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.
"Quaterra Resources Inc.'s Yerington property could become a major world-class copper resource."
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.
TGR: Chris, did the boomers and the flash traders wreck it for the rest of us? Continue reading "What The Boomers Got Wrong And Right About Natural Resource Investing"
The Energy Report: When we last interviewed your son, Chris Berry, he advised to invest based on the reality of a growing, emerging market in China. That included both energy and agriculture sectors. Are you also bullish on quality of life-based (QOL) investing?
Michael Berry: I am bullish; I developed the QOL concept a few years ago. What I'm seeing is quite a few big institution life insurance companies, family offices and money management companies opening quality of life funds, although often with different names. They are beginning to recognize that as people move from the country to the cities in the emerging markets, and a new middle class develops, they will want more animal-based protein chicken, fish, pork, beef and eggs. By 2030, once the credit cycle is corrected, I'm very bullish that quality of life funds are going to push forward. I think both the energy and the agriculture sectors are going to be interesting investment areas.
Chris and I have been spending a fair amount of time lecturing and presenting our QOL thesis and talking to investors and companies that have big stakes in this area. When you have 2 billion (2B) new consumers who want to live longer, healthier and easier, and who want better food, education and transportation, energy and nutrition will be key sectors.
TER: Does that mean that you are not worried about reports of slowing economic growth in China? Continue reading "Do You Practice Quality of Life Investing? Michael Berry Does"
The Gold Report: Mike, you've been watching the stock market and, by extension, the precious metals markets very closely for signs of a larger equity market blow-off that could send gold higher. What makes you think the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the NASDAQ are in a bubble? What are the signs that a crash might be imminent?
Michael Berry: I have been watching bubbles since 1987. In September of that year I correctly predicted the 25% crash of October 19. We have been blowing through mini and maxi bubbles for 30 years; this one is nothing new.
The solution to our macroeconomic issues has been to inflate new bubbles, to inflate asset values to soften the blow from the last bubble, all the while creating the conditions for the next one. That is how we ended up with the current equity market bubble. It is driven solely by the Federal Reserve's liquidity. Always remember that liquidity begets liquidity. I also see a debt market that I consider to be a bubble. These markets are just not sustainable. I can't say when, but we have an equity market decline coming, maybe a severe decline.
TGR: The housing bubble and the tech bubble were, by definition, confined to certain niches initially and then the impact reverberated to other sectors. Are you predicting a market-wide crash where everything falls or will it be confined to certain sectors? Continue reading "When The Major Equity Market Bubble Crashes, Michael Berry Will Take Refuge in These Gold Stocks"
China's export quotas triggered the investment rush for rare earth elements (REEs). John Kaiser of Kaiser Research Online summarized the first chapter of the REE story in his no-nonsense April 24 interview, "Rare Earth Juniors Have a Five-Year Window."
John Kaiser: Historically, REE prices have been very low due to China's abundant resources and its ability to produce them very cheaply. China is aware that it could become the world's biggest polluter when its economy eclipses that of the U.S. China is very concerned about making sure it has the raw materials on hand to assure its clean-energy future. The supply restrictions China introduced a couple of years ago were part of a campaign to clean up and consolidate its high-pollution industries. Those restrictions resulted in spectacularly high REE prices for export and substantially higher prices within China. Since July 2011, the drop in demand and China's inability to control smuggling resulted in a pullback in REE prices. To some degree, I think China wants its monopoly to end. China's ambitions go far beyond squeezing a few profits out of a market it controls. Continue reading "A Critical Year in Review: What's Next?"