The Virtual Savior
- VR Jesus: You too can have a front seat for the Sermon on the Mount
- Gold shines, but silver’s stealing the show
- A unique class of people who made money amid last Friday’s carnage
- The second act of the farcical “stress tests”… the giant diamond no one wants… The 5 responds to accusations of “hyperbole”… and more!
Get ready to experience the life of Jesus — in an unprecedented up-close-and-personal way — with the help of virtual reality.
Heh… You knew sometime we had to stop talking about Brexit in the opening moments of The 5… but you didn’t expect this, did you?
We’ve been on the virtual reality beat since early spring. Lately, it’s taken a back seat to more urgent developments in the markets and the economy. But the Brexit hubbub is dying down for the moment, so today’s a fine time for a revisit.
And just so there’s no confusion… We think VR technology has life-changing investment potential even if Brexit — or something else — turns the markets upside-down for the next year or two.
We want you to take protective steps in the event of crisis, yes… but by the same token, we don’t want you to miss out on opportunities that can prove themselves immune to all those swirling “macro” forces out there. As we’ve pointed out before, fortunes were made during the Great Depression from up-and-coming developments like radio and refrigerators.
“When water is turned into wine, the producers promise, it will be as if they were actually in the middle of the wedding at Canaan,” says a story at The Guardian.
The 90-minute movie is called Jesus VR — The Story of Christ. Release is set for, logically, Christmastime. It’s being filmed in 360-degree video, so you can turn your head around and it’ll really feel as if you’re in the middle of the action.
[Quick aside: Your editor donned a VR headset for the first time yesterday — under strict supervision by Aaron Gentzler, who heads up our science-and-wealth team. I can tell you the 360-degree effect is the most striking thing. More about my own experience another day, though…]
“This is the most powerful story of all time and virtual reality is the perfect way to tell it,” says director-producer David Hansen.
The executive producer is Enzo Sisti, who held the same title in 2004 with the Mel Gibson-directed The Passion of the Christ.
Yikes — we didn’t see it, but we remember wags at the time calling it “The Jesus Chainsaw Massacre.”
“It remains to be seen,” says the Guardian story, “whether the VR film will be as violent and bloody as The Passion was.” Either way, it stands to be an early example of VR’s potential to deliver powerful and intense emotional experiences.
Which reminds us — it’s still early days for VR. There might not be enough early adopters of VR technology to make the movie profitable.
But that doesn’t mean it’s too early to invest. It’s not as if VR technology is unproven “vaporware.” It exists. I’ve seen it for myself. Last year, it was a $37 million business. Credible estimates are that by 2020, it’ll be a $30 billion business. That’s 81,000% growth. Other forecasts are even more ambitious.
How to invest? Don’t bother with the makers of VR headsets, says Ray Blanco, editor of Technology Profits Confidential. VR is just a sideline for the likes of Facebook and Samsung. Instead, you need a back door to maximize the profit potential. You can open the back door when you click here.
Major U.S. stock indexes are in the green again today.
Heck, as we write, the Dow industrials are only 120 points away from the 18,000 level where the index closed a week ago today, before the Brexit “surprise.”
Speaking of which, Britain’s FTSE 100 index closed today at its highest level since August after Bank of England Chief Mark Carney hinted at an interest-rate cut this summer. The pound has sunk back to recent lows of $1.322.
The safe-haven plays of the past week are pulling back only slightly. The yield on a 10-year Treasury note sits at 1.5% on the nose. The bid on spot gold is $1,320.
But while gold is taking a rest, silver is off to the races — up 1.25% as we write, at $18.50.
“Now that its five-year bear market is officially over, silver’s ready to make a run at $20 for the first time in nearly two years,” says Greg Guenthner of our trading desk.
“Gold’s hogged the precious metals spotlight since it started ripping higher in February. Meanwhile, silver didn’t jump to new highs until mid-April (that’s when we first hopped on board for a longer-term trade). After another sharp pullback in May, silver is back in action. This time, it’s even sprinting ahead of gold.
“While gold is up 25% this year, silver’s 2016 gains have now topped 32%,” Greg goes on. “After yesterday’s 3% move higher, silver is on a fast track to $20. Silver doesn’t give a damn about Brexit or the monster back-and-forth moves the major averages have posted this week. This is one of the cleanest breakouts on the market right now.”
It wasn’t just Jim Rickards’ readers and computer algorithms that made money during the Brexit turmoil last Friday.
“Plus 17% on Friday — our best day ever, surpassing Oct. 10, 2008, when we made 16.6%,” says an anonymous London-based contact of Michael Covel, trend following evangelist and editor of Trend Following With Michael Covel.
What’s more, says Michael, “two of the most famous trend followers, David Harding and Larry Hite, made 3% and 4% on Friday alone.”
What was their secret sauce? “The post-Brexit winners were mostly sectors that were already in an uptrend,” Michael explains — think Treasuries, gold, the Japanese yen — “which is why trend following traders did so well last Friday.
“Once these big market shifts happen, they tend to boost already established trends that trend following systems have clearly identified.
“That’s why trend following is so successful during major market events. For example, when Lehman Bros. collapsed in 2008, stocks were already in a downtrend… and safe-haven assets were already in an uptrend.”
Want to learn more about trend following and how it works? You don’t have to be a high roller to make it succeed in your portfolio. Here’s Michael with a plain-English introduction.
For the record: The Federal Reserve found two sacrificial lambs to make its farcical “stress tests” look credible.
As we mentioned last week, the biggest banks all passed the tests — which this year aimed to determine whether they could continue lending during a “deep” recession.
Yesterday brought the second and concluding act of the farce — in which the Fed makes a final cut and declares who may and may not raise their dividends and buy back shares. Out of 33 banks, only the U.S. units of Germany’s Deutsche Bank and Spain’s Banco Santander got the proverbial slap on the wrist. That’ll show them furriners who’s boss!
It’s believed to be the largest still-uncut diamond in the world… and no one wants it.
That’s 1,109 carats you’re looking at — found only last fall at the Lucara mine in Botswana. The rock went up for auction last night at Sotheby’s in London… and no one’s bid met the (undisclosed) reserve.
The highest bid was $61 million — about $68 million after fees. “It is about $62,000 a carat,” Henri Barguirdjian from Graff Diamonds tells The New York Times. “That is a very high price for a rough diamond, so obviously, the reserve was too high.”
Hilariously, the Gray Lady is blaming the weak demand on… you guessed it: “Britain’s vote last week to leave the European Union may have affected the bidding interest.”
Uhhh… Wouldn’t the market uncertainty surrounding Brexit typically drive up the price of ultra-rare and collectible assets? Just askin’…
“I have a great deal of respect for Jim Rickards, and I am quite sure that his premium service is worth every bit of $1,500,” a reader writes. “If I had that kind of money to throw around, I would subscribe in an instant.”
[That’s a long windup to the inevitable “but.” On the other hand, this reader says he’s been with us from the beginning in 2007, so perhaps he feels compelled to do a variation on the old, hoary “I like The 5, but…”]
“I think, however, you have overstated your case.
“You quoted him as saying: ‘While most market participants were shocked at the Brexit vote, we saw it coming a mile away using our proprietary models.’
“I listened to his presentation, and he did not state that. Actually, Mr. Rickards said repeatedly that the outcome was ‘too close to call.’ (In other words, the probability of a Brexit vote was about 50-50.) However, because the market priced that outcome as if there were only a 25% chance of it occurring, the potential rewards greatly outweighed the risk.
“As you say, his results speak for themselves. Not only is such hyperbole unnecessary, it harms your credibility.”
The 5: Thank you for drawing the distinction. We daresay Jim’s not overstating the case in this sense: He stood nearly alone when he said a “Remain” vote was not a slam-dunk.
As we’ve said several times, the bulk of the globe’s “financial professionals” fell victim to a toxic mix of conventional wisdom and wishful thinking — “Those voters might be rubes, but they know what’s good for ’em and they’ll vote ‘Remain.’”
Jim said “not so fast,” even as he conceded he had no idea what the outcome would be.
So no, we won’t rap his knuckles for saying his proprietary model “saw it coming from a mile away.” But we understand where you’re coming from, and you’re not the only person to call us on it… so we felt it was worth addressing.
“9:32 a.m. Friday,” a reader writes, “after all the talk on morning TV about disaster due to Brexit…
“My wife and I are out shopping.
“She asks me (after seeing me check my account), ‘How bad is it?’
“My answer: ‘I’m up $30,000.’
“Thanks, Jim Rickards.”
The 5: We’ll pass along your gratitude to Jim. Someone else has done likewise on Twitter…
Thus the pricing of our premium trading advisories. You can make back your entire subscription cost, and then some, with a single winning trade. The latest post-Brexit recommendation in Rickards’ Intelligence Triggers is still a buy, by the way. Access here.
“It would be great if you would offer some investment programs for your readers who may only have hundreds of dollars to invest,” a reader writes — “not tens of thousands or millions.
“Some of us would like to get a start to something good as well. Seems like we are being left out of the pie.”
If you have only “hundreds” of dollars to invest, the kind of trades we recommend in our premium advisories probably aren’t for you.
But we have a full suite of entry-level newsletters perfectly suited to someone in your situation. Jim Rickards’ is right here. We also have one geared to income investing… another focused on high-tech and biotech… and the aforementioned entree into the world of trend following.
We’re confident you’ll find something you’ll like. Use these tools and you’ll likely make enough money that one day soon you can step up to the high-end services because you’ll have “tens of thousands” to invest.
“SHAME, SHAME, SHAME,” reads the subject line of our final reader email today. The text of it says only, “Your simplistic explanations make too much sense.”
The 5: Oh no, not another round of nonspecific feedback!
The 5 Min. Forecast
P.S. Here’s how we know virtual reality’s moment has arrived: The CEO of Facebook’s Oculus unit had his Twitter account hacked yesterday.
And with that, Mr. Iribe joins the distinguished company of Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Google’s Sundar Pichai and Twitter’s Dick Costolo.
Yep, VR is the “it” thing now. But as we said earlier, it’s still not too early to invest. For access to our research unearthing the best VR possibilities, check this out.