Keir’s Top 5 Stock Picks- July 2022 (To Short or Not to Short)

As we enter a holiday weekend, nothing much has changed in the markets since last month’s post. We’ve confirmed the Bear market and there’s still not a lot to like about equities. We’ve also confirmed the death of ESG, which was a dumb ideology to begin with. You want to live in an ESG world? Go visit Avatar. Environmentally, we’re facing elevated oil prices. Socially, we have gun violence and a war with Russia. Governance – see recent Supreme Court decisions.

You know what else smells of death? Crypto.

As we head into the second half of 2022, I’d expect earnings and/or near-term forecasts to disappoint and for the Fed to keep on attacking inflation through obscene interest rate hikes. So you can either continue to play it safe and just sit on cash or you could go after some of these indices expected to retract during the second half of 2022 in search for yield. I’m going to suggest a 50/50 short / cash strategy myself, but to each his own.

Oil and energy are the only sectors I see with potential room to continue to run (the “trend is your friend”). But at some point, all these interest rate hikes should force a pullback in these as well. Plus it’s kind of old news right now.

So I’m going to keep this post kind of “short” this month as I’m pretty busy with work lately, but will leave you with some ideas should you jump on the short bandwagon:

  1. The Technology and Biotech Shorts – SOXS, SQQQ, FNGD, LABD and TECS
  2. The Index Shorts – TZA and SRTY, SDOW and SPXS
  3. The LT Bond Shorts – TMV, TTT, TBT, PST and TYO
  4. The Real Estate Shorts – SRS and DRV
  5. The Rest of the World / Currency Shorts – EUO, YCS, BITI, FXP, YANG, EDZ and EWV

High Risk / High Reward Short-Term Oil Short – NRGD

Very High Risk / Very High Reward Put Option – TSLA $700 August 19 Put


One Last Huge Last Minute Addition – The Currency Wars have started, short the Yen overnight, Euro during the day.

Good luck everyone and have a safe and happy July 4th Holiday. πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡²

Keir’s Top 5 Stock Picks – June 2022 (De-Leveraging During a Liquidity Drain)

So that’s what a sell in May and Go Away month starts like. Volatile and down. Everyone’s trying to guess a bottom, but why? This appears more like a hard bottom than a bounce to me. There’s a lot wrong with the US economy and it’s overall Governance (I mean, how do you run out of baby formula at the same time you leak the reversal of Roe vs Wade?) Don’t worry, I’m not gonna start that debate, I respect everyone’s views over when life actually begins.

Geopolitically, Russia and China remain the same as last month. A threat to Democracy, though both seem to be facing strong resistance in both regions.

Domestically, cracks appear to be forming in various sectors but consumer spending has prevented an outright collapse. That being said, this Memorial Day weekend ranks as one of the quietist in San Diego memory. You can tell various income levels are cutting back on spending.

Looking forward there’s still not a lot to like about these markets. Even oil seems to be peaking with various leveraged funds recently splitting, a sign that this current inflationary cycle may be coming to an end, for now. With the fed set to increase rates significantly in the next 2 months, I wouldn’t expect much celebration in these markets even with COVID slowly moving to the back burner and an increase in travel this summer. Either lots of Companies are on hiring freezes for the remainder of the year, intend on actually cutting employment or are actively subleasing warehouse space (I mean Amazon, really?… https://www.audacy.com/1010wins/news/politics/amazon-looks-to-lease-ny-and-nj-warehouse-space).

It just doesn’t feel like a healthy economy / market to me. And if the reaction to the Fed’s March interest rate hike serves as a precursor to the rest of this summer, I’d expect more pressure on these markets to the downside.

So, I’m actually taking profits here myself. Either I’m losing my touch or just bored, but I’d rather sit on a boatload of cash rn than be at risk of losing anything in these markets, as I expect this turmoil to hit my consulting practice as well and could actually use a short break, myself. This will pass and there will be a point of re-entry, I’d just rather enjoy my summer this year than continue to pay attention to what appears to be a slow liquidity drain sucking out retail investors, 401k plans and the last 2 years of fake SPAC pandemic driven gains.

Spiking interest rates, lack of stimulus/QE and no new liquidity (IPOs) appear to be recipe for disaster to any portfolio. Add in the potential scarcity issues for oil, LNG, food and anything manufactured in China or Russia, and I’m pulling back and de-leveraging. It doesn’t help that FINRA is now scrutinizing leveraged investment products more closely as well.

My guess is the next 4-6 months are flat at best, volatile, and if we do hit a recession, obviously down (basically, a day traders dream). I personally don’t see a recession in the near future, just a slowing down of overall growth. But if the fed makes one mistake, spikes in borrowing costs could end up causing a too big to fail scenario…I just don’t see it happening this year…2-7 years from now, though, definitely. Just another reason to be aggressively saving cash right now. If you’ve been priced out of the current housing market as a buyer, I’d advise to just start accumulating cash for a future down payment and allow increasing interest rates to start sapping demand, which should lead to declines in home value and ultimately a larger drop, should a recession ensue.

Call me negative, but I do believe this current bear market we are in continues through the elections. A red tide was set to replace the blue wave until the horrible incident in Texas. Now Democrats actually have a platform outside of their wobbly ESG argument. Not that it matters much in the end, but should keep these markets in check during this usually quiet period of the year.

 
As I look for value, I just can’t see anything that has lots of potential without a lot of associated risk. Therefore, another EZ Top 5 for me…
 
1- 5) Cash – To the extent you can, JMM – Just Make Money – Lalo Salamanca ✌️

Keir’s Top 5 Stock Picks – May 2022 – Sell in May and Go Away (From Equities)

So, every year there are certain theories you have to consider. Sell in May and Go Away is one of them. I had this feeling in 2020, but the Pandemic beat me to it. This year I’ve had the same feeling for awhile. See, the theory here is that bankers go on vacation for the summer and there’s no one left to trade and no real news ever comes out and the markets pull back a bit. So unlike in a a strong bull market where the markets at least stay flat, they’re getting ready to lose some value this year.

Earnings have been wobbly so far with JP Morgan posting a surprise miss. I mean, when’s the last time that’s happened? JP’s always on the right side of every major trade and just get slapped on the wrist when they create a bullshit product (anyone remember those auction rate securities back in 2006?). What did they miss this time?. Couldn’t just be investments in Russian banks, right? Did they miss out on oil somehow? Doubtful…Dimon just indicated oil could go to $185 if Europe puts sanctions on it. What was my target a few months ago? – $175 -$225. I only raised to top price to $250 when it exceeded $130 when the war broke out. Combine that with Amazon’s recent mix and no sector looks safe right now.

I honestly see nothing real attractive in the markets right now or at least nothing which will hold its value over the next 6-9 months (besides potential energy plays). So keep in mind this blog’s only for entertainment purposes, I’m no licensed broker, just someone who pays attention to the markets and someone who is sometimes right, often is wrong (I think I may be able to go toe-to-toe with Cramer, Orman or Wood one day, but that day’s not here yet).

I know I’m closing in on Buffett…

https://youtu.be/HVm7Pfb0ilY


Geopolitically, Putin’s gonna pull the plug on Europe or Europe will pull it on him (kind of tipped his hand by pulling it on Poland and Bulgaria momentarily this past week). If and when that does happen, Europe will descend into a recession, potential conflict or both…talk about caught between a “Rock and a Hard Place.” Told you I’d sneak BCS inπŸ‘.

Putin’s not stopping until he’s conquered Europe and he’s just toying with the Ukraine right now. I’d definitely be selling property if I was in anywhere in Eastern Europe right now. Not worth it to have all that conflict going on in your back yard right now. He’s just waiting for the US to jump in so he can get China to join in on the fun. Remember this new world vision they both indicated they shared during the Olympics? I mean do you really think it was a coincidence that Putin waited until the Olympics were over to attack Ukraine with that horrible sounding speech? Seemed scripted and part of a larger plan to me.

Back in the US, the central bank meets early this month. Expectations are they may hike 50 bps this time around. So there are significant headwinds to equities all over the place. What if these rate hikes don’t work? What if Putin does pull the plug on all but India and China? What if the rest of OPEC joins the party? Meanwhile you’ve got COVID shutdowns everywhere in China right now. Shengzen, Shanghai, Beijing…supply chains are gonna be a mess. Apple’s already indicating to expect fewer Iphones this year. What if shortages become real possibility? Already happening in the main districts of China. Do I think were heading for a recession…not in the US quite yet. Just a nasty bear market or continuation of this “Great Correction” theory in my mind. The Dow’s at risk of dropping below 30,000 right now. I’d put my target at 25,000 – 27,500. S&P… bye bye 4000, I’m dropping my 6-9 month target to 3,250 – 3.500 on it. but that’s just me. Maybe summer travel makes up for it. Maybe I’m too bearish and should be bullish. I mean it’s been 8 months since I’ve liked equities and they’re affordable right now. I just see this blue wave crashing soon. Something has to be the catalyst. Who blinks first?

So where do you put your money? You could keep it in cash, but with inflation, that’s no longer safe but more manageable and if there’s a liquidity crisis, it does make sense. You could put it in inflation protected T-Bills but then you just don’t lose on that. Gold’s proven me over time and time again that it’s not reliable, plus I don’t see a recession happening here quite yet. The yield curve inverted so I hear your argument but sometimes that takes 6 months to a year and outside of sovereign debt, there’s not much debt in the system. Cyypto…doubt they pull the plug on that quite yet, it’s too appealing to young investors that don’t know any better. Stick to regulated markets, kids.

So how about those Real Estate Investment Trusts? Those have been awfully quit for some time. But what exactly are those?…quick summary. When a person of high net worth decides to start buying up real estate, he treats each property as it’s own independent company. That way his personal assets are protected. But people can still go after him if they know he owns 5,000 properties, right? If you’re successful in life, you’re a target. So to get anonymity he puts these cash generating real estate companies in trusts which have different trustee’s. All a trustee is, is an agent and after a couple of years the agent is removed and all that’s left is the trust and individual property company. This is how large company funeral homes get away with owning 95% of all funeral homes in the US. You think they’re mom and pop shops, but actually just a trust when combined with other trusts forms a Real Estate Investment Trust (aka “REIT”). You get protection and anonymity.

If you’ve been reading this blog you know I was big on real estate properties during the pandemic, particularly like 6 months into it. If the financial markets turn south and there’s no safe place to put your money, savvy investor’s often stick it in non-directly observable markets. Think of the dot.com crash for those old enough to remember it. What happened then was banks and investors started pumping real estate because it was supposed to be off-market. Then through the ARMS that I’m starting to see today and eventually the subprimes, it all eventually consumed the banking system, leading to one of the worst crashes in real estate and correspondingly, the financial markets themselves in 2008. If the SPAC’s are a mini dot.com bonanza and there’s no IPO’s around the corner worth mentioning…Rivian’s down to $31.98 as I type down from it’s high at $179.47 and below it’s offering price of $80-$100. I’m not seeing liquidity being pumped into these markets right now and I wouldn’t advise it myself. Too much to lose and too little to gain right now…making for yet another easy Top-5 for May:

  1. Cash (I know inflation hurts it’s value), but with the fed at least trying to fight it, expect a pullback in everything including oil, until supply chain factors kick in as well as potential shortages. All it does is hurt the long-term bond but I’d be saving for my job right now, just in case. Besides Sell in May and Go Away kind of loses it’s meaning if you don’t keep at least a little cash, right?
  2. SDOW and SPXU (just in case a recession does ensue, these 2 sectors look real vulnerable right now).
  3. Tankers…INSW, TNP, TNK, GLNG, STNG, GNK, FLNG. I mean someone will solve the supply chain crisis if it erupts, right?
  4. ALB – More long-term here…after oil, LNG, Gas, eventually Lithium kicks in, right?
  5. DRN (what the heck, it’s real-estate related, see above)

Seriously, I really don’t see anything I like right now. Everything has a cross-wind. Plus the elections are in 6 months…something has to give, I say these markets are coming down…Sell in May and Go Away, if I ever saw one.

But to end on a positive note…Bucks in 6. Go Giannis Go…

Keir’s Top 5 Stock Picks – April 2022 (Ep. 3 – “The Currency Wars”)

Anyone else enjoying this oil ride? I’ll tell you it’s only just begun. The spike we saw in oil prices last month was just the tip of the iceberg…just the tip. See while Mainstream Media blames this increase in prices on the conflict with Ukraine and Russia, this has all been in play since we started paying Americans trillions of dollars in stimulus money to stay at home and not work. Remember readers, there is no such thing as a free lunch, and with the Fed claiming they’re awfully surprised by this, I’m suspicious about how they couldn’t see this coming…(“How people tell you lies”…Kevin Martin, Candlebox – Understanding). And just for good measure Congress released another $1.5 Trillion in spending plus $13.6 Billion in military and humanitarian aid for the Ukraine on March 11th of last month…Yikes.

So when your weak leader of the “Free” World is trying to cut oil deals with Venezuela and then nuclear deals with Iran, he looks pretty desperate to me and knows that something bad is heading our way regarding oil and gas prices. It’s a return to the 70’s. I was barely alive but I do recall my dad having to wait in line for his day that he was allowed to fill up on gasoline (I think it went by the first or last digit on your license plate or something like that back then). While I was mostly right about my picks last month, about the Fed rate increase, I do recall including a disclaimer that if oil went to $125 they’d have to raise rates. Well what did oil do? It hit $130.50 just for good measure. (“I’ll admit it, what’s to say?” – EV – Once). Sometimes it’s just better to be lucky then good, I guess, as my intent was really to purposely throw an obscene price target out there to prove a point. Or maybe I saw this coming somehow when I dropped all my equities back in September and switched my gameplan to alternative investments. Like Jordan in his prime when he came back from his gambling hiatus. Changed his game and won 3 more championships. So based on last month’s abrupt spike in oil and all the current geopolitical turmoil around the world, I’m upping my high-end of my oil price target from $225 to $250. The only thing that can stop it in my mind from crossing or testing $200 is another COVID mutation/outbreak like the one we’re seeing in China.

So back to the Star Wars title of my post – “The Currency Wars”. Russia is trying to force their “unfriendly” oil trading partners to accept payment for oil in Rubles. This is all just to start a currency war. While the European Union has rejected it thus far, all it would take is for Crazy Putin to say, “Alright, I’ll just turn off the pipeline,” and Europe and a host of other countries would have no choice but to succumb and start paying in Rubles, starting one of the worst currency wars of our time. The dollar would continue to devalue and as currencies fluctuated around the world against each other, ultimately they’d have to peg their value to something stable. My guess is it’s gold and so just, for one time only, I’ll provide an Appendix of all the mines I’m currently invested in for defensive/hedge purposes only. Their value should remain relatively consistent until the markets pull back. And with the Fed now aggressively fighting inflation, they will pull back.

See I was going to title this month’s post “Infrastructure” or “Inflation v/s Stagflation,” but it bored me so I went with the Star Wars theme instead. Next month I’m 85% sure it will be Sell in May and Go Away, but I’ve still got a month to think about it and decide. I have no idea what it will be titled in June but it’ll come too me . I’m sure it will have something to do with Better Call Saul returning for the final season for one of the best love stories contained in a time jump trilogy, restarting on Tax Day – April 18th. Lalo’s back and I’m stoked to see his revenge plot.

Back to the post, to fight a currency war you must have a good infrastructure in place. It’s like a foundation for your investment portfolio, especially during uncertain times like these. So instead of a Top 5 Stocks, I’m just going to go with the Top Stock plays in my Top 5 Infrastructure Sectors. See it’s just way easier to manipulate a market…oops, I meant “manage a market” by dividing it into more easily controllable sectors. So before I really get myself into trouble, without further adieu, here are my top 5 Top Sector (Stock) Plays for April 2022:

  1. Utilities – Yawn, I know, but if oil were to become scarce – I’m going with UTSL or UPW. Personally, I prefer UTSL but there’s also NLR if you don’t like playing leverage funds. Now’s the time to get in on them or their components.
  2. Industrials – Yawn No 2. See why I went with the Star Wars title? Cause I knew you’re going to get petty bored reading these picks this month… MNM, the real Slim Shady, is my favorite here, but there’s also UXI, AA, which somehow I think I missed (it’s just hard to get excited abut Aluminum), COPX, BCIM and BCI (I personally prefer BCIM), but any commodity’s a good commodity if nothing to stave off inflation/stagflation. I also reiterate URNM and URA here, DUSL, and NAIL is an interesting option with the home buying season in play. But it becomes quite risky should housing demand drop due to already high housing costs and increasing mortgage interest rates. CBT looks to be winner, PALL and SPPP are still solid options with more long-term upside (currently, car sales are down due to shortages in these metals and semiconductor chips), and then there’s LIT. As far as individual stocks, I really like BHP here.
  3. During a currency war, you better have a good payment platform setup. I’d advise IPAY or FINX, IPAY’s more stable, FINX more unproven but still better than BTC for processing routine transactions in real-time.
  4. Cybersecurity – If we know one thing about Russia, they hack like Boris from Goldeneye. Better protect your network – CIBR, FIVG, WCLD, BUG, CLOU or IHAK/HAK. If you really want to roll the dice, TGCB, but there are much better options right now.
  5. While fighting a currency war, there will be casualties. Accept the sad truth that inflation is real and here to stay and do something un-American and attack the dollar. How? By attacking long-term bonds. If the Fed is serious about hiking rates up to 7 times this year, the yields on a LT bond (7 – 20 years) are going to skyrocket and as I believe I’ve mentioned before, the value of the treasury bonds moves inverse to the future direction of yields. Why commit to a 10 year bond paying just 250 basis point right now when in 2 years, that same bond could be yielding 500 – 800 bps? TMV has and is still my favorite, but there’s also TTT, TBT and TYO.

This month’s somewhat honorable mentions go to Financials (if I’m making money off oil, they have to be right?) and still Tech for another month or so. BNKU, UYG and FAS are the plays for Financials and FNGU, WEBL and SOXL look like decent day trader plays in Tech. Just watch out with these because the threat of a double dip “Great Correction” continues to remain high as long as there is potential conflict between China and Taiwan. With the threat of WWIII potentially breaking out, now’s a good time to throw a little money at DFEN (if you haven’t already) as well.

If you’d prefer to just stay on the oil ride, QAT and UAE join KSA from last month, as they appear to be setup to be larger players in the market in the longer-term future should an oil scarcity panic break out. ERX has emerged as a safer oil play than OILU but UCO still had the most potential and volatility. Followed closely by GUSH, DIG, ERX, USO and if you have more money than me, there’s NRGU, for you high-rollers out there, if there are any high-rollers reading this blog. LNG remains a good investment so add BOIL to the list as well.

Now for The Appendix (notice how some of these appear to be trading like a regulated Cypto). This is not supposed to be an all-inclusive list and most are considered penny stocks, so pick accordingly, but if you’re looking for a hedge in your portfolio with some unlimited upside, these could be some potential plays to look into…

ABBRF, AEM, ARLP, USAS, NGLOY, APA, ASM, BCEKF, BKRRF, CCJ, BVN, CLR, CTNXF, DCNNF, DNCVF, DNN, DVN – not a miner but a damn good energy play, DOLLF, DNGDF, UUUU, ESVIF, EOG, EQNR – another underrated energy play, AG, FQVLF, FCUUF, FTCO, GUYGF, GENMF, GGB, GLNCY, GLATF, GLGDF, GFI, GORO, GVXXF, GRCLF, HMY, HL, HBM, ISVLF, IMPUY, ISENF, IVPAF, KGC, KOOYF, LMRXF, LGDTF, LTMCF, MAG, MRO – another underrated energy play, MGAFF, MMNGF, NHPEF, NKORF, NEM, OCANF, PAAS, RRC, RVLGF, RSNVF, RYES, RGLD, SSRM, SAND, SA, SLVRF, SILV, SHYBF, STSBF, SSVFF, SRUUF, TCKRF, TMC?, UEXCF, WPM, WHITF, WYGPY, and AUY.

Again, thoughts and prayers to the civilians in Ukraine. It’s a shame we have such spineless leaders today, because no one should have to endure this type of suffering after coming out of the worst pandemic in 100 years…

See whoever’s reading this in May. ✌️

Keir’s Top 5 Stock Picks – March 2022 (The Art of War)

Alright, another month, another blog entry. Let’s first try to recap this past month real quick and summarize what happened so that we can plan for March. COVID (aka the Communist Order Vision Injecting Democracy) finally appears to be subsiding. And boy was Biden wrong yet again. Back in December he proclaimed “For the unvaccinated, we are looking at a winter of severe illness and death.” Oops. To my recollection, I haven’t heard one severe illness or death besides Colin Powell (RIP). So either Biden is completely delusional or he has the worst scientists and medical team in the world. Now, I’ve got my own team of scientists and medical professionals with 10 proven facts that I rely upon, personally…but let’s go Brandon…

  1. Cell membranes are just a bunch of fatty molecules with protein structures which penetrate through them.
  2. Each protein structure is designed to let a specific type of molecule through and into the cell.
  3. Every cell is different and they all serve different purposes which require different entrances with different “locks.”
  4. When a specific chrmically designed molecule makes contact with the proteins from a person’s cell membrane, the door to the cell membrane unlocks, is opened and the contents are pulled inside. Otherwise, the cell membrane goes on “lockdown” mode to keep any unwanted virus or disease out.
  5. COVID is a considered a virus and viruses can mutate into different random structures which allows them to create new “keys” and open “locks” within a cell membrane.
  6. However, viruses are known to be spread through sexual contact (AIDS, HPV, etc). COVID was only considered an airborne pathogen. Why and how it was never really adequately addressed how sexual transmission couldn’t cause the spread of this virus is a mystery.
  7. There is not a virus on earth that we know of that we haven’t discovered the source animal that it came from within a year, except COVID.
  8. So either COVID mutated from the original SARS virus back in 2003 and just hung out for 16 years before deciding to shut down the entire world, or it was designed in a lab to specifically attack certain cell membrane “locks,” thereby tricking the targeted cell and pulling the virus inside to spread…Now, I have a hard time believing that the original SARS COVID virus would mutate and then just wait almost 2 decades to pop back up again and attempt to destroy society…which means it was probably or likely designed to infect humanity by scientists in the Wuhan China lab under the guise of Dr. Fauci’s various US Government funded programs.
  9. If you can’t find the source of the virus (and we never will), the virus is bullshit and actually manufactured by none other than…surprise…Mainstream Media.
  10. Not surprisingly, the Mainstream Media focused on outbreaks in Democratic regions such as the US, UK, India, South Africa, Australia, etc. I mean, did we ever here about the outbreak that hit the Phillipenes? or N. Korea? or Cuba?…no because they are under Communistic regimes and shutdowns are a common way of life for them…Consider it the first wave of the spread of Communism in Democracy. Communism 1, Democracy 0.

The past brings us to the present. After an abrupt ending to the COVID pandemic on Valentines Day, Russia decided to go on the attack and utilize it’s military muscle against poor Ukraine (not a real surprise to those in the know and probably the reason Hunter Biden’s Ukraine laptop was heavily targeted by Mr. Trump’s legal team prior to the elections). They knew and embraced Communism in America as much as our current president does now. The disparity in wealth between the rich/elite and the poor has never been wider and do you really think it’s any coincidence that Grimes was spotted reading the Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx after her split with Mr. Musk? No, the elite obviously know it’s coming, and of course are all for it because it makes them as invincible as the Large Financial Institutions and Big Tech have become. So now, after getting beat by a virus and losing a minor military conflict in Afghanistan, Democracy faces the military attacks from much larger Communist countries (Phase II of the spread of Communism into all Democracies, including the US). While Mainstream Media continues to just focus on the conflict in Eastern Europe, wait until China agrees to join in on the conflict, for which Putin and Xi have already issued a joint statement on February 4th which effectively represented a confident shift in which Russia and China will now take the lead and lay out a set of principles and a new, shared worldview, which will not include Democracy in a post-pandemic era. See, as the conflict in Europe takes center stage, China will use this distraction to just invade Taiwan (another smaller democratic institution which holds Asia’s second largest public market, the Hang Seng Index). North Korea, which has been launching missiles towards Japan for at least the last decade will join in on the act and Democracy’s hands will be tied. We can’t resolve multiple conflicts in different parts of the world at the same time, and ultimately, Communism will probably emerge victorious. Now, this will take awhile for these Communistic Regimes to complete their joint mission and probably ultimately lead to another World War, where at some point the winner will be probably be determined by India. The US and Europe doesn’t have the population base to take on all 3 Communistic nations together. India does, plus it has direct access into China should it allow Democratic forces into its country.

So how does all this impact the markets? Well, oil will continue to get more expensive as it becomes more scarce and demand soars. I reiterate my previous target of $175 – $225 when it’s all said and done, but it will be a slow climb up for the next 6-9 months, as seen in February. The Fed will try to fight inflation through a series of interest rate hikes, which most analysts believe will occur next month. However, the Fed has been really good so far at telegraphing the markets of such move and unless oil heads to $125 before their meeting on March 15-16, I hold onto my previous conviction that an announcement of an interest rate increase is more likely than an actual “surprise” increase. But just the fears of the potential rake hike in March, should it occur or not, will drive the markets down in early March, thus creating an excellent buying opportunity at some point either right before the meeting or right after. As such, I’d be paying particular attention to the markets in early March (as well as the geopolitical landscape should China move on Taiwan) and start dollar cost averaging my buys downward when you believe the timing is right. The economy, outside of increasing oil prices and other inflationary costs remains in relatively strong shape, as a quarter point increase won’t cause more than just a temper tantrum of what we already knew, that the era of cheap money is coming to an end.

So while I may have been a little premature with my Big Tech recommendation last month, that sector has been beaten down so badly the last month or so that plenty of buying opportunities exist unless some non-financial situation such as the serious potential of a WWIII erupting enters into the equation for which supply chains would freeze and GDP would crash, plunging us all into a recession. I just don’t see it yet. I believe China really only wants the markets in Taiwan but Putin’s intentions remain unknown at the time.

We are currently in a bubble, but my guess is it’s only about 40-50% full on real estate and approximately 20-40% on the financial markets. But with oil getting ready to inflate, the DOW, S&P and Russell look vulnerable to me again. So why tech? Most tech companies have little dependence on oil now and should be considered the safer play amongst all sectors. There’s a reason the Rivian IPO was so well received initially with both Amazon and Ford being huge investors.

So after taking all the above into consideration, I present without further delay, March 2022’s Top 5 Stock Picks…

  1. PYPL (did I miss the announcement where Millennials decided to stop using Venmo and Paypal to send money instantly to friends?). Stock’s been beaten down 31% in the last month. I’m a buyer at or under $100.
  2. MASI (most have focused on why a medical device company would purchase a speaker company?) I’ll tell you why, the speakers are just a front. The real value of this speaker company lies in the distribution and supply chains they’ve established to survive and thrive during the pandemic. See, Masimo is not run by a bunch of morons. They purchased this company for the back-end operations and were willing to spend a billion for it. They know inflation and supply chains are going to be an even bigger problem soon and they are just trying to get out in front of it. Whether it’s a billion dollar problem or not, I’ll leave it to the pundits and ultimately history to decide, but the speakers are just the cherry on the top here. Stock is down 30% in the past month. I’m a buyer under $150.
  3. DAL or UAL and CCL – Yeah, oil’s going to be a problem, particularly if it goes scarce and the US and other governments are forced to decide whether to use it for geopolitical conflict purposes or allow the consumer’s access to it. Something tells me though that gasoline prices of almost $10/gal are a real possibility here. But the increase in oil prices in the airline industry will only get passed onto consumers and now business travelers with the reopening of the economy in a post-pandemic world. I’m a buyer under $40 and $45, respectively.
  4. KSA – Something tells me this may be the only way to invest in Aramco and just like India, I expect the Saudi’s to play a big part later in this potential geopolitical conflict.
  5. BABA – The most risky of my selections this month due to geopolitical concerns and potential for a delisting. But if WWIII does erupt, all selections this month are risky…Alibaba’s down 56% in the last year. For a Company that generates over $30 billion in quarterly revenues, count me in…I’m a buyer here at under $100. I know the risks, but without risk there’s no reward.

Honorable mention – NLR, but let oil and natural gas lead first. UCO’s my current favorite oil play, but I still think OILU may be a good hedge/value/long-term play, particularly if you trade in the pre-market session (which if you do check out Webull for it’s generous extended hours trading window).

Stay away – anything Crypto right now, not even worth the risk anymore.

Buy some gold mines instead to hedge against any potential recession and drops in the markets like we experienced earlier this month. Most are penny stocks and with inflation and all the other mess out there, while I hate it as a commodity (due to it having no alternative use besides ornamental reasons), it does provide a good hedge should the markets take a dive and even if not, I don’t see it dropping below $1,500/oz anytime soon. Good insurance/defense considering all that’s going on in the world right now.

Upon closing this month, my thoughts and prayers go to the Ukraine civilians impacted by this bullshit conflict created by a delusional old aristocratic leader (sound familiar?), as well as the rest of the Democratic world which will soon be impacted by these geopolitical conflicts as well.

Stay safe and I’ll hopefully see you guys again next month. As always, good luck investing. ✌

Keir’s Top 5 Stock Picks – February 2022 (Endemic version)

Alright everyone, after a very busy but successful month, I’ve decided to release the Top 5 early this month with a little downtime to spare. So what do I see…I see lots of M&A activity starting (i.e. Microsoft and Blizzard recently). This combined with lots of increased HC requests suggests that Covid may finally be over. If you saved cash, as recommended last month, you should have opportunities between now and the middle of March to get in. Inflation is running hot in the US, but if it’s bad here, it’ll be worse in undeveloped countries. We won’t be getting replaced as the world’s reserve currency anytime soon. What we’re seeing is general inflation, like when your grandma says she remembers when everything costed a nickel. That’s different than inflation caused by currency deflation against other currencies.

While there’s talks of multiple rate hikes this year detailing the markets, I just don’t see it happening. Powell needs to wait for the asset purchase program to end before mixing the 2. Plus he’s been pretty good at telegraphing the markets this far.

In last months post, I wrote that I currently see 2 rate hikes this year and that still holds. What the markets are foolishly not considering is that the fed may hike rates by over 25 basis points at anytime should inflation get too heated (and I believe it will). So my current fed forecast is end the asset purchases by March, announce a 50 basis point hike to hit in June for summer season and then hike again in December to whatever is necessary to slow inflation down if it gets out of control. I just don’t believe he’s dumb enough to hike in March or September this year, making it a clear sell in May and go away type year before such rate hike kicks in.

So what do I like in the interim? Let’s check out this month’s Top 5:

  1. Oil and energy – OILU, BOIL, UCO, DIG, ERX and of course, GUSH. Whether it’s fears of scarcity, geopolitical conflict or all the power and energy that will be needed to restart all economies, post-pandemic, I personally think prices could eventually hit $175/barrel with $115-$125 a more realistic target. Great inflation play as well right now.
  2. BNKU – You know who really makes money off M&A activity? Banks. Combine that with a period of rising interest rates, creations subscription revenue that should increase substantially. Safe play with dividends.
  3. Big Tech – been taking lumps lately but all are well capitalized and innovating every day – they will hold the economy together until the rest of America and the World catches up – TECL, FNGU, TQQQ, SOXL, WEBL
  4. Defense – with all the geopolitical uncertainty now (Russia/Ukraine), this is at a minimum a good hedge if negative geopolitical events turns out to be the external shock to derail the economy – DFEN or RTX here.
  5. PALL – thinking this will be the first precious metal to shine.

As always, stay safe and let’s first get through what’s hopefully the last act of COVID together. πŸ™ Unfortunately, I’ve been wrong before, I’m only human.✌️


Keir’s Top 5 – January 2022 (New Year’s Edition)

Happy 2022 everyone. It sure feels like 2021. Just a page turning over for me. But hopefully everyone is making it through COVID season again alive.

The markets are still facing the same headwinds as last month (COVID pandemic and end of the era of free money). As such, I doubt the S&P returns 27% again anytime soon. That being said a 12-18% return seems achievable if we can just get past this period of history. Housing is getting expensive, but rates are still very low but rising.

I expect corporate profits to continue increasing as Companies continue to reduce facilities costs and allow employees in outsourcable departments the chance to continue working from home / remotely (this hybrid business models not going away anytime soon, trust me).

So there’s not much I like about equity investing right now (I’d stay away from the 3x funds for the most part now). When interests rates beginning rising in June and I’d expect one in December as well, this should put a hard cap on market returns. As society goes back to a new normal, tech companies should do well and I see AI becoming the next EV. I’m sticking with the Buffett approach, at least while the pandemic is still around. Ez top 5:

  1. Cash – at least $100k
  2. TMV – I’m such a hypocrite
  3. URNM – Source of energy and great Geopolitical play with unrest on the Ukraine border, in North Korea, and Taiwan border
  4. Real Estate – We’re in the early stages of a bubble, but as long as rates remain low…
  5. AI – UBOT for the aggressive. 3x are only good when you guess the longer trend right. Otherwise decay can set in and the markets look somewhat exhausted from the pandemic (but ready to party once it’s done).

Good luck everyone, stay safe and again Happy New Years πŸ₯³.

Keir’s Top 5 Stock Picks – December 2021 (The Buffett Approach)

Man, what a crazy November. After seeing oil and gas and most of my picks from the prior months go parabolic, only to come falling back down tells me the market is way overweight right now, just full of speculators everywhere. Whether it’s BTC, Shiba Inu, the Rivian IPO…there’s a whole lot of people chasing money into lots of crosshairs. Whether it’s the new variant of the now very old COVID pandemic, inflation, deflation, there’s a new story for a $500 DOW move almost daily now.

Which leads me to the Buffett approach. See people mock Warren for carrying lots of non -yield generating cash. But I think I see what his strategy is…when the market appears overvalued and subject to a potential financial or non-financial shock, and a large drop in values is expected in the foreseeable future, he carries all this cash to then throw lifelines out to overly indebted companies…think of the 2008 financial crisis where he threw $5 billion at GS (with lots of warrants priced around $120 or $130 / share if I remember correctly), and made a killing. See, it’s just as easy to make money calling a bottom as it is shorting an overinflated market with lots of debt floating around. So Buffett carries a lot of cash for just these types of scenarios. Whether it happens next month, next year or 5 years from now, crashes are inevitable, so carry lots of cash at all times and then swoop in and buy companies cheap.

Now I’m not as gloomy about the markets as I was in October. However, all potential risks are still somewhat around (the ships seem to be slowly still making their way though docks, store shortages do appear to be abating, you still have the China unknown and this stupid pandemic). The only thing different is stagflation does seem to be transitory to me. With all that’s happened in the world the last 2 years, another nation had all the opportunity to step up and really challenge the USD (think China). But because they were just as greedy as we are here, they blew it and the dollar continues to remain supreme. China may stagflate now but it shouldn’t cause stagflation in the rest of the world, I don’t think.

All I know is it’s way harder to make money in the markets these days then it was 9 months ago. You don’t know which story is going to reign supreme, which may be a delight for day traders, but as risky as my investment picks are sometime (think all the 3x leveraged funds I’ve suggested), I’m going to take the cautious approach here and sleep well at night. The market overall looks inflated to me…just look at the S&P the last 30 years…

Does this look sustainable? I don’t think so. It may increase when Biden announces his final infrastructure plan one last time but with the fed tightening monetary policy and still a somewhat risk of default still outstanding (I think it’s just a political theatre right now), I see the dollar coming out strong again. This could all change if the Omicron (geez these variants are starting to sound like Google software updates, right…Delta, Omicron, Tron, Meta?) I wonder what they’ll call the next one.

Anyways, I’d avoid the appeal of a Santa Claus rally as the year-end meltup seems to be fizzling. I just don’t see the Dow plowing through $40k with such uncertainty in the market.

Again, I could be totally wrong and this could be an excellent buying time again but I just don’t like the back and forth right now. So the Top 5 is easy, again…

  1. Cash – Take profits or if you have some unrealized losses which could offset profits this year, take the larger losses and drive your tax bill back down. Either way, I’m aiming at $100K or above right now.
  2. Real Estate – back on the list. As the tightening continues, rates will only increase, so it’s good to lock into a lower mortgage rate one last time. Plus with Airbnb’s being the new SPAC’s, you could make 3-5x on your interest if you choose the right property or location.
  3. If you’re going an etf route, I’d look at the Global X guys, though I think they’re still risky right now (AIQ, BOTZ, BUG, HERO)
  4. If you’re looking for safety against a unforeseen market crash (GDXJ)
  5. EOG (Another of my previous month’s alternative plays)

Good luck and sleep easy this Christmas. I’ll see anyone reading this next year.

Keir’s Top 5 Stock Picks – November 2021 (The Alternatives)

Well everyone,

October came and went and all 5 risks were somehow managed and on top of that it appears, and I don’t want to call this too early that COVID may be on it’s last leg. If that’s the case, the Fed has done it’s job of guiding us through the Coronavirus and it’s effects and has provided a somewhat soft landing. I personally, believe most equity stock prices appear overvalued, but I guess that’s what happens when you pump trillions of dollars into the stock market. There will be a great correction at some point but I wouldn’t expect it to happen this year as I think the Dems get there act together and pass the infrastructure bill and the debt ceiling gets lifted. As far as China is concerned, it appear they do wait until the last minute but eventually pay their bills or they are still not perceived to have property debts take down the entire global economy just yet. A Year-end melt-up seems possible but I still think this market trades sideways until we head until the new year. Plus, I personally have grown bored with traditional equities. So considering that there is still a substantial amount of risk in the system (add Crypto to the mix as it seems to be popping up everywhere) and there will be a gradual slowdown in economic activity, I’m going to go out on a limb and start investing in alternative investments (those not typically associated with the major indexes). Energy has been on a tear recently and so I’ll start with those for this month’s top-5…

  1. LNG – Cheniere is my favorite but there are plenty of plays in this space
  2. Gush – If you bought in when I first started talking about this guy you’d be up 100% in a few months. Continue to ride the trend and hope for a cold winter.
  3. UNRM or URA – Like Uranium and it’s mines here as it not only provides nuclear energy here but has another use based on some odd Geopolitical happenings lately
  4. FANG – Not the tech companies, but Diamondback energy
  5. UBOT – Been on the list before, but as I look at new technologies which will impact the future, AI has to be front and center.

Other honorable mentions include Silver – up almost 50% this year, Real Estate – one last time to buy a rental in a growing warm city at low rates, cruises and the re-opening trade if COVID is now contained and gold for defensive purposes, just in case there’s a black swan still somewhere.

Good luck and enjoy the holidays.

Keir’s Top 5 Stock Risks – October 2021 (The Great Correction)

So I tried to take a break this month but with so much bad news out there…I guess I just felt morally obligated to leave at least one last blog entry to anyone who actually reads my blog. I’m really not sure what surprises tomorrow may bring, but we will need a modern day miracle to survive October 2021. Just a feeling though, as too many potential catastrophic events could tank the markets, spike treasury yields and create a potential panic and ultimately and unfortunately violence. I really hope this doesn’t happen but all the signals are there to just dump the markets right now. If I’m wrong, which I hope you can always just re-enter at a higher price. To me it’s not worth the risks right now, but that’s only my opinion.

So how about this? I compromise and instead of giving you a Top 5 stock picks, cause I really have none, I instead give you a Top 5 Risks in the markets right now and let you make your own educated decisions this month…

  1. Supply chain risks – aka the modern day SPanish Armada Conspiracy theory. If history repeats itself, all those container ships sitting on the ocean get washed away. Throw in the fact we’ve got a “Perfect Storm” scenario starting to form in the Atlantic Ocean right now with those 3 tropical storms. If they collide…it’s not good for whatever shore(s) they hit (see #3 below).
  2. Speaking of supply chain risks…What was the name of that container ship that was stuck in the channel earlier this summer again…Evergreen, Evergiven? Sounds a whole lot like Evergrande. Which happens to be a Chinese conglomerate currently in a 30-day grace period after technically defaulting on approximately $300B USD of debt. Spoiler alert – it’s the tip of the Iceberg out there. China’s again being silent about an event which could trigger a global contagion. Evergrande will not pay these debts, management has already bailed with any money left and while the “experts” want to tell you China’s got it contained and it is a non-event, where have we heard this storyline before? Sounds a lot like COVID to me which is just another way of saying the injection of communism into all society worldwide. I mean, does anyone really know what’s really in those vaccines? You would think Moderna, Pfizer, J&J and co. would be celebrating for saving all of humanity from this deadly scamdemic. Instead, they weren’t even at the table when the award was presented and have been mum on it since. Something smells rotten to me…and if this spreads as it appears to be spreading in the UK right now, we’re heading for a crash coincidentally expected to occur on the Monday following the Friday when the richest people in America pay taxes (October 15). And we all know what a great year all those banks and rich companies which were able to survive the panic had last year, so if I were personally facing a larger than usual tax bill and needed to pull money from somewhere, I’d start selling my positions in the markets to generate liquidity. Such a selloff the Friday before our projected US expected debt default date (see item #4) and the global contagion already spreading through parts of Europe crashes equities in America. The Great Correction begins (see item #5).
  3. Food and oil shortages everywhere – caused not surprisingly by item #1. This in addition to an “surprising” shortage of staff when our unemployment rate still appears somewhat elevated, but unable to find anyone to unload these ships. So if the ships are stuck at harbors and event #1 takes place, it’s only a matter of time before we run out of everything . A Great Panic ensues and it’s every individual for themselves…yikes. Costco is already rationing toilet paper to 1 package a day, water to 2 packages a day. So if I were investing in anything right now, non-perishable essentials jump to #1. I’m not saying build a bomb shelter yet, but if you got one, I’d make sure that it’s full, just in case. I mean, do you really want to be one of the many standing in line in front of Costco for 2 hours just hoping you get 1 item that your entire family needs to survive? Play it safe and stock up for a month or 2. It may not matter in the end but at least it will give you some peace of mind before we all get washed away.
  4. Stagflation – man, what a self-inflicted mess we’ve created…There is no such thing as a free lunch…there is no such thing as a free lunch…there is no such thing as a free lunch. The Fed thought they could contain inflation…what, are we already borrowing China’s playbook here? With winter around the corner, oil and natural gas look like obvious plays to me, but I do believe I gave you one last month so do your own research but proceed with caution due to #5.
  5. Sovereign debt loads – you know, what great theatre we have playing out in DC right now. Infighting in the Dems own party between moderates and progressives; and since somehow by chance, the election provided an exact 50/50 tie in the Senate…gridlock between Reps and Dems over who should own this debt increase. You know what really sucks about this? It’s all just a distraction, it all doesn’t matter. Even if they pass the smaller bill or the larger bill (unlikely for either because they’ve delayed the voting date until after the effects of the Evergrande cross-defaults and permanent supply chain disruptions are known), eyes will turn to sovereign debt exposure next. And if the UK is any indicator, sovereign debt load exposure ultimately sinks those ships (see below}. See the UK is number 2 in sovereign debt load and gas prices are rocking their economy right now…To further illustrate just how bad this could turnout, say for example, Evergrande defaults on all offshore debts. When the US is done evaluating the impacts of such acts, they decide to default back, forcing the entire Chinese government to then default on the US…currency wars ensue, bond yields rise, the dollar loses any value, anything remaining of the stock market crashes and you’re looking at a very potential Financial Armageddon moment. What’s worse is China has all our goods just sitting on their docks tethered to their land. You think this is a coincidence?…nope. This is just collateral should the US try to default back. You want it, come get it, we’ll sink it (or reallocate it to our own citizens to help cope with all the money losses off property and other ventures). Making the debt ceiling discussions really a mute point. Congress and the Feds hands are tied because they know they can’t bail out the entire world. That’s why you see the Fed officials dumping shares and heading for the exits, just like management at Evergrande. Communism (er, “common prosperity”) appears to be around the corner but it’s really just death to Democracy and at that point we’re all probably just dead anyways (hence this potentially last blog post).

Look, I really didn’t want to write this doomsday scenario but am I the only one that sees all these risks in the system right now or am I just crazy? I’ll let you decide. But for me, I’m completely out of equities right now as the upside is too limited and the risk of losing everything too great.

I mean, just writing this post makes me sick because even if by luck I somehow called the top to one of the greatest market crashes ever, what difference does it make if there’s nothing but pain and suffering after? I become the most hated man in the world…At the end of the day we’re all just human beings on the planet Earth just struggling to survive. Why does this look from my vantage point that it’s heading to war (RTX)?

Again, I’m not trying to be Dr Doom here, but it sure feels like 2008 again to me and it just makes me sick. That’s it I’m done…good luck to all and pray for a miracle. I have feeling it’s going to be a very volatile month to the downside. Adjust accordingly.✌️