Thoughts From the Frontline, Unemployment

2 posts tagged with “Unemployment”.

A Random Walk Around the Frontlines

February 19, 2011

I am on yet another plane and writing, and I’ll finish this letter in Phoenix. As I start, I am not sure of a theme for this week’s letter, so (with a tip of the hat to my friend Burton Malkiel, who I will see at Rob Arnott’s conference in a few months), today we do a Random Walk Around the Frontlines, surveying what’s going on in the world. We’ll start with the Fed and interest rates, look at inflation, and see how far we get. And I might get a little controversial, but long-time readers know that is not all that unusual.

But first, I want you to mark your calendars for April 28-30, when I will host, along with my partners at Altegris Investments, what I think will be the single best investment conference of the year. It will be the 8th annual Strategic Investment Conference in La Jolla. Let me give you the Killer’s Row line-up of speakers, in alphabetical order. Martin Barnes (Bank Credit Analyst), Marc Faber, Niall Ferguson (author and Harvard Professor), George Friedman of Stratfor, Louis-Vincent Gave (of GaveKal), Neil Howe (the Fourth Turning), Paul McCulley (if he ever surfaces from his fishing vacation), David Rosenberg, Dr. Gary Shilling, Jon Sundt (of Altegris), and of course, your humble analyst. I mean, really. Most conferences have one or two top-tier headliners. We have nothing but the best. These guys are all great speakers, but getting them on panels together? Way cool. Plus some of the best hedge fund managers (personal opinion) show up to give you their thoughts. And maybe a surprise last-minute guest or two. If this conference lineup were a baseball team, they would sweep the World Series. Oh, and the best part? Your fellow conference attendees. The interaction among them is what truly makes this conference the best.

We (well actually, Altegris) will soon start sending out invitations, but you can register today at Sadly, the conference is limited to accredited investors with a net worth of more than $2 million, as there are funds presenting that require that minimum (and some even more). Those are the rules we have to live with, whether I like them nor not (I don’t, as long-time readers know). But we follow them religiously.

Every year the conference sells out. Every year some of you wait to the last minute, thinking we can “always take one more.” We can’t. There is a limit to the space. If you have attended in the past, call your Altegris representative and make sure you get on the list. Do not procrastinate.

Now more than ever you need to consider the place for alternative investing in your portfolio. I work with partners around the world for both accredited and non-accredited investors. If you would like to know more, then go to and click on The Mauldin Circle, register there, and someone will call you. Seriously, the teams at Altegris (for US accredited investors), CMG (for those with net worth less than $2 million in the US), ARP (Europe), and others have some very innovative and interesting funds and managers on their platforms that really deserve a look. Even if you can’t make the conference, your portfolio will thank you for finding some alternative investments that make sense in these times. Now, to the letter.

Forecast 2011: Better than Muddle Through

January 7, 2011

It is time once again to throw caution and wisdom to the wind and actually make my 11th annual forecast. I have to admit this is the most stressful letter I write each year. I do at least 5-10 times more research and thinking about this issue than any other. On a positive note, this may be one of the more optimistic forecast letters I have done in a long time. But there are some asterisks, as always. We will survey the world, trying to peer through the fog of the future. There are some very interesting side trails we will want to explore. Did you know some events in Russia could have real ramifications for inflation in China, the US, and the world? I pay attention to the background details and bring them to you. So settle back as we tour the world.

But first, as you are fastening your seat belts, I am proud to announce that FINALLY we are a full go on my new web sites, which have been in soft launch for a few weeks. The main site is now, where you can access everything I do, including Thoughts from the Frontline and Outside the Box, as well as ten years’ worth of archives.

There’s a lot that’s new, as Tiffani is dragging me into the new world of Internet 2.0. Our old site was so ’90s. Now we are the cutting edge. Everything is done in HTML 5, and we are one of the first and few financially oriented sites to use this new code. Very crisp and clean.

But more importantly to you, we have ways for you to interact with me and the “Mauldin Community.” You can comment on each weekly Thoughts from the Frontline and Outside the Box, and I will read your comments. There is a forum where you can join the community and discuss topics I bring up, whether you agree with me or not. I have always contended that my readers are the smartest, most well-informed of any writer’s, and now you can benefit from your collective wisdom.

The only general rule is that you have to be civil and have some sense of decorum.
At least on the small part of the Web I own, there will be a sense of dignity and probity. You can disagree with me or some other commenter to your heart’s content, and I encourage it, as that is the way I (and we) learn; but no flame mails, no casting aspersions on anyone’s character because of the views they hold.

I will also be doing voice podcasts that we call The Mauldin Minute. And you can view my latest media spots. Want to ask me a question? There’s a spot for them in the upper left-hand corner of our home page, and each week I will pick 1-3 questions to respond to. Rule: it has to be a question that does not need a book chapter or an e-letter to answer!

We also have a new site called The Mauldin Circle, where you can find investment professionals around the world who can help you find appropriate investments, generally in the alternative space, which can add some real diversification to your portfolio. (If you have signed up for the accredited investor letter in the past, you do not need to do so again. In this regard, I am president of and a registered representative of Millennium Wave Securities, LLC, member FINRA.)

If you have a minute, go to, put in your email address, and sign up. (You won’t get two copies of my letters if you are already on the list!) Tiffani and I really would like your feedback on the new site.

And now on to the topics of Forecast 2011, in no particular order.