"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


VRA Update: Dow Theory BIG Buy Signal. Investor Sentiment Buy Signals Continue. 

VRA Update: Dow Theory BIG Buy Signal. Investor Sentiment Buy Signals Continue. 

The markets continue to flash buy signal after buy signal as FED Chair Yellen hints loudly that we may see only modest rate hikes going forward...looks like someone is trying to keep their job (her term ends early 2018 and the inside word is that Trump is looking to replace her). There can be zero question that the president...regardless of who that person may be...wants interest rates to stay low for as long as possible. Near zero percent interest rates over the last decade have propelled stock markets higher around the world and have made the acronym TINA (There is No Alternative) the go-to investment theme of our time.
As tens of millions of retirees have learned the hard way, the days of putting your lifelong savings into CD's and bank savings accounts and expecting a decent retirement income are GONE. Of course, this was the FED's intention all along; force rates down to nothingness...which then forces investors into the stock market. Stocks of course are a far riskier proposition for investors but it's also forced trillions into the stock market (which then trickles into the economy), helping to propel price to earnings multiples into the stratosphere. 
Yes, QE (quantitative easing)...which totals $4.5 trillion in the US alone...is the ultimate in trickle-down economics, an economic concept first made popular by Ronald Reagan. Regan believed that by lowering tax rates (on both individuals and corporations) that the resulting prosperity would then "trickle down" throughout the system. The end result was the greatest bull market is US history. 
Today, the FED's QE represents a new breed of trickle down economics...but you'll hear NO ONE talk about it on TV or in MSM. Negative conversations about the FED are simply not allowed. If you think I'm kidding...I am not. Ask yourself this question; when is the last time you've heard...anywhere in the MSM...about the risks that out of control, money printing central banks are creating? 
I rest my case...
But folks, fighting the FED makes little investment sense...central banks are the investment "gods" (little g) of our time.
This is when I am forced to return to the wisdom of my early mentors...Michael Metz of Oppenheimer and Ted Parsons of Underwood Neuhaus (my first investment firm). Both of these investment giants have since passed away, but not a day goes by that I don't recall their wisdom. Both men taught me that "fighting the tape and fighting the FED" is the quickest way to the poor house. Today, with markets at all-time highs, it mights ZERO sense to "fight the tape". Secondly, and equally as important, with central banks determined to keep rates low while themselves buying stocks hand over fist, it's clear that "fighting the FED" is even more dangerous. 
Bottom line; regardless of the nosebleed territory we find the markets in, as smart money investors, we must continue to look for opportunities to make money on the upside. Perma-bears will ultimately turn bullish as well...and then...this is when the VRA will recommend getting out of the markets and going short. 
We have a big week in front of us with second quarter earnings fast approaching. Beginning tomorrow, the big banks start reporting...then next week, its really on. Here are the most important earnings reports of the coming week:
Next Week:
Next up, the weekly AAII Investor Sentiment readings were released and it's almost hard to believe what we see here. Bulls are at just 28.2% (down 1.3%), bears are at 29.6% and a BIG 42.1% of investors are neutral. 
Sure, lots of complacency...which is always a concern...but I'll repeat, until the bullish percentage breaks 50%, and then stays over 50% for multiple weeks, any kind of serious market top is HIGHLY unlikely. Incredibly, bears still outnumber the bulls. And, because we know that investor sentiment is one of the best gauges of where stocks are headed, we must continue to bet on higher prices...as in MUCH higher prices. BTW, this is the 19th consecutive week that optimism is below its long term average of 38.5%. Wow.... 
AAII Investor Sentiment Survey
Since 1987, AAII members have been answering the same simple question each week:
[Do you feel the direction of the market over the next six months will be up (bullish), no change (neutral) or down (bearish)?]
The results are compiled into the AAII Investor Sentiment Survey,
which offers insight into the mood of individual investors.
Survey Results for Week Ending 7/12/2017
Data represents what direction members feel the
stock market will be in next 6 months.
The AAII Investor Sentiment Survey has become a widely followed measure of the mood of individual investors. The weekly survey results are published in financial publications including Barron's and Bloomberg and are widely followed by market strategists, investment newsletter writers and other financial professionals.
Next up, and I remain amazed that so few are talking about this, both the Dow Jones and the transports hit an all-time high on the same day. Again, my mentors were BIG on something called the "Dow Theory Buy Signal" (with thanks to Richard Russell, a major adapter of this concept, who has also since passed away). Russell and I used to speak 1-2 times a year, having first met him when I was in my late 20's, and his research when like this; when both the Dow and Transports are in confirmed bull markets, we MUST be bullish. Not many refer to the Dow Theory today, but again, with combined fresh all time highs on the same day, this confirms for us exactly how positive the markets remain. 
Here's the 1 year chart of the trannies. Big, beautiful breakout higher....it tells us that LOTS of economic growth is taking place because LOTS of stuff is getting transported.  
The VRA will continue to look for opportunities on the long side of the equation. Companies that will be major beneficiaries of the continuation of the global reflation trade.

Until next time, thanks again for reading....



VRA Update: Housing is Rocking. Perma-Bears Continue to Amaze.

The Trump-mania bull market continues with no signs of slowing down. The VRA has been bullish on US markets since early 2013 and my LT targets remain in place...Dow Jones 25,000 on the low side...but what's more likely is a massive blow-off rally phase that sees the DJ top 30,000. All before the end of Trumps (first) term.

First up today, the broad market and some VRA Analysis. It never ceases to amaze me how the perma-bears come out of the woodwork each time we have a modest correction. I've fallen into this trap a time or two along the way, but only from the position of short term, massively overbought market trades designed to make short term profits as the markets corrected. However, longer term, the VRA has been bullish since 2013 and I see no reason to deviate from this view today. This is when I have to post a fresh housing chart, to make my case as clear as possible.

Below is a 15 year chart of HGX (housing index). I've included two blue circles. The first represents the 2005 highs in housing. Once the highs were in place, the bottom really began to fall out in early 2006. This is when I began to post warnings to VRA Subscribers that something big was coming and that it almost cleanly would not end well. I was a bit early...the stock market would hold up until 2007...but then the bottom fell out and we all remember the end result; the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression (while the VRA booked 630% in net profts during the worst 6 months of the decline). 

That horizontal blue line you see below tells us something very interesting, namely that HGX is just now approaching a new all-time high for housing stocks. Let me repeat; in my now 32 years in the investment business there has never been a significant market top when the housing market was performing this well. This is a point that perma-bears cannot argue...which is why they almost never discuss it.  

Two final points on housing. One; Donald Trump is one of the most successful real estate investors in all of history. As president, he knows that solid real estate/housing markets are the underpinning of a strong economy. He also knows that bank lending and money flows hold the key to expanding said economic growth. Hence, it's highly unlikely that this pattern of a strong housing market will reverse anytime soon. Add to this, the FED....even as they slowly raise rates....has made it very clear that they are more than willing to let the economy run hot before worrying about inflationary pressures building. Yellen and team have one primary job...protect their banking brethren...and they do this by insuring that the growth of debt markets is allowed to continue, without friction. I see nothing that says this commitment is about to change. NO broad market top is likely until housing reverses...

Next up, take a look at this 3 year chart of QQQ (Nasdaq 100). Recently, the QQQ fell below its 50 dma and is fighting to regain this important moving average. While not yet at extreme oversold levels that we've seen on the 3 occasions marked by the vertical blue lines below, QQQ is beginning to approach the same oversold levels that have marked moves higher of 20% plus. The bears that have come out of hibernation recently and are boldly predicting that the top is in place and that the next crash is directly in our path. 

Highly unlikely. Don't fight the tape...don't fight the FED (especially when central banks globally are aggressively buying both debt AND equities).

Yes, I continue to believe that FANG stocks are ridiculously overpriced...this certainly applies to Netflix (NFLX), which I see as the next company to be steamrolled by Amazon (and a myriad of fresh competition), but it's highly unlikely that the Nasdaq/QQQ will see a final top until we have that blow-off mania phase that marks the top of every major bull market. 

Let me also repeat; the Dow Jones will likely reach 25-30k before any final top is in place (barring the always possible black swan surprise). 

Next up, precious metals and the miners. I'm posting just one chart here below....its of GDX (miner ETF). This chart is not my handiwork but its making the rounds online and we see some most important developments in it. What you see below is GDX trading back towards the $21 level, a triple bottom going back to March. This level has served as a springboard for sharp moves higher each time and with GDX hitting 85% oversold, I look for exactly the same this time. 

As tempted as I am to aggressively recommend additional purchases of my favorite miners, I must also stick with the VRA System. This group (including gold and silver) MUST regain their primary trend bull markets (50 and 200 dma). Until this happens, caution is warranted. But remember, these are technical indicators only....the fundamental story of PM's and the miners could hardly be more positive. Massive global debt and bubbling currency inflation tells us that we MUST own this group for the long term. 

HT @bamabroker

Until next time, thanks again for reading...



VRA Update: The Next Big Move. Gold and Bitcoin.

As our bubble bull market continues, we see some incredibly interesting chart developments for gold/miners and the continued rollover in the reflation trade, as this time evidenced by the mini-crash that's occurring in the financials. Also, I highly encourage you to read the article at the end. It's from one of my most trusted and long term experts, Paul Craig Roberts. If you want to understand cryptocurrencies a bit better, along with the tie-in to precious metals and their continued manipulation, I think you'll enjoy this piece.  I sure did.

But first, lets take a look at the chart of gold that everyones talking about right now...I must have seen this weekly chart of gold re-tweeted several hundred times in just the last few days (rare for any chart of gold...likely because gold does not have .com at the end of it). 

In this weekly chart, from the highs of 2012 ($1900/oz) we see that gold has been in a downtrend. That blue trend line that you see has served as resistance on every rally attempt since. It's almost as if some mystical force has kept this chart in front of them and waved their magic wand, sending gold lower on each occasion it dared to cross this line. Of course the wizard I hint at is the FED and her sister criminal central banks globally. 

Here's what we need to see; should gold trade through $1300/oz ($1297 this am) this will be the definitive break higher that will tell the traders of the world that gold is about to have a rocketship-like move higher. The next chart might just give us the ammo to make this prediction...

This is the GDX (miner ETF) chart. Here, we see each instance that the FED has raised rates. The first hike was in December 2015...we were ALL over this in the VRA and made serious money as the gold/silver and the miners ramped 152% higher over the next 9 months (our profits were 3x).

The second hike was December of 2016. Again, we called that move higher, and it produced a GDX gain of 44%. The last hike was in March of this year and we saw a much more compressed move higher (though also very short term) of just 19%.

But looking at this chart tells us two things clearly; 1) GDX sells off into rate hikes and 2) GDX then rallies sharply after a rate hike. Folks, this is what we must be ready for.

The FED decision is just 1 week away....we'll focus on our specific game plan going forward.  


Here's the chart of BKX (bank index), showing the big reversal lower, since the March highs. The big banks announced that trading revenues are slowing...of course we know that loan growth is doing the same. This is a big pattern change...we'll soon know if it signals a reversal in the US economy or merely a slowdown. But yes, what you see below is a head and shoulders pattern...if that right shoulder breaks down, look out below.


And this chart (courtesy of Sentiment Trader) might just be the market tell that we needed to see to make sense of the disconnects occurring in the market. 

As you'll see, each time (since 2007) that the Nasdaq has hit a new 52 week high, while at the same time less than 55% of small caps were above their 50 dma, a sharp sell-off has occurred.   

Heres the article from PCR on gold and bitcoin. PCR is the man...plain and simple. I write about him at least 1-2 times a year. He worked as the #2 man at the Treasury under Reagan and then was top editor at the WSJ. But his honesty banished him to journalist wilderness. PCR is a friend of mine....he's a friend of ours...I highly encourage you to register at his site and support/follow his work. This piece is spot on. 

BTW, if bitcoin can soar 600% in less than a year, what do you think gold might be abe to do? My target remains $2000/oz within 9 months. 

Until next time, thanks again for reading...



Is Bitcoin Standing In For Gold?

Is Bitcoin Standing In For Gold?

Paul Craig Roberts and Dave Kranzler

In a series of articles posted on www.paulcraigroberts.org, we have proven to our satisfaction that the prices of gold and silver are manipulated by the bullion banks acting as agents for the Federal Reserve.

The bullion prices are manipulated down in order to protect the value of the US dollar from the extraordinary increase in supply resulting from the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing (QE) and low interest rate policies. 

The Federal Reserve is able to protect the dollar’s exchange value vis-a-via the other reserve currencies—yen, euro, and UK pound—by having those central banks also create money in profusion with QE policies of their own.

The impact of fiat money creation on bullion, however, must be controlled by price suppression. It is possible to suppress the prices of gold and silver, because bullion prices are established not in physical markets but in futures markets in which short-selling does not have to be covered and in which contracts are settled in cash, not in bullion.

Since gold and silver shorts can be naked, future contracts in gold and silver can be printed in profusion, just as the Federal Reserve prints fiat currency in profusion, and dumped into the futures market. In other words, as the bullion futures market is a paper market, it is possible to create enormous quantities of paper gold that can suddenly be dumped in order to drive down prices. Everytime gold starts to move up, enormous quantities of future contracts are suddenly dumped, and the gold price is driven down. The same for silver.

Rigging the bullion price prevents gold and silver from transmitting to the currency market the devaluation of the dollar that the Federal Reserve’s money creation is causing. It is the ability to rig the bullion price that protects the dollar’s value from being destroyed by the Federal Reserve’s printing press.

Recently, the price of a Bitcoin has skyrocketed, rising in a few weeks from $1,000 to $2,200. Two explanations suggest themselves. One is that the Federal Reserve has decided to rid itself of a competing currency and is driving up the price with purchases while accumulating a large position, which then will be suddenly dumped in order to crash the market and scare away potential users from Bitcoins. Remember, the Fed can create all the money it wishes and, thereby, doesn’t have to worry about losses.

Another explanation is that people concerned about the fiat currencies but frustrated in their attempts to take refuge in bullion have recognized that the supply of Bitcoin is fixed and Bitcoin futures must be covered. It is strictly impossible for any central bank to increase the supply of Bitcoins. Thus Bitcoin is standing in for the suppressed function of gold and silver.

The problem with cryptocurrencies is that whereas Bitcoin cannot increase in supply, other cryptocurrencies can be created. In order to be trusted, each cryptocurrency would have to have a limited supply. However, an endless number of cryptocurrencies could be created that would greatly increase the supply of cryptocurrencies. If entrepreneurs don’t bring about this result, the Federal Reserve itself could organize it. 

Therefore, cryptocurrency might be only a temporary refuge from fiat money creation. This would leave gold and silver, whose supply can only gradually be increased via mining, as the only refuge from wealth-destroying fiat money creation.

For as long as the Federal Reserve can protect the dollar by bullion price suppression and money creation by other reserve currency central banks, and as long as the Federal Reserve can keep the influx of new dollars out of the general economy, the Federal Reserve’s policy adds to the wealth of those who are already rich. This is because instead of driving up consumer prices, thus threatening the US dollar’s exchange value with a rising rate of inflation, the Fed’s largess has flowed into the prices of financial assets, such as stocks and bonds. Bond prices are high, because the Fed forced up the price by purchasing bonds. Stock prices are high, because the abundance of money bid prices higher than profits justify. As the US government measures inflation in ways designed to understate it, the consumer price index and producer price index do not send alarm systems into the markets.

Thus, we have a situation in which the Fed’s policy has done nothing for the American population, but has driven up the values of the financial portofilios of the rich. This is the explanation why the rich are becoming more rich while the rest of America becomes poorer. 

The Fed has rigged the system for the rich, and the whores in the financial media and among the neoliberal economists have covered it up.




VRA Update: VRA System Analysis. The Bubble Lives On. Dow Jones 25K

Before we get to the VRA Trading & Investing System Analysis, some observations on "The Bubble" we are witness to today...a bubble that mankind has never seen the likes of...and that just a decade ago would have been too bizarre to turn into a book or movie...no one would have believed $15 trillion in global QE (in only a decade, no less) would even be remotely possible. And, I stopped counting the level of fresh fiat currency printing, fresh debt issuance, about the same time I stopped counting the level of unregulated derivatives outstanding, which topped $1.3 quadrillion (back in 2015). 

But folks, this bubble could just be getting started. That's what makes a bubble a bubble...they extend to levels that no one thinks are possible. And right now, with bearish sentiment among investors at such historically high levels (as we see each week in the AAII survey), it's becoming more and more likely to this market observer that global equity markets could soar for Trumps entire first term...an outcome that, intellectually, I still find hard to come to grips with...but bubbles don't work via brain power...bubbles work via bubble power. And this bubble might be a special one....certainly one that still has lots of legs left. If you read my new book, you know that I believed the first 2 years would be rough for Trump. While this could still be the case, outisde of ordianry pullbacks and corrections, I see none of the tell-tale signs that would mark a more serious decline (unless of course we factor in any of the global, ever present, black swans).

Back in late 2014, When the Dow first crossed 18k I began writing about the very real possibility of Dow Jones 25k by the end of 2018, and while there's no one on the planet that knows what the future holds (making my conjecture mostly a silly exercise), a fresh look at some of the most important facts....plus the VRA System Analysis...should help us. 

As we go through this, know that the Dow is up just over 240 points as I write, back above 21k and just 60 or so points away from another fresh all time high. Based on the action we are seeing, unless the markets completely reverse course just prior to a new high, the benefit of the doubt has to go to "The Bubble" and its ability to live on. This market is bulletproof...using every pullback to suck in the bears...which only pushes the market higher, as they are once again forced to cover.

Remember the Trump fears from folks like Mark Cuban and 80% of Wall Street soothsayers? The Dow could drop 10%....20%....it might even be cut in half? Uhhh....nope.

How about the fears of Brexit and the global collapse that would take place, should the UK bolt the EU. Nope....

Then this weekends first round in France....for the first time in modern times, neither ruling party will have a candidate in the final run-off come 5/7. But do stocks collapse. Nope...they scream higher...while at the same time, bond yields barely budge. 

This is a one of a kind bubble...one that might wind up being bigger than just about anyone can imagine today. 

As we know all too well, central banks appear, well...there's really only one word for it...desperate. First, they continue to pump stock prices higher and higher. They do this both directly and indirectly. Directly through either straight up equity buying (as in Japan and China and God-only-knows how many invisible hands the FED employs elsewhere around the globe), but also indirectly via their purchases of corporate debt (in Japan, China and all throughout Europe/the EU, plus once again, the FED's invisible hands). These corporate bond buys by global central banks then serve as a proxy for corporations to continue buying back their own shares at record levels. Rinse and repeat. Rinse and repeat. 

This is the essence of our global central bank shell game. It kicked off in earnest following the 07-09 financial crisis and has only picked up serious steam from there. 

With interest rates remaining unbelievably low this late in the cycle, its also clear they want rates to continue falling. There is simply no evidence to the contrary...at least until the bond market vigilantes mark their return from a 32 year hiatus. 

What makes these low rates so remarkable...with the 10 year yielding just 2.3%...is the chart of the housing index that we have focused on recently. Heres an updated 11 year chart of HGX, which hit another 11 year high on Thursday....showing absolutely no signs of wanting to reverse. 

And with the king of real estate & debt in the White House, it might make perfect sense that we should have another 2-3-4-5-? years of real estate bullishness. Hey, your guess is as good as mine...but this next part is not a guess; economic recoveries do not end when real estate is flying high...it's simply not the way it works.

Of course, a world war with Russia/Iran/North Korea (China)...one that might even include a few nukes...would bring this party to a crashing halt overnight...these are the scary as hell black swans we are forced to live with. 

Let's wrap this up with the things that I can speak much more confidently about...the VRA System and some chart work:

I normally point to the chart of the S&P 500....now, lets take a look at the Dow Jones. 

The breakout that began on Monday took the Dow out of its flag pattern and it did so with a positive resolution. The bears had their chance and once again, they look to have failed. 

While still a few points below a new high, the Dow looks ready to take the old highs on and easily surpass them as well. The Dow just got a fresh buy signal as well, with the MACD turning bullish, all while the oversold levels are now reversing....also giving a fresh buy signal on RSI. Still fully bullish, based on my VRA System (which has remained LT bullish since 2012).

But its this next chart that has people talking....take a look at the Nasdaq:

That circle you see represents todays 73 point move higher from yesterday, to another fresh all time high. My mentors taught me that a soaring Nasdaq represented a "sexy market" that wants to push higher. The chart below qualifies as sexy...with the kicker that we also got a fresh MACD buy signal today as well. 



But, at the same time, check out yesterdays CBOE Put/Call ratio. The Dow never really fell below +200 points, but remarkably, investors were buying puts all day long. Anything over 1 means investors are bearish...and it actually closed the day at 1.05, the highs of the day. 

In this mornings open, these put buyers are turning into fresh index/call buyers....again, pushing stocks higher still.
9:00 AM 497582 491981 989563 0.99
9:30 AM 749706 696825 1446531 0.93
10:00 AM 1022265 949984 1972249 0.93
10:30 AM 1153216 1138855 2292071 0.99
11:00 AM 1303276 1322000 2625276 1.01
11:30 AM 1466704 1468224 2934928 1.00
12:00 PM 1642180 1644805 3286985 1.00
12:30 PM 1730765 1734456 3465221 1.00
1:00 PM 1859668 1833885 3693553 0.99
1:30 PM 1959914 1982897 3942811 1.01
2:00 PM 2095219 2093368 4188587 1.00
2:30 PM 2264818 2309353 4574171 1.02
3:00 PM 2456804 2578754 5035558 1.05


We looked at gold last....still giving a strong buy signal above all important technical levels....so lets look at the mining ETF, GDX.

While still overtly bullish, from those early 2016 lows, the miners refuse to fully participate with gold/silver. Of all the charts that I follow, its the miners that have me most flummoxed. The fundamental story could not look better. Record global debt levels....rapidly rising real inflation levels...ungodly amounts of fiat currency printing...but the miners have yet to really come to life. 

But when we look a bit closer, we see a rising bullish wedge/triangle...one that I believe MUST result in a massively sharp move higher, as "The Bubble" continues along its merry way. Folks, the bubble that we are living through today tells me one thing; gold and silver...and most certainly the miners...are about to join this party. Here's what I believe we will see next; GDX will break through the upper trend line, then its 200 dma, which today sits at $24.54...and what follows will be a monster move higher. 

The consolidation that we are seeing today will serve as a "coiled spring"...yes, this is an actual technical term...with the miners breaking to new all-time highs. This bubble demands it!

We buy them when they are cheap, so that we may profit from them when they are no longer cheap. This is the ONE group that every smart money investor I know and trust is buying...for spectacular LT gains. 

Finally, my stock of the century (VRA Subscribers) is holding onto 2.5 month gains of more than 300%. I will issue a clear heads up on the next move higher...it will be a remarkable ramp. Continue to dollar cost average.

Until next time, thanks again for reading...



VRA Update: Trump's Pattern Change. It's Time for Insurance

Because pattern/trend analysis is such an important investing concept for active (and passive) investors, it's time that we address the politlcal elephant in the room...the possibility that the Donald Trump of the campaign trail may not be the same Donald Trump that we now have as President. The possibility that a pattern change is occuring...

Remember, $3 trillion in US stock market gains have occured since 11/8, with much of the credit going to our newly elected president. It's not called the "Trump Rally" for nothing. Plus, as you've heard me cover many times, the first year of a new presidency is when all sorts of bad things tend to happen; the Civil War, both World Wars, Vietnam, plus 9/11...each of these started/took place in a new presidents first year. Add to these, 10 bear markets and 8 serious recessions...with each starting in year 1. 

No, I am not off the Trump train. But I'm also not a blind follower, of anyone. And, hypocrisy may be my least favorite personality trait, period.

First, we saw Thursday nights military strikes in Syria. Whether you support the launch of 59 tomahawks against an airbase in Syria or not is not really the issue...at least not for me. The Trump that I remember casting a vote for repeatedly attacked then President Obama for his own involvement(s) in Syria. I'm sure you've seen the tweets and remember his many warnings, like this one: "why would we get involved in a war in Syria, a country that has done nothing to America? Is it worth starting World War III with Russia over? Huge Mistake!!"

Hypocrisy. There can be no other word for it.

BTW, according to multiple media reports, the airbase that we struck, as our primary target, is once again (mostly) operational, meaning that the $90 million or so we just spent on tomahawks may have had no real effect whatsoever.

Second, if the attack was a one-off, it might make some sense...new sheriff in town and all. But that now appears NOT to be the case. On CNN's 'State of the Union" this morning, UN Ambassador Nikki Haley just stated that "regime change in Syria is one of the Trump administrations top priorities in Syria." Exact quote.

But, just one week ago, Haley said "the US was no longer focused on getting Assad out." That's a very fast policy change, and again, not at all what we heard from #45 on the campaign trail. 

Pattern change. 

Regime change means US boots on the ground, and lots of them. A major military action like this will likely require more than 100,000 US troops in Syria, and that number may be low. In fact, late last night, one of the most instinctive and well-informed journalists around, Mike Cernovich, broke a story that reported the die may already cast and that "Trump is being manipulated (by Flynn’s replacement, McMaster) into sending 150,000 US troops into Syria". You can find his reporting on Twitter @cernovich. BTW, Cernovich was the first to break the Susan Rice “spying” story. He also broke a number of important election-impacting stories, so he's absolutely someone to pay attention to. 

Is this what we want, as a nation? Do we want to remove "another" countries leader? Most of us remember the disastrous consequences of removing Iraq's Hussein and Libya's Gaddafi, all too well. Let’s also keep this most important point in mind; Assad has been (effectively) fighting our sworn global enemy, ISIS, and doing so at great cost. Assad might also be the only thing standing between the complete slaughter of non-Sunnis in the country, including Christians.

Once again, regardless of whether US action in Syria is the right course of action or not, is this the Trump that we voted for? Personally, I can tell you that this is most certainly NOT the Trump that I voted for.  

Third, we've just learned that Trump has ordered a Navy strike group (4 ships) to the Korean peninsula, sending the most direct threat/message possible to North Korea and it’s unhinged leader, Kim Jong Un. Reports are that North Korea will continue testing, likely this week, their nuclear weapon capabilities, something that Trump and Secretary of State Tillerson have repeatedly stated "will not be allowed to continue."

You get my point. Right or wrong, these are not the actions that Trump promised us, most certainly not in his first 100 days.

As I've shared recently with VRA Subscibers, what we are witnessing appears to be a significant "pattern change", as it relates to Trump. Whether we're talking investing or politics, when a well-established pattern changes, we must be on alert. Trump's well-established pattern for close to two years was "winning", and doing so by standing his ground, against all comers and against all odds.

First, we saw Trump lose his incoming National Security Advisor, General Mike Flynn (also one of his most important and respected allies, during the campaign). A VERY big loss. Second, Trump's rough health care bill defeat. This was a monster of a political loss, as Trump made healthcare reform and the "repeal and replace" of Obamacare, one of his most important campaign platform staples. It was the healthcare defeat that really caught my attention, especially when just 48 hours before the vote was to take place, Trump stated "just watch, it's going to pass" in his most confident braggadocio. But with something like 17% support, the vote had to be pulled, never even making it to the floor. That's not just a loss...that's an embarrassment of a loss. 

And now…military action in Syria…and possibly even North Korea.

Pattern change.

All combined, this is why we added “insurance” to the VRA Portfolio on Friday, by purchasing our favorite voaltility ETF. The VIX could be ready to have another monster move higher. And yes, increased military action and geopolitical instability will almost certainly be a positive for our precious metals and energy positions. We are well positoned...for several bad/worst case scenarios.

Should global tensions continue to build, we could easily see $20/barrel added to the price of oil and more than $100/oz added to the price of gold. Even these figures could be on the low side.

One final point, and it’s one I’ve made many times before. If we are destined to have another major war (God help us all), one important action should be required first; the draft must be reinstated…but with one important caveat. The first to be drafted will be the children of our elected officials (both state and federal). Then, following boot camp, send them directly to the front lines. 

Let’s see how many in congress would still approve of ramped up US military intervention(s)…much less, world war.

Until next time, thanks again for reading...