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Where to invest now
Before we talk about where to invest now, let’s clarify what we mean by “invest”.
We often use the word “invest” generically to cover any of these activities:
Example asset classes
Putting money at risk hoping for a capital gain
Stocks without dividends, options, futures, options on futures, physical Silver
Putting money at risk in an asset that provides (or may provide) an income stream
Stocks with dividends, Bonds, rental Real Estate, ownership of a business
Setting money aside for a rainy day
Life insurance, cash, CDs, US Savings Bonds, physical Gold and Silver
A conservative investor with a well-diversified Portfolio engages in all of these activities and distributes their money into a range of asset classes. Some of the assets provide income - others provide the opportunity for capital gains. The ideal mix of assets is different for each investor depending on their investing objectives, stage of life, and tolerance for risk.
We will use the generic definition of “invest” in order to include the speculative asset classes in this discussion of where to invest now.
If you prefer video content, the video below covers the contents of this web page with additional insights from Bryan Post.
Investment asset classes
Deciding where to invest now is similar to dining at a restaurant. In both cases we have to know what our choices are before we can do anything.
The restaurant makes it easy for us by providing a menu. In the investing world we have to create our own menu.
For the sake of this conversation, we will use this table as our menu:
State of the market
residential Real Estate
commercial Real Estate
Best place to invest money right now
Based on this menu of Investment options a conservative investor might decide that now is not the time to be taking risks with their money.
One of the themes that we can see in this menu is that small investors (you and I) are going to get stuck holding the bag as asset classes decline in value. Money managers are going to protect themselves and their large investors by closing or throttling the exits on the funds that they manage. So far, we have investors being locked-in to both REITs and Crypto by the people who manage those assets.
Although it isn’t obvious, many residential Real Estate investors are also locked-in because market values have declined and buyer demand has diminished. For these homeowners to exit they would be forced to sell at a loss.
I don’t know about you, but I’m not interested in any Investment where my money may get locked-in to an asset that is declining in value (REITs, Crypto, Real Estate).
That leaves Stocks, Bonds, and Precious metals as potential asset classes for where to invest now.
Stocks are at historic (i.e., unsustainable) highs based on any metric you want to use. To think that they can go higher from here it is necessary to believe that “this time is different”. In contrast to wishful thinking, a sober analysis of the equity markets has to include the fact that prices peaked in late-2021 to early-2022.
Perhaps the recent market action is just a correction, but it is also possible that Stocks have entered a secular (i.e., multi-year) Bear Market.
Until the equity markets break above their prior highs it is best to take a defensive stance towards Stocks. That could suggest that the equity portion of our Investment Portfolio consists primarily of dividend-paying Stocks. If we are going to accept the Market risk of investing in Stocks, we should at least get paid for doing so.
Another defensive tactic might be stock-picking within sectors that have fundamental reasons for growth – right now (early March 2023) those sectors would include defense (drones in particular) and energy (natural gas in particular).
If we want to be really conservative, we can reduce or eliminate our exposure to the Stock markets until the primary trend becomes clear. In a secular Bear market, a 50% decline from peak values would not be unprecedented. For that to occur today, Stocks would have to lose another 30% (or more) of their value. If that decline occurs, we will see Mutual funds and ETFs locking their exits as investors try to remove what's left of their money.
With Stocks off the table for most investors, we are down to just Bonds and Precious metals - where to invest now is becoming obvious through the simple process of elimination.
Bonds were a good Investment for the past 40 years because interest rates fell steadily throughout that period. Bond investors received interest income while also enjoying capital gains. That's a double win!
The Bond-friendly environment changed in early-2020, however, and now Bond values are falling as interest rates rise.
There are several trends driving interest rates higher:
In a market with few buyers and an over-abundance of supply, interest rates have to rise in order to attract investors. The trends above suggest that interest rates will continue rising for several years as potential Bond buyers continue to shun this asset class.
Buying Bonds in an environment of rising rates is a guaranteed way to lose money. Unless you have a compelling reason to invest in debt instruments, stay away.
Given our menu of Investment choices and the current state of the Financial markets, the best choice for where to invest now is clearly the Precious metals.
It is worth restating at this point that Gold falls into the “Financial insurance” category that we defined above. There are times in the investing world when return OF Investment is more important than return ON Investment – it is quite likely that we are living through one of those times right now.
In other words, now is not the time to be taking Financial risks. If you have new money to invest, park at least some of it in physical Silver and Gold. If you are protecting your existing Investments, consider moving at least 3 to 10% of your overall Portfolio value into physical Precious metals.
Where to invest money to get good returns
With the current state of the Financial markets there really are no good places to invest money where we can also get good returns.
Remember that our definition of an Investment includes an income stream and a medium to low risk level.
In the past we might have used a Bond laddering strategy to create a low-risk income stream but, as stated above, buying Bonds in an environment of rising interest rates is a losing proposition.
Owning rental Real Estate has been another traditional way to create an income stream but rising ownership costs and a declining pool of potential renters makes being a landlord a losing proposition.
To gain a meaningful income stream right now we have to take on a lot of risk (Market risk, Currency risk, Geopolitical risk, etc.) which means we are actually speculating, not investing.
We might get good returns on our "Investment" for some period of time, but we could also lose a significant percentage of our capital in a market correction (or collapse).
Guaranteed 10% return on Investment
There are no guarantees in the world of investing.
With that said, there are a few high-yield ETFs that we can "invest in" (speculate in) if we are determined to find a "guaranteed" 10% return on Investment. Here are two examples:
JEPI (JPM Equity Premium Income ETF)
The dividend yield on JEPI is just over 11% (as of Feb 2023). The dividend is paid monthly. The ETF sells covered calls against the Portfolio’s large-cap Stock holdings. Selling covered calls is a relatively low-risk strategy in a declining market.
SDIV (Global X SuperDividend ETF)
SDIV is currently yielding 12.3% (as of Feb 2023). The yield was as high as 16% in late-2022. The ETF holds the equities of 100 hand-picked companies which offer some of the highest dividend yields in the world. These securities offer high yields because they are also high in risk (REITs, Chinese Real Estate developers, mortgage lenders, etc.).
So we have at least two ETFs that could provide a "guaranteed" 10% return on Investment.
If we really needed an income stream right now, JEPI would be on our short list of possible Investments. Because equity markets are most likely in a multi-year downtrend, JEPI's covered call strategy is appealing.
Before buying any shares of JEPI, however, we would do some due diligence on the ETF's history. How did it perform during the Financial crisis in 2008? What about the big scary plunge in March of 2020? If another market upset occurs, do we want any of our money in shares of JEPI? That's a question that each of us has to answer for ourselves.
In contrast to JEPI, I wouldn't touch SDIV with the proverbial 10-foot barge pole. Like all securities, buying SDIV involves Market risk (equity markets could crash), but more importantly, the ETF consists primarily of holdings that will decline in value as interest rates continue to rise.
What to invest in right now Crypto
Investors and speculators have lost $2 trillion dollars in the Crypto markets since Bitcoin peaked in October 2021.
Notice also that the first Bitcoin ETF was launched at the peak of the market. It's almost like Wall Street did a pump-and-dump on these ETF investors.
(not that Wall Street would ever take advantage of retail investors...)
Like most Investments, Crypto attracts both cheerleaders and naysayers. The cheerleaders would have us believe that Crypto can solve all of the world's financial challenges. The naysayers maintain that Crypto Coins and Tokens are digital Beanie Babies with an intrinsic value of zero.
Whether Crypto has value or not, governments are going to launch their own CBDCs (central bank digital currency) and they are unlikely to allow competition from non-central-bank Coins and Tokens.
There is already a push from US senators and Financial market regulators for increased oversight of the Crypto markets. The bankruptcy of FTX in November 2022 raised the volume on these calls for government regulation of the Crypto markets.
Existing Crypto has two likely futures:
1. The government regulates them out of existence or into irrelevance
2. Additional bankruptcies and revelations of fraud (Tether anyone?) cause investors to exit the Crypto markets with whatever money they have left
In either case, the future value of Crypto is likely to be far lower than it is today. When you are considering where to invest now, only invest money in Crypto that you would be very comfortable losing.
We've covered a lot of ground in our discussion of where to invest now. Let's recap the main points:
- "Investing" is a generic term that encompasses speculation, Investment, and financial insurance
- as asset values continue to decline in the gathering global recession, retail investors are going to be stuck holding the bag
- Stocks are historically overvalued by all measures - thinking they can go higher during a recession is wishful thinking
- US Stock markets peaked in late-2021 or early-2022 and they are now down more than 15%
- in a Bear Market, Stocks typically lose at least 50% of their peak value - that means Stocks could decline another 30% or more before starting any kind of sustainable uptrend
- Bonds ended a 40-year long Bull Market in 2020 when interest rates turned sharply higher
- interest rates are likely to continue higher and remain elevated for an extended period as Bond issuers attempt to attract buyers
- the "Fed pivot" isn't going to happen - see the previous bullet point - Bond buyers are already sitting on the sidelines - having the Fed pivot back to lower interest rates isn't going to bring back reluctant debt buyers
- the future for existing Crypto Coins and Tokens does not look bright - bankruptcies and fraud are already decimating this asset class and coming government regulation is likely to be the fatal blow
Now is the time to focus on capital preservation rather than capital growth. There are five types of Financial risk (market, credit, liquidity, operational, and legal) and at least three of them are currently elevated. As the global recession accelerates at least one of these risks is going to explode and that will take asset values far lower.
Here at Satori Traders we recommend that all investors protect their Wealth with physical Precious metals.
Computer models show that Investment Portfolios perform better in all market conditions when they have a 3 to 10% exposure to physical Gold.
You can achieve this diversification with
- physical Precious metals that you purchase with after tax-money
- a Gold IRA that you establish using tax-advantaged money
- a combination of the two
You can find more information about investing in physical Precious metals and Gold IRAs on the pages of this website. If you have a specific question about investing in Silver and Gold, drop us a line and we will do our best to provide an answer.
Precious metals market updates
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Registered Investment Advisor update
In December 2022 Satori Traders LLC withdrew its registration as a California Registered investment advisor (RIA). At the same time, Bryan V Post withdrew his registration as a California Registered investment advisor representative (IAR).
We will continue providing Investment information but we are no longer managing client money.
This guide on finding a Registered investment advisor is provided for your benefit.
In general, the SEC regulates Investment advisors (IAs) with more than $100 million in assets under management (AUM) while IAs with less than $100 million in AUM are regulated at the state level.
Because Corporations in America are treated as humans, some of the language describing RIAs can be confusing.
For example, Investment management companies are RIAs, while the firm's advisors are Investment Advisor representatives (IAR).
Whether we are talking about the IA firm (RIA) or the IAR, the key distinction to understand as an investor is that both the RIA and the IAR have a fiduciary duty to their clients.
The SEC requires them to exercise loyalty and prudence in all matters involving the client’s money.
This is a higher standard of care than is required of non-registered professionals like Financial planners.
SEC-Registered investment advisor requirements
There are three primary requirements for SEC-Registered investment advisor representatives (IARs) to meet:
1) Hold a Bachelor’s degree in any subject
2) Pass the Uniform Investment Adviser Law Exam (the Series 65 exam)
3) Complete and file SEC Form ADV Parts 1, 2 & 3
Registered investment advisor vs Financial advisor
There are three key differences between a Registered investment advisor (RIA) and a Financial advisor.
First, “Investment advisor” is a legal term which is clearly defined by the SEC while “Financial advisor” is a generic term that encompasses several different types of financial professionals.
Second, RIAs and IARs are regulated by the SEC or by a State’s securities regulatory authority while Financial advisors may be held to a lesser standard.
Third, and most importantly, RIAs and IARs are legally required to act as fiduciaries, putting their client’s interests ahead of their own. Financial advisors, on the other hand, may or may not be legally accountable to the fiduciary role.
Financial advisors who operate without a fiduciary role often have conflicts of interest with their clients. These professionals may favor their employer’s interests over the client’s financial wellbeing and in many cases, they receive revenue from third-parties like mutual funds and insurance companies.
To obtain conflict-free financial advice make sure your advisor acts as a fiduciary.
Registered investment advisor search
There are multiple ways to search for a Registered investment advisor.
Start with family, friends, and associates. Personal recommendations are always best when shopping for professional service providers.
In an internet search you may find that Google highlights a few IARs in your local area. These “Google Screened” Investment advisors meet the following requirements:
• Hold a valid financial license
• Have professional liability insurance (Errors & Omissions)
• Pass a background check
You can refine your search by specifying the type of Investments you are interested in. For example, add “Precious metals” or “alternative Investments” to your search.
Once you find an Investment advisor representative that you may be comfortable working with, verify that they are in good standing with the SEC.
Ask the candidate IAR for their CRD (Central Registration Depository) number and the CRD number of the RIA they represent. These numbers should be provided in the Disclosure forms (ADV Form parts 2A and 2B) that the IAR will offer.
Take the CRD numbers to this website: http://www.adviserinfo.sec.gov/
and verify that the Investment advisor is in “Approved” status.
If the IA has filed any Disclosures, read them and make sure you are comfortable with the contents.
While you are at the SEC site download the “Part 2 Brochures” and read them. These documents will describe the RIA and IAR(s) along with their approach to investing.
List of Registered investment advisors
There is a psychological reason for having multiple candidate RIAs to choose from.
When you have a list of Registered investment advisors to choose from it is easier to say,
after making initial contact.
Also, speaking with multiple IAs before making a selection will help you gain clarity on the services you want a financial professional to provide.
Spend some time shopping for an appropriate Investment advisor. The individual or firm you choose could have a material effect on your financial future.
Registered investment advisor near me
Do you really need your Registered investment advisor located near you?
That depends largely on your personal preferences and your Investment objectives.
If you are turning the family fortune over to an Investment advisor, then by all means, develop a face-to-face relationship with that individual and their firm. Remember the “Google Screened” IAs mentioned above. That is a good starting point for finding a qualified IAR nearby.
If your current objective is obtaining one-time Investment advice, that can probably be accomplished over the telephone or online, in teleconference.
What does an Investment advisor do
Investment advisors manage money and/or provide advice to others on how to manage money, that’s the simplest answer.
The California Department of Financial Protection & Innovation (DFPI) provides this description for what an Investment advisor does:
“An investment adviser (“IA”) is defined in Corporations Code (“Code”) Section 25009 generally as any person who, for Compensation, engages in the Business of Advising others, either directly or indirectly through publications or writings, as to the value of securities or as to the advisability of investing in, purchasing or selling securities, or who, for compensation and as a part of a regular business, publishes analyses or reports concerning securities.”
Some IAs take a full-spectrum approach to their clients’ financial picture by offering “Wealth management” services. Along with Investment planning and management, they also provide Estate planning, retirement planning, accounting, and tax services.
Wealth management IAs often hire specialized Investment advisors to manage portions of a client’s Portfolio. For example, a wealth manager of a well-diversified Portfolio could hire an IA who specializes in the Precious metals or energy sectors.
The primary task for all Investment advisors is to determine their client’s Investment objectives and tolerance for risk. Once that has been accomplished the IA can make Investment recommendations that are appropriate for the client.
Fee only Investment advisors
There are three primary models for how an IA is compensated:
1. Commission-based – typically a variable amount based on account size (lower rate for large accounts)
2. Combination of commissions and fees – one fee for account management, additional fees for specific services
Commission-based IAs receive revenue based on the specific products they sell to their clients. This compensation creates a potential conflict of interest where the IA might not put the client’s interests ahead of their own.
The fee-only model minimizes conflicts of interest and allows the Investment advisor to act as a fiduciary.
Fee-only IAs may charge a flat fee, an hourly fee, or a fee based on account size.
When possible, work with Investment advisors (RIAs and IARs) and other financial professionals who are required to act as fiduciaries. Without the fiduciary role it is likely that the client’s financial wellbeing is not the professional’s primary concern.
Spend some time shopping for a qualified IA. The choice you make could have a significant impact on your financial well-being.
Depending on your current objectives, you may not need a face-to-face Investment advisor. A one-time, fee-only consultation over the phone or an online teleconference may accomplish everything you need.
If you decide that you need a local Investment advisor and don’t have a personal recommendation, give the Google Screened professionals a try. Google has done some of your due diligence for you by verifying that these IAs have a valid license, have insurance, and pass a background investigation.
Satori Traders and Bryan V Post are here to help you with your Precious metals Investments. Give us a call today and let’s get started!
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Hi, my name is Bryan Post and I love the shiny stuff - Silver and Gold.
I've been investing in the Precious metals and mining stocks since 2002 when I realized that Gold is the only real money on the planet.
Here on SatoriTraders.com I share everything I've learned about the metals, Financials markets, trading, Technical analysis, and the numerous games that central banks play with fiat currencies.
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