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5.27.2017 Free Investment Newsletter Bookmark

Memorial Day
 
This holiday, which is currently observed every year on the last Monday of May, actually started as Decoration Day after the American Civil War in 1868.  That is when the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of Union veterans founded in Decatur, Illinois, established it as a day for the nation to decorate the graves of the Union war dead with flowers.

 
Well the Confederates had their own versions of honoring their war hero’s too, and launched their own Holidays. However, by the 1900’s, competing Union and Confederate holiday traditions, which were celebrated on different days, had finally merged. Memorial Day eventually extended to honor all Americans who died while in the military service. For many it marks the start of the unofficial summer vacation season, while Labor Day marks its end.
 
Notable for rolling out the barbeques, and opening pools in the NorthEast, Memorial Day is often just an excuse to have a beer and roast a Nathan’s hot dog. But for the millions of families that have indeed lost dad’s, Grandad’s, Wive’s, mom’s, brothers or sisters...it’s not always the most pleasant of Holidays.
 
Some people look forward to going to the graveyard and decorating the gravesite of a lost loved one. They revere the quiet time at the site, talking to their loved one, and maybe saying some prayers. But for others, the day is a curse. Time is said to heal all things, but when you’re constantly reminded of that loss ever year, for some, it’s unbearable.
 
I lost some friends over in the Vietnam war. As a 17 year old, learning that someone you played sandlot baseball with every summer was dead in some God forsaken jungle that no one even understood why we were there was pretty troubling.  But “ya know what was worse?”   Ritchie J.  
 
This is a story I’ve never told before, in 24 years of writing.
 
Ritchie J. was a local kid. A good kid, he had a job, chased girls and stole an occasional beer from his dad.  He was just as normal as anyone else. We grew up together. He was a couple years older than me, but I knew him well, he was very close to a couple older cousins of mine. Ritchie was with us on the infamous camping trip to upstate NY, where my cousin and him and some teens at the recreational hall at the campground found two coolers of beer left behind by some campers, and helped themselves.  What a show that turned into!
 
Anyway time rolled on and Ritchie went to Vietnam. What came back however, wasn’t Ritchie. The day he rolled into town, he walked right past my cousin and I. We were confused and called out “yo Rich, glad you’re back!”  And ya know what? He didn’t recognize us.  It took him a minute to roll back time and finally snap out of it and say hi.  A year later, Ritchie killed himself. On Memorial Day.
 
The VA did a study last June. Word has it that more than 22 Vets a day are committing suicide. I’m certain it’s more than that. The big question is why? Why are there more instances of suicide, and PTSD since the Vietnam war, and into the Iraqi/Afghanistan wars than ever before?  Surely the men of WWII saw as much blood and guts and horror. Yet they suffered less of this. Why?
 
This is only my opinion, and I’m sure you might have your own. But in my opinion the difference is some form of inner conflict. A spiritual tearing at themselves.  In WWII the US youngsters were convinced that the NAZI’s were going to be invading, and taking our homes and farms and girls. They had a just cause to fight for.  After that war... not so much.
 
Most folks, and I’d say 99% of us, have a deep seated aversion to killing people. It simply doesn’t feel right. Unless you’re a psychopath, or unless you’re fighting in self defense of something dear to you, it goes against everything you think is right.
 
Well, a lot of the folks sent to Vietnam didn’t have that underlying feeling of having to defend their moms and daughter and farms from invading hordes. Many of them didn’t have a clue why they were in Vietnam in the first place. It played with their heads. A lot.
 
And it’s gotten worse. Exacerbating the PTSD is the fact that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, like the Vietnam war, are unjustifiable wars of aggression. These wars are based on lies. At some level, everyone - even the most gung-ho patriot - knows this deep in their bones. They want to do the right thing for their country, but then they have to come face to face with the idea that their country is stark raving mad at times.
 
So, Ritchie J. is dead. He killed himself in his bathroom in Middletown N.J. after a horrendous tour in nam. And the reason he killed himself wasn’t because he had shot people. It wasn’t the broken eardrum from the bombing raid. All he could talk about when he got back was “Why the F*&$” was I over there? What did we accomplish? Why did I kill people I didn’t even understand, for my country? What were these people going to do to us??” 
 
It’s the same things counselors are hearing from troops returning from Iraq, and Afghanistan today.  Most will tell you it isn’t the fear, it isn’t the blood, it isn’t the shock of war that’s causing the suicides. They simply can’t bear waging war and killing other humans based on lies. It eats them up.
 
So it’s Memorial day. I say thanks to my dad and his 2 brothers that went to Europe in WWII. I tip my hat to anyone brave enough to have ever gone to war and the families that have had to suffer the losses.  But my real condolences go out to the people still fighting. The brave boys and girls, trying to do the right things, yet often sent.... for the wrong reasons. I pray that when they make it home, they can shed themselves of it all and enjoy a wonderful life. 
 
If you know anyone showing the symptoms of PTSD, please folks, take action. Call 1.800.273.8255. It’s the crisis hotline. Get the person help, because you have no idea of the pains screaming in his or her head.
 
The Market...
 
Guess what we did this week? We made another all time high. We are surely in the world of fantastic right now. Or is it fantasy? 
 
I don’t know how many of you were investors during the 1995 - 2000 tech bubble. It certainly was a “ton  - o -fun” on the way up. The only problem was, that when it was over, no one believed it. They didn’t sell, in fact they bought more on the way down, after being “trained” that dips were to be bought. Over and over they bought the dip, until one day they realized the bounce wasn’t coming and they sold. Many at the very low of the cycle.
 
I don’t know how this present market mania is going to end. I don’t. I don’t know if because of the Central bank involvement, they push this to DOW 25K, 30K, 50K or it all ends on Tuesday. What I “think” I know is that like 99/2000 or like 2006/2007, this current mania will indeed end. We simply don’t know how, or when.
 
Until it does, the only thing one can do is “go with the flow”. Naturally you don’t want to throw caution to the wind, but a healthy dose of skepticism will keep you from giving it all back, when this rolls over.
 
I don’t much care who you take the bulk of your investing information from, but please folks, make sure you inject a bit of logic into your thinking. Three days ago, CNBC had a billionaire on one of their segments and he said flat out that in his opinion the “plunge patrol team”  is supporting the market. Naturally that caused a ton of eye rolling and mocking from the talking heads on the panel.

So, make sure you understand the dynamic here. A person that’s amassed a billion dollars, says that in his opinion “The presidents working group on financial markets” ( known as the plunge protection team) is behind the dip buying, and overnight futures buying. Yet a panel of so called journalists, who are paid to spew what ever the media elites wants you to hear, laughs at him. Who’s right?
 
Well you guys know I’ve been preaching that the Central banks are behind this market for years. Am I nuts? Or as one person recently asked “How do you get sucked into such conspiracy theories?? You’re a bright guy Bobbie, think about it!”  Well, Yes I’m nuts, but let’s consider something.
 
Dr. Pippa Malmgren is a very bright lady. In fact, she was a U.S. advisor. But MORE Importantly, Dr. Malmgren was a MEMBER of the Working group on financial markets!  Got that? Here is a woman who worked for the plunge protection team. And her words in an interview with GoldSwitzerland, this is what she had to say:

Governments impose price on markets; there is no price discovery anymore”

Well now. If a member of the team, whose sole purpose is to not let markets crash, says that the Government sets the price on markets, and that there’s no price discovery any more... who do you believe? Her, or CNBC?
 
Of course this market is pushed by Central banks. It is the only reason we are where we are. But that makes things terribly confusing. In the past you’d know when to slow your investing because prices would get out of whack relative to the economic activity. But today? All that fundamental thinking is out the window. This market will go up or sustain itself, until the Central bankers don’t do it any more, and NO ONE BUT THEM knows when that will be.
 
In the near term, like Tuesday, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the market backpedal a bit. We did a lot of heavy lifting last week, on really low volume. When traders come back from their 3 day Holiday, they might not be in such a festive mood. But in the long term, this market is destined to go sideways and up...until “they” the Central banks decide to pull the plug. Play accordingly.
 
Enjoy your Holiday. 

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