2020 Begins With A Bang (Literally)

It sure didn't take long for 2020 to get interesting.


The biggest development of the new year happened Thursday when the US military assassinated Qassem Soleimani, Iran's most powerful figure after its Supreme Leader, in a surgical drone strike.

This is an extremely serious action; one that Iran is highly likely to respond forcefully against. As the world anxiously awaits what will happen next, #wwwiii suddenly is a top twitter trend.

[Update: since this original publication of this article, the US has conducted further airstrikes on Iranian targets located in Iraq, Bagdad’s ‘Green Zone’ which contains the US Embassy has come under attack, and there are unconfirmed reports that US aircraft have hit Iranian targest in Syria.]

Chris has been furiously processing the news flow on this on an hour-by-hour basis in his latest post on the topic here.

If you want to better understand the context behind the current US-Iran tension as well as breaking developments from last night’s bombing and the likely repercussions, read the post and follow Chris’ updates in its Comments section.


On Sunday, Chris released this prediction that gold was poised for a big price move. Sure enough, gold closed the week up $40/ounce, certainly helped today by the geopolitical worries escalating between the US and Iran.

The yellow metal is now up nearly $100/oz from a month ago, and over $200/oz from a year ago.

It seems to be finally emerging from its 7-year slumber. Even the long-beaten mining shares are up nicely over the past year.

The start of a new bull market in the precious metals may indeed be upon us.

WTF?! (What The Fed?!)

The first trading day of the year saw the S&P 500 close at an all-time high, suggesting that Fed liquidity was still driving the show as it did for the entirety of 2019.

High-flying stocks like Apple, which has doubled(!) over the last 12 months, closed at record highs, as well.

At this point, even the cheerleaders for growth stocks are expressing concerns that prices have risen too far past what can be justified or sustained.

When will the Fed’s party train stop? And what will happen afterwards?

Well… I’m glad you asked. Because earlier this week Chris and I recorded a webinar on exactly this topic with Grant Williams (ttmygh.com & RealVision), Mike Maloney (GoldSilver.com), and Charles Hugh Smith (OfTwoMinds.com).

If that lineup sounds appealing to you, then strap in. The quality of discussion was AMAZING.

The video is still being edited, but will be ready for viewing soon. Our hope is to launch it to the world on Monday. It will be free to all viewers.

Stay tuned…

Early Bird Seminar Kickoff

In other important news this week, on Monday we opened up registration for the Peak Prosperity annual seminar to the public.

And just 5 days later, it’s already 40% sold out!!

It’s being held once again in beautiful Sebastopol, CA on May 1-3, 2020. And it will be larger, more action-packed, and have more tribe-building options than ever before.

If you’re thinking of coming, register soon. At this rate, it’s for sure going to sell out completely, as the past two years have.

And it’s going to be amazing. The line-up this year is easily our best ever.

We just confirmed Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, whose Rules For Rulers are extremely applicable to what’s happening between the US and Iran right now, as well as other growing geopolitical tensions.

Also confirmed are Mike Maloney, Charles Hugh Smith, John Rubino, Wolf Richter, Axel Merk, Richard Heinberg, the farmers from Singing Frogs Farm, Joe Stumpf, Jeff Clark and Russ Gray – to name just a few. And there are several other big names we’ll announce next week.

If you register now, you’ll lock in the Early Bird discount rate. It’s 37% lower(!) than what the price will be when it jumps up to the general admission rate in just a few weeks – if any tickets are left by that time.

So don’t dally! Claim your seat:


Chris and I hope we’ll see you in May!


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://peakprosperity.com/2020-begins-with-a-bang-literally/

Chris and Adam, Grant Williams, Mike Maloney and Charles Hugh Smith? Wow! The only one of my favourites missing is Gerald Celente. What a line up, and it will be free to all viewers. Fantastic and thank you in advance.

At this point, even the cheerleaders for growth stocks are expressing concerns that prices have risen too far past what can be justified or sustained. When will the Fed’s party train stop? And what will happen afterwards?
1. Stock prices being "justified" and/or "sustained" are very different things, and prices have become fairly meaningless without a free market. Clearly, stocks play a lead role in our "everything bubble" along with real estate and bonds (basically, everything but commodities and wages). Basically, just another form of directed inflation to help those with savings at the expense of those without. But there is no "justified" anything. And this has nada to do with how long it can e sustained. 2. I don't think "growth stocks" or theoretical "earnings" are the best place to look for sustainability. Rather, dividends, or cold-hard-cash payed out to investors, is the best metric because money in your hand each quarter cannot be lied about. So why not look to dividend-paying stocks to test sustainability? And the Dow is currently paying 2.22% in dividends, and this very is reasonable with ZIRP (I don't worry until <2.2%). 3. It's entirely possible stocks could stay bubbled for 20 years with an activist Fed and ZIRP. Remember, without the Fed bailing everyone out, this bull market would have never even started, let alone go on a decade like it has. 4. It might make more sense to get speakers who actually predicted our current bull market (and thus show an understanding of what is happening). Note this is not the same thing as a "cheerleader". Wise investors don't pick sides, nor become emotional. The USA is what it is. The USSR lasted 70 years of financial insanity; I see no reason why we can't beat that record. Heck, our shale oil insanity (courtesy of Fed ZIRP, natch) is a just good start! But then, again it could all implode tomorrow too. 5. But my primary point: it's easy to laugh at growth stocks that pay no dividends. But there are many dividend paying stocks like EOM that are, based on historical data, not crazy, and so hopefully won't get hammered when the ax falls. And even some with reasonable price-to-book ratios if it all goes bankrupt tomorrow. This has been a conservative play for those of us who think the US is on an unsustainable financial path but also accept the Fed is forcing us to play or pay as they enrich the fat cats who continue to invest. YMMV.

@MKI… yes, anything is possible. Nobody really knows the timing or extent of what will happen, though. Maybe a 2.2% yield appears reasonable for ZIRP. But that doesn’t work well when considering the historical norm for yield in the 5-6% range.
A stock with a bubble price of $100 and $2.20 of annual dividends yields 2.2%. That same stock priced at $50 and the same $2.20 in dividends yields 4.4%. Much closer to the 5-6% range. Getting the market back toward normal yields requires more than a 50% haircut for those accepting those 2.2% yields.
I’m enthusiastic to buy into a market that gets me a 5-6% yield with tolerable risk. The 2.2% pricing of todays market just isn’t tolerable for me. I prefer to raise cash, sit short-term in treasurydirect.gov, identify those long-term dividend growth stocks and set my buy targets at a level that will produce a 5% yield. I just hope we don’t have to wait too long to see those prices, again.

While I respect a lot of what you said, one thing caught my eye: you suggest that your dividend payers won’t get hammered when the ax falls.
Could you give me some examples and I can check out what they did during 2008?

I’m pleased to see so many folks registering for the May seminar. Seats sold out last year in record time, and so far we’re running 20% ahead of last year.
I’m pretty gobsmacked by how many top-shelf expert speakers have agreed to present and participate this year. Where else are you going to rub elbows and drink a beer with Chris, Mike Maloney, Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, Charles Hugh Smith, Richard Heinberg, John Rubino, Wolf Richter, Axel Merk, Joe Stumpf, the ‘no-till’ farmers from Singing Frogs Farm…plus many other resilience experts.
And over the past 48 hours, we’ve added 4 great new speakers to the roster (I’ll be announcing them publicly in the coming week)
To learn more about the event, click here.
But if you’re planning to come, register soon. Seats are indeed going fast.

DFT: you suggest that your dividend payers won’t get hammered when the ax falls.
I think everyone gets hit in an "everything crash". But blue-chip A rated companies who are actually making money (aka paying dividends!) should do better than others in a crash. And dividends paid each quarter(which make up much of the gains) never goes away in a crash.
DFT: Could you give me some examples and I can check out what they did during 2008?
Sure. The crash: Jan 2008: Dow 2.21% so 25% in UV Blue-Chip Dividend Stocks: ~70 buys ~40 holds. Dec 2008: Dow 3.58% so 90% in UV Blue-Chip Dividend Stocks: ~150 buys, ~50 holds. I was in Precter's camp then, expecting a hard deflation to crash real estate (which would have happened had the Fed stayed out) so I was in full cash pre-crash & dumped 90% into stocks circa 2009 based on the Dow dividend yield explosion. But I would have done fine holding 25% in UV BCDS and riding it out the crash. Why? Because Fed. Because ZIRP. It's an *** crime. As for today: Jan 2020: Dow 2.21% so 50% in UV Blue-Chip Dividend Stocks: ~50 buys ~70 holds. But where I live, renting real estate seems a better payout w/ lower risk so I am shifting down. The Fed is really screwing over the have-nots IMO. Maybe a Bernie revolution on the way?

This is the best thing I’ve seen come out in 2020 to date. Ricky Gervais verbally kicked the Hollywood hypocrites’ butts.

Thought there was some refreshing honesty shown by Ricky Gervais.
Curious if this comment was just “tongue and cheek” or perhaps something more: 0:52-0:55
By the way, if the expressions in the audience were any indication, holy s***.