In the wake of the newly appointed heir to the North Korean dictatorship position, I've been thinking about the 'cult of personality'. Traditional reporting will often focus on the personality of leaders or, in the case of democracy, the details of leaders' interactions. While it's interesting to think about, some would call it one-sided, even topical. When I've got investments on the line, those are two words I don't want to describe my research.
The decisions of a single personality seem unreliable. But when you look deeper, you can see that most nations and even leaders with personality are forced to make decisions in a reliably logical fashion. What may seem like a broad spectrum of choices when examined carefully are actually just one or two logical ones. The personality of the leader is of much less consequence than the nation's geopolitics.
For a full understanding of this analytical approach, which is very much applicable in the finance world, get to know STRATFOR, a global intelligence company founded by my friend George Friedman. Read George's report below on U.S. options in Afghanistan, and << click here to sign up for their free weekly intelligence reports>>.
While the U.S. was celebrating its World Cup victory over Algeria, another struggle was playing out in Washington that also grabbed the world's attention. In that instance, the loser was Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who was forced by the president to resign his command of U.S. forces in Afghanistan.
Since STRATFOR is more of an expert on geopolitics than the World Cup, I'm including an article from them on the current Gen. McChrystal shake-up. It's an example of the kind of behind-the-scenes intelligence reporting that makes them famous. Give it a read and visit their site to learn more and sign up to receive their free weekly reports.
There is no lack of discussion about where we are right now - in terms of jobs, real estate, global economy, etc. Few get it right, and even fewer actually understand where we're headed. Once you find an information source that correctly predicts what's coming up, you hold on to it. For me, it's STRATFOR. It's not often that you find a news source with such a solid methodology.
Today I'm including a piece from STRATFOR on the Afghan war. It strikes me as one of their best pieces recently, and I encourage you to pay close attention to the candor of their analysis style. We all need to know what to expect from this conflict area, and though we might think we have a decent idea, there's always something at play behind the scenes. Read the article, then click here to sign up for more free intelligence reports from STRATFOR.
The hottest headline this week is President Obama's war in Afghanistan. After his speech Tuesday night, critics, pundits and beltway know-it-alls have been giving their two cents across the airways, printing presses and online. On issues such as this, I eliminate the noise and go straight to my favorite source of intelligence. In the article I'm sending, my friend, and STRATFOR CEO, George Friedman spells out the key to winning this war - and it's not a troop surge. U.S. forces and a U.S.-trained Afghan army will need solid intelligence to quash the Taliban.
We all need solid intelligence - from fighting wars to buying a house to creating an investment portfolio. Knowing what happened yesterday is useful, and you can get that information at any newsstand. Understanding what may happen tomorrow - whether it's a Taliban attack or a market crash - is priceless... and harder to find. Click here to sign up to receive STRATFOR's free weekly intelligence reports - and discover the benefits of understanding the global system of tomorrow.
You may not think that what happens in Kabul affects the sale of GM's Opel division -- but it's recognizing the connection between seemingly unrelated global events that puts you ahead of the game in investing. This week I'm sending you a video by my friends at STRATFOR. It links cars, jobs, German elections, and the situation in Afghanistan in a way that's truly insightful and informative.
Click here to watch this enlightening video. I've probably never mentioned it, but STRATFOR's founder George Friedman also has a free weekly intelligence report. I strongly suggest you sign up to receive it -- It's just the kind of unique global insight every 'outside the box' investor needs. Click here to get a mind-blowing Friedman analysis each week in your inbox. You'll enjoy it as much as I do.
With the election of a new US President, everyone is focused on the "First 100 Days." How Obama transitions into the presidency impacts not just the U.S. but the entire global system. What happens to U.S. relations with Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan? What's going to happen at Treasury and to all the programs addressing the financial crisis? What's going to emerge from the next G20 summit?
You need to read the analysis below, written by my good friend George Friedman at Stratfor. He details the immediate issues facing the president-elect, including one of the stickiest: Europe's desire for a global banking regulatory regimen. How will Obama respond to European pressure? George has built his company Stratfor and its reputation on forecasting the future, and I'm amazed at how often he's right -- on broad themes and specific events.
As we move into the next 100 days, George is way ahead of us with a book called The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century. I've read an advance copy, and it's absolutely fascinating. In it, he maps out what geopolitical changes the world will see in the next hundred years: the rise of Mexico (and war with the U.S.!), Poland and Turkey returning to great-power status, and a second Cold War, among others. I can tell you, his arguments are as absolutely compelling as the conclusions are provocative.
George has arranged a special pre-publication offer for my readers. Click here to take advantage of a Stratfor Membership that also includes a free copy of George's new book. For insight into the next 100 days and the next 100 years, I'm relying on George Friedman and his team at Stratfor. I know you'll find as much value in George's forecasts as I do.
In times of crisis, those with psychological fortitude discover opportunities that most people miss. A friend of mine in Houston tells me of unending piles of tree limbs broken down by the hurricane. The homeowner laments his disaster; the tree trimmer and the roofer order a new Mercedes. Most of the world sees a Wall St. meltdown. Buffett takes the opening to deploy billions from his cash hoard. They're all seeing the same thing, but they're reacting differently based on different visions of the future.
I've included a piece today from my friend George Friedman over at Stratfor about the landscape the next US President will face. This article is a perfect example of why I rely on Stratfor for my geopolitical intelligence. The newspapers and other media do better or lesser jobs of telling me about what's happening right now. But that's not what an investor needs. What I need - and I recommend for you - is an analysis of what we're going to be facing. That's where George and his team absolutely excel.
For at least the next month, the public conversation is going to be completely dominated by the November election and the political maneuvering to address the financial crisis. There will be tremendous drama. There will be dizzying swings back and forth in emotions, expectations, and more than likely the markets. And if you focus on it, you'll miss the real opportunities to position yourself for the emergence. George has made a special offer on a Stratfor Membership available to my readers, and I strongly encourage you to click here to take advantage of this opportunity. Now is the time to get positioned for future opportunities, while everybody else is wallowing in the here and now.
I hope you enjoy this special edition of Outside the Box from my friend George Friedman and his team at Stratfor. He talks about the "good war" in Afghanistan and why in some ways it is far more difficult than the war in Iraq. This is a view that is quite different from what we read in the mainstream media. It highlights Stratfor's geopolitical intelligence capabilities. Trying to trade global markets - and now all markets are global - without an understanding of geopolitics is like trying to trade juice futures without a weather forecaster. You can do it - but good luck.
If you've been reading the special Outside the Box letters for a while, you know that George has offered a special rate to my readers. To celebrate the pre-release of his new book (as well as an absolute page-turner from his colleague Fred Burton), he's offering my readers even better deals on a Stratfor Memberhip - that include autographed books. The roads of the world are going to be full of potholes for a while - that's just the way it is - but if you want a map of where the road is going, click here to read George's work.
I'm hardly alone in considering Stratfor's geopolitical intelligence to be the best private sector intelligence product in the world. I rely on Stratfor's work to help me shape my perspectives about where the world is going and how I can exploit opportunities. I hope you click here to take advantage of George's very kind offer.