Current Issue - January 2015

Back in the Seventies, my friend Ed Culverwell at Boston's Culverwell & Co. first introduced me to inference reading. Inference reading is rigorous, ongoing study, searching out catalysts for future change well ahead of the crowd. Since those days in Boston I have made inference reading the foundation for my research. Along with inference reading, I am a fan of gathering anecdotal evidence. Through the decades, Debbie and I have regularly traveled through the same list of small cities and towns. We can spot a change in local economic activity instantly, and discussions with local business owners contribute to the fiscal as well as the political pulse. Debbie and I also now spend about seven weeks in Europe each year.

And, despite brutal cold and scarce sunshine, it's the countries at Europe's northern periphery that consistently perform at the top of the world's happiness rankings. Well-run countries tend to breed strong economies, and strong economies tend to make for strong businesses. That is the motivation behind one of this month's recommendations, which has over 90% of its value coming from the Nordic countries. I also have a number of Monster Master List updates for you this month, with two new funds covering the health care and commodities sectors for the Mutual Funds list, plus a restaurant and a gold royalty company for the Common Stocks list. Also this month, I'll tell you why bear markets and the present value of your investments are not your concern. More >>

Economic Analysis - January 2015

Each month, I provide you with an Economic Analysis supplement to the issue. This supplement provides you with a bird's eye view of the indicators that I monitor on a regular basis. The incisive, story-telling charts included in this supplement are updated every month and range from "The Leaders" to "World Currency Reserves/World Gold Reserves." There will always be great new material as well as timely reference dates, and my comments spell out the meaning of each chart for you. Download in pdf format.

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Off the Charts

December 19, 2014 Over the last two days the S&P 500 has gained a staggering 4.48%. That’s more than half of the return one might expect in an average year…in only two days! To put that into perspective, the chart below shows the two-day percentage change in the S&P 500 with plus and minus three standard deviations overlaid. […] More »