Sometimes I think I have a dream job. I get paid handsomely for doing what I love to do and I can do it on my own schedule. When I was in high school, I thought I would like to be a coach and a teacher. I would have been good at both. But I ended up in sales. I bounced around from job to job with a rather lackluster resume until I ended up in the precious metals industry, 29 years ago. It was the best thing that happened to me since a chance meeting with my wife Susan in a lady’s shoe store, some 20 years earlier in 1963.
For the very first time, I found a job where my success would be based on my intellect and ability to “teach,” not on how hard I worked or how much I traveled. I never consciously thought about it; it just evolved that way. The satisfaction I got didn’t come from selling a product or from making money; it came from being able to genuinely help people by teaching them financial and economic lessons that they were not getting from mainstream sources. That is what motivates me to this day; not the money but the satisfaction in knowing that through my efforts, a great many people will be better prepared to face the future because of the information I share with them.
Yes, in many ways I do have a dream job – my dream job. All of the reading and research that I do EVERY day is for me and I would do it even if I were retired and not writing a daily newsletter. But dream job or not, it is not an easy job. You should try and write about a subject, any subject on a daily basis. It is not easy.
When I wrote for the first time, in 1989, an eight-page edition of Future Economic Trends, it was one of the hardest things I ever had to do. FET was a monthly newsletter that went out to 10,000 paying subscribers and I was an emergency replacement for Dr. John King, the founder who suddenly died. There was no one else to do it and I volunteered. After finishing the newsletter I sat back and said to myself “What will I write about next month?” It was frightening to think that I had to do this again, and again, every month. The FET readers became the foundation for Miles Franklin a year later, when I took a chance and left a very good job to form my own precious metals and Swiss Annuity company.
In the beginning, we lived on Susan’s $54,000 a year salary. It was anything but easy, in the 90s, to survive, let alone thrive, selling gold and silver, when a bull market was raging in stocks and gold and silver were in the teeth of a 20-year bear market. My wife still remembers the day she took my son Andy, who was with me from the start, out to lunch and had to write out checks to pay his bills for him. We were living proof of “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” There was a two or three-year period when I didn’t take any money out of the business, but I always paid my bills (never took out a bank loan) and made sure the people who worked for me were paid promptly.
I’m not complaining. It was fun along the way, but not easy and by 2002 we had turned the corner and were on the way to becoming a very successful and well respected company.
Back to the topic of “What shall I write about next?” This industry is like a turtle in a marathon; it moves slowly ahead day after day, year after year. The end is out there but the events of any given day are rather unimportant. That’s what makes writing on a daily basis so difficult. How many times can you say the same thing in a slightly different way? I focus on the “big picture” and the “primary trends,” and that is exactly the way it should be. Frankly, if I didn’t write but once a week, I don’t think it would matter, but I am compelled to write every day and most of our readers are so addicted to what we have to say they would have a fit if we didn’t. But I want you to understand that I honestly feel that what I present to you on a daily basis is not all that critical, at least not in the scope of the “big picture” and “primary trend.” Things will be the same tomorrow as they are today and what I write is more about being interesting and informative than about being imperative.
Mind you, when I started writing this, I had no idea where it would end up but I think I will talk about something far more important now than the fact that gold, silver and the dollar were virtually unchanged from Monday’s close.
I want to talk about what I believe is an evolving trend in our society and certainly within our newsletter industry. It is not a good trend. I know I’m not imagining it, but what ever happened to tolerance and open-mindedness? Emotions are trumping logic. The Conservatives hate the Liberals. Liberals hate Conservatives. Libertarians have no use for either. Politics are a joke. Every ad I see on TV is based on what is wrong the “other” candidate, not about what is right about the person running against him (or her). I am not a fan of President Obama, but the amount of hate email I receive directed at him is scary. Worse yet, when I check a lot of these emails out I find that they are not based on fact! If you don’t like him, don’t vote for him! But why resort to lies and distortions? The entire focus of this election is not that Romney or Obama will fix things; it’s all negative, and focused on how our country will be destroyed if the other guy wins. But this way of thinking goes way beyond politics.
Last week I published some of the views of “Trader David R,” a friend of mine, whom I have great respect for. Bottom line is he is in OUR camp. He is beyond disgusted with the destructive policies of the Fed. He stated that Bernanke has destroyed our children’s future. He is even more bullish on gold and silver than I am, and that is really something. There is absolutely nothing he had to say that should have upset anyone, but his comments caused a small firestorm. Why? Because he had the nerve to say that the people who manipulate our markets are not the banks, they are mega-hedge funds run by algos.
Our own, and we love him dearly, Ranting Andy Hoffman blew a fuse. According to several other industry sources, I had committed some sort of cardinal sin by even presenting his views. You would think that I suddenly had switched sides and decided to promote Jeff Christian or Jon Nadler. These guys DO have an agenda and are ANTI-GOLD. The funny thing is – I never said I agreed with what David R had to say; in fact David R is certain that I don’t. I went out of my way to point out that I was presenting an alternative view and wished not to TELL our readers WHAT to think; I wanted to give them a different credible viewpoint and let them come to their OWN conclusions. But egos got involved. And furthermore, I have always presented the “pro-bank sled manipulation view” and on a very regular basis featured the opinion of LeMetropole Café writers and GATA. The truth is, in my humble opinion, it doesn’t much matter who is manipulating gold and silver. What is important to understand is that the markets ARE being manipulated.
The TFMetals Report published a rebuttal to my humble article by Andy Maguire, and he even went out of his way to point out that Miles Franklin is a great company and we should not be faulted for presenting David R’s viewpoint. He wrote:
(Please understand that this post is not meant to discredit Miles Franklin or their services. They are a great firm that does terrific work in educating and serving the investing public. Ranting Andy did not approve of the blog post in question and it seems that his company published it in an attempt to “air all sides”. I know that I have published a few things that I later regretted so I don’t want anyone to hold this against them. They did not set out to intentionally deceive anyone, “Trader David R” did.)
McGuire is right, we are a great company and what makes us great is that we are willing to discuss both sides of an issue and let you, the reader, make up your own mind. And by the way, David R did NOT set out to intentionally deceive anyone. He did not even know that I was going to publish his personal comments to me. His only motivation was to try and explain the way the bullion banks operate, based on his decade plus experience working as a gold trader for several of them. He no longer does and has no ax to grind. You don’t have to agree with him, but to claim that he is trying to deceive people is simply wrong. When I published his comments, its purpose was to dovetail along with Jim Sinclair’s comments – that the bullion banks are long physicals and short paper, which is what David R was also saying. No one took a shot at Sinclair, but they sure did at Trader David R and me for bringing David R’s views into the article.
I am not being critical of Andrew McGuire. He even tried to distance me from the article, which is unnecessary since I well knew what I was writing. Still, it was a nice gesture. But this is just another example of the way people react to any view that is not totally in line with theirs. This is not a good thing! It is becoming an epidemic.
What you can expect to get when you read my daily, or Ranting Andy Hoffman’s daily, or Bill Holter’s comments, are unfiltered, unedited commentary from three people whose sole purpose is to open your eyes to what is happening, why it is happening and what you need to know to protect your wealth in a very difficult economic environment, with way too much dis-information being thrown your way. We three may not agree in every area, but we do agree that every single one of you needs physical gold and silver in your portfolio.
Andy Hoffman and Bill Holter were writing about this long before they received any compensation for presenting their views. I make my living by selling you precious metals, but that said I also have over 95% of MY net worth in the things I suggest that you need. I am not being self-serving. I do not ask my readers to do anything that I don’t do myself – and the same can be said for my son Andy. All of his money is also tied up in gold and silver. If we sold the company tomorrow, our portfolios wouldn’t change.
We believe to the core that we are doing the right thing for our family and ourselves and that we expect to end up on our feet, while the vast majority of Americans will end up in a bad way for not taking the precautions that we have. We hope and pray that our readers will become enlightened, by reading what we write, and will move out of dollars as much as possible and into the safety of gold and silver. We understand that not all of you will buy from us and that’s o.k. – as long as you buy from someone. We work hard to help you do the right thing. Enough of you have chosen to use our company as a source of precious metals to make it all worthwhile for us. From very meager beginnings 22-years ago, we have become a force in our industry. We are up there with “the big boys” but we do it our way, and as best as I can determine, we do it in a unique way. We strive to educate you, and to enable you to make the right choices based on the best information available, and that’s what we are all about.