The hotel was not hard to find. Just turn right at the cow skull, left at the tall cactus, and head directly towards the abandoned mine. That took me to the luxury resort that was hosting my April 28 strategy luncheon in Phoenix, Arizona.
At this point I have been through my presentation so many times that I tossed it, handing out the hard copies to the readers. What ensued was a three hour Q&A, much to the edification of all. By the afternoon, there wasn’t an asset class we hadn’t covered in excruciating detail.
An engineer from one of my favorite companies on the planet, Freeport McMoRan (FCX), informed me that I had a huge fan club there. And yes, the long term outlook for copper is great.
Another in the real estate industry told me that hedge funds were snapping up second mortgages on homes with performing first mortgages, but negative equity, for 3% on the dollar. They then resold them to the homeowners for 6 cents, eager to clean up their credit rating. The credit unions who own those have already marked them down to zero and are happy to be rid of them. A 100% return on capital with minimal risk. Nice!
And then there was the ebullient, almost bubbling, young couple who related that my short gold trade in February paid for a second honeymoon in Florida. I hear these stories every day, but still love it. I touch lives in so many ways, they almost can’t be counted.
The price for the greatest distance traveled went to a gentleman from Ohio. Spend your Zimbabwe dollars wisely. They were well earned.
I arose at 5:00 am for a two hour hike in the mountains to inspect the local geology, which I often do in strange cities. It was classic gold mining country, with quartz veins everywhere. But the only turquoise I found was in Chief Dodge’s Jewelry Shop. A free afternoon found me on a tour of the home of the legendary prairie school architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, known as Taliesin West, where he spent the last 25 winters of his life.
On the way home, I lost another Swiss army knife to homeland security. I ended up in economy, sitting next to a big fat sweating slob who wolfed down a dreadfully odiferous pastrami sandwich and then fell asleep on my shoulder.
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