Ever Heard of a Black Swan? 

By David Treece

On January 26, 2000 the Wall Street Journal published an article titled U.S. Consumer Confidence Reaches an All-Time High. Just like in times past, consumer confidence has exploded to 13-year highs, Business Insider recently reported. Americans are singing along with James Brown declaring they “feel good!” We’re afraid some people will not realize their new portfolio gains because they waited too long to make a lateral move out of the stock market.
As we stated in our last newsletter (link here) multiple black swan events could negatively impact the economy. The recklessness of President Trump’s North Korean nemesis, who he calls “rocket man,” could intensify at any given moment. It appears that Trump is readying the military for a conflict, as he signed an executive order last Friday to draft a thousand retired military pilots.
Paul Craig Roberts, Ronald Reagan’s assistant Treasury Secretary, believes the North Korea commotion is nothing more than a diversion to allow the U.S. to put nuclear weapons on China’s border in South Korea. He further believes that the issues in Ukraine a few years back were an excuse for the U.S. to put nuclear weapons on Russia’s border. In other words, the stammering on about North Korea being a threat is an excuse to be able to keep China in check.
What could possibly go wrong with the economy? The Federal Reserve announced last month that it would begin selling the $4 trillion worth of bonds it bought during the Great Recession. This will cause interest rates to go up, which will make borrowing money more expensive. I’ve noticed that mattress stores are advertising five year no interest loans. Car dealers routinely offer no interest loans. If these places have to offer no interest loans to attract customers now, what happens when the rates go up? Retail sales will slump more, we predict.
If these things weren’t enough, the communist group Antifa has
that they will begin protest on November 4th and continue demonstrating until Donald Trump and Mike Pence are no longer in office. Many people expect the protest to be violent and to last for days if not weeks. Civil unrest seems to be a mainstay in society. Could this be the black swan that causes the next crisis?
There has long been speculation that there was more to President John F. Kennedy’s assassination than the public was told, and some even believe the government knew what would happen before it happened. President Trump has order that the sealed documents concerning the event be released. Much like the 9/11 papers we expect the significant parts will be redacted to continue the concealment of those involved. If it came out that the CIA was culpable in Kennedy’s assassination, what would happen in America?
Hurricanes, wildfires, and tornadoes have been consuming much of the news cycle, and insolvent Puerto Rico still hasn’t recovered from being devastated. Congress “never lets a good crisis go to waste” and has been attaching pork to relief money legislation. Transparency isn’t a hallmark of our elected officials. Only the U.S. government could continue to shell out billions of dollars while being $20 trillion in debt. The lunacy of it all is astounding.
As you can see, there are multiple things that could cause our economy to teeter into chaos with just a sneeze. Popular theory states that just holding on and weathering the storm is the best plan, but sadly many retirees do not have time to recover what they will lose when the stock market crashes again. I was listening to a radio show about finances recently and a retiree stated that he had a portion of his money in a bond fund ladder due to his age. It’s astounding that government bonds even have a market anymore with our reckless out-of-control government. What this gentleman did not understand is that government bonds are one of the worst places you can have your money, simply because the U.S. government is $20 trillion in debt and the end of the rope is somewhere in sight.
If you’ve read our work for very long at all you understand that banks are also a terrible place to park money because they too are insolvent. They’ve been forced to enter risky derivative bets to earn interest on their money because interest rates are at forty-year lows. Many people predict that once interest rates go up the derivative exposure will cause banks to suffer. This is why JP Morgan Chase has told smaller regional banks to merge. Plus, when banks are facing the thought of closing like Wachovia in 2008 our money will be used first to stabilize the banks according to Dodd-Frank legislation.
We don’t write these things to scare you; rather we tell them to you to admonish you to do something about it. There are solutions to these issues and our company exists to help people navigate these uncertain financial waters. Until next time, tread carefully!



Multiple events could cause the economy to go down

If you’ve been to one of our recent seminars, you know there is a lot going on in the world right now that could radically alter our lives. Below is a list of a few items that we will discuss in this newsletter. Look for a follow-up newsletter in the next couple of days for more information.

·      The Dow Jones index just posted its fourth thousand-point gain in the last twelve months. This has never happened in the 120-year history of the stock market.

·      President Trump’s Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, stated that the stock market will fall this year if the president’s tax reform legislation does not get passed this year.

·      This week we passed the 30-year anniversary of Black Monday. And the media all but says it can’t happen again.

·      JP Morgan Chase has issued a warning that smaller regional banks should merge because the lack of deposits at the smaller institutions could drain them.

·      The “bearish billionaire” curse continues. Another billionaire is worried about the pending stock market correction.

As the stock market continues to climb to 24,000 points, we are reminded that the primary cause of this growth has been Bush and Obama’s quantitative easing policies, which continue behind the scenes even today. The unfathomable amount of money the government printed to right the capsizing ship that was the American economy has artificially inflated the economy with a façade of recovery.

Steven Mnuchin, a Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) member, has stated that the stock market is in for tumultuous times if President Trump’s tax reform legislation does not get passed this year. The CFR has long been known to be a cesspool of globalist one-world economy seekers. The organization is not keen on individual freedom but is prone to seek inroads to entangling America in globalist schemes. It’s no surprise that a globalist would be interested in seeing a crisis. With each crisis, Americans lose more and more freedom. This allows the globalist agenda to march forward faster.

This week we passed the 30th anniversary of Black Monday, which was the largest stock market crash at that time. Yahoo Finance reported this week that a similar event is not likely because regulators would close the stock market. No trading means no crash, right? What will you do if your money is locked in the stock market? This has happened before and it has lasted for months at a time.

You may have seen banners draped over bank signs. In Concord, NC, there is one on the corner of Branchview and Copperfield. Smaller banks are merging in an attempt to create bigger reserve pools to pull from during the next economic crisis. JP Morgan issued a warning that the smaller banks may feel the crunch in December because the Federal Reserve plans to raise interest rates and continue to unload the bonds they began buying in 2009. The Federal Reserve is currently holding $4.5 trillion in bonds. When nobody buys bonds like the government has been doing liquidity will dry up.

Carl Icahn, David Tepper, Howard Marks, George Soros, Jeff Gundlach, Warren Buffett, and Eliot Singer are billionaires who have stated that they are bearish on the stock market. Fundamentals no longer matter as long as the stock market continues up, right? That’s not the case for Jeff Ubben, a hedge fund manager, who managed $1.25 billion. Back in April 2017 he returned the money to investors because he was skeptical of the stock market. Did he and his investors miss out because he was early? Of course, but what's better, being early or being a day late?

Unfortunately, we continue to believe that greed will cause many people who have not removed themselves from the stock market to suffer unnecessarily. Don’t forget that you have to remove yourself a step further though. The banks are a terrible place to park your savings. Dad (Tony Treece) stated recently, “The Securities Exchange Commission adopted money market reform rules recently to HOLD people’s life savings (Brokerage Accounts, 401Ks, IRAs in the stock market AND BANKS) when the collapse starts either purposefully or when a “black swan” starts the collapse.”

In our next newsletter we will discuss “black swan” events that could trigger the next economic crisis. You won’t want to miss the email coming in the next few days.



Now offering Medicare help

Tony Treece

By Tony Treece
Change is exciting! And we have some big changes to announce this week, but allow me to tell you a story to explain. In 1984 I began my career helping people plan for the future by showing them the need to plan for “what ifs.” Naturally this led me to enter the insurance industry, and during the 1980s and early 1990s I helped literally thousands of people with their Medicare supplement insurance and health insurance, and I was really enjoying it. But then I got nervous.
As you will recall, in 1992 Bill and Hillary Clinton were elected and seemingly immediately began talking about nationalized healthcare. This was extremely troubling for me because I was making my living selling health insurance. We understand now that during this period of time the idea of government mandated health insurance was in its infancy, and nobody knew how it would all play out. I didn’t know if supplemental insurance was going away, but every time Hillary opened her mouth about the subject I would cringe.
Not wanting to be put out of business, I determined it was time to begin figuring out another way to help people prepare for the unexpected. My mother, Linda, took over my Medicare supplement clients and until last year she was servicing those clients and adding to the business. I became securities licensed to sell stocks, bonds, and mutual funds and started down that path. This was around 1993, and like most things I do, I hit the ground running.
This went well, and as many of you will recall I pulled my clients out of the stock market before the 2000 stock market crash. This started a new chapter in helping people with better alternatives to stock market investments and we’ve been at that ever since.
We began warning you last year that new government regulations could again limit our ability to help our clients with their finances. It’s like a broken record… The government continually “fixing” things that the free market could remedy better than any government solution. You can read more about our first warning here:
So we are coming full circle. We are in the process of coming back to the Medicare supplement insurance industry for several reasons, which I’ll quickly outline here. We have been aware that many of our clients are confused about Medicare and do not have adequate help with figuring it out.
Second, we want to grow our business and help more people in the same ways we’ve helped many of you with your retirement savings.
Third, as I’ve mentioned, the government normally thinks it knows what’s best for us, and our ability to help our clients could be severally hampered by the Department of Labor Fiduciary rule that I alluded to earlier in this article. It went into effect on June 9th.

There is nothing to worry about if you’re already our client, but if you’re not you should be worried. The counsel you get concerning how to save your money will be changing. We can help you, but we need to meet with you soon.
Change is exciting and we’re eagerly anticipating where our new path will take us.

Be sure to register for the July 25th educational Medicare workshop we will be hosting in Kannapolis. Click here to register.



What will come of it

By David Treece

You’ve probably heard the adage; “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.” I bet Donald Trump wishes he had heeded that saying before he fired James Comey, the controversial FBI director. Hindsight is 20/20 and Trump can’t catch a break from anyone after his unexpected ousting. Even Republicans have begun calling for his impeachment.

David Treece

For a day this week it looked like the stock market was going to punish Trump too, after Dow Jones closed over 300 points down. The Plunge Protection Team acted fast to stabilize the market the next day.

Some are saying the Trump administration has more leaks than the sinking Titanic, and it seems the president tried to jump on a lifeboat by going on his first international trip since being elected. President Trump met with Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the King of Saudi Arabia, on Saturday and today. From there he will jet set off to Israel and the Vatican. He will end his trip by going to the European Union and meeting other world leaders in Italy.

The King of Saudi Arabia, Benjamin Netanyahu, and the opaque Catholic Church have long been advocates of wars and threats of wars. It never ends and Americans love war! We relish war and the thought of beating up the “bully.” Insert Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden, or now Bashar al-Assad (the Syrian president) and the public by and large approves of sending our military personnel and using our assets to fight these bullies for reasons that are often ambiguous at best.

Believe me, I’ve asked quite a few people how they felt about Trump’s bombing of Syria and Afghanistan, and most everybody I’ve asked approved of it. National polls reflect that most Americans approved. Democrats and Republicans alike (not that there is much difference) approved of it. In fact, after Trump bombed the countries, the establishment media and his strongest critics gave him a reprieve for a week or two.

What the people who approve of these bombing do not realize is they are playing into Biblical prophecy. Matthew 24:6 states, “And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.

Sadly, if I asked the Christians who approved of Trump’s bombing if they were worried about things spiraling out of control and causing a worldwide nuclear war, they would probably grin at me and say, “No, we’ll be raptured out.”

Many Christians do not worry about how bad, immoral, and atheistic the world is becoming because they believe Christians will be taken to Heaven before it gets “too bad.” They make this gamble not based on Scripture but on a man named John Schofield’s commentary on the Bible. The seeds of deception crept into churches and propagated through pastors and preachers in most corners of America.

It’s sad that Christians have been lulled to sleep when it comes to fully understanding world events and how they may be impacted. I encourage you to study this topic. While you may be scratching your head thinking “What in the world does this have to do with financial matters, saving for retirement, or anything?”, it’s important because knowing why to prepare and take a conservative approach is important.

There are more reasons than I can list of why the stock market is for gamblers and those not worried about their money and why banks are not a safe place to park your money.

That’s why it’s imperative that we take the bull by the horns when it comes to our personal economy. We may not have Donald Trump’s ear and we may not be able to impact the world economy, but we can sure impact our personal economy. We can plan well so that we have the money we have and it is not squandered in high-risk investments so that it’s there when we need it most often, in our golden years. You need a plan to have guaranteed income that you cannot outlive. This is what we help do.



Redefining Repeal

By David Treece

It takes an astute eye to keep up with what’s going on politically these days. President Donald Trump stated in his weekly address that House has passed an Obamacare repeal. Well, that’s partly the case.

Mark Sanford, a Congressman from South Carolina stated, “Many Republicans will claim this bill eliminates the Affordable Care Act. These may be good talking points, but it’s not so accurate. It eliminates some portions of the Affordable Care Act and leaves other portions standing.” The reason the “repeal” bill passed the House is because it cut taxes and eliminates penalties. While this is noble, calling it a repeal isn’t quite precise. Next the bill goes to the Senate for consideration and is likely to ultimately look nothing like the House bill.

Arguably the worst piece of legislation of Obama’s tenure, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, has stifled the economy. A Congressional House committee passed a bill to overhaul Dodd-Frank. In 2010 Congress passed the Dodd-Frank legislation, which mandates that there will be bank bail-ins instead of bank bailouts.

Meaning, depositor money will be used to stabilize the bank should the need arise. Remember 2008? Banks were sinking and our tax-dollars were used to stabilize it. Now your money in the bank will be used. It’s apparent that the FDIC would be unable to payout should the need arise. It’s broke.

Not to mention that money saved in a bank is not keeping up with inflation. With interest rates being artificially low, there is no way for bank deposits to keep pace with inflation. It would be a wonderful thing if Dodd-Frank wasn’t just overhauled but it was repealed.

As we have explained previously, banks being able to leverage money to borrowers caused the stock market crash of 1929. The stock market was rising higher and higher, much like it has over the last few years, and banks capitalized on the climbing stock market. If you had ten dollars you could get a loan for a hundred dollars and if the market went up ten percent, you doubled your money. Sounds good, right? It did until these loans were called. These loans were called 24-hour call loans. If the bank asked for their money, within 24 hours the borrower had to pay the called loan. Of course, when people could not pay these loans off it caused the crash and as a result banks closed too.

In 1932 the Glass-Steagall Act was passed to prevent banks from lending money beyond what they actually had. Like government does, it created the problem all over again in 1999 when Alan Greenspan lobbied Congress to repeal Glass-Steagall. The Wall Street cartel is a powerful lobbying force in Washington, and it does not care if its actions cause you to be a retirement loser when the market crashes. The monster only cares about being fed our money, and it has an insatiable appetite that’s fed through investor greed.

The repeal of Glass-Steagall didn’t create an immediate problem. However, think about credit card debt… Most of us do not get in credit card debt with one big purchase. It’s little decisions here and there that add up to big consequences that often haunt us. The first manifestation of problems occurred in 2007 with the housing market crash, and then a year later the stock market crashed. Of course Bill Clinton never gets much blame for the 2008 crash, but he should.

President Trump seems to have good intentions but the problems he faces are greater and more severe than most people can or are willing to comprehend. Despite what you hear on cable news, we are living in uncertain times. We implore you not to get caught up in Wall Street greed or banking ignorance. Safely and securely put your money to work for you. That’s what we help people like you do.



The dog with no teeth

By David Treece

War with North Korea appears imminent. The rogue communist continues to launch missiles and talk big talk while U.S. warships stalk the edge of the isolated country’s coastline. President Trump seems to have backed himself into a corner, and backing down at this point would severely damage his ego.

It’s this author’s opinion that if President Trump and the media quit talking and giving the Korean dictator, Kim Jong-un, attention the snake will go back in its hole. It’s unclear how capable North Korea is, but what if they are already nuclear capable? What would it mean for the American and global economy?

The Dow Jones stock market index climbed over 21,000 despite Gross Domestic Product getting off to a horrible start in 2017. The stock market does not make fundamental sense. Reports indicate that the leading driver of the economy thus far has been home sales. This has been driven by artificially low interest rates.

Retail sales are down, and car dealers are reporting stagnation in sales. In fact, the dealership where I purchased a vehicle a few years ago contacted me this week offering me 0% interest on a new car. While this is a great deal for consumers, it’s a terrible sign for the economy.

When banks cannot earn interest on money loaned, it forces them into risky derivatives that can be problematic on many levels. This issue is a direct result of the Federal Reserve tampering with our money supply.

You may ask what we would do if we did not have the Federal Reserve. What do you do when you rid yourself of a cancer? Live healthier. The economy would be healthier and more robust and operate with a much greater degree of integrity.

With banks making risky bets and the oversold and overhyped stock market climbing higher and higher, it only means the stock market fall is going to be harder, longer, and more dramatic.



What in the world is going on with Donald Trump?

By David Treece

David Treece

Trump told us he was going to go to Washington and “drain the swamp” but he quickly began wading out into the swamp instead. It did not take long for him to begin appointing various members of the globalist Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and former employees of Goldman Sachs.

As far back as 2010 outlets like Rolling Stone magazine stated, “From tech stocks to high gas prices, Goldman Sachs has engineered every major market manipulation since the Great Depression -- and they're about to do it again.” If President Trump wanted to drain the swamp, he sure started out with a lousy slate of appointees.

As much as we want to hope for the best with Trump’s appointment of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch and Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster as National Security Adviser, we must note that both are past members of the CFR.

But what’s the big deal about the CFR?

Pat Robertson wrote in 1991, “This august body of ‘wise men’ has effectively dominated the making of foreign policy by the United States government since before World War II. The CFR has included virtually every key national security, and foreign policy adviser of this nation for the past seventy years.”

Robertson went on to write, “In government policy, the most visible expression of the Establishment is the Council on Foreign Relations, and its publication, Foreign Affairs. Out of some twenty-nine hundred members, at least five hundred are very powerful, another five hundred are from centers of influence, and the rest are influential in academia, the media, business, and finance, the military, or government. A few are token conservatives.”

Trump campaigned on draining the Establishment and listening to you and me, but his reversal on key topics has caused a few questions. His unconstitutional bombing of Afghanistan and Syria without Congressional approval is an enormous reversal.

When Obama was mulling the idea of bombing Syria, Trump tweeted on August 29, 2013, “What will we get for bombing Syria besides more debt and possible long-term conflict? Obama needs Congressional approval.” Trump tweeted numerous other times about how bad of an idea it was… So what’s changed?

Another point of conflict for the President is his pledge to label China as a “currency manipulator.” He said he would once elected, but has deliberately decided not to follow through. The truth of the matter is that any government with a central bank like the Federal Reserve is a currency manipulator. China can easily and clearly make a case that America manipulates its currency, thereby helping put another nail in the coffin of the dollar losing the world’s reserve status. I’m sure a few backroom conversations were had about this topic.

At our next free dinner seminar on May 9th we will share more on President Trump’s reversal and why it is still a very important time to have your financial house in order. The façade we see today is reminiscent of prior economic bubble explosions. Tread carefully.



Who pays when Medicare won't?

There are huge misconceptions about what Medicare covers and if it will pay for long-term care needs. Some people believe they are covered because they have Medicare and a Medicare supplement plan, but unfortunately this is not the case. It’s important to understand what your plans cover before you need long-term care.

In a recent survey, 34% of people believed Medicare would pay for long-term care, and 27% had no idea what Medicare would pay for. Our goal is to help educate people about these common misconceptions so they can be prepared when situations arise.

Medicare will pay for short stays in nursing or rehab facilities, but if you need continual care at home or at a facility you will need an alternative way to pay for care. And for younger people, most private insurance plans will not cover long-term care services like a nursing home or ongoing care provided by a licensed home health care aide.

However, when surveyed, 18% of people believed their private insurance plan would cover ongoing nursing home care, and 25% believed their private insurance plan would pay for ongoing care at home.

The reality is that most people don’t want to think about these things. As a result, another government program called Medicaid is used for over half of long-term care needs. Of course, when you are using Medicaid your choices are much more limited. It cannot be overstated how limited your choices may become, so this is why advance planning is essential.

“Medicaid is a federally funded and state funded needs-based benefits that will provide for various types of Long-Term Care depending on the state’s regulations.” As stated, the program paid in 2013 for over half of all long-term care needs in America yet over half of people surveyed do not expect to need to use Medicaid in their lifetimes.

At our free dinner seminar next Tuesday, we will discuss these topics and we will go into greater detail. Please reserve your spot by following the link below. If you are not in the Concord, North Carolina area, we would be happy to arrange a time to speak to you and to answer your questions. Please call 704.717.4848.



People-centered care for Long-Term Care

What are a few things most people avoid talking about at all costs? What comes to mind? A short list may include taxes, politics, religion, and the big one: death! Something else that most people avoid is the potential need for long-term care.

The path we must stride in our golden years can be tough, but this topic is like many things. A sage person once said, “We need to plan time to plan time.” Long-term care can be thought of similarly in that we have to plan time to plan our future. Planning for the future never stops, no matter what age we have reached.

What’s alarming is that surveys reveal that most Americans have huge misconceptions about long-term care. The SCAN Foundation funded a survey of American over the age of 40, and its discoveries are startling. The finding stated that most people drastically underestimated the potential that a loved one may need long-term care in the next 5 years, there is a lack of knowledge of the impact of “person-centered care,” there is a lack of understanding of how private insurance plans and Medicare supplements cover long-term care needs, and there is a lack of desire to plan at all.

Person-centered care is “An approach to healthcare and supportive services that allows individuals to take control of their own care by specifying preferences and outlining goals that will improve their quality of life.”

The main way to have person-centered care is through pre-planning and coordinated care. This is achieved primarily through communication and by pre-planning. Obviously, this is the care everyone would hope for if they understood the needs or had the resources.

Over the next few weeks we will dive into the topic of long-term care and attempt to help you have a better understanding of what you can do to plan for your future. We believe this will be an empowering and rewarding path to travel.



Your smart phone is listening to you

By David Treece

Did you see the latest WikiLeaks release? Early reports indicate that a whistleblower inside the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) bravely and heroically leaked documents and information similar to that of exiled Edward Snowden.

Edward Snowden 

Edward Snowden 

The new series is being called “Vault 7,” and WikiLeaks states that only 1% of the leaked info has been published. The data leaked reveals that the government has the ability to commandeer “Apple’s iPhone, Google’s Android and Microsoft’s Windows and even Samsung TVs” without users like you and me even knowing it.

The leak reveals that the CIA has lost control of its spying programs and that parts of the programs could be stolen or exploited by bad actors. A cyber weapon that is “loose” could electronically spread anywhere around the globe in seconds, and be maliciously used against anyone. These clandestine programs have had little to no oversight, with most people not even being aware they exist.

“The CIA had created, in effect, its ‘own NSA’ with even less accountability and without publicly answering the question as to whether such a massive budgetary spend on duplicating the capacities of a rival agency could be justified.” Remember, the National Security Agency (NSA) was the known proprietor of this unethical breach of public trust, but now we learn that the CIA is doing as much or more data mining on the American public.

One of the most alarming details so far is that the CIA is said to be attempting to breach a vehicle’s computer systems. The motivation is not clear, but this would allow for undetected vehicular assassination attempts with little trace.

“The CIA’s Mobile Device Branch developed numerous attacks to remotely hack and control popular smart phones. Infected phones can be instructed to send the CIA the user’s geolocation, audio, and text communications as well as covertly activate the phone’s camera and microphone.” And there’s no escaping it. According to the Vault 7 revelations, popular secure messaging applications have all been breached.

Our days of privacy have vanished. The Fourth Amendment of the Constitution is dead. It states, “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

What does this have to do with financial matters? Our ability to privately decide our efforts is dissipating. Had it not been for President Trump delaying new regulatory costs, harsh financial regulations were set to go into effect. Americans would have lost more of their ability to affordably access financial guidance. Unfortunately, our government has grown into an insatiable monster that feasts on personal freedom.

Any time we have the ability to take the reins to our destiny, we should. At TreeceCo we put our clients in the driver’s seat in order for them to plot their trajectory. We don’t believe in sitting back and hoping for the best. We believe in actively pursuing the best outcome.