• Bluemound Asset Management
    Bluemound Asset Management A Kirk Spano company

A Better Way…

Kirk SpanoAccording to Warren Buffett, the top 2 investing rules are…

Rule No. 1: Never lose money. 

Rule No. 2: Never forget rule No. 1.  

What we can take from those rules is that the most important aspect of financial planning is having an investment approach that protects you from large losses and still gives you an opportunity to make money over the long-term. Very few people actually have that.

My name is Kirk Spano and I founded Bluemound Asset Management, LLC in 2010 as a response to what I saw the financial industry doing to people. I am widely published, including on MarketWatch.com of the Wall Street Journal network. I have also appeared on television and radio. Take some time to learn for yourself how I have helped people a lot like you. 

What I can tell you in short is this: if the way you have been invested has subjected you to large risks and not given you the returns you hoped for — there is a better way.

MarketWatch  Fox Business  WisBusiness.com  Seeking Alpha

The Developing New Prosperity

Special Letter: December 2011

The Developing New Prosperity

While headlines like the one above are generally met with retorts about America’s demise, this letter hopefully makes people understand that the United States is in the beginning stages of a new boom, not a final collapse.  As I discussed on MarketWatch.com in the article that won me a columnist slot with them, America is in the very early stages of a technolution in energy that will not only provide jobs for the millenial generation but also pay for the baby boomer’s retirement.  On top of energy, food production and export is becoming an increasingly strong strategic industry.

Energy Is The Key to Every Economy

Since the industrial revolution, cheap energy has been at the heart of America’s economic development.  And since the 1950s, having energy has been the core factor in the United States dominance of the world economy.  Going forward, energy, will continue to be at the heart of the American economy and its continued place as the most important economy on earth for decades.

Nations that are energy rich have stronger currencies, and generally higher standards of living.  This relationship is easy enough to understand by experience.  If your money is worth more, you can buy more, hence you live better.  If you have a relatively low cost of energy, the core ingredient in virtually everything in moden life from production of goods to transportation to the temperature of your home, everything else tends to fall into place.  A strong currency is one of the three main things that keeps inflation low (resources and high productivity being the other two).

A recent Goldman Sachs report projected that the United States would be a net energy exporter by 2017.  While precision isn’t important to us here, the accuracy of the trend is.  What we have seen via Energy Information Agency (EIA) numbers is that oil imports from the middle east have plunged the past four years, oil production in the United States has surged (even with the slow down in the Gulf which is now picking up again), natural gas production is ramping up, coal production and export is robust, solar netted billions in exports the past few years and is about to make another technological jump, wind is reaching physical peaks and broad energy efficiency is helping the U.S. maintain demand levels. 

On net, supply of energy in the U.S. is rising faster than the demand.  Globally that is not true.  The U.S. is very early in developing an energy export economy.  Think about the opulance that has been built in the middle east selling the United States energy.  Now imagine the wealth that can be generated for the United States selling our energy to Europe, Japan, China and developing nations.  It is massive.  

Food Is Pretty Important Too

While not America’s largest export, as it trails both chemical and transportation exports (folks, we are still a top 3 exporter in the world), agriculture is a major and growing component of American exports.  At $122 billion in 2010, food and agriculture exports are growing at a low double digit percentage as the world keeps creating more mouths to feed.  The United States combination of arable land, water, agricultural technology and low population make for a potent mix for the development of further exports and generation of domestic wealth.

Balance

Americans as a group have been fairly pessimistic of late.  That is understandable.  The period from 2001 to 2008 was terrible for America, and the past few years the hoped for rebound has been slow to materialize. 

The facts are however that things are slowly getting better.  Jobless claims have been falling recently.  This may be attributable to the fact that exports are rising.  Regardless, the broader economic trough, in my opinion, has been made.  We may skip along in a near sideways way for a few more years, but folks ought to be working towards participating in the coming boom, because it is coming.

As trends play out over the coming decades, so long as we protect the environment and make certain that the wealth generated by energy and food exports are not hoarded by only a few, America is on track to do very well going forward.  All we have to do is work hard (which will require learning appropriate skills) and control cheating through appropriate regulation, and America will have a postive social evolution, not the collapse that fear sellers drone on and on about.

Investors

Investors need to resist the urge to be pessimistic.  They must also be patient and resist the urge to bury their portfolios in low growth, low return investments because they are afraid of volatility.  Volatility works in both directions.  Portfolios that have been built for the coming positive future, like ours have been, need to stay the course.  Those who do not have portfolios leveraged to a stablizing dollar brought about by energy and agriculture strength in America need to do so.

Your Positive on the Future of America Advisor,

Kirk Spano

 

This letter contains forward looking statements that may not come true.  Past performance does not guarantee future results.  This letter is intended for informational purposes only, and reflects only my thoughts and opinions in general, and do not constitute individual advice.  Opinions expressed may change without prior notice.

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Tactical Asset Allocation

The best offense is a great defense.

Tactical Asset Allocation

Are you utilizing the appropriate defensive strategies for your portfolio?

Today’s economic and financial climate are extremely dangerous and could lead to a large, fast drop in asset prices. Do you have a strategy to get out of the way quickly should that happen? 

“Set it and forget it” methods of investing like mutual funds, do not usually work. So-called “guaranteed” products, like annuities, are expensive, often lock people into low returns forever and aren’t always as safe as advertised. 

Tactical Asset Allocation using some of America’s top financial minds can offer protection that sales driven investment approaches don’t. Call today to find out how a tactical investment strategy can protect your retirement nest-egg and secure your lifestyle.

Punch Card Stocks

Buffett MungerWarren Buffett has famously said that investing in only twenty stocks, represented by a punch card, could improve your financial welfare. That is the impetus behind my “Punch Card” Stock Portfolio. These are the roughly twenty companies that I believe belong in the long-term growth portion of your portfolio and mine. 

Read my columns on MarketWatch, on my websites and elsewhere to see how a slow-handed and well thought out approach to stock investing can control risk and be profitable long-term. Learn more here.

 

Time for a Change

Do you want greater peace, security and freedom to pursue the lifestyle and legacy you really desire?

Do you want to avoid large losses in the next financial crash?

Do you want to take advantage of market opportunities when available?

Are you willing to take a few steps to secure your best future?

If so, call me today: 855445-4321

Monthly Investor Call

The second Saturday of each month at 9am.

Open to the public. My next call is on:

Saturday, August 9th, 2014 at 9:00AM (CDT

To join, follow this link or just call 262822-3677. No PIN needed.

Submit questions by email

Retirement Catch-up Plan

Behind on your retirement saving? Call us today to get back on track with a unique barbell approach to retirement saving.

Kirk’s Recent Quarterly Letters

Freedom to Unite and Invest in Tomorrow

UpWhen I was a kid I dreamed about being an astronaut, a baseball player, a rock star and the President. As I hit my teen years and I hadn’t done much musically, I dropped the Mick Jagger aspirations and focused on baseball. By senior year of high school I knew that baseball was fun, but that I wasn’t an elite player so I had to drop the Robin Yount dream too. 

When I got to college, I focused on having a good time and taking courses that might help me when I grew up. For awhile I thought I’d be a lawyer, but a great uncle gave me some guidance and I decided against that career path. I graduated from college with a degree in economics and a second in political science with a law certificate tossed in. That’s not what I dreamed about as a kid, but it has proven to be a good direction for me. I got there by taking one step at a time and just not stopping.

Continue Reading

 

The Great Retrenching Continues…

Total DebtIn September of 2008 I had coffee with a group of executives from local manufacturers, it was just after the financial crash had started. One company president in the group — a particularly political sort — asked me how long the economic slowdown would last? I said “until the middle of the next decade sometime.” He laughed at me.

Fast forward to today. What we know now is that the economy still has not recovered in real terms and that it will be a few more years until it does. The United States is just about in the middle of a demographic depression that can not be fixed with legislation or easy money. We must wait until household formation and spending by the very large millennial/ echo boom generation ramps up. Last year was the first year since 2008 that we saw an uptick in the birth rate, so that is a positive, however, it is only a baby step.

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2014 Another Crossroads

S&P 5002013 proved to be a profitable year for investors. The S&P 500 rose 29% and set new record highs. Global balanced indexes, more representative of most people’s portfolios, also did very well by returning about 20% despite a tough year in China which lost 9%.

The high return of the stock market had an expected effect on people. Many investors started to chase returns and look to be more aggressive after years of being risk averse. The result was that 2013 saw the most money from retail investors flow into stocks since 2000. I discussed this in a November article on MarketWatch titled “How Bad Will New Investors Get Hit.”   

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Volatility, Opportunity and the Next Crisis

Secular Bulls and BearsOver the past several years, I have discussed the monumental demographic changes that not only America is dealing with, but also that Europe, China and Japan are dealing with. The cumulative impact of national and personal debts, de-leveraging from the bubbles of the 2000s and the four largest economies in the world having aging populations has created global demand destruction that is not likely to end soon.  

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