Robert Kiyosaki Blog

Financial Education Portal inspired by Robert Kiyosaki


Simon Black – The one investment you want to avoid at all costs

February 20, 2014 Sovereign Valley Farm, Chile 4.1%. I read it twice to make sure my brain had processed the number correctly. Yep, 4.1%. This was the annual yield promised on a new 5-year bond investment that a private banker colleague had sent to me. I couldn’t believe it. The bond issuance was by a state-owned company in India. And despite the Indian government having a -very- recent history of capital controls, price fixing, and asset confiscation, and despite the company being rated near JUNK status, the bond only carried a yield of 4.1%. This is really amazing when you think about it. Central bankers have destroyed money and interest rates to the point that near-bankrupt companies in shaky jurisdictions can borrow money for practically nothing. It’s an utter farce. The rate of inflation is -at least- 3% in many developed countries. Central bankers will even say they are targeting 3% inflation. This means that if investors simply want to generate enough income so that their after-tax yield keeps pace with inflation, they have to assume a ridiculous amount of risk. This is a really important point to understand given that the global bond market is so massive– roughly $ 100 trillion, with nearly $ 1 trillion traded each day in the US alone. This is almost twice the size of the global stock market. And even if people never invest in a bond themselves, they’re directly connected to the bond market. Your pension fund owns bonds. The bank that is holding on to your money owns bonds. The companies listed on the stock market that you invest in own bonds. Yet bonds are some of the worst investments out there right now. And that’s saying a lot given how overvalued stock markets are. Here’s the bottom line: adjusting for both taxes and inflation, bondholders are losing money, even on risky issuances. Think about it– if you make a 4% return and pay 25% in taxes, your net yield is 3%. If inflation is 3%, your entire gain is wiped out… so you have taken that risk for nothing. If inflation rises just a bit then you are in negative territory. There are those who suggest that deflation is a much greater risk right now than inflation… and that bonds are great investments to own in the event of deflation. But here’s the thing– even if deflation takes hold and prices fall, anyone who is deeply in debt is going to feel LOTS of pain. Instead of their debt burden inflating away, now they’ll be scrambling to make interest payments. So while bonds are a sensible deflationary investment in...

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NIA: Proof Gold Stocks Most Undervalued in History

On Sunday when NIA suggested January 2015 GDX $25 call options, we showed you a chart of the HUI/Gold ratio. The HUI index for the most part tracks the same exact stocks owned by GDX. The HUI/Gold ratio shows how undervalued gold stocks are vs. the price of gold. The HUI/Gold ratio has a 17 year average of 0.37 and currently is down to 0.164, the lowest it has been since 2001, at the very beginning of gold’s secular bull market.   However, this doesn’t tell the complete story. Gold miners have seen their expenses go through the roof – a fact that proves there is massive price inflation, despite what the gold bears say. A big portion of a gold miner’s expenses are related to energy. Therefore, the Gold/Oil ratio is another important chart to look at. In June/July of 2008, when oil soared to well over $130 per barrel, the Gold/Oil ratio declined to below 7. From year 1970 through today, the Gold/Oil ratio has averaged 15.19. Currently, we have a Gold/Oil ratio of 12.22.   A low Gold/Oil ratio is bad for gold miners, because their expenses are high relative to the gold they produce. The current Gold/Oil ratio, although below the long-term average, is not at an extreme level like in June/July of 2008. Oil prices, although expensive, are not high enough to severely hurt gold miners in a way that justifies a HUI/Gold ratio of less than half its long-term average. If we currently had a Gold/Oil ratio of 7, a HUI/Gold ratio of 0.164 would be justified, but right now there is no justification to the current artificially low HUI/Gold ratio.   Below, we are once again going to provide you with the HUI/Gold ratio chart we showed you on Sunday. After that we will show you a chart of the Gold/Oil ratio. Following those two charts is a chart of a new ratio that NIA has invented – the Gold/Oil to HUI/Gold ratio. NIA’s Gold/Oil to HUI/Gold ratio has a 14-year average of 37.68. A high Gold/Oil to HUI/Gold ratio of well above its long-term average indicates that gold stocks are undervalued relative to their potential profitability.   Historically, any extreme highs in the Gold/Oil to HUI/Gold ratio were an excellent time to buy gold stocks. In December of 2000, when it spiked up to above 60, the HUI was priced at 177.61. When the Gold/Oil to HUI/Gold ratio returned to a more normal level of 39.63 in June of 2001, the HUI was up to 276.24 for a gain of 56% in six months. In December of 2001, when it spiked up to...

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New NIA Option Suggestion

In 2014, NIA believes we will see precious metals and agricultural commodities make their largest gains in history. NIA’s #1 way to play next year’s agriculture boom is its stock suggestion Agria (GRO), which broke out big on Friday rising $0.10 or 7.24% to $1.48 per share. In NIA’s opinion, new 52-week highs are coming for GRO very shortly. NIA would like to take this opportunity to announce its #1 way to play next year’s rally in precious metals. NIA suggests for its members to research the January 2015 Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX) $25 call option, currently priced at $1.92. GDX is a gold stock ETF with its top three holdings being GG, ABX, and NEM, three of the safest gold mining stocks. GDX is currently trading for $21.25 per share. Investors who buy the January 2015 GDX $25 call option at $1.92, will at least double their money if GDX rises by 35.7% to $28.84 per share within the next 55 weeks. If GDX itself rises by 100% to $42.50 per share over the next 55 weeks, NIA’s GDX call option suggestion will be worth $17.50 for a potential gain of 811.46%. The contract expires on January 17, 2015. GDX mostly tracks the same stocks as the HUI Amex Gold Bugs Index. To determine if gold stocks are undervalued or overvalued, NIA closely tracks the HUI/Gold ratio, which is the latest HUI price divided by the price of gold. The HUI/Gold ratio is currently down to 0.163, well below its 17 year average of 0.37. In fact, the last time the HUI/Gold ratio was this low, was all the way back in 2001 – at the very start of the current gold secular bull market. Gold’s secular bull market is far from over and NIA believes this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to make a fortune off of artificially low gold mining stocks. Although it’s true that many gold miners are losing money at this very moment, it’s already more than priced in! NIA has seen many gold miners in recent weeks take steps to reduce their expenses and focus on the production of high grade gold resources. The fundamentals of gold mining stocks are beginning to rapidly improve! In 2014, NIA believes large-cap gold mining stocks could rise 3-4X faster than the price of gold! If gold merely rises 23.5% in 2014 to $1,500 per oz, and the HUI/Gold ratio returns to its historical average of 0.37, the HUI would rise from its current level of 198.18 up to 555, for a gain of 180%. If the HUI rises 180%, GDX most likely...

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How to Legally “Opt Out” of Federal Income Taxes

If you’re a retiree… or if you’re simply looking to earn safe interest on your money… you have two enemies: 1. Federal income tax rates that can take a 20%-30% bite out of your earnings. In some cases, that number is as high as 40%. 2. Interest rates that are near record lows. Right now, you’re lucky if you can make even 1% on your bank savings… And that’s before taxes. Fortunately, you can fix this situation quickly. You just need to know how to legally “opt out” of federal income taxes on your savings… and where to find much higher (but still safe) rates of income… Let me show you what I mean… Right now, the highest-yielding one-year Certificate of Deposits (CDs) pay about 1%. Most banks offer a little less… But for this example, we’ll use the banks offering the highest yields. The federal government will tax the income you collect from CDs just like ordinary income. For most folks, this means they must pay Uncle Sam 25%-28% of any interest earned. For high earners, the tax rate is 39.6%. Keep these figures in mind… We’ll come back to them in a moment. But first, you need to know you have the option of placing your money into another safe investment. This investment pays 6.5%… and the interest is free from federal taxes. If you live in a state with zero income tax (like Florida or Texas), you pay no tax at all. So… a saver has the option of parking his money in the bank… We’ll call that “option A” – or in this investment… “option B.” Here’s how the numbers stack up after you factor in taxes: Option A Option B Initial capital $ 10,000 $ 10,000 Annual yield 1% 6.5% Interest income after one year $ 100 $ 650 After federal income tax (28%) $ 72 $ 650 As you can see, it’s no contest. By owning this safe, alternative investment, you can earn nine times more interest on your savings. For a $ 10,000 investment, that’s an extra $ 573 after just one year. If you’re in a higher income bracket and put in a larger chunk of savings, the numbers get ridiculous. For example, on a $ 100,000 chunk of savings, you’ll earn nearly $ 6,000 more a year with this tax-free strategy versus a high-yield CD. And you can start earning this income RIGHT NOW. It will take you just five minutes. All you need is a regular brokerage account. And all you need to do is buy one of my recommended “muni bond” funds. As regular readers know, municipal bonds are...

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An Easy Way to Solve the Biggest Problem Facing Investors Today

“All income-generating assets are below their average yield… and most are near all-time lows.” That’s what master researcher James O’Shaughnessy told the Big Picture Conference earlier this month. He went on to say that he believes the biggest problem facing investors today is income. You see, James’ research shows that now is the toughest time in 140 years for investors trying to generate income. But he also revealed a simple solution you can easily put to work today… Jeff showed people what to do with their money during crisis conditions and how to profit in 2014. He also put together a special offer where you can get one of his research services for free.   James has made a career of looking back at history to find insights into what’s happening today. In his fantastic book, What Works on Wall Street, he ran the numbers on nearly every investment idea you could dream up. (I keep a copy on my desk at all times.) And he’s built a successful money-management business that invests around $ 5 billion using strategies based on his research. Today, James’ research shows that most income investments, especially bonds, aren’t paying the kinds of yields investors need to survive. Bonds have been in a multi-decade bull market. As prices go up, yields come down. Thirty-year U.S. Treasurys only pay 3.65% as I write. And James believes they’ll be a losing proposition over time… “Long-term bonds have done very well for a very long time,” he says. “No one remembers that long bonds lost 68% after inflation from 1941-1981… but it can happen again.” You read that right… After inflation, “safe” long-term bonds lost 68% of their value from 1941-1981. Today, with high prices and low yields, we could be in store for another multi-decade bear market. James believes the best thing you can do to generate income is to avoid bonds and buy international stocks that pay dividends. Even during the greatest period in history for long-term bonds (1981-2011)… you’d have beaten them by simply owning global dividend-payers. Right now, he believes global dividend-payers are the easiest and safest way to generate income. And I’ve found an easy way to make the investment. This fund holds 100 of the best global dividend-payers. And it only holds companies that have consistently paid big dividends. Based on history, this is a winning strategy. The index IDV tracks has crushed the stock and bond markets since its creation in 1998. Over the last 15 years, this basket of global dividend-payers more than doubled the return on 30-year Treasurys. And it more than tripled the return of U.S. stocks. Importantly, this fund...

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Simon Black – Is this the best safe haven for you and your family?

[Editor’s note: Darren Kaiser, author of Sovereign Man’s Chile Property Investment Black Paper, is filling in for Simon today from Santiago, Chile.] Chile has been a pretty nice place to be over the last few years, not just to live but also as an investment destination. Anyone involved in startup businesses or real estate just about anywhere in the country over the last 3, 5, 10, even 20 years, has done quite well. But as the country becomes an increasingly popular with expats, it’s worth asking the question– is Chile’s growth and success sustainable? Or even more importantly, what happens to Chile in the event of a global economic turndown? Or a big drop in copper prices? Remember, Chile’s economy is largely resource dependent and copper is its primary export. So if there were a great economic unraveling in China (as well as in other parts of the world), it’s true that copper exports would decrease. And this would adversely affect Chile. But, unlike most other countries around the world, Chile has actually been preparing for a global economic turndown. Many years ago, the Chilean government started the Copper Stabilization Fund (now the Economic and Social Stabilization Fund) which sets aside a portion of government revenue every year when there’s a surplus and holds it as a reserve in case of a future slowdown. What a concept—saving for a rainy day. Today this fund is currently valued at $ 21.7 billion USD, about 8% of the country’s GDP. And in the case of future calamity, this cash reserve will go a long way to keep things afloat in Chile while other countries might be experiencing desperate conditions. It’s also important to point out that a large-scale global crisis would spur investors and professionals to seek international safe havens. This is where Chile shines. If major calamity strikes, Chinese, Americans, Europeans, etc. would be more motivated than ever to move their capital to a stable place where— foreigners are given the same property rights as locals property rights and the rule of law are actually well respected; and there is a surplus of fresh food and water All of this can be found here in Chile. And even with the global economy limping along as it has been, this is already starting to happen. Just a couple of weeks ago, Chile’s government announced the largest amount of Chinese investment capital ever in the country, roughly $ 1.2 billion. That’s a prodigious sum of money here, and a big indication of things to come. Every place has its issues, and Chile is far from perfect. But it definitely has a brighter...

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Who Took My Money – Robert Kiyosaki Audio book

People either love Kiyosaki or think he’s a charlatan. This isn’t his best book but its a solid addition to the series. I’d rank 3rd below “Rich dad, Poor Dad” and “Cashflow Quadrant”. More than in any other of his books he gets into HOW to get rich. But this isn’t the best part of the book. The best part is the first part which explains why 401Ks can be lousy investments. I started contributing to a a tax deferred annuity seven years ago. I noticed that seven years late there is LESS money in it than I contributed to it. Ditto for my pension fund. Kiyosaki goes over the reasons 401Ks and similar deferred accounts may not be good investments: 1) They aren’t guaranteed. 2) a 5% or 10% return is actually pretty lousy. 3) 401Ks are TAX DEFERRED, which means you actually pay MORE taxes when you retire, assuming you made money. 4) The standard lines about the stock market going up an average of (insert %) per year is a sales pitch. Some companies go out of business and the Dow can flatline for a decade or more. Kiyosaki then explains a phenomenon which even his detractors have to admit is true: people tend to think 401Ks and mutual funds are SAFER investments than business and real estate. Try going to your bank and asking for a 100k loan to buy a piece of income-producing real estate. If you have good credit the answer will likely be “yes”. Now try borrowing 100k to buy a mutual fund. The bank’s answer will be laughter. That’s because mutual funds are DANGEROUS! Kiyosaki’s answer is to start your own business, use the proceeds to invest in income producing real estate and invest the cash flow into paper and other assets. This is the same as what Warren Buffet does. It’s not easy but in the long run its safer and potentially more profitable. Now, I wouldn’t recommend anyone to stop contributing to a 401K. Especially novice investors in their early 20s. But for people who already own their own business or a piece of income producing real estate, this book gives you a lot more options. Another fascinating thing he points out that’s true: workers stealing money from themselves. I’ve been reading the financial pages for this week (June 6, 2005) and read the news that GM will lay off 25,000 workers. The stock, of course, jumped up in anticipation of higher earnings. A large number of those workers probably have some of their 401K money invested in GM. So their retirement money will be determined by the stock...

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Simon Black – This is panic: Smuggling diamonds out of India

Asia is a damned excited part of the world. And Singapore is the financial epicenter of all of it. For the last 24-hours, banker and fund manager friends of mine have been telling me stories about oil refinery deals in North Korea, their crazy investments in Myanmar, and the utter exodus of global wealth that is finding its way to Singapore. My colleagues reported that in the last few weeks they’ve begun seeing two new groups moving serious money into Singapore– customers from Japan and India. Both are very clear-cut cases of people who need to get their money out of dodge ASAP. In Japan, the government has indebted itself to the tune of 230% of GDP… a total exceeding ONE QUADRILLION yen. That’s a “1″ with 15 zerooooooooooooooos after it. And according to the Japanese government’s own figures, they spent a mind-boggling 24.3% of their entire national tax revenue just to pay interest on the debt last year! Apparently somewhere between this untenable fiscal position and the radiation leak at Fukishima, a few Japanese people realized that their confidence in the system was misguided. So they came to Singapore. Or at least, they sent some funds here. Now, if the government defaults on its debts or ignites a currency crisis (both likely scenarios given the raw numbers), then those folks will at least preserve a portion of their savings in-tact. But if nothing happens and Japan limps along, they won’t be worse off for having some cash in a strong, stable, well-capitalized banking jurisdiction like Singapore. India, however, is an entirely different story. It’s already melting down. My colleagues tell me that Indian nationals are coming here by the planeful trying to move their money to Singapore. Over the last three months, markets in India have gone haywire, and the currency (rupee) has dropped 20%. This is an astounding move for a currency, especially for such a large economy. As a result, the government in India has imposed severe capital controls. They’ve locked people’s funds down, restricted foreign accounts, and curbed gold imports. People are panicking. They’ve already lost confidence in the system… and as the rupee plummets, they’re taking whatever they can to Singapore. As one of my bankers put it, “They’re getting killed on the exchange rates. But even with the rupee as low as it is, they’re still changing their money and bringing it here.” Many of them are taking serious risks to do so. I’ve been told that some wealthy Indians are trying to smuggle in diamonds… anything they can do to skirt the controls. (This doesn’t exactly please the regulators here who have...

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Simon Black – The no-brainer investment I’m making

September 24, 2013 Pencahue, Chile It’s great to be back in Chile. This place is ripe with so much opportunity. And for the last few days, I’ve been out investigating agricultural investment property in the central regions for my investment portfolio. I’ve been investing heavily in the sector for the past few years… because when I survey the universe of investment possibilities I’ve come across in my travels around the world (to more than 100+ countries), I can’t think of anything more compelling than agriculture. The reason is simple: objectively speaking, there’s absolutely nothing about food right now that gives any cause for cheer. From a demand perspective, the sheer volume of population growth is creating, by the day, a net increase in demand for food. Every human being alive requires nutrition to survive… and as world population is expected to surpass 8 billion people this decade, demand is only growing. Moreover, nearly 60% of the world’s population is in Asia, which is experiencing an unprecedented rise in wealth. Half a billion people in Asia have been lifted from poverty into the middle class over the last decade, and that trend looks likely to accelerate. As their personal income rises, people’s dietary habits often adjust. In addition to consuming more Calories, they also tend to move further up the food chain to more resource consumptive foods. From a supply perspective, the data suggests that human beings have maxed out in what we’re able to squeeze out of the earth. Agricultural yields, i.e. kilograms or bushels of crops per acre, rose dramatically after World War II as Big Ag companies applied toxic science to agricultural production. But yields have now flattened out… and in many cases are falling. This means that farmers are taking less and less from the earth to feed more and more people. More importantly, the amount of arable farmland in the world is declining from soil erosion, weather, land development, etc. And many farmers are simply going out of business. Who wants to be a farmer anymore? Everyone wants to be in finance or tech. Farming isn’t sexy. So there’s very little intellectual or entrepreneurial resources being invested in the sector. Then there’s all the absurd policy trends. Governments pay farmers to NOT grow. Politicians divert food to inefficient biofuels. Taxpayers are forced to subsidize huge ag companies. Central bankers print trillions of dollars, creating inflation in agriculture commodity markets. Bottom line: Supply is decreasing. Demand is increasing. And idiotic policy is making it all worse. The absolute BEST that we can hope for is rising food prices. The worst case is food shortages. This is...

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Jim Rickards Interview: No Tapering, What it Means for Gold (9.23.2013)

In this interview Jim covers the implications of the recent Fed announcement, as well as what it means for gold moving forward. Jim Rickards is an investment banker and investment adviser based in New York, and the author of the best-selling book, Currency Wars: The Making of the Next Global Crisis. Mr. Rickards has held senior positions at Citibank, Long-Term Capital Management and Caxton Associates. In 1998, he was the principal negotiator of the rescue of LTCM sponsored by the Federal Reserve. His clients include institutional investors and government directorates. He is an adviser on capital markets to the Director of National Intelligence and the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Share and...

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