Best. Conference. Ever.
On Wednesday evening, at the start of Port Phillip Publishing’s two-day conference in Port Douglas, publisher Kris Sayce said the intention was to make this the best conference we’d ever organised.
And as the conference wrapped up late on Friday afternoon, with Jim Rickards holding court in an audience Q&A session, I can safely say this was indeed the best conference ever.
It certainly puts the pressure on for next time. The location was superb, the weather was perfect, and a fantastic line up of speakers complemented it all.
While our keynote speakers, Jim Rogers and Jim Rickards, were awesome, Port Phillip Publishing’s own crew punched well above their weight. I humbly submit that you really do have some world class performers and idea generators writing to you each day.
As is often the case, it takes getting out of the office and pitching ideas up against the best to really see the strength and quality of this quirky but committed little outfit.
Vern Gowdie kicked off proceedings with a reminder that debt will eventually get the better of us all…and potentially wipe off up to 80% of the value of global equity markets.
It was an introduction to a bearish day of presentations. I tried to buck the trend by telling people they should focus less on attempting to work out what’s going to happen in markets, and instead develop the emotional skills to deal with whatever does happen.
But, given that I hit the stage after the entertaining Jim Rogers, I’m not sure how many absorbed my message. Confirmation bias is a heady cocktail.
As an aside, the emotional aspect of investing is one that I think is massively underrated. If you have a large emotional investment in a certain outcome, and that outcome doesn’t occur, you’ll find that you’re paralysed into taking remedial action.
Mastering the emotional aspect of investing will give you more of an edge than trying to work out when — or indeed if — the next bust is coming.
Still, based on the subsequent conversations I had, my ‘knowing that you don’t know’ message wasn’t lost on everyone. So I was happy with that.
The next day started on a brighter note. Matt Hibbard kicked things off at 8:00am to a near packed house on an introduction to options trading. Sam Volkering and Phil Anderson then followed with their bullish views on the world.
Sam talked about the rise of the tech MAFIA (a nice little acronym), while Phil argued that the real estate cycle was inevitable because governments tax labour and capital but refuse to tax the land.
Resource Speculator editor Jason Stevenson made a convincing argument that global cooling is a bigger risk than global warming, and identified a number of agricultural plays to take advantage of this trend.
The highlight for me, though, was not in the presentations, as entertaining as they were. It was in meeting you, the reader.
I spend all my time staring at a laptop each day, hammering away at the keyboard. To be able to get out and engage with readers every now and then is fantastic. And it makes it easier that you’re all genuinely nice people. I hope that says something about the little investment community we’re trying to grow foster here.
So big thanks to everyone who made the effort to join us in Port Douglas for a few days last week. It was indeed the best one ever. I hope you thought so too.
If you couldn’t make it to the live event, you will have a chance to view all the presentations and the breakout sessions. You’ll also get to hear me in conversation with Jim Rogers. We chatted for an hour on stage and the audience joined in too. Stay tuned, we’ll have more to reveal at a later date. As you will see, it was…entertaining.
So what’s been happening in financial markets?
Well, it’s really all about the looming US elections. Hillary Clinton can’t quite keep the leaks silent. It seems that, every day, more emails surface, uncovering her duplicity and dodginess.
On Friday, the FBI announced that it was reopening an investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email while she was Secretary of State.
That may not sound like a big deal. But a private email service used by the US Secretary of State is easily tracked by foreign intelligence services. If Clinton disclosed any sensitive information via private email, that is a major breach of security protocols and, quite possibly, a criminal offence.
In an election that really is about the lesser of two evils, it is becoming increasingly confusing about just who the lesser evil is.
Clinton was considered the ‘least worst’. But Friday’s revelations put that claim into question. As a result, markets sold off.
The Aussie market had a rough five days last week. With the Reserve Bank likely to stay on hold tomorrow, there won’t be any interest rate boost coming through to help kick stock prices along.
In fact, it looks like stocks might just meander their way to the election. The risk is that, if Trump gets in, you’re looking at a sharp fall. Jim Rickards reckons US stocks could fall 10% in a matter of days if Trump wins unexpectedly.
But he also said that stocks could quickly recover as the market realises that Trump’s policies are stock friendly. That is, he’s running on a platform of lower taxes and higher infrastructure spending. That would weaken the dollar and send capital back into the market.
Who knows though? Absolutely anything can happen in the next 10 days. As I said in my presentation, you need to embrace ignorance in these uncertain times. Don’t worry about the outcome. Worry about your ability to effectively deal with any outcome the market throws at you.
It’s the only way to deal with the unknowable.
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