Often wrong, never in doubt. – Bill Fleckenstein

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Fleck's Thoughts

Ask Fleck

Q: I heard rumors that Biden might pick an African American female entertainer as a VP candidate-- like Oprah, and someone even suggested Beyoncé-- to avoid any controversy between moderate and progressives: if that happened how do you think the markets would react?

Q: Hi Fleck,

I am remembering when Y2K pulled forward tech demand and turbocharged the mania in 1999. When do people start realizing that for some well-positioned tech companies, the current growth rates augmented by Covid-19 are not sustainable?

Q: Bill,
I wanted to start buying physical gold for my two grandchildren monthly. I think Sprott Physical Gold Trust allows you to redeem your shares/units in physical gold bullion. Is this a good plan or can you suggest a better way of buying with the worry of storage?

Q: Thank you for your insightfulness. Loved the LODM podcast and even moreso the Mike Green podcast. More please! Followed you in the remote past on MSM but really see value in now seeing your daily rap and ask Fleck on a more regular basis. I now even have my wife engaged and doing her own trades. We call it Fleck cubed :)

Q: The Rap of Tuesday, July 28th was powerful in that it gave us a roadmap of how to proceed in the turbulent waters of the gold and silver market. What you wrote on 7/28/20 one can’t learn in business school - “A game plan could be as simple as sitting tight.” And it reminded me of Lawrence Beesley who was on the Titanic and lived.

From The NY Times: Lawrence Beesley was on the Titanic when he decided to not go to the other side of the ship with all the other men who heard a rumor that men would be taken off the ship on the port side. He decided to be still and do nothing. He wrote: “I am convinced that what was my salvation was a recognition of the necessity of being quiet and waiting in patience for some opportunity of safety to present itself.”

I have a ceramic tile on my desk that says, “Be Still”. I use that tile to make decisions when I’m not sure what to do.

No question. Just a “Thank You”!

Q: Hi Bill - Like most Flecksters my primary investment focus is the PM's and contemplating the macro issues in our economy. However, the contrarian in me just couldn't resist buying a small amount of Puts in one of the FAANG stocks and boy oh boy did I get bludgeoned after four of these darlings all crushed it in the after hours last night. As you've pointed out, the losses hurt way more than the wins feel good, so yet another school-of-hard-knocks investing lesson that I should have remembered. I don't know if you watch Curb Your Enthusiasm, but Larry David would label my put purchase a "spite trade" because I do loathe these companies and what they've become in our society. Especially befuddling to me is the cultish following by customers and investors and the willingness of consumers to let their privacy be violated. It feels different than 1999-2000 because the balance sheets are now like small countries and these juggernauts keep crushing it. How do you think the FAANGS (plus Microsoft) evolve from here? Will they be 40% of the S&P? 50%?

Q: Thanks again for the amount of attention you give to reader questions (especially mine). One reader yesterday asked your reaction to a reason someone gave to explain why "the gold/silver miners are not reacting more positively to the price of the metals themselves." I was shocked by that comment. My portfolio of gold bullion, a small bunch of silver calls and mostly a huge amount of gold and silver mining company stocks (almost all held by you and/or Fred Hickey) has been going gang-busters for two years now, up 90% in that time period. How much more positively does your reader want them to react? You did respond that the PM sector "isn't doing all that bad" and "eventually...will be a really hot sector." Were you intentionally making an understatement, or do you think that (despite occasional corrections) the best is yet to come?

Q: Fleck,
it is certainly a conundrum today. Back in 2008 I sat out the market crash in CDs paying me 5.5% which was comfortably over the rate of inflation. Today, I have finally have some gains in the miners, and my wife is talking to me about taking some profits. But the challenge I have in doing this - is then what? What do I do with the cash? I don't want to leave it in cash since it makes 0%, I don't want to buy into the bubbles I believe are found in both the stock and bond markets. There is nowhere to turn anymore - nowhere to hide - the Fed has taken the middle class folks like me with some assets and has put us in a terribly precarious position. This is really insane.

Q: Fleck, this headline was on Marketwatch today - Gold has ‘no role’ in portfolio of wealthy clients, says Sharmin Mossavar-Rahmani, chief investment officer of private wealth management at Goldman Sachs, who thinks that gold is overpriced and has no clear role in the portfolios of her private clients. She says "Our view is that gold is only appropriate if you have a very strong view that the U.S. dollar is going to be debased. We don’t have that view. We think the dollar maintains its status as the reserve currency. The dollar can cheapen a little bit because it’s moderately overvalued but that doesn’t mean that it’s going to be debased, that we are going to have huge inflation and that gold is a good substitute."

I am seeing more "anti-gold" article including the op ed in the NY times. So this notion that everyone is so bullish doesn't seem correct.

Q: Massive amount of call options pile into Kodak BEFORE the official government contract was announced. I wonder how many of our fine congress folks and their relatives are involved in this one. My chart shows it went from 2 bucks to $60. Nice little payday for the last company on earth who should have been awarded such a contract. I'm sure glad everything going on in the stock market is of the upmost integrity and regulatory oversight.....and only Martha Stewart has to serve jail time.

Q: Bill,

I've been subscribing to Katusa's work for a while, and am happy with it. His returns have been solid, and he is good about not front-running trades, at least according to what he writes. His investing style of tranching and not momentum chasing fits well with my investment style and several of the private placements (accredited only) have worked out for me. He is also good at helping people take money off the table.

If I could change how he writes promo copy, though, I would--while his research is good, his sales pitches are off-putting to the sophisticated investor. I probably wouldn't have used the service if I hadn't heard his realvision and macrovoices interviews. (Sample of macrovoices at Marin Katusa: How to play the gold bull market