The Old Man’s Views
It’s a New Year, so are we going to see a new direction?
We're into the early days of the year, and the short-term direction remains unclear.
Equities have held relatively firm over recent weeks. Not because the economic outlook is improving but because the bad news has become a little stale.
I read stories of things picking up and other reports on more problems coming down the road. However, there is little fresh news to get me excited one way or the other, at least in the short term.
In the real world, disruption due to civil unrest or trade union activity has removed economic issues from the front pages, very similar to what we saw back in the 1970s.
Rest assured; all these disruptions will have financial consequences for all of us. But whilst everyone is reading these sensational stories accompanied by dramatic pictures, few are thinking about the overall poor state of our western economies and the sad direction we are all going down.
Let's be honest. This week, there have been more front-page stories on that spoilt Ginger Whinger from the House of Windsor than there have been about the increasing war on wealth and ownership and the frightening situation in the real estate sector.
If we are to ignore the bigger picture, I have a few ideas on what might happen over the coming month or so, and the next few weeks could offer an opportunity to put on a couple of new positions.
I like commodities and have been very happy with the decline in Natural Gas over the past few months, which I discussed back in November. However, I am not sure there is much more room on the downside, so I am now looking for a level to go long of Nat Gas and possibly some crude if the prices continue to ease.
I also like being long of grains and beans this time of year because of potential weather disruptions.
I am monitoring these markets looking for further weaknesses and will consider purchasing a few call options. That way, I know my downside if the gains do not materialise.
I am also looking to pick up some metals, especially Aluminium, and will buy a few tonnes if the price moves low enough.
The increase in the commodity sector will depend on demand from outside of the western world because I expect an overall decline in western consumption to continue.
Much of Europe continues to suffer from self-inflicted problems, so do not expect the pain to disappear soon, mainly because our current leadership doesn't care about how much damage their policies are inflicting on the rest of us.
It is very tempting to rant about how our leaders' expensive adhesion to poor wealth-sapping ideologies has replaced common-sense economic policies.
Sadly, many of my younger readers cannot remember a time when we had governments who ruled for the benefit of their voters. Back in the day when democracy meant something more than making smelly politicians stinking rich!
I will say that what has happened over the past ten years is far from the norm, and the path we seem to be going down is far from satisfactory, if not downright dangerous!
With that in mind, I am not enthusiastic about the medium to long-term situation across the EU. Hence, any further strength in the Euro will prove to be a great selling opportunity, even against the dollar.
The outlook is equally cloudy for those still stuck in the crypto arena.
As optimistic as we are about the technology and the benefits this sector offers society, it will be years before we see another major bull market. I think it is too much to expect that new buyers will come rushing back and blindly buy coins and tokens as they did previously, especially after so many got hurt in the last year or so.
I have some BTC as part of my hedge against increased government theft and will buy a bit more if we see new lows this year.
Still, despite the good rallies we have seen in a few coins recently, I will only be pumping a little money into anything outside of the top 10 Altcoins, and even then, it will only be tiny positions.
There is still a lot of uncertainty over the industry concerning its future direction and development not least, how governments will clamp down on any potential expansion and growth in this sector.
Moreover, I expect more action on introducing CBDC this year, and it's a toss-up whether this will prove positive or negative for the crypto industry as it stands currently.
The introduction of CBDC should be resisted at all costs. But I am sure many outside the investment world will believe what their governments tell them, and the eventual rollout will be heralded with an enormous fanfare of false promises.
I would love to look through rose-coloured glasses and be more gung-ho optimistic about the coming months or year, but there are too many unknown dangers ahead for me to get outrageously bullish.
For investors, this year will be more about exploiting short-term moves, jumping in and out of the markets, and trying to scalp a few bucks before our governments tax us out of existence. But scalping is really a younger man's game.
That is why I have placed some of my dough into the Fractionalised Investment funds offered by trademakers.
The low entry requirements of these Fractionalised Investments allow me to have a share in a few different alternative investment products.
And with the zero fees, I can chop and change my exposure in these products when it suits me whilst enjoying the same benefits and conditions more prominent (HNW) investors enjoy.
I am not giving investment advice, but if you want exposure to the markets without spending hours studying charts and having the headache of trading every 5-minutes, these fractionalised investment programs might just be what you are looking for.
It's got to be better than HODL'ing a tonne of shitcoins that your government might outlaw before you see any profit!
Until next time.