Tharp's Thoughts Weekly Newsletter

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June 20, 2007 — Issue #326

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In this Issue...

Workshops

London in July, North Carolina in August

Article

The Highest Yields on the Planet, by Dr. Steve Sjuggerud

Trading Education Learn the Tharp Concepts
Trading Tip

Still More Online No-Cost Charting, by D.R. Barton, Jr.

Melita's Corner

Vacation or Bust, by Melita Hunt

 

Workshops

Workshops

 

LONDON IN JULY

NORTH CAROLINA IN AUGUST

Blueprint for Trading Success

July, 2-3-4
Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday

Peak Performance 101

August, 18-19-20
Saturday-Sunday-Monday

Dinner with Dr. Tharp, Monday, August 20th
How to Develop a Winning Trading System that Fits You

July, 6-7-8
Friday-Saturday-Sunday

Peak Performance 202

August, 22-23-24
Wednesday-Thursday-Friday

Book now for the $3,500 combo. Book Now for the $5,000 Combo

 

Feature

The Highest Yields on the Planet
by Dr. Steve Sjuggerud

I travel to the ends of the earth for True Wealth readers... and sometimes I bring them with me...

I'm in Iceland this week with 50 subscribers... checking out the investment opportunities and seeing the sights.

Investment opportunities? Sights? Do either exist in Iceland, you might ask? Yes they do... and both are as incredible as you'll find anywhere.

When it comes to investments, Iceland offers the highest interest rates of any developed country. Is Iceland a developed country? Absolutely – income per person is in the $45,000 range. Is it a safe place to put your money? As safe as anywhere on the planet... The government here has no net debt (it can pay off its debts with its income), and Iceland is traditionally ranked the world's safest, least corrupt country (see www.transparency.org, for example).

Interest rates in Japan are close to nothing... Interest rates in Europe are a little better. And U.S. interest rates, in the 5% range, are the best of the big three currencies, but they still aren't particularly exciting. Yet here in Iceland, unbelievably, short-term interest rates are a whopping 14%. Long-term interest rates are in the 9%+ range now. 

Interest rates in Iceland are set to come down starting this year. This might not sound sexy to you... but the capital-gains potential here is ridiculous, and it gets bond investors very excited. 

So far, it's been a great year for Americans investing in Iceland. For example, if you'd bought a boring Iceland CD issued by Everbank (www.everbank.com) that I recommended this year, you'd be earning double-digit interest rates... AND since the currency has strengthened by a double-digit percentage move as well, you're looking at around 20% so far this year... in a CD! And if you bought this, you didn't even have to send your money to Iceland.

As for the sights of Iceland, you won't believe this place!

After a fantastic dinner with Glitnir Bank (www.glitnir.is), we hit the road early yesterday morning for some sightseeing. Two of my favorites were the geysers and the Gulfoss waterfall. Pictures will be better than words here. And note, this is not America... you won't see any guardrails here... I guess Icelanders assume that most people are not idiots, and if they are, it's their fault!

We visited the geyser called "Strokkur." It erupts every few minutes. Watch your step. That water is hot!!! 

This next shot is the waterfall called Gulfoss, 10 minutes up the road from Strokkur. This is only the first 20-30 meters or so. It bends one more time out of this picture, and falls another 70 meters. Incredible.

The landscape is like nowhere else you've seen on earth. You can't capture the full size of this waterfall in this picture.... You can't capture the glacier in the background... and you can't capture the thunderous roar as the waterfall wraps around the headland while you stand five feet from the edge.

Getting back to the investments, I think Iceland is an incredible opportunity. You can earn outrageous rates of interest, and you really have no default risk in my opinion. The biggest risk is the currency. As I mentioned, it's already up by double digits in percentage terms versus the dollar just this year. It could strengthen more, as investors are attracted to the high interest rates.

But the currency is really expensive already. My wife and two kids are here with me as well. A trip to Pizza Hut after the tour last night set me back more than US$50. For pizza and a pitcher of soda! I didn't realize I was so cheap... I haven't bought a single souvenir yet... as I can't bring myself to pay twice or more what I'd pay in the States! 

Iceland is traditionally expensive. But I've been here a handful of times now, and it's as expensive as it's ever been. So the currency could (and probably should) weaken.

Don't forget though, you've got a nice tailwind... you've got double-digit interest rates that you can lock in for a few years. If you plan on holding two or three years, you'd likely earn 20-30% in interest. 

I expect the currency will stay strong for longer than most people think. I think it's strong because people are borrowing money at cheaper interest rates elsewhere and investing it here to capture the higher interest rates. As long as the high rates stay here (and they should stay high for another year or so), I think the currency will stay strong as well.

Iceland might be the last place people think of to vacation or invest. That might have been what drew me here in the first place... One of the things I'm willing to do – that most others aren't – is consider that anything is possible when it comes to investing. 

By being willing to consider that, my subscribers made a lot of money here a few years ago when I first recommended bonds in this place (I think it was 50%-60% in less than two years). Now the opportunity is just as good!

Open your mind, and consider visiting and investing in this place. For both visiting and investing, it is like nowhere else on this earth!

Good investing,
Steve 

Reprinted with permission from Daily Wealth, June 6, 2007. Written by Dr. Steve Sjuggerud and Tom Dyson, DailyWealth is a free daily e-letter focusing on the world's best contrarian investment opportunities. They write with a simple belief in mind: You don't have to take big risks to make big money with your investments. Click here for a free subscription.

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Trading Tip 

Top Notch Internet Resources Part X – Still More Online No-Cost Charting

By D.R. Barton, Jr.

Those useful links and e-mails keep coming in!  If you haven’t sent your favorite sites in yet, please see my e-mail address at the bottom of the article.

We’ve reviewed a bunch of charting sites so far, and I wanted to give my take on a few of the names that you have sent in.  One of the most frequent sites in your e-mails has been prophet.net.  I’m going to dedicate all of next week’s article to this useful site.

For today, let’s explore a couple of other options: clearstation.etrade.com and prorealtime.com.

Clearstation was an independent service that was started in 1998 and bought by e*Trade in 1999.  That’s how things happened in the dot.com boom!

To its credit, the interface is fairly uncluttered.  And the only advertising is an ubiquitous e*Trade banner – but it’s small and unobtrusive.

The charting facilities are very modest – charts come in a scale that's pretty small and even cranking things up to their “huge” setting doesn’t help readability (though it does add more bars to the chart).

The number of technical indicators available is pretty low.  And interestingly only exponential moving averages are offered – I couldn’t find a simple MA option.

Fortunately, there are some other useful areas of the site.  The education section is well above average.  They have quite a few pre-set technical and fundamental screens that show up in the “bag and tag” section.  The technical section is the stronger of the two, with screens  such as price crossing various moving averages and stochastic overbought and oversold, plus two dozen similar screens.

But the most interesting section of the site is labeled “Recommend.”  Here, site members (there is a no-cost registration) are able to post their recommended stocks, both long and short.  Most importantly, the record of the picks is accumulated.  Of course there are lots of ways to manipulate this (multiple screen names, etc.), but it could form a useful sentiment indicator.

I also wanted to comment on a site that has a novel approach to charting called ProRealTime.com .  To access its data you do have to go through a registration process, including an e-mail confirmation, so it is a bit different from the other no cost charting sites we’ve discussed.

But the novel approach is that this company has built a browser/Java based charting package that mimics stand alone products like TradeStation and Ensign.  And end of the day data is truly free and allows you to have access to all of the charting features of the platform.  I have only spent a little time with the platform, but at first blush, it seems to have a very good set of technical tools, a clean look and a simple user interface.  It also has backtesting capabilities that I will try out and report on in a later article.  From first impressions, this could be a very useful platform for those who need end-of-day data only.

Next week we'll keep working on the no-cost online charting tools, looking at another of the front-runners:  Prophet.net  Keep sending in your favorite sites to drbarton@iitm.com.    And let me know if you’ve found this discussion useful! Until next week…

Great Trading!

D. R.

About D. R. Barton: A passion for the systematic approach to the markets and lifelong love of teaching and learning have propelled D.R. Barton, Jr. to the top of the investment and trading arena where he is one of the most widely read and followed traders and analysts in the world. 

He is a regularly featured guest analyst on both Report on Business TV,  and WTOP News Radio in Washington, D. C., and has been a guest analyst on Bloomberg Radio.  His articles have appeared on SmartMoney.com and Financial Advisor magazine.

 

Melita’s Inspirational Corner

Vacation or Bust…

by Melita Hunt

 

When was the last time that you took a REAL vacation?

While you are reading today’s article I am relaxing in Honduras. As a seasoned and frequent traveler I often hear people say “Wow, you’re traveling again? You lucky thing” as though I live in a mode of constant vacationing, which I certainly do not (unfortunately) and that really got me thinking. Although I like to get away for weekends and I do a lot of fun “stuff,” I realized that this is the first “real” vacation that I have taken for a long time. 

I love to travel and have happily made it an important and regular part of my life (in many different ways), and although I feel very blessed to do it, at times the whole adventure of travel can be very stressful, demanding and much more exhausting than most people realize. There is always plenty to do when I’m getting organized for the journey and in addition to the trip planning, I need to ensure that everything else is in order before I leave and things can be handled while I’m away. 

The trip itself can be busy and demanding (based on what I’m doing) and then the inevitable busyness is always there afterwards when I get back to deal with the e-mail, correspondence, duties and people who are all clambering to be the first in line for my attention because I’ve been “away.”

Do I need a vacation after the vacation? It certainly sounds like it.

And why is that? Probably because it’s not a real vacation in the first place! So there’s the key. Although it is time away from work, home or family, sometimes what “looks” like a vacation (to me or others) is actually not really one at all. So firstly I had to define what a vacation was and what it wasn’t.

A business trip, expo or show (even in an exciting or desirable locale) is NOT a vacation. Often, I am just in a hotel.

A visiting trip to see family is NOT a vacation. It is time to do things with family and friends. 

Attending a workshop or event (either one of our own or for educational purposes) is NOT a vacation.

So what is a vacation?

For me, a real vacation means no laptop, no emails, no phones, no commitments, no “have to do that,” no agenda, no organized events, no rules and no watches (I don’t wear one anyway – but that’s another story). I can sleep in, read, eat, drink, play and spoil myself whenever and in whatever way I desire. I am not answerable to anyone and have nothing that I have “to do.” It is pure relaxation.

My choices may involve sports, hiking, swimming, sight seeing, doing a tour, hanging out with people that I love or just having some time alone – but only if I choose to do it, not because I “have to do it.” 

Now that’s a vacation!

And now that I have thought it through and realize that the world will not come to a halt or collapse into chaos if I decide to disappear and relax for a while, I am going to encourage you to do the same and talk this through with your family. What would it look like if you took some time to do exactly what you wanted to do? What would bring you peace of mind and relaxation, rather than being pulled in every direction to ensure that every one else’s needs are met?

Taking the time to think it through and talk about it honestly may be just what’s needed to alleviate miscommunication and the inevitable overwhelm that can be associated with some travel and vacation plans. Explaining that your business trips are not vacations and actually listening to one another’s version of what a vacation is may be all that is needed to find the most effective compromise and solution for your family. Then everyone can be on the same page and everyone wins.

The perfect vacation for me is one that I return from feeling rested, fulfilled and refreshed. Doesn’t everyone deserve that? So right now, I am in Honduras, on a “real” vacation. And for those of you who were wondering:

  • I wrote this before I went.

  • My auto responder will reply to your e-mail messages.

  • My phone is switched off.

  • The staff are competently handling things while I’m away.

  • Right now I am probably sleeping, reading, dining, on a boat with friends, or relaxing on a massage table by myself.

  • And hopefully I don’t know what time or day it is…. 

Because in less than a week I will be traveling to London on a “business trip.”

Cheers,
Melita

 You can contact Melita at mel@iitm.com

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