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Want To Invest In Farmland? Here’s How

Farmland is a “holy grail” asset class for many investors.

It’s tangible, produces income, and has inherent underlying value — making it a great inflation hedge.

It’s supply constrained. Mother Nature isn’t making any more of it  –and in total, farm acreage around the world is being lost to development, drought, etc.

Historically it’s an asset class that produces double-digit annual returns while remaining largely uncorrelated with the stock market, making it a valuable component for portfolio diversification.

And even better, it offers the chance to do well by doing good. There are increasing opportunities to convert poorly-managed conventional farmland to organic status through sustainable practices AND command much higher profits in the process. Smart farmers are now able to create superior business while healing the soil at the same time.

So, how can you get access to this attractive asset class?

Farmland investor Craig Wichner, Managing Director of Farmland LP,  explains how in this week’s Market Update. He also details out the growing number of ways regular investors like you can purchase farmland and benefit from its many attributes without having to actually become a farmer yourself.

Which is why Craig agrees that now, more than ever, is the time to partner with a financial advisor who understands the nature of the market risks in play as well as the opportunities that farmland offers in a diversified portfolio to defend against them, can craft an appropriate portfolio strategy for you given your needs, and apply sound risk management protection where appropriate:

farmland, peak prosperity, investment, adam taggart, risk

Here’s The Problem: The Pie Is Shrinking

Here’s The Problem: The Pie Is Shrinking

At that point, the only way to enable debt-serfs to service their debts is too give them free money, i.e. Universal Basic Income (UBI).

Scrape away the churn and distraction and the problem is simple: the pie of prosperity is shrinking, and the “fixes” are failing. The status quo arrangement is based on the endless expansion of “growth” and debt, which is the monetary fuel of more, more, more of everything: money, energy, resources, goods, services, jobs, wealth and income, all of which make up the elixir of prosperity.

Prosperity is shorthand for a positive return on investment (ROI), a.k.a. primary surplus. Prosperity is the result of there being a surplus which can be distributed after capital, resources and labor are put to work.

The higher the return on investment, the more surplus there is to distribute.When the surplus is bountiful, there’s enough to go around for everyone to feel that life is getting better.

But all systems eventually track an S-Curve of rapid growth, maturation and depletion/decline, and surpluses diminish: the pie stops expanding and starts shrinking. There’s less to go around, and suddenly the political squabbling intensifies as every elite and every constituency seeks to preserve their slice of the pie at the expense of others.

This means shifting the losses of purchasing power and prosperity onto others without appearing to do so. Openly ripping a slice from the grasping hands of another elite or constituency will launch a protracted political battle, as every group will fight to the death to keep its share untouched.

By far the best ways to shift the losses to others are 1) inflation (reducing the purchasing power of their income) and 2) creating phantom wealth that can be used to buy up all the income-producing assets. Unsurprisingly, this is precisely what we see happening globally.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

As The Perfect Storm Approaches, Most Americans Are Partying Instead Of Preparing

As The Perfect Storm Approaches, Most Americans Are Partying Instead Of Preparing

I can’t think of a time when Americans were more apathetic about getting prepared, and yet this is exactly the time when the urgency to get prepared should be at the highest.  Earlier today, my wife Meranda and I were discussing the fact that every single element of “the perfect storm” is coming together just as we had anticipated.  One by one, the pieces are all falling into place, and I share the most recent things that my research has uncovered with all of you on a daily basis.  Unfortunately, most Americans are absolutely convinced that there is no reason to get prepared for hard times because everything is going to be just great.  In America today, most people either believe that the future is going to be totally wonderful or that the future will be totally wonderful once we get rid of Trump.  Because so many of us have adopted one of these false narratives, most Americans are partying instead of preparing, and that is going to mean big trouble when things really start going haywire.

Are you familiar with “the rule of three”?  I just looked it up on Google, and this is how it is defined…

“You can survive for 3 Minutes without air (oxygen) or in icy water. You can survive for 3 Hours without shelter in a harsh environment (unless in icy water) You can survive for 3 Days without water (if sheltered from a harsh environment) You can survive for 3 Weeks without food (if you have water and shelter)”

Of course these numbers are not exact.  For example, many have gone without food for more than 3 weeks without serious problems.  But in general, this is a pretty good guideline for survival.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

How Chinese Investors Inflate Housing Markets in the US, Canada, and Australia, as Governments Try to Stem the Tide

How Chinese Investors Inflate Housing Markets in the US, Canada, and Australia, as Governments Try to Stem the Tide

The “waterbed effect” of money flows.

Top residential real estate brokerages in the US have been promoting US homes to investors in China for years. Brokerage firms in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and other countries have done the same. Commissions are at stake! They have set up units in China and are partnering with Chinese real estate portals, such as Juwai.com.

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, a subsidiary of HomeServices – the second largest residential brokerage in the US – entered the fray belatedly a year ago with a marketing agreement with Juwai.com “to syndicate all of its franchisees’ residential listings.”

And not just in the trophy cities on the coasts, but all of Berkshire’s listings, anywhere.

One of the properties it offers on Juwai.com today is this mansion on 8387 Ford Road, Superior Township, Michigan:

Scrolling down the page of any of these listings reveals four red buttons that lead to the crux of these deals for Chinese investors (so-so translations below):

  • Top left: Guide on how to buy a house in the US.
  • Top right: Guide with maps of school districts and housing around the “top 100” universities.
  • Bottom left: Guide for obtaining a US investor immigrant visa EB-5
  • Bottom right: Guide on how to apply for study abroad.

And these brokerage firms in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and other countries are doing expos and conferences in China to lure investors to make the leap. This massive marketing effort in China by these firms has worked like a charm.

Juwai.com predicts, according to the Wall Street Journal, that Chinese investors will plow $1.5 trillion into assets abroad over the next decade, with about half of that going into foreign property.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Gold Should be Viewed as Money — Not as an Investment Instrument

Gold Should be Viewed as Money — Not as an Investment Instrument

goldmoney.PNG

On May 4 and 5, 2018, Warren E. Buffett (born 1930) and Charles T. Munger (born 1924), both already legends during their lifetime, held the annual shareholders’ meeting of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Approximately 42,000 visitors gathered in Omaha, Nebraska, to attend the star investors’ Q&A session.

Peoples’ enthusiasm is understandable: From 1965 to 2017, Buffett’s Berkshire share achieved an annual average return of 20.9 percent (after tax), while the S&P 500 returned only 9.9 percent (before taxes). Had you invested in Berkshire in 1965, today you would be pleased to see a total return of 2,404,784 percent: an investment of USD 1,000 turned into more than USD 24 million (USD 24,048,480, to be exact).

In his introductory words, Buffett pointed out how important the long-term view is to achieving investment success. For example, had you invested USD 10,000 in 1942 (the year Buffett bought his first share) in a broad basket of US equities and had patiently stood by that decision, you would now own stocks with a market value of USD 51 million.

With this example, Buffett also reminded the audience that investments in productive assets such as stocks can considerably gain in value over time; because in a market economy, companies typically generate a positive return on the capital employed. The profits go to the shareholders either as dividends or are reinvested by the company, in which case the shareholder benefits from the compound interest effect.

Buffett compared the investment performance of corporate stocks (productive assets) with that of gold (representing unproductive assets). USD 10,000 invested in gold in 1942 would have appreciated to a mere USD 400,000, Buffett said – considerably less than a stock investment. What do you make of this comparison?

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

How The Investor Fundamentally Changed The Silver Market

How The Investor Fundamentally Changed The Silver Market

While silver investors continue to be discouraged about the low price, the market has experienced a fundamental change that needs to be understood.  Ever since governments removed silver from official coinage, over 50 years ago, the market has been supplemented by several billion ounces of silver.  The majority of that supply has been depleted.

The reason the United States and other countries stopped producing official silver coinage wasn’t due to any monetary conspiracy; rather it was based on a straightforward problem; supply versus demand.  Because industrial silver consumption had skyrocketed after World War 2, the silver market would have suffered deficits if the U.S. Treasury didn’t sell silver into the market.

It was quite simple; there just wasn’t enough silver to go around.  So, governments started to reduce, then eliminate silver from their coinage in the 1960’s.  A lot of this silver, known as “junk silver,” was either purchased by investors or remelted and sold back as supply into the market.  While there is no way of knowing how much of the older official junk silver remains in the market, the majority of it was recycled for much-needed supply.

We can see the dwindling down of government stocks and older official silver coinage in the following chart:

The BLUE bars represent silver scrap supply, and the OLIVE colored bars show the amount of net government silver sales.  From 2000 to 2013, governments sold 636 million oz (Moz) of silver into the market.  Net government sales were from stockpiled silver and older official coins.  However, in 2014, this supply totally dried up.  For the past four years, there haven’t been any government silver sales.

Another interesting aspect of this chart is the declining amount of silver scrap supply.  Even though the price of silver during the 2015-2017 period was much higher than from 2000-2007, scrap supply is considerably less.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Global Gold Investment Demand To Overwhelm Supply During Next Market Crash

Global Gold Investment Demand To Overwhelm Supply During Next Market Crash

When the next market crash occurs, global gold investment demand will likely overwhelm supply.  When this occurs, we could finally see the gold price surpass its previous high of $1,900.  Now, this isn’t mere speculation, as we already have seen this taking place in the past.  When the broader markets crashed to the lows in Q1 2009 and the 10% correction in Q1 in 2016, these periods were to two highest quarters of Gold ETF investment demand.

I don’t really care on whether the physical gold is actually in the Gold ETF’s, rather I like to look at it as an important indicator that shows us how much investor fear there is in the market.  Moreover, with the amount of leverage and debt now in the system, when the market crashes this time around, it will push gold investment demand up to a record we have never seen before.

The chart below shows the amount of physical global gold investment demand over the past 14 years.  As the gold price increased, so did amount of gold bar and coin demand:

As we can see, during the U.S. Banking and Housing Market crash in 2008, gold bar and coin demand doubled to 868 metric tons (mt), up from 434 mt in 2007.  That was quite a lot of gold bar and coin demand as it totaled nearly 28 million oz (1 metric ton = 32,150 oz).  Furthermore, as the gold price jumped to $1,571 in 2011, gold bar and coin demand shot up to nearly 1,500 mt (48 million oz).

Now, the reason for the huge spike in physical gold investment in 2013 was due to the huge price smash as the gold price fell from nearly $1,700 in the beginning of the year to a low of $1,380 by the middle of April.  Investors thought this was a huge sale on gold so demand for bars and coins reached a new record of 1,716 mt.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Debt Has No Consequences? Color Me Skeptical

Debt Has No Consequences? Color Me Skeptical

The entire status quo is based on the delusion that rapidly rising debt will never generate any negative consequences.

Here’s a chart of America’s national debt, extended a mere dozen years into the future: the current $20 trillion in debt will double to $40 trillion, and that assumes 1) trillions of dollars in private and local government pensions don’t implode and have to be bailed out by the federal government, a bail-out that will have to be paid by borrowing more money, 2) a recession doesn’t slash federal tax revenues, 3) Universal Basic Income (UBI) doesn’t become policy, adding $1+ trillion in additional borrowing annually–and so on.

Color me skeptical that doubling the debt in 12 years won’t have any negative consequences. Let’s start by noting that federal debt is only the tip of America’s total debt load, which is rising fast in all sectors: federal, state/county/city, corporate and household.

Total government, corporate and household debt soared from $15.5 trillion in 2000 to $41.1 trillion in 2016. (see chart below, courtesy of 720Global). If we extend this expansion another 12 years, we will have a total debt load in the neighborhood of $100 trillion by 2030. And that’s if the “recovery” news is all good.

The consensus is that all this debt will have no negative consequences because 1) interest rates will remain near-zero forever and 2) it’s all “investment”, right? Actually, no; the vast majority of this debt is consumption, not investment, or even worse, it simply services existing debt or funds speculative gambling (stock buybacks, etc.)

Recall that every debt is somebody’s asset. Debt jubilees sound great to debtors, but not so appealing to insurance companies, pension funds, mutual funds, etc. that own the debt and rely on the income from that debt to pay pensioners their pensions, settle insurance claims, etc.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Private Capital Allocation Matching Only the Great Depression for Inefficiency

Private Capital Allocation Matching Only the Great Depression for Inefficiency

  1. Economic policy objectives (monetary and fiscal) are meant to incentivize domestic private business investment, which drives incomes and the money multiplier effect, i.e. the engine of the economy.
  2. Economic policy objectives have failed because CEO’s, the private capital allocators, simply cannot accommodate business investment when the demand function is as weak as we currently find it, no matter how available and how cheap the capital.
  3. The demand function is weak because we misunderstood and ignored the side effects of trade policies and their reliance on new world economies that naturally have a lower money multiplier effect than old world economies.
  4. A materially damaged demand function leads to a misallocation of resources; for the past 15 years capital has been and continues at an accelerating rate to be allocated to cash distribution (the most economically inefficient use of capital) rather than investment, further deteriorating the demand function (economic death spiral).
  5. The only question that matters now then is;  How do we get private sector capital allocators to allocate capital more efficiently?  I’ll give you a hint, it requires indications of sustainable demand improvement and neither monetary nor fiscal policy have the capacity to generate sustainable demand improvement when the demand function is damaged to the point that CEO’s refuse to invest productively.  This then requires a new economic policy framework, one that CAN generate sustainable demand improvement, which will allow capital allocators to invest productively.

We can understand the problem without villainizing any particular stakeholders by focusing on where we are today and delivering a viable solution.  Mistakes were made and judging whether they were honest or malicious in nature is irrelevant to finding the solution.  Our focus here is a solution.

The Proof:

What is the objective of Monetary and Fiscal policy expansion?

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Why Investing In Silver Is Vastly Superior To Investing In Gold Right Now

Why Investing In Silver Is Vastly Superior To Investing In Gold Right Now

Silver Coins - Public DomainWhen panic and fear dominate financial markets, gold and silver both tend to rapidly rise in price.  We witnessed this during the last financial crisis, and it is starting to happen again.  Because I am the publisher of a website called The Economic Collapse Blog, I am often asked about gold and silver when I do interviews.  In fact, just a few days ago I was sitting right next to Jim Rickards during the taping of a television show when this topic came up.  Jim expressed his belief that investing in gold is superior to investing in silver, but I had the exact opposite viewpoint.  In this article, I would like to elaborate on why I believe that silver represents a historic investment opportunity right now.

I should start out by disclosing that my wife and I have been able to put away a little bit of silver over the years.  I wish that it could have been a lot more, but so often there are other priorities that need to be addressed.  For example, I have always said that people need to take care of their emergency food storage first before even thinking about any kind of investments.

But if you have money left over after taking care of the basics, I am fully convinced that silver is a wonderful investment for the mid to long term.  In this article, I am going to explain why this is the case.  However, I have always warned that you have got to be ready for a rollercoaster ride if you get into precious metals.  So if you can’t handle the ups and downs, you should probably avoid them altogether.

As I write this article, the price of gold is sitting at $1254.30 an ounce.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

These 7 Things Are Better Than Paper Money In the Bank When the Economy Collapses

These 7 Things Are Better Than Paper Money In the Bank When the Economy Collapses

So you’ve done the hard work of getting your finances in order and now you’re looking to invest your hard-earned surplus into things that will protect or grow it.

Keeping your savings as fiat currency in the the banks may not be the safest way to store your wealth. Banks are beginning to give concrete evidence of actually penalizing you for keeping your money with them … and that’s if they don’t outright confiscate it via bank bail-in.

It would be prudent to look at investments that offer the dual purpose of getting around the banking system, while also offering ways to stockpile the tangible items that should fare much better in any economic collapse situation.

Here are seven investments that will hold value far better than cash if the current trends continue.

Food

We are beginning to see in real-real time what a collapse in the food supply could mean. One look at Venezuela should prove that even though most people believe “it could never happen here” or even that they have enough money to get what they need no matter what, this is not the case.  Even the supposedly wealthy in Venezuela are waiting in long lines with everyone else.

While things are still relatively stable, it makes sense to build a food stockpile slowly but surely. You can  pick up a few key food items each week at the supermarket to build up your food bank without having to spend thousands in bulk food acquisitions. It’s best to keep your storable food bank list simple and concentrate on common foods that you already consume regularly. We wrote an article geared toward foods that have long shelf lives but are also practical for most diets, so please read “10 Best Survival Foods At Your Local Supermarket.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Discovery

Discovery

It looks like 2016 will be the year that humanfolk learn that the stuff they value was not worth as much as they thought it was. It will be a harrowing process because a great many humans are abandoning ownership of things that are rapidly losing value — e.g. stocks on the Shanghai exchange — and stuffing whatever “money” they can recover into the US dollar, the assets and usufructs of which are also going through a very painful reality value adjustment.

Of course this calls into question foremost exactly what money is, and the answer is: basically a narrative construct. In other words, a story explaining why we behave the way we do around certain things. Some parts of the story have a closer relationship with reality than other parts. The part about the US dollar has a rather weak connection.

When various authorities — the BLS, the Federal Reserve, The New York Times — state that the US economy is “strong,” we can translate that to mean giant companies listed on the stock exchanges are able to put up a Potemkin façade of soundness. For instance, Amazon.com. The company continues to seem like a good idea. And it reinforces that idea in the collective imagination by sending a lot of low-priced goods to your door, (all bought on credit cards), which rings your (nearly) instant gratification bell. This has prompted investors to gobble up Amazon stock.

It’s well-established by now that the “brick-and-mortar” retail operations are majorly sucking wind. Meaning, fewer people are driving to the Target store and venues like it to buy stuff. Supposedly, they are buying stuff at Amazon instead. What interests me in that story is the idea that every single object purchased these days has a UPS journey attached to it. Of course, people also drive to the Target store, though I doubt they leave the place with just one thing.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Debunking Anti-Gold Propaganda

Debunking Anti-Gold Propaganda

It pays to remain as objective as you can be when analyzing any investment. People have a tendency to fall in love with an asset class, usually because it’s treated them so well. We saw that happen most recently with Internet stocks in the late ’90s and with houses up to 2007. Investment bubbles are driven primarily by emotion, although there’s always some rationale for the emotion to latch on to. Perversely, when it comes to investing, reason is recruited mainly to provide cover for passion and preconception.

In the same way, people tend to hate certain investments unreasonably, usually at the bottom of a bear market, after they’ve lost a lot of money; even thinking about the asset means reliving the pain and loss. Love-and-hate cycles occur for all investment classes.

But there’s only one investment I can think of that many people either love or hate reflexively, almost without regard to market performance: gold. And, to a lesser degree, silver. It’s strange that these two metals provoke such powerful psychological reactions – especially among people who dislike them. Nobody has an instinctive hatred of iron, copper, aluminum, or cobalt. The reason, of course, is that the main use of gold has always been as money. And people have strong feelings about money. Let’s spend a moment looking at how gold’s fundamentals fit in with the psychology of the current market.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

FED LUNACY IS TO BLAME FOR THE COMING CRASH

FED LUNACY IS TO BLAME FOR THE COMING CRASH

This week John Hussman’s pondering about the state of our markets is as clear and concise as it’s ever been. He starts off by describing the difference between an economy operating at a low level versus a high level. He’s essentially describing a 2% GDP economy versus a 4% GDP economy. We have been stuck in a low level economy since 2008. And there is one primary culprit for the suffering of millions – The Federal Reserve and their Wall Street Bank owners. They are the reason incomes are stagnant, the labor participation rate is at 40 year lows, savers can only earn .25% on their savings, and consumers have been forced further into debt to make ends meet. Meanwhile, corporate America and the Wall Street banks are siphoning off record profits, paying obscene pay packages to their executives, buying off the politicians in Washington to pass legislation (TPP) designed to enrich them further, and arrogantly telling the peasants to work harder.

In economics, we often describe “equilibrium” as a condition where demand is equal to supply. Textbooks usually depict this as a single point where a demand curve and a supply curve intersect, and all is right with the world.

In reality, we know that economies often face a whole range of possible equilibria. One can imagine “low level” equilibria where producers are idle, jobs are scarce, incomes stagnate, consumers struggle or go into debt to make ends meet, and the economy sits in a state of depression – which is often the case in developing countries. One can also imagine “high level” equilibria where producers generate desirable goods and services, jobs are plentiful, and household income is sufficient to demand all of that output.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

 

If We’re Going To Borrow Against The Future, Let’s Borrow To Invest

If We’re Going To Borrow Against The Future, Let’s Borrow To Invest

The are much better ways to spend the next $1 Trillion

We are at an important juncture as a global society: either we immediately prioritize a new trajectory focused on creating a positive, functional future or — by continuing the consumptive, extractive, exploitative status quo — we will default into a nasty nightmare.

What will determine which future path we take is our collective narrative. It’s the story we tell ourselves — who we are, what we value.

The Power Of Narrative

Under the old narrative, the one currently operating and taking us towards disaster, powerful people and interests simply perpetuate a regime of More of the same.

And I do mean ‘More.’  The old narrative rests upon an ideology of endless growth.  It wants and requires moreof everything.  More cars sold, more houses built, more jobs created, and more goods and services of every description sold next year than last.

Everything flows from that want for more. The defenders of the old ideology are therefore defenders of our astonishingly-wide wealth gap, rapid energy depletion, emptying aquifers, disappearing pollinators, ruined soils, and dying oceans.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

A subtext of the old narrative is that humans are destroyers: we wreck natural systems. Put humans somewhere and first the large animals go extinct. Then the waters become polluted. Next, the soils are stripped.

Less well known, possibly because it shines a bitter light on our common practices, is that humans can be incredible forces of positive change, using their big brains to build natural abundance at rates far faster than nature by itself is able.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

 

 

 

Olduvai IV: Courage
In progress...

Olduvai II: Exodus
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