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Issues

September 2017

My Last Issue

After nearly four decades of meeting monthly publishing deadlines, it’s time for me to shift gears. I am stepping away from writing IR to spend full time researching global investing strategies, compounding, and dividend-paying stocks on behalf of our management clients at Richard C. Young & Co., Ltd. Eagle Financial Publications will become the new publisher of Intelligence Report as of September 1. You’ll find further details regarding this transition in the enclosed letter. Don’t despair. I am not abandoning my thousands of subscribers, many of whom have been with me since what feels like the Reagan era. As always, you’ll be able to get my early-morning posts on richardcyoung.com and youngresearch.com. Read more

August 2017

Compound Interest & Dividends

Since my Babson College days in the early Sixties, I’ve reviewed dozens of sage investment tomes, scholarly papers, and journals, along with hundreds of investment newsletters. But one book remains on my desk today, 54 years later: Ben Graham’s Security Analysis. I find zero need to go beyond Ben’s original base of dividends and the miracle of compound interest. I do all my own research, and do not work with Wall Street or waste a minute contacting corporate CEOs and financial officers. And never in my own portfolio have I taken a significant loss.

In this issue, I lay out my early history at Model Roland & Co. with my favorite client, Wellington Management, and how America’s dean of international monetary experts, Edward M. Bernstein, helped put my very first currency reports on the map. You’ll also find my favorite quotes about compound interest I’ll also present two rosters of all-star books that I have benefited from reading through the years—one of books with financial, political, and historical topics, and one of nutrition and health books—and a list of the top articles you can read today at richardcyoung.com. Rounding out the issue is a historical look at what the framers of the Constitution had in mind with the powers of Congress and the Presidency, and what good ideas I thought they gave up when they abandoned the Articles of Confederation. Read more

July 2017

Russia, Canada, or South Korea?

Today’s financial markets seem to react to each new revelation about what Russia may or may not be doing to poison events in the United States. The media, from left to right, joins Washington political elites with a unified goal of making life tough for Donald Trump, whom they view as a villain. The Swiss Way In all fairness, President Trump has done himself little good marching around apparently with a kick me sign on his back. I am a devotee of the "Swiss Way" (find more about the Swiss Way by clicking on it in the menu bar at… Read more

June 2017

Everyone Calls Me Sir!

When did that start? I wondered recently as I was climbing down the plane stairs onto the blazing tarmac at Key West "International" (yup) Airport. Well, at some point in the last 76 years, I apparently have graduated to sir status. But you know what? It's not that bad. There are advantages, especially in my business. My Decades with Wellington Management Think of all I have learned and how much I know today that I did not know even a decade ago. In fact, my age today may be one of the greatest assets I offer you. After all, how… Read more

May 2017

My Biggest Move in Years

A recent asset sale has put me in the rare position of needing to make an oversized investment in my portfolio all at once. This gives me an ideal opportunity to go over with you my complete foundation—how I do things for me personally, and my thought process backing client investments at Richard C. Young & Co., Ltd. As I have often repeated, the two are really one and the same thing. And while I do not make moves for myself far afield from what I advise for clients, first this caveat: I am almost certainly more conservative than are… Read more

April 2017

The Russian Front

The Russian Front Donald Trump has promised "America First," along with really big moves to put his master plan in place. Time will tell, but Trump, without question, is off to an energized start.   Russia Much Larger than China Americans have heard plenty, pro and con, on America’s relationship with Vladimir Putin and Russia. It does not take a lot of scholarly reading to get the message on President Putin. His track record, to be kind, is most unpleasing. If you can accept that as a given, here is a follow up: The Russian Federation encompasses an area over 70%… Read more

March 2017

Big Ideas Matter Most

Big Ideas Matter Most Not once in my 53 years of investing have I been a seller because I did not like market conditions. There has not been a single down year in my Dynamic Maximizers this century.  My favorite balanced fund has not had a double-digit down year in its four-and-a-half-decade history and has had only one single slip leading to a modest yearly back-to-back decline over four decades ago. In the following two years, Vanguard Wellesley Income, today managed by Wellington Management's John C. Keogh and W. Michael Reckmeyer, III, advanced by about 40%. I began my career… Read more

February 2017

A Shocking Victory for Donald Trump Was in the Bag

A Shocking Victory for Donald Trump Was in the Bag  Weeks before the presidential election, it was clear to Debbie and me that Hillary Clinton had badly underperformed on the ground, had no visible message, and was facing a sizable majority of Americans who found her untrustworthy. Meanwhile, Donald Trump had gotten out in front on the same tailwind of populism that we have been observing in our swings through Europe. Populism has engulfed EU countries, especially France.  We Minced No Words About Trump's Upcoming Victory As we wrote often throughout the summer and fall at richardcyoung.com, our six-state, back-road… Read more

January 2017

Your Absolute Guide to the Future

Over the last decade, I’ve given the bulk of my attention to my loyal subscribers’ financial, personal and health security needs. With regards to your financial security, over the past few months I have been rolling out my new portfolio management program that allows you to invest in sub portfolios as building blocks of a complete portfolio—what are called my Dynamic Maximizers and my Cycle Allocator Plus portfolios. In terms of the stock market, longtime readers are well aware that the best choice for serious investors is to invest the majority of equity capital in my Retirement Compounders (RCs) program. Every month, I give you a Top 10 list based on the overall best names in terms of momentum and underlying value.

Recently, I’ve been putting the final touches on a menu of goals I want to deliver in the coming year. This month, I am continuing the rollout of my new portfolio management project with the introduction of my Unloved, Forlorn, and Out-of-favor feature. A nod to the great John Neff, long-time manager of the Vanguard Windsor Fund, my UFO strategy focuses on delivering long-term profit by investing in low-P/E stocks with solid fundamental growth. You’ll find out the name of my first UFO recommendation, which happens to be a stock that I already follow on my RCs list, but is a stock that checks all of the right boxes for the strategy. You’ll also get the names of two additions to my Retirement Compounders Master list, financials stocks whose investment prospects look much brighter than they did only a few months ago thanks to the Trump victory. Finally, I dive deeply into my newly reintroduced Market Tension Index (MTI), which is the best measure of how this progression will affect the economy. Think of my MTI as your GPS for the economic road ahead. Read more

December 2016

The Sun Does Not Shine

In Tromsø, Norway, what is called a Polar Night lasts from November through January. It’s a time when the sun never shines. Unfortunately, an American Polar Night is going to follow the presidential election. Regardless of which candidate wins, the number of those in the outraged camp will be the highest many of us will have ever witnessed in our lifetime. When has America faced a situation where both major parties go to the polls with perhaps as much as 40% of their own party against the candidate, never mind the entire opposing team? All of which will lead to Washington gridlock. Zero will be accomplished for two years. It is hard to view this prospect as something stimulating for the financial markets, never mind the economy.

As I have written in recent issues, the economy is in the winter stage of the cycle. When will we know that the economy has entered recession? This month, I am reintroducing my Market Tension Index (MTI) to help you and I determine whether the economy is in recession. Also, make sure you take a look at my Funds Master List supplement this month—you will find a complete redesign. (Download the Master List PDF for the complete Mutual Funds & ETFs Master List.) The revamped Mutual Funds & ETFs Master List features the advised allocations for the Dynamic Maximizers and Cycle Allocator Plus portfolios that I introduced last month, my Featured Funds for this month, and so much more. Lastly, you’ll get the name of my preferred vehicle for your compound-interest investment success. This year, the fund has been handily outperforming the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ Composite, with a return of 18.6% versus 5.9% and 3.6%, respectively. Read more

November 2016

A Financial Jurassic Park!

This exclusive interview concludes my special mini-series specifically designed to walk you through a unique and brand new portfolio concept I have been working on for many quarters. My timing on “the project” has been geared to coincide with what I determine to be a perfect storm of investing dangers, including the winter stage of the business cycle, the emergence of a disastrous administration, and maximum risk in the financial markets as frustrated investors look for yield in this historically low interest rate environment.

In the face of all that, and a Fed strategy in which seniors in retirement are asked to finance Wall Street speculators, I have been developing new ways to help investors survive today’s financial reality. This month, I talk about my most conservative portfolio, the Dynamic Maximizers, a fine-tuned derivative of our original Maximizers portfolio. I’m proud to say that the Maxis portfolio has not had a down year this century. I also introduce a brand new fund portfolio that is built around Vanguard’s 11 sector ETFs. This new fund portfolio strategy offers a winning approach for investors who prefer the fund route over equities. Over the next three months, I will roll out the various elements of my easy-to-understand, wide-ranging portfolio management process. Read more

October 2016

I’m Retiring?

The first time I “retired” was in 1992. I had completed 20 years in the institutional research and trading and investment seminar business. It was time to retire and move on from those arenas. I wanted to concentrate on the booming individual investment newsletter business and on my family investment management company, Richard C. Young & Co., Ltd. So I took my business suits to Goodwill and retired from working with clients, the media and Wall Street in general. The very next year, in the fall of 1993, Money magazine rated Young’s Intelligence Report an “A”, as the best of America’s big-five investment newsletters.

Fast forward over two decades, and this month you have in front of you Part I of an interview series I just completed. In this special interview I did with Young Research & Publishing (YRP), I announce the introduction of a unique and powerful new portfolio concept. And in order that you not miss the boat, I suggest a way to get started right out of the gate today. You are in for a most pleasant surprise, so read on, and enjoy and prosper in comfort. Read more

September 2016

Prologue

When I entered the securities industry in 1964, there were many old-line Boston investment houses that were referred to as investment counsel firms. These conservative firms welcomed families, forming decades-long associations. In these firms, the words speculation or performance rarely—if ever—came up. What I did hear often was regular reference to Ben Graham’s theories on the importance of dividends. In the Intelligent Investor, Ben wrote, “One of the most persuasive tests of high quality is an uninterrupted record of dividend payments for the last 20 years or more. Indeed, the defensive investor might be justified in limiting his purchases to those meeting this test.”

With the business cycle looking especially long of tooth, it is more important than ever that you craft a portfolio entirely committed to positive cash flow in the form of dividends. On this front, I share some sad news. One of the few dividend-based funds in the world I advise for purchase, Vanguard Dividend Growth, became closed to new investors in July, constituting a “Vanguard crisis” for me as well as for many individual investors. However, I have been anticipating this “crisis at Vanguard” for a long time, and in this issue I write about what comes next for investors like you and me. Lastly, I reveal which sector I have recently made a six-figure addition to in my own personal holdings—this is the one area of the market where I still see significant income opportunities. Read more

August 2016

Crash!

It is sometimes hard for me to believe that it has been nearly 25 years since I traveled around the world, speaking at investor conferences and interacting with so many interesting individual investors. Rather than speaking at seminars, today I focus on gathering intelligence that I use in developing a global investment strategy for Richard C. Young & Co., Ltd., my money management company, and in these personal and financial security reports. There and here, my rule of five Ps–Protect, Preserve, Patience, Perspective, and Prudent–are integral to our conservative investing strategy. I’ve invested to weather the mightiest of storms and, under most circumstances, feel barely a ripple. And my goal here is to have you set up with a similar fortress-like portfolio.

By the time you read this issue of Intelligence Report, I will have made the first in a series of significant investments, each of which will be outlined here in IR over the next year. Number one on my list is a pipeline MLP ETF that is already a large holding of mine, and will shortly become bigger. Pipeline MLPs are the one area of the market where I still see significant income opportunities, as well as value. This month, I will share the names of the four individual pipeline MLPs where I want you to put your money. I will also share a variety of other funds that I have outsized positions in while the storm clouds are gathering. You will be familiar with many of them, since I have written about and advised all of them for years. One Vanguard fund I have owned and advised for years is up 70% YTD. Read more

July 2016

Recoiling From and Rebelling Against

Debbie and I spent most of the month of May on an extensive European research trip that started in Budapest, Hungary, and ended in Paris. Immigration and terrorism, perhaps not surprisingly, headlined the list of subject matter locals were most interested in talking about. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees estimates that the number of forcibly displaced people has surpassed 60 million, including a recently reported 19.5 million refugees. In Paris, automatic weapons and armed military are on many corners, especially in proximity to the city’s famous landmarks, museums, and embassies. Meanwhile, hotels have been cutting rates to try and keep occupancy up. The condition is truly terrifying.

There are still strong pockets of stability, however, even in a changing Europe. This year, Switzerland surpassed the United States in competitiveness on the IMD World Competitiveness Scoreboard. Only Hong Kong is considered more competitive now. The Swiss people’s success has been driven by economic freedom and a strong rule of law to back it up. My top recommended mutual fund this month is a simple way to include innovative, market-leading Swiss companies in your portfolio. Also in the issue, I’ll remind you of the common-sense words of the great Richard Russell, including how patience and the miracle of compounding can keep your portfolio safe from market turmoil. Read more

June 2016

How’s Your Team?

Over the decades, I have written that successful investing is largely a mindset thing. All that is really required is a junior high education combined with great discipline, a willingness to learn, a basic ability to comprehend, an abundance of patience, and a sworn lifetime devotion to the miracle of compound interest. These are all qualities needed to invest in my Maximizers portfolio. By necessity, Maximizers candidates are patient individuals who have accumulated the wealth required to allow the good fortune of adopting the sort of consistent, low-volatility, modest-return portfolios that a “prudent man” would require.

In this issue, you will learn how Richard C. Young’s Maximizers model can act as a foundation for your retirement years, whether you are in retirement right now or will be in the not-too-distant future. I will also show you other opportunities that will allow your portfolio to stand tall while the U.S. economy stumbles along in the winter stage of a long and fast-tiring upswing. First is a fund that will allow you to begin generating a stream of dividends in your portfolio and harness the power of compound interest. Then I will tell you how you should play gold considering the upswing that has been taking the markets by storm, with the pick I last recommended in our December issue up almost 90% so far this year. And lastly, there are a couple changes to the Retirement Compounders Master List this month. We will be replacing two companies that are being acquired with two new names—a global power leader and one of the world’s largest grocery retailers. Read more

May 2016

Patience, Time, & Compound Interest

Long-time readers know that I practice the Prudent Man Rule of investing, and have done so for many years. After practicing this strategy for over five decades, I can assure you that any investor starting my program early in life can become a millionaire. There is neither magic nor luck involved. What is involved is lack of stupidity, greed and compulsive actions. The Prudent Man Rule of investing complements principles that I have used over the decades to help investors save for a comfortable retirement: patience, time, and compound interest.

Can this effortless investing strategy really create millionaires? In this month’s issue of Intelligence Report, I provide a little basic arithmetic and let you be the judge. My overriding goal here is for you to have a whole new and profound appreciation for the two most important words in the investment universe—compound interest. Speaking of which, I am especially happy with the track record of the Retirement Compounders, the foundation for all we do here in my monthly strategy reports. It’s a brilliant illustration of the benefits that patience and compound interest bring. Lastly, I detail a number of the funds I’ve held longest in my own portfolio. One of them is an open end mutual fund that has returned 7.55% average annual growth since its inception in 1980. Read more

April 2016

The Swiss Way, Alexander Dugin, and The War Dogs

Why do you subscribe to my monthly strategy reports? Here, you receive provocative intelligence that you will not read anywhere else. I have spent five decades studying the economic and monetary cycles that determine the underlying health of the world economy and financial markets. Many months ago, I concluded that the American economy has already entered the winter of the economic cycle. Serious dry rot has settled in, which is odd in a presidential election year. How many billions of market cap have been flushed as you were just catching your breath for this election year?

In this month’s issue, I’ll explain why I am even more nervous and defensive about the health of the world economy and financial markets. I hope this issue will be a wakeup call if you have not long ago started the business of setting yourself to weather a storm. I’ll also outline my three most recent and significant financial transactions, an exercise not practiced by many in the investment advisory business. One of them is a closed-end fund that yields over 7.5% and trades at a massive 18% discount to the value of its underlying assets. Finally, as always, you’ll find my Top Ten picks for this month. My number one pick has paid a dividend every year since 1935, and has raised its annual dividend consecutively for 41 years. Read more

March 2016

Your 8% Retirement Yield

Is an 8% yield in retirement possible? You indeed can achieve 8% as a long-term yield goal for your retirement years, but with today’s low yields and slowing economy, this lofty target is obviously going to take some doing. Each of the stocks in your portfolio must have a certain pedigree and proven track record. With my help, you will not include shares of any company, with few exceptions, that has not paid a dividend for at least 10 consecutive years.

In this month’s issue, I am going to show you how to construct an actual “Retirement Ark.” You have not read about such a plan before because only a minority in the investment industry thinks long term for clients. I do, and my Retirement Ark reflects that. My program necessitates rigorous attention to detail, an organized mind, and a willingness to reach beyond prevailing wisdom. When I lay out my complete program for you, I’ll show you how to put the ball in the air this very day. This includes purchasing three of my favorite Top Ten picks, which I have selected because they best resisted the four-year relative lack of performance cycle of 2011–2015. I think you will like my projections for their 10-year-out yields—they average a comfortable 8.3%. Read more

February 2016

Embrace Russia, Ditch the Saudis and Turks

America’s need for Persian Gulf oil, as Forbes put it, "is the main reason why the U.S. military showed up in the Middle East after having almost no role there for the first two centuries of the Republic’s history." It is time to depart once and for all. The list of losers in such a scenario would be long, but the welfare and national security of America would be nowhere to be found on it. Vladimir Putin and Russia, poorly understood in America, would not be losers on the list, either. In this issue, I’ll tell you why I think more cooperation with Russia and less with radical Islamist influenced and unilaterally reacting Turkey offers more plusses than minuses.

Also in the issue, I’ll update you on the performance of our Maximizers portfolio, especially in the frightening early going of 2016. As I promised last month, I go into detail about my newest addition to our Common Stock Monster Master List, a diversified business that is positioned to benefit from the next big driver of innovation and productivity, the so-called "internet of things." I also have my first preferred stock recommendation in several years, which boasts a premium 6.4% yield without a traditional preferred’s asymmetric interest rate risk. And finally, from our family money management company, the issue features a "baker’s dozen" of things not to do in 2016. Read more

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