Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Daily Briefing for Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Camp Gladiator

I can barely type tonight, as my arms and hands are rather fatigued from my first ever boot camp workout experience.  Despite the fact I lift weights two to three days a week and do cardio two to three days a week, the boot camp experience at Camp Gladiator's new CG Arena in Austin definitely hit me like a sledge hammer.  Within the first three minutes, I thought "Oh wow....I am not going to be able to finish this class...my chest is already hurting." 

Alas, I managed.  In fact, it got better once I was completely warmed up.  It was still very difficult, but it taught me I am no where near the physical condition I need to be in to perform during an emergency.  I will definitely be going back.  And increasing the intensity of my normal workouts as well.

Query: what are you doing to improve your physical conditioning?  It costs very little to start getting in shape, and it will pay great dividends regardless of the challenges we face in the future.  Do it!

"He who bets against Meredith Whitney does so at their own peril."  -   Me

Parke "The Hammer" Morris, a Tennessee trial lawyer and good friend from our young lawyer days in Memphis, shared this story on the growing risk of municipal bond defaults.  Regular blog readers will know I have shared Meredith Whitney's cautionary tale on this subject in times past.  To be sure, bond prices recovered nicely and then some after she made her prediction, causing many to speculate she was either dead wrong or way off on her timing.  I still think it's the latter.  While it may not be the bond apocalypse she and others fear, today's article still demonstrates there's a tremendous amount of uncertainty in the markets.

"How Can There Be Uncertainty In the Markets?  Didn't You See Today's Dow Jones Close?"

I sure did.  It closed up an impressive 194.13, an increase of 1.5%. 

I also saw the volume of shared traded....or lack thereof.  Dow volume was a paltry 115 million shares.  And the trend over the last several months shows that volume continues to decline over time. 

In my neophyte opinion, that means one of two things is happening. Either the big boys know the markets are about to take off and are putting their money in, anticipating the rest of us will soon follow suit, OR we will soon face another market correction.  So which is it?

The contrarian financial newsletters I read say we should expect the stock markets to go higher in 2012, in large part because of inflation.  To that end, I continue to buy stocks I believe are well suited for such a possibility.  However, I am not fully invested by any means.

Add to this analysis that the great Jim Rogers who foresees a drop in gold and silver prices in the coming months, along with a rising stock market.

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