In Search of (Wireless) Freedom
- Wireless battery charging that comes with a catch…
- … contrasted with a technology that “could transform the entire consumer electronics industry”
- Gold rallies again: Rickards on why last Friday was just the start
- Oil clears a hurdle, and energy stocks are off to the races
- CNBC and a death that was greatly exaggerated… more problems with rolling student loans into mortgages… the guy who started the “length of The 5” thread resurfaces… and more!
The promise is huge — never plug in your phone to charge again.
As you might be aware, we’ve had an eye on the possibilities of wireless power in recent weeks. Among the many players that have entered the fray is the Energysquare — developed by a group of French entrepreneurs.
The Energysquare is about the size of a mouse pad. Put a small sticker on the back of your phone, plop the phone onto the Energysquare and it starts charging without the tangle of a USB cable.
Plenty of room for all your devices [Energysquare/Kickstarter photo].
“While I’m not a fan of putting stickers on the back of your phone,” writes a reviewer at TechCrunch, “I’m just tired of plugging and unplugging my phone multiple times a day.
“The idea behind Energysquare is that you have a charging pad at work and one at home so that you can just put your phone on the table to charge it.”
The Energysquare costs $65; a packet of stickers sets you back $10. The developers have been raising money on Kickstarter, and with great success. As we write this morning, they’ve raised more than $90,000 — nearly three times their original goal.
Just one problem we see: The charging works only as long as your device makes physical contact with the pad.
So while you get rid of the cables, you’re still basically tethered.
What if there were a way to charge your device from anywhere within, say, a 15-foot radius of the charger?
That would be real freedom. You could use your device while charging up from the next room.
As we said on Monday, there’s a tiny publicly traded company working on just such a technology. It’s not pie in the sky, either — Underwriters Laboratories has independently tested the performance of the system and validated it works.
“This technology could transform the entire consumer electronics industry,” says our Ray Blanco. “And the first big consumer tech company to use it would have a huge leg up on the competition.”
Ray has reason to believe that company is Apple. It’s the next logical step for a company that redefined the personal computer market in the ’80s… disrupted the music industry at the turn of the century… and developed both the modern smartphone and tablet computer.
“The wireless charging technology,” says Ray, “would give this innovative company name the edge it needs to keep its market leadership position.”
Next Monday, Apple opens its annual Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco — attracting a who’s who of the tech world, stumping up $1,600 a head to attend. It’s where the company makes big announcements — maybe a partnership with this tiny company?
As noted yesterday, the share price has broken out in recent days. You can’t get in now for as good a price as you could two or three weeks ago. But you can still get in at a fair price ahead of the potential announcement on Monday. Ray makes the case when you click here.
The major U.S. stock indexes are in the green relative to yesterday’s close… but little changed from when we wrote you 24 hours ago.
The S&P 500 rests at 2,116 — 14 points away from the record close reached in May of last year.
Treasuries are likewise rallying, sending yields down; a 10-year note yields 1.71%.
But if it’s real excitement you’re looking for, it’s gold — up nearly 1.5% at last check, to $1,261. And you can’t chalk up the entire move to dollar weakness; the dollar index is off less than half a percent, at 93.5, a one-month low.
Hmmm… What was it Jim Rickards was telling Rickards’ Gold Speculator readers only yesterday? Oh, yes… “The gold price action on Friday was not a one-time event.”
As you might recall, gold rallied hard off the $1,210 level after a supremely disappointing job number — so disappointing that it scotched all suggestion the Federal Reserve would raise rates at its next meeting, set for one week from today.
“It also appears July is off the table,” says Jim, “based on a speech by Fed Gov. Lael Brainard, delivered the same day as the jobs report.”
September or October? No go. Not with a presidential election around the corner.
“As a practical matter, the earliest the Fed can now raise rates is December,” Jim goes on. The markets have not fully priced this reality.
“As markets gradually adjust to this scenario, the dollar will weaken and gold will rally. Last Friday was the beginning of a repricing of market expectations that has a long way to run. This rally is just getting started. There’s plenty of time to realize profits from this improved monetary environment for gold.”
That said… one of Jim’s most trusted and connected contacts in the precious metals world is describing a scenario for an imminent and sudden spike in the gold price. And there’s a twist: The move will catch many gold owners off guard in a way that will leave them poorer.
This individual keeps an intensely private existence, but Jim has convinced him to tell all during a live online briefing next Tuesday, June 14, at 7:00 p.m. EDT. It won’t cost you a thing to listen in. Just drop us your email address at this link and we’ll save you a spot.
“Now that Mr. Market has declawed the oil bears, it’s time for energy stocks to soar,” writes Greg Guenthner in today’s Rude Awakening.
West Texas Intermediate cleared the $50 level yesterday… and as we write, it’s up to $51 on the nose. That’s territory last seen nearly a year ago. “If the move holds, it will be the third day of significant gains.”
Meanwhile, “Oil services stocks kicked off the week with an insanely strong move out of the gate Monday morning. The VanEck Vectors Oil Services ETF has risen nearly 10% on strong volume since Friday’s close. As of this morning, this group of stocks is posting new year-to-date highs. The oil services sector has gone from laggard to leader in just 48 hours…”
Then yesterday, “the independent oil and gas firms took the baton from the oil services firms,” Greg goes on. “All but one independent oil and gas stock in the S&P 500 finished the day well in the green. Across the market, 20 of these stocks posted gains of 4% or more on Tuesday.”
And it’s energy names leading the way again today…
At least the big Twitter hack of yesterday didn’t have any market-moving impact; it merely embarrassed the network that’s “first in business worldwide.”
We recall in April 2013, hackers got into the Associated Press’ Twitter account and put out a tweet saying two explosions had gone off at the White House and the president was injured. The Dow immediately tanked 140 points, and then recovered as soon as everyone realized it was a hoax. No one in the establishment media picked up on the story.
Yesterday was a different story. Check out CNBC’s crawl during a commercial break over the lunch hour…
Hackers got into the NFL’s Twitter account. Evidently, no one at CNBC bothered to, you know, confirm what was on Twitter.
A few minutes later, anchor Sue Herera stepped in with breaking news: “The NFL confirming to CNBC that their Twitter account has been hacked. There were some erroneous tweets out there about the health of Roger Goodell, the NFL commissioner — he is fine. We are very happy to report that Roger Goodell is just fine.”
And what of the network’s own erroneous crawl? No mention.
Nothin’ but class…
“Interesting concept, but what happens if the future mortgage goes into default?” a reader writes after our take yesterday on the BurkeyLoan — in which student loan obligations would get rolled into a mortgage.
“Then if the mortgage is foreclosed on, and the property is sold at the sheriff’s sale, will the mortgagor now be free from the obligation to repay the student loan? Understand it is extremely difficult to discharge a student loan in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing, so this creates an interesting dilemma.
“Another small item: Mortgage interest is tax deductible. Interest on student loans are more complicated, but the very high earners lose the ability to deduct as their income increases. I wonder what the FHFA and the IRS would have to say about this.
“Eighty years ago, we created the secondary mortgage market, then the MBS were developed, then the CDOs came along and finally the CDSs, which eventually brought the economy to a stop in 2008, and now we are tinkering with the system again. I guess a decade will erase the memory of putting your hand on top of that hot stove, so let’s see if the outcome will be different this time.”
The 5: Of course it won’t.
Here’s another problem: Say the borrower wants to sell or refinance. He or she would have to come up with the full balance of the student loan at closing, no?
But that’s the big bet here — that the higher-end home this borrower lives in will have appreciated in value enough that it won’t make any difference. Besta luck, all we can say…
“Master Gonigam, and the team at Agora,” says the salutation of another reader email: “I would like to offer my voice and perspective.
“Having lived off-grid for 15 years, I have basically no money to invest. I invested in property, a well, heirloom seeds, guns and ammo. Use your imagination. Yet I still take the time almost every day, however long it takes, to read at least a half-dozen newsletters. I must be a moron. Yet again, my intelligence demands information from every source available, just so I know what the rest of the copper-tops on the planet are thinking, so that I can be ready for what’s coming. And I’m certain most people won’t be ready when ‘IT’ gets here.
“I want to say thank you, stay the course, live in integrity and speak your mind. Remember the idiots are also allowed to speak, even if they never learned how to think or are even able to (understand anything you say) speak as well as you and your team.
“Ignorance is bliss… ignore them, and be happy you have something meaningful to say. Great work, high value, much appreciated insights from you and all of your partners! Peace.”
The 5: Were you weighing in, however indirectly, on the question of how long it really takes to read The 5 Min. Forecast? Because we heard yesterday from the guy who got it all started last Friday (well, at least the current round — this comes up every six months like clockwork)…
“Hey! I never said I was pissed because it took me 15 minutes to read The 5 (and yes, I am a slow reader, thanks for asking!). “I was just having fun with my dry sense of humor!
“It takes me 15 minutes to read and digest what you guys are talking about. If I were to speed-read it, I would not be able to tell you what was said after I read it. So there!”
The 5: Well, we’re sorry about the misunderstanding. But sometimes that’s what it takes to generate a few days’ worth of quality entertainment in our mailbag. So we’re in your debt!
The 5 Min. Forecast
P.S. How would you like to get a confidential gold briefing from one of the market’s most connected insiders? Someone who controls tens of millions of dollars worth of physical gold? Someone who anticipates a “super shock” to the gold market?
He anticipates the price will spike up. But he also anticipates many gold owners won’t benefit. In fact, they might see their retirement dreams destroyed.
You can join this insider — code name “Goldfinger” — along with Jim Rickards for a live online event next Tuesday, June, 14 at 7:00 p.m. EDT. Participation won’t cost you a thing; we only ask you submit your email address so we know how many people to expect and how much server capacity to set aside. Click here for guaranteed free access.