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The Passing Parade

The Last Parade

It is with much regret that I must announce that the Parade is coming to an end. Or, more specifically, this weekly missive.

The simple reality is that the commercial side of this business, our premium research service Compelling Investment Quantified, failed to gain the traction necessary to justify the many resources and long hours required to continue.

Having launched a variety of businesses ever since my first attempt at commerce—which was selling dead baby hammerhead sharks off a...

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A Walk Down the Dark Road of Bad Government

One of the most fascinating traits of the human herd is its willingness to be led off a cliff by political miscreants.

In modern history, we have two perfect examples to illustrate the point: Zimbabwe and Venezuela.

Accompanying me this morning is a song I first heard in the excellent movie, Hell or High Water starring Jeff Bridges and Chris Pine. If you haven’t seen it, I couldn’t recommend it more highly. The song is Dollar Bill Blues by Townes Van Zandt, and I have tacked some other songs...

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Enter, the Blockchain

In a recent edition of these musings, we looked at the pending creative disruption triggered by the rush toward driverless vehicles.

This week, we are going to look at another disruptive technology: the inevitable and imminent adoption of the blockchain, and its impact on a wide range of transactional industries, including banking, investing, and everyday commerce.

I am in an Argentine frame of mind, having worked the last two mornings in a winery sorting and crushing grapes. Therefore, as...

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The Uncivil War and What You Can Do About It

Not to be overly dramatic, but a civil war has begun in America. Everyone knows it to be true, but no one knows what comes next.

The conflict of visions between freethinkers and the socialists who believe government should hammer humanity into model citizens has reached what divorce lawyers call “irreconcilable differences.”

Evidence of the hostilities is abundant. Starting with the daily exchange of conflicting, angry “news” stories pandering only to viewers on one side of the great divide....

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Why Golf Doesn’t Suck

In my youth, I viewed golf as something only old people enjoyed. Make that OLD people.

While I was never much for sports, in my early forties I discovered polo, one of the most exhilarating sports on the planet, of which golf is pretty much the antithesis.

As polo is also one of the world’s most dangerous sports, I began to play less frequently when our children arrived, hanging up my spurs entirely about eight years ago.

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Preparing for the Next Great Disruption

Entrepreneurially minded folks tend to favor the concept of “creative disruption.” It is understandable, too, as each new innovation creates a wealth of new commercial opportunities and potentially urges on the ascent of humanity.

Over the course of my 60-odd years on the planet, so many new products and services have been introduced that it would take me a full day to document all of them.

I am sure many dear readers recall, as I do, a world without electric typewriters, portable computers,...

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You Know You Are Suffering from a Mental Disorder When…

As we are hard at work on the next edition of Compelling Investments Quantified, for this week’s Parade, I am updating an article I initially wrote for my Sendero blog. While obviously biased, I think it is well worth a read.

As a bonus, I conclude with a useful list of websites that provide real news and analysis, as opposed to the political fluff that has become the standard.

With that brief introduction, and a reminder to not miss out on the opportunity to add discipline to your investment...

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How the Coming Wave of Job Automation Will Affect You

One of the more interesting mental exercises related to predicting the future involves trying to fathom the impact the rise of robots will have on humanity.

We can be quite sure that in the proverbial blink, robots will be doing all the war fighting. After that, what’s the point? But does that then lead to the sort of robotic apocalypse so well envisioned in Terminator?

I also suspect it’s only a matter of time before the idea of sex bots goes from being an “eew” sort of thing to a household...

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The Trader’s Guide to Trump

In last week’s edition of The Passing Parade, I made some comments of a generally pro-Trump nature that resulted in an exodus of about 1% of the subscribers to this publication.

To which I say, thanks for stopping by. Sorry if your mind was unable to cope with views that run contrary to your own. There’s a lot of that going around these days.

Further on in this missive, I’ll give any remaining dear readers with strong anti-Trump views additional reasons to hit the unsubscribe button.


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The Single Biggest Threat to Investing Success… and How to Manage It

Have you ever encountered a rotten egg?

Remarkably, as someone who enjoys eggs with breakfast almost every day, I hadn’t.

At least until earlier this week when I came across my first, honest-to-goodness rotten egg. Or, should I say, it came across me—spraying out of the shell in all its rotten glory.

Like most people, I consider myself made of sturdier stuff. However, standing there gagging, dripping with the eye-wateringly noxious contents of said rotten egg, all I could do was wail...

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The Epidemic of Bad Ideas

This week’s missive tackles a big topic. One of the biggest.

That’s because it touches virtually every corner of society: politics, the economy, investments, social order, innovation. People live or die because of it.

The topic is education.

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A Bullish Case for Gold

This week, I am happy to present an article by dear friend and business partner Olivier Garret, who makes the case for gold under President Trump.

While Olivier is biased, given he founded the Hard Assets Alliance, I think you’ll find his logic is sound.

My personal concern remains the strength of the US dollar. “The Super-Dollar” is the lead story in the current edition of Compelling Investments Quantified, our premium—and very profitable—monthly investment letter.... Read more.

The Fourth-Generation War

Welcome to 2017. As with every new year, or any stretch of 365 days into the future, we can expect surprises. Some good and some bad.

Of course, we can’t know the future. Therefore, we are left to our expectations and, I suppose, aspirations. For example, I await the arrival of President Trump with high hopes and an almost silly level of anticipation.

Oh, how I hope he continues deriding the political class so firmly attached to the carotid artery of the American people. Derision is all they...

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Be the Bank

In our last edition before the New Year, I share an overview of an interesting and easy way to get a better return on your money. What’s most important, it allows you to largely side-step the risk and volatility inherent in stock and bond markets.

We then conclude with an approach you might want to consider using for difficult people and negative relationships that crop up in your life.

As I write, sitting at the dining table at our family house in Vermont, the snow has kicked up. If I skied,...

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Holiday Edition: Something Different

Given ‘tis the season and all that, we’re going to change things up a bit this week. We’ll take a break from delving into the mysterious workings of the global economy or investment markets, and from shaking our heads in dismay at the unending follies of the human ape, and get in sync with the holidays by sharing one of my annual holiday stories.

I forget how long ago I began the tradition, but it’s probably a couple of decades. Today’s entry, a personal favorite, is from 1993.

In re-reading...

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Markets Award Trump Nobel Prize in Economics

As today we are headed north to spend Christmas with the family, Jake Weber, the invaluable senior researcher of our premium Compelling Investments Quantified (CIQ) service has kindly offered to fill in for this edition.

In his article, he delves into the economic and political challenges President Trump is facing and scans for any red flags flapping in the breeze.

On the topic of CIQ, we maintain a laser-like focus on finding great companies that sell below their intrinsic value—the only...

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Interest Rates and the Toughest Man Who Ever Lived

I begin this week sitting at our dining room table here in Cafayate, Argentina. Out the window, the vista is brimming with sunshine, vineyards, lovely houses, and lovelier mountains across the valley.

My wife is off working out at the Athletic Club & Spa. I would be too, were I not laid up by my recent hernia operation.

Later today, I’ll be playing a demonstration game of the ancient Chinese game of Go with a fellow resident and master of the game from California. Then we’ll dine at Bad...

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Adventures in Castro’s Cuba

Some years ago my then girlfriend, now wife, Deirdre and I set off to search Planet Earth for our personal paradise.

Cuba was one of the places we seriously considered.

My logic at the time—and this would be about 1995—was that Castro’s regime couldn’t last. And that once his heavy grip on the throat of the economy was released, the country’s natural charms and resources, sited as they are just 90 miles off the coast of Florida, would assure an entrepreneurially-minded individual (me) a solid...

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Investment Survivor

My favorite reality TV show, Survivor, was created by the energetic and entirely self-made Mark Burnett.

A British expat with zero experience in show business, Burnett managed to go from selling T-shirts on a rented fence in Venice Beach, California, to heading up MGM Television.

I’m not alone in enjoying Survivor, as it ranks as the #1 summer TV show of all time.

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I began writing this week’s musings on a small notepad while sitting in the Homeowners Association Meeting here in La Estancia de Cafayate.

For the record, I have a near phobic dislike of sitting in meetings that ranks right up there with filling in government forms.

To my way of thinking, business that could be handled efficiently by a couple of well-intentioned and reasonably intelligent individuals in 15 minutes takes a larger group several hours to reach either the same conclusion or...

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Mosul, US Elections, and Other Madness

While the news is dominated by the most manic-depressive presidential election in modern times, there is a massive tragedy unfolding in the Iraqi city of Mosul.

To most Americans, Mosul is just another Middle-Eastern backwater. And, I suppose, that is what it has become.

However, back in the day—the day being in 1127—it was the seat of power for the nascent Zengid dynasty.

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$50 Trillion in Cash Is Sitting on the Sidelines Today

I have just come off what can only be described as “Hell Week” in opening Bad Brothers Wine Experience.

To give you a sense of the enterprise, below are photos of Bad Brothers four days before we opened, and a photo on opening day.

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Lawyers, Lawyers Everywhere

This morning, I took a break from the insanity of opening Bad Brothers Wine Experience in the Argentine outback to wander over to the local hospital for a quick check-up with friend and doctor Dr. V.

While waiting for our appointment, I noticed the list of charges for various services at the hospital.

For example, the cost of a consultation with a doctor is 50. Unless you are not an Argentine citizen, in which case you will pay 100. Should your complaint involve your ticker, your consult with...

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Is the US on the Verge of Mass Race Riots?

Thanks to a philosophy course my daughter is currently taking, I have recently become more intimately acquainted with the British philosopher John Locke (1632-1704).

While Locke is famous for many other truly important ideas, our recent reacquaintance began after I reviewed an essay on Locke’s theory on the primary versus secondary qualities of things, a bit of a brain teaser.

Locke’s general line of thinking was that the only way to fundamentally understand anything is to first break it down...

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Cats at the Window

In today’s edition, I welcome to the platform Jake Weber, my co-editor of Compelling Investments Quantified, who will be providing his analysis on the outlook for gold, given its recent correction.

Meanwhile, I’m up to my eyebrows in the imminent launch of our latest folly, the Bad Brothers Wine Experience.

If we get it right, the already buzzing pueblo of Cafayate here in the Argentine outback will have a vibrant new place to celebrate the excellent local wines paired with gourmet “small...

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After the Debate, the Deluge?

“I guess he is a buffoon after all. Too bad.”

Those words were written by a dear friend and, until the lights went out on the first presidential debate, the most ardent of Trump supporters.

For the debate, a group of us had gathered at the Social Club at La Estancia de Cafayate here in the Argentine outback.

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Where Did All the Money Go?

As we’re still readjusting to life in a small Argentine pueblo miles from anywhere, I’ve asked Stephen McBride, my associate and now neighbor (he just moved here), to take the reins for the bulk of this week’s assemblage of news, analysis, and wry commentary about the never-boring antics of the human ape.

You may recall Stephen’s wonderful exposé on George Soros, an article that continues to bounce around the Internet doing good service by alerting people to Soros’s nefarious deeds.

In this...

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Why Your Vote Doesn’t Count

In our quest for perpetual summer, this week we are transitioning back to our Argentine home. As a result, I intend to be brief, though there are a couple of observations I want to share related to the pending US presidential election.

On the musical front, I am still mostly stuck on Dire Straits, a group I haven’t paid much attention to until recently. As the parade begins, I am teeing up the entire album of their greatest hits.

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The Importance of Brexit

Per last week’s mention, I am writing to you from Oxford, England, where we have just dropped off our daughter at college.

This is our third stay in Oxford, and having looked around a fair bit, I have to say there is much to commend the place.

For starters, there may be no university town in the world to rival it. In fact, it is so overflowing with institutions of higher learning, you have to watch your step lest you trip over the time-worn cobblestones of this or that college or university.... Read more.

Servant of God

As you read this, I’ll be wandering around the streets of Oxford running errands related to dropping off our daughter at her two-year college.

Though homeschooled for most of her student life, our daughter decided her academic aspirations would be best served by a good English school. So here we are.

Personally, I found the US educational system to be rigid and uninspiring. I might have thought differently had I attended school in England. That’s because, as they enter the equivalent of the...

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Violence from the Left

While I wish every edition of The Passing Parade contained only posies and puppy dog noses, there are times when the darker side of nature commands our attention.

This is one of those times.

Given the political nature of today’s musings, before continuing, I would like to clearly state my political affiliation. Which is the “Leave Me Alone and We’ll Get Along Fine” Party. The party, which for convenience’s sake we members call the LMA, believes in minimal interference by government in our...

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Calling Mister Wolfe

Taking a break from articles on investments and politics, this week I’m going to update an article originally written for my Sendero blog (

I think it has relevant lessons for anyone facing challenges in life. Which is to say, everyone.

Speaking of challenges, finding great investments in today’s markets is no simple thing. In our premium research service, Compelling Investments Quantified, we pull out all the stops, using fundamental and technical analysis as well as a...

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How the Frankfurt School Changed American Culture

How many times have you heard someone lament how much the world has changed from the good old days? You know, the simpler pre-PC period when the world operated according to fairly predictable principles.

But then we woke one day in a world with every bastion of what some might call normalcy under attack. Institutions that 100 years ago appeared unassailable—marriage, for example—are increasingly seen as antiquated. Even the idea of a national character is viewed as wrong-minded and, in the...

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A Global Derivatives Expert Shines the Light on Systematic Risk

As promised in last week’s edition of The Passing Parade, below you’ll find my notes from a wide-ranging and very interesting conversation I had with a friend of mine who recently retired from a position as a very senior risk manager for one of the world’s largest banks.

Unlike most people in his elevated position, my friend—we’ll call him John—is about as down to earth as can be. He lives simply, drives an old truck, and exudes none of the arrogance found in many of his peers.

In fact, if...

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Why the Failed Coup in Turkey Will Bring Down the European Union

As I am still in Argentina running around like a llama chased by a puma, it’s my great pleasure to turn the bulk of this week’s missive to new team member Stephen McBride.

You may remember Stephen from his excellent work on our exposé on the machinations of George Soros.

Starting in a week or so, Stephen will begin writing The New Abnormal, a new free e-letter that will be posted every Wednesday on

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The Parade-Goer’s 9-Point Guide to Understanding Political Propaganda

As I begin this week’s missive, I have tears in my eyes.

Tears from a good laugh with my wife who just walked into the room while I was writing, headset on and the music blaring.

Apparently, the sound of my bare feet slapping on the slate floor, accompanied by my humming disjointedly along with the loud music she couldn’t hear, reminded her of the sort of noises an inmate in a nuthouse might make.

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The King Cycle

As something of a change-up, in this week’s missive we delve into a remote and largely forgotten episode in history that provides a timeless lesson for us even to this day.

As a warning, this bit of history touches the third rail of religion.

Please understand it’s not my intention to insult anyone, just to share a story that happens to revolve around characters with strong religious beliefs.

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How George Soros Singlehandedly Created the European Refugee Crisis—and Why

We have what I think is a special edition of The Passing Parade for you this week.

It’s an eye-opening article I and Stephen McBride, a new researcher/editor here at Garret/Galland Research, put together on the wide-flung web of George Soros.

As you’ll read, Soros could seamlessly step into the role as the real-life version of a super-villain in a James Bond novel. To give credit where credit is due, Stephen did the considerable leg work for this article and what he uncovered surprised even...

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Is Your Favorite Gold Stock a Wile E. Coyote?

Before we get into this week’s edition, I would like to relate some news to the golfers amongst you.

In last week’s musings, I mentioned my buddy Charlie had strong-armed me into participating in the big annual golf tournament hereabouts.

As you might be able to discern from the photo here, against all odds, we actually won our flight!

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A Wander in Alice-Land

Today’s edition may be a bit shorter than normal, though I can never really tell.

What I can tell you is that I am on the tail-end of one of those horrible, once-a-decade cold/flu things. As a result, I am writing you with my brain feeling as if it were encased in a diving helmet.

In addition, I am under time constraints as a result of having been roped into partnering up with my pal Charlie for the annual Kirkwood Golf Tournament that kicks off early tomorrow.

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The Velvet Glove

Returning to the United States after eight months at our home in the Argentine outback is always something of a cultural shock.

During our three-month return to modernity, we visit friends, do a bit of shopping, and enjoy cuisines not readily available in the small town of Cafayate.

(American style thick cut bacon, for example. In a day or two, I’ll curb my enthusiasm, but yesterday I confess to eating a small pile of bacon with breakfast then swiping some from my son’s plate as a mid-morning...

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Trusting Unicorns

Today’s edition of The Passing Parade is something of a hodge-podge. A fair reflection of my scattered thoughts—the result of our summer transition back to the United States from the quiet wine country of Argentina.

Adding to my mental distractions is the fact that rather than riding off into the horizon to enjoy something resembling retirement, I am up to my chin in the start-up of not one but four new businesses (albeit three are involved with wine-making which I am quite enjoying).... Read more.

Cultural Balkanization

A lot of noise has been made over the past year by the Black Lives Matter crowd. And for good reason… black lives do matter. As do white lives, brown lives—in fact, I think one can safely make the case that the full color spectrum matters.

To run around spouting about the killing of young black men, therefore, seems to be preaching to the choir. Outside of a small handful of the populace with serious mental issues, who would argue with the sentiment?

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The Passing Parade

Today, we kick off with a brief article by my dear friend and associate Angela van Schalkwyk on the near certainty that Google will know the outcome of the US presidential election months in advance. And maybe already does.

After which, I’ll be back with a discussion of an interesting anomaly having to do with oil prices and Treasury yields.

But first, turning up the volume on “Black Sun” by Death Cab for Cutie, it’s my pleasure to welcome Angela to the stage.

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