As we dig into our mailbag this week, the theme that seems to bind everything together is change.
Mastering the notion can mean big things.
We’ve explored it a lot. Some folks are addicted to change. Others are paralyzed by it.
But as one of our great mentors told us long ago, the only worthy strategy is to simply deal with it.
When it comes to investing, we’re afraid most folks have failed. With all the change we’ve seen on Wall Street over the last 25 years, they’ve failed to keep up.
When we first started in this game…
… stocks were still measured in points.
… newspapers had pages of tiny print that reported yesterday’s trading action.
… and folks were rewarded handsomely for understanding a company’s intricate financial details.
Today, things have changed. None of those ideas is true anymore.
Different Game… Different Rules
In fact, CNBC just reported that machines now make more than 80% of the buying and selling decisions on Wall Street.
And the trend is gaining momentum. Passive stock funds (those that aren’t run by a manager) have seen $39 billion worth of inflows this year, while actively managed funds have seen a massive $90 billion worth of outflows.
That’s nuts, especially for the Ben Graham crowd who devoted so much of their Know-How to deciphering the big three financial statements and actively going after price mismatches.
Most trades these days, though, aren’t made after studying balance sheets, income statements or cash flow records.
Nope… they’re made after certain variables trigger an algorithm.
Clearly, like it or not, things have changed.
It takes us to a mailbag question we covered during last Friday’s call with Codebreaker Profits subscribers.
It’s something we hear a lot…
There is so much to choose from. You have Manward Trader and Codebreaker Profits, plus there are so many other services out there. Which is best? – Subscriber C.R.
If somebody would have told us 20 years ago that we’d be running two services based largely on technical indicators, we would have laughed.
Starting in the mutual fund business, we were a devout fundamental investor. We buried ourselves in books from the greats. And most of them said the successful strategies that work today were little more than black magic.
Again… things have changed.
That’s why we see the value of having access to as many services as you can afford – even if it means you can’t make all the trades.
After all, it’s not just the steady access to hot ticker symbols that makes a trading service so valuable.
Far from it.
No, it’s the access to different ideas… different strategies… and different insights.
Even if the ideas contradict one another or if one likes a stock while the other hates it, there’s immense value.
If we had the time to read the information from a hundred services, we would.
It’s the only way to spot change… before it’s too late.
Speaking of which…
Guns and Drugs
The nation’s view of cannabis has taken a 180-degree turn. It’s one of the fastest-moving trends we’ve ever seen.
But we’re glad it’s happening. And we’re glad we’re a part of it.
While we’ll let other folks get high from the stuff, we’ll gladly report on the medical miracle that’s growing in America.
It’s one of the richest and most important topics of the decade.
So much could go right… and so much could go wrong.
Here’s an interesting note about the latter:
As a former law enforcement officer, I am sadly aware of the misuse of illegal drugs such as cannabis and its variants. Two keywords are used here: “misuse” and “variants.” I do see the value of the medicinal uses and the thoughts you have provided about the benefits. A sure problem is the declassification of cannabis as an illegal drug and redesignation as a useful medical tool.
As a firm believer in the 2nd Amendment, the continued identity as an illegal drug has large ramifications on the licensing of a personal firearm. In my state, you are not allowed to own a firearm if you use the products of an illegal drug, even if it is prescribed by a licensed physician.
The wide use of the beneficial aspects of this drug would require not only the redesignation of the drug but all states (who have the control of legislation of gun permits) would have to ratify the licensing of firearms even if the use is medicinal. This is nearly an impossible desire. They cannot even agree on how the 2nd Amendment should be applied. If I am to own a firearm, I will forego the use of any cannabis product even to relieve my pain.
This is a knotty problem, and it will not be changed easily. Your thoughts are worthy, but I am afraid your destiny is to fail in the faces of the states of New York, California and the city of Chicago. – Reader L.B.
We’ve been asked about this issue a lot in recent months.
The reader is referring to a sticky section on ATF Form 4473 – the form a buyer must fill out during most firearms purchases in the United States.
It’s question 11(e) that’s under the microscope.
It asks, “Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance?”
A note was recently added to the question. It doubles down on the marijuana issue.
Warning: The use or possession of marijuana remains unlawful under Federal law regardless of whether it has been legalized or decriminalized for medicinal or recreational purposes in the state where you reside.
Obviously, there’s a lot of debate over this issue, and there will be until the fine folks in charge of the federal government do their job and get the situation figured out… which will be a while.
There is good news, though.
Hemp-derived CBD (the stuff that won’t get you high) is now legal on the federal level.
In other words, if you’re looking for pain relief and are worried about your guns (as you should be), make sure you’re using a CBD product that has no THC in it or is below the 0.3% threshold.
If you do, you are not an “unlawful user” under current federal law.
Like we said, that’s good news, but clearly this question needs to be examined.
We just wonder why the question asks nothing about other mind-altering drugs… like opiates, antidepressants and all the other goodies that Big Pharma is eager to unload.
Clearly natural medicine doesn’t get much respect in Washington – the land where man believes he can outsmart Ma Nature.
But our readers get it…
Natural antibiotics are fine, but you’re overlooking a proven one that has fallen out of the news – colloidal silver. Take a petri dish and put in any microbe you want to test. Add colloidal silver and the microbe dies. Little did they realize it, but ancients who used real silver dishes and utensils were actually protecting themselves. The time for silver has come again. – Reader C.N.
Good stuff. While colloidal silver doesn’t get much love from the mainstream crowd, a study out of UCLA’s medical school found that the metal can kill more than 650 types of bacteria, mold, fungus and parasites.
A doc out of SUNY Upstate Medical University discovered that silver effectively kills microorganisms in wounds and helps regrow tissue and bone.
And yes, it’s true that many wealthy families survived Europe’s plagues, at least in part, by eating from silver plates and using silver utensils.
Indeed, it proves there are plenty of natural cures out there… we just need to open our eyes to them.
Keep the questions and comments coming. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.