"Kip's VRA financial newsletter is a MUST read for every saavy investor in this country. Disregard it at your own peril. His mantra is my mantra: Buy Gold and China. Sell short on pretty much everything else. Kip Herriage's newsletter is my financial Bible."

--Wayne Allyn Root
2008 Libertarian Vice Presidential candidate
Author, "The Conscience of a Libertarian"

Twitter: @kherriage

Karl Bessey

Mary Dee

Mike Budny 
Twitter: @kherriage

Friday
Jul242015

This Market Feels Different - Not in a Good Way. Plus, One Last Email 

(From Thursday's VRA Update). Good Thursday afternoon all. As I type, the markets have taken another turn for the worse, with the Dow off close to 100 points,  joining the S&P 500 in the .50% loss range for the day. Most of this week it's been the tech heavy NASDAQ that's been hit hard....following disappointing earnings numbers from the biggies, like Microsoft, Apple and United Technologies. Now, the rest of the market looks like it wants to play catch-up on the downside...but so far, the losses are moderate and contained. 

It's a very good thing that we took profits this week...while we may not be making money on the decline right now, we were able to get out of several positions at the top...now, we have fresh powder and can act at the perfect time, either way (notice I didn't say that we can take action at a "good" time...we'll wait until it is the "perfect" time, before we act next).

While the overall economic picture continues to be muddled, the recovery is still happening...but boy, is it ever happening at a slow pace. How Janet Yellen and her FED still plan on raising rates is a mystery to many...including me. The biggest and most costly mistake that the FED could make would be raising rates this fall/winter...if even by just .25%...and then having to turn right around and do a 180 by dropping rates again as the economy heads back into recession. In fact, it's exactly this kind of mistake that would cause people to lose complete faith in the FED's ability to micromanage the economy...which of course is exactly what they have been doing since the 2008 crisis kicked off.

YOUR EMAILS

Again, thanks for your continued emails and phone calls....I love sharing in your successes. This will probably be the last that I include for the week, but like our "vacation" email from earlier, I had to share this one as well...we'll call it the "We fired our broker" email (edited for size).

"Kip, I'm not sure where to start, so I'll just say this; our broker did not like your challenge. You told us earlier that if our broker did not believe in active portfolio management, that we should show them VRA results and compare to theirs. Since my wife and I had losses of close to 5% at ---- (firm's name removed), while just this year your total profits are over 500%...well, you can probably imagine how he handled it. After telling us all of the reasons we needed to use a professional, he told us some pretty lame story about his long term track record and making sure people "did not lose money". Kip, we are too young to be that conservative. We really need to make money, so that we can retire in style! We let him down easily, but we also moved all that money to our ---- account (firm's name removed). We love your work and look forward to everything you write. PLEASE keep up the great work! T&E F, Oregon."

T&E, thanks very much for your email. I feel for today's financial advisors...their hands are tied to a large degree and I know from talking to enough of them that their incomes have been slashed over the years. Most are good people and well-inentioned...but they simply aren't able to really help their clients...not like we used to...and certainly not if their clients want to beat the markets by a wide margin. Their firms view this as "too aggressive, and a risk to the firm"...which is just sad. I'm here for one reason....I have it out for Mr. Market, and I want to bash his head in on a daily basis! By doing this, VRA Subscribers have a shot at some pretty amazing returns...as we've seen for a while now.

Consider the following 8 trades...these are all of our buys/sells, since June 29th:

SPXU: +4%

UPRO: +10%

SPY Puts: +100%

ASHR Calls: +94%

SPY Puts: +62%

ASHR Calls: +48%

SPY Calls: +55%

ASHR: +15%

8 Trades since 6/29, with a total gain of 388% (average return of 48.5% per trade)

Knock on wood...I know...trust me, the last thing we want to do is piss off the "investment gods". But all ego aside, this is called "bashing Mr. Markets head in"...and it's the only game plan that I have an interest in. 

VRA - MARKET ANALYSIS

CHINA

The one position that has moved higher since selling it has been our Chinese ETF, and while I know better than to look in the rear view mirror, it's never fun leaving money on the table. ASHR (Chinese "300 A Share" ETF) is trading at $44.25, or roughly $1.50/share higher than where we took profits (don't ask about ASHR calls...they're a full 24% higher). But, that's ok...just know that I'm watching it closely...we absolutely want to be involved for the vast majority of the big move higher thats coming in China.

I've just learned that two of the best macro money managers of our time (Ray Dalio and Bill Ackman) have turned bearish on Chinese stocks. This is significant because they had been two of the biggest China bulls around...making big money from Chinese equities on the way up. In their view, the recent actions out of China could signal an economic top as well as an investment top...and that the move lower going forward could be significant. 

While I remain long term bullish on China, it's difficult for me to argue with these two guys. They aren't like 99% of the talking heads that you'll see on CNBC. These two manage LOTS of smart money, and when they are of the same mind on a single investment story, we would be fools not to pay attention to what they are saying...and we're not fools...so we will be paying attention.

COMMODITIES - OIL COULD BE HEADED SHARPLY LOWER

Of course, this past week has been hard on all commodities, not just gold and silver (which continue to look like they want to go lower still, at least for the very short term). Quietly, oil has now dropped to a fresh two month low, and for the first time in a long time is trading below $49/barrel...with a last trade of $48.70.

Below is the 1 year chart for USO, the Oil ETF that investors use to trade the commodity itself, and the same one that we have used in the past (along with UWTI, which is the 3 x Bullish ETF for Oil)

I've made notes in the chart, and have drawn a blue line at that most important support level from this past March, which we are just 4% above today. There's nothing at all to like about this chart folks...oil looks very much to me like it wants to trade lower, however, like every other major commodity, it's very oversold right now...which you can see from the stochastics area in this chart as well. IF we get a bounce, it could be a very short term one...

I don't have a recommendation either way here...at least not right now...just know that it's one of about 25 key charts that I am following right now. 

Final Point: With the collapse in commodities...the recent mini-crash in China...and now, the NASDAQ and broader markets getting hit pretty hard, in combination they just may be telling us that something "different" is going on here. I don't know exactly what that "different" may be at this point, but whether its another global recession, or just the summer blues, there's not a lot to be optimistic about.

And certainly, the reasons for the FED to raise rates appear to be dropping like flies. Let's hope they are paying attention. Until next time, thanks again for reading...Stay Vertical!

Kip 

 

Tuesday
Jul212015

Profits Booked: Important Portfolio Comments & Your Emails

Since June 29th, or just over 3 weeks, the VRA has booked fresh profits of 236%...not a bad 3 weeks, but now, it's time to look forward. Where is the market headed next, and where will our future profits come from?

To answer a couple of emails that have already come in, NO....I am not quiet ready to go short the market. We could be missing out on an opportunity to make money as the overall stock market drops, but I'm not ready to pull the trigger...but yes...the time could be fast approaching.

Ideally, here's what I would like to see; Apple reported earnings after the market closed today. Should Apple have reported a good number (which they did not) and the stock fail to move higher, this would be considered a "breakdown", and would also mark a triple top in the stock since February. With the narrowing action that I'm seeing in the market already, combined with poor market internals all around (new highs/new lows, up/down volume, plus very poor money flows and a plummeting money supply figure), the VRA Trading & Investing System would consider a major Apple breakdown as "soft" confirmation that a short term top (at minimum) is in place for the market. These are the kinds of "tells" that long term market pro's look for...we are as well.

WHEN we take action, we will once again use leveraged ETF's and put options to profit from the downside action. 

PORTFOLIO COMMENTS:

1) PRECIOUS METALS: The breakdown in PM's and miners is as ugly as it gets. And, because it coincides with the breakdown in oil and every other major commodity that I track, I don't know that we have enough reasons to believe that a final bottom is in place (although yesterdays selling sure did resemble a selling climax...wow...huge volumes, in fact, the LARGEST one day volume on record in GDX. We may well look back and see that yesterdays lows were THE lows). I am not removing our buy recommended PM stocks from the VRA...I have far too much confidence in their long term potential to do so. Remember, nothing has changed with our global debt scenario. The collapse that we've just seen take place in Greece will be repeated time and again in the years going forward. Ultimately, the coming calamity in fiat currency and sovereign debt defaults will cause precious metals to soar to prices that most cannot fathom today. But no one said that it would be easy...and making money in PM's and miners certainly has not been. 

 2) MONEY MANAGEMENT: Folks, please listen to me on this point...and it's one that we will address further on our conference call next Tuesday, which literally everyone should make an effort to attend (and no, it will not be recorded); the days of buy and hold investing are over...I don't see them returning...at least not in the next few years. Unless you are ok with making a few percentage points with index funds or mutual funds (if that...most are losing money), you must become at least somewhat active in your approach to money management. It's your money after all...and no one cares more about it than you. Letting it just sit there makes little to no sense...not in today's world. If your investment professional is telling you otherwise, show him the VRA results...then compare results with his/her advice.

Over the last couple of years, I know from working with many of you that have adopted the VRA approach to investing, which can be summed up like this: "we aren't day traders...but with the help of the VRA Trading & Investing System, we have a time-tested formula for consistently beating the stock market like a red-headed step-child." I've been at it with the VRA for over 12 years now, and I fully intend to be here doing this for another 12 (God willing). Should you desire to take full advantage of our approach at the VRA, I have one major mindset point to share with you: with the start of each new day, view your portfolio "from this point moving forward"....instead of, "the things that happened in the past are overtly influencing my investment decisions of today". If this point is not clear to you, I will get into more detail on it on the call next week. This point is MOST important...and it's the exact mindset of every smart money investor that I know.

YOUR EMAILS:

"Hi Kip, just want to let you know how much I have appreciated everything that goes into your VRA letter. I have subscribed to a lot of investment newsletters over the years but none that come close to your combination of insight and results. My heartfelt thanks for everything you put into it as well as your salt of the earth style. You've got a subscriber for life! FK, Vancouver"
 
Thanks very much FK. You and I go back a long ways, and I've enjoyed your feedback and alternative views on any number of subjects over the years. In a recent email you mentioned that you admired my candor with the mistakes at the VRA, as well as the victories...and I'd like to address this more fully here. One of my investment hero's is Peter Lynch, who said that he made money on just 6 out of 10 investments...all while averaging close to 28%/year in his illustrious mutual fund career with Fidelity.
He also told us that the 40% that he lost money on drove him crazy...a point that I connect with a million %. This was one of the issues that troubled me most on Wall Street (losing money for clients), and while I no longer have clients in the same sense (as a newsletter guy), I still feel that same sense of pain when positions like PM's fail to perform as expected....or worse, that result in actual losses.  At the same time, I know that "taking losses" is every bit as important as "taking gains", and that you cannot be a successful investor without recognizing the importance of both sides of the investment coin.
 
Will we be able to duplicate the 1900% net returns from the last 19 months going forward? Candidly, those odds are likely not very high...it's been a magical point in time...and all of this has happened with key stocks yet to participate and precious metals trading like death warmed over. 
But here's what I can say with absolute confidence; as long as we continue to apply ourselves 100%...and as long as we stay true to the VRA Trading & Investing System, I like our chances to continue dominating the stock market a great deal. And, my personal goal is to BEAT that 1900% over the next 19 months...
 
"Kip, I've been here close to 2 years and I read every update closely. Your work is unlike anything I have read. While my portfolio has grown nicely, I am disappointed that my returns have not matched the VRA's (the fear and greed that you write about often). I can tell from analyzing your Core Portfolio this is because I have not followed all of your options buys and more short term trading. I am 74 years "young", and in your opinion, should I be more active and follow all of your VRA buys? Thanks so much. My wife and I love your work. GR, New Mexico"
 
Thanks GR...and to your wife as well. Your question is really about your "Personal Risk/Return Mindset/Equation". Are you willing to take on greater degrees of risk in search of higher returns? And, only you (and your wife) can answer that. Your age of 74 yrs (young) is not even applicable in my mind. In today's world, 74 is still young in my mind as well...and as long as you are clear thinking, then taking advantage of all VRA buy rec's should absolutely be the case. GR, just being honest, the VRA could go through a dry period and have a number of large losses in a row. While that hasn't been the case, it doesn't not mean that it cannot happen...so as long as you manage the size of your positions, and continue to diversify, you should be fine.   
 
"Kip, I am sure that you hear this all the time, however, I feel that you can never hear gratitude too often. All of us following and hopefully engaging in your VRA advise are feeling on top of the world.  And, yes, I do believe you are the only one that has predicted both China and Greece correctly. I don't want to speak on everyone's behave, but I am sure all will agree...
We are blessed to have someone with your passion and expertise in the financial field guiding us to great rewards. It does not matter if someone is investing $100, or $1,000,000; the returns we are reaping are making great changes positively in our bank accounts.
Again, I thank you for your special knowledge. MW, Lansing Michigan"
 
Thanks very much MW. You've followed our buy/sell rec's closely, and I'm very happy for your results. While I may have been right about Greece, we still have work to do, but yes...we'll take our combined 86% returns in China over the last two weeks! Again, thanks for the kind words....this is my passion...and I am equally blessed to have you and the VRA community in my life. 
 
Stay tuned...in this kind of market, we could be taking fresh action at any time. I am literally running VRA System screens every 1-2 hours.
 
Until next time, thanks again for reading...Stay Vertical!
 
Kip
vraletter.com
 
Wednesday
Jul152015

Fresh Gains of 300% - Next Up

My apologies on the previous update that was sent out on Monday. As you may have noticed, parts were incomplete...this update includes full kipherriage.com commenatary and game plan. Thanks for your patience.

Kip

In the VRA's 12 year history, last week may have been our best. We've actually had a week with larger profits (400%+ in one week late last year...thanks again Russia), but our predictions last week on Greece, China and the overall stock market each came to pass...major market moving events that were not only spot on, but actionable as well, producing net returns of more than 200% for VRA Subscribers. 

For those that may be new to my work, since the beginning of 2014 the VRA has produced net profits of more than 1500% (after the gains from this past week, this number is higher...something like 300-400% higher). If there is a better performing investment advisory in either the US or globally, we cannot find it...and we've looked. Hulbert Financial Digest ranks investment newsletters that submit their work for review, and VRA's results would better Hulbert's top ranked newsletter...for at least the last 5 years...and candidly, by a wide margin.

At some point the VRA may well submit our results for review and ranking with Hulbert. We've maintained all research, records and VRA Updates back to 2005, when our first VRA site was launched. Many have encouraged me to do so, and if/when we do, our community will almost certainly grow by a "fair" amount. With that growth of course would come change...maybe I'm just superstitious, but the thought of doing anything that might have a negative impact on our investment performance doesn't excite me...my guess is that it doesn't excite you either. I'm sharing this only in the interest of full disclosure...a number of VRA Subscribers have been in the loop on this discussion and the ultimate decision...and now, everyone else can say the same thing.

**

Importantly, this update should we read in conjunction wtih last weeks...that is, if you are tracking along with my work here at kipherriage.com but not a Subscriber to to the VRA. In addition, I'm including some of my macro work on China...and folks, I believe it's important that you pay attention to this research. Not only is it likely some of my best (only time will tell of course), but it could mean major profits for you in the hours, days and weeks to come. I'm going to hit lots of points here...and they will all tie in together (somehow), so bear with me:

CHINA - I AM A MAJOR CHINA BULL!    I covered many of my reasons for being bullish on China earlier in the week...now, let's dive deeper...this is the stuff that most people have no real understanding of. Either that, or they just don't get how important it is.

First, total Chinese stock market assets make up less than 1.5% of Chinese bank assets...my guess is that most do not realize just how tiny this is compared to the rest of the world. In most parts of the industrialized world, this figure is well past 100%...this tells us that Chinese stock markets are going MUCH higher, especially due to that middle class of 300 million that can now open accounts and move money back and forth (from Hong Kong to the rest of the world...these regulatory and financial/banking/investment changes are BIG).

Second, China's coming inclusion into the MSCI global benchmark (which granted, may not happen until 2017, but my money is on it happening much sooner...either late this year or by mid-2016, at the latest). I'll discuss this more going forward, but for now, know this; "WHEN" this happens, in just the first year it will cause more than $50 billion in fresh, international funds, to come flooding into Chinese equities. And that's just year one...after that, fogetaboutit...it's on like donkey kong. I've seen estimates that put this figure at more than $100 billion/year by year five. 

Third, global acceptance of the Yuan, and the Shenzen-Hong Kong connect. Now, for the first time in history, the structural changes I mentioned earlier are allowing billions in intl. investments to flow directly into Chinese A Shares (instead of just Hong Kong listed stocks, as has been the case up until now). This is resulting in millions of new brokerage accounts...EACH MONTH! 

BTW, if you're listening to some of the talking heads and their forecasts about China crashing, count me as skeptical. When I was in China for about a week (2008), I was blown away by two things. First, the Chinese work ethic...and no, in my view, it has not been exaggerated...the Chinese absolutely love working. They tend to get their second wind in about hour 10.

Second, the Chinese competitive spirit...especially when it comes to beating the US. Make no mistake about it, the Chinese may dislike and want to beat Japan into the ground, but I found that the Chinese REALLY want to out-do the US...especially when it comes to long term business building and wealth creation. This drives the Chinese a great deal, and if the US isn't paying attention, we are going to get our butts absolutely kicked within a decade...likely less. 

Also, if you've heard the bears talking about all of that Chinese margin debt, then check this out; in just 5 days, Chinese margin debt has dropped by a full 1/3. It still totals $240 billion or so, but due to the fact that Chinese brokerages only allow margin on 1/2 of the total account value, this really is not a big deal..at least it's not if Chinese stocks can find a floor anywhere near here.   

Bottom line: Those that don't buy this pullback in China, especially since the govt. is now the markets official monetary backstop, are going to miss out on some pretty sensational gains in the next 1-2 years.  If you don't believe me, listen to what Goldman Sachs said about China just this week: "Serious long term investors should use this pullback to buy Chinese stocks. We expect a monster rally over the next year." 

Until next time, thanks again for reading...stay vertical!

Kip

Monday
Jul062015

VRA Update: Bulls and Bears Make Money...PIIGS Tend to Get Slaughtered...But Where Does That Leave Totalitarians?

As outlined in my last update here, I expected the markets to correct, and thanks to the VRA Trading & Investing System we were alerted just prior to a major shift in market direction (which also gave VRA Subscribers their next 100% in profits…in a single day).

The vast majority of this weakness has come from the insanity coming out of Europe/Greece…and with the NO vote from this weekends referendum vote, it’s clear that we aren’t out of the woods yet.

Just make sure you keep this in mind; the bull market for stocks…both here and globally…remains entirely intact.  If you’ve been waiting for a pullback to buy stocks, you’re getting your opportunity with this pullback.

**(note: the VRA recently launched our “financial recovery program” for those that may have been buried by Wall Street “guru’s”. Contact us at verticalresearch@mindspring.com for info on our program’s discounted membership, with three awarded each month)**

By now I'm sure you've heard the old investing paradigm, "Bulls and bears make money, but pigs get slaughtered." Whoever came up with this had a pretty clear understanding of the markets, at least as I've always interpreted the phrase. Over my 30 years in the markets, I've known plenty of bullish investors that have made money as the markets rise and conversely, I've known plenty of bearish investors that have made money as the markets fall (in fact, the best investment minds that I know tend to be more skeptical, and hence are probably wired to be more bearish). 

My definition of "pigs" may not be the same as the original author, but in my mind, it's the investor that simply hasn't figured out the emotions of money (fear and greed)...something that I tend to write about fairly often in these pages. By no means is it an easy personality shift to conquer, but with focused effort and discipline, it can absolutely be done. And, as the markets drop, as they did on Monday...and as they may continue to do for a short time into the future (my belief), we will come back to discuss the emotion of "fear" here at the VRA, once again. 

However, you may have noticed my spelling of "PIIGS" in the subject line of this update...and because VRA Subscribers are among the brightest I know, you likely already know that I'm actually referring to a completely different breed of animal. In this case, PIIGS means "Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain"....a derogatory acronym for certain...but one that is prevalent in the investment world once again, as potential Greece contagion fears begin to sweep the planet.

Of course, we've all seen this movie before...maybe that's why things have dragged out this long in Europe before stock markets woke up, once again, to the downside risks. 

My view really has not changed. Some may call it a simple view, but it's really the exact mindset...or more accurately...the frame of reference that I've adopted since the 2008 financial crisis and the resulting global bailout of all things "BIG MONEY"...aka, those special interests/powerful corporations, and most certainly, Wall Street's preferred brokerages and US major money center, commercial banks. 

It's the mindset that says "The Fix is In"... and while I'm certain that it will sound more than a little conspiratorial, when you examine the events of recent history, who knows...I might even bring you over to the dark side with me.   

It's this newfound frame of reference that has served me well in understanding things that, in the past, might completely drive me crazy. For example, following the start of our financial crisis, I would never have believed that our own Central Bank..the US FED (of course, there's nothing Federal about it...and it's certainly not "ours") would make it their mandate to save the worlds financial system as we knew it, including the printing of some $10 trillion + in fresh currency, and then (among many other things) to enter into all kinds of nefarious bailout agreements, not just in the US, but globally as well....AND, not just global governments and financial institutions, but substantial loans to high net worth individuals in the US and globally as well. Of course, we only learned of some of these "off the books" bailouts thanks to a couple of (semi) successful FOIA requests, but the vast majority of bailout details have never been shared with the public...and almost certainly, never will be.

"The Fix is In"...heck, call me simple...some may even call it a "rain-man" kind of mindset...but I prefer to call it "making sense of totalitarianism"...because to me, that's pretty much exactly what our global, and increasingly, highly coordinated planetary system of governance (HCPSG for short...hey, we can have acronyms too) has become...or at minimum, is on its way to becoming. 

If you're not really up on modern day totalitarianism, the history books tell us of leaders that did their absolute best to completely "rig the game". Names like Hitler and Mussolini were big fans. Granted, things didn't end too well for them either...but the Nazi Central Bank had to have been at least partly to blame...right? I mean, no way the "NCB" could have had the omnipresence/omniscience of our modern day central banks (before you look, no...there was no Nazi Central Bank...but please don't let that ruin the fun of the rest of this story for you). 

My frame of reference...as discussed above, also helped me to make sense of George "W" Bush, and the puppet role that he played while President, as we went to war in Iraq  (and those pesky WMD's...that of course turned out to be fabricated ). Interestingly, "W" will likely continue to benefit from Americans with poor memories, as polls continue to show that a majority in the US believe Sadam Husssein was responsible for 9/11. And no....he had absolutely nothing to do with it...but W's not complaining if you believed he did.

Obamacare...in the sense that it was passed in both houses of Congress (a tortured definition of "passed", I know), and has since gone on to survive two serious Supreme Court challenges...either that could have derailed the implementation/effectiveness of Obamacare to the point of making it an immediate failure (rather than the longer term failure that it will almost certainly become). You see, when we saw none other than Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts (staunch conservative historically...and of course, a Republican nominee) cast the deciding vote in favor of Obamacare on it's initial court challenge, again, my newfound mindset helped me to make sense of it.

Totalitarianism is the concept of a political system in which the state holds total control over the society and seeks to control all aspects of public and private life wherever possible.

I could go on...and in the future I will...but the definition above more and more describes the world that we all reside in today. And yes, it's another major reason that I see Greece remaining in the EZ...but wow, is this newly elected Greek government trying to upset that applecart. More and more, I find myself respecting their fight, even if they want to take Greece further to the left. At least they are willing to fight for their original commitment. We should all fight as hard for our beliefs. 

But, at the end of the day, "The Fix is In" will win...and Greece will remain. In fact, within just a few years the EZ will grow from 19 countries to 22-24. Doubt me? Check back in 2020 and we can compare notes...

 

 

Thursday
Jun112015

VRA Update: Short Term Correction Leading to Next Ramp Higher

For the last 2-3 weeks, a quiet but consistent internal correction in the markets has taken place. Take a look at the chart below on the S&P 500 and you'll see just what I am talking about.

That line across the bottom connects the lows in the S&P 500 since March...and yes, each time that we have come down to this line the markets have bottomed and moved sharply higher. Will recent history repeat? You know my views...the markets are going significantly higher...but don't take my word for it. Take a look at the most recent sentiment numbers from the "Bloggers Poll", which has become the best inverse sentiment indicator that I follow.

As you can see, 56% of all polled are now bearish...which is the most bearish that this indicator has been since the October '14 lows. The Dow was 16,000 then and a quick 13% rally of 2000 Dow points was about to get underway. And yes, this is exactly when the VRA Trading & Investing System was screaming "buy" as well. 

Next, let's take a look at the US Dollar. As a reminder, the USD went parabolic in the 4th quarter of last year...crushing US corp earnings and leading to gobs of so-called top currency experts predicting that the Euro would go to parity versus the USD. But then, the VRA made a bold call...in fact, I was the first that we can find that made this call. I said "the USD has topped out and would reverse course sharply against the Euro"...that exact day marked the top for the USD and the exact bottom for the Euro. Below is the USD chart that I referenced in mid April, with the topping action now clearly in place.

Since hitting oversold levels in May, the USD has now topped out once again...in what I can only refer to as "perfect technical action". 

Why do I seem so obsessed with the action in the USD?? Here's why; if my research is correct, the counter-move higher in the dollar looks to me to be over...which is coming at the exact time that sentiment on stocks has moved from overly bullish to overly bearish...and is also coming at a time when the overall markets are reaching significant support levels (refer back to the S&P 500 chart above).

BOTTOM LINE: as most of you know by now, our most consistent 100-200-300% returns have come from using the VRA Trading & Investing System. More specifically, waiting for "extreme readings" from the System before acting, either on the broad markets, stocks or options. The question now becomes, have we reached short term bearish extremes on the broader markets? 

Here's the answer: I would prefer to see a total wash out day...the kind of day where the markets open sharply lower...on some kind of macro specific bad news...just scaring the sh*t out of everyone. But...the markets don't always give you exactly what you're waiting for, so we may not get that opportunity. For now, just know that the S&P 500, the Dow and the Nasdaq are each at highly oversold levels. On top of that, both sentiment and the dollar look to be giving us strong buy signals for stocks. As I've been saying, make sure and keep some powder dry...we are very close to initiating new positions (most likely call options on the Russell 2000, and a leveraged broad market ETF... IWM). 

VRA FORECAST: BULL MARKET IN JUST THE 7TH INNING

While US stock markets are up just 1% or so this year, intl markets have ripped higher, with Japan, Europe and China up big (mainland China's up a whopping 50%). 

The recent pause/correction has been brought on by macro concerns about issues like: a) the FED raising rates, b) Greece leaving the EZ, and c) potential slowdown in the US/global economy.

Let me repeat: a) stock markets actually RISE when the FED begins to increase rates. I fully expect a 2000 point move higher in the Dow...within just 2-3 months of the first rate increase (likely in September) b) Greece will NOT leave the EZ...I see the odds at less than 20%. My only question is; once a deal is reached, will we get apologies from all of the "same song, second verse global fear-mongerers"? You know, the same "gurus" that have remained bearish on stocks during the entirety of this bull market?? c) Does anyone reading this actually believe that the US economy is contracting in size? How 'bout China, and their middle class of some 300 million...does anyone reading this believe that China is contracting in size? Is Europe and their $1.2 trillion in QE in contraction? Europe's massive QE program that will extend long past their September 2016 end date (again, I fully expect European QE to reach $2 trillion in size and end sometime in 2017/2018).

BROKEN RECORD TIME (my apologies...but these points continue to be incredibly important):

1) Bull markets do not end until the public is fully invested in stocks...with just 35-40% invested today, we have a long ways to go before we hit 60-70% (which has marked EVERY bull market top since WWII). And folks, please don't forget this most important point: the biggest moves in every major bull market (on record) come in just the last couple of innings. My research has us in the 7th inning...by the time the bottom of the 9th rolls around, the Dow will likely top 25k (just 17,770 today).

2) With interest rates near all time lows, where else are investors to allocate their retirement funds? This point should be so powerful that I'll leave it without additional comment (at least in this update...I've covered it plenty in the past).

3) Massive global QE/money printing, stimulus, low rates...it's been clear for some time (5-6 years) that central banks globally want stock prices that are MUCH higher. In what I can only refer to as "stupidly stunning", perma-bears continue to fight the tape and fight the FED...at some point they will ALL throw in the towel...and of course, that's when we will be taking profits and going VERY short the markets. We just aren't anywhere near that point...that's an end of 2016 story (my crystal ball works best over about 3 months, so yes, an 18 month prediction is pushing it...I get it).

VRA PORTFOLIO UPDATE:

The last 3-4 weeks is the least active that the VRA has been in the markets for over a year...and that's not been by accident. Prior to this, we booked net gains of more than 300% in the previous quarter, along with net gains of more than 1500% since the beginning of 2014. No doubt, I'm certain that you would prefer we book these kinds of gains consistently...day after day, and week after week. Hey, who wouldn't?

But folks, I've learned something very important over the years...in fact, its a lesson that we all learned as kids...you can't fit a round peg in a square hole. As simple as this lesson is, if you violate it in the stock market, you'll also experience very real losses...along with very real pain. 

So...we will remain patient...we've done far too well to give back our gains.

Kip Herriage

vraletter.com