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This Crypto-Millions Jackpot ends Nov 15th

Bitcoin has gotten hot recently, surging over 125%.

But if you’re only paying attention to “standard” cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum … you’re missing out on the real Jackpot…

Because there are tons of tiny “penny crypto” companies that have the potential to make you a millionaire, from as little as $20 to start.

Here is the link to our million-dollar “Bitcoin Blueprint” that you can copy, and build a massive fortune in less than one year.

If you had decided to plunk down $2,000 in a handful of these “crypto-millions” opportunities a few weeks back … you would be sitting on over $1.1 million today.

A brand-new “penny crypto” that hit the markets on April 21st, 2017 already surged by 29,693%… OVERNIGHT. (It, along with others, are detailed in our report).

Still other new cryptocurrencies have skyrocketed by 15,808% in a single day. Another of these millionaire-makers jumped a staggering 56,606% over just a week’s time…

Do the math and that turns every $20 into over $11,321. The truth is hundreds of these “penny cryptocurrencies” are DOUBLING in value every week.

But we’ve picked a handful of the best opportunities for our report.

We’ve also detailed how to buy them, when to buy them, and how the little guy has a fantastic opportunity to get rich with them…

Click here to discover everything you need to get started (before Nov. 15th).

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How Russian Sanctions Could Destroy the Dollar

Will the new sanctions against Russia “ensure the end of U.S. dollar dominance”?

A disconcerting question — especially if you count your money in U.S. dollars.

But could it be true?

Could the latest Russia sanctions somehow bring down the curtain on U.S. dollar dominance?

And why would Russia sanctions destroy the U.S. dollar?


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Jim Rickards — world-famous currency war expert and former CIA advisor — has a theory…

What Do The Sanctions Do?

First, it’s important to know that the U.S. sanctions target the thumping heart of Russia’s economy — its energy sector.

Not only that, but these sanctions apply to both U.S. and non-U.S. companies dealing in Russian energy projects.

“That’s a big deal in Europe,” Jim explains, “because that’s where national energy champions like BP, Royal Dutch Shell, Total and Eni had plans to do joint ventures in the Arctic with the Russian energy giants Gazprom and Rosneft.”

Translation: The EU is ticked off at the U.S. right now.

In fact, Jim says the EU is now considering retaliatory sanctions of its own against these United States.

That is a nightmare scenario for America – and for the U.S. dollar in particular.

But it gets worse…

[Ed. Note: There’s a way to protect yourself from this nightmare scenario. And it’s pretty ingenious. Click here to see what it is.]

As if potential EU sanctions wasn’t bad enough, now Russia is accelerating plans to reduce its reliance on the dollar and associated international payment systems.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov:

“We will of course intensify work related to import substitution, reduction of dependence on U.S. payment systems, on the dollar as a settling currency and so on. It is becoming a vital need.”

The thing about “vital needs” is that nations tend to address them with great urgency.

To whom will Russia turn most for assistance in these endeavors?

I bet you can guess…

Hint: They’re Russia’s second biggest trading partner and the region’s largest economy.

That’s right…


The same China that Trump is dead set on picking a fight with.

And the same China that is also famously opposed to a global dollar standard.

Bottom line, China and Russia are likely to become best friends very quickly.

In fact, Trump himself has admitted that the sanctions will force Russia and China closer together.

And in order to fight back, Jim Rickards thinks Trump might ultimately resort to a “dollar reboot” to restore the dollar to its global throne.

Jim says it would represent the dollar’s “biggest reboot” in over 100 years.

Just what would this “dollar reboot” do?

Click here to find out.

Jim says the world’s been waging a rolling currency war since 2010. Now it seems the world verges on a potentially debilitating trade war.

If that’s the case, you need to be prepared for what comes next.

And knowing Jim’s thesis will give you a leg up on everyone else.

Listen to Jim Rickards’ “dollar reboot” thesis right here.

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The Only 4 Buffett Stocks You Need To Retire

Original Link | StreetAuthority by David Goodboy

Warren Buffett is by far the most successful long-term stock investor of all time. His value-centric approach has returned an astounding 1.9 million percent since taking control of Berkshire Hathaway in the mid-1960s.

Although Buffett’s portfolio has recently suffered a little, investors are still handsomely rewarded for following his advice and stock picks. Here are five of Buffett’s holdings that can set you up for an easier retirement.


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1. Synchrony Financial (NYSE: SYF)
This consumer finance company was spun out of GE Financial back in 2015. It currently comprises about 0.30% of Berkshire Hathaway’s stock portfolio. Buffett loves credit card and consumer finance companies — he also owns stakes in American Express (NYSE: AXP) and Mastercard (NYSE: MA). However, I firmly believe the best investment results, going forward, will be gleaned from Synchrony Financial. Here’s why:

Synchrony is the largest issuer of private label credit cards in the United States. This means that retailers like Walmart, Amazon, and Lowes, among many others, utilize Synchrony to manage their credit services. I love the fact that company profits are retailer-agnostic, meaning that regardless of who is winning the retail battle, Synchrony will continue to benefit from transactions.

Options Wealth MachineCompanies like Synchrony profit from the spread between the interest rates it charges and the rate it pays on bank deposits and other capital. Currently, bank deposits represent over 68% of the SYF’s capital source. The difference between the low-interest rates paid on the deposits compared to the extremely high relative rates charged by SYF creates fat profits.

Solid performance has resulted in substantial revenue growth since SYF was formed in 2013. So far in 2017, revenue has grown by 12% to nearly $8 billion. It’s amazing how much can be made from an interest rate spread!

It’s reasonable to think that these trends will continue, as interest rates have increased by 11% in the first six months of 2017. Surprisingly, the stock is trading down nearly 20% this year, meaning you can grab the shares at a great price.

2. Bank of New York Mellon (NYSE: BK)
This old-time bank and money management company has captured Buffett’s interest. He recently ramped up his holdings in the company by over 50%, and his stake now accounts for 1.8% of Berkshire’s portfolio.

BK has outperformed its peers over the last 90 days thanks to increasing loan demand and cost-saving initiatives. Also, President Trump’s progress in repealing the Dodd-Frank Act has helped lift the banking sector as a whole.

What has me the most bullish long-term on this Buffett stock is its expansion into foreign markets. Last year, over 34% of BK’s total revenue came from overseas. The percentage should continue to increase as global markets expand and increase their financial sophistication. Many international markets possess tremendous growth potential which will support the bank’s profits regardless of what happens domestically.

Shares are higher by around 10% this year and the stock yields just under 2%.

3. Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL)

While many analysts are questioning the wisdom of owning Apple right now, Buffett’s commitment to the company is unwavering. The stock is his third-largest holding, taking up nearly 12% of his portfolio. Boasting an incredible $800 billion-plus market cap, the behemoth remains an appealing candidate for a Buffett-inspired retirement stock.

The bullish case for Apple has several key points. First, the company is aggressively improving its products. Second, Apple has allotted $1 billion for original entertainment content creation, a proven moneymaking sector. Finally, it is quickly moving into future technologies like autonomous automobiles, augmented reality and virtual reality, and a variety of services. These three bullish facets will feed growth long into the future.

I also love that the company is moving into emerging markets like India. India is pushing for greater foreign investment and is actively seeking to ramp up its manufacturing infrastructure. Government support, combined with India’s relatively young population, creates the perfect storm for Apple to thrive in the nation. In fiscal 2016, Apple’s Indian sales exploded by 50% over fiscal 2015. I fully expect this growth to continue into the future.

Apple’s success continues, despite the naysayers. In the third quarter 2017, Apple posted revenues of over $45 billion, with 17% earnings growth and a just over 7% revenue increase year-over-year.

Don’t lose faith in this winning Buffett pick.

4. General Motors (NYSE: GM)

Buffett recently ramped up holdings of this leading American auto company by 20%, and it now makes up nearly 1.3% of Berkshire’s portfolio.

The $57 billion-market cap giant’s shares are higher by nearly 23% over the last 52 weeks. Strong fundamental performance backs up the solid stock performance. The company is on track to reach its 2017 goal of making its brands stronger, ramping up retail sales, and increasing product offerings of its four brands. Also, GM has forecasted 2017 earnings to surpass 2016’s $6.12 per share.

A very bullish factor is the auto company’s plan to return its substantial available free cash flow to shareholders while holding onto an investment grade balance sheet and nearly $17 billion in cash to spur growth. The initial repurchase plan of $5 billion was wrapped up in the third quarter of 2016. This year the plan is to return up to $7 billion in share buybacks and dividends.

Just like Apple, GM is rapidly increasing capacity investments in emerging markets. The company has projected more than 50% of global sales growth will arise from emerging markets by 2030. GM has plans to launch 18 new and refreshed vehicles in 2017, and 60 in total by 2020.

The innovation and future growth strategy of GM make it the ideal stock for a long-term retirement portfolio.

Risks To Consider: Past results are not guarantees of future performance. Just because Buffett is heavily invested in a stock does not guarantee it will continue to outperform. Despite his massive success, Buffett has suffered his share of losing stock picks. Always use stops and position size properly when investing.

Action To Take: Consider adding one or more of the above Buffett stocks to your retirement portfolio.


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How Hurricane Irma Foreshadowed the Toys R Us Bankruptcy

Original Link | InvestmentU by Matthew Carr, Emerging Trends Strategist, The Oxford Club

Let’s talk about how powerful e-commerce is…

As Hurricane Irma barreled toward Florida, lots of my friends in the storm’s path went to hardware stores, grocery stores or big-box stores like Target (NYSE: TGT), saw the lines… and walked out.

They had an epiphany (the same one I have every day when I walk into a store and see a long line): They could order what they needed online.

And that’s what they did. They went to Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) and had all their emergency supplies delivered.

In this day and age, standing in line – emergency or not – doesn’t make sense to me.

It’s borderline arcane.

So it’s no surprise that the number of retailers planning store closures this year continues to increase. And the latest victim of its own inability to adapt is going bankrupt just in time for the holidays.

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Survival of the Fittest

Nowadays, it’s a daily occurrence to see headlines like “Millennials Are Killing This Industry” or “Millennials Are Destroying These Companies.”

Let’s be brutally honest… These are industries and companies that failed to adapt. They’re now withering away into nothingness because of the failures and shortsightedness of their management.

If they were good companies, they would have recognized their changing customer base.

This is capitalism at work. Survival of the fittest.

I used to work at Blockbuster. And it was one of several video rental stores I had memberships to.

I used to go to Circuit City for my computer equipment and printer needs.

And as a kid, I used to live for going to Toys R Us so I could blow the money I earned doing chores and random jobs on G.I. Joes, Transformers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles action figures.

Blockbuster and its brethren were made obsolete by Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX), Amazon Prime video, Hulu and a whole host of other services.

Circuit City was replaced by a bevy of competitors, which in turn are essentially being replaced by e-commerce. Even at Best Buy (NYSE: BBY), I feel that most people simply order products from the website after “showrooming.”

And I can’t even name anyone who’s actually gone to a toy store in recent years.

Toys R Us Goes Under

That’s why Toys R Us has joined Gordmans, Gymboree, hhgregg, The Limited, Payless ShoeSource, RadioShack (again), rue21, Wet Seal and more than 300 other retailers in filing for bankruptcy this year.

Already we’ve seen more than a 30% increase in retailer bankruptcy filings in 2017.

And they all made the same mistake – they realized too late how big of an impact e-commerce was going to have on their businesses.

In Toys R Us’ case, just over a decade ago, it was taken private for $7.5 billion in a leveraged buyout by Bain Capital, KKR & Co. (NYSE: KKR) and Vornado Realty Trust (NYSE: VNO).

For a while, things seemed okay.

In 2012, revenue peaked at $13.9 billion. But, like a lot of industries, the company was ultimately unable to fend off Amazon, as well as the likes of Target and Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT). From 2012 to 2016, Toys R Us sales slipped 15%…

hurricane irma toys r us 1

Back in June, the company reported that same-store sales for its first quarter had declined 6.2%.

Faced with a heavy debt burden and fast-falling revenue, the toy company had few options. It was forced to file for bankruptcy protection earlier this week.

Ironically, this time of year is when retailers generally start seeing their business ramp up. We have the enormously important holiday shopping periods ahead us, from Halloween all the way to New Year’s. It’s a three-month consumer buying spree.

Last year, holiday spending grew a modest 4% to $658.3 billion. But online shopping grew nearly 13% to $122.9 billion.

On top of this, 13.7% of all toys were purchased online. That’s more than double the percentage in 2012, the peak year for Toys R Us. And more than 40% of Toys R Us’ annual sales come during the holiday season.

But more importantly, Amazon’s toy sales increased 24% last year to $4 billion. Brick-and-mortar competitors like Toys R Us simply can’t keep up with that growth rate.

If you’re looking for investment opportunities for the upcoming holiday season, take a lesson from the Hurricane Irma preppers. Don’t waste your time with brick-and-mortars, focus on digital and e-commerce businesses instead. You don’t need any more proof than the more than 300 retailers that have already filed for bankruptcy this year.

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Three Reasons Tesla Could Drop

Original Link | DailyReckoning by RICK PEARSON

The toughest part about making money in the market is getting the timing right. Even when you’re ultimately right about the direction that a stock will move, if the timing is wrong, you’re stuck with a loss.

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Last year, on a single bad earnings announcement, Tesla began a three-day plunge, taking the stock down to around $180. If you were betting against Tesla, you could have made some nice money.

Then Tesla did what Tesla always does — rebound sharply. The stock now sits at $380.

But I am confident that you’re going to see another sharp plunge in Tesla very soon. Here’s why:

1. Management resignations. There’s been a huge wave of this — almost 40 senior executives have resigned in the past few months. This includes very senior people from key areas of the business, including the CFO, the VP of the Autopilot program, the VP of production and the director of battery technology.

These smart people were eager to jump aboard the Tesla ship when it was on the way up. But just as smart, they want to exit early now that Tesla’s peak valuation happens to coincide with significant business problems.

2. Lack of Innovation. The gap between expectations and reality on Tesla’s advancements in its battery is now getting too big for even Tesla bulls to dismiss. The actual performance and characteristics of the battery are significantly below what we were promised.

In addition, Tesla’s lead in this technology over its competitors is rapidly shrinking. Tesla is not nearly the unicorn that it’s made out to be. Don’t get me wrong. Tesla’s batteries are great. But with the stock at $350, they need to be more than great. They need to be uniquely and sustainably better than any of their competitors’. And they aren’t.

3. Cash burn. Yes, this is the same old argument. It is just as bad as, or worse than, it’s always been. Sooner or later it will matter. But again, trying to predict the exact day that the market decides to care is impossible.

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If there is one thing that Tesla knows how to do better than build cars, it’s extract more and more cash from the capital markets. Tesla recently raised a whopping $1.8 billion in a bond sale. As always, Tesla’s timing to do this was impeccable. It occurred at peak market enthusiasm in the bond markets and coincided with lots of Tesla hype around the launch of the Model 3. As a result, Tesla was able to lock in a very low interest rate for itself of just 5.3% per year.

Clearly, this was a great deal for Tesla. But market enthusiasm quickly faded, and those investors who are set to receive just 5.3% per year saw their bonds lose 3% of that value in a single week.

While a few sell-side investment banks continue to tout the share price with higher and higher targets, outside analysts are growing increasingly skeptical. Even the optimistic ones are now starting to suggest that Tesla is at least 20% overvalued at current levels.

Obviously, let’s not forget that these sell-side investment banks touting the stock are the same ones who make millions of dollars when Tesla pays them to run equity and bond offerings.

The Tesla story is growing long in tooth. If we can get better visibility on how soon Tesla might drop, it might be a good time to hedge your bets against the automaker in the market.

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A Storm Surge of Profits Headed Toward the U.S.

Original Link | DailyReckoning by ZACH SCHEIDT

As the floodwaters rose in Texas and Florida, the pictures started rolling in.

That’s the thing about social media today. We can all have access to a first-hand view of just about any major event or issue around the world.

I’m sure you saw the pictures of cars and trucks with water all the way up over their hoods.

And while I’m sure your first thought was for the safety of all the many people who were displaced by the storms, it’s now time to take a look at the long-term risks and opportunities that hurricanes Harvey and Irma brought to our financial markets.

Today, I want to show you a tremendous opportunity that most investors haven’t fully figured out yet. So let’s get started…

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A Flooded Market for Used Cars

Hopefully those pictures of underwater cars and trucks set off alarm bells in your mind.

While the numbers are still adding up, some analysts expect 500,000 auto claims from Hurricane Harvey.1 That number could easily double as claims start coming in from Hurricane Irma’s devastation.

Unfortunately, in a few months, tens of thousands of those water damaged cars will be featured on used car lots. And unless you look very closely, you won’t know the difference between a quality used car and one that has been battered by a category 4 hurricane…

Last week, I even heard a consumer advocate talking about a practice called “title washing.” Using this technique, unscrupulous used car dealers can alter the documents to make it look like a car had no water damage. So even if you do your homework, you could still be buying a lemon!

It still makes more financial sense to buy used cars — and just make sure that any vehicle is thoroughly checked out by a trusted mechanic before purchase.

But as horror stories of consumers getting ripped off hit the wires, more U.S. consumers will opt for buying new cars rather than used cars. That alone will drive strong demand for new cars as car buyers sidestep the risk of buying used cars that could be damaged by floods.

And don’t forget, with up to 1 million cars damaged by flood, the overall demand for replacement cars will naturally lead to higher new car sales. That sets up a big opportunity for investors that are paying attention.

A Resurgence of Growth Should Drive Auto Stocks

When I look for excellent investment opportunities, there are a few characteristics that are very important to me.

First, I want to invest in stable companies with low levels of risk. That way I can protect my capital against potential losses.

Second, I want to invest in companies that have opportunity for growth. This helps me generate big returns for my hard-earned money.

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Third, I want to invest in companies that pay me a nice dividend. That way I can collect cash on a regular basis and use that for expenses, or to invest in new shares.

Today, the U.S. auto manufacturers have all three of these features. And the two recent hurricanes are now providing a catalyst for these stocks to trade sharply higher.

Here’s the best part…

U.S. automakers Ford Motor (NYSE:F) and General Motors (NYSE:GM) have been in a wide holding pattern for the last few years. That’s because investors are skeptical about future growth. Both companies have generated very attractive profits. But their stock prices are relatively low because investors are skeptical about whether Americans will keep buying new cars.

Well, hurricanes Harvey and Irma should quickly remove that skepticism.

After all, there are an additional 1 million cars to replace in Texas and Florida — along with a consumer tend that will be shifting away from used cars and toward new vehicles.

Add that to a strong job market and low interest rates, and you’ve got a great scenario for these two stocks.

Oh, and don’t forget, Ford pays a 5.2% dividend yield and GM pays a 3.9% yield. So both of these stocks will add money to your account while you wait for shares to move higher.

If I were you, I would jump on these two opportunities before other investors figure out just how attractive these stocks are. In a few weeks, shares should be much higher. At that point, you’ll either be sitting on a great profit, or you’ll be on the sidelines wishing you had picked up shares at a much lower price.

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3 Stocks For The New Space Age

Original Link | StreetAuthority by David Goodboy

We are in the early stages of a quiet revolution that has bypassed many investors. It is akin to the original space race of the 1960s and early 1970s, just without the media frenzy. This time, rather than world powers vying for space supremacy, it’s corporations looking to be the first to profit from space industry and travel.

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The public’s excitement regarding space exploration and exploitation is at a shallow level, but opportunities exist for farseeing investors to snap up stocks of emerging space-age companies. The leading investors on Earth are already heavily invested in space technology.

The most notable, and wealthiest, investor in this pace is Jeff Bezos of Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN). He has committed to investing $1 billion per year into Blue Horizon, a space tourism and payload launch company. Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft, has invested in the rights to an upper atmosphere launch vehicle. Tesla founder Elon Musk has an ambitious goal to colonize Mars with his company SpaceX. Finally, Richard Branson has launched a space tourism business called Virgin Galactic.

Many companies in the new space race remain in private hands. However, several public companies are starting to look very appealing to investors looking for early entry into the sector.

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1. Orbital ATK (NYSE: OA)
Orbital is by far my favorite participant in the new space race. The company is a leading aerospace company with a $6 billion-plus market capitalization, and employs over 13,000 people. Its primary products include launch vehicles and related propulsion systems; satellites and associated components and services; composite aerospace structures; tactical missiles, subsystems and defense electronics; and precision weapons, armament systems, and ammunition. We’re not talking about a start-up company here.

While it is existing businesses are quite profitable — the company boasts annual revenues of close to $5 billion and gross margins of over 21% — it’s a unique angle that has me most excited.

Orbital is on its way to being the first mover in the satellite repair business. Imagine being the only player in a repair business where the machines being repaired cost around $300 million to build and launch. The potential here is truly astronomical.

Right now, there are approximately 1500 satellites operating in earth’s orbit and it’s far cheaper to repair them than to launch a replacement. As a frame of reference, a typical satellite generates between $40 and $60 million in cash annually for 15 years. We are talking big bucks and even bigger upside.

The first in-space satellite servicing system is called The Mission Extension Vehicle-1 (MEV-1). The spacecraft wrapped up its critical design review and has 75% of the platform and payload parts delivered to the company’s Virginia location. MEV-1 will start to service its anchor customer, Intelsat S.A., in early 2019. The vehicle has an expected life of 15 years and promises to be a significant profit center.

Satellites bring in around 26% of revenue and rocket systems account for another 35%, making Orbital a strong player in the sector. Revenue is forecasted to grow by 4% in 2017, and earnings are projected to increase by 10% to over $6.15 per share.

Drilling down on recent fundamental performance, the company has a substantial $15 billion-plus backlog of orders thanks to new business activity. In the second quarter 2017, strong revenue and margin growth promise to keep driving the stock price upward. Shares have surged over 23% so far in 2017, setting up an ideal momentum buying opportunity.

2. ViaSat (Nasdaq: VSAT)
If you’ve ever used the internet on a commercial aircraft, you may have used ViaSat’s services. ViaSat operates in three segments: satellite services, commercial networks, and government services. Through four satellites, the company provides high-speed interest to in-flight and terrestrial customers.

While this broadband company is trading lower by over 8% this year, fundamental figures are still strong. In its fiscal first quarter 2018, the company posted a record $154 million in operating cash flow and a $1 billion-plus order backlog.

Research & Development, SSL liability payments, and the ViaSat-2 (the next iteration of the company’s satellite design) ramp-up negatively impacted the adjusted EBITDA numbers year-over-year, but when these issues are removed EBITDA shows a robust 9% growth over the same time frame. The company is in the process of transitioning to next generation service plans and currently has 568 commercial aircraft set up for internet service with 840 under contract.

There are two factors that have me bullish on this company. First, government contract awards surged 88% in the fiscal first quarter with a nearly 50% increase in order backlogs. Secondly, payments on the first-gen ViaSat-1 are coming in, and government contracts for cybersecurity and tactical data links can only increase in our volatile geopolitical world.

I like the fact that the company is not a one-trick pony like our next, even more risky pick.

​3. Gogo (Nasdaq: GOGO)
A pure-play satellite broadband provider for Aircraft, Gogo is shaping up to be a great long-term hold. The company is a global leader in inflight satellite connectivity for both commercial and private aviation. However, its shares have fallen on hard times recently.

Gogo is cash flow-negative, but things are rapidly improving. In the second quarter, the company saw record revenue of over $170 million and set guidance forecasts of 450 to 550 aircraft installations in 2017. Growth has resulted in net losses, but that is a very temporary headwind as the expenses will lead to profits over time.

Gogo’s new Alaska Airline contract and improving global economic conditions are signs of the company’s bright future.

Risks To Consider: I have listed the above companies in order of risk. At their cores, these are technology businesses in the new space race. Technology firms are subject to competition and innovation making them irrelevant. It is the nature of the beast. Always use stops and position size properly when investing.

Action To Take: Consider allocating a portion of your portfolio to one or more of my favorite new space-related stocks.

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Is Bitcoin a Fraud?

Original Link | DailyReckoning by LOUIS BASENESE

Methinks the Wall Street bigwigs protest too much!

Bitcoin has come under selling pressure in recent weeks because entrenched Wall Streeters have launched a full-frontal assault on the flagship cryptocurrency.

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That includes the likes of emerging markets pioneer Mark Mobius, bond king Mohamed El-Erian and Nobel Prize-winning author of Irrational Exuberance Robert Shiller.

Things really hit a crescendo when JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon claimed that bitcoin is a fraud. He went on to arrogantly say he would fire any employee speculating in that currency market.

We’ll see if he’s a man of his word.

The fact is countless hedge funds focusing exclusively on cryptocurrencies are popping up all over Wall Street. It’s only a matter of time before the trend comes to JPMorgan. When it does, I’m betting Dimon will miraculously change his tune. After all, I’ve never met a banker that does love more fees.

Bitcoin’s sell-off continued when JPMorgan’s global head of quantitative and derivatives strategy, Marko Kolanovic, said, “The whole cryptocurrency market exhibits some parallels to fraudulent pyramid schemes.”

Way to be a good soldier and butter up the boss, Kolanovic!

Options Wealth MachineAt the same time the critics are coming out in droves, financial regulators in China are doing their best to slow the growth of the cryptocurrency movement by shuttering all exchanges in the country.

My advice? Ignore all the hate and obstruction.

Whenever disruption occurs, the incumbents that stand to lose the most always violently protest and badmouth the disruptor.

Remember, when Apple launched the iPhone in 2007 and Microsoft’s former CEO Steve Ballmer said, “There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance.”

How’d that work out for you, Mr. Ballmer?

It’s no different with cryptocurrencies. The parties that stand to lose the most are spewing the most hate. This is all rather predictable. But before long, they’ll come around. That is, once they understand their true disruptive power.

As Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse notes, the world has barely begun to understand cryptocurrencies.

The fact that they haven’t figured it out yet creates a huge opportunity for tuned-in investors.

And the upshot of the recent high-profile criticisms of cryptocurrencies is an increase in volatility, which you can use to your advantage to buy more cryptocurrencies on the cheap.

Overwhelmed by cryptocurrencies? Don’t be. Go here and claim your seat to a cryptocurrency masterclass.
Inside, you’ll learn all the secrets to making a fortune from this red hot market.

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Bitcoin, Sour Grapes and Jamie Dimon

Original Link | DailyReckoning by CHARLES HUGH SMITH

Institutional ownership of bitcoin is in the very early stages.

If I had a bitcoin for every time some pundit declared bitcoin is a bubble, I’d be a billionaire. There are three problems with opining that bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are bubblicious:

  1. Everything is in a bubble now: stocks, bonds, housing, heck, even bat guano is bubblicious. Exactly what insight is being added by yet another guru repeating the BTC is a bubble meme?
  1. What’s the value proposition in declaring BTC is in a bubble? Spotting bubbles is like shooting fish in a barrel; the value proposition is in identifying the price/time tipping point at which bubbles pop.
  1. Declaring bitcoin is a bubble is starting to sound like sour grapes. Sour grapes defined: those who missed the 10-bagger (never mind the 100-bagger) feel better by dismissing the whole thing as a fad and a bubble, but as BTC continues marching higher, it looks like they missed the boat but are too proud to admit they didn’t grasp the significance of cryptocurrencies and BTC in particular.

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Take J.P. Morgan CEO and President, Jamie Dimon.

He came out recently and called Bitcoin a fraud.

Well, here’s a quick question for you, Mr. Dimon: which words/phrases are associated with you and your employer, J.P. Morgan?

Looting, pillage, rapacious, exploitive, only saved from collapse by massive intervention by the Federal Reserve, the source of rising wealth inequality, crony capitalism, privatized profits-socialized losses, low interest rates = gift from savers to banks, bloviating overpaid C.E.O., propaganda favoring the financial elite, tool of the top .01%, destroyer of democracy, financial fraud goes unpunished, free money for financiers, debt-serfdom, produces nothing of value to society or the bottom 99.5%.

Jamie, if you answered “all of them,” you’re correct.

Options Wealth MachineThe only reason you have a soapbox from which you can bloviate is the Federal Reserve saved you and your looting machine (bank) from well-deserved oblivion in 2008-09. That, and the unprecedented, coordinated campaign by global central banks to buy trillions of dollars of bonds and stocks.

J.P Morgan would have done very well in the past eight years if they’d replaced you with a crash-test dummy. In fact, the shareholders would have done much, much better if the crash-test dummy had a Post-It note on its chest reading “buy bitcoin.”

Compare the return for an investor who “bought the dip” in J.P. Morgan stock (JPM) at $57 in early February 2016 and the investor who bought bitcoin (BTC) at $376 at the same time.

The buyer of JPM has certainly done well, earning a return of around 77% over the 19 months (JPM has risen from $57 to $91, a gain of $44, not counting dividends). But the buyer of bitcoin has earned about a 10-fold increase, gaining $3,200 per bitcoin at the current price around $3,560. (A few weeks ago, an owner of BTC could have skimmed an additional $1,000 per coin.)

The buyer of 1,000 shares of JPM for $57,000 gained $44,000 plus dividends, yielding a total of around $93,000, while the buyer of $57,000 worth of bitcoin at $376 (roughly 150 BTC) gained $478,000 and has a total of $534,000.

The buyer of JPM could sell his shares, pay the capital gains tax and buy a modest mid-sized car with the gains. The buyer of bitcoin could sell his bitcoins, pay the capital gains tax and buy a very nice house or flat in all but the most overvalued markets with his gain, and buy a brand-new vehicle with whatever cash is left.

Some initial coin offerings have made gains that make this mere 10-bagger look like small change.

And a lot of institutional fund managers are angry that they’ve missed out.

This might look like a speculative side-game, but for institutional money managers, it’s getting serious. As we all know, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to manage money such that the returns on the managed money exceed the return of an S&P 500 index fund.

If a passive index fund does better over five years than an actively managed fund, then what the heck are we paying the fund managers big bucks for?

This is a question that occurs to everyone with money in a pension fund, mutual fund, insurance company, etc. Why are we paying these guys and gals annual salaries of $250,000 plus bonuses if they’re missing out on the big winners like bitcoin?

Let’s stipulate up front that no institutional money manager can speculate in the cryptocurrency equivalents of penny stocks, i.e. ICOs (initial coin offerings). The risk management rules of serious money funds preclude this sort of rampant speculation, no matter how potentially lucrative.

But bitcoin is different. It’s been around the longest, and has survived all the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune tossed at it.

Bitcoin is tailor-made for institutional ownership. While it is inherently volatile, it is stable and transparent; there is no “insider trading” or financial trickery (such as bogus financial statements) to be wary of. Unlike many other investment vehicles, it’s highly liquid.

Once exchange-traded funds (ETFs) based on direct ownership of BTC are widely available, this opens the door wider to both institutional and mom-and-pop investors.

All of this puts pressure on institutional money managers to buy some bitcoin so they don’t look like they missed the investment vehicle of the decade. Never mind when you bought it, or at what price; better to get in now before the price jumps even higher. Going forward, it will be this simple: either you own bitcoin or you’re out of a job.

This is the same reason virtually every institutional money fund owns Apple (AAPL) — if you don’t own Apple, then you missed out on the decade’s greatest investment story. So if your fund lags index funds, and has no ownership of Apple, Facebook, Netflix, Amazon and Tesla — here’s your pink slip, buddy — you blew it.

But wait — I bought bitcoin at $3,000, and added at $4,000! Hmm. Smart move. Maybe there’s hope for you yet.

The point is institutional ownership of bitcoin is in the very early stages. As bitcoin continues to advance, institutional money managers will be forced to buy in, just to avoid the fate of those who failed to buy Apple.

Money managers buying now at $4,500 will look like geniuses when it hits $10,000. And everybody who dismissed BTC as a bubble at $5,000 will face a bleak choice — either get some bitcoin in the portfolio or prepare for a pink slip.

When the institutional herd starts running, it’s best not to get trampled.

So back to Jamie Dimon: if you want us to listen to your incoherent ranting about bitcoin as “financial genius,” first predict the timing of the crash that takes down your parasitic bank.

If you pull that off with amazing accuracy, then maybe we’ll pay attention to your “prediction” about bitcoin.

Overwhelmed by cryptocurrencies? Don’t be. Go here and claim your seat to a cryptocurrency masterclass.
Inside, you’ll learn all the secrets to making a fortune from this red hot market.

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Insurers LOVE When You Make This Critical Mistake

Original Link | DailyReckoning by ZACH SCHEIDT

There’re Two Very Different Types of Life Insurance

The concept behind life insurance is pretty simple: You pay an insurance company a monthly premium for a specified number of years. And if you pass away during this time, the insurance company pays a lump sum to your loved ones.

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This type of “term” policy is extremely valuable for people like me — with a young family that counts on me to earn the money to cover day-to-day expenses. And for most individuals, this type of policy is fairly inexpensive. For about the same cost as my monthly water bill, my family can receive a couple million dollars to help with if expenses if I’m not around to take care of them.

Perhaps you are in a similar situation with loved ones that count on you for income or to provide care for kids or other family members.

Unfortunately, while the basic concept behind life insurance is easy to understand, the life insurance industry has added nuances to these products that can make buying life insurance much more complicated.

A different type of life insurance that agents are aggressively selling is often referred to as “whole” life insurance. Incidentally, this is the type of insurance that my friend Jon was trying to sell me.

At its core, “whole” life insurance is similar to the “term” policy that I just showed you.

Except whole life insurance has a couple of added features. Features that you certainly pay for…

For one thing, whole life insurance policies typically have no expiration date. So if you buy a whole life insurance policy, it doesn’t matter if you die early, or if you die at a ripe old age. Either way, the policy will pay a sum of money to your beneficiaries.

Second, most whole life insurance plans have a “cash value” component.

The way this works, is that you pay extra to the insurance company and they accumulate that extra cash as part of your ultimate payout. Over time, that cash value is guaranteed to grow at a specific rate. And for some policies, the cash value can be used to pay for future monthly premiums.

Here’s a quick table I came across recently that explains the differences between term and whole life insurance.

chart: policy differences

No Such Thing as a Free Lunch

Options Wealth MachineWhile both of the whole life insurance features actually sound appealing (who wouldn’t want an insurance contract that never expires — or a cash value that continually increases), the real trick is in how much an insurance company charges for these added features.

I grew up in a big family, and my mom always told us kids “there’s no such thing as a free lunch.”

Usually, that meant it was time to do the dishes or some other chore. But what my mom was really trying to teach us is that there is always a catch when it appears you’re getting an extra benefit.


“So I bought one of those stocks,” he told me, laughing slightly. “And it hasn’t done so well.”

My first question – as it always is in these situations – was “Did you use a trailing stop?”

He shook his head. “I was supposed to hold the company for the next five years, so I didn’t think it was necessary.”

Now, I’ll pause here to say this: I am a product of the new millennium.

My investing life began during the dot-com crash, only to be followed a few years later by the financial crisis.

I know nothing but boom-and-bust cycles. And, as a result, I don’t fear volatility. Nor do I fear collapses or sell-offs.

A rally can’t exist without a sell-off or correction, and vice versa.

Sell-offs are my friends. They allow me to scoop up companies I’ve been eyeing at discount prices.

And rallies, when they come, are always welcome. But I always view them with suspicion – because I never know how long our relationship will last.

The goal is to get in, protect your profits, get out and move on.

Now back to my conversation…

The man told me the name of the stock he purchased: Enerplus Corporation (NYSE: ERF).

He asked, “What should I do now?”

I pulled out my phone and pulled up charts for the company. Here’s what I saw…

trailing stops 1

Not a pretty picture, is it? The only answer I could give was “I can’t tell you what you should do. BUT, in the future, you should absolutely use a trailing stop.”

I don’t know how much this gentleman invested in this company. But let’s say $10,000 to demonstrate my point. Let’s also assume he bought the stock at open on April 15, 2014.

The company pays dividends, but I’m not going to include them because of their small sizes.

So $10,000 in Enerplus would have given him 475.74 shares at $21.02.

Today, Enerplus is trading at $8.99. So his original $10,000 investment is worth $4,276.90. (That’s actually good news as shares are up from the sub-$2 range they were trading for earlier this year… Hooray!)

That’s a loss of 57.23%. Ouch.

Now let’s say instead of holding this position, he implemented a 25% end-of-day trailing stop (what we use at The Oxford Club). At the original purchase price of $21.02, his initial trailing stop would’ve been $15.77.

But as shares move higher, so does the stop. Enerplus did have a solid run, hitting a closing high of $25.23 on July 2, 2014. So his 25% trailing stop would have moved higher to $18.92.

The stop would have been triggered on September 19, 2014. Selling at the next open for $19.08, he would have had a loss of just 9.23%.

Altogether, his original $10,000 investment would have been worth $9,077. A loss, but only a single-digit loss.

I’m sure you’d agree it’s far better than the -57.23% return he’s currently sitting on.

Using a stop loss would have also kept him from worrying for two years straight, the pressure steadily mounting.

I don’t want you to think I’m picking on this gentleman. In all honesty, I completely understand why he didn’t sell. Fact is, we are all less likely to hit the sell button on a loss than a gain.

That’s precisely why it’s so important to use stops. They completely remove emotion from the equation.

And who knows? Maybe over the next two years, Enerplus will gain 134%. (That’s what he’ll need to get back to his original buy price.)

It always amazes me that trailing stops are seen as a controversial strategy. At conferences, I always hear, “But what if it bounces higher after I’m bucked out of the stock? I’ll have missed out on that!”

That’s true. But it’s not the point.

The point is… What if your shares go even lower?

Trailing stops make sure you never find yourself in that position. That you never have to ask, “What should I do now?”

Whole life insurance policies are sold by insurance companies, because they make so much sense… for the insurance companies!

You see, when you pay extra for a whole life insurance policy, the insurance company takes the extra money and it invests that cash. Over time, the value of this extra cash grows and grows. And some of that cash goes to you as the policyholder.

But the reason whole life insurance companies push these whole life insurance policies so aggressively is because they are so profitable.

These insurance companies employ armies of statisticians who crunch the numbers on everything from how long you’re likely to live, to how much money they can make on your money before they have to pay you.

And the end result is that insurance companies make much more by charging you extra for whole life insurance, than they will ultimately pay your heirs when you pass away.

So instead of being a great investment that helps you pass wealth on to your loved ones, whole life insurance policies are usually just high-cost product that slowly erodes the wealth you could have been growing…

A Better Way to Prepare for the Future

Now I don’t want to discourage you from buying life insurance for your loved ones. Especially if you’re still in a life period where people are counting on you to provide for them.

But I’d rather see you protect your family AND build your wealth at the same time.

That’s why I strongly encourage you to politely say “no thanks” when your insurance agent or financial planner tries to sell you whole life insurance, and take a more effective strategy.

Instead of paying extra for a whole life insurance policy, buy a term policy that covers the amount of time that people will be relying on you for needed income. In my case, that’s about another 15 years until my youngest moves out of the house.

Once you’ve purchased your cheaper term life insurance policy, take the extra money that you would have spent on a whole life policy, and start investing in solid dividend-paying stocks. The kind of stocks that I feature regularly in my Lifetime Income Report  service.

You’ll find that over time, the wealth you accumulate from saving money on your life insurance premiums — and investing those savings for yourself instead of letting the insurance company invest for its own gain — will go much farther in growing your wealth.

And best of all, you can decide exactly when and how to pass that wealth on to your loved ones. Instead of waiting for a life insurance policy to pay out when you’re no longer around.

So please do yourself and your heirs a favor. Avoid the whole life insurance scam and take charge of your own investments. You’ll be much better off and grow your wealth much more quickly that way.

Overwhelmed by cryptocurrencies? Don’t be. Go here and claim your seat to a cryptocurrency masterclass.
Inside, you’ll learn all the secrets to making a fortune from this red hot market.

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