Posts tagged “retirement planning

The Battery Winds Down

The Prism Daily: Thu, Oct 04, 2012
Your daily financial news-tritional supplement. From David Taylor and Gordon Philips, Directors with Prism Solutions, LLC  ‘Better Investing Through Science’

Precis: The economy continues to wind down like a dying battery.

Orders to U.S. Factories Plunge on Airplanes, Computers
“Orders placed with U.S. factories fell in August by the most in more than three years, signaling that slowdowns in business investment and exports restrained the economic expansion… concerns about a fiscal cliff of tax increases and government spending cuts set for January also are putting the brakes on business investment, which has been a mainstay of the expansion.”

Is your personal economy winding down, Dear Reader? If so, may we suggest you try our automated wealth augmentation services. It’s as easy as requesting your FREE, no-obligation consultation, plus oyu can get started with just a $2,500 minimum account. Click here for details. http://www.prism-solutions.com/presidential-package.htm

Are Your Investments Performing Like This?

SEP 2012 | pdf
AUG 2012 | pdf | video
JUL 2012 | pdf | video

Prism Virtual CD*
It’s not easy for our automated investing software to generate returns as low as a bank CD, but we had to try anyway. Click here to follow along:

TIP: You’ll need to multiply the current monthly return shown times 12 to get the annual return, currently running a little over 1.0%. Bear in mind that this is the same software we use to get 1% per WEEK.

(* Not issued by a bank, not a real CD, not FDIC insured, not connected with any government, offered for comparative purposes only, entertainment too.).

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In a hurry? Quick…. dial +1-641-715-3900. Enter extension 985062 and press # for a quick overview of our wealth generation services.

“And May All Your Investments Be Profitable”

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College Students Defaulting At Record Rates

Performance Reports
Are returns like these really possible? Check out our recent performance here: July | August

Prism Virtual CD*
Click here to watch us emulate a 1% bank CD* with our automated investing software. You’ll need to multiply the current monthly return x 12 to get the annual return, currently running a little over 1.0%. Bear in mind that this is the same software we use to get 1% per DAY. (* Not issued by a bank, not a real CD, not FDIC insured, not connected with any government, offered for comparative purposes only. Entertainment too.).

The Prism Daily: Mon, Oct 01, 2012
Why would it surprise anyone that college students are defaulting on their loans at record rates? Where are today’s college students going to get the money to pay these loans back when they can’t find jobs? From USA Today we read….

College Students Defaulting At Record Rate
“Experts say rising student debt and the poor economy have pushed an increase in the number of student loan defaults… Student loan defaults have risen for the fifth straight year as students have an increasingly difficult time paying off their college debt… of the 4.1 million borrowers who began making payments in late 2009 and early 2010, 9.1% defaulted within two years, up from 8.8% the year before… an official three-year default rate… showed that last year’s 8.8% default rate ballooned to 13.4%… ‘This default data raises serious questions about the quality and value of the education students receive from these schools’…”

With so few jobs available you have to ask yourself why college students keep going into so much debt when it’s so much more promising to be an entrepreneur. The very definition of employment is selling your time to the lowest bidder for the least they’re willing to pay you. Do this over and over and they call it a career. When you’re young and the world is your oyster, that’s the time to consider starting your own business and becoming financially independent. If all else fails, you can get a job.

Then there’s this. Mow lawns all summer, shovel snow all winter, save up and open an account with Prism Solutions. Let our automated wealth augmentation services help compound a tiny stash into a considerable nest egg. Maybe you can retire when you’re 30 and let your parents move in with you.

Getting started is as easy as requesting your FREE, no-obligation consultation. We stand ready to help you achieve your wealth development goals and answer your toughest questions.

And May All Your Investments Be Profitable…

David Taylor and Gordon Philips, Directors
Prism Solutions, LLC

‘Better Investing Through Science’

The Prism Daily
Your ‘One-A-Day’ financial supplement, including trace elements of economic analysis that every healthy investor needs. Addresses a wide variety of monetary afflictions, from vacillation to impecunity. Specially formulated to go down easy! WARNING: Side effects may include elevated cognition and bouts of epiphany. If symptoms persist, unplug cable TV.

Your Prism Solution
Let us help you grow a modest portion of your investable net worth at rates of return with the potential to DOUBLE your money every 18-24 months and generate a sustainable retirement , not to mention getting you far ahead of the coming Big Inflation at the same time. You can get started with just a $2,500 minimum account and your first billing period is FREE. Click here for details.

Access Our Archives
– Read past issues of the Prism Letter here
– Read past issues of the Prism Daily at our blog

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Did a friend forward you this issue? Click here to subscribe to our mailing list and receive all of our timely and informative communications, FREE in your inbox.

Twitter
The latest economic news and updates, 140 characters at a time. Follow us here.

24/7 Telephone Hotline
In a hurry? Quick…. dial +1-641-715-3900. Enter extension 985062 and press # for a quick overview of our wealth generation services.


Depend On Yourself

The Prism Daily
Your ‘One-A-Day’ financial news-tritional supplement, including trace elements of economic analysis that every healthy investor needs. Addresses a wide variety of monetary afflictions, from vacillation to impecunity. Specially formulated to go down easy! WARNING: Side effects may include elevated cognition and bouts of epiphany. If symptoms persist, unplug cable TV.
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Prism Precis: Today’s Market MRI: Close-to-Death Cash-Strapped Americans Selling Their Life Insurance Policies

Alternet Reports: We have such an eroded public safety net that folks are reduced to selling their life insurance policies for the sake of paying their medical bills… “life-settlements business”… people who need cash near what is ostensibly the end of their life sell their life insurance policies to a third party for a price… In an era of small social security payments, high medical costs, and a failed system of retirement savings, our once-proud system to prevent poverty in old age is reeling… What can we draw from all this? That our social insurance safety net is in trouble: yes. That financial innovation in life insurance has a very long and weird history: absolutely.”

Prism Responds: This is a very sad state of affairs. Who would ever have imagined that the American dream would come to this? We would argue the urgency of educating our youth to the necessity of providing for your own retirement one day. Don’t depend on the government; depend on yourself.

Prism Solution: When you are young and still have decades of life in front of you, a modest program of saving and intelligent investing can, through compounding, produce considerable wealth. If you don’t have that much time remaining, you have to speed up the process.

Being able to grow money at the rates of return that our software is capable of generating is like having a time machine; it allows you to compress into a small number of years a degree of compound growth that is usually attainable only after decades of prudent investing.
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Prism Presidential Package
Let us help you grow a modest portion of your investable net worth at rates of return with the potential to DOUBLE your money every 18-24 months and generate a sustainable retirement , not to mention getting you far ahead of the coming Big Inflation at the same time. You can get started with just a $2,500 minimum account and your first billing period is FREE. Click here for details.
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Prism Profit Engineering Report: for July 2012 | download here (PDF)
Our Conservative, Moderate and Aggressive strategies produced respective client returns of 4.9%, 6.5% and 9.3%, projecting annualized growth of 58.8%, 78.0% and 111.6%. The average for all three was 79.0%. It would take 74 years for a 1-year bank paying 1.1% to match us.

And May All Your Investments Be Profitable,

David Taylor and Gordon Philips,
Directors of www.Prism-Solutions.com

‘Better Investing Through Science’

Access Our Archives
– Read past issues of the Prism Letter here
– Read past issues of the Prism Daily at our blog

Join Our Mailing List!
Did a friend forward you this issue? Click here to subscribe to our mailing list and receive all of our timely and informative communications, FREE in your inbox.

Twitter
The latest economic news and updates, 140 characters at a time. Follow us here.

24/7 Telephone Hotline
In a hurry? Quick…. dial +1-641-715-3900. Enter extension 985062 and press # for a quick overview of our wealth generation services.


The Prism Letter ~ Issue 24

From the desks of David Taylor and Gordon Phillips…

In This Issue-

* July 2012 Performance Report – Our Clients Are Happy
* The Prism ‘$10,000 Foot View’
* This Week’s Featured Article: When The FRN Burns
* Wall Street Time Machine: Whither the DOW?
* <<NEW>> Prism Presidential Package!
* Preach & Teach: A Monetary Moment from Prism Solutions
* The Whether Report: Making Better Sense of the Incomprehensible
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July 2012 Performance Report – Our Clients Are Happy
We are pleased to announce that our automated investing software chomped its way nicely through the $6 trillion-a-day Forex market during July 2012, producing Conservative, Moderate and Aggressive returns for our clients of 4.9%, 6.5% and 9.3%, respectively (projecting annualized growth of 58.8%, 78.0% and 111.6%).

The average annualized return for all three programs was 79.0% which is 13 times faster than the DOW’s historical average annual return of 6%, 42 times faster than a 5-year bank CD paying 1.9%, and 72 times faster than a 1-year bank CD paying 1.1%.

In other words, it would take 74 years for a 1-year bank paying 1.1% to match us. We mention this in passing for those of you who intend to live another 74 years.
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The Prism $10,000 Foot View

Imagine that you had invested $10,000 in any of the following Prism Solutions’ live trading accounts on the starting dates indicated. Do you think you’d be happy yet? We’ll let the numbers speak for themselves…

Prism Starting Weeks Opening $10K $ % Annual-
Solutions Date Ago Deposit Now Worth P/L P/L ized
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PS-ML04 25-May-12 11 $10,000 $12,345 $2,345 23.5% 108.2%
PS-ML03 25-May-12 11 $10,000 $12,639 $2,639 26.4% 121.7%
PS-ML06 29-Apr-12 15 $10,000 $11,747 $1,747 17.5% 60.6%
PS-ML07 29-Apr-12 15 $10,000 $11,864 $1,864 18.6% 64.7%
PS-ML05 1-May-12 15 $10,000 $12,558 $2,558 25.6% 90.5%
PS-ML01 15-Mar-12 21 $10,000 $12,499 $2,499 25.0% 60.7%
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Featured Article

When The FRN Burns

Preface: Those green paper coupons in your purse or wallet bearing the likenesses of various deceased notables call themselves a Federal Reserve Note (FRN). Please be advised that they are not federal, there are no reserves and they fail the legal definition of a note. Other than that, everything is fine. Thank you.

Dear Reader,

It is not our intention to alarm you but we just wanted you to know that, without a single recorded exception, all of the world’s paper currencies — which is to say every last paper currency that has ever been printed in the history of the world — have eventually collapsed and become worthless. That’s quite a track record, wouldn’t you agree?

At Prism Solutions we love trends, and a 100% perfect track record is nothing if not a trend. Of course, there’s a reason for this; it is because paper currency backed by nothing but the power of the printing press is the largest swindle that can be perpetrated on mankind.

Did we say swindle? We regret overstepping ourselves here. Swindle is a unpleasantly accusatory word and we strive to maintain a civil tone at all times. Please, in the future, if we inadvertently say ‘swindle’ again or even ‘fraud’ or ‘con job’ when referring to prestigious bankers in elegant attire, kindly substitute ‘regrettable instance of excessive malfeasance’ and notify us at once. Thank you.

The track record of 100% failure for paper money is an amazing record that should not be ignored. Yet most Americans still consider the paper money in their own wallets to be too strong to fail. That delusion will eventually prove deadly.

Over the course of centuries, entire nations and their peoples have built their economies upon a foundation of paper money borrowed at interest from bankers for whom the entire alchemical process (turning rag linen into paper money) is the ultimate ‘get rich quick’ scheme.

When enough fiat paper money (backed not by specie, but by confidence) has been borrowed so as to finally render all of it worthless, the loans made in that money default and the property, businesses and real wealth of the borrowers reverts to the bankers whose ‘monopoly’ money enabled the wealth transfer process in the first place.

This closed loop has repeated itself over and over again, century after century, as one nation after another has bankrupted itself in its desire to get something from nothing, only to see its wealth eventually pass into the hands of the Money Power.

Americans who attended public school were taught that the American War of Independence was fought over ‘taxation without representation.’ That’s a wagon load of hooey. The tax rate on windows, tea, stamps, etc. came to no more than 2%; hardly a reason to foment a bloody rebellion and wage all-out war against the mightiest military machine of its time.

The truth of the matter is that the colonies issued their own debt-free currency, the Continental Dollar. America’s founders needed to pay the troops and purchase provisions, yet they had little gold or silver available. Under the then existing Articles of Confederacy, there was no concerted power to tax the colonies, each of which was its own sovereign state, let alone compel the colonies to pay their ‘fair share’ of such a tax. So the Founders did the only thing they could do and printed their own money.

Benjamin Franklin, ambassador from the Continental Congress to England, spilled the beans when talking to a top British banker who expressed his astonishment at how prosperously the colonies were flourishing. Franklin let the cat out of the bag by explaining that the colonies used their own paper currency with no debt associated with its monetization. Well, that had to stop!

Soon after the British had secret printing operations set up throughout the colonies to flood the economy with counterfeit notes. George Washington soon complained that “A wagon load of Continentals will hardly purchase a wagon load of provisions.”

When the Continental collapsed, barber shops took to papering their walls with the hyper inflated notes, as sailors returning from a multi-month tour of duty and paid in Continentals pinned them to their uniforms and danced a little jig right there on the docks. Thus was born the expression, ‘It ain’t worth a Continental.’

In ‘The Continental Dollar: How Much Was Issued And What Happened To It?’, Farley Grubb, Professor of Economics at the University of Delaware offers the following quotes:

“The annihilation [of the Continental Dollar] was so complete that barber-shops were papered, in jest, with the bills; and the sailors, on returning from their cruise, being paid off in bundles of this worthless money, had suits of clothes made of it, and with characteristic light-heartedness turned their loss into a frolic by parading through the streets in decayed finery, which in better days, had passed for thousands of dollars.” — Samuel Breck, “Historical Sketch of Continental Paper Money”, Philadelphia: John C. Clark, 1843

“The congress is finally bankrupt! Last Saturday a large body of inhabitants with paper dollars in their hats by way of cockades, paraded the streets of Philadelphia, carrying colors flying, with a dog tarred, and instead of the usual appendage and ornament of feathers, his back was covered with the congress’ paper dollar… was directly followed by the jailor, who refused accepting the bills in purchase of a glass of rum, and afterwards by the traders of the city, who shut up their shops declining to sell any more goods but for gold and silver.” — From the Rivington’s Gazette, May 12, 1781, a Tory, New York newspaper.

Returning to the present, America’s finances are in a shambles and the government keeps printing more money in an attempt to plaster over the holes, akin to putting out a raging fire with a flame thrower. Because the government has been spending so much more than it has taken in, it’s gone begging to foreign governments to borrow even more money so it can pay its bills. Hundreds of billions of dollars have thus been borrowed already in the form of sales of U.S. Treasury bonds, a promise by Uncle Sam to repay his creditors with interest.

But the world is rapidly reaching the perceived lending limit on America’s credit card and is beginning to cut back. China, Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela have already begun either reducing or eliminating the dollar from their reserve holdings.

When the world starts to dump the dollar en masse, the Fed will have to raise interest rates to attract foreign capital. Raising interest rates will raise the price of borrowing dollars at a time when consumers and businesses are already going under and will cause the economy to contract and deflate even faster. To fight this deflation, the Fed will print even more money, further devaluing the purchasing power of all the dollars already in circulation, which of course is the very definition of inflation.

You see, being able to borrow trillions of dollar’s at today’s buying power, then being able to pay those obligations back years later at vastly reduced buying power is the swindle, that is to say ‘regrettable instance of excessive malfeasance’, that keeps the game going, at least until everyone seated at the card table has caught on.

Let’s say the government has promised you $1,000 a month in Social Security payments. You are currently 40 years old and will be eligible to collect starting at age 62-1/2, assuming that the minimum retirement age isn’t raised in the meantime, and you can be certain that it will be.

By the time you are ready to receive your first $1,000 from Uncle Sam in the year 2033 so you can begin enjoying the relaxing retirement you have been planning for, what will $1,000 actually buy? A few day’s worth of groceries? A few day’s worth of rent for a small, one bedroom apartment?

Regardless of how well you’re managing saving for your retirement, and whether or not you’re counting on Social Security to support your plans, if you’re depending on a retirement denominated in fiat paper money, you can very likely kiss that retirement goodbye. You may be lucky to have a warm place to sleep and a roof over your head.

This, then is the epic fraud, that is to say, regrettable instance of excessive malfeasance, with regard to paper money. The U.S. government owes trillions of dollars to Americans in promised retirement benefits, and trillions more to foreigners who have invested in America’s debt. Yet the government will never be able to pay back any of these debts, and it knows it. And foreigners know it. The only group that appears not yet to know it is the legion of American televiewers who denominate their entire lives in important-looking green coupons.

Meanwhile, tens of millions of ‘Baby Boomers’ are just now starting to line up for Medicare and Medicaid. This multi-trillion dollar, unfunded liability of a debt monster is what caused David Walker, former Comptroller General of the United States, to quit his post in 2008. He called it a debt tsunami, and it’s headed straight this way.

Visit Wikipedia.com and search for their page on hyperinflation. At the bottom of that page are listed numerous countries whose currencies have hyperinflated into worthlessness, many over just the past 50 years, and virtually unmentioned in the American media. All of these currencies now join the Continental in the ashes of ruined paper monies.

If the U.S. government can manage the rate at which the dollar weakens, it might be able to stretch the greenback’s eventual failure out to a point where a new and different monetary system can gradually be put in place. But if the collapse of the dollar gets too quickly out of control, it could spiral into an inflationary death vortex that forces the government to default on its obligations and switch to a new financial system within a very short time frame — the very definition of a full-blown monetary crisis when one nation after another stampedes out of the greenback.

That is when the U.S. government will default. The dollar will either have become so devalued as to be worthless for all practical purposes (a default in slow motion), or a new financial system will be conjured up to eliminate the dollar overnight.

Either way, Uncle Sam will eventually default amidst a world full of very angry people, from the entire membership of A.A.R.P. to the Chinese army which alone outnumbers the entire population of America. And a world full of angry people usually resorts to violence to get what it wants.

By sheer monetary volume alone, the dollar is by far the most influential currency ever printed. Its eventual collapse as it joins its bastard brothers and sisters on the barbershop wall of history, will cause unprecedented pain and misery for those whose personal economy remains denominated solely in likenesses of deceased nobles.

Which begs asking, Dear Reader, is yours?

* Including Alexander Hamilton*, the fop on the $10 bill who started it all.

Reading reference: Hamilton’s Curse: How Jefferson’s Arch Enemy Betrayed the American Revolution — And What It Means for Americans Today by Thomas DiLorenzo
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Prism Presidential Package!
Who will win the coming election? We don’t pretend to know, but we do know where you could be when the 2016 elections roll around. You could be sitting pretty, 4 years from now, with 4 times as much money, even as the dollar falls father, stocks follow the dollar down and the bond bubble deflates with a whimper. It’s our new ‘Prism Presidential Package‘. Vote for wealth!
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Wall Street Time Machine: Whither the DOW?
Wherein we borrow a page from Sherman and Mr. Peabody and hop into the WayBack Machine to see where the DOW has been trading lately.

On Jan 3rd of this year – the first trading day of 2012 – the DOW closed at 12,397.
As of Friday it closed at 13,149, up 6.5% for the year so far, yet still down 5.4% over the past 5 years.
Total cumulative paper money price inflation over the past 5 years has totaled at least 15%.
When we add these figures together we get:

– 5.4% 5-year price performance
-15.0% minimum cumulative inflation
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-20.4% 5-year net wealth erosion

Prism Pointer: At an average net monthly growth of 4%, our software could repair these 5 years’ worth of damage in 5 months. Five years vs. 5 months. We’ll let you do the math!
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Preach & Teach: A Monetary Moment from Prism Solutions

We all know from our schooling that energy can neither be created nor destroyed; it can only change form. LIfting a one kilogram silver bar into the air represents the storage of potential energy. Drop that bar and its energy is converted into kinetic energy. Drop it on your toe and some of the energy is absorbed by your nervous system and converted into pain, plus the energy required to hop and cuss.

But did you know that wealth can be thought of as a form of stored energy too? Human labor expended as productivity can be measured in units of monetary value. The total value of all human labor can neither be created nor destroyed; it can only change hands.

Specious monetary practices such as fractional reserve banking create a net imbalance, causing wealth to flow from the hands of the generators of labor into the hands of the creators of fiat money. But that’s only because the total amount of money in circulation vastly exceeds the amount necessary to facilitate all human transactions.

The severe monetary imbalances that now exist severely imperil the ability of the average person to labor, produce, save and then monetize their stored labor as cash flow to sustain them in their post-labor years, a relatively recent social invention known as retirement.

Under ordinary circumstances, the individual who at middle age has not yet saved for an adequate retirement, or who has not yet adopted a rock-solid strategy to ensure a comfortable (or at least minimally secure) retirement, needs to get pro-active, and quickly.

But these are not ordinary circumstances. We would argue that present circumstances call for the adoption of a far more aggressive strategy of wealth building in order to get far enough ahead of history so as not to be swept into the dustbin along with it.

The Chinese curse translates: “May you live in interesting times.” If you’ve been waiting your whole life for things to get interesting, they certainly are now. May we suggest that you take a hard look at your investments, really think things through, and take some action to protect yourself?

As the saying goes, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” We say, “Get going before the going gets tough and you won’t have to tough it out later.”
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The Whether Report

Our latest collection of compelling economic articles that take you ‘behind the news’ to help make sense of the incomprehensible.

* Horrible News for Bond Investors
* Is Vegas Signaling The Consumer Is Folding?
* Zero Return World Squeezes Retirement Plans
* State and Local Pension Plans Underfunded by Half
* How Much More Does The Bear Market Have To Go?
* U.S. Unemployment Rate Rises On Weak Jobs Report
* U.S. Poverty On Track To Rise To Highest Since 1960s
* The Looming Student Loan Bubble – 50% Not Making Payments
* One Indicator That’s Showing No Sign Of A Housing Recovery
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Horrible News for Bond Investors

Growth Stock Wire Reports: “That ‘hissing’ sound you hear is the air leaking out of the bond market bubble… No one seems to notice… that interest rates have spiked over the past two weeks… The yield on the 10-year Treasury note bottomed at an historic low rate of 1.4% two weeks ago. Yesterday, it closed at 1.62%… a 15% increase in borrowing costs. And it likely signals an intermediate reversal in the direction of interest rates… we now have a new series of higher highs and higher lows on the chart. We haven’t seen that happen off a deeply oversold level since last September when rates bottomed at 1.7% and then rallied to 2.4% six weeks later… A similar move this time would prop the 10-year note yield to 2% – basically right back to where it was in April. That’s horrible news for bond investors. It’ll wipe out all the gains of the past few months. And anyone who bought bonds recently as a gamble that the Fed would announce a new quantitative easing program will suffer large losses.”

Prism Responds: You are no doubt familiar, Dear Reader, with the mournful sound of a bugle playing taps. When Gordon was a lad attending Boy Scout summer camp in the hills of New Hampshire, a kid named Pudgy would croak out taps on a bugle every sundown as the rest of the boys did their solemn best not to wince (or smirk). Those were the days when respect for the national flag required that it be retired and folded each evening, not left out all day and night in rain, snow and smog.

Is it time to play taps for bonds? Are investors who suffered large stock losses in 2007 now doomed to suffer large losses in bonds as well? Could the market be any less sensitive, any less caring, any less humane?

To ask such a question is to miss the point. The market is like the Borg on Star Trek. Unless prepared with your own contrarian deflector shield, you can plan on being assimilated along with the general public for whom hive thinking usually ends badly. The reason being that you can count on the masses to do precisely the wrong thing at exactly the right time.

Reading references: “Extraordinary Popular Delusions And The Madness of Crowds” by Charles Mackay; “The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind” by Gustave Le Bon.

The market is not a warm and cuddly place where investors come together to share their feelings about prosperity and transformational abundance (that’s for our west coast readers). The market is a jungle of primordial emotion where only the fittest survive. Tarzan would have made a great trader.

The market is the fleeting distillation of the individual psychologies of millions of hopeful, fearful and otherwise emotionally engaged humans trading stocks and bonds. A study of historical anthropology teaches us that mankind tyends strongly to overreact when led by emotion, driven by the urgings of our amygdalas, the vestigial hind brain that regulates fight or flight.

Reading reference: “Kluge: The Haphazard Construction of the Human Mind” by Gary Marcus

The stampeding of investors from one side of the investment savannah to the other each time a ripe profit banana dangles into view — or a hyena approaches — is as predictable as watching the pendulum on a grandfather clock.

The savvy investor would take a portion of their bond portfolio and move it into inverse ETF’s (covered on last week’s Tuesday night ‘Open House’) to play bonds to the short side and offset some long side losses. But, alas, these things are not taught in home economics or shop class, and certainly not on CNN. So who knows?

Bottom line: It’s a jungle out there, Dear Reader, there are predators on the loose (domestic unemployment, European contagion, Bernanke) and the light may be dimming for bond investors. Pudgy would know.

Is Vegas Signaling The Consumer Is Folding?

ZeroHedge Reports: Visitor volume to Las Vegas is the highest since 2007, despite rising hotel rates, but gaming revenues are near flat… Discretionary spending behavior is reliant on consumer sentiment and economic outlook; gambling is the ultimate “luxury item” because there’s absolutely no guaranteed return, so gambling behavior is a near real-time indicator of changes in consumer confidence. Our gambling indicators, both domestic and abroad, show what feels a lot like recessionary behavior and point to another leg down in the latter half of 2012.

Prism Responds: Well, well, well. People are pouring into Vegas but they aren’t gambling. They’re sitting on their wallets. What an extraordinary indicator! It’s the ‘Vig Index’ — as raw, real and raunchy as Vegas itself. It can’t be fudged by rating agencies or federal apparatchiks and it’s heading down. Place your bets, America. It’s time to double down on the economy again. As for us, we’re betting on mathematics!

Zero Return World Squeezes Retirement Plans 

CNBC Reports: “Workers can kiss their retirement plans goodbye unless they take more risk to keep nest-eggs growing in a world where playing safe can be even more costly… Four years of near-zero official interest rates and successive market panics have driven the returns from… government bonds on which pension funds traditionally rely to record lows… very bad news for several generations of workers already set to retire later… than their predecessors… ‘People are only just starting to understand how profound an impact these policies are having when it’s too late. When they see the figures, they quickly realize they don’t have the funds to finish work’…”

Prism Responds: This is what we’ve been saying all along. It’s imperative under current economic conditions to assume some degree of risk in order to make any gains at all. The question is, how much risk is acceptable in exchange for ‘x’ amount of return?

In return for an average historical return of 6% per year, the DOW periodically crashes by an average of 44%. Does that sound like an acceptable trade-off to you?

State and Local Pension Plans Underfunded by Half

The New American: “The latest report from the nonpartisan Center for Retirement Research (CRR) at Boston College was brutal in its assessment of the status of state and local pension plans and their ability to keep their promises to their beneficiaries and retirees… when those plans are adjusted for the real world, where interest rates are at historic lows, those plans are under funded by 50 percent.”

Prism Responds: Under funded by half? A quarter we could understand, even a third, maybe even 5/12ths. But under funded by a half? How could something like this happen? How do you miss the mark by 50%? That would be like NASA trying to send men to the moon and landing them in a Nevada studio instead.

All we can say, Dear Reader, is that there are going to be a lot of angry seniors out there in years to come when they discover that their pensions are not going to carry them into retirement. We can see them now, gathering in Washington, D.C. for a million-retiree protest to burn their AARP membership cards.

It’s important to keep in mind that the only retirement plan you will ever be able to count is the one you put together yourself.

– Pensions? Sorry, they’re under funded.
– Social Security? Sorry, it may not survive.
– Stock market investments? Sorry, the market could go way down from here.

So what do you do? Get proactive! Identify high-performance strategies with the exponential potential to magnify modest sums to highly immodest sums over time – in particular, in time to retire on.

How Much More Does The Bear Market Have To Go?

ZeroHedge Reports: “The secular bear market that the US has been caught in for a better part of the last decade will end… The only question is… how much more of a secular decline in PE multiples is to be expected before the bear market ends and a new bull market can begin. As the following chart from Crestmont Research shows there is quite a bit more to go… Just over 50% more. To the downside.”

Prism Responds: If you think the ‘Occupy’ movement was peevish, a 50% drop from here in stocks would sent the 99% of the public who occupied themselves watching the movement on TV into a catatonic state, followed by a progressive outpouring of righteous anger. Some might go so far as to call in to C-SPAN. We can only suggest, Dear Reader, that you prepare for the worst while hoping for the best. Caution: hope springs eternal but retirement is looming.

U.S. Unemployment Rate Rises On Weak Jobs Report

WSW Reports: “… the unemployment rate grew to 8.3 percent, the Labor Department reported on Friday… The ‘real’ unemployment rate, referred to as the ‘U6,’ which includes those working part-time for economic reasons and those who have given up looking for work, hit 15 percent of the workforce… Long-term unemployment continues at near record highs.”

Prism Responds: In order to understand the world around you it is necessary to filter out the “chatter”, stare the facts in the face, get a firm grip on reality, then pour yourself a stiff one. The fact is that the economy continues to deteriorate. One out of 6 Americans is underemployed, out of work or just stopped looking. Bottom line: they can’t pay their bills. There is no recovery; nor any that can be detected with even the most powerful telescope. The economy is still headed down and will continue to do for an indeterminate period – indeterminate since there is no way of knowing what degree of manipulation or intervention will be finagled, and whether economically, politically or both.

U.S. Poverty On Track To Rise To Highest Since 1960s

Huffington Post Reports: “The ranks of America’s poor are on track to climb to levels unseen in nearly half a century, erasing gains from the war on poverty in the 1960s amid a weak economy and fraying government safety net… Poverty is spreading at record levels across many groups, from underemployed workers and suburban families to the poorest poor. More discouraged workers are giving up on the job market, leaving them vulnerable as unemployment aid begins to run out.”

Prism Responds: The government’s social wars have been predictable in their outcome. A good investment would be to wait until the next ‘war’ is declared and then short it.

The ‘war on poverty’ succeeded only slightly worse than the ‘war on drugs’, eclipsed in its ineffectiveness only by the ‘war on terrorism’ which, in case you hadn’t thought it through, is a military tactic.

As one writer put it, fighting a war against terrorism is about as intelligent as fighting a war against bayonette charges. Nothing can stop a dedicated terrorist, including confiscating fruit juice and fingernail clippers at the airport.

Returning to poverty, to erase the gains since 1965 is to wipe out 47 years of progress. That’s pretty brutal. We’re back to phonographs and tail fins here (both of which Gordon still treasures).

The antidote to the failing economy, of course, is to create your own economy: to fortify your position, conduct your own personal campaign against an entrenched financial enemy (we were referring to the Federal Reserve) and capture the economic high ground. Or you could hope for a ‘war on recession’ to save you, no doubt coming soon.

We say, don’t go gentle into that dark nigh! Arm yourself with pad and pencil, write down some actual retirement goals then calculate the required rate of return to compound a modest starting sum plus regular additions over the years remaining, then you’ll know exactly what you need to do.

If unsure (or just short on batteries), contact us and we’ll explain how. It’s just 7th grade math (5th grade in 1965).

The Looming Student Loan Bubble – Almost 50% of Borrowers Not Making Payments

America First Site Reports: “The aggressive growth in student debt is setting the country up for another debt fueled bubble. Higher education costs have expanded so quickly that Americans now carry $1 trillion of student debt… Over the last ten years student debt outstanding has grown from less than $300 billion in 2002 to $1 trillion in 2012. The cracks in the student loan bubble are already forming with large numbers of students defaulting on their loans. Almost half of all student borrowers are not making payments.”

Prism Responds: The U.S. government bailed out General Motors to the tune of $81 billion dollars. According to the latest information we could find, in 2009 there were 12,723,000 full-time students enrolled in U.S. colleges and other institutions of higher learning.

Performing a simple division, we determine that the government could have let General Motors quietly go the way of all past, failed capitalist ventures and instead mailed each student a juicy check for $6,366.

Mustering up as much common sense as the contemplation of politicians will permit, we must ask ourselves which would have been the better investment: in America’s future scientists, teachers and entrepreneurs? Or in General Motors? Before you rush to answer or our pelt our offices with rotten tomatoes (using the Dan Quayle spelling there), please watch this video. But not right before bedtime. http://youtu.be/Lvl5Gan69Wo

Naturally, this being our newsletter, it behooves us to put in a closing plug for ourselves and invite you to take a spin with our automated investing software. It’s got a shiny chrome grille, big tail fins and enough cup holders for everyone. And, boy, can it leave rubber.

David Rosenberg Points To One Indicator That’s Showing No Sign Of A Housing Recovery

Business Insider Reports: “David Rosenberg, the bearish economist at Gluskin Sheff, isn’t convinced that the U.S. housing market is on the up and up. He points to the number of months it takes to sell a new house… ‘How can it possibly be that the housing market is showing a durable recovery when it is still taking a median of eight months for the builders to find a buyer upon completion of the unit? Up until April 2008 – in the midst of the Great Recession – a number this high was unheard-of’…”

Prism Responds: Whatever you do, Dear Reader, do not visit the above web site and look at the chart. Avert your eyes! According to the carefully filtered experts who are invited to present their mildly differing views on TV financial shows in order to create the illusion of meaningful dialog, the housing market is recovering just fine, although we can quibble over the rate of recovery (this is the ingredient that adds credibility to the mix). Please make your delayed housing purchase now. The system needs your liquidity.
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Until next time,

The Staff and Management of Prism Solutions, LLC

‘Better Investing Through Science’

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Trading foreign currencies is a challenging and potentially profitable opportunity for educated and experienced investors. However, before deciding to participate in the Forex market, you should carefully consider your investment objectives, level of experience and risk appetite. There is considerable exposure to risk in any foreign exchange transaction. Any transaction involving currencies involves risks including, but not limited to, the potential for changing political and/or economic conditions that may substantially affect the price or liquidity of a currency. Moreover, the leveraged nature of FX trading means that any market movement will have an equally proportional effect on your deposited funds. This may work against you as well as for you. The possibility exists that you could sustain a total loss of initial margin funds and your position will be liquidated and you will be responsible for any resulting losses. Investors are recommended to lower exposure to risk by employing risk-reducing strategies such as ‘stop-loss’ or ‘limit’ orders.

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‘The Pip Stops Here’