Thoughts from the Frontline

An Important Update for Thoughts from the Frontline Readers

September 26, 2012

I have several important announcements for readers of Thoughts from the Frontline, including changes to the publication schedule for my letters. In addition, there are new publications that I want to tell you about. I’m excited about them all and I think you will be, too.

Over the 12+ years I've been writing Thoughts from the Frontline, one of the most common requests I've received is for more specific investment information. While I freely share my macroeconomic views and investment insights each week, doing the heavy lifting to include specific advice in my letter would require several more John Mauldins. And since cloning technology is not quite ready, "A man has to know his own limitations," as Clint Eastwood's character Harry Callahan said. I'm reminded daily of mine, as the pile of reading and research required to stay on top of macro-developments keeps me on the job pretty constantly.

As most of you are already aware, to address this situation and to do it right, I've formed a new joint venture called Mauldin Economics. My partners in this new venture, which include my friend of 30 years David Galland and management professional Olivier Garret, help provide the considerable resources needed to make it a success for everyone concerned – starting with you. We have been working together for the better part of a year now, and I remain very pleased with the decision to combine forces in this important new initiative.

We've spent countless hours brainstorming and planning the ways we can serve you better by bringing you more specific investment ideas based on my macroeconomic views. We are excited about the services we have already launched, and about the new initiatives now on the drawing board. I'm confident that once you see the value these new services can bring to your personal portfolio planning, you'll be excited about them, too.

We’ll get to the new services momentarily, but first...

A Word on Our Current Services

You'll be happy to hear that Thoughts from the Frontline will remain free. Each week I'll continue to write you with my interpretations of the latest big-picture developments in the global economy and investment markets... at no cost.

We are, however, making a change in the publication schedule. Beginning the first week of October, I am going to start writing on Sunday afternoons/evenings with a Sunday night deadline, so TFTF will show up in your inbox early on Monday morning.

The reason for this change is, frankly, that it is taking me longer and longer to write TFTF. I jokingly suggest to friends it may be because I have quit drinking and lost the inspiration of wine and scotch. But for the most part, it’s the sheer amount of material I consult while writing, coupled with the complexity of our world. As a consequence, I find myself walking and thinking about what I write more than ever.

Plus, the alcohol might have been a way of self-medicating my ADD. Or maybe I'm just getting older, and the policemen who stop me at night on my walks around the neighborhood are right to think I am somewhat confused.

Whatever the reason, Friday afternoons in the early years became Friday evenings and then morphed into Saturday mornings. Which means my weekend was shot, taking away some of the pleasure I get from writing. Regardless, I think the new schedule will improve the letter as well as give me some more time to think about the events of the week just past, and the week ahead.

A few years after I began TFTF (in August of 2000), I launched another free weekly publication, Outside the Box, which typically features the work of another writer I have found particularly interesting. It is often someone I don't agree with but whose ideas deserve our attention. If you only read material that agrees with your views, then why read at all? The point of Outside the Box is to get us thinking.

Outside the Box will also continue to come to you free, with the only change being that it will now be published on Friday for your weekend reading, with maybe some expanded commentary by your humble analyst. Same content as always, just delivered on different schedules – Thoughts from the Frontline on Monday morning, Outside the Box on Friday (starting October 1).

What's New

The first new service launched by Mauldin Economics, Yield Shark, has been an unmitigated success. Dedicated to uncovering exceptional opportunities to earn yields in an effectively zero-interest-rate world, the publication has exceeded all expectations, both in terms of the number of subscribers who have signed up during the introductory period, and in terms of the performance of the portfolio.

While I'm not going to go on at length about its performance, or the value it can bring to you by way of generating a combination of yield and capital gains, I can say, like a proud papa, that the team has demonstrated in spades the benefits of following a clear investment process: buying right and selling when our return goals are met, in order to cycle into the next undervalued opportunity. (For more on Yield Shark, click here – it's a great publication and it will be well worth your time to take us up on our standard risk-free trial offer.)

I am especially excited to tell you about our other new service, headed up by my friend Grant Williams, a Singapore-based money manager. Readers of Outside the Box will be familiar with Grant in his role as founder and editor of the always excellent Things That Make You Go Hmmm... Simply put, I think Grant is the best new writer I've come across in years. It's only icing on the cake that over the course of numerous lengthy discussions, Grant and I have discovered we share a very similar world view and investment perspective.

After a lot of conversations and a few trips to see each other, I have persuaded Grant to write for Mauldin Economics. I consider this to be a real coup.

There are several things you want to know about Grant Williams. For starters, unlike most financial editors, Grant actually manages money. Lots of money: he shares in the responsibility of managing $250,000,000.

You aren't handed that kind of responsibility without a lot of experience under your belt. Which is to say, his analysis and recommendations are not based just on academic economic theories but on lessons learned the hard way, in the forward trenches of the battle for investment survival.

Secondly, Grant is truly an international man. Born in London, England, as the son of a merchant banker, Grant began his investing career on a trading desk at just 19 years of age, rising quickly to the position of assistant trader on a Japanese convertible-bond trading desk.

This was in an age when there were no computers and trades were placed directly between market-makers over the phone. We're talking hundreds of individual trades a day, with a phone glued to each ear, day in and day out. (That's called "paying your dues" where I come from – which, in case you don't know, is Dallas, Texas.)

Grant has worked in trading houses in London, Tokyo, Hong Kong, New York City, Sydney, and Singapore, with ever-increasing responsibilities and trading authority. He has traveled the world, and his contacts are extensive. And his current position gives him the resources and world viewpoint, with a very global mandate, that is rare in the investing world.

Plus, he has the unique ability to write entertainingly and compellingly, weaving history into his stories and explanations of how the world works today. I find that combination of talents to be extraordinary, and I’m honored to have him join our team at Mauldin Economics.

As part of our teaming up, Mauldin Economics has already assumed the publishing duties for Things That Make You Go Hmmm... That allows us to share it with you, free of charge for the time being, as it's published (usually once a week, unless Grant is traveling).

I urge you to read it along with me – I suspect you'll find Grant's writing as addictive as I do. (Of course, you can unsubscribe from any letter I send! There's always an unsubscribe link on the bottom of each email.)

But that's not the only thing we're doing with Grant... and that brings me to some very good news for you.

Introducing Bull's Eye Investor

It is with great pleasure that I can now tell you Grant is writing a brand-new letter for us called Bull's Eye Investor, named after my book Bull's Eye Investing.

Bull's Eye Investor has been designed from the ground up to tap into Grant's global investment research and to present specific ideas to keep you ahead of the curve on the developments we see occurring as the Endgame of the Debt Supercycle unfolds. As with Yield Shark, this unique service employs the same sort of methodical processes used by all successful investors. And in this case, they’re the very same processes Grant has long relied upon in his portfolio management work.

Grant will be identifying compelling opportunities in deep value and growth, in North America and around the globe, and providing ongoing portfolio guidance through specific buy and sell recommendations.

I hope Grant's involvement makes it clear that we intend Bull's Eye Investor to serve as the "flagship" for Mauldin Economics, and we will be going all out to make it your single most important source for investment ideas that are in sync with our macro-views on the global economy.

Click here to learn more about Bull's Eye Investor and the special pricing being offered during the introductory period.

Over the coming months, additional services and specialized offerings will be announced as the entire team at Mauldin Economics works hard to bring you actionable ideas backed by solid research and a consistent investment philosophy.

We will do our best not to "over-communicate" on these services – you and I both know that we already get too many emails. If we do things right, and we are determined to do so, everyone will win from these new services.

As always, I’m very interested in what you think about our new services and how we can do things even better. I value your input and take the time to read every email you send to me. I really do pay attention. You are the reason I work so hard (well, and maybe seven kids and a growing cohort of grandkids!). And I must admit, it is just so much fun to get to do what I do.

As I hope is obvious, I appreciate your support over the years. As one of my one million closest friends I write to each week, you have my promise that I'll continue to devote myself to making Thoughts from the Frontline as good as I can make it. And now, with the help of the entire team at Mauldin Economics, we're extending that same commitment to in-depth research and quality to a new range of useful, actionable services.

Your feeling good about our future analyst,

John Mauldin

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