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About A2.

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    Over a mile above sea level in the High Country of North Carolina
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    Guitar, Piano, Finance/Economics, Hiking, and Family

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  1. Just so we aren’t being antagonistic towards one another based on some perceived political ideology, the main point I’m attempting to make is that the country is in deep doo-doo. Regardless of how we got here, or by whom, deficits and debt matter and at some point the system takes on more than it can pay back. At some mathematical point in the near future the tax receipts merely service the interest on the debt we have, and at the next level, even that is too much, as the debt metastasizes (grows beyond maintaining) and the country succumbs to it and folds through default. This creates a wave of catastrophic consequences, the likes of which we can’t begin to appreciate in its totality. The biggest way we see countries in the past try to extend their lifespan is via one thing: WAR War is, and has always been, about one thing: Money A2
  2. See charts. Again I am politically agnostic, but BOTH had explosive debt. This isn’t a knock on Obama (or Trump), just numbers. For that matter all administrations for the last several decades are ALL guilty. Here is a very quick read on Deficits and ranking the Administrations that added to them. Spoiler alert: the last few Administrations are at the top of this list. The thing to note is it is Politically NEUTRAL, which is the ONLY way to gauge these types of matters. https://www.thebalance.com/deficit-by-president-what-budget-deficits-hide-3306151
  3. Not that I want to dive into this conversation at all. I’m politically agnostic with markets and trading, but Trump has nothing to do with what will inevitably happen. This is something much bigger than the current or prior administrations. This has EVERYTHING to do with the Central Banks and the explosion in Debt. Regarding the National debt, both Obama and Trump are equally guilty of pushing the limits with respect to this. Presidents are not as prominent of players as many would believe in macro economic trends, they are mere spectators just passing through. A2
  4. I should put this in picture of the day, but I dare not dirty that beautiful thread! But just so we are all on the SAME page, stocks can go ballistic to the upside for all the WRONG reasons in a economic collapse. Why? The currency it being trashed. Think Zimbabwe. Not to be outdone, our neighbors to the South in Venezuela are one of the most resource rich Nations on the planet and their Stock market is booming. BUT, the reason it’s flying high is because their currency is in Free fall and their people are eating trash. The bottom line is that the DOW and S&P are NOT the indicators we should focus on, but rather that piece of paper (dollars) in your wallet. Not to mention the Trillions in Sovereign paper our country is drowning in, Treasuries. Heres that chart of the day to explain why a picture is worth a thousand words. Without further delay I present to you the Bull Market of Venezuela: Had I not said that this was Venezuela’s stock market, any person looking at this Index would assume that this is one raging Bull, but the reality is it’s an economy in its death throes. A2
  5. Consider a quality Credit Union. They have the same protections as a major Bank with NCUA (the equivalent of FDIC) and are considerably less tied to any contagion. Plus they offer that small town customer service for their Members that seems lost on the Mega Banks. I have multiple accounts spread around (and even one with a major Charlotte bank), but my CU account and relationship is by far my favorite. I’m almost tempted to pull my Mega Bank account just because of the service the CU offers. The only reason I haven’t is ATM access and some billing I have tied to my mega bank account. Really it’s me just being Lazy not going ahead and swinging it over. A2
  6. Winner, winner Chicken Dinner! A2 The first shot across the bow will be certainly swift, once it is triggered. Problem is timing. However, sometimes being early to the fireworks show is better than trying to jump when the first fuse is lit. That said, the other issue besides liquidity is weapons of Mass Financial Destruction with the new innovations in trading with ETF’s and Algorithmic trading (is Bots). When the sell orders hit, it will take the PPT (Plunge Protection Team) all they can throw at it to keep the panic from going parabolic. A2
  7. I will give you a hint, it’s not Chase. But it starts with a D. I kind of just gave it away with that. To be honest it’s not really new news, just didn’t want to disparage against another Financial firm. One more hint for the road, this is that firms Stock performance over the last many years. Clearly not a healthy looking chart, even to novice eyes: A2
  8. To clarify so there is no misunderstanding. The recession this go will be something different than a typical garden variety manufacturing slowdown or 20% market correction over a year or so. The issue is, and has been DEBT. Corporate, Personal, and Sovereign debt levels are at record heights never before witnessed in the modern era of Finance. The other BIG factor is the fact that when we have entered into prior slowdowns the FED had the ability to maneuver where rates weren’t near zero, like they currently are today. In other words, there aren’t a lot of bullets in the FEDs six shooter. Plus the FEDs balance sheet has yet to be unwound from the prior crisis, thus putting us in a never seen before situation. My goal isn’t to scare anyone, just to educate. To be honest, I think the recent repo activity by the Central Bank as of late was to actually save a VERY BIG bank. I personally believe this to be a fact, and have evidence and data to know specifically who that one BIG entity is. Without getting into the weeds, the FEDs have pumped tens of Billions (hundreds actually) of dollars into the overnight lending market in the last three months. Three months! This was to ease the blowout that happened just recently in the overnight interbank lending operations to stop what would have otherwise been a Lehman moment (2008 repeat). And actually this one could be magnitudes greater in fallout than Lehman due to the ridiculous amounts of toxic CDO’s outstanding. Now that said, the problem is they (The FED) can’t continue these operations forever without creating a currency crisis and run-away inflation. The issue has been, and will be for the foreseeable future, Debt. The world is drowning in it, and these things don’t end well. While I am not trying to spread bad news, or even act that I know what the next trigger will be, or precisely when. I do know one thing, the Super affluent aren’t sticking around to watch the fireworks that are coming in the not so distant future. They will be watching from the sidelines. This is also a fact and not fear mongering. Insider stock selling is at Record Levels. This is fact. Sometimes it pays to watch what the Big money guys do and not what they say. Remember they want and need buyers of their assets and securities, so rosy language on your financial media outlets and printed in your Financial Rags is a MUST. In closing, what is true is Charlotte has been a huge beneficiary of corporate relo’s and a tight market with respect to Commercial Real Estate. I also believe we have been equally fortunate with migration from states with higher taxes and costs of living. I still believe that Charlotte will continue to make big strides in building its reputation as a city with a high quality of life and an incubator for business growth. That said, what happens in the mid term time frame (less than 24 months) will have an impact on the QC and growth cities around the country. My hope isn’t in being naive or willfully blind, but in my preparation to do something that doesn’t wreck my savings and future. It’s always prudent to be prepared and be wrong, than to be blissful in willful ignorance of the future that is racing towards the US and Global economy. A2
  9. The Nikkei went straight up to almost 39,000, right before 1990 and it has never seen that mark since. It’s been in a decades long bear market. Not suggesting that is what the US market will do. However, I will say that the ONLY reason the markets are soaring is due to one thing: Money Printing. As one who watches the markets daily and has his career tied directly to Finance, I have only one question to ask: If the economy and markets are doing so well, why is the Fed adamant about continuing with their QE program and keeping rates at near all time lows. My answer is they know that without their operation, the market would sink like a rock. Again, I’m not trying to be a Bad News Bear, but when you see the actions being taken, you know that what is going on behind the scenes isn’t as Rosy as what is on the surface. ps—-I’m super Bullish on Charlotte and it’s future, but I do realize that we are closer to the end of this cycle than the beginning or even the middle. A2
  10. Hey bled_man, that’s a complicated topic. Quite frankly everyone is different based on time horizon, risk tolerance, and just plain ol’ knowing each persons goals and Financial situations are highly specific to their own situation. That said, the one thing we don’t know is the exact timing of when things turn south. While I’m a believer it happens before mid 2021, the opportunities that one misses could be huge, especially if we have a melt up similar to 1999 or 2006/07. I personally believe we are witnessing the melt up now as stocks have largely maintained an upward trajectory. However, as with anything that goes up big, it has a tendency to go down just as hard. I’m a fan of Capital preservation and when the Wall Street crowd is screaming a bullish story, you will know it’s about time to pull out. Generally the best alternative Investments are those that don’t correlate with equities in a downturn. The problem this time is Bonds scare me just as much (if not more) than equities. Cash, Precious metals, Real Estate (free and clear of debt), and other hard assets tend to be a good spot to camp out. If there was one thing I’d advise more than a specific investment, it’s to really do all you can to get out of debt. Focus on the small things and spend less than you make. Living a debt free life, while tough to do, is liberating and that frees you from the stresses that always hurt one when everything’s going South. The problem with our world today is that we live in a debt based system, and even our very currency is a debt based instrument. The crisis that will unfold next will not be one of just the stock market or real estate, it will be that of Sovereign debt and potentially a currency crisis. As I wrap up this musing, just know that there are always those that will use fear porn to scare you. I’m not trying to do that and simply think that doing the common sense things will definitely be so much more profitable than trying to time the market. If your a tactical one, you can actually do very well when markets fall. In my line of work, I’ve made a lot more from falling markets than those trending up. But that is a game for the one not afraid to trade the market. This game we will soon enter will be very difficult to time and react unless your literally watching by the day. For now focus on the simplistic strategies I just outlined. Plan for the worse and hope for the best isn’t a bad way to live, and I promise you it pays dividends when you can live that way! A2
  11. Lol! Love it! Thanks for thinking of me RDF.
  12. Wondering why they left out major cities like Atlanta, Houston and Miami? Not to mention lesser populated, but growth cities like Nashville. I think that this ranking is not a fair judgement without the other players not being represented. I actually think Charlotte, in particular, is getting there a lot quicker than other cities our size. So I’m to believe Tulsa is better than Charlotte !?!? Naw
  13. Time for the gang in Raleigh to get back to work! We need to compete in this critical infrastructure. I can’t see why we wouldn’t want more robust ports. If for nothing else, it really expedites goods to market in the Mid-Atlantic markets. On a side note, how does Savannah stack up with Charleston?
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