Doug Casey is the Founder & Chairman of Casey Research and author of the new book, “Right on the Money: Doug Casey on Economics, Investing, and the Ways of the Real World.” Casey gives his outlook on gold stocks. He then shares the pros and cons of dividend-paying, large cap stocks. Overall, he thinks 2014 will turn into a bad year for the economy and stocks.
Visit Casey Research at www.CaseyResearch.com.
Doug Casey is the Chairman at Casey Research, LLC. He is a highly respected author, publisher, and professional investor. Mr. Casey wrote the book on profiting from periods of economic turmoil. His book “Crisis Investing” spent multiple weeks as number one on the New York Times bestseller list and became the best-selling financial book of 1980 surpassing big-caliber names. Mr. Casey then broke the record with his next book, “Strategic Investing”, by receiving the largest advance ever paid for a financial book at the time. His book “The International Man” was the most sold book in the history of Rhodesia.
Mr. Casey has been a featured guest on hundreds of radio and television shows, including David Letterman, Merv Griffin, Charlie Rose, Phil Donahue, Regis Philbin, Maury Povich, NBC News, and CNN and has been the topic of numerous features in periodicals such as Time, Forbes, People, and the Washington Post. He has written newsletters and alert services for sophisticated investors for over 28 years.
In addition to having served as a Trustee on the Board of Governors of Washington College and Northwoods University, Mr. Casey has been a Director and Advisor to nine different financial corporations. He is widely respected as one of the preeminent authorities on rational speculation especially in the high-potential natural resource sector.
Mr. Casey graduated from Georgetown University in 1968.
ANNOUNCER: Welcome to Creating Wealth with Jason Hartman! During this program Jason is going to tell you some really exciting things that you probably haven’t thought of before, and a new slant on investing: fresh new approaches to America’s best investment that will enable you to create more wealth and happiness than you ever thought possible. Jason is a genuine, self-made multi-millionaire who not only talks the talk, but walks the walk. He’s been a successful investor for 20 years and currently owns properties in 11 states and 17 cities. This program will help you follow in Jason’s footsteps on the road to financial freedom. You really can do it! And now, here’s your host, Jason Hartman, with the complete solution for real estate investors.
JASON HARTMAN: Hey! It’s my pleasure to welcome Doug Casey back to the show. Of course you’ve heard his name, and he’s been on before; he is the founder and chairman of Casey Research, and author of several books, including Right On The Money: Doug Casey on Economics, Investing, and the Ways of the Real World. Doug, welcome! How are you?
DOUG CASEY: Good, Jason. I’m talking to you from Buenos Aires, Argentina, as you know, and everything’s fine and dandy, as I say.
JASON HARTMAN: The Paris of South America. I love it down there. It’s a beautiful city. It’s a beautiful city. And you’re doing a lot in Argentina. I know you’ve got a—I guess a resort project there? And a whole bunch of other investments, right?
DOUG CASEY: Yeah. I’m pretty heavily invested in Argentina, which, unfortunately, has a bad reputation, because of the government, which is perennially goofy. More goofy even than most governments. And they’re all goofy. But it’s a delightful place to be. The culture is marvelous, the cost of living is extraordinarily low, the standard of living is extremely high; I love being in Argentina. And when I’m not in Buenos Aires, I’m at a resort that we put together in the northwest of the country, in the town of Cafayate. That may be the best resort in the world, at any price. I think I’m not inaccurate in saying that. We have an 18-hole Bob Cupp golf course, polo fields, we have a gym that’s as good as anything in California, a spa, lots and lots of amenities, we’ve got a 5-star boutique hotel, and all right outside of this delightful little town with a central plaza that’s surrounded with sidewalk cafes in the middle of grape growing and wine country—it’s just fantastic. So, I’m happy to be here in Argentina, and spend much more time in Argentina and Uruguay than I do in the US anymore.
JASON HARTMAN: Well, fantastic. You know, Doug, you reminded me of something funny. I’ve had Kathleen Peddicord on the show a few times, and I’m sure you probably know who that is, and back when she was with Agora’s International Living, she described the government in Argentina—she said, the government in Argentina is so corrupt, it’s almost part of the charm. So when you said it was goofy, I thought that was funny.
DOUG CASEY: Yes, that’s right. I mean, but, it’s been that way since Perón, but the US is going the same way.
JASON HARTMAN: Oh, most definitely, most definitely. You know, I describe the US as the corruption is more legal corruption, in the way of like lobbyists, and the corporatocracy, and the crony capitalism. This stuff is not blatantly illegal sometimes, but it’s still corrupt in my eyes. In many ways.
DOUG CASEY: Well, no, you’re quite correct. Like, here, it’s said, it’s widely said, that Cristina Kirchner Fernández has stolen billions of dollars that are mostly in the form of payoffs and hundred dollar bills and steamer trunks, whereas in the US, which is a higher trust society, Bill Clinton got his $50 million—and it may be much more—after he was out of office, in the form of corporate directorships, and speaking fees, and book contracts, and sweetheart deals. I mean, so, Bill could wind up as a billionaire too. It’s just a different way of taking the payoff.
JASON HARTMAN: Right. But he hasn’t done nearly as well as Vladimir Putin, with probably $80 billion or more, or those Ukrainian people—that’s just unbelievable, the way they were stealing the money, the country’s money. It’s just unbelievable what goes on.
DOUG CASEY: If you want to make money today, you really should get into politics. An alternative, of course, is to become a professional speculator, and I define a speculator as someone who capitalizes on distortions in the marketplace caused by government intervention of various fronts. It’s really a pity. Of course, I don’t believe that government as an institution serves a useful purpose. A dead hand on society.
JASON HARTMAN: I’ll agree with you there. All they do is take, take, take, and they just slow everything down and make it less effective. But there’s some balance between Somalia and the over-reaching government of the United States nowadays. Somewhere in there, I think.
DOUG CASEY: Well, actually, I’ve been to 175 countries.
JASON HARTMAN: Wow.
DOUG CASEY: Unfortunately, Somalia’s not one of them. But what I hear is that the situation in Somalia is actually much, much better than is reported in the press. They’ve got their cell phone system works perfectly, things are actually pretty good on the ground in Somalia, but it gets an extremely bad rap because—
JASON HARTMAN: Look who’s running the media.
DOUG CASEY: Because of that incident where the Americans invaded them back in 1991. But you know, when you send—I should think that if the Somalis invaded the US, they would have had the same fate as the Americans did when they invaded Somalia.
JASON HARTMAN: Yep. Yeah, very interesting, very interesting. Well, Doug, I love so much of your work, and it’s really fascinating, and there’s a recent article on your blog, written by Alex Daley, that talks about Bitcoin’s—well, in fact, the title is Bitcoin’s Uncomfortable Similarity To Some Shady Episodes In Financial History. And, just to give you and the audience where I’m coming from on this, I would love to see an alternative currency succeed and flourish, and not be controlled by the central banking cartel or the governments of the world that are all in cahoots with that cartel. But I’m not too positive about Bitcoin, or any crypto-currency’s future, because they say the US dollar isn’t backed by anything—well, at least it’s backed by battleships and aircraft carriers. But some of these other things, they really aren’t backed by anything. What are your thoughts?
DOUG CASEY: Well, I’ve watched Bitcoin since it was about three or four dollars, and I regret that I didn’t back up the truck in those days. Because obviously, it had a wild run in a couple of years, from a few dollars to $1200. Now it’s back to $600, or something like that, as we speak, I guess. Look, I like the idea of free market currencies. I mean, what is money? It’s a medium of exchange, and a store of value. The problem with Bitcoin is that you can’t use those Bitcoins for anything—they’re like trading sardines as opposed to eating sardines. So, my—I’m inclined towards a commodity currency. Something that has value and utility in itself, and throughout history, gold has proven, of all the 92 naturally occurring elements, to be particularly well-suited for use as money. So, I mean, I’m on the side of Bitcoin. I like the idea. but I guess I’ll wait for version 2.0 before I get involved.
JASON HARTMAN: Yeah, yeah. And there’s always Kanye Coin, there’s—Kanye West is out with his own crypto-currency, so, I’m sure we’ll want to jump on that one.
DOUG CASEY: Oh, yeah. We could all have our own digital currencies. But when you want to get rid of it, the question is, to whom?
JASON HARTMAN: Yeah, is there any liquidity in that marketplace? Well, you know, I had the founder and CEO of Overstock.com, Patrick Byrne, on the show yesterday. And of course, he was the first major e-tailer to accept Bitcoin, and he very much is like you and I, against fiat money, and these cartels and these systems. But again, I hope something in that world works, but the fear I have, Doug, is that the powers that be are so powerful, they can just crush it. I mean look, China made it illegal, people say to me about Bitcoin, they say, hey Jason, there’s nothing the government can do about it. It’s not controlled by the government. I said, are you kidding me? Cocaine is not controlled by the government, but it’s certainly illegal to use that as a currency. They can just make it illegal!
DOUG CASEY: Well, no. You’re quite correct. And all these governments around the world, but especially the US government are totally out of control at this point. The sociopaths that populate these governments are capable of trying to do almost anything. And with the huge computing power available to the NSA, for instance, I mean, they can get into all kinds of trouble with Bitcoin. So yeah, no, you’re right.
JASON HARTMAN: We’ll see how that goes. But what’s interesting about this article is, you talk about Ponzi schemes, Bernie Madoff, the Hunt Brothers, demand outstripping supply, and you’ve got a stock chart of Tesla. And I know that you didn’t write this article yourself, this was written by one of your people. But I was just kind of curious for selfish reasons, only because I test drove a Tesla recently, and I was wondering what you thought of that company.
DOUG CASEY: How’d you like the Tesla when you drove it, incidentally?
JASON HARTMAN: It’s certainly lightning fast. I mean, that’s the way electric cars are. I have long been a detractor of Tesla. I thought the Fisker was the most beautiful work of art car on earth, better then the Aston Martin, which I think is the most beautiful. But, you know, I don’t think anything that’s subsidized by government really works in the—if it doesn’t work in the free market, I’m not a believer. But I don’t know, maybe I need to shut my mouth, because Tesla’s making a lot of headlines.
DOUG CASEY: Well, they are. And they’re selling a few cars. But the valuation of the stock is simply off the wall. It’s absurd. I mean, it’s a science project. I hope it’s a successful science project, but you don’t assign a multi-billion dollar market capitalization to a startup business. So, if you have any Tesla stock, I would tend to hit the bid. I tend to be a value investor. I like to buy things at the bottom, not after they have run up so much.
JASON HARTMAN: Yeah, couldn’t agree with you more on that. It’s a speculative bubble on the stock side. I just wonder if the company is going to make it, and if the car is going to be a proven concept, and maybe we really will have electric cars. I mean—any thoughts on that?
DOUG CASEY: I’m a huge believer in technology in general, and in principle. And batteries are advancing in their storage capacity constantly, things are becoming more and more efficient, so sure, I think that the electric car does have a future. And maybe Tesla will turn out to be the next Ford Motor Corporation, or the next Daimler-Benz. But I don’t want to buy it now, at this market cap. I mean, I’ll buy anything if the price is right, and I’ll sell anything if the price is too high. So, because that’s the way I treat it. It’s nothing personal against Tesla.
JASON HARTMAN: Sure, makes a lot of sense, makes a lot of sense. Doug, you were really probably the pioneer—I don’t know of anybody else—back in decades ago, who was talking about the International Man concept. And my understanding of that concept is that you want to diversify your interest and your access globally, around the world. So, maybe have a second passport, have companies in one country, the banking for those companies in a second country, and really, this is a phenomenal way, possibly, of protecting oneself against geopolitical risk and economic risk. Tell us about that a little bit.
DOUG CASEY: Well, the biggest risk, and I really hope your listeners take this seriously. The biggest risk to your life and your money today is not economic or financial. And those are huge risks in today’s world—bigger than they’ve been for decades. Your biggest risks in the world are political risks. What your government is going to do to you. Because governments view their subjects as milk cows. And as they’re all going bankrupt all around the world—almost all governments are bankrupt at this point—they’re going to become more and more voracious. They may feel the need to treat you as a beef cow. So it’s important that you diversify, so that you’re not entirely under the control of your home government. You’ve got to get assets abroad. You start with a foreign bank account, a foreign brokerage account. Better yet, get foreign real estate.
JASON HARTMAN: And if you’re an American, this is not going to be very easy for you. Any advice Doug—maybe the first step to make it easy is see if you can get dual citizenship in another country? And then you can open a bank account more easily with that other passport, with that other citizenship. Because you have a US passport, and no bank in the planet wants to do business with you unless they’re in the US!
DOUG CASEY: You’re quite correct. It’s very hard for an American to find a financial institution that will take his money. So, that’s a type of de facto foreign exchange control, where you’re trapped like a lobster in the US. It can be done, and you should get the show on the road towards doing that. And to help you, you should have a second or even a third citizenship and passport. No question. Because—if you look at your passport, it says, property of the US government. And they can take it away from you at will, for any kind of a real or imagined error or omission on your part.
JASON HARTMAN: Very scary for any government to have that much control over somebody. And so, for the individual to be sovereign, that’s not easy. I mean, I’ve read some of your writings on the second passport concepts. What are your favorite jurisdictions now? Where is it easy to do that? It seems like everything is—you’ve gotta invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in a country—gosh, that’s pretty onerous. It’s not an easy deal.
DOUG CASEY: Well, there’s several ways you can pursue it. The easiest and quickest way is to trace your ancestry. If you’re of European background and descent, in particular Ireland, the UK, Poland, Lithuania’s a possibility, Hungary is a possibility—a number of European countries, if you have relatives going back at least as far as your grandparents, will grant you citizenship automatically. That’s just the way their laws are written. So, that’s the number one thing to look at. A second possibility that’s quick and easy but not cheap, is to buy citizenship. And a half a dozen countries in the world will, essentially, sell you a government ID. The cheapest is probably Dominica, at about $125,000, and it goes up from there.
JASON HARTMAN: And Doug, is that—so that’s the Dominican Republic, right?
DOUG CASEY: No, no, no, Dominica. Not the Dominican Republic.
JASON HARTMAN: It’s different, okay. What is Dominica?
DOUG CASEY: Dominica is one of the Antilles, one of that string of islands on the eastern side of the Caribbean. They have a passport program. Saint Kitts, another of these ex-British colonies, an island, has a program. Grenada is starting one. Antigua and Barbuda is the fourth country down there that’s starting one. In Europe, Malta has a program, much more expensive. Cyprus has a program, much more expensive, to buy citizenship.
JASON HARTMAN: I mean, is that just a strange—
DOUG CASEY: Plus the last way, is to move abroad and live in a country for—
JASON HARTMAN: Several years.
DOUG CASEY: In some instances, as little as two years. Usually it’s five years. And you become a citizen by naturalization.
JASON HARTMAN: Right, right, right. When you’re paying $125,000 to buy economic citizenship, do you just pay it to the government, and that’s it? You know, here’s your 125, here’s my passport? Or is it invested? Open up a bank account there? I mean, I would feel much more comfortable with that than just paying it like a ticket price to the government. I just hate that. That’s a lot of money.
DOUG CASEY: Well, yes. That’s true. But it’s—how much is your potential freedom worth? And there are variations on the theme. In the case of both Dominica and Saint Kitts, the two most popular programs, you don’t have to give the government the money. You can buy a condominium, an approved development. Then maybe we’re talking $400,000. At that point you have a—
JASON HARTMAN: At least you have a property.
DOUG CASEY: A piece of real estate that you can go to.
JASON HARTMAN: Right.
DOUG CASEY: So, there are a number of ways of playing the game.
JASON HARTMAN: Sure, sure. Yeah. Good. Any advice on the two year—I mean, two years isn’t that long, if it’s a good place to live. Where can you do that?
DOUG CASEY: Well, the quickest ones that I can think of right now are Uruguay and Paraguay.
JASON HARTMAN: Those aren’t so bad.
DOUG CASEY: Here in South America, where I am. But all these countries are tightening these things up. And since—who’s that idiot that said, never let a good crisis go to waste?
JASON HARTMAN: That was Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s former Chief of Staff, yeah.
DOUG CASEY: That’s right. Exactly. And this disaster with the Malaysian airliner in the Orient recently, where they discovered two people had stolen passports—this is going to be used as an excuse to tighten things up even more. So, the window’s closing to take action and diversify. And you’ve got to act immediately on this, because I think if we had this conversation in a year, or certainly two years, things are gonna be much tighter than they are now.
JASON HARTMAN: Yeah, and I bet you’re right. They always find some excuse, you know? And it’s always under the guise of public safety. And that’s what they’ll do to destroy the crypto-currencies, and they’ll say they’re funding terrorism, or people are getting burned in various exchanges and so forth. So that’s how they’ll get rid of those, and then the same thing with the passports, just like you mentioned. And then the myRA, my IRA, Obama mentioned in his last State of the Union—this’ll be the road towards nationalization of our retirement accounts, just like they did in Argentina, you know. I mean, it’s just unbelievable that these governments can get away with this stuff.
DOUG CASEY: Not just Argentina, but they did this in Poland, and Hungary—no, you’ve got to—look, it’s very important for people to diversify internationally, and diversify politically. They should start working on it tomorrow morning if they haven’t already done so.
JASON HARTMAN: I agree, that’s a good point. Doug, what is your outlook for the economy? Are you thinking inflation? Deflation?
DOUG CASEY: I don’t want to sound too gloomy. But I have to at the same time call things the way I see them. And since the crisis started in 2007, all these governments all around the world, not just the American government, but the European Union, the Chinese, the Japanese, and all these minor countries, have been printing up trillions and trillions of currency units. And the upshot is going to be at some point, maybe starting this year, inflation. Retail price inflation is going to explode. At the same time, there’s so much debt in the world that you could see huge defaults, and when a billion dollar bond issue is defaulted on, that’s a billion dollars that is wiped out, dies and goes to money heaven. See, you’ve got the forces of inflation—money creation by governments—and deflation—destruction of real estate and stock market values and collapses in the bond market—where, incidentally, we have the biggest bubble in world history right now. Bigger than the bubble that we had in tech stocks in 2001, bigger than the real estate bubble was in 2006. The bond bubble is the biggest of all. So will it be inflation or deflation? It’s hard to call. In the long run, since these governments can print up unlimited amounts of currency, and they will, it’s going to be inflation. So, don’t hold too much of your net wealth in US dollars.
JASON HARTMAN: Do you have a favorite currency?
DOUG CASEY: No, because all of them in the world are fiat currencies. Some of them are better managed than others. But they’re all just pieces of paper.
JASON HARTMAN: It’s ultimately a race to the bottom, for all of them.
DOUG CASEY: Yes.
JASON HARTMAN: It’s just paper. Yeah. Good point.
DOUG CASEY: Even the best managed currencies that have the lowest amount of inflation, their central banks all own lots of US government paper, so something bad goes wrong with the dollar, it’s going to affect all these currencies. So, at this point, it’s a question of finding the best productive real assets to put your wealth in. Now, here in Argentina, I’ve got a dairy herd, I’ve got a beef herd, and every year the mama cows have baby cows, and it’s a nice form of compound interest. So, I like things like that, and of course, I’d like to look at the bright side of these governments destroying their currencies, and the bright side, kind of, is that it’s gonna create more bubbles in the market. And I think that we will have a bubble in mining stocks again, which are right now really in the dumpster. They’re in real terms at about the lowest level in history. That’s when you wanna buy them. So, you’ve got to, in this environment, you’re gonna have to become, whether you like it or not, a speculator, just to maintain what you have.
JASON HARTMAN: And that’s exactly what this crappy monetary policy does. It forces people to speculate, because you just—there are so few things where you can get any real yield. And I mean, my investment of choice is cash flowing real estate, and you’re into that too, I know. And you know, it’s funny, Doug. One of the things that really struck me the last time I had you on the show is, you were talking—and I thought you were a wild man for this one—about, you had said that you’d purchased a bunch of apartment complexes in Egypt. And I thought, wow, that’s exotic! How’s that going? Do you still have them?
DOUG CASEY: Well, here’s what’s happened with that. My partners and I put up—we didn’t buy the apartments. We were nego—well, we were going to buy the apartments in Cairo, because I don’t know how many of your listeners have been to Cairo, but it’s a horrible, gigantic city.
JASON HARTMAN: Oh, yeah. It’s terrible. And the smog is unbelievable. Wow.
DOUG CASEY: Awful place. That’s the bad news. But the good news is that in the downtown area, right on the river in the old city, they have these beautiful old [unintelligible] buildings, very run down. And we were going to buy those. They’re rent controlled, and so forth. But the situation deteriorated so quickly, maybe we’ll come back and take a look at it again in a year or two. So, it cost us a little bit of money. Not too much. We didn’t buy the buildings. But that’s the type of thing that I look for.
JASON HARTMAN: Right, right. So, you’re very much a contrarian investor, and a value investor, right?
DOUG CASEY: Well, you have to be a contrarian to go to Cairo a couple of years ago.
JASON HARTMAN: Yeah, well, I would agree.
DOUG CASEY: It doesn’t always work out. I mean, there are some things that I almost did that I didn’t do, that would have worked out spectacularly well. I was in Rhodesia, which is now Zimbabwe, during the war, and there was this fantastic castle, built by Italian prisoners of war during World War II, right on the border with Mozambique. It was very, very hot warzone at that time. So, there’s this huge castle being run as bed and breakfast. I could have bought that with all the linen and silverware, 50 acres of coffee, a 9-hole golf course—it was $85,000 in 1979. That’s like free. And [unintelligible] to somebody else for $13 million. Now, if I’d bought it then, I would have had to have stayed there to manage it, otherwise it would have been a ruin within 24 hours.
JASON HARTMAN: Right.
DOUG CASEY: But things like that come and go throughout the world. So, that’s why it’s good to look in places other than just your local neighborhood for value.
JASON HARTMAN: I couldn’t agree more. I mean, we’ve all got to think from a global perspective. There’s no question about it. Well Doug, give out your website, and tell people where they can find out more about you. And if you have any particular books, or anything you want to mention. You’ve got such a big body of work.
DOUG CASEY: Well, I’m working on it right now, actually, on a series of six novels to reform six unjustly besmirched and politically incorrect occupations. So, the first one is going to be out, I hope, within six months, certainly. But the other two recent books I have that people might enjoy are one called Right on the Money, which is investment-oriented, and the other one is Totally Incorrect, which debunks all the politically correct nonsense that we have certainly in the US. So, they’re both available from Amazon. And also, our website, where we have a lot of free products—free newsletters and free reports, just go on there and download them—is www.caseyresearch.com.
JASON HARTMAN: Fantastic. Well, Doug Casey, thank you so much for joining us today.
DOUG CASEY: Well, my pleasure, Jason, and we’ll do this again I hope some time.
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ANNOUNCER: This show is produced by the Hartman Media Company. All rights reserved. For distribution or publication rights and media interviews, please visit www.HartmanMedia.com, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Nothing on this show should be considered specific personal or professional advice. Please consult an appropriate tax, legal, real estate, or business professional for any individualized advice. Opinions of guests are their own, and the host is acting on behalf of Platinum Properties Investor Network, Inc. exclusively.
Transcribed by David
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