All posts tagged Currency

With Bloomberg reporting today that Gisele Bundchen, the world’s highest-paid supermodel, has refused to accept payment in U.S. dollars, the dollar’s downtrend is receiving more negative publicity.

Giselle joins the ranks of billionaire investors like Warren Buffett, Jim Rogers and Bill Gross who are pessimistic on the dollar’s future. The 27 year old Brazilian model has made $33 million in income so far this year.

According to the Treasury Department’s data, U.S. investors bought $198 billion in foreign securities this year through August, 72 percent more than in the same period last year.

Sovereign wealth funds run by the largest exporters and oil producers, including China, Singapore and Qatar are also liquidating US dollar positions. Its projected that these funds may grow from a current $2.5 trillion to $17.5 trillion by 2017 and shift more than $500 billion out of the dollar over the next 3 years.

If I were you, I’d try to sell ahead of them. There’s a saying in the market. If you’re going to panic, make sure you panic before everyone else does!

Since I decided to kick the old job (which was a hard habit to break), I’m going to be more reliant on my passive income. Part of my passive income comes from Canadian Income Funds, some of which pay out over 16% in annual yields. They pay out the dividends on a monthly basis and after tax (which the Canadian Government takes out at source) it still works out to over 1% per month. This is about 3 times what I get in my savings account!

Also, being enrolled in the dividend-reinvest program (also called DRIP) my dividends are used to buy more stock every month without paying a commission. Any best of all, some stocks offer a discount to the prevailing market price.

I added to my position in Harvest Energy Trust (HTE) yesterday. I calculated I have too much money in savings, even if I don’t have a job for the next year. So I decided to take a little bit of money (from my Bank of America account, which pays half a percent in interest) and buy something that yields 16.5% per year (just over 14% if you consider the Canadian Tax). While the monthly increase in my cashflow is not significant, its still a good optimization of my resources. And after all, leveraging and optimizing one’s resouces is how you get rich. Their DRIP offers a discount too.

If it drops a bit from here, then I’ll probably buy more, else I’ll buy Australian Currencyshares Trust (FXA), which pays out ~5.5% yield. If the Federal Reserve cuts the rate tomorrow and the Reserve Bank of Australia boosts it next week, we could see parity between the USD and AUD in fairly short order.

In the long run I think energy prices are heading higher and the USD is heading lower. Having the conviction to follow through with your beliefs is also an important factor to becoming rich. Either way, I’m pretty sure exchanging my USD for something else is a good idea.

Jim Rogers, co-founder of Quantum Fund along with George Soros, achieved 4,000% returns in the 80’s. He’s famous for being bearish on the US economy and the US Dollar. However, he’s currently bullish on the Dollar, saying that everyone is negative on it.

In his opinion, when too many people take one side of a trade, the opposite is likely to happen. The Dollar has been in a bear market since 2002, but it turned bullish during 2005. He thinks its over-sold and in the short-term at least, due for a correction.

While I’m not buying any Dollars, I could definitely use a spike in the USD for my entry point into Australian Dollars.

Many claim the dollar’s weakness is helping offset a dropoff in U.S. economic demand that’s come from a recession in the housing market. Goods priced in dollars are cheaper in Europe or Australia, and manufacturing in the U.S. becomes more attractive for companies that export goods. That helps preserve jobs in the U.S.

But a debased currency is a hefty price to pay for growth, and not an easily reversible one, says Rogers. It breeds inflation and weak purchasing power, which ultimately undermines any short-term boost in growth. He reiterated his belief that the U.S. dollar is bound for a decline similar to the British pound’s 50% decline in the early 1980s.

He’s not very impressed with Bernanke lowering the interest rates either.

“The fool went and cut interest rates with the stock market down 6%,” he says of Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke. “What’s he going to do when stocks are down 30%?”

He says Bernanke and the Fed are ignoring obvious evidence of inflation in food, education and entertainment prices.

“This is a man who’s made a career learning about printing money and now we’ve handed him the printing press,” he says, likening Bernanke to his predecessor Alan Greenspan in their penchant for saving the markets by cutting rates and inflating asset bubbles.

Rogers is a believer in the global growth story, particularly China’s. He said he’s sold out of all his emerging market investments except for his investments in China, claiming the other emerging nations have “been exploited by 20,000 MBAs running around looking for markets.”

Rogers hopes he’ll be able to pass down his Chinese stocks to his 4-year-old daughter, but adds he may be forced to sell.

“If a bubble develops in China in the next year or two, I’ll have to sell because bubbles end badly,” says Rogers, pointing to Japan, where stocks remain well below their levels of over a decade ago. But he believes Chinese stocks would have to double before he’d feel forced to sell.

The self-proclaimed “inactive investor” is not buying much these days. He’s bullish on commodities, though he agreed he’d be hard pressed to find anything to buy at these levels. If he’d buy any commodity it would be in the agricultural space rather than the metals, though he declined to specify one. He’s short the U.S. investment banks along with the dollar.

Next to China, Rogers says he’s long gold.

I’ll undoubtedly buy more gold,” he says, predicting it will double from here in the next few years.