These are frightening times for investors

To best protect your future, I recommend that all investors read this book:

Financial Armageddon is one of the most amazing investment books of our time. It was written by a friend of mine, Michael Panzner. Published in 2008 ahead of the crash, Panzner, with surgical skill, both forecasted and dealt with the collapse of the global financial system that year.

I am bringing this up today because, in my opinion, the world is about to experience a re-play of 2008 and Panzner’s book has it covered. As in Shakespeare’s play The Tempest, what’s past is prologue, so be on guard.

To consider if Michael Panzner is a friend, consider this. In 2004, on a trip to New York City, Michael and I first met at my request. During lunch or drinks (I cannot recall which), he asked me why I had named my blog traderwizard dot com when I was, he said, head-and-shoulders more professional than bloggers who assumed names like that. He recommended that I change the name to, and I agreed that taking the high road and being transparent and accountable was really my style. I changed it immediately. That seemed to work because within a couple of weeks, Forbes gave me the coveted “Best of the Web” certification that was followed up several months later as their “Favorite” blogger. Barron’s wrote me up soon afterward. “Trader Wizard” probably would not have made the cut.

A few years later, in his book Financial Armageddon, Michael listed me with six other blogs that he recommended as ones that “could serve as a conduit to timely market, financial, economic, and geopolitical developments” (page 155). In my book “Lessons from the Trader Wizard” (also 2008), Michael also gave me a book jacket reference: “Through the power of his written words, Bill Cara turns mere mortals into trading superstars. Bill Cara is that rare breed of individual: an insider who thinks like an outsider; an investor who acts like a trader; and, a practitioner who can teach others just what it takes to make money in the markets.”

I will be eternally thankful. A month ago, Michael joined Citi in NYC as a vice president. I hope he does well, and I’m sure he will.

As to the years that followed, I hope that the ‘past is not prologue’. After a terrific start in December 2008 to a new wealth management company in my name, I made the fateful decision to employ a team of five other traders, all of who were good traders on their own, but disasters in the team setting I had put them in. Two or three years later, my emotional upset and constant worry was my downfall. I became so ill with severe colitis that I then had to walk away from the market I loved. As our performance degraded, I terminated all the traders (perhaps unfairly in at least two cases), then brought back Geoff Goetz to take the lead while I disappeared on a search to save my health. After two years, I was diagnosed with celiac disease, which doctors had missed earlier because I kind of self-diagnosed the problem and had pretty much gone gluten free. As the problems persisted and the dual colonoscopies and many diagnostic tests had earlier missed, the accurate diagnosis hit home. I then went on a strict diet and, to save my life, I bought a 60-foot 70,000-lb motor yacht for Pat and I to live on.

I heard all the usual comments from my friends that a boat is just a hole in the water to pour money into, and this was a lot of money. At considerable expense for someone who was earning no money at the time, we immediately traveled up and down the eastern seaboard and to Bahamas. While in the Bahamas, I had a trading desk built into the boat because, as I say, the market is in my DNA. I could never leave it. After five years of living like gypsies, I then decided to sell the boat and return to land and a normal life. Well, Pat probably decided that for me. I decided that, now on the mend, I would re-enter the wealth management space. After a couple of stumbles along the way, I finally this year feel that I have made it back.

As baz has written in the blog, I have found my happy place. And we know that happiness is the best medicine.

This week for my birthday, our grandchildren came over for a party. Music to my ears were these words from my granddaughter: “You sure have a lot of computers”. All the screens were lit up with charts and busy stuff. The fact that a 10-year old was so impressed made my day.

So, it is onwards and upwards as I often say. Even the precious metal markets are now aligned. My clients at this moment (prior to noon) are in the consolidated account (all clients, all positions) up in one-month +26.1% and hold +19.0% cash. They were up the same a month ago, and almost the same the month before that. These things have a way of improving one’s health.

My job #1 now is to help all of you to protect your future. You could start by reading Financial Armageddon.


2007 Lessons Cover for BillCara

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