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Four Ways to Prepare for and Profit from "Financial D-Day"

By Dan Ferris, editor, The 12% Letter
Saturday, April 16, 2011

Yesterday, I told you the government's huge, $600 billion stimulus program is scheduled to end on June 30 76 days from today.
That day is so important for investors, one major fund manager, Bill Gross, is calling it "D-Day."
Investors need to watch this date carefully. As you read yesterday, the government can move markets, no question. If you're not convinced, here's another look at it:
Government Stimulus has Sent Everything Up, Up, Up
This chart shows the S&P 500 since QE2 began. Even though the market had already rebounded 80% from its March 2009 bottom, it's up another 10% since QE2 was announced.
QE2 is stock market Viagra. And you know what happens when that stuff wears off.
Commodity prices are up as well, with the CRB index of 19 commodities up 18% since QE2 began. Crude oil was under $85 a barrel before QE2. Now it's over $107 per barrel... a 27% rise. Copper was about $3.90 per pound. Now, it's $4.30... up 12%. Up, up, up. Financial Viagra is performing as advertised.
As I showed you yesterday, markets peak during a stimulus program and then fall or go sideways once the stimulus spending dries up... which is what I expect to happen again. So here's what you do...
A weak stock market, of course, is a value investor's dream, because weak stock markets create bargains. So the first thing you should do to prepare for the expiration of QE2 is to have plenty of cash handy.
How much is plenty? It's a matter of style, but to me, plenty of cash in an equity account starts around 35%-40%. That'll give you enough to take a large stake in bargains that crop up during a period of market weakness following QE2. That's Step 1: Hold plenty of cash.
Step two is a familiar refrain to my readers. We're talking about money-printing, inflation, and currency devaluation. The value of our currency is at risk. You should own some gold and silver coins. I buy Krugerrands, the most widely circulated gold bullion coin in the world. I also buy one-ounce silver rounds. That's Step 2: Buy gold and silver bullion.
Step three is more aggressive, and therefore not for everyone: Sell short weak stocks. Speculative assets have performed better during QE2 than safer, less speculative assets. They'll likely suffer worse in the aftermath. That's Step 3: Sell short weak stocks.
Step four is familiar to DailyWealth readers. The first stocks you should buy are World Dominators. These are the safest stocks in the world. Lately, they've been selling at their cheapest prices in almost two decades. When these stocks are this cheap, you want to buy them. And if they happen to get cheaper, you want to buy even more. That's Step 4: Build a core position in World Dominators.
The best part is, no matter what happens on June 30, this advice ought to protect your money and make you a profit.
The ultimate hedge is one that still provides a good outcome, even if the hedged event doesn't happen. Whether I'm right or wrong about June 30, it's still a good idea to hold plenty of cash, own plenty of gold and silver, sell short weak stocks, and build a core position in World Dominator stocks. June 30 can come and go without a ripple in the market, and my advice will still apply.
Cash is the most liquid way to hold your money. Gold and silver bullion will still be a "real money" hedge against government perfidy. Truly weak stocks will falter and fall no matter the market's direction... it's just a question of when. And whether the market does nothing, goes up, or goes down, World Dominators will still be wonderful, cash-gushing stocks.
No one can predict the future. We don't know what's going to happen to the market on or after June 30, 2011. We don't know if it will crash, weaken a few percent, or soar to new highs. But if you follow my advice, you'll be prepared regardless of what happens.
Good investing,

Further Reading:

"When the stimulus spending stops," Dan wrote yesterday, "we'll see these markets go sideways... or drop significantly." Read the first half of Dan's two-part series here: The Most Important Day for Investors This Year.
"You can't depend on the market pushing stock prices higher," Dan writes, "and you can't depend on the economy pushing earnings higher." So you need to focus on this now, "more than ever before": The Ultimate Stock Strategy for Today's Market.

Market Notes


This week's chart is another way to look at the huge "stocks... gold... commodities, I don't care, just get me out of dollars!" move taking place right now.
Much of the time, owning positions in gold, stocks, and commodities (like copper, oil, and corn) provides an investor with a reasonable amount of portfolio diversification. But after the 2009 market low, a funny thing happened on the way to the financial planner's office...
In its bid to "reflate" America's stumbling economy, the U.S. government has dropped interest rates to zero... which makes holding cash in the bank unattractive to most folks... which helps send funds into assets like stocks, commodities, and gold.
As you can see in the two-year performance chart below, this huge flow of funds has affected stocks (black line), commodities (blue line), and gold (gold line) at the same rate. All three are moving in similar up-and-down waves... and all three have gained about 60% since the 2009 low. One has to get creative to get diversification these days. Barack and Ben have made speculators out of us all!

Stocks, commodities, and gold are the same trade these days

Stat of the week


Percentage of home sales in Southern California last month that were foreclosures, according to real estate tracker DataQuick.

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