The I Word is Coming to a Town Near You

Hello Inflation, it has been awhile, I see you on your way back again. Inflation? What inflation? Oh things like; Energy, diesel fuel, Aviation Fuel, Gasoline, Natural Gas, Milk, Wheat, Corn, Beef, Poultry, Hogs, Soy Beans, Building materials, paper, housing, Auto Prices, Health Care, Insurance, etc. You know the basics. Also considering the wholesale inflation, which comes from fuel costs being passed on, government regulations infringing on productivity and additional fees and fines to replace the taxes and incentives. When wholesale prices go up, those are passed onto the consumer.

How do we know all this? This is not a guess by any means. We have studied these issues for quite a while. Here is why we think this. Well as far as agriculture, we know from the droughts in the major farming regions and we can tell by the commodities market. We have seen the high temperatures and lack of water with Wheat and Corn in ID, MT, ND, SD, NE, KS. In other markets floods have hurt some crops. Also drought hurting the growing of feed for Cattle, meaning beef prices will go up. Canada MAD COW now our Mad Cow problem, problems with Japan's increased tariffs on beef. Hogs and Beef in KS cannot get the water they need. Also in farming we have seen areas where the Sierra Club is suing so many projects to stop or slow building of new reservoirs in NM, ID, CO, AZ, NV, OR, CA. Also the specialty crops are running low and not enough to meet demand, things like berries (see bear lake issues) and issues in Winnepeg and BC, grapes (2 buck chuck run supplies low), etc as well as issues with depleted soil in Central Valley CA, Desert Farmers along the AZ and CA border cannot use that amount of water since CA and AZ will need it for new housing areas, golf courses and other uses (see the Colorado river situation) Farmers VS Developers and housing in PHX, Tucson, Las Vegas, San Diego, San Bernardino, Riverside, many are predicting a bubble burst, we have seen issues in the REITs which was a little bit of a shake up.

Natural Gas from the lack of new wells being drilled, for instance off the coast of Maine and the Gulf. Lack of ability to gear up in infrastructure fast enough to supply this winter's need even though it should be a relatively non-violent winter as far as that goes-however few Hurricanes on West Coast last year showed us a lowered Jet Stream and lower latitude airflows, La Nina comes next and that means drought continued and water prices will go up and many business which use water will be worried and charge more too for their services. I have also been studying the EU droughts and heat and the issues with their exports meaning supply will not equal demand. Humanitarian needs are at issue as well. Meanwhile the Super Crops are being blocked by EU and WTO and much of those crops may not be able to be used in all markets. Some really bad deals here for humanity. Fruit in FL and the everglades issues are getting to be a bigger deal.

Dairy Farmers in ID are up 12% but they want more money and the National Dairy Association is also pushing forward. Increased demand is putting the dairy farmers feeling that they can charge more and will soon need to upgrade. The fires in ID, MT are using up much water supplies very early and fire season has another 2.5 months left. Also CO, NM, WY not out of the season yet. What about the threat of Bird Flu?

With Building materials we are seeing increased government regulation, timber tariffs on imported from Canada. Paper industry is in trouble and the replanted forests and forest farms are usually fast growing trees good for paper, not building grade timber. Housing spikes caused this, many areas growing fast.

Oil prices up due to manipulations in supply, Middle East issues, China coming on strong with needs of her own, Military needs effecting supply and demand issues, International Terrorists screwing with infrastructures, South American trade war paybacks, oil pipelines too few, Nimby-ism slowing output and inflows while the demand has increased, Airline fuel down and therefore price has too increase to pay for the direct cost loads. Our growth and consumerism has outpaced our supply and infrastructures. With energy the Blackout of 2003, rolling CA issues, generation plants being shut down, slowness of building new Nuclear Power Plants, issues in OR along the major Columbia River with Bonneville Power, issues with CA and SMUD, issues with upgrades needed in Coal Plants to meet EPA upgrades also same problems in VA, NC, SC, and the Tennessee River Valley Authority. Pipeline break in AZ and Phoenix they were paying nearly $2.00 per gallon, but now in CA they are at $2.65 per gallon. Sabotage in Iraq screws up supply for worldwide market. We are seeing OPEC moving forward to keep prices high, China coming online with needs, world demand is going up, takes too long to ramp up our own production and few companies wish too, for fear of dropping of prices too quickly, meanwhile we are seeing $2.46 gasoline on West Coast and $1.90 in San Antonio, no one expects these prices to come down, recessions follow high fuel prices by 6 months? So these are all issues and everything we buy has these high costs figured in. Construction, farming, transportation. Some school districts complaining about cost of buses and kids hurting budgets and at the same time increased prices mean more monies to state coffers which charge percentages of fuel prices as tax.

This article is in no way a doom and gloom showing, because I do see increased economic sunshine in many markets, but not all, those which have the burdens of drought, fires, shortages and manufacturing are going to see some more tough times. When energy goes up, some businesses running redline on low margins with lots of competition will see harder times and layoffs in the near future, while other sectors will be continuing the recovery.

These companies must raise prices, nearly all airlines have announced even additional higher fares this week, 14 of the largest trucking companies; the ones which haul the food, building materials, cars to dealerships and everything on every shelf in America. Railroad is increasing rates too. And Independent truck drivers holding on by a thread with insurance costs up too. We are also not going to be able to release the Military reserves in such uncertain times. So Inflation, there she blows and meanwhile interest rates will increase and money flows continue offshore.

What is of concern is that without increased wages, higher percentages of consumer incomes will be spent on food, gas, energy and other artificially inflated or supply and demand driven goods and services, yes that includes many sectors.

Now is a very important time in our nations history and in the business cycles at hand. We will get through this as it also hits other nations who sell to us, the trick is to come out of this present period with after burners blazing and set a course to the future prosperity and into the annals of destiny. Which we may write thru our human spirit and will.

"Lance Winslow" - If you have innovative thoughts and unique perspectives, come think with Lance; www.WorldThinkTank.net/wttbbs

In The News:

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Is there a best time of year to buy stocks?  BBC NewsAs you look upon a new year with *fresh* eyes, should you do the same with your approach to the stock market?
Investors move HC on Elcid stock-price issue  Economic TimesSeveral buyers are willing to buy shares in Elcid but no seller is willing to sell due to the vast disparity in real and market price.
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Goldman Sachs on 2019: Raise cash, get defensive and look out below if more tariffs happen  CNBCGoldman Sachs is not feeling very bullish about stocks in 2019, according to its official outlook report to clients out this week. Here are some of the investment ...
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IDFC Tax Advantage (ELSS) Fund - Regular Plan NAV: IDFC Tax Advantage (ELSS) Fund - Regular Plan-Growth Equity Factsheet  Economic TimesObjective: The scheme seeks to build a diversified portfolio comprising of stocks of companies with strong fundamentals that are available at reasonable ...
As stocks skid, worries mount for 401(k) investors who can't 'stand the pain'  USA TODAY401(k) investors' worries are rising as the stock market sinks and concern about bull market's health mounts.
FPIs offloaded private banks as IL&FS, rupee hit sentiment  Economic TimesMUMBAI: Top foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) have trimmed their exposure to Indian private lenders since October in the sell-off that resulted in them pulling Rs ...
Fund managers ready to go shopping after sharp correction in stocks  Moneycontrol.comMutual funds that were holding around 8-10 percent cash level in their equity portfolio are likely to purchase shares of companies in banking and financial ...
Why stopping mutual fund SIPs when stock market falls can jeopardise your financial goals  Economic TimesFear has returned to Dalal Street. Caught in a perfect storm of weak macroeconomic numbers, the IL&FS crisis and fear of more defaults, equity markets have ...
Experts see a slowing economy in 2019; here are 5 things you should do to adjust  AZCentralMany prognosticators see the economy slowing next year. If that happens, it could change your financial focus. Here are some tips to consider.
Stocks in the news: Yes Bank, Mphasis, Lupin, PNB, Reliance Capital, Inox Wind  Moneycontrol.comReliance Capital | Inox Wind | Orient Electric | Yes Bank | Lupin | PNB and Axiscades Engineering Technologies are stocks which are in the news today.
Five stocks that mutual funds think can outperform  Economic TimesA volatile month gave fund managers a chance to cherry-pick stocks.
Is your mutual fund buying or selling stocks too much?  LivemintA mutual fund scheme's turnover ratio tells you how frequently its fund manager buys and sells the underlying stocks. Typically, higher the turnover ratio, more ...
Mutual funds' exposure to banks hits 3-month low of Rs 1.88 lakh crore in Sept  Economic TimesMutual funds' holding of banking stocks declined by over Rs 21,600 crore to Rs 1.88 lakh crore in September, driven by the correction in equity markets.
Small- and mid-cap mutual funds open doors again, but should you invest?  LivemintL&T Emerging Businesses Fund and DSP Small Cap Fund have allowed *fresh* mutual fund investments, taking advantage of a continued correction in small- ...
Shall I buy the HDFC AMC stock or mutual fund?  LivemintThe risk of putting all our money in a few stocks is much higher than investing in mutual funds.
Are mid and small-cap mutual funds holding too many illiquid stocks?  Economic TimesLiquidity has been scarce in Indian capital markets in recent weeks. Mutual funds have also not been spared the pain, with liquid and money market funds ...
Value focussed MF are cutting their exposure to Indian stocks. What about you?  Moneycontrol.comAs valuations climb, the funds have chosen to stay light on Indian stocks and exposure to bonds and arbitrage has gone up.
Investing in equity mutual funds versus investing in shares: Which is better?  Economic TimesBy Dhirendra Kumar Hopefully, by now my columns have convinced you that most of your long-term investments should be in equity. The next question to be ...
Check out what top five mutual funds bought & sold during October selloff  Economic TimesNEW DELHI: Mutual funds stood resilient as industry's asset base increased to Rs 22.23 lakh crore in October in spite of a heavy correction in the domestic ...
Mutual funds that destroyed most investor wealth in the September selloff  Economic TimesThe recent selloff in the stock market has raised fears of a rush for redemption in mutual funds.​
Hot and Cold Stocks of Mutual Funds in October 2018  MoneylifeIn October 2018, Axis Bank and ICICI Bank were the most preferred stocks of Indian mutual funds. The net purchases of Axis Bank were Rs1,504 crore, of which ...
Mutual fund lesson: What should you do in volatile markets?  Moneycontrol.comCost of investing in equities is that it is a volatile asset class- there will be times when your portfolio value will be lower than what you invested.
Mutual fund holdings in IT stocks touch all-time high  Economic TimesMumbai: Fund managers are betting big on the IT sector, on the back of an improving global macro environment, depreciating rupee and rise in IT spends.
How stocks picked by mutual funds over 2014 to 2017 have performed  Economic TimesWhile the most wanted stocks of 2014 and 2015 have done well, the recent picks have disappointed.
Why your mutual fund earned you less than Nifty in recent market rally  Economic TimesThe more the number of stocks in an index, the weaker is its performance.
Do not make these 7 mistakes while investing in mutual funds  Moneycontrol.comNever forget that you are investing because you have to achieve your financial goals. Investing without a goal is akin to travelling without a destination.
These 18 consistent mutual funds may help you to beat stock market volatility  Economic TimesMany equity mutual fund advisors abhor volatility in the stock market. They are always searching for ways to tackle this beast which gives them sleepless nights.
Mutual fund managers bought & sold these 20 stocks in May  Moneycontrol.comRelative valuations are attractive and around average, but midcap valuations are still looking stretched despite the recent drawdown, Morgan Stanley said in a ...
List of best mutual fund portfolios as per your risk appetite  Moneycontrol.comYou can build a portfolio of mutual fund schemes based on your risk profile.

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