I've been all over the planet for the past few weeks and, as part of that, had the opportunity to speak with many members of the Total Wealth Family. Along the way, I've also received a tremendous number of emails.
Both give me significant insight into what's on your mind and, more importantly, the specific topics you'd like me to address as we head into 2018.
That's fantastic because Total Wealth is as much yours as it is mine. We are, after all, in this together!
On that note, let me dive right in with the most frequently asked questions I'm getting right now.
Q: What do you make of Apple's most recent earnings, and are there other stocks that it will influence?
Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) is one of the most widely traded companies in the world, which is why its earnings influence markets worldwide as well as individual stocks like Infineon Technologies AG (OTCMKTS: IFNNF), Micron Technology Inc. (Nasdaq: MU), and Broadcom Ltd. (Nasdaq: AVGO) - all of which are key Apple suppliers.
But the "lift" won't stop there.
That's because Apple attracts a significant amount of global mindshare - meaning that it's customers wield a staggering amount of influence. This is actually a far more powerful influence, believe it or not.
That's because the company may be the single best example of a "creative-destructor" (ever), given what it's done to former greats like Dell Technologies Inc. (NYSE: DVMT), Research in Motion, Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK), and Sony Corp. (NYSE: SNE), as well as other once-proud industry standouts.
But what catches my attention is the fact that Apple beat most recently on both the top and bottom lines with exceptionally strong growth in its services business, which posted 22% year-over-year growth to the tune of $7.27 billion. We've been talking about that as a key driver for several years even though much of the street is just catching on.
I believe services will be one of the single most important growth factors driving Apple for the next decade. I also believe that services revenue will accelerate sequentially in the years ahead. That, in turn, will allow Apple to compensate for the inevitable saturation of production numbers for devices like the iPhone and iPad.
Not surprisingly, given my perspective, I believe that Apple is still undervalued.
The same can be said for Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN), Alphabet Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOGL), and Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB) - all of which are squaring off for an epic battle in the years ahead in a sector that's only just dawning on most investors: big data.
I'm obviously following this closely because of the role it plays in our Unstoppable Trends and the trillions of dollars backing 'em.
Q: Could gold be entering a sustained rally, and how much should I own?
I think conditions are right for a sustained rally, but not for reasons most analysts think.
Specifically, the weaker U.S. dollar most analysts cite as if it's groundbreaking news is a "gimme" lately and, sadly, won't amount to much. What you really want to watch is these four things as I outlined them to more than 600 attendees at the Sprott Natural Resources Symposium in beautiful Vancouver, Canada, last week:
- Janet Yellen never met a printing press she didn't like, so she's got no idea how real money works, let alone how markets will react when the Fed starts trying to unload the $4.5 trillion in junk it has on its balance sheets.
- Asia thinks about gold differently than we do in the West, which means that there's likely to be a lot of unrecognized demand in the years ahead, much of which will come from China and India, where the middle class is still expected to grow by 100 million or more people within the next two years.
- Bitcoin speculators realize that it's not what they thought, and that brings much of the price movement that used to be associated with gold prices back.
- Gold is now a collateralizable asset - meaning traders can post it in conjunction with other instruments, like Treasuries, to back up the leverage they use daily. The net effect is more liquidity.
Interestingly, the move probably won't begin right away, which means you've still got ideal time to pick up gold, bullion, mint certificates - whatever you like - at lower prices. Studies show that 2% to 5% allocation is about right for most investors, so use that as a starting point when it comes to your own portfolio. Check with your financial advisor or planner to be sure.
Q: Should we buy Snap Inc. (NYSE: SNAP) now that the stock has come down in price?
About the Author
Keith is a seasoned market analyst and professional trader with more than 37 years of global experience. He is one of very few experts to correctly see both the dot.bomb crisis and the ongoing financial crisis coming ahead of time - and one of even fewer to help millions of investors around the world successfully navigate them both. Forbes hailed him as a "Market Visionary." He is a regular on FOX Business News and Yahoo! Finance, and his observations have been featured in Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal, WIRED, and MarketWatch. Keith previously led The Money Map Report, Money Map's flagship newsletter, as Chief Investment Strategist, from 20007 to 2020. Keith holds a BS in management and finance from Skidmore College and an MS in international finance (with a focus on Japanese business science) from Chaminade University. He regularly travels the world in search of investment opportunities others don't yet see or understand.