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Ivan the Fool

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  • Market Timing Report: Bullish Sentiment Reaches Multi-Decade Highs [View article]

    Minds exist in individual bodies and do not hover over groups. Sentiment moves in and out of individuals, many of whom only know how to behave by mimicking others. Individuals who can learn vicariously by avoiding what makes others suffer may themselves suffer less, but we are all susceptible to forming false judgments of cause and effect because reality is chaotic and often cannot be predicted - by anyone.

    Sentiment is a matter of perception - Thoughts & Feelings. The problem with generalized views of sentiment is that the full rationale behind sentiment cannot be known. In other words, you can hear or read about what somebody says, but you cannot know all of the reasons why - because the people providing their sentiments don't know themselves! Predictions are laced with unknowable biases.

    There are some investments in life that have very little to do with the sentiment of anyone other than yourself, such as volunteering, exercising, cleaning, growing your own food, collecting and filtering your own water, or learning new skills such as electrical wiring, plumbing, computer skills, or communication skills.

    Each of us also has the opportunity to invest in ourselves spiritually/emotionally by learning to live in a way that requires less consumption. Those whom are able to retire early generally are only able to do so because they have learned to live very efficiently and with frugality. One way that you can have More immediately is to simply give away Less.

    Your position in the social hierarchy is a matter of your perception. You can look "up" and feel diminished by comparison or you can look "down" and feel exalted. What if the members of the Jones family find keeping up with you completely irrelevant?

    As for equities etc.... Patience is apparently most profitable. What seems to be happening is that too many people seem more interested in quick and easy profits than in investing in something meaningful. I don't know if this is helpful to anyone, but many of the issues of investing got mixed up in me when I lost track of the meaning of "invest." I have become a much happier person since I began investing in people and their ideas rather than in inanimate objects like buildings, vehicles, tables, and chairs.

    There is a kind of Return that has apparently been lost - knowing that you are helping good people do something worthwhile. When you invest in good people who do good things, you are not wanting or expecting quick bags of cash - you want them to do well over time, so that in the future you can celebrate with them. In short, invest in your own sentiment and you likely will experience less stress - which could be worth as much as the money you may also make.

    So says the Fool. Best of luck to all.
    Feb 7, 2014. 04:17 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What Happens If Stocks Crash? [View article]
    I claim that toilet paper has value.
    Jun 1, 2013. 11:27 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How Fed Policy Has Devastated 3 Generations Of Retirees [View article]
    I don't disagree with anything that you have shared and you seem like a real decent person who has kept his nose clean and worked hard. You should be proud of yourself. The outline is thus: rather than emphasizing our own accomplishments and good choices, why not emphasize that such choices do not occur in a vacuum. The environments into which we are born determine much of our futures and many young people aren't coming from supportive families or communities. Sure, some people make stupid choices - I have made more than my fair share - but I'm not going to claim that people born into poverty and abuse are as responsible for their choices as someone born into a middle class family that is perhaps not perfect but cares for one another. Since we are sharing, I work with abused and neglected teens. It makes me sick hearing people talk about their bad choices. Whomever has little sympathy for the suffering of others but is concerned with their tax burden is nothing other than... Arrogant. The outline is to show care and concern for your fellow citizens - even when they are making bad choices. The outline is to love thine neighbor as thy self. What is your outline? To keep pointing the finger at those less fortunate than you and to use it as a means for bolstering your own ego? This probably doesn't seem like an expression of love to a "neighbor," but there is love within it. All I'm saying is... for our affluence and comfort, others have suffered and are suffering still. I don't see what good it does to have negative feelings for people whom you don't know who receive assistance from the evil government. Taxation itself is not the problem. The problem is that tax money is not being well-managed by our elected leaders. All of your emphasis is downward upon an image of lazy drug-users and mothers who have babies for welfare checks. What about pay raises for the very same CEOs who have been exploiting us? Is that not more offensive than helping a young mother or an orphaned child, or even a homeless person or an elderly person who didn't make all the best choices? Transfer? How about the transfer of taxes into unemployment checks for those whose jobs have been shipped over seas? What happens to our economy when the checks stop? What happens to our communities? There aren't the same opportunities that there used to be. It's more difficult to get ahead than it used to be - even when you're making good choices. But good for you for finding a way to make a life for yourself. Now forget about me and go back to enjoying your retirement.
    Sep 6, 2013. 07:44 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How Fed Policy Has Devastated 3 Generations Of Retirees [View article]
    What's much worse than woe is me is the arrogance of those whom have done well for themselves and the underlying belief that it was entirely their own hard work and good decision making that rendered their successes. For every financially successful person who came from poverty and did it all on their own, there are 99 people who had a lot of help from their Middle Class families. 15 likes. sad. The real band wagon here are people who are full of themselves because they have money and think of themselves as superior to those whom have less. What is the source of your work ethic? Is it to take care of the people you love or merely to think of yourself as better than others?
    Sep 6, 2013. 01:25 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How Fed Policy Has Devastated 3 Generations Of Retirees [View article]
    Yay! Cheap ketchup!
    Sep 6, 2013. 12:23 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How Fed Policy Has Devastated 3 Generations Of Retirees [View article]
    I am arrogant. I like soap boxes. I blow a mighty horn. LO. I am well on my way to the loony bin with my orchestra following behind. All hail the poor and unfortunate! I don't eat fish, but I am selfish. I feed my ego by sticking up for welfare mothers and lazy brown people. I learned how from Ayn Rand. Wait? Why did Atlas shrug? And what happened to the earth? Did it roll down a hill and awaken a sleeping Sisyphus? Did Camus fish? If only The Stranger had a pole instead of a gun. Does myth make a man more moral? Thoughts are insignificant when set beside a deed. And I will gladly donate my ticket to The Apocalypse to anyone who takes comfort in closing their eyes and speaking sweet nothings to themselves.
    Sep 6, 2013. 08:40 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How Fed Policy Has Devastated 3 Generations Of Retirees [View article]
    Wow! You are so responsible - and well educated on how to dump people into groups to service your ego. Your parents sound very nice. Hopefully, they will continue to be supportive if your 401k gets annihilated, but no worries... I'm sure you have a healthy savings since you're so responsible.
    Sep 6, 2013. 10:45 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Triumph Of The Ostriches [View article]
    I have never understood why earnings and financing are valued so highly when a company has enormous debt - debt that exceeds the earnings and financing. I am a simple guy and even I can see that the math doesn't seem to work out. What's with these market sentiment numbers? Who are these people - so pleased with the markets? Every coin shop in America now has a $5+ premium. Thus, the public is NOT as pleased as the reports are suggesting. History is not even required to figure this out. Even if we had no knowledge of the recent succession of bubbles, this would still look like a bubble. But when factoring in the bubbles of the last 13 years... it's just a matter of how long they think that they can use the media to drag more people into this trap before skinning the "poor animal" that gets caught in it. It must be the people who are too busy to look into it and simply want a piece of the action. Can there really be so many? All we can do is try to warn them, but if they are not wanting to hear it, then they won't look for alternate views and will seek only to substantiate what they wish were true - I guess. I see people at work commenting and smiling about the gains that their retirement accounts are making and it's really sad. I would love to be wrong, but every ounce of my being tells me that they are about to get robbed. Kleptocratic Oligarchs. That's a fantastic descriptor! Thanks User. And thanks Gestalt.
    May 31, 2013. 02:26 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 1 Overseas Indicator To Watch Every Morning Before Wall Street Opens [View article]
    Larry. If I may... so long as we are printing, Japan will be printing. In the short term - say the next few months, it is highly unlikely that we are going to stop printing because it would mean no unemployment checks for millions of Americans which would quickly lead to violence in the streets. The feds don't like the idea of austerity in the U.S. It seems that printing is linked to the continual climb in stock prices which tends to keep the price of gold/silver suppressed. The timeline is what everyone is trying to predict. There is no historical precedent for the world-wide quantitative easing, so it is very difficult to predict what is going to happen. It is a near consensus that things can't go on like this for too much longer, but what happens next is a mystery. I am personally trying to crack this nut and I'm sure many others are trying as well. Where I seem to be different than others is in my belief that we are already in a world war, but so far without world-wide military conflicts. There are a growing number of indicators that support my opinion - including manipulation of currency values, changing trade patterns, huge "over-night" price fluctuations in the U.S. and Japanese markets particularly, the falling gold prices, and most especially the complete turn-around from Peak Oil to massive domestic production. Printing fake money can't work in Japan or anywhere else - no nation is going to let another nation simply print dollars and use them to purchase real assets. So what is going to happen? Best case scenario is that the U.S. convinces the rest of the G20 to all stop printing at the same time and to go back to a model of sustained growth based on real supply and demand. This does not appear likely. The rich (who are linked to our leaders or are the leaders themselves) are making out like bandits and are thus not likely to stop the madness on their own. It is a time of buy-outs and take-overs. When power has been sufficiently consolidated and the small players have been pushed out, only then will interest rates go up and printing slow down. That Soros has allegedly began purchasing mining stocks suggests that the turn is imminent. Small gains or losses in the value of gold typically relate to the dollar in that when the dollar goes up, gold goes down, but big moves in gold occur when fear of a system collapse begins to spread. Right now, investor sentiment is riding the equities wave and so gold and silver are likely to remain relatively low. But when mining stocks such as Hecla begin to make big moves like over the last couple of days in spite of the equities surge, it indicates to me that the rosy sentiment being reported in equities applies only to the average greedy, short-sighted investors trying to ride the wave and not to the long term picture. It seems to me that the feds have no choice but to INCREASE easing in order to keep the bubble from popping - which would also allow for the acquisition of more hard assets while the dollar is strong. I think that the feds suggestion that QE will diminish is a tactic to try to slow the equities bubble and give a false signal to the world at the same time. Given the uncertainty in the market and that precious metals are priced relatively low, I am adjusting my philosophy of 15% PM to 50% PM. I may lose out on the short term surge, but when the bubble pops as seems inevitable, PM will trample most other bulls. The way that I look at it is... if the equity bulls are wrong, then they are going to get decimated, but if I am wrong and PM continue to fall - at least I will still have something. Please note that I have a bad habit of changing my opinions based on new revelations and that I could be completely wrong about all of this. Sorry so long-winded.
    May 30, 2013. 04:05 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Precious Metals Defy Logic [View article]
    Is it so obvious that there will be no major conflicts in the near future? Obvious? I think that maybe you are a bit too confident. The world that I'm seeing is already in a major conflict - and it is escalating quickly.
    May 24, 2013. 02:40 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Silver: Last Chance For Immediate Breakout [View article]
    I grew up in a small town in Idaho. There is an old mining town about 40 miles out a dirt road from the small town. The mine has been out of operation for over 30 years. There is a company moving in and preparing to open the mine again after all these years. I followed the financing and it goes all the way to the "too big to fail banks" being financed by the QE4-ever funny money. I looked around and found mine after mine in a similar situation - restructuring top officers, including stock options, bringing in hot-shot geologists and HR people, and links to big time financing. Lots of money going into infrastructure - getting ready to restart or ramp up operations. Looks to me like they are preparing for a price jump to coincide with major increases in production. Since PM are now an asset class, prices can be manipulated in an instant with the push of a button. Prices will probably not fluctuate a whole lot over the next couple of years accept to maximize short term returns which seem to coincide nicely with monthly payroll issues. The strategy of the feds is to ride the QE train as long as possible (2015-16) while the US dollar still has good value in order to build as much real infrastructure as possible - but essentially turning the US dollar into monopoly money in the long run. But who cares, right? The new dollars will be prettier. It's kind of like when a clown stretches out a balloon before blowing it up. Like in The Mask, they will bend it into a neat shape for the mesmerized casual observers and then pop it right in their faces. "The dog was rabid... had to put her down." Ipkiss worked at a bank, remember? Mr. Nice Guy. But it was really Loki who got away with the money. Moral of the story... if you are willing to wear a mask and take part in the mischief, you might end up with a closet full of money.
    Mar 21, 2013. 01:51 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • It Could Be A Nasty Spring For Precious Metals [View article]
    Seems like a rule you would want to have in place just before a frenzied attempt by competitors to protect the value of their rapidly dwindling assets.
    Apr 29, 2014. 01:51 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • How Fed Policy Has Devastated 3 Generations Of Retirees [View article]
    You absolutely ARE relying on the government - and so are your family and friends - because your are part of a system that has provided you with an environment that allows for your choices - good and bad.
    Sep 6, 2013. 03:12 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • How Fed Policy Has Devastated 3 Generations Of Retirees [View article]
    "hard work and a little frugality" - Nothing wrong with that.. being nice is also important. I'll try my best:

    The American Dream is based on the rigors of 40 acres and a mule. The words "hard work" as they are being used here do not refer to actual hard work. Work, in the real world, is a force exerted through a distance, so sitting in one place, studying for example, does not equate to work - unless you include pumping neurons. Some in this thread seem to suggest that jobs that require manual labor, such as agricultural work or manufacturing, are less important or less respectable and are therefore okay to export out of the U.S. The result of such thinking leads directly to the situation in which we find ourselves. Technology and Service industries are not a whole economy. Much of the U.S. economy has been moved out of the U.S. so that corporations can maximize their profits (cheap labor, no environmental or health and safety protections, no benefits, tax loop-holes and so forth). Foreigners are the ones doing most of the hard work, not Americans. Energy conservation is a common trait shared by all humans, that's why many of you went to college - because you didn't want to work hard in the physical sense, but rather make more money while doing less manual labor. But while we all want more for less, I don't think of Americans as a culture of lazy people who expect hand-outs and are afraid of hard work - they are not just saying gimme, gimme, gimme - they are saying gimme a job, gimme fair pay, and gimme health and safety - the same things every human wants. And yes, frugality is a wonderful trait, but it hinders the greater economy. The U.S. economy grows when production levels are increasing and consumers are consuming. Since infinite expansion is not possible, however, we must have recessions between periods of growth. A stable economy spreads out the highs and lows between industries in a cyclical manner based in large part upon seasonal differences in production and consumption. Under such conditions, the traditional American values of hard work and frugality should allow for a relatively comfortable life that flows into an early retirement, but such conditions are not what we have. The healthy ebb & flow has been disrupted - I think intentionally and with much foresight. The motive: to maintain U.S. supremacy - which means control of the earth's natural resources: metals, gas/oil, wood, water, food, and ideas/technology. The bad news is how few choices we have for investing in genuinely great companies with ethical leaders. It seems we have little choice but to follow along like the little bird that cleans the alligator's teeth. Oh, but what shiny teeth they will have.
    Sep 6, 2013. 02:57 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • How Fed Policy Has Devastated 3 Generations Of Retirees [View article]
    Take your profits.
    Sep 6, 2013. 01:27 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment