The Search for the Holy Grail (of Wealth Preservation) — Part 1, Unfavourable Tea Leaves

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Indexes
  1. Cash
  2. Gold and Silver
  3. Other Metals
  4. Commodities
  5. Stocks
  6. Bonds
  7. Real Estate
  8. Artwork and other collectibles
  9. Crypto

The remainder of 2022 is shaping up to be bad — very bad — and almost no asset is looking attractive. Almost.

My disclaimers up front: This is a discussion piece and should NOT be construed as financial advice. I do have a thought on what the best asset is for wealth preservation for the next ~12 months, and I will share it with you eventually, BUT I am in no way trying to influence you to purchase it; I am not a ‘pump and dump’ kind of guy. Ideally you should do your own due diligence and research about any financial decisions, but if you do not feel up to that, you should consult a qualified independent financial advisor (NOT one affiliated with your bank — they get paid big time to push your bank’s shitty agenda and products). As I was at one time qualified to dispense financial advice (none of my qualifications are current as I have been out of the industry for well over a decade), I should probably write a piece on investing in general, but that, dear reader, is a pandora’s box for another time…

And with that out of the way, on with the show!

Image by Clark Holloway

The rest of 2022 and probably most of 2023 is going to suck for everyone

I am an analyst, and I see it in every tea leaf or Delphic Oracle I consult. The idiots in a select few governments (mainly the USA, but others too) have sold the global economy down the river, in exchange for a set of short-sighted and short-duration political and economic “wins”. Consider:

  1. Covid came and was mismanaged by nearly every government. There was this persistent — and wrong — notion that strong, decisive lockdowns would hurt the economy. Short term — maybe (only maybe). Long term — no way! You know what hurts the economy? 1 in 400 of your workforce dying, that’s what. Countless more in and out of intensive care, chewing up resources that could have been used for creation of wealth rather than triage. Every time you see some talking head crowing about the unemployment rate dropping from, say 4.25% to 4.00% — remember (if you live in the USA or most of Europe), that 0.25% drop is because those people died. Polities that practiced sharp and decisive lockdowns — China, New Zealand, the state of Victoria in Australia — are coming out of Covid far better than those that let the virus run free.
  2. The economic response to Covid was hamstrung because governments had not raised interest rates during the boom of 2010–2019. This is mainly the US Federal Reserve I’m talking about here, given the US Dollar’s (soon to be ended, see below) status as the global reserve currency. They broke their contract with us proletariat, as this is what they are supposed to do — raise interest rates during booms to a) cool things off a bit, and b) have somewhere to go by cutting rates when things go bad. It is quite literally Econ 101 — governments [are supposed to] use interest rates to cool overheated economic development during the booms, and prime the pump to avoid recessions during the busts. Epic fail and an F- from me for most of you useless lot.
  3. As an added kick in the guts to (2) above, the US during Covid started printing money like it was going out of style. The exact USD money supply is unknown and unknowable (thanks to eurodollars — a whole other topic!), but you can safely say the FRB more than doubled the money supply during 2020–1. It has been a quandary of all the economist talking heads as to why so much extra money supply hadn’t kicked off inflation (before 2022, that is). I have a pet theory that no one else to my knowledge has championed — I believe the crypto boom of 2021 absorbed nearly all of that extra money supply; now the boom has turned to bust, it has now freed up that money supply, and voila, inflation. Whether or not my theory is correct — voila, inflation. Expect it to get much, much worse before it gets better, because…
  4. As an extra special added kick in the guts to (2) and (3) above, the US politicians refuse to balance their budget and keep breaking records with each new deficit and national debt. There is actually a branch of economic thinking that believes ever-larger deficits are good and will never effectively need to be repaid — this branch is known as the fucktarded branch. Of course it will — they need to listen to their little common sense daemon. Money has always been a proxy for future food, water, shelter, and enjoyment. Nothing more — a dollar, a bitcoin, or a gold piece have NO intrinsic value (unless you make jewellery or electronics, in which case the gold piece does).
  5. Putting together (1)-(4) yields (5). Start with rates far too low during a boom. Add in a systemic shock — a pandemic. Rates should have been cut, but they can’t because they’re already low. So you can’t cut rates so you print money instead — much more than you would if you also had rates to cut — to prime the pump. Spend, spend, spend (the government, that is), and print more money to spend. Get an eye-watering national debt (131% of GDP for the USA, larger by 1% than the previous largest — WW2). Finally, in 2022, inflation starts to hit, which is what should have happened all along by printing so much money but crypto gave you idiot governments a reprieve. So now number 5 — you [the government] are now in a trap of your own making. You need to raise interest rates to stop inflation from becoming hyperinflation. You need to, by a lot — maybe 5% or so at least because you’ve printed so much money that hyperinflation is just itching to start its spiral into the abyss. But you have so much government debt — sensitive to interest rates, of course — that if you raise rates more than a couple of points the majority of your budget will be already spent in interest serving the debt. You — the fucktarded US government — are now faced with three options: a) default on your debt, a bad option, b) print more money and get hyperinflation, a bad option, or c) raise interest rates and pay a majority of your annual budget to debt servicing. This latter is probably the worst of the three, as it feeds into the peculiarly American notion of small government — social security and virtually every other domestic federal spending is gone. Defence will be the last to go but even that might be curtailed a bit! Poor defence contractors — down to their last billion :( and nothing to show for it. If I was at all unclear, this has already happened. The US government and a few select others who’ve had the fucktarded advising them on economic policy are now trapped in a cage of their own making and there is No Way Out. Unless the aliens and Elvis come back to save us, that is.
  6. Add into this mess Ukraine. The Western governments — mainly the US but others too — I think see this as a way out. They see it as a way to rally the world in a Reaganesque Good vs Evil clash, and — by the by — pump a helluva lot of money into the good ol’ military-industrial complex. In other words, they see it as a back-door way to prime the pump and get them out of their fucktarded mess. I have been saying for a long time in multiple forums that too many people are not seeing the forest for the trees with Ukraine; NATO and the CIA were playing around for years in Ukraine and training/arming all sorts of nasty paramilitaries with the design of intimidating the Russians. Either NATO and the CIA actively wanted to start a war with their prodding, or they recklessly disregarded their own intelligence and pushed the Russians over the edge by accident. Believe what you will — believe I am hopelessly deluded or a Russian pawn or a Russian troll (I have been called all three)— but I know who benefits from the war in Ukraine. Western defence contractors, that’s who. They are the only ones who clearly benefit with no downside. Russians die, Ukrainians die, deluded mercenaries die, but Raytheon and Lockheed Martin profit.

So add it all up and the US and its closely-allied governments have screwed us all. They have put themselves in an economic trap from which there is no escape. They think Ukraine will provide an escape, through galvanising world opinion (galvanised people are more amenable to austerity) and priming the pump by defence contractors suckling at the teat of our wealth. But it won’t work. Ukraine has not and cannot galvanise world opinion — roughly half the world supports Russia in this. They are just the half the world whose voices you never hear — Asia ex Japan, Africa, and South America. Don’t forget Russia actually helps a lot of countries with foreign aid, too.

Last but not least, there is one further downside to this Ukraine mess — it has broken the petrodollar and probably will break the US Dollar as the world’s reserve currency. To put it succinctly, in order to escape the crushing sanctions the West has imposed, Russia has managed to orchestrate the following equations:

Russian oil and gas = Rubles, ONLY. By law now.

and

Rubles = gold. Russia has pegged the Ruble to a value in gold.

Heretofore, oil was ONLY traded in US dollars, known colloquially as the ‘petrodollar’. Libya, for example, could ONLY sell their oil to, say, China, in US Dollars. The US used a complicated system of carrot-and-stick diplomacy through the IMF and others to enforce this, but enforced it was. Make no mistake, Libya was invaded and Gaddafi killed SOLELY because Gaddafi had a plan to introduce a non-USD mechanism for trading oil.

But now, with a few strokes of selected pens, Russian oil and gas is traded in GOLD (Russian oil = Rubles, Rubles = Gold). That is unless you had a few billions of Rubles lying around, which, guess what, no one had. So now you need GOLD for Russian oil and gas. Russia is not a minor supplier, they are the world’s second biggest exporter. So unless you — and I’m pointing at the Europeans here — have a quick and dirty plan to replace your major supplier with someone else, better get some gold, brother.

But wait, there’s more! Remember that you actually pay for your oil/gas in Rubles, not gold, by Russian law? It just so happens that the Russians have pegged the Ruble to gold at a particularly shitty rate for the buyer. So they take a haircut on that, too! They will accept Euros in lieu of gold, of course, but calculated at the Ruble’s pegged rate to gold, NOT the floating exchange rate! Congratulations Europe — you managed to somehow reach around and fuck yourselves even more!

All this boils down to the end of the US Dollar as a global reserve currency that has perfect utility. Gold won’t replace it, as it has too many transactional costs associated with it. The Ruble certainly won’t replace it, as it has never been and never will be a coin with a true global reach. Bitcoin — possibly. There’s a lot of headwinds for Bitcoin, but they can probably be overcome with time. Lastly, the Russians and Chinese are actually working on a replacement reserve system, which involves a basket-type synthetic currency with each country having a share proportional to GDP. A great idea, but are Americans really going to adopt a Russian-Chinese-Synthetic-GDP-Basket? Just writing it out gives me a chuckle, and I’m going to go with a pretty firm ‘no’ on that one.

In truth, I don’t know what is going to become the new petrodollar and the new reserve currency. Nor do I know when, but I do know one thing — it’s not going to happen in the next 12 months. Until then we are left with a US Dollar as existing global reserve currency which is:

  • Broken from its petrodollar hegemony
  • About to be inflated or hyperinflated to nothing
  • Backed by a government that is in nontrivial danger of default
  • Being spent, hand over fist, on a military-industrial complex that seeks to turn Ukraine into chapter 10 of Star Wars, and
  • Is the currency of a government that has screwed the pooch so spectacularly on Covid and social welfare in general that their population is by this point truly wretched and in no mood or position to save them
  • Bonus extra point — this US obsession with tax cuts had so eroded the tax base anyway that Covid was more a coup de grace than a seismic shift. The US has billionaires and corporations that effectively pay no tax. When the 1% own more than half the assets this is a big, big deal. Decent taxation of the 1% could have been a way out of this too. But not now. It is far, far too late now. If it was to happen it should have by 2015 or so…

So where does this put us — the smallish investors of the world who seek to preserve and grow our wealth?

In a burning hole, that’s where.

Photo from Australian Associated Press via Shepparton News

Potential Stores of Value

Let’s look at some options in traditional and non-traditional asset classes for the shitty world economic outlook we find ourselves in:

Cash

As done to death above, the USD is garbage and will be either inflated or hyperinflated to death.

There is a very real possibility a year from now the USD may be worth more as firewood than currency, a la the Weimar Republic.

So too its hangers-on, the UK Pound, the Euro and the Aussie. Inflation, inflation, inflation. The only thing that makes these guys’ central banks look competent is the US Federal Reserve. By all other measures of competency they are hydrocephalic assclowns. Even the resources-tied Aussie dollar is not safe, thanks to some back-assward choices our worst Prime Minister ever has made with respect to insulting and alienating China, our biggest trading partner (yes, ScoMo too is a fucktard).

I’m not a currency guy and there may be a currency somewhere somehow that is safe (future me — “the Aruban Florin, who knew??”). But current me current now says “cash is trash”.

Your wealth is bound to be inflated away to nothing if you are in any sort of fiat currency (which all of them are, with the possible near-future exception of Rubles. But good luck buying Rubles, I wouldn’t have the faintest idea of how to. And anyway if you want Rubles just go for gold instead).

Gold and Silver

Fun fact, in any sort of gold bug rally over the past 5 decades, silver has always outperformed gold. By a lot — something like 3–4 times. So if you feel gold is for you, probably go with silver as much or more than gold in your portfolio.

I like gold/silver (I’ll just say ‘gold’ from now on, but I mean both of them). I like gold a lot. And I think gold will be a decent store of value over the next year or two. Decent, but not great. There’s a couple of reasons I think it’s not great:

  1. It has already had a run up. From December 2014 to now it has gone up over 80% (in AUD — I’m Australian). That’s pretty weird given world stock markets were on fire for this period too, as it usually has inverse correlation to stocks. But not this time.
  2. It has a unique risk — nationalisation. Believe it or not, many countries have given themselves the power to seize gold (and silver) in a national crisis. As in take it from you with no compensation, or compensation in shitty IOUs which are worth exactly what you think they would be worth. Do you think if Ukraine blows up into WW3 and the USD and other fiat currency is being used for cheap toilet paper, they might just use this archaic law to get your gold? Your gold that, by the by — thanks to Russia’s quick thinking in NATO’s debacle — can be exchanged for sweet, sweet oil and gas? No, they would never do that. To quote our Aussie icon Yahoo Serious, “If you can’t trust the governments of the world, who can you trust?”
  3. It is hard to transact in. I’m talking about physical gold here. If you are thinking of using those iShares gold trusts, they are nearly as risky as stocks in any sort of global crisis. Not only are their vaults backing your shares going to be the absolute first place the government visits in any nationalisation, but the operators of these trusts, knowing this and being greedy bastards in their own right, are just as likely to abscond with ‘your’ gold before the government comes knocking. To state the bleeding obvious: in WW3, niceties such as ‘fiduciary duty’ and ‘audited reserves’ go out the window faster than a backdoor man when the husband is getting home. No, in a crisis — which the next few months are shaping up to be — gold is only gold if you can hold it in your hand. And physical gold is hard to transact in, for numerous reasons, most obvious being it is not denominated to have smaller units for small purchases. You can use a $5 bill to buy a cup of coffee, but $5 worth of gold is approaching microscopic. A gram of gold is the smallest quantity commonly available and even that is worth ~$80 AUD. And it is 15mm by 8mm in bar form so it is the kind of thing that pretty easily could go missing in your couch.

Other Metals

Most other metals — aluminium, copper, zinc, nickel, etc. — have already had a bit of a run-up the past few years like gold. Here’s nickel as an example:

You could try to trade it to see if it will get back to that spike, but the big run-up is already done. Future shortages of supply in any sort of WW3 crisis will probably be offset by shortages of demand as manufacturing gets flushed down the toilet.

Plus the opposite problem to gold exists — it is not worth too much by weight. So if you were a nickel millionaire, for example, it would mean finding somewhere to store your 30+ tonnes of the stuff. “Just pop it in the shed, fellas, but make sure I can still get the tractor out…”. Yeah, maybe not.

Commodities

Great active investments right now, and for the next few years, but lousy fire-and-forget stores of value. Commodities — wheat, oil, orange juice, gold, tin, etc. — all have one thing in common: they are wasting assets, traded primarily on futures exchanges. So you have to keep monitoring and rolling over one future contract into another.

Fortunately there are a few funds which manage the headaches for you. One I have found is PDBC — Invesco Optimum Yield Diversified Commodity Strategy ETF, traded in US markets. They hold futures for a basket of base metals, gold/silver, agricultural commodities, and oil/gas/gasoline ones.

So, as long as world markets remain active (i.e. no hot and shooting WW3) and as long as you have access to US markets cheaply and easily, PDBC or its bretheren is a great store of value for our coming stormy year.

As I said near the beginning, currencies are just a proxy for future food, water, shelter, and enjoyment, and funds like PDBC are allowing you to invest directly in the food part at least, and to some extent the others as well.

And as I said at the actual beginning, I am not trying to get you to run out and buy PDBC or anything else. Most of us (me included) don’t easily have access to it, with US markets being extremely hard for foreigners to invest in. I’ve found a way around it via crypto, which I shall elaborate on in Part 2, but that is not easy either. Do your own research on anything you put your hard-earned money into. NEVER go out and buy something on a tip from me or any other sweet talkin’ guy/gal you happen upon in Medium or Quora or Reddit. NEVER.

Note also that while PDBC is good, it is NOT the Holy Grail.

Stocks

If you’ve read this far I think you know what I’m gonna say. So I’ll say it:

Short of cash, there is no worse investment you could put your hard-earned wealth into right now than stocks.

There, I said it.

Seriously, though, we have had a huge decade-long run-up on all world stock markets, AND have these fucktard central bankers mismanaging the economy to criminal proportions, AND have the Ukraine crisis further destroying the USD, AND have certain politicians in various countries of various parties trying to turn Ukraine into WW3.

Unless some BIG changes happen — unless the aliens or Elvis come to save us — we are headed for a stock market crash of Great Depression proportions. Probably within the next year or two at the rate we are going.

So yeah, put a little bit of your wealth into stocks to capture upside while it lasts, but all in all… Avoid. Stocks. Like. The. Plague.

Bonds

Back when I managed a trust, I actually made a lot of money with bonds. More than with stocks, believe it or not. Bonds are the quiet achievers of the financial world: if you know what you are doing and where interest rates are headed, they can be great little money spinners, buying low and selling high.

I’m not out to give you all a course in bonds, as there are many subtleties to them that would fill a textbook. But I will give you the down-and-dirty two principles of bonds:

  • For coupon bonds (i.e. those that pay fixed interest), when your central bank RAISES interest rates, the value of the bond you own goes DOWN. Not willy-nilly, mind you, but by a pretty strict mathematical principle that seeks to preserve your bond’s coupon’s risk premium over the risk free rate (which is almost always the central bank interest rate).
  • For floaters (i.e. their interest rate floats against some index), when your central bank RAISES interest rates…it’s complicated. The value of the bond will probably go up…somewhat…but it is all determined by the conditions by which your bond floats. These conditions can be sometimes quite arcane, and are almost never the central bank interest rate + xx%. That would be way, way too easy. Bond guys have the reputation of being failed stock guys, but are actually stock guys infused with the power of Gandalf the Grey. Don’t fuck with bond guys — they sacrifice cats to Cthulhu to gain the horrible knowledge they have, to be able to make money off these weird instruments that obey mathematics yet move to the beat of their own non-Euclidian drum.

So in theory, in a low-interest-rate world such as now, where the rates would probably rise (such as now), coupon bonds would be a bad investment and floaters would be a good one.

In practice, now, they are both bad investments. The couponers for obvious reasons — they are going to be swirling in the toilet bowl soon enough, and the floaters for…complicated…reasons. To boil it down as simply as I can, there is not a floater in the world that can float nearly enough to overcome the storm that is a-comin’. If I was to buy a floater now it would be AA or above risk rated and have terms of inflation index + 10%. Nothing even close to this exists in reality. Call it more like a 2% premium for a BBB one, if that.

The reason I am so bearish on floaters is because the US government lies about inflation. They flat out lie, and big time. They have every incentive in the world to understate actual inflation, and boy do they ever. There are two good reasons (for them) why they do this: a) it keeps the general public from freaking out when they realise inflation is not 5% as reported but more like 15%, and b) keeping the official rate low in turn keeps their bill low for paying out interest on US govt inflation-linked bonds, called TIPS. Treasury Inflation Protected Securities — great name, NOT. They pay out some meagre rate — something like inflation + 0.25% or thereabouts — because they have the cachet of the US govt’s above-AAA risk rating. So keeping the official inflation rate low benefits the govt in not having to pay out too much on TIPS, which are a common security beloved by widows and orphans because they are “safe”. If I could find a way, I would short the living fuck out of TIPS because they are anything BUT safe. Inflation is NOT the 5% they are reporting and the US govt is NOT above-AAA risk as Moody’s still naively believes; if I were to give the US govt realistic rating given their real risk of default, it would be BB at best. Thankfully I don’t work for Moody’s or I would bring down the fairy tale and singlehandly kill the world bond market with my wild notions of the US govt being run by the fucktards.

So, long story short, avoid bonds too, even the floaters.

Real Estate

Normally real estate, like gold, is an awesome hedge and store of value in an uncertain world. As Mark Twain said, “buy land, they’re not making it anymore.”

Soooo…

Look I’m really sorry, but real estate, like gold, has already done its run-up. I just don’t think it has any more in it. Now obviously real estate in different places has different dynamics, so I’m not qualified to give an opinion on real estate in southeastern Peru. Maybe it still has some go in it. But I AM qualified to give an opnion on real estate in Australia, and to some extent California, and I really think it has done it’s dash. When people are willing to pay $400k on a place in rural Victoria (Australia) — a place that 5 years ago was going for $150k — it just has nowhere to go but down. And that is exactly what happened. Covid, if anything, accelerated the insanity of real estate valuations as people desperately searched for a safe haven for all their moolah. As interest rates rise in a desperate attempt to stave off the coming depression, real estate prices will go down. They just have to…real estate is a bit like coupon bonds — interest rates going up = capital value going down. We’re in for a correction in most real estate, unfortunately.

Artwork and other collectibles

These are actually not the worst, but during a Depression you can imagine that connoisseurs are not jumping over each other to bid on your original Picasso sketch.

I wouldn’t say the value will plummet, but what will likely happen is all your artworks and collectibles will become very, very illiquid. So as a long term store of value, not too bad. Just don’t try and sell till we are over this crisis one way or another.

Crypto

Ah, he’s saved the best for last, I hear you thinking (no, seriously, I can hear you thinking — I am a low-level superhero and that is my power).

Yes and no.

Most crypto is in for a bumpy ride down. Bitcoin, currently just under $40k per coin, is going down to $10k per coin by late 2022 or early 2023. That is not me talking, either — that is the advice of a crypto trader I very much admire. And who, more importantly, is good at predicting things. After that, yes, it will recover, and eventually surpass $100k. After mid 2023 it will do that. Again, not my prediction — that of someone who knows their shit.

Those of you who know crypto will know nearly all of it is very highly correlated. “Correlated” is a statistical term but in Finance it is easy — two assets with correlation of 1.0 move in lock step with one another — when one moves up, so does the other. Note one can outperform the other, but the movements are always in the same direction and by the same magnitude relative to previous movements. Two assets with correlation of -1.0 move exactly opposite one another. Nowadays it is pretty easy to find two assets with -1.0 correlation — just look for the short fund of the asset. So a DJIA fund and a DJIA Short fund would have exactly -1.0 correlation (or near enough), as the second is just short positions of the first. When the DJIA gains 3% the DJIA Short should lose about 3%. Simples.

Well, without having run all the numbers, I would guess that most crypto coins are correlated to Bitcoin and other crypto coins at about 0.7–0.8. Pretty high. Consider:

Bitcoin’s performance over x period
Etherium’s performance over x period
Elrond’s performance over x period

For Bitcoin and Ethereum, there is no really discernable difference. For all practical purposes, they are correlated way above 0.9 and are acting as the same coin. Elrond is a little different, but still above 0.8, I’d say. But the takeaway is, if Bitcoin is going down, nearly all crypto is going down. If some swinging dick with a hot tip says, no, my coin is different, my coin is better…it’s probably not.

There are exceptions, though. For a long time Shiba Inu (SHIB) was one. When the broader crypto markets would fall, SHIB would rise, and vice versa. There are only two problems with using SHIB as your holy grail store of value when Bitcoin declines: a) the correlation seems to have shifted a few months ago and now SHIB does move roughly in lockstep with Bitcoin and the others, and b) SHIB is a piece of shit shitcoin, literally a Doge-meme-knockoff, that only a fool would put any money into.

On or about 1 May, something in Algo broke and its correlation to Bitcoin went from something around 0.7 to something strongly negative:

Algo over x period

But this is probably transitory. Don’t get me wrong, Algo is a good coin, but has too high a mintage — 10 billion — and no burn/deflation mechanism for me to want to recommend it as a store of value.

What we need for our Holy Grail Store of Value in the Shit World our Fucktarded Central Banks Have Landed Us In is something with the following qualities:

  • Liquid
  • Deflationary, or at least non-inflationary
  • Having utility as a coin
  • Having utility as a smart contract
  • Having earnings capability, i.e. interest or dividends
  • Not correlated well to Bitcoin
  • Not correlated well to traditional risky assets, i.e. stocks

There is one out there that fits the bill, and I am going to tell you what it is…in Part 2.

Sorry to do that to you — a dick move, I know.

You all can do me a favour in the interim to try and guilt me into writing Part 2 more quickly, and thus telling you what the Holy Grail is more quickly. No, I don’t want money, at least not from you lot. What you can do for me is to follow me on Medium. This is not to stoke my ego; rather it is for a very practical purpose. You see, the powers that be at Medium kicked me out of the Partner Program because I have less than 100 followers. The Partner Program monetises your work, at no direct cost to you, the reader. I like getting a reward for my writing, even if it is just a couple of bucks.

So, here is the deal — when I exceed 100 followers, I promise to write Part 2. I pinky swear. Follow me, get your friends to follow me, get your dog to follow me — I don’t care. Actually I DO care — it would be way cool to have multiple dogs following me. But anyway, 101+ followers = Part 2 delivered to your computer in a timely fashion. Part 2 will be awesome; it will have:

  • SEX!#
  • DRUGS!^
  • ROCK AND ROLL!%

See you on the flip side mateys…

Disclaimers:

# Sex — yes, well, nothing is sexier than a good Store of Value, and I promise you one that will strip bare your preconcieved notions and provide penetrating insight into your G-spot of profit.

^ Drugs — isn’t finding a new way to profit in an uncertain world the most exhilarating drug of all? No? Well, how about make some cool Benjamins over the next 18 months then blow it all on a coke-fuelled party with strippers (that’s another one for the Sex category too…)

% Rock and Roll — this brings to mind the Grateful Dead concert of 27 April 1971, when the very stoned Beach Boys crashed the concert and both bands — Beach Boys and Grateful Dead — ended up singing together on stage “Okie From Muskogee” by Merle Haggard. If the connection is lost on you, consider that by 1971 the Beach Boys’ intrinsic value had declined to the point where risking Bill Graham’s wrath by crashing the Fillmore East was the logical step forward to re-establish their net present value. If the connection is STILL lost on you, just play some Grateful Dead at your coke-fuelled part with strippers and all will become clear. Or Beach Boys. Or Whatever.