Please read this column carefully, for if you don't, you are destined to be one of the millions of investors who are soon going to learn about the markets' next moves the hard way: Through giant losses.
Why? Because in a nutshell, most analysts and investors are confusing normal times with abnormal times.
More specifically, we are approaching a sovereign-debt crisis that will soon cripple the socialist-style Western governments of Europe, Japan and the United States. The ramifications and consequences are going to be felt far and wide. Even in interest rates.
For instance, no one knows for sure if Janet Yellen will raise rates come September or October. But let's say she does indeed raise rates. Many are predicting some sort of Black Friday, where virtually all markets crash as a result. Gold, commodities in general, stocks, and of course, real estate prices.
And in normal times, that may be true. But these aren't normal times.
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First, we're coming out of the lowest interest rates in the history of the country. A period that was fraught with financial dislocations, even the near total collapse of the monetary system, and a period where the Fed deliberately kept its short-term interest rates at record lows.
|Most investors are not making the appropriate distinction between normal and abnormal times. And these are not normal times.|
Second, a sovereign-debt crisis is rapidly approaching. It's already hitting Europe. Soon, it will migrate to Japan, one of the most indebted economies on the planet, And then it will hit Washington, D.C. — the most indebted government in the history of the world.
Third, most investors are not making the appropriate distinction between normal and abnormal times. Nor have they studied history in detail.
Why do I say that? Because when a sovereign-debt crisis starts to hit, almost no one recognizes it.
Moreover, when a sovereign-debt crisis lurks right around the corner, rising interest rates have nothing to do at all with economic growth or inflation. Nothing to do with what analysts are calling "normalization" of interest rates.
Instead, rising rates in a sovereign debt crisis cycle have everything to do with the fact that governments are going bankrupt.
And what does that mean? It means that when interest rates start to rise, so will some of the biggest bull markets you have ever seen.
Simple logic explains why …
FIRST, rates were at record lows because almost nobody wanted to borrow. The demand for credit simply wasn't there. It's been a "risk-off" mentality for some time.
So as rates and the cost of money and credit rises, guess what happens. Demand goes up too. All the potential homeowners out there and businesses looking to borrow, for instance, will want to suddenly borrow again, before interest rates go any higher. And that in turn will stoke all sorts of demand, from housing, to commodities, to corporate earnings and to the stock market.
SECOND, interest rates negatively impact indebted governments. Unlike you, indebted governments don't have the ability to hedge against rising interest rates. They don't have the ability to reduce their interest-expense burden. All they can do is sit idly by while the cost and burden of their debts explode higher.
THIRD, there will come a time — in the not-too-distant future — when our foreign creditors, knowing fully well our government is broke, start to sell U.S. sovereign debt hand over fist, as they are already starting to do in countries like Greece, Portugal, Spain and in fact, most of the European Union and in Japan.
And that's when — also not too far off in the future — the resulting rocket ride higher in U.S. interest rates that will occur will be the direct result of our country's patently unpayable debt of well over $200 trillion.
When that moment comes, when investors begin to realize that it is Washington that is going broke and that Washington's debts are really the force driving rates higher — they will then start to buy commodities, stocks, prime real estate ...
And anything else they can find that is a hedge against collapsing governments.
This is how sovereign-debt crises have unfolded before, time after time. If you study the history of empires like Rome, Byzantium, the Spanish Empire, the British Empire and more.
Almost all of those collapses saw interest rates liftoff from abnormally low levels, to soar to abnormally high levels, and along with the rate ride higher came some of the biggest bull markets the world has ever seen.
All because government was collapsing. Not because of inflation. Not because of high economic growth. But because those empires had run out of ways to fund their patently unpayable debts.
Savvy investors are no dummies. When they see governments failing, they buy certain assets. Portable wealth shines bright: Diamonds, gold, silver, platinum, palladium, art and other collectibles.
Blue chip-like publicly traded stocks shine bright too, as do AAA corporate bonds.
So beware: The Fed's first rate hike may seem like it's overdue. Analysts may call it "normalization" of interest rates. Savers will jump for joy that they can get a better yield in CDs and money markets.
But in reality, any rate hike that is forthcoming will merely be the first subtle signs that a sovereign-debt crisis is right around the corner.
Don't be one of the millions caught off guard with huge losses. Don't be one of the millions who don't understand what's happening or about to happen.
Instead, think out of the box and act out of the box to protect and grow your wealth.
Best wishes and stay safe,
The investment strategy and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author's and do not necessarily reflect those of any other editor at Weiss Research or the company as a whole.