Dick's Blog

June 18, 2013
Posted by Dick Sterling

There's a boom happening in publicly-traded Master Limited Partnerships (MLP's) which focus on the energy sector. Many commentators believe there'll be sustained interest in MLP's for years to come, and that the party is just getting started. They're probably right.

The ones which particularly interest me are the upstream MLP's, which are similar to pipeline MLP's in terms of their structure, but vastly different in their performance and volatility. In short, they've become a very attractive way to speculate on sustained high petroleum prices while simultaneously providing a stream of cash.

An upstream MLP acquires and operates producing wells, generating cash and then distributing it... 
[read more]

June 5, 2013
Posted by Dick Sterling

The mainstream press may have missed the point of Xi Jinping's recent trade visit to Mexico, Trinidad-Tobago and Costa Rica. This wasn't just a high-level trade mission. Rather it was a calculated statement by China, saying to the world "We are equals now with the United States. We're moving boldly into the Americas, and the US is incapable of stopping us."

It's an aggressive move, in economic terms. The modern equivalent of military posturing.

The outcome of the trip is this. China and Mexico now say they are raising their trading relationship to the status of "comprehensive strategic partnership." Trinidad and Tobago now claim to... 
[read more]

May 30, 2013
Posted by Dick Sterling

What happens in the petroleum industry ends up having ripple-effects across the planet. The shale phenomenon which has resulted from the horizontal multi-stage fracking technology is not just impacting domestic production but also has the potential to bring several new players (South Africa, China, Australia, and several other countries) into the ranks of global petroleum producers.

This is great news for companies like Halliburton. But what does it mean geopolitically?

Quick answer: the capacity of the Middle Eastern producers to act as a choke-point may be on the decline, perhaps as early as the end of this decade.

I'm not claiming that the... 
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May 2, 2013
Posted by Dick Sterling

It should come as no surprise to my readers that I'm exceptionally bullish on gold right now, given the pullback of recent weeks. Just very briefly, here is a quick survey of three other gold bulls:

John Ing of Maison Placements Canada, says gold will rise to $2,500 per ounce within 18 months.

Nick Barisheff of Bullion Management Group, is projecting $10,000 gold within about five years.

Albert Edwards of French investment and London bullion bank, Societe Generale, is also forecasting $10,000 per ounce.

I won't be so bold right now as to make a specific forecast within a timeframe. But big picture, my... 
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May 1, 2013
Posted by Dick Sterling

The stunning effects of North American shale gas production are being felt all over the world.

First, as domestic producers churn out record quantities of cheap natural gas, utilities and other consumers switch away from coal. This results in coal producers exporting more of their product, keeping a lid on global coal prices. European countries benefit, switching from expensive Russian gas to relatively cheap US coal. This puts pressure on Russia to lower its gas prices or lose sales. It also reduces Russia's geopolitical clout. It's to Europe's gain.

Second, US horizontal multi-stage frac technology is being applied globally. Poland has discovered massive quantities of... 
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April 18, 2013
Posted by Dick Sterling

Everyone knows he's no fan of gold as an investment. Buffett isn't a hard money guy. He prefers equities --- which represent ownership in something productive, real, active. Here are two statements made by Warren Buffett in interviews he's given:

"I have no views as to where it will be, but the one thing I can tell you is it won't do anything between now and then except look at you. Whereas, you know, Coca-Cola will be making money, and I think Wells Fargo will be making a lot of money, and there will be a lot - and it's a lot - it's a...
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April 8, 2013
Posted by Dick Sterling

As an investor in agriculture and someone who's very bullish on the sector, it's particularly encouraging to read the latest Chinese meat consumption statistics. Very simply, they've skyrocketed.

A portion of China's 1.3 billion people are experiencing a modest degree of wealth for the first time in their lives. And the first thing they want to do isn't buy a bigger house or go shopping. Rather they want better food, starting with meat. Especially pork.

Recently it was reported that total Chinese meat consumption is now double that of the US. They consume one-quarter of the world's meat production, and they're only getting started. While... 
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April 5, 2013
Posted by Dick Sterling

While I'm bullish on gold, the very real problem of skyrocketing production costs has cast a pall over the near-term prospects of top-tier producers. Coupled with weaker bullion prices, investor sentiment has turned neutral/negative, resulting in a "cascade effect" all the way down to junior explorers, some of which are 90% off their two-year highs.

That's great news for those of us who are buying. And while it's true that exceptional value can be found in select exploration stocks, that's not my focus in this post. Rather I want to point to the emerging producers as a niche opportunity which could pay-off handsomely for patient... 
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April 3, 2013
Posted by Dick Sterling

The global boom in agriculture investments is nowhere near over, nor are rising food prices, despite recent numbers from the FAO. The UN's Food and Agriculture Organization reports that world food prices are relatively stable, and well below the highs we saw in mid 2008 and early 2011. See this chart. 

So is it time to dump Ag stocks? I don't think so, not by a long shot. It all comes back to the factors which are driving the Ag boom:
  • Economic growth driven by countries like China and India has led to an increase in demand for food, in general.
  • The world's growing middle class is demanding
... [read more]

March 30, 2013
Posted by Dick Sterling

In recent years Turkey has encouraged its citizens to deposit their gold at the bank, as if it's cash. It's an effort to get bullion out of peoples' homes and into the banking system. The program has met with a measure of success.

Once deposited, the gold can be withdrawn, transferred, converted to cash, even borrowed against. The banks in turn can use the gold to bolster their reported reserves, strengthen their balance sheets and boost investor confidence. Everybody wins, right?

Unlike Westerners, Turks are known to hoard gold. Same goes for Indians, and much of Southeast Asia. Wearing it, stuffing it under the floorboards,... 
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January 30, 2013
Posted by Dick Sterling

Bitumen producers are getting hammered right now, and (as usual) the politicians are to blame. That's good news for patient investors, as I'm about to show you.

Background: Canadian bitumen producers have been taking a severe hit on the price per barrel they are receiving, with some projects barely breaking even. It's not because oil prices are too low. Rather, the problem stems from lack of pipeline access/capacity.

The US shale oil explosion has hogged available pipeline capacity and Canadian bitumen producers are unable to get their product to market.

Imagine if you were a farmer and you produced milk but you were... 
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January 18, 2013
Posted by Dick Sterling

Brzezinski and other strategists have floated the concept of "G2" --- a theoretical and informal partnership between the US and China. A "dynamic duo" concept of global power.

The concept isn't new --- the term was put forward by Brzezinski in Beijing four years ago, a week before Obama's inauguration. The idea is, in short, that there would be two global powers, sharing leadership of the world.

This would be in contrast to the way it is currently, which is essentially one global power, the United States.

The thinking behind the proposal is simply this: China has become a major power, and is... 
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January 17, 2013
Posted by Dick Sterling

Imagine an international cartel for natural gas, similar to OPEC. Supply shocks. Price manipulation. Could it really happen?

Yes, and I'll explain why in a few moments, but first some background.

The Gas Exporting Countries Forum was founded about a decade ago, but has developed very little traction so far. Its 13 member countries, which hold about 60 percent of the world's gas reserves, have made noises about international pricing, but they've been largely ignored. Prices remain weak.

Should the world be paying attention?

OPEC was weak too, back in the early sixties, and therefore was initially dismissed by some. But then the supply... 
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January 10, 2013
Posted by Dick Sterling

I've been urging my readers since 2008 to position themselves for the positive agricultural trend we are now in. Although tremendous profits are being made, the alarming reality of food riots presents an important factor to consider in our investment strategy.

It's well understood by my readers that food price inflation leads to riots in developing countries. We saw them in 2008, and also in 2011, and will certainly see them again. The much more serious issue of actual warfare caused by a food crisis hasn't come about, at least so far. But will it?

Supply shocks. Escalating food prices. Riots. People taking to the... 
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January 9, 2013
Posted by Dick Sterling

There are plenty of ways for investors to profit from increased global water demand, but first let me explain my perspective: water issues are driven primarily by agriculture, which in turn is driven by economic growth.

China, India, and the developing world are gaining wealth, and the first thing to respond is agriculture. More food is required when peoples' incomes grow. Farms require water, and plenty of it. Since my position on global agriculture is bullish, it follows that I'm expecting water demand to grow.

The question investors are asking is: How best to profit from it? Technology companies and water utilities are obvious candidates.

[read more]

January 7, 2013
Posted by Dick Sterling

As we enter the age of QE-infinity, the US government has openly embraced a false economic messiah whose name is "Currency Debasement." The result will be a whirlwind of economic turbulence which will catch most investors unprepared. But for the few contrarians who see it coming, it can be a spectacular profit opportunity.

You see, the state is about to reap the fruit of its corrupt monetary policies. As it becomes increasingly desperate to mop-up the excess paper, it will turn to "sponge" solutions like wars and asset bubbles to stave-off judgment day. Are you positioned?

Look, don't expect the mainstream media or the academic... 
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January 2, 2013
Posted by Dick Sterling

What does this topic have to do with investing? People spend more money on post-secondary education than almost any other category because they believe they are "investing in their education" --- but is this a good investment?

Groupthink would have us believe that young people should attend college to advance their education, make more money, and have a better life. But are any of these assumptions true?

My thesis is a resounding "No."

First, modern universities aren't about higher education, rather they are indoctrination centers whose purpose is to advance the cause of radical humanism --- a false religion which now pervades the... 
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December 20, 2012
Posted by Dick Sterling

I've spoken before about how several Alberta bitumen producers are shipping their product in tanker car loads, rather than through the pipeline network.

The pipelines extending from Alberta's oil sands down to the Gulf Coast are running at full capacity. The only viable alternative is therefore rail --- which is still quite expensive.

But what if railway transportation could be made more cost-effective by switching the trains from diesel to natural gas?

Although the concept has been talked about for decades, there were technical and economic issues. Now, those issues are close to being resolved.

First, running trains on natural gas is very achievable,... 
[read more]

December 12, 2012
Posted by Dick Sterling

One of the biggest challenges for bitumen producers is getting their product from Alberta down to the US Gulf Coast, where it gets the best price. Existing pipelines are running at full capacity. New pipelines are planned, but years away from completion, and they come with environmental and political issues. What to do?

Well, instead of using pipelines, some producers have opted to transport their bitumen on trucks, although that can get very expensive.

But there's another alternative, and that's trains. As of today, several of Alberta's bitumen producers are moving their product down to the US in tank carloads. And it's paying off.

The economics... 
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December 5, 2012
Posted by Dick Sterling

More people are leaving the cities and moving to rural areas. What does this mean for investors?

First, some background. For the past 150 years of American history, people have been moving from the rural areas into the urban cores. But this trend has been reversing. Now, more people are moving from urban to rural areas and fewer rural people are leaving. Rural areas are coming back to life.

This trend began in the 1970's, was temporarily halted during the 1980's, got back on track in the 1990's, and has continued ever since. It's happening all over North America, and is not limited to a... 
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November 14, 2012
Posted by Dick Sterling

I've often said that China's demographic time-bomb could seriously impact the economy, and soon.

Recent data shows the absolute number of people between 15 and 59 years of age began to fall two years ago, and is expected to keep dropping through the remainder of this decade.

This age group is the "working age" population --- and as it shrinks, so does the labor supply. Combined with increased demand for labor, you get upward wage pressure and a tendency for economic growth to taper, even plunge.

China's economic engine has hinged on abundant, cheap labor. Rural folks moving into the city and working... 
[read more]

November 5, 2012
Posted by Dick Sterling

I typically don't invest abroad, at least not in the so-called emerging markets. The risks are too high. I prefer the United States and Canada, and the West in general. I've spoken about this at length elsewhere, but the bottom line is this --- most countries on the planet don't have a clue about private property rights, nor why the state needs to enforce them.

If you believe gold prices are heading higher (and I do), then you should anticipate a wave of state-takeovers of mining operations. The banana republics are the obvious candidates, but I believe it could happen in the more industrialized nations... 
[read more]

October 1, 2012
Posted by Dick Sterling

All investors have some kind of strategy for asset allocation, regardless of whether they can verbalize it. Usually, it is undisciplined and chaotic. Their biggest mistakes often come down to these 4 things...

Mistake #1: they have irrational expectations. They're hoping for the "big win" --- but they have no realistic strategy for obtaining it. This causes them to allocate too much of their core portfolio to a single asset category, based on unsound reasoning. They let their emotions get the best of them.

Mistake #2: their investment decisions are based on short-term rather than long-term factors. This one usually comes down to the temptation... 
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September 5, 2012
Posted by Dick Sterling

Like most investors, I don't like the pressure and risk of high-frequency trading. I leave that kind of thing to others. There are dozens of things I'd rather be doing than to be glued to a computer, watching numbers all day. That's why I developed The Profit Machine --- an amazing asset allocation strategy which can help you to beat-the-pants off Wall Street's top fund managers all from the comfort of your own living room in as little as 30 minutes, once a year.

But since we're on the subject of computers, I need to tell you something...

The fact is, the largest portion of... 
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August 24, 2012
Posted by Dick Sterling

Have you ever heard the phrase "markets are rational?" Well, regardless of whether you believe that statement or not, I guarantee one thing: Human beings are frequently not rational --- and the impact on their portfolios can be disastrous.

Listen --- study after study has shown repeated patterns of irrationality and inconsistency in the way investors manage their assets. Therefore it doesn't take a genius to figure out --- a formal rebalancing strategy plays a crucial role in your portfolio's success.

Here are four things it will help you avoid:

Loss aversion: this is the tendency of investors to want to hold onto... 
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August 1, 2012
Posted by Dick Sterling

One of the most difficult things about investing is accurately predicting the future. That statement may sound both absurd and profound, so let me explain what I mean by it.

First, I'm not claiming I can predict the future. None of us can. The very concept of trying to make predictions is in some ways ridiculous. We are finite beings, after all. But at the same time, we do have to plan. We do have to make prudent preparations, even recognizing that very often we may be incorrect in our speculations. And so, as we seek to providently grow our assets, it is fitting that... 
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July 25, 2012
Posted by Dick Sterling

The most widely followed measure of stock market volatility is the VIX. Incidentally, the VIX doesn't measure actual volatility, rather expected volatility in the coming 30 day period.

As you can tell from the chart, stock market volatility can be dramatic at times --- frequently lasting for months or years.

I've developed a product which I call "The Profit Machine" --- an asset allocation strategy which can help you beat-the-pants off Wall Street's top fund managers, all from the comfort of your own living room, in as little as 30 minutes once a year. I've engineered it to reduce portfolio volatility. Instead of producing stomach-churning... 
[read more]

July 4, 2012
Posted by Dick Sterling

People are afraid of being controlled by their enemies. This is a basic fear of humans. In response to this fear, they often try to control others so they themselves won't be controlled. It manifests itself at the state level when countries clash, as they try to control each other or try to avoid being controlled. Ultimately this leads to war.

States vie with each other in order to attain advantage. Those who craft policy at the governmental level have particular ways of viewing the world, and from their worldview they derive policy.

Because states have such an enormous impact on the success or failure... 
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June 25, 2012
Posted by Dick Sterling

I’ve been talking about global cooling for awhile now, and it’s finally beginning to pick up steam in the mainstream press. Not because of me mind you, but partly thanks to the efforts of some courageous researchers, including a fellow by the name of Don Easterbrook.

Some years ago, Easterbrook predicted a cooling trend in global temperatures, and so far he’s been right.

According to specialists, the data shows cyclical warming and cooling phases throughout much of the earth’s history. In the recent past, the world’s temperature tended to drop from the late 1940’s to the late 1970’s. People at that time were even talking... 
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June 21, 2012
Posted by Dick Sterling

For several years now I’ve been bullish on the carbonate-hosted bitumen projects in Alberta, some of which are now entering the commercialization phase.

Long known for its enormous oil sands deposits, Alberta produces more than 1.5 million barrels of bitumen per day from its in situ and surface mining bitumen projects. That number could double between now and 2020.

But Alberta’s carbonate resources, which are quite different than the oil sands, are not yet producing commercially. In fact, they were ignored by most of the industry until approximately 2006, when Royal Dutch Shell’s involvement caused a stir.

Similar to oil sands, the carbonates... 
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May 9, 2012
Posted by Dick Sterling

Since releasing our top Ag investment recommendations in 2008, they’ve doubled. During the same period, the broad market is up about 50%. The questions are: Why has Ag outperformed, and is the trend likely to continue?

Quick answers:
  • Economic growth driven by countries like China and India has led to an increase in demand for commodities 
  • Developing countries have a growing middle class, which is demanding more food (especially meat)
  • Global deficit of available arable land means bigger profits for Ag landowners
  • Declining growth rates in productivity from existing farms sending food prices higher
  • Subsidized fuel crops sending food prices higher
  • Heavy interference from civil governments 
  • General price inflation
  • Certain countries have banned crop
... [read more]

April 10, 2012
Posted by Dick Sterling

Economies are driven by people. No people, no economy. Seems obvious, right? Yet China continues its dreadful one-child policy, sealing its course to economic disaster.

The crazy policy officially came into effect in the late seventies. The Chinese state wanted to control its population more effectively. What better way to do so than by reducing it?

And so the fertility rate declined precipitously, falling to its current estimate of less than 1.5 (official estimates claim the number is higher, but they lie).

Like all tyrannical regimes, the Chinese state fears one thing above all else: losing power. Of course they don’t say that. Instead... 
[read more]

March 7, 2012
Posted by Dick Sterling

Recent news: Ethiopia has leased out 8.8 million acres of land for agricultural use. An area about the size of Holland. And tens-of-thousands of locals claim they're getting cheated.

China, India, much of the Middle East, and dozens of international investment syndicates are gobbling up African farmland in expectation of soaring food prices.

Meanwhile, local villagers claim they're having the land sold-out from under them.

It's part of a phenomenon I've been talking about since 2008. Agriculture is one of the big investment ideas I've been urging readers to position themselves for, before sky-high food prices kick-in.

I've been urging readers to position themselves... 
[read more]

February 28, 2012
Posted by Dick Sterling

Recent news: China inked a deal for 1.4 million acres of Venezuelan farmland. This is a small part of the worldwide Chinese farm “land grab” that’s affecting vast swaths of Africa and South America.

Hundreds of thousands of acres are being leased to the Chinese, who are trying to “lock-up” global food resources in anticipation of massive price inflation. And it’s not just the Chinese who are playing…

India. Saudi Arabia and several other Middle Eastern countries. Various investment syndicates. Individual speculators. It’s all part of a worldwide land-rush that’s driving farmland prices higher, prepping for the “big surge” in food prices that is now... 
[read more]

February 22, 2012
Posted by Dick Sterling

As China’s labor supply continues to tighten, wages are rising and jobs are leaving. In the near-term, it’s not a disaster. Longer-term, it’s serious. Here’s why:

When Foxconn Technology (the massive electronics manufacturer that supplies Dell, HP, Apple, etc) was recently forced to raise the wages of its workers in China due to negative publicity, it officially signaled the end of the gravy-train of Chinese labor arbitrage.

But it’s no surprise. Chinese labor has been costing more, as the slack gets pulled out of the worker pool.

In the near-term, it means more plants will relocate into the interior of China, rather than... 
[read more]

February 21, 2012
Posted by Dick Sterling

Each day in the news, pundits go back-and-forth in debating the possibility of war with Iran. Why war?

The official reason: Iran's nuclear weapons program

The unofficial reason: To maintain US-dominance in the middle east (i.e. oil)

The real reason: To reverse a global economic downturn

The other real reason: US presidential election in 9 months

In order to avoid hyperinflation, the US and EU will have to mop-up the vast oceans of fiat "money" they've printed since 2008. The only way they can do that is by resorting to dire measures. And they can't raise interest rates without trashing their economies. So unless they... 
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February 6, 2012
Posted by Dick Sterling

The story began circulating recently that Iran might have a deal with India and possibly China to trade barrels of crude for gold

This is in response to the US-led sanctions against Iran, which are meant to influence Iran’s upcoming elections --- trying to accomplish what the “Arab Spring” failed to.

Officially, the sanctions are meant to stop Iran from enriching uranium for weapons.

Here’s how the sanctions work: any country or bank which does business with Iran will be blocked from using US banks and institutions. The European Union has agreed to go along with the sanctions.

This is meant to prevent Iran... 
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February 1, 2012
Posted by Dick Sterling

The possibility of a US-led war with Iran is now being regularly discussed in the mainstream media and by commentators. In a recent interview with Edward Luce of the Financial Times, Brzezinski touched on the possibility, and there is hardly a day that goes by without it being in the headlines.

Although we can’t know whether a war with Iran will happen, we can prepare for the possibility by asking: If war should happen, how do we profit?

War in the Persian Gulf means volatility in the price of oil. Right now it’s around $100 --- could war send it to $300? I think it... 
[read more]

January 25, 2012
Posted by Dick Sterling

As I write this, here is what the mainstream press is talking about: 

  • Republican presidential candidates for the 2012 United States election
  • Financial woes from Europe (now in third year), countries unable to finance debt, bank difficulty
  • US economy in fourth year of weakness
  • Worst US economic malaise in decades, some predicting several more years of it
  • Inflation in US around 3%, according to civil government
  • Unemployment in US around 8.5%, according to official statistics
  • Gold (and most commodities) in a 10-year bull market
  • Dow at 12,727 ---
... [read more]

January 10, 2012
Posted by Dick Sterling

In recent news, it has been discovered that a relatively unknown business by the name of CarrierIQ has developed a piece of software that might be installed on your cell phone. The software logs your text messages and web searches. The story has been headline news, and the scandal is this: people feel their privacy has been infringed upon. And, while it's true that people should be concerned, the reality is that Carrier IQ is only the tip of the iceberg...

Civil governments have long been accumulating massive amounts of data on their citizens, without permission or disclosure. Their databases are bulging with information, most of... 
[read more]

December 7, 2011
Posted by Dick Sterling

The world’s arable land is getting bought-up by sovereign wealth funds, investment conglomerates, and speculators --- all of whom are anticipating a massive agricultural boom coinciding with sky-high food prices.

I’ve been writing about this for several years now, and urging readers to position for it. There’s still time. More here.

Africa has been the epicenter of the activity. The civil governments of countries like Mali, Liberia, Uganda, Zambia, Sudan, etc --- have inked “land lease” deals for enormous swaths of farmland. Successful bidders have been the Chinese, India, Middle Eastern countries, and a host of other players.

Usually the deals comprise massive... 
[read more]

November 15, 2011
Posted by Dick Sterling

A tiny insect known as "rootworm" has developed immunity to Monsanto's transgenic "Bt corn" --- a crop that has been engineered to resist the bug. Previously, the rootworm would die if it ate the Bt corn. Now it won't.

Did it mutate? No, it's just that the rootworms who naturally tended to resist Bt are able to thrive now that Bt-susceptible worms have died off. This has led many to speculate that GMO crops will lead to whole armies of superbugs in the future. They might be right.

This is one more piece of bad news for Monsanto, whose business model may have already reached its... 
[read more]

October 19, 2011
Posted by Dick Sterling

If you're an investor in any of the emerging markets, you won't like what I'm about to say.

But first, some recent news: There are now more wealthy people in India and China than there are in Germany and France. In a recent study of "Global Affluent Investors" it is reported that there are three million affluent households in each of these emerging economies (defined as households which have over $100,000 in investments) --- which therefore places India and China above France and Germany.

This statistic is just one of many statistics being churned out daily which claim that the real economic growth centers are... 
[read more]

September 6, 2011
Posted by Dick Sterling

One of the problems with Monsanto’s genetically-modified crops is that they cause more problems than they fix. Latest case in point: the emergence of superweeds that have developed resistance to the ubiquitous herbicide known as Round-up.

These days, rather than pulling weeds, farmers spray tons (literally) of the chemical “glyphosate” (aka Round-up) on their crops, killing every plant it comes into contact with except for the genetically-modified ones. Monsanto supplies the Round-up, and also supplies the genetically-modified seeds. Sounds like a great business model if you’re Monsanto, right?

The farmers are often locked into this model, even if they hate it. Crop prices are out of... 
[read more]

August 9, 2011
Posted by Dick Sterling

A disease called UG99 is spreading across global wheat crops, wiping out vast portions in Africa, Asia and now the Middle East.

This isn’t new --- UG99 is just the technical term for a type of “stem rust” --- a fungus that attacks wheat plants. Most of the wheat varieties are susceptible to the fungus. UG99 has been around for years, but the problem is it’s spreading. And there’s no quick way to stop it.

Of course, the “solution” being presented is for Big Ag (ex. Monsanto) to save the day with a new chemical, genetic modification, or both. But that’s probably years away.

Meanwhile, UG99... 
[read more]

July 6, 2011
Posted by Dick Sterling

You’ve decided to invest in gold. A considerable amount actually. Now what?

Here’s what might be going through your mind:

  • You don’t like gold bars --- they aren’t as liquid as gold coins and besides, when you go to sell them it could be a hassle --- they may need to be re-assayed;
  • You’re cautious about gold coins --- at least large amounts of them. They’re inconvenient to buy and sell, at least in most towns in North America, and then there’s the spread;
  • You like the gold ETF concept --- the no-fuss approach, no risk of theft, no big markups, and simple to buy/sell. But for
... [read more]

June 1, 2011
Posted by Dick Sterling

In economics, an externality is like a "spillover" from a transaction that isn't reflected through prices. Example: the farmer next door is spreading manure all summer, stinking up the neighborhood. Every time you take a breath, you can smell the stench. The farmer is benefiting from the manure, but you're not. Your life is being negatively affected, but you're not being compensated. This is a negative externality.

Negative externalities don’t just affect markets and the economy --- they affect everything.

Let's go back to the farmer next door. Imagine that you go to him, you explain the problem, and he sympathizes. He comes up with... 
[read more]

May 10, 2011
Posted by Dick Sterling

While there are still plenty of adherents to the “global warming” fairy tale, the term is quietly being dropped.

The elitists are having a tough time promoting the concept, now that the planet is in its 14th year of global cooling.

What will happen to their carbon taxes, carbon credits, cap-and-trade fantasies and CO2 sequestration schemes? What will be the next “global threat” they use to push even more big government on the world?

Meanwhile, let’s talk about global cooling, how long it might last, and how best to profit from it.

First, the evidence. Don Easterbrook is a geologist from Canada who studies... 
[read more]

April 5, 2011
Posted by Dick Sterling

Years ago when the Soviet Union collapsed, there was a dramatic mobilization of Western capital to fund the reconstruction of an economy which had impaled itself on the sword of multi-generational statism. An army of investment analysts was deployed to Russia, together with billions of speculative dollars, in hopes of  riding the wave of economic growth which would "inevitably" come. And why would it come? Democracy. The freedom to choose their political leaders was all the Russian people really needed to become economic winners, right? But instead, the mafia took over.

Twenty years later, the country is still backward, and lurching into tyranny.

Now consider another event: the... 
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March 2, 2011
Posted by Dick Sterling

Capitalization is the process of building wealth. It requires foresight, work, and thrift... each of which require a certain character. without this character, capitalization won't take place. Rather, decapitalization will occur.

Decapitalization is the depletion of wealth. Expending more than you're producing. It goes hand-in-hand with today's culture, which places a high value on present consumption and a low value on the future.

Today's Western man places a high value on the pleasures of today, and a low value on laying a foundation for tomorrow.

All forms of state-based socialism will lead to progressive decapitalization, however the real cause isn't socialism itself but... 
[read more]

February 2, 2011
Posted by Dick Sterling

For those of us who've been born and raised in the West (by this I mean Western civilization), it is tempting to believe the rest of the world is not that different from us, just poorer. The pictures that get painted in the mainstream press are of developing countries which thus far have only been held back by the lack of a sound institutional framework --- and that with the right legal and educational infrastructure they will soon be on their way to economic success. But this is a half truth.The reason the West grew wealthy is not simply because we had the right institutions in place. No, rather the institutions were the organic outgrowth of hundreds of years... [read more]

January 5, 2011
Posted by Dick Sterling

As the worst elements of Western culture have spread across the planet, plunging fertility rates have followed suit.

People aren't having children, meaning this: despite what you might read in the popular press, world overpopulation isn't an issue: the much more significant threat is depopulation.

The late scholar Carle Zimmerman in "Family and Civilization" (1947) understood that the health of the family is one of the greatest indicators of a society's cultural and economic prospects. We know that the disintegration of the family we are witnessing today has led to the erosion of Western civilization.

In order for a population to sustain itself,... 
[read more]

December 8, 2010
Posted by Dick Sterling

I was going to entitle this “Why inflation expectations are the most important factor in asset allocation” but felt it was too dry. Instead, here’s an excerpt from that wonderful children’s book by Laura Ingalls Wilder, Farmer Boy:

“There was a man in a tail coat and a tall shining hat, who put a pea under a shell and then paid money to any man who would tell him where the pea was.

“I know where it is, Father!” Almanzo said.

“Be you sure?” Father asked.

“Yes,” said Almanzo, pointing. “Under that one.”

“Well, son, we’ll wait and see,” Father said.

Just then a man pushed...
[read more]

November 3, 2010
Posted by Dick Sterling

Even with gold hitting new highs, I am still an advocate of select mining company stocks. Particularly those which produce precious metals (I’m keen on base metals producers too, but less so).

I favor domestic producers over foreign. By that I mean the deposit(s) and corporate headquarters must be domestic --- i.e. the US or Canada. This is for several reasons:

First, as a general rule I don’t invest outside the West. I find the risks too high. By the West, I mean the US, Canada, Western Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.

Second, even within the West I am selective --- the further... 
[read more]

October 5, 2010
Posted by Dick Sterling

Do you have an asset allocation model? I’m going to say that every investor has one, whether he knows it or not.

Perhaps you can verbalize your model, but many investors can’t. They follow an “intuitive” model let’s say --- one that’s event or emotion-driven, and prone to change. Their formula for investing is highly variable, and they find themselves tossed about on waves of fear. Not having a solid or consistent basis for asset allocation, it becomes a parade of investing errors, ultimately resulting in sub-optimal portfolio performance.

Conversely, those investors who follow a disciplined, defined model have attained a degree of stability, yet... 
[read more]

August 4, 2010
Posted by Dick Sterling

As long as oil prices remain high, I'm bullish on natural gas. No surprise. The question is: how come natural gas prices are lagging?

Quick answer: the explosion in production from unconventional sources has put a lid on the price. Horizontal wells and multi-stage fracturing technology are opening up formations which were previously uneconomic. These wells are very expensive, but they often produce enormous amounts of gas, especially in the first year. Once natural gas is produced, it must be sold --- it isn't feasible to stockpile it. Therefore prices remain weak.

How long will this last? Probably years. And, as long as the differential... 
[read more]

July 7, 2010
Posted by Dick Sterling

In an interesting article appearing in WSJ online, author Pete Du Pont says

"In our earth's history there has been both global warming and global cooling. In Roman times, from 200 B.C. to A.D. 600, it was warm; from 600 to 900 came the cold Dark Ages; more warming from 900 to 1300; and another ice age from 1300 to 1850. Within the past century, the earth has warmed by 0.6 degree Celsius, but within this period we can see marked shifts: cooling (1900-10), warming (1910-40), cooling again (1940 to nearly 1980), and since then a little warming. The Hadley Climatic Research Unit global temperature...
[read more]

June 8, 2010
Posted by Dick Sterling

I’ve been saying for years now that higher food prices will mean big profits for investors who position early. There’s still time. My Mastering the Bubble strategy tells you how.

But there’s another trend you can profit from. That’s the move from industrial food production to organic, local suppliers. It’s a trend that’s only getting stronger.

And, combined with the impending food crisis, there are ways you can ride both these trends for stunning gains.

First, the organic trend is a major shift because it decouples the farmer from Big Agribusinesses like Monsanto. Organic farmers can’t use GMO seeds, synthetic fertilizers, or synthetic... 
[read more]

May 4, 2010
Posted by Dick Sterling

In today's culture, it's fashionable to have few, if any, children.

In the interest of personal gratification, "living for me", reducing one's carbon footprint, and a host of other bunk, couples are voluntarily choosing to limit their descendants to, on average, two. And they are being praised for it. 

That's why the recent release of a UN report stating that the number of elderly people worldwide will outnumber children by 2045 is, naturally, being ignored by the mainstream media.

To question the "overpopulation" dogma is considered heresy.

For more than a hundred years, the cognoscenti have been promoting the myth that the world is... 
[read more]

April 7, 2010
Posted by Dick Sterling

In a few weeks the notorious Bilderberg Group is holding its not-so-secret annual meeting at the Hotel Dolce in Spain. It’s strictly invitation-only, and is typically attended by influential politicians, leading businessmen, and mainstream media types. Who is behind it? Various names pop-up, but one of them is David Rockefeller, officially a Bilderberg advisor, whose name always seems to get tied to these sorts of things.

Like the “Good Club”. As reported in the press, it held its first “secret” meeting in 2009 in New York. Its agenda was to address major world issues relating to economics, health and the environment. It included Bill Gates,... 
[read more]

March 3, 2010
Posted by Dick Sterling

Small stocks. Whether they be micro-cap or a little larger, anything with a market capitalization of less than a couple hundred million dollars is what we’re discussing here.

There are hundreds of these stocks in the US, many of which trade on the OTC but sometimes also on the AMEX or Nasdaq. There are hundreds more which trade in Canada on the TSX-V. And of course if you want to look overseas the number explodes. For the purposes of this article though, let’s just talk about domestic stocks which have a market cap of $200mm or less.

The truth is, many of these stocks have... 
[read more]

February 9, 2010
Posted by Dick Sterling

Several months ago it was reported in the Los Angeles Times that the White House promised Big Pharma that any new healthcare legislation will bar the government from using its huge purchasing power to negotiate lower drug prices.

And so it's no wonder that Big Pharma supported healthcare reform... to the tune of $150 million, according to the NY Times.

Behind closed doors, Big Pharma received assurances from Washington that drug prices will stay high (and go higher) --- stretching years into the future.

According to Bloomberg, more than $600 million has been spent this year trying to influence healthcare legislation, reports show.... 
[read more]

January 2, 2010
Posted by Dick Sterling

In the days leading up to Christmas, the House of Representatives quietly passed legislation that will drive even more investment dollars into the natural gas industry. Simultaneously, well-known investor T. Boone Pickens was quoted as being ultra-bullish on natural gas prospects.

At the same time, Exxon Mobil announced it would be betting on higher natural gas prices with its $31 billion takeover of XTO Energy. French-based Total SA agreed to pay $2.25 billion for an interest in Chesapeake's Barnett shale assets in Texas. And Noble Energy made a major natural gas acquisition in Colorado for around $500 million.

And just a month earlier, Warren Buffett disclosed... 
[read more]

December 30, 2009
Posted by Dick Sterling

For those of us who speculate in junior gold stocks, it's been intriguing to watch the market during the past 6 years. While gold has been trending up, juniors were slow to take off in an appreciable way. At least until recently.

For those of you who remember the bull market in exploration stocks of 94-96, when gold peaked at a little over $400, we still haven't seen juniors heat up to that extent (although they show encouraging signs) even though gold is right now well over $1,000.

The question is, What's holding back the market for junior gold stocks?

Partly the presence... 
[read more]

December 29, 2009
Posted by Dick Sterling

Now that Healthcare legislation has made it through the Senate, it seems evident that Obamacare is shaping up to be a treasure trove for Big Pharma. While it's true that the legislation still has to go to the President, at least on a preliminary basis we can say: If success is measured by return on the dollar, the pharmaceutical industry is going to do very well.

The pharmaceutical industry spent $20 million lobbying on health care this year. Money well spent? You decide: "Thirty million Americans are going to get health insurance subsidies from the federal government, and so 30 million Americans are going to... 
[read more]

December 20, 2009
Posted by Dick Sterling

The recent announcement of the opening of a new natural gas pipeline from Central Asia (Turkmenistan) to China marked the official disintegration of the Russian-monopoly on Turkmen natural gas export routes, but in the greater context reveals a bigger geopolitical game.

For most of recent history, Russia has controlled the pipelines from which Turkmenistan's gas exports have flowed, mostly to Europe and the former USSR states. But with the new pipeline to China, Turkmen energy interests have a new market and Russia appears to have been forced back a step in its effort to monopolize Eurasian energy flow.

But there's more to this story than... 
[read more]

November 15, 2009
Posted by Dick Sterling

Sovereign wealth funds are often used to facilitate geopolitical outcomes, which is something you can learn to profit from.

Several months ago, China Investment Corp (CIC), the country’s primary sovereign wealth fund, paid about 1.5 billion dollars for a 17 percent stake in Canada's biggest base-metals producer, Teck Resources --- a company that has had serious problems but remains a significant player on the world's metals stage.

The Chinese made this investment not just because it was a decent speculation, but also because it is aligned with the basic Chinese desire to lock-up global commodity supply networks.

It's been reported that CIC has... 
[read more]

October 10, 2009
Posted by Dick Sterling

War, chaos, crises... these are the means by which decidedly unpopular measures can be foisted on citizens by rogue governments. Chaos becomes a tool to "facilitate change."

Powerful interests have long recognized this, which is why Hillary Clinton said "you never want to waste a good crisis." But the insight isn’t new.

Both good guys and bad guys have always tried to use crises to advantage. Sometimes they go so far as to actually bring about the crisis.

That's why there were so many 9/11 conspiracy theorists. Same thing goes for the recent economic crisis, which many observers believe was planned.

But actually, it... 
[read more]

September 30, 2009
Posted by Dick Sterling

It’s been going on for years...

China grumbles about the US dollar, says it's diversifying into gold and currencies like the yen and euro… but then, continues buying US treasuries.

It seems contradictory, but China is doing it to itself. It's using an aggressive export policy to propel itself into economic superstardom (it won't last) and it can't turn off the tap of US dollars. It continues to amass foreign currencies, which are all junk. The Chinese frantically try to trade their US dollars for real assets, but find themselves in a desperate game of hot potato. The game won't end well for them.

Over the... 
[read more]

September 20, 2009
Posted by Dick Sterling

I've been saying for some time now that the two-decade weakness in the Japanese economy is not likely to correct anytime soon.

One of the key reasons is the demographic collapse that is transforming not only Japan, but most of the planet.

In short, the fertility rate in Japan is so low that the population is failing to replenish itself. This is a major problem, especially in an economy which is largely consumption-driven.

Of course the civil government is trying to fix things. It now has a government minister responsible for reversing the declining birth rate. The state is now actively involved in... 
[read more]

August 1, 2009
Posted by Dick Sterling

During the recent financial crisis, it was historically significant to watch the world turn it's attention to China (and to a lesser extent, India and East Asia) as the key "one to watch" as an indicator of global recovery.

Japan's leading trading partner is China. That's relatively new. Just a year ago it was the US. France and Germany are looking increasingly to China as well.

If anyone wondered whether the US is on the decline relative to these emerging economies, there should no longer be any doubt.

The world's attention is shifting to Asia, at least temporarily.

I say temporarily because I'm anticipating... 
[read more]

July 1, 2009
Posted by Dick Sterling

Few investors know it, but a major storm is brewing for the world's top drug companies – and, in fact, it's already started. Big Pharma knows it's coming, and they're desperate to prevent it.

Over the coming months and years, several of the world's most lucrative pharmaceuticals are about to go off-patent. Drugs like Lipitor and Viagra (Pfizer), Advair (Glaxo), Seroquel (Astrazeneca), and Plavix (Bristol-Myers) --- meaning billions in revenue will soon be lost unless Big Pharma comes up with a way to bolster their bottom lines.

This scenario is known as a "patent cliff" --- and they apparently face the loss of $140 billion... 
[read more]

June 20, 2009
Posted by Dick Sterling

There was a time in history when the objective of national self-sufficiency was normative. To be autonomous, it was thought, especially in crucial goods like foodstuffs and commodity production, was a necessary component of future prosperity.

Things changed, particularly in the 20th century, as the Marxist worldview (a natural outgrowth of humanism) gained ground, and the state began acting more consistent in its god-like aspirations

China and India, in particular, are examples of major commodity-consuming countries that are leading the charge in the global acquisition of metals mines and oil fields, driven at the government level.

Even in our own backyard, the Chinese... 
[read more]

June 1, 2009
Posted by Dick Sterling

"Just-in-time" inventory-management was accepted as orthodox dogma by industry for most of the last two decades. Indeed, the technique served them well, as would be expected in an environment where input prices are falling.

But in an atmosphere where inflation is trending higher, the question is: Will "just-in-time" continue to be the accepted doctrine? Does it make sense to keep skeleton inventories when commodities are in a long-term upward trend? No, it doesn't.

But this will be a hard thing for industry to swallow. Their JIT inventory management doctrine is entrenched. But one only has to go back to the 70's when almost all physical... 
[read more]

May 30, 2009
Posted by Dick Sterling

Notwithstanding the alarmists who are predicting global overpopulation, the indisputable fact is the exact opposite: we're entering a prolonged period of decreasing population growth which will see the number of humans on planet Earth actually drop, maybe within 30 years.

Some of you might be thinking this is good, because it will reduce the "load" on the world's resources. That was also the position of many economists 200 years ago, when the world's population was about 15% of what it is now. They thought it was "inevitable" that the world would soon run out of resources. They were wrong. Thankfully very few people listened to... 
[read more]

April 22, 2009
Posted by Dick Sterling

Well, it's finally happened. Even the White House has admitted we have a "Bubble-to-Bust economy" driven by an endless spiral of easy credit and casino-style speculation.

One of President Obama's top advisers, Austan Goolsbee, was just quoted in an interview as saying that the president plans to prevent bubbles in the future by way of "increased regulatory oversight."

Of course, the ironic thing is the civil government is largely responsible for creating this endless series of Bubbles and Busts in the first place.

It's no coincidence that the dot-com/tech bubble was immediately followed by the housing bubble, which in turn is going to... 
[read more]

April 2, 2009
Posted by Dick Sterling

I’ve been traveling recently, and have had a chance to observe people and businesses through my own eyes rather than through the nightly news.

I’ve been surprised by the extent to which today’s recession has been overstated by the mainstream media, whose reporting is more geared toward producing an emotional response rather than informing. The recession has been severe so far, to be sure, but when the media began likening it to the 1930’s they were exaggerating.

And, incidentally, they’ve been missing the real story, which is the worldwide cooperative devaluation of fiat currencies which will lead to significant inflation and the creation of another... 
[read more]

March 4, 2009
Posted by Dick Sterling

Whatever you're reading in today's headlines, try not to take your eyes off the real story, which is: Widespread currency debasement.

Anyone with even a rudimentary understanding of economics will quickly understand that you can’t wildly print money without causing inflation.

That's good news for real assets, be they gold, oil, silver, or farmland.

And, of course, that's why gold is now trading actively between $900 and $1,000, and probably going much higher, notwithstanding temporary pullbacks. We haven't seen anything yet.

The IMF has said it plans to sell a good portion of its gold. That's not a bad thing, as far as you... 
[read more]

March 2, 2009
Posted by Dick Sterling

The current policy is: print dollars in the hope that modest inflation will result and normal economic activity will resume.

Yet the fact is: a torrent of dollars has been unleashed and there is a high probability that significant inflation will result, leading to a redistribution of wealth and a spectacular increase in the value of non-dollar assets.

All currencies are affected, because of the deliberate monetary flood that's happening worldwide.

As the focus of the economic crisis has shifted from the US now to Europe, the continued existence of the EU is actually being questioned, as pressures in some member countries may... 
[read more]

February 25, 2009
Posted by Dick Sterling

If you've noticed that your wealth is under attack, it's nothing new. This has become increasingly evident to even casual observers, as the world's governments talk openly about their plans to "inflate-away" the global financial lockdown. Inflation is just another word for wealth-redistribution.

Some are calling for the US government to take over key banks in order to restore order to the system, and there are fewer dissenting voices by the day.

Policy makers appear to have no play-book to cover this contingency, making them even more susceptible to the powerful interests who seek to influence them. With rates slashed to virtually zero and the... 
[read more]

February 20, 2009
Posted by Dick Sterling

Today gold hit $1,000 an ounce, and the world press is getting excited. Institutions are clamoring to get their clients "attuned" to gold as a safe-haven, projecting bullion prices could top $2,000 later this year or into next.

They're too conservative. What's more, they have few if any qualified analysts to guide them in this niche market. In fact, Wall Street knows little about gold, gold stocks, or precious metals in general. All that's good for you and me.

In short, everything is going according to plan. Our plan, that is...

Which is why I am reminding you that oil (currently less than... 
[read more]

February 9, 2009
Posted by Dick Sterling

It was inevitable that oil sands stocks would take a huge hit with the plunge in crude from $140+ down to it's current $30-40 range.

Everyone "knows" oil sands operations are marginal at these price levels, right?

Which is why oil sands stocks are trading at levels that haven't been seen since 2004, back when oil was... about $40 a barrel.

Investors are scared of the oil sands for two reasons: First, they don't know how long the economic downturn will last, therefore they don't know how long oil prices will remain weak; Second, they are worried that under a cap-and-trade scenario, oil... 
[read more]

January 26, 2009
Posted by Dick Sterling

If you want to make a fortune in the markets, repeatedly, then you've got to be able to accurately predict them...

Which is why there is so much speculation right now about what the markets are going to do over the rest of 2009.

Some folks are predicting a total meltdown... some are predicting competitive currency devaluations... some are predicting a fairly quick return to prosperity... Who is right?

How to accurately predict the markets from here...

If someone asked you to predict tomorrow's weather, how would you do it? (Pretend for a moment that you had no access to newspapers, television, radio or... 
[read more]

January 19, 2009
Posted by Dick Sterling

It has been reported that riots are occurring in rural China and eastern Europe. The reason?

Millions of people are out of work, exports have taken a nosedive, and the economic outlook is negative.

As civil unrest spreads in China, the Baltic region and elsewhere,... pressure mounts on the regimes to do something --- anything... including currency devaluation.

But the US is already taking the lead on this, pulling dollars out of thin air in an effort to get the domestic economy moving forward.

Major governments around the world have been following suit. A managed, cooperative devaluation is taking place across the biggest currencies.

All of this... 
[read more]

January 12, 2009
Posted by Dick Sterling

Much has been said about President-elect Obama's economic stimulus plan. Typically the forecast goes something like this (I'll leave out the details and just provide bullet points):

  • Obama's fiscal stimulus plan will pour perhaps $1 trillion over a relatively short time period into "infrastructure investment" such as water pipes, highways, bridges, sanitation, ports, the energy grid, and so on.
  • Obama's energy plan will subsidize the development of so-called renewable energy sources, to the tune of several hundred billion dollars over a few years. Solar power, bio-fuels, energy conservation, and the like should benefit.
  • All of Obama's fiscal and monetary stimulus will be a boon to companies that
... [read more]

From The Web

Dick's note: "Mexico now has a 'comprehensive strategic partnership' with China. This latest news follows agreements with Trinidad-Tobago and Costa Rica. China is moving into America's trading sphere, and the repercussions are serious. Yet the US administration seems to be welcoming this move, 'rolling out the red carpet' so to speak, as..."[read more]
Dick's note:  "China eats more pork than any country on earth, and demand just keeps increasing. The Economist says that China has been a net importer since 2008. But Chinese consumers distrust domestic producers, and US pork could command a premium. This (still to be approved) acquisition of Smithfield may be..."[read more]
Dick's note: "In a previous blog post I described Brzezinki's concept of a G2 world, dominated by two superpowers: the United States and China. Kissinger is touting it too, as this report suggests.

Misguided? Yes, but there's a way to profit from it."

(Asia Society - "Henry Kissinger: China, the US, and a CommonChallenge") Former...[read more]
Dick's note:  "Is shale gas really the spectacular industry-changing phenomenon we think it is? Bill Powers is skeptical, and he raises valid concerns about the future prospects of shale gas and why North America may NOT have the massive shale gas resources which some have claimed."

(PolicyMic.com - "Peak Oil: Energy Investor...[read more]
Dick's note:  "The enormous shale oil resources in California (the Monterey shale formation) may not be produced as quickly as hoped, with the (unsurprising) ruling from a judge which holds that fracking technology hasn't yet been proved ecologically safe. But it may be an opportunity for patient investors who want to..."[read more]
Dick's note:  "It comes as no surprise that the Governor of Arizona just vetoed a proposed law to allow people to use gold and silver as currency. Vested interests require fiat currency to maintain control and extend state power. Lenin knew this. Artificial currency and central banking are two of the..."[read more]
Dick's note:  "More reasons to load-up on select Ag stocks, as the UN projects up to 40% increases in global food prices in the coming decade. If anything, their projections may be too low."

(The Guardian - "Food prices to rise by up to 40% over next decade...") Food prices are...[read more]
Dick's note: "Now that equities are back in favor, it only makes sense that Buffett would 'caution' investors to avoid holding gold. Those who want to see a continuation of the current system of fiat money, statism, and illegitimate government tyranny might say the same."

(Bloomberg - "Buffett Mocking Gold Sidesteps Slump As...[read more]
Dick's note: "As America's peanut growers rejoice in the deluge of Chinese buying, ag-investors should be positioning for similar good news in the years to come. China is nowhere near able to produce enough food to feed itself, and so it's rapidly becoming the world's largest buyer of crops, meat, and whatever..."[read more]
Dick's note:  "One of the biggest game-changers in petroleum E&P is the shale oil and shale gas reality, which may keep a lid on prices to an extent. Great news for consumers, to be sure. And yet I'm bullish on oil, even in the face of rocketing domestic production. Fortunes are..."[read more]
Dick's note:   "George Soros seems to be negative on gold. Does that means he's quietly buying? The world's elite investors regularly use the press to amplify their investment strategies. I view Soros' comment as another reason to stay long the precious metal."

(South China Morning Post - "Interview with George Soros") According...[read more]
Dick's note:  "Long considered one of the most mining-friendly states in the US, the state of Nevada is on the cusp of biting the hand that feeds it. The state senate approved a proposition to end the "tax-cap" on mining companies. It could go to referendum vote in 2014. Worse, other..."[read more]
Dick's note:   "Who cares about wheat disease, right? But at least 80% of the world's commercial wheat crops are susceptible to UG99, and it's spreading from Africa to the Middle East and may take India. There's no quick fix. One more example of a perilously fragile system, and that means..."[read more]
Dick's note:   "For some time now, Turkey has been encouraging its gold-hoarders to deposit their bullion at the local bank, like cash. The deposits pay interest, can be converted to cash, borrowed against, and so on. Convenient for depositors. Plus, the banks can use the gold to bolster their balance..."[read more]
Dick's note:  "An Australian company says there are vast shale oil resources waiting to be produced down under, which some say could turn Australia into an oil exporter. Wishful thinking? Vast shale oil and gas resources will likely be unlocked all over the planet, from China to South Africa, which is..."[read more]
Dick's note: "A respected wealth-management firm is saying the commodity boom ended in 2011 and that the trend is now sideways. I disagree, and believe there is plenty more upside, particularly in precious metals and agriculture. However, even if they're right (that the trend is sideways) that's great news for junior resource..."[read more]
Dick's note: "One market veteran believes we could be heading into a period of massive gains for junior mining stocks. His reasoning is spot-on, as I see it. Read this article, it's excellent."

(The Gold Report - "Gold Mania Phase Approaching for Junior Miners: Michael Ballanger") I maintain that we are heading into a...[read more]
Dick's note: "I've been telling readers for several years that this was coming, although I don't see it being as much a case of "competitive devaluation" as "cooperative devaluation". Nonetheless, who really thinks fiat currencies aren't going to keep tanking? This article provides even more reasons for investors to switch to hard..."[read more]
Dick's note:  "There's no official explanation for Chinese stockpiling of rice, but it's clear that they're anticipating rising food prices. Are you ready for global food riots? Perhaps not here, but in the developing world. Big implications for investors..."

(Restoring Liberty - "China Mysteriously Quadruples Rice Imports, Continues to Stockpile Commodities") Yesterday, it...[read more]
Dick's note: "There's big money to be made from the coming demographic squeeze. Already, some Germans have begun exporting their aged to jurisdictions where healthcare costs are lower. It's just a matter of time before we see the same thing happen here in the US. Faced with the prospect of taking care..."[read more]
Dick's note: "Investors take heed --- China's suicidal one-child policy is already resulting in economic and social crises throughout the country. This interesting article provides insight on the clash between the elderly and their working-age offspring --- a problem which threatens to get worse."

(Washington Post - "China passes law requiring people to...[read more]
Dick's note:  "There's no doubt as to the immensity of Bakken oil, but can it deliver on the 1 million bpd projections which some have made? Investors pay attention: this article provides insight to the history and prospects for Bakken-play companies, and associated risks."

(Mining.com - "Bakken oil boom in question") Can the...[read more]
Dick's note: "I've spoken before about the risks of investing in far-flung jurisdictions, and the increasing likelihood of nationalizations of mines, and even advanced exploration projects. But it could begin happening even in the West. This article sheds light on the problem."

(Mining.com - "Resource nationalism assumes more...") Resource nationalism is assuming more subtle...[read more]
Dick's note: "This story is more for entertainment than actionable intelligence. What would happen if US citizens boarded flights with bags of gold bullion headed for Dubai? The civil government of Afghanistan apparently has no problem with it, and one could wish that ours wouldn't either."

(The New York Times - "An Afghan...[read more]
Dick's note: "Central banks are loading up on gold, not because they've repented of their fiat money sins, but because they know the US dollar and every other major currency is like holding a burning match."

(Bloomberg - "Brazil Doubles Gold Reserves as Central Banks Buy Bullion") Brazil boosted gold reserves for a third...[read more]
Dick's note: "For the environmental alarmists who long for a people-free world, this story is bad news. But I see it as an encouraging sign --- coal is regaining its position as one of the most sensible forms of fuel."

(Al Bawaba - "No longer cooking with oil...") Coal is set to surpass oil...[read more]
Dick's note: "I've been urging readers to pay attention to the declining birth rates, and how it will affect the economy and investments. The implications are significant and far-reaching."

(The Economist - "Double Blind") ALTHOUGH America's fiscal problems are among the worst in the rich world, its policymakers long took comfort that, when it...[read more]
Dick's note: "As China's newly-affluent class grows, so too will worldwide meat consumption. We've been profiting from this trend since 2008, and I believe the gains will continue."

(The Asahi Shimbun AJW - "China's taste for pork continues to grow") Until the mid-1970s, amid continued political instability, the average Chinese citizen seldom had the...[read more]
Dick's note: "The disconnect between the price of gold and top-tier mining stocks is impressive. But it's even more impressive for juniors. The opportunity therefore is great, but it won't last long. Those of you who are sitting on the sidelines may do well to position now."

(Moneyweek - "These charts say it's...[read more]
Dick's note: "More reasons I'm an advocate of farms, farmland, and commodities as profitable investments for the coming decade."

(The Globe and Mail - "Don Coxe is still pounding the table on agriculture") It's been been quite a year for those who are...[read more]
Dick's note: "Although India's demographics are more favorable than China's, thanks to a healthy fertility rate, it seems they've drank the kool-aid and are opting to kill themselves off, as this story reveals. Aside from the gross injustice, their economy will eventually suffer."

(UPI - "Cash prizes fuel India's sterilization overdrive") The state government...[read more]
Dick's note: "Worldwide fertility has crashed, and is crashing further. The economic consequences are serious. Investors who understand this can profit from it."

(AlephBlog - "On Human Fertility, Part 2") Using the CIA Factbook for data, the present total fertility rate for the...[read more]
Dick's note: "The global shale-gas phenomenon is dramatically changing the world's E&P infrastructure. What's going on in China will only accelerate things. Serious investors are positioning for a major event in natural gas pricing."

(The Asahi Shimbun AJW - "With world's largest reserves, China starts to forge ahead with development") In terms of estimated...[read more]
Dick's note: "Mexico is on its way to having a shrinking population. Their birth rate is crashing. This will have serious implications not only for Mexico, but also for the United States."

(MercatorNet - "Mexico - Another country growing old") One of the great emerging demography stories is the dramatic decline of fertility in...[read more]