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Fiscal Cliff Deal Averts the Crisis… But Now What?

by Keith Fitz-Gerald.

[Singapore] – It’s late Tuesday evening and I’m about to go on air with CNBC Asia in Singapore regarding the impact of the Fiscal Cliff bill which passed minutes ago after Republican leaders decided not to try and tack on amendments nor engage in further bickering. Passed by a 257 to 167 vote, the bill is now headed to the White House and a draft may even be on the President’s desk by the time you read this. So I’ll have to write quickly. Here’s the scoop on the fiscal cliff deal…

Keep on reading: Fiscal Cliff Deal Averts the Crisis… But Now What?

Why Japan’s “Lost Decades” Are Headed to America in 2016

by Keith Fitz-Gerald.

It’s only been a little more than a week since Shinzo Abe won election as Japan’s latest Prime Minister in a landslide-election victory and the pundits are already lining up telling investors to “buy Japan” because it’s “dirt cheap.” The hope is that Abe’s promises of fresh stimulus, unlimited spending and placing a priority on domestic infrastructure will be the elixir that restores Japan’s global muscle. As a veteran global trader who actually lives in Japan part time each year, a…

Keep on reading: Why Japan’s “Lost Decades” Are Headed to America in 2016

The Weakest Holiday Sales Growth Since 2008 Means It’s Time to Short These Retailers

by Keith Fitz-Gerald.

Initial U.S. retail sales figures released on Wednesday showed sales growth for the holiday season was the worst since 2008. According to MasterCard SpendingPulse, holiday sales posted a paltry 0.7% increase against expectations of a 3-4% gain. That’s below the same period last year when sales grew at a 2% pace. Analysts looking for a convenient excuse have been quick to blame Hurricane Sandy. But in reality, there’s something else much bigger at work here. That’s why I’m a…

Keep on reading: The Weakest Holiday Sales Growth Since 2008 Means It’s Time to Short These Retailers

Why You Can’t Trust Bob Toll’s Prediction of 20% Home Price Increases in 2013

by Keith Fitz-Gerald.

Bob Toll, Executive Chairman of Toll Brothers, recently told Reuters that home prices are going to jump 20% in 2013 and another 25-30% in 2014. But before you decide to pile into real estate, you might want to think about it for a moment. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with Mr. Toll, nor even his prediction. He is a seasoned executive in one of the most respected homebuilders in the country; it’s why he made this prognostication and what he stands to gain from it that bothers me:…

Keep on reading: Why You Can’t Trust Bob Toll’s Prediction of 20% Home Price Increases in 2013

These Three Iconic Japanese Brand Names Are On My “Short List”

by Keith Fitz-Gerald.

[Kyoto, Japan] – Many investors have piled into Japan lately reasoning that somehow this will be “the year” Japan turns around and there will be lots of money to be made. I don’t disagree – only the big profits are on the short side, especially when it comes to these three iconic Japanese tech brands. As I quipped earlier in the year, it’s more likely that Godzilla will walk out of Tokyo Bay again than it is that Japan will suddenly rebound. I am well aware that’s not a…

Keep on reading: These Three Iconic Japanese Brand Names Are On My “Short List”

Is America Having Enough Babies…Or is it Another Sign We’re Turning Japanese?

by Keith Fitz-Gerald.

A new study by The Pew Research Center shows that the birth rate in the United States has dropped to the lowest level since 1920, when reliable statistics were first made available. The birth rate dropped precipitously last year to only 63.2 per 1,000 women of childbearing age (which is defined as 15 to 44 years of age). That is half of what it was in 1957 at its peak. Most people aren’t troubled by this — but they should be. Here’s why. Our low birth rate has tremendous imp…

Keep on reading: Is America Having Enough Babies…Or is it Another Sign We’re Turning Japanese?

The Fiscal Cliff Is Set To Clobber The Middle Class With Nearly 50% Tax Rates

by Keith Fitz-Gerald.

If I didn’t know any better, I’d think there’s a small but growing group of people in Washington who think it would actually be good if we temporarily went over the fiscal cliff. I say that because I am seeing a smattering of articles recently suggesting that somehow going over the cliff “won’t be all that bad” or that we’re “really just talking about cuts that need to happen in the first place.” President Obama seems to think the same way judging by the fact that he’s dug in his h…

Keep on reading: The Fiscal Cliff Is Set To Clobber The Middle Class With Nearly 50% Tax Rates

Five Ways to Turn the Fiscal Cliff Into an Outstanding Investment Opportunity

by Keith Fitz-Gerald.

Many investors believe that a fiscal cliff “dive” is inevitable. Even with the prospect of a deal lifting the markets yesterday, I can’t say I disagree. The blame game has already started and it’s highly unlikely that we’ll see anything other than more foolishness out of Washington. And so far all they have done is kick the can down the road to date. So what can you do about it? Believe it or not, crises like these can be an ideal time to buy stocks. And gold. And oil. And certa…

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Five with Fitz: What to Expect If We Go Over the Fiscal Cliff

by Keith Fitz-Gerald.

I’m on the road this week in Las Vegas and Los Angeles and receiving lots of great questions as usual from your fellow Money Morning subscribers. Here’s a few that really caught my attention. Not surprisingly, one of the biggies deals with the fiscal cliff. Q – What happens if we go over the “fiscal cliff”…really? – Jerry S. A – Nobody truly knows Jerry. However, here are five things I expect to happen as a result. First, the U.S. goes back into recession. The CBO (Con…

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Election 2012: Is Today’s Presidential Election More About Lost Dreams Or a New Promise?

by Keith Fitz-Gerald.

In what can only be described as a madcap dash for votes in key battleground states, President Barack Obama and Candidate Mitt Romney worked the crowds late into the night. As well they should. Almost every Election 2012 poll I’ve seen has the candidates in a neck-and-neck race headed into today’s finish line. As of press time: CNN’s survey has them in a dead heat at 49% to 49%. Pew Research shows Candidate Romney behind President Obama by a 50% to 47% margin. The …

Keep on reading: Election 2012: Is Today’s Presidential Election More About Lost Dreams Or a New Promise?