I recently overheard a conversation of two gentlemen discussing a home remodeling project. The younger of the two was explaining how he was preparing to paint a few rooms in his home. His wife was picking out colors and he was soon going to purchase the paint and begin his project. The older of the two men listened intently and besides jokingly saying 'have fun with that project,' gave only one piece of advice, 'buy the more expensive paint.'
This comment seemed to catch the younger man off guard and he responded to the advice with, 'but the more expensive paint is nearly double what the lower priced paint is, is it really worth the extra money?' That question was answered with a simple, 'just trust me, it is in the long run.'
If you have ever painted a room you know exactly what both men in this situation are thinking. The younger guy is confused because it's just paint, I am just trying to add some color to my walls and do I really need to spend the extra money. While the older, wiser, guy is trying to save the other from a headache, time and money due to possibly having to repaint the room again down the road.
The Gold Report: Mike, we often hear that the current generation doesn't realize how good they have it compared to when you had to walk uphill both ways through snow to make a trade. Is it easier to invest today with all the resources online and pundits around every corner or is it harder to cut through the noise and find the best opportunities?
Michael Berry: While the Internet makes it easier to do research and make a trade, that doesn't mean it is easier to make a good trade, or better still, a smart long-term investment. I think it's challenging today. It's easy to trade, but much more difficult to create real wealth. A P/E multiple used to have real meaning. Today, the pace of the market is so fast, there are so many flash traders, so many games being played and so many nickels being minted, that it is difficult to figure out what is real. There are debt and equity bubbles out there that have been being created for the past two decades. They can be difficult to take advantage of because investors have to go against the prevailing thinking.
Hedge funds can't make it today; only the private equity players seem to be successful and they have tremendous advantages. Almost all central bankers are in the investment game now. The Federal Reserve owns 25% of the Treasury bond market. What do they plan to do with their investment? There is US$9 trillion sloshing around the world today and a global exchange rate devaluation. These issues make central bankers powerful new players and make the market more challenging for individual investors.
The Energy Report: You call yourself an "outsider," and have founded an investment club of that name. In what sense are you an outsider?
Nick Hodge: Being an outsider stems from my upbringing. Both my parents were middle to lower middle class, and I never had anything given to me. I've always had to work for what I have, starting with a lawn-service business when I was 12 and working my way through college as a butcher. I look at the "mainstream" with a skeptical eye. I'm a contrarian. I'm not on the inside of big business, big banking and politics, and don't want to be.
The Outsider Club has been around for about a year now. I founded it after writing for several newsletters over the past decade about energy and speculative investments.
TER: What does being an outsider mean with regard to your views on energy?
NH: I'll give two examples. First is my belief in the peak oil theory. Second is my early adoption of a belief in renewable technologies, such as solar and smart-grid technologies.
By Nick Santiago, an Expert Technical Analysist, Chief Market Strategist, President and CEO of InTheMoneyStocks.com, and a gifted teacher in educating other on the truth of the markets.
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