Never before have I seen so many threats to your safety and wealth converging in one time and place — a continuing deterioration in bank safety … a renewed decline in the housing market … a new series of sovereign debt breakdowns in Europe … and worst of all, the growing likelihood of a similar crisis striking Washington.
Today, I’m working from home, commemorating Memorial Day and focusing on giving you simple, practical solutions to avoid these unprecedented dangers:
Danger #1. Bank failures.
Washington politicians and Wall Street fatcats have sworn on a stack of bibles that “the banking crisis is over.”
But their words don’t match their own numbers.
Last week, for example, the FDIC announced that nearly 12 percent of the nation’s banks were at risk of failing, the highest level in 18 years.
That’s a total of 888 banks they recognize could be dangerous to your financial health.
They won’t name endangered banks. It’s one of the closest held secrets of our era.
But we do! We give you an instant Weiss rating on your bank, S&L, or credit union. We let you know when it’s been downgraded or upgraded. And we do this all as a free service for loyal readers like you.
My recommendation: If you haven’t done so already, use this free service — so you can make the safest, most prudent and most informed choices possible. Here’s how …
- Go to www.weisswatchdog.com
- Sign in or sign up. (No cost to our readers.)
- In the upper right hand corner of the screen, click on banks and thrifts (S&Ls). Or, if you prefer, choose credit unions.
- Then, also in the upper right hand corner, type in the name of the institution and click “search.”
- You should see our Weiss rating, ranging from the top rating of A+ to the lowest rating E-.
- If it’s B+ or better, it’s a recommended company, and we feel your savings are safe. (Not counting the threat of inflation, of course.)
- If it’s a D+ or lower, we consider it weak and NOT recommended.
Problem: On our list of institutions rated D+ or lower, we now have 2,706 banks and 2,582 credit unions. That’s more than one out of every three in the entire nation! So chances are pretty high yours is among them!
- No matter what, be sure to add it to your personal Watchlist. That way, as soon as the rating changes, something that happens quite frequently, we will send you an immediate alert via email. Again, no charge.
Danger #2. Dark economic storm clouds.
Another set of numbers that belie Washington’s words of assurance are the latest stats pouring out on the economy:
Home prices are falling again. Foreclosed homes are being dumped on the market at the fastest clip ever. And anyone still counting on another new round of bailouts from Congress must be living on another planet.
Especially vulnerable investments: Shares in banks, mortgage lenders, construction companies, real estate firms and REITs.
My recommendation: Reduce your exposure and start by selling your most vulnerable positions.
How do you know which ones?
While you’re at www.weisswatchdog.com, you can also look up the rating on each and every one of your stocks.
If it’s a D+ or lower, we consider it among the most vulnerable. And no matter what, add it to your watchlist so we can alert you to any changes.
Danger #3. The next big debt crisis.
If you thought the debt crisis of 2008-2009 was a harrowing experience, wait till you see what’s coming next.
Remember: That last debt crisis impacted strictly corporations in the private sector of the economy. This one is hitting sovereign governments, including our own!
Also never forget this: The last crisis was cut short by massive government bailouts. But there’s no one rich enough to bail out the United States of America!
In fact, the way things are shaping up now, it may even be tough for Europe to bail out Spain and Italy, which are far bigger than the countries bailed out so far — Greece, Ireland and Portugal.
My recommendation: You can either sulk into a corner and hide, or you can come out fighting with exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that are specifically created to profit from this kind of a crisis.
For example, in the last round of this crisis, an ETF that surges when real estate stocks plunge grew 166% in value. With that ETF, $10,000 invested near the beginning of the bust grew to $26,600 near the end of the bust.
Another good example: When Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke started printing money like crazy to rescue the economy, he helped drive up precious metals and key commodities. Result:
An ETF tied to oil jumped 90%.
Our favorite ETF that invests in gold bullion, jumped 121%.
An ETF linked to gasoline surged 200% — a triple.
The ETF we like best that invests in gold mining shares gained 250% … the one that buys silver mining shares surged 305% … and an ETF that leverages silver bullion skyrocketed 700%.
Even assuming you missed that 700% opportunity and bought only our favorite gold mining ETF, you could have seen $10,000 grow into $35,000.
All of this is, of course, past history. But as Mike Larson tells it, it was just a dress rehearsal for the bigger debt crisis — and larger profit potential — coming next.
Stand by and check your inbox. You should be getting his updates as part of your regular membership.
Good luck and God bless!