How 'Free Trade' Impacts My Portfolio

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Soos Global Capital

I’ve discovered a new oxymoron to join the ranks of those often used in bouts of humor such as “a fine mess” or “second best” or “pretty ugly”; namely, “Free Trade”, as in “Free Trade Agreements”.

I participate in an online discussion group focused on foreign policy issues and in the past few days, there has been a great deal of talk about recent trade deals, both of the formal variety such as the South Korea-US Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA), and of the less comprehensive type such as the major deals that US companies inked with India on President Obama’s November trip. The discussions have revolved around a number of issues:

    • What is "free" about trade agreements that are chock full of lingering tariffs, quotas, restrictions, regulations, etc?
    • Will these deals create jobs in the US and if so, how many?
    • Is the US aggressive enough in establishing FTAs or are we losing ground to other countries that are swifter at negotiating, approving and executing such deals?
    • Are these deals, especially in the Asia-Pacific region, likely to have any impact on the geopolitical balance in the region especially as the US is forced to trim its budget deficits and possibly have to reduce its policing presence, which could, in turn, provide China (and others) an opportunity to fill the void left behind?

What does this have to do with “actionable trade ideas” that are more suitable for this site? In a word, everything. As I’ve stated in numerous articles in the past, investors are best equipped to opine and decide on their investment choices if they include in their analysis a global view of events that can impact overall economic growth, specific company revenues and profits, and of course, trade related issues that impact imports and exports. Again, as readers will know, my portfolios have been built around a global

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MUST READ:1/24/2018: Soos Global Capital is no longer managing money! The founder and CIO, Ed Leventhal, is now a private investor, and any commentary or publications of his are personal views and not those of his former role as a manager of a registered investment advisor company. All posts on this blog are strictly for nostalgic and entertainment purposes, not advice.Former disclosure: IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE INFORMATION in the 'Company' section below applies to ALL correspondence made by Soos Global on Soos Global Capital Advisors, LLC was founded by our Principal, Edward J. Leventhal, after a 23-year career at Salomon Brothers, which became Citigroup through mergers. Since 2002, Ed was among Citigroup's Senior Management (top 1% of the firm). After graduating from The Wharton School of Business in 1982, Ed started his career in Corporate Banking at Bank of America, where, for four years, he was an associate in the Fortune 500 group advising international companies such as Macy's, American Brands, RJReynolds, Zayre Stores and JC Penney. In 1986, in addition to completing his MBA at New York University, Ed moved to Salomon Brothers, where he worked for the next 23 years, through its mergers with Travelers and then Citigroup. During that time, he was in institutional sales and trading advising many of the largest hedge funds, banks, mutual funds, central banks and other government institutions on investment opportunities in various asset classes all over the world. His career advanced from US Treasury sales with specialization in derivatives, to heading the Global Government Bond team in the US, followed by managing Salomon's West Coast Fixed Income business (based in San Francisco), after which he returned to NY to become Global Product Manager of Emerging Markets, and finally, leading Global Relationship Management for Citigroup's premier institutional clients across Equities and Fixed Income around the globe. Soos Global Capital Advisors, LLC provided Ed's global markets and institutional level experience to a select group of high-net-worth private investors who were looking for that level of sophistication in the way their money was managed and in designing investment portfolios suitable to their investment goals, risk tolerances, and liquidity preferences. Capitalizing on years of experience in global financial markets and on three full passports of international travel, Ed's assessment of global opportunities provided Soos Global with its key competitive investment edge. Soos Global no longer manages money and has been closed.

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