The health of America’s economic recovery doesn’t look good, and the poison in the porridge is still the strong dollar.
Early on Thursday, both the Empire State and the Philly Fed reports came out, showing weakness in the manufacturing sector, echoing yesterday’s Beige Book report that growth in America is slowing.
The Empire State factory gauge remained negative for the third consecutive month in October, while manufacturing in the Philadelphia region was negative for the second consecutive month. In fact, it looks like the national Institute of Supply Management Manufacturing Index will drop below 50 — signaling contraction in the sector — in October for the first time since November 2012.
And it’s the strong dollar that’s making American goods less competitive overseas, resulting in an overall slowdown in our economy.
But you don’t have to sit helpless, waiting for everything to fall apart. I’ve got notes below from several great speakers on the options you have to protect and grow your assets … even if America’s economic recovery grinds to a halt.
Investing in the Stock of a Country
Chris Gaffney, President of EverBank World Markets, commented on the fact that crisis has become the norm around the globe. There are risks lurking in the global economy. It appears that the problems in Greece are starting to bleed into Italy and Spain. The atmosphere in Europe continues to be difficult, with lingering bailout stress and the potential for social unrest with the Syrian refugee crisis. The euro has also dramatically weakened, but there are positives for the currency, with the region currently using quantitative easing and Greece finally submitting to austerity.
Chris also discussed economic worries in the United States. We have seen an uneven economic recovery, leaving the middle class squeezed between higher levels of debt and lower real income.
But even as the world trudges along under these various stresses, there are some great opportunities to be found in currencies. You should view currencies like a stock for a country. Chris listed some key economic fundamentals that should be examined prior to investing in a currency, such as GDP, current account balance, budget balance, debt and real interest rates.
One of the currencies he listed as being fundamentally sound is the Norwegian krone. He sees it as a great value right now after the country has been hit by the low price of oil. Chris also listed another currency and two more countries he is currently watching. To get his full list of currency picks and two metals to watch, click here to order our Total Wealth Symposium Defense Kit, which will have Chris’s entire presentation.
What’s more, Chris talked about a brand-new product, the MarketSafe© Metals HedgeSM CD. This MarketSafe© CD has a long precious metals (gold and silver) position, while taking on a short position against the S&P 500 Index using the SPY ETF. This is a five-year CD. If you would like more information about the Metals HedgeSM CD, please click here.
For the sake of full disclosure, we receive a marketing fee based on our relationship with EverBank. But, honestly, we’d work with them regardless.
Safeguarding Your Assets
Josh Bennett, a lawyer who specializes in offshore asset planning, took a detailed look at what you need to know about offshore asset protection trusts (APT). He explained that irrevocable trusts are the most defensible of all wealth-preservation structures and have survived numerous attacks. What’s more, he asserted that non-U.S. trusts will not automatically trigger an audit by the IRS.
When going over the APT, he explained what was needed to create an APT and what some of the rules are for their creation, such as the importance of using “rainy day funds” and that secrecy does not equal wealth preservation.
In addition, he stressed that wealth-preservation structures can’t be “one size fits all,” but need to be customized to meet the needs of each investor.
He concluded with the most popular foreign jurisdictions for APTs as well as his preferred location. To see the slides and watch Josh’s entire presentation, check out our Total Wealth Symposium Defense Kit.
The Rise of Cyber Risk
Founder and president of Total Digital Security, Brad Deflin, gave an interesting talk about the increased threats we are seeing to our privacy, and how the rise can be traced back to massive breaches such as the Target breach in December 2013, the JPMorganChase breach in July 2014 and the Home Depot breach in September 2014.
In fact, cybercrime is the purpose of 55% of data stolen, rather than corporate or government espionage. Even James Clapper, U.S. Director of National Intelligence, has stated that the No. 1 risk is low-to-moderate level attacks that will impose mounting costs on our financial system, potentially crippling it.
But how did we get here? Brad explained that the four biggest catalysts of the growth in cyber threats came from the spread of smartphones, the cloud, big data and digital currencies. As a result, we are seeing a rapid convergence of cybercrime with physical and traditional crime.
So what can you do to protect yourself? Brad discussed four fundamentals of security and stressed the importance of leveraging emerging cybersecurity innovations to protect yourself.
Too Much Critical Information
The presenters are giving away some amazing tips and insights into the global market and the end of the economic recovery, as well as ways to protect your assets from the threat of confiscation and/or litigation.
But I just can’t write it all down fast enough or include it all here.
You don’t have to miss any of it. We will be releasing the recordings of the sessions as well as the Powerpoint presentations as part of our Total Wealth Symposium Defense Kit. You can order your copy now.
For full details on the Total Wealth Symposium Defense Kit, click here.
I’ll be back tomorrow bright-eyed and bushy-tailed with highlights from Swiss bankers, alternative-assets advisors, foreign real estate and so much more.
Regards from your on-the-ground reporter,
Sr. Managing Editor, Sovereign Investor Daily