Academy Blog

3 Facts about Disposable Personal Income and it's economic effect

[fa icon="calendar'] Nov 4, 2016 1:04:20 PM / by Robert Brinkman posted in Non-traditional investing, dpi, Disposable Personal Income, Income Growth

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There’s been a lot of ‘news noise’ the past couple weeks and no doubt it will continue through next week.  Not only are the politicians positioning themselves in the most positive light, despite significant negative information about them, but economic data continues to be manipulated to make the current administration and the Federal Reserve look like it has slain the great recession beast of 2008.

We just received the Nominal Disposable Personal Income (DPI) number for September; it was up just 3.4% year-over-year.  This is below the 3.8% average of 2015 and drops off the pace of the 3.7% average so far of this year.  So, what’s the context of this number and why should we pay attention to it?

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2 Facts about Bid-Ask and Why You Should Know Them

[fa icon="calendar'] Oct 21, 2016 2:24:18 AM / by Robert Brinkman posted in Non-traditional investing, Bid-Ask Spread, Bid-Ask

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While teaching an investment class last week, the importance of understanding the Bid-Ask relationship came up.  The focus was during the 2008 meltdown, money managers who are able to go inverse (meaning short the market, so when it’s going down, you’re making money), they will study this relationship to see how severe the crisis is.

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3 Facts About The Federal Reserve's Agenda You Need To Know

[fa icon="calendar'] Sep 14, 2016 6:48:02 AM / by Robert Brinkman posted in Non-traditional investing, Central Banks, Economic Outlook, Federal Reserve

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The market sold off over 2% this past Friday and then gained a little over half that back on Monday, only to lose all that again on Tuesday. What happened?

The consensus seems to be a combination of continued poor economic numbers and some Federal Reserve lieutenants leaking that our Central Bank, regardless of the mounting recession indicators, will raise interest rates soon.  

And yesterday oil, both in crude price and oil stock financial’s, got clobbered.  For over a year I've been writing about the danger of US fracker bankruptcies being another Shearson moment, but let's set that aside for now and focus on last Friday. What’s really going on?

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3 Reasons Why Precious Metal Prices Are Going Up in the Near Future

[fa icon="calendar'] Aug 31, 2016 2:27:51 AM / by Robert Brinkman posted in Non-traditional investing, Central Banks, Precious Metals, Inflation

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Sticking to our month long theme about significant issues that will unfold on the world stage this October and how China is embroiled in many of them, let’s discuss an asset that everyone reading this should have some participation in: Precious Metals.

If you listen to the radio or watch television for an hour, you will witness at least 1 advertisement for gold ownership.  This should be the first tip that investing in gold and silver has increased substantially.  After all, if investors weren’t purchasing the precious metal, the firms wouldn’t bother spending their pretty penny on expensive ads.  

There are 3 specific reasons I believe gold (and silver) will appreciate significantly over the next several years and if you’re considering participating, doing so before October will be important.
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What is China’s Impact on the World Bank and Global Reserve Currency?

[fa icon="calendar'] Aug 22, 2016 11:48:08 PM / by Robert Brinkman posted in Non-traditional investing, Central Banks, reserve currency, sdr

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The question I’ve been asked most frequently over the past month is ‘how will the markets react with a Hillary versus Trump White House?’.  My answer has been consistent; it won’t make a bit of difference, because both the stock and bond market have been taking their queue from the Federal Reserve and this won’t change because a new President takes office.

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3 types of Annuities and their importance to your investment strategy

[fa icon="calendar'] Aug 16, 2016 3:09:09 AM / by Robert Brinkman posted in Non-traditional investing, Index Annuity, Annuiites, Fixed Annuity, Advanced Investing, Variable Annuity

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I don’t believe I’ve spoken to any investor over the last two years that didn’t have some degree of anxiety about the state of our economy and the vulnerability of the stock and bond markets.  When we focus the discussion on how to offload risk, it’s interesting to hear some of the experiences people had during 2008 and some of the strategies they are considering in order to not have a repeat of that devastation.

In addition to discussing our private wealth manager platform, I frequently ask if they’re open to offloading some portfolio and future income risk to an insurance company.  After all, we offload all kinds of risk to insurance companies every day.  We pay premiums in case our house burns down, so the insurance company will pay to build a new one.  The State mandates that we carrier collision protection in case we lose control of our car.  The Fed now mandates that we enroll in a health exchange, so we’re not left out in the cold when we get sick.  And obviously if when we die with a life policy, the insurance company writes a check to our heirs.

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T.R.E.N.D. - "D" stands for the DEBT central banks have burdened us all with

[fa icon="calendar'] Aug 4, 2016 2:33:33 PM / by Robert Brinkman posted in Non-traditional investing, Market Trends, Negative Interest Rates, Stock Market Volatility, debt, central bank debt

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Micro issues can drive markets in the short term, but longer, more established trends are affected by macro issues.  And there is no macro issue more significant in our worldwide economic system than the amount of debt being carried by countries, banks, corporations and individuals.  The numbers are so large that it's difficult to wrap our brain around them.  It will have to be addressed and the central banks will do so either by reacting to the next crisis like a Shearson bankruptcy, or they will create a flash point to usher in a what they believe will be a solution.

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T.R.E.N.D. - N is for Negative Interest Rates as dictated by Central Banks

[fa icon="calendar'] Jul 28, 2016 5:00:00 AM / by Robert Brinkman posted in Non-traditional investing, Market Trends, Negative Interest Rates, Stock Market Volatility

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In my blog from July 12th, we revisited the Wall of Doom, where I originally forecast in November 2015 that though incredibly volatile, the market would move higher.  That’s been the case and we’ve set new records in every index.  I know records are fun, but let’s not get carried away with the notion that investors are making a killing just because we’ve posted a new peak.

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Negative Interest Rates and their effect on the World Economy

[fa icon="calendar'] Jul 25, 2016 10:49:48 PM / by Robert Brinkman posted in Non-traditional investing, Negative Interest Rates

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The second week of February 2016 saw the bottom of the worst start of a year in stock market history, when the S&P 500 shed nearly 12% of its value.  That same week I started a 9-part video series on negative interest rates (see below), because with the stock markets selling off so significantly, central banks were pulling out their defibrillators and yelling “Clear!”.  Their latest strategy of quantitative easing was to implement negative interest rates, which if you think about it, was a natural extension since rates across the globe were near zero.

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[fa icon="calendar'] Jul 18, 2016 12:19:53 PM / by Robert Brinkman posted in Non-traditional investing, Bitcoin, virtual currency

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We answer these questions and more in our video blogs below

On May 6th of this year I released a couple of video white boards discussing Bitcoin.  I’ve been talking about it for several years and always get a varied response from people.  Some look at me a bit odd, as if I just stepped out of a Star Trek reunion party, still wearing Mr. Spock ears.  Some find it interesting, because they already have a bent toward non-traditional investing, like physical gold or option and commodity trading.  Others simply pay attention, because they trust me and know that I don’t have an agenda; that I want to educate people on the financial and economic layers that aren’t peeled back by the typical Wall Street broker.

When I first did a comprehensive write-up in February 2015, Bitcoin was trading at $253.  At the time of my videos six weeks ago, Bitcoin was $452.  On Monday June 13 it hit a two-year hign trading above $700 (click here to see where it is currently trading). Why the run up?

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