will help to support the supply of new housing and, in doing so, reduce some of the pressure arising from excess demand in the New Zealand housing market.-
This is another boost for NZ industry and is a factor that will weigh in favour of rate hikes already said to be coming in 2014
Originally Published on FX Times
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