John Mauldin

  • When the Future Becomes Today

    First, I want to express my shock and quiet despair over the events in Dallas this weekend. The shock comes from this actually happening in Dallas. If anything, Dallas police are accommodating and work with the community as well as any police force in the country. But this event is a reminder that tragedies don’t just happen somewhere else. All it takes is one or two lone actors, and the world of somewhere else lands on your doorstep. This sad spectacle is part and parcel of what we will be discussing today: a world where common sense and reasonable discourse are breaking down, leaving us with social outcomes that only a few years ago would have seemed impossible. As Buffalo Springfield sang, “There’s something happening here; what it is ain’t exactly clear.”

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    Posted to Thoughts From The Frontline by John Mauldin on 07-12-2016
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  • Bill Gross at His Best

    I normally read Bill Gross’s monthly letter the day of or shortly after when it comes out. For whatever reason, I didn’t get around to his early June letter until a few days ago. It has been a few years since I have sent his letter out as your Outside the Box for the week, but I thought this one was so good that I needed to send it on. As it turns out, I went this morning to get it from his website and found that his July letter is out, and it is just as good. Since he writes relatively short letters, I’m going to use both of them.

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    Posted to John Mauldin's Outside the Box by John Mauldin on 07-12-2016
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  • Generational Chaos Ahead

    I had that thought in mind when I asked Neil Howe to be our kick-off speaker at the Strategic Investment Conference and invited Niall Ferguson to wrap it all up three days later. As historians, they both gaze back through time to identify patterns and draw lessons. They were the bookends who framed the wide-ranging discussions in between. They have both been very influential in helping me develop my understanding of the world.

    As I said two weeks ago, the experts I brought to the conference, even the ones I expected to be raging bulls, were mostly bearish. The surprise was Niall Ferguson, who has become the new raging bull. That’s pretty much the one thing you can count on at my conference: surprises! But you can see that even Niall is deeply concerned about much of what is happening in the world.

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    Posted to Thoughts From The Frontline by John Mauldin on 06-20-2016
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  • Hot Summer Economic Weirdness

    As I wrote last month, the protected/unprotected schism increasingly drives both politics and economics. Maybe it has always driven them, and we’re just now recognizing it. In either case, we find ourselves in increasingly weird circumstances. I certainly see parallels with the 1930s. And a number of those circumstances will collide with one another over the next few months.

    My intention this week had been to revisit some of the powerful ideas that were discussed at my Strategic Investment Conference two weeks ago. But events are looming in Europe that absolutely demand our attention. The powerful macroeconomic and investing ideas will still be there next week – and at the end of today’s letter I will discuss an informal poll I’ve conducted on the timing of the next recession.

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    Posted to Thoughts From The Frontline by John Mauldin on 06-16-2016
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  • Life on the Edge, Continued

    At the conclusion of my conference yesterday, I did a number of interviews and then made my way a few miles home, collapsed into my favorite chair, and thought back over the myriad of ideas, the whirlwind of friends, and the just general all-around fabulous time I had experienced over the past four days.

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  • Welcome to the Pale Gray Dot

    The aging of the world’s population is already having profound effects on the global economy, and it is only getting started. Today we’ll consider those changes, drawing partly from research conducted by the intrepid volunteers for the demographics chapter of my new book.

    (This letter will print a bit longer because of the large number of charts and graphics. And I apologize for the late delivery of what is supposed to be a weekend letter. I was somewhat distracted by life. My intention is to be better in the future.)

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    Posted to Thoughts From The Frontline by John Mauldin on 04-26-2016
  • 70 Is the New 65

    As some of us know far too well, forecasting the future with any precision is extremely difficult. There’s at least one exception to the rule, though. Population trends show themselves decades and even centuries in advance. If we know how many people were born in a given year, we can extrapolate what the population will look like far in the future.

    On the other hand, demographic forecasting still requires assumptions. At what age will people start having children, and how many will they have? How will new medical advances affect life spans? When will people start working, stop working, and enter retirement? Small changes in any of those assumptions can quickly affect population numbers.

    Today’s Outside the Box wrestles with that last question. In the United States we allowed the federal government to set 65 as the retirement age by making Social Security available to most workers at that point in their lives. The retirement age is going up to 67 for the younger members of the Baby Boom generation, but even that may be too “young” to retire in the future.

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    Posted to John Mauldin's Outside the Box by John Mauldin on 03-23-2016
  • The Fed Prepares to Dive

    This week’s letter has two parts. The first deals with some of the practical aspects of negative rates and what the Fed is really signaling. The second part, which is somewhat philosophical, deals with why the Fed will institute negative rates during the next recession. This letter is longer than usual, but I think it’s important to understand why we will see negative rates in the world’s reserve currency (and the currency in which most global trade is conducted). This policy trend is truly a foray into unexplored territory.

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    Posted to Thoughts From The Frontline by John Mauldin on 02-29-2016
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  • The Debate Over Renminbi Policy

    Today I have a recent piece in which Louis Gave jumps into the team’s debate over renminbi policy. In true Gavekal style, he openly questions what others in the firm think about China’s currency. I won’t steal any of his thunder but just encourage you to read this piece carefully. It covers a great deal of very important ground.

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    Posted to John Mauldin's Outside the Box by John Mauldin on 02-12-2016
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  • $100 Trillion Up in Smoke

    The ongoing oil price collapse is having a severely negative impact on the wealth of those who own oil reserves. The numbers, as you will see below, are almost incomprehensibly big. They are so big, in fact, that many analysts have simply tuned out. The attitude seems to be, “These numbers blow up my models, so I will ignore them.”

    Today we’ll stop dancing around the truth and call the oil collapse what it is: global wealth destruction of epic proportions.

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    Posted to Thoughts From The Frontline by John Mauldin on 02-12-2016
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  • Dear Media, Stop Freaking Out About Donald Trump’s Polls

    I’m going to offer something a little different in this week’s Outside the Box. Nate Silver has consistently been one of the best political analysts of the past 12 years. I wasn’t terribly enamored of his move from the New York Times to ESPN – to go back to covering sports rather than politics – but he still covers politics over at 538.

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    Posted to John Mauldin's Outside the Box by John Mauldin on 12-11-2015
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  • Inspiration from the World of Sports

    One of the most successful investors in the world is Howard Marks of Oaktree Capital Management. One of the things I look forward to every quarter is the letter he writes to his clients – it goes right to the top of my reading list. Not only is it always full of generally brilliant investment counsel, Howard is also a really great writer. He has an easy style that pulls you through his letter effortlessly.

    I have never sent his letter to you as an Outside the Box, as the copies I get are clearly watermarked and copyrighted. So I was surprised and delighted to learn that the letter is free when I listened to a speech by Howard in which he encouraged everyone to get it. Unlike another hundred-billion-dollar hedge fund company that shall go unnamed, Oaktree evidently thinks that brilliance should be shared.

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    Posted to John Mauldin's Outside the Box by John Mauldin on 11-19-2015
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  • The Gig Economy Is the New Normal

    An already-confusing employment environment grew even more complicated this past week. Many readers responded to my “Crime in the Jobs Report” letter with their own stories. Some confirmed what I wrote, while others disputed it. Some of the stories I read from readers who are stuck far from where they want to be in this job market were very moving. I think everyone agrees the labor outlook is uncertain. I sense a lot of nervousness, even from those who have secure jobs that pay well. In today’s letter, I’m going to respond to some of the observations and data that came in this week on employment.

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    Posted to Thoughts From The Frontline by John Mauldin on 11-19-2015
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  • The Wall

    I generally send out two letters a week. The letter that arrives in your inbox over the weekend is Thoughts from the Frontline and is written by me. The second letter, which is called Outside the Box, generally comes in the middle of the week and is an article or essay written by someone else that I think merits your time. Quite often I disagree with the sentiment or analysis being expressed, but I find the writer makes me think about alternatives to my personally favored presuppositions. It is always good to listen to the other side of the story, especially when we are talking economics and finance and our investment portfolios!

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    Posted to John Mauldin's Outside the Box by John Mauldin on 10-23-2015
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  • Unhealthy, Not Wealthy, and Far from Wise

    In this week’s letter we’re going to take another look at healthcare trends. Healthcare is roughly 20% of the economy and every bit as impactful as the energy and food sectors.

    Two years ago this week I wrote “The Road to a New Medical Order” with my friend and personal physician, Dr. Mike Roizen of the Cleveland Clinic. That letter was an attempt to calmly discuss the Obamacare launch and the changes it would bring. Rereading it now, I see that we missed some points but were on target with others. (Mike is the Chief Wellness Officer and head of The Wellness Institute at the Cleveland Clinic. He is one of the premier antiaging doctors of the world. He has sold over 12 million books (including numerous bestsellers), has written 165 peer-reviewed publications, holds 14 patents, and serves on all sorts of FDA committees and boards. His awards are numerous. He has often appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show with “Dr. Oz.”)

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