Editor's Note: Casey Research founder Doug Casey answered dozens of investment questions during the recent Casey Research Summit. We transcribed five of Doug's best answers, and we're sharing them with you below. What you're about to read is Doug speaking to a live audience. His responses are unrehearsed.
When asked about the implications of cheap oil
Doug Casey: I always look on the bright side, and the bright side of low oil prices is that most of the countries that produce oil are just horrible places. Low oil prices will help to bankrupt the governments of these places, and that will, hopefully, set the stage for things to get better.
Look at the countries that produce a lot of oil: Russia, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Venezuela, Nigeria...they're all just horrible. It's no accident. Easy wealth, owned by the state, is a formula for disaster.
Hopefully the oil price will bring on the collapse of the Saudi regime, one of the U.S.'s longtime puppets. It's amazing how the U.S. has gone around and destroyed all kinds of regimes - most of which, frankly, were abusive and corrupt and needed killing - but the Saudis are one of the worst of them. Hopefully low oil prices and their ridiculous spending habits will bring down that terminally corrupt theocracy. Among others.
Another good thing about cheap oil is it should show anybody that's got half a brain that Russia and Putin are non-entities. They've got a decent military, but all they can do is export oil. It's like a primitive, third-world country with a first-world military. Well, kind of a first-world military.
So low oil prices are a very good thing. I don't know how long they'll stay low. But they're going lower for the time being. Production is stable to up, but consumption is headed down with a slowing economy.
And I'm all for oil going even lower. I hope it goes down to $10 a barrel. At that point you can buy it reflexively and make a huge killing. But I'm still short oil at the moment.
When asked who will win the U.S. election
Doug Casey: I'll put my money on Trump.
The reason for that is he's an outsider. He's not currently part of the Deep State. He speaks his mind. That's refreshing. People like that, whether you like his opinions or not.
And here's the most important reason. By this time next year we're going to be in the midst of a gigantic crisis. The crisis could've happened anytime in the last few years. But I really believe it will happen within the next year.
The average chimpanzee will want somebody who has certainty and will tell them that he can solve things. And the Donald has lots of certainty.
It appears the Democrats will anoint Hillary, at least if she's not jailed. She certainly knows how to push the "envy" button. But I'll put money on the Donald as the Republican candidate. And very possibly the election itself.
When asked for specific steps you can take to protect your money from the next financial crisis
Doug Casey: Don't keep too much money in a bank. What happened in Cyprus is likely to happen other places.
Have a lot of gold coins in your own possession, and some silver.
And you definitely want to diversify politically.which almost nobody does. Everybody says, "Yeah, it's a good idea," but hardly anyone does it.
It's very hard to open up a foreign bank account today, but at least it's still possible. You should also open up and use a foreign brokerage account. And you should have a crib outside of your home country.
Your biggest risk is not investment risk, although that's very big. It's political risk. So you've got to diversify politically.
(Editor's Note: Going Global 2015 is our guide to diversifying politically. It will show you practical steps you can start taking today to protect your money from a crisis.like how to open a foreign bank account (page 11), how to open a foreign brokerage account (page 35), and what you need to know before buying foreign real estate (page 44). Click here to learn more.)
When asked for his thoughts on gold and other commodities
Doug Casey: I think the bear market in gold that started four years ago has turned around and is headed up. I think all the commodities are headed up at this point.
Some commodities, like coffee and sugar, are very low in both real terms and relative terms. So I'm selling naked puts against them.
(Editor's note: selling naked puts is a strategy sophisticated investors can use to make bullish bets on a stock or commodity.)
I like selling options. The reason I like selling options is that time is on your side. I sell nearby in time and not so far away in price options. The nice thing about selling options is you don't have to be very right to make money. You just have to not be very wrong, which is a lot easier.especially when you think you've got a major bull trend on your side. Which I do think in most commodities right now, certainly including gold and silver.
But take it easy with margins and leverage. Somebody without prudence and experience going into the commodities market is like handing a chainsaw to a six-year old. You're just asking for trouble.
When asked for his thoughts on China
Doug Casey: On the one hand, the change in China over the last 30 years is unbelievable. I lived in Hong Kong 30 years ago and visited China. When I first flew into Beijing, the airport was about the size of the airport in Aspen, Colorado. And when I drove into Beijing from the airport there were still peasants - this is the truth - with oxcarts on the side of the road and oxen plowing the fields. And it was a two-lane highway from the airport to Beijing.
Now it's totally and unrecognizably transformed.and this is true all over the country. So what's happened in China is unbelievable. Nothing's happened like that in all of world history anywhere.
That's the good news. The bad news is that there are huge distortions and mistakes and misallocations of capital in China.
And all the banks are bankrupt...
The Chinese are famous for saving a third or half of their salaries. How do they save? Like everybody around the world saves. They take their country's currency, yuan, and put it into banks.
So Mrs. Wu puts her yuan in the bank and she expects it back.
The problem is with the Chinese banks. They've financed all these goofy but spectacular projects that the Chinese government has pushed.
Two things could happen when hundreds of millions of Mrs. Wu's go to the bank and try to get their yuan. Either she doesn't get her yuan back, which will make her very unhappy. Or she will get it back.but it won't be worth anything, which will make her equally unhappy.
China will have riots. It could break up into five or six little countries.because Shanghai is very different than Beijing, which is very different than Guangzhou.
So China's ultimate future is unbelievably good. But its near-term future is probably pretty bad.
For anyone who missed this year's Casey Summit
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The article Doug Casey Answers Five of Today's Biggest Investment Questions was originally published at caseyresearch.com