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5.16.2018 - Free Investment Newsletter Bookmark

Whoa!
 
I had no idea that the article I published on the weekend was going to get me so many responses. In that article, I was talking about California’s new push to have all houses built after 2020 to include some amount of solar power on them.
 
Without redoing the whole article, I spent some time talking about the costs, and the burden to the lower classes that cannot afford to install panels, but who will be paying more for their electricity as the new homes with panels, will consume less from the grid. Someone’s got to pay the Electric company for maintenance, etc, and if there’s less revenue coming in, they will hike prices on remaining consumers.

 
But I think that what got me the most “push back” was my “love” for solar. So the first thing I want to do is clarify my position.

YES I know about the Government tax incentives and rebates. YES I know that their efficiency decreases over time. YES I know that at some point roofs might need new shingles and it’s a mess removing panels, I get all that. But...
 
I hate the idea of being a slave to anyone or anything. Jim, why do we like buying gold and silver? Because we hate the idea of being a slave to the Fed’s and the Treasury with their bogus “fiat” money, money that’s printed out of thin air. And of course their push for a digital currency will make us even more slaves to the system.
 
Right now, YOU people reading this are slaves to the power company. You have no choice but to pay your electric bill, or go dark. How many of you have a truly viable way to keep your home running if the power company cuts you off? I don’t see many hands up. So, part one of why I love the concept of solar, is that it is a “hope” that one day, people could be free to use the power of the sun, instead of the power from the corporation up the street.
 
Part 2 to why I love the idea of one day having truly affordable panels and marvelous storage technology is the individuality of it. It was just 7 months ago that Hurricane Irma came roaring across my state. Tens of thousands of people had no power for WEEKS. Why is that? Because they’re hooked to a spiderweb grid, and an outage 10 miles from their home, took out their power. IF solar was perfected to the point where it was affordable and truly self sufficient, the effects of a giant storm like Irma, or the monster that ate Puerto Rico, would do 1/10th the damage to people.
 
To THIS DAY there’s people that still don’t have power from that storm. This is from NPR:

In Puerto Rico, roughly 150,000 homes and businesses are still waiting for electricity. That's 11 percent of the island's customers. Many have been waiting since before Hurricane Maria, when Hurricane Irma grazed the island six months ago this week.
 
ADRIAN FLORIDO, BYLINE: Electricity please, enough already, help us - those are the messages that you find on signs taped and tacked to utility poles in Barrio Borinquen, a mountainous community in the municipality of Caguas. Drive high enough up the mountain, and you reach a plateau. That's where community leader Jose Oyola was waiting for me just before sunset. He pointed to the hundreds of houses dotting the valley and hillsides below, all dark except the ones with generators.
 
Do you see my point here? If solar was affordable, and battery technology was allowed to move forward to where storage of solar power, was efficient, those people in Puerto Rico would not be dark. I challenge any of you to try and live for 7 months with no power. Give it a shot. You’ll fail.
 
So, my love of solar isn’t because I think that it’s so great right now. I get the flaws, I really do. It’s still too expensive, the panels don’t last forever, the efficiency fades, and storage is horrid. I get it. However, one thing is constant and indisputable. The sun dumps a thousand years worth of photons on the earth every day. We are capable of transforming some of them into electricity. Does it not make sense to try and perfect an energy source that is FREE for the taking each and every day?
 
Question; is solar still not perfect because we can’t make it so? Fat chance. Solar is a disruptor of magnitudes. Do you think that the power companies really want the perfect off grid solar solution? Uhm, nope. How about the oil companies? Do you think they want to see off grid power from the sun that’s as reliable and cheap as they are? Uhm, nope. Do you think the natural gas or coal people want to see that? Of course not.
 
This is from April 2011 in the San-Diego Union-Tribune:

America could have been steadily weaned off of its oil addiction instead of drilling in deep waters. In 1974, Congress enacted the Solar Energy Research Development and Demonstration Act to stem the nation's dependence on oil. In the following years, $6 billion was spent to improve photovoltaic production levels, reduce production costs and stimulate private sector purchases.
 
So what happened to deter progress?
 
Big Oil bought and controlled the research and development of America's photovoltaic industry. Big Oil's main business is and has always been oil, gas, coal and petrochemical profits first. As a result, the private sector stimulated was actually mergers and buyouts of smaller independent photovoltaic research and development companies by Big Oil.
 
The plan was simple. Control the solar industry's research and patents ---- if you control the patents ---- you control the development and market of a product.
 
Boom. There it is. But ya know what?? It’s worse, much worse than that. Want to have some fun? Go research who “owns” the patent office. Then check out the “invention secrecy act” of 1951. That act says that anything the patent office says might be detrimental to national security” has to be suppressed. Well their interpretation of suppressed is different than mine, because they TAKE IT, and shut you down. You cannot even discuss your invention under order by law.
 
As of 2011 there were over 5,000 inventions included on their secrecy list. Multiple attempts at finding out what they all are, are routinely dismissed. Even freedom of information requests are denied. Yet a list published all the way back in 1971 by researcher Michael Ravnitzky, showed such interesting items as:

A device which will convert heat energy directly (statically) into electrical energy by means of two dissimilar metals or semi-conductors formed into • closed circuit and maintained at different temperatures
Batteries, thermally activated
Solar photovoltaic generators (AMC)- if > 20% efficient
 
Note that last one I posted. For some reason, way back in pre 1971, Uncle Sam decided that if you invented a solar panel with greater than 20% efficiency, they were going to suppress you and take it.
 
Call me anything you’d like, I really don’t care. Call me a conspiracy nut, or a tin foil hat guy, it doesn’t matter. Uncle Sam’s patent office, takes incredible inventions from normal every day people, steals them and then shops them to the highest bidder. Often, overseas.
 
Here’s an interesting article from Wired magazine about some technology Uncle Sam ripped off from people:


 
So the bottom line here folks is this. I believe that solar “could be” the single greatest “freer” of people on this planet. I believe it could be made to be more efficient, and I believe that battery technology has been invented that “makes lithium ion batteries look primitive” ( quote from documentary Who killed the electric car?)
 
Oh by the way, if you haven’t ever seen that, I encourage you to find it or download it from Amazon. GM designed an all electric vehicle in 1996 that was fast, agile, efficient, and reasonably priced. Then, they scrapped the entire project and even destroyed the cars. Take your best guesses as to why. (spoiler, big oil companies lobbied Washington big time to get rid of them)
 
I think that solar has been suppressed, because energy is power. THEY don’t want you to have any power, they want it for themselves. When someone has the power to flip a switch and shut off your electricity, or your water, you’re not very independent are you? Consider the building code enforcement guy in your local town. Hey, maybe he’s a great guy. The 3 that I’ve encountered in NJ and FL have been power mad lunatics.
 
I remember up in NJ a friend wanted to run a simple line of power to his shed. The town insisted on a permit, and inspections, even if John did it himself and he’s an electrician. So, he said “up yours” and put two solar panels up to supply the shed, and 4 batteries to store it. The town, realizing they hadn’t gotten their blood money for permits, instantly declared that his two panels (which were ON THE GROUND) were illegal. Yet there was no statute on the books about having 2 on the ground panels in your back yard. It was simply harassment.
 
Solar isn’t perfect but it’s the closest thing to electricity freedom we have. Sure a generator works, but they’re loud, not very efficient and the gasoline company still gets their money each time you fill it up.
 
So to be clear, my love of solar is NOT because it’s economically better than the grid. Not right now, because it isn’t. My love of solar is motivated by the idea that you wouldn’t have to be a slave to the power lords. A bad storm wouldn’t have all your neighborhood dark for weeks and weeks.

And to finish up, if I’m really soul searching, there’s something in me that says God put that sun up there for life and energy. Without it, there is none. I’m pretty sure God knows that all the energy we could ever want, rains down on us every single day. All we need to do is harness it.
 
The Market:
 
What an interesting time. Let’s take a look at the big picture.
 
The S&P had been in a sideways triangle pattern, bouncing between the 200 day and 50 day moving averages. Finally, after 3 months of that; 6 sessions ago, the S&P punched through the upper resistance.
 
Naturally the common thinking is that the market had compressed and digested the idea of more rate hikes, got comfy with it and is now ready to retrace to the all time highs.
 
After reversing a very deep intra day sell off 10 sessions back, the market has romped higher pretty well. But then something goofy happened. On Monday of this week we started the day pretty well, putting in an intra day high of 2742, and then it faded back off. Okay, no big deal, right?
 
Tuesday however, the day simply got ugly. We gapped open in the red, and fell from there. While they closed us well off the lows, it was a poor day. The DOW Closed down just shy of 200 points.
 
So today we opened sort of flat, up marginally. But before noon, we had seen the DOW fall off and go red by 35 points. The S&P was just barely hanging onto 2 green points. Then, they decided to push us back into the green, and for a while, we almost saw them get back about all the S&P’s points it lost Tuesday. The DOW was up about 90 points at one point.
 
However, we closed well off those intra day highs. Ten minutes before the close, the DOW was only up 34, before a late minute blast got us to close out up 62.
Okay, so that’s the way things have been going. It still doesn’t answer the question, “how far will this bounce go?” Again, some are thinking we just power up and go to all time new highs. I agree that’s possible, when you have Central banks that can print money, anything is possible. But...
 
However, my guess has been that this bounce takes us to the 2750 - 2800 level and runs out of gas. Why? Just a bunch of anecdotal things, you know, sell in May and go away, possibly peak earnings behind us, rates rising, etc. I can never dismiss their determination to keep this thing chugging higher, but we’re pretty long in the tooth here.
 
Sub prime auto sales are defaulting at levels not seen in years. That’s never a good sign. All in all, I tend to think that the top put in back in February, is the top. I could certainly be found to be stupid for thinking that, but right now that’s my guess.

But here in the short term, We still have some wiggle room just to get back to the 2750 - 2800 level. Closing today at 2722, I could see them try again to get back to Monday’s highs at 2742 or even 2750. But I’m not at all sure they can get past that.
 
We’re still leaning long, however Tuesdays dip did push me into taking some profits off the table. Right now I’m down to just MU, CRM and X in the short term swing account. I’m okay with having just them, until we see if this market’s going to fade off any more. It’s interesting times out there folks!

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