As The Day Of The Bird Approaches, We Give Thanks

Well, it’s that time of year again, where your writers of the Sunday edition of the Daily Pfennig® newsletter share with you their thanks as we head into Thanksgiving Week. I’ll start it off today with some thoughts on the markets, and then we’ll go through the contributions by each writer, with mine coming last, as usual.

If you recall at this time last year, I told you about the dollar rally going on, and how it was relatively new (since summer), and how I viewed it as a short-term rally that wouldn’t last much longer than a year. Mark this down because that statement was wrong! The dollar rally is still in place, although in September the dollar did appear to be giving up the rally, but with Fed members like Janet Yellen talking like a hawk and reminding the markets that the Fed could still hike rates by the end of the year, the dollar has bounced back and appears to be heading to year-end on an up-tick.

Readers of the Daily Pfennig® newsletter know that I do not believe the Fed should hike rates, but I admit that they might just do so to save face with the markets. The economic data continues to print weak here in the U.S., except, of course, in Housing and Labor. Manufacturing has fallen for over a year now. Factory Orders, Durable Goods Orders, and Capital Spending Orders have printed negative quite a few times this year, and Retail Sales continue to just muddle along, not really showing true strength. At least not the strength that one would think an economy would have after six years of zero interest rates and Quantitative Easing (QE)!

So, the dollar rally is all about the Fed and the economists talking about a rate hike, which could be construed by the markets and consumers as the Fed believing that the economy is just peachy. Do you see where I have a problem with all that? It’s just not the facts! But, every dog has its day, they say, and the dollar is having its day right now. But, what if Chuck is right, and the Fed passes up a rate hike at their December meeting? A big bag of whoopin’ could be hitting the dollar, folks.

Right now, we have to live with dollar strength, rate hike talk and people who should know better than singing sunshine, lollipops, rainbows and everything. I suggest we look for bargains, try to hunker down, and stay diversified. That’s the key, for we never know when we’re going to have a “Minsky Moment.”

First Up Is Mike Meyer

Alrighty then, it’s time to hand this over to each of the Sunday Daily Pfennig® newsletter contributors. Batting leadoff is Mike Meyer. Mike had a new addition to his family this year, so I’m sure he’s going to tell us about that!

It’s that time of the year again when the hustle and bustle of the holiday season revs up and kicks into high gear. While there are many things to be thankful for, several of which I often take for granted, those who are near and dear take center stage. I welcomed a new addition to my family with the birth of my son, so both of my kids will dominate the holiday season for me this year. I’m looking forward to once again channeling my inner childhood and reliving those moments through them, especially since my 2-½-year-old daughter is of the age where she understands Santa and the like. I also want to give a special thanks to my wife for putting up with me for another year and being such a remarkable mother.

While it was yet another tough year for both the currency and metals markets, I truly believe fundamentals will once again steer the ship and investors will be thankful for their diversification decision into those asset classes. While it may not be next week or next month when the tide turns, I do think the table is still set for currencies and precious metals to rise from the ashes created by the stronger U.S. dollar over the past year.

Last, but not least, I want to thank you, dear reader, for your continued support, as it’s your interest that makes this all possible. With that said, I want to wish all of you a joyous holiday season.

Tim Smith’s Thoughts

And now up is Tim Smith, our metals guru, who came to us from Jacksonville quite a few years ago, and is a real upbeat person on our trading desk.

It’s that time of year again where we shine a light on all that we are thankful for. Of course, I am very thankful for having such a wonderful and supportive family and network of friends that are always there for me when I need them. Over the years, there have been many people who have come in and out of my life, and I really am truly thankful for those who have maintained a presence, even if it is just following along with our lives on social media. I am also thankful for my relatively good health. Aside from some bumps and bruises here and there, I have been lucky to not have any major ailments, and that really is a blessing in and of itself. I am also thankful to have gainful employment at EverBank where I get to work with genuinely good people and deal in something I really love – precious metals. We have been working hard this year to expand our offerings to our clients and really get precious metals investing on the mainstream radar, and that has been a fulfilling endeavor for yours truly.

And, since I am writing this very close to Veterans’ Day, I would also like to say how thankful I am for those who have served in our Armed Forces, who ensure that we can enjoy the freedoms that many other countries cannot. With so much conflict going on around the world these days, it can become a bit stressful thinking of all the potential disasters waiting to happen. But, there really is no other place I would rather be than here in the USA, and I am thankful for that.

With that, I hope everyone has a grand Thanksgiving, and you all eat yourselves into a coma while watching some football and parades on TV!

Let’s Hear From Chris Gaffney

And next, we have Chris Gaffney. It was a good year for Chris; he ascended to the position of President of EverBank World Markets, a division of EverBank, and completed an Ironman (Who does that? And why?).

Another year has flown by. They really do seem to be passing more quickly as I age. Regular readers of the Daily Pfennig know that I celebrated a major milestone this year as I turned 50. My wife will tell you it seems like I have been celebrating all year, and in a way she is right. In preparation for hitting the half-century mark, I decided last year to dedicate a year getting in the best shape of my life and, as I write this, I am sitting on a plane heading to Arizona where I will compete in my first full Ironman triathlon. I am very thankful to my wife and family who have allowed me this very ‘selfish’ endeavor. My wife has had to pick up the slack left by me as I spent my weekends on long bike rides and runs. And, I’m also thankful for my health, which has allowed me to take on this challenge. Watching Chuck battle his health issues over the past several years was one of my main inspirations and has always given me a little push if or when I started to give up.

While 50 is just another number, hitting that major milestone has led me to reflect on my life (you’ve got to occupy your mind somehow on those long bike rides). I have been truly blessed with a loving family and I’m lucky to have a majority of them living close by. And, I’m also one of the lucky ones – I really love what I do. I was cleaning out an old drawer the other day and came across a letter I had written to Frank Trotter back in 1989 thanking him for taking the time to interview me for a job. It made me realize that I have spent over half my life working with Frank and Chuck. We spend more awake time at work than at home, so I am extremely thankful that Frank went ahead and offered me that job 26 years ago. I’m thankful for the ‘family’ that I have been blessed with here at EverBank. We have a wonderful team that works well together and actually enjoy each other’s company, which is important since we spend more time together than with our spouses and children.

To sum it all up: I thank the Good Lord for this life he has blessed me with. Surrounded by my family, friends, and coworkers, I could not imagine a better one.

Now, It’s Frank’s Turn

And next, we have Frank Trotter, the Big Boss! Frank has really helped us out big time this year with his contributions to not only the Sunday edition of the Daily Pfennig® newsletter, but to the daily version when I’m away and to our new publishing endeavor: EverBank Insights. He’s the best writer I know.

Being a little behind (another Thanksgiving tradition) leaves me as the only contributor with the events in Paris as a backdrop. I was on the road Friday with business partners when the news began drifting in, then crashing in. There are actions that some people take and causes they support that are nearly impossible to believe. But believe we must and resolve that extremism in all forms must never be tolerated. It was with some trepidation that I headed down to Washington, D.C. on Saturday – each siren a little warning in my subconscious. Standing on the Capital steps and looking down at the National Mall, I was thankful for the concept of America, and for this country’s ability since the Civil War to settle our internal political skirmishes and differences without resorting to large-scale force.

And Finally, Chuck Again…

I’m thankful for my beautiful family – my beautiful bride, Kathy, who continues to be at my side through sickness and health, and always brightens my day. Long-time readers of the Daily Pfennig have followed the lives of my kids, and now grandkids. Darling daughter Dawn reminds me of my oldest sister, Brenda, who I lost at way too young of an age. Along with her husband, Jerry, they have two beautiful children, Delaney Grace and Everett. My oldest son, Andrew, and his lovely bride, Rachel, have one son, Braden Charles. And then there’s Alex, our miracle baby, who’s now in his 2nd year of a 6-year PT program at college. You know, he’s the little boy that used to sit on my lap and help me write the Daily Pfennig.

I have much more family than just my kids and grandkids, and I’m thankful that they are here, healthy, and safe. I did learn this year that my older sister, Barbara, has ALS – another devastating blow to our family, but, so far, she’s a real trooper. I’ve had a setback this year with my cancer as the drug I took for nearly three years stopped working, and I was left with growing tumors. The new drug I took didn’t seem to work either, so now I’m on a new drug hoping and praying that this one works.

But, even with my setback, I’m still thankful for this time I have on earth that I can still enjoy being with my friends and family. I was absolutely shocked the other day when I read a report by the American Cancer Society, giving me the average success rate of people living past 5 years with the cancer I was diagnosed with 8 years ago: 8%! So, now you know why I start each day with a descriptor of a great day in the Daily Pfennig!

I’m thankful for the support group I have around me, that gives me strength and positive reinforcement when I need it. I’m thankful for my long-time friend and boss, Frank Trotter, who has supported the Daily Pfennig and me through thick and thin, and has always been there for me when I needed him. I’m thankful for you dear reader; we may not have the large numbers of readers that we once had, but those who have remained, I’m very thankful for! And, finally, I thank the Good Lord for his divine intervention in keeping me in that 8%, and blessing me with a loving family, good friends, and dear readers.

And, with that, I conclude our annual Thanksgiving Week Daily Pfennig® newsletter. I hope you will be able to take some time to think about what you are thankful for. I can tell you that when you do, you’ll feel so much better!

Until the next Daily Pfennig® edition…

Chuck Butler
Managing Director
EverBank Global Markets Group