November 2013 - Forecasts & Trends

Forecasts & Trends is much more than just investment blog posts. You need to know the "big picture;" you need to have a "world view," especially in the post-911 world; and you need more information than ever before to be successful in meeting your financial goals. Gary intends to help you do just that.

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  • Iran Nuclear Accord: Historic Agreement Or Bad Deal?

    The United States and five other world powers announced an agreement Sunday morning that would temporarily freeze Iran’s nuclear program and supposedly lay the foundation for a more sweeping agreement later on. Not surprisingly, an intense debate followed the announcement with one side arguing it was a victory for the US and its allies, and the other claiming it was a major sell-out and a big win for Iran. So which is it?

    As you would expect, the mainstream media portrayed the agreement as a huge win for the US and its allies. Yet some in a better position to judge the deal concluded that it was a big win for Iran. We’ll hear from both sides today, and you can decide for yourself.

    As I pointed out in last week’s E-Letter, a major agreement between Iran and the P5+1 nations (US, Great Britain, France, Russia, China + Germany) to halt (or delay, as it turns out) Iran’s nuclear weapons program was very close, so it was no surprise that a deal was agreed upon in Geneva last weekend. However, the more I read the details of the agreement, the more I am disappointed in the outcome.

    It now appears that the P5+1 were more interested in a headline-making deal than they were in permanently halting Iran’s nuclear weapons program. As we’ll see below, Iran does not have to dismantle any of its 10,000+ working centrifuges, and the new agreement only slows down Iran’s ability to produce a nuclear bomb by a few months, at best.

    Iran’s new president and even the Supreme Leader hailed the agreement as a huge win for Iran. President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry came out somewhat on the defensive, claiming that the deal was a big victory for the US and its allies. Today, we’ll look at the agreement and try to analyze the pluses and minuses for both sides.

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  • Nuclear Deal With Iran - Don’t Give Away The Store

    Obama administration representatives are quietly negotiating with Iran in an effort to stop its nuclear program. Under the proposed agreement, the US would relax or eliminate some of the tough sanctions that have crippled Iran’s economy. This is happening at the same time Congress is threatening to impose even tougher new sanctions on Iran.

    One question about this new negotiation is whether or not it’s a good deal for America and our allies in Europe. Another is, how will we be able to enforce its terms if Iran decides to cheat? And finally, why would Iran agree to halt its nuclear program at this time? The answers may surprise you. In any event, you need to know what is happening with Iran and why.

    At the end of today’s letter, there is a reminder for any of you who may not have ordered our new Handing Down Your Legacy, a free e-booklet in which to store all of your important investment/financial information in one place. Handing Down Your Legacy will help you manage your affairs now and will benefit your family too should you become temporarily or permanently disabled, as well as help them when it is time to settle your estate.

    Finally, what if there was a way to participate in the stock market’s rally without the worry of getting creamed when the Fed eventually takes its foot off of the monetary pedal? Be on the lookout tomorrow for an e-mail from me in which I will tell you about a specialized asset with the potential to do just that.

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  • Will 39% Hike in Minimum Wage Tank The Economy?

    President Obama called for a whopping 39% increase in the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 per hour last Thursday. There is already a bill working its way through in the Senate to do the same thing. If this legislation passes, the minimum wage will be increased 95 cents each year for the next three years starting this year, to bring it to $10.10 by 2015.

    Many argue that this will be a huge job killer and could thrust the economy back into a recession. However, some of the critics I’ve read don’t consider that the 39% increase in the minimum wage will be phased in over three years. Supporters of the wage hike argue that the seemingly huge increase merely restores the purchasing power for the low-paid workers in America. We’ll look into both arguments today.

    Before we get to that controversial topic, let’s take a look at last Friday’s surprising unemployment report, last Thursday’s better than expected GDP report and the continued slide in consumer confidence.

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  • Thank The Fed For Big Stock Market Gains

    My guess is that just about everyone reading my E-Letters would agree that the Fed’s massive “quantitative easing”(QE) program has had a bullish effect on the stock markets over the last few years. Several new reports conclude that the Fed’s unprecedented QE bond buying program is responsible for ALL of the stock market advance since the bottom in early 2009.

    No doubt, the stock markets have shown a strong tendency to rally during weeks when the Fed is making its huge QE bond and mortgage purchases. But is this the only thing driving the stock markets to record highs? That’s what we’ll look into today.

    On a related note, Senator Rand Paul has recently threatened to block the nomination of Janet Yellen as the next Fed chairperson – unless he can get a Senate vote on his new bill to “audit” the Fed. Of course, the Fed claims that it is already audited. So what gives? This is an interesting story that we will want to follow as it plays out; I’ll break it down for you today.

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