FIGURE 1: THE HOME PAGE OF SAFEHAVEN.COM
In a world only recently removed from cast-in-stone expectations of double-digit returns on invested income, the idea of a website dedicated to the "preservation of capital" must sound as exciting as watching grass grow. After all, with three decades' worth of inflation--of both the physical kind and the asset kind--you are more likely to hear "preservation" in the context of wildlife wetlands than in the context of sound (to say nothing of shrewd) financial planning.
But as an increasing number of smart financial types has been telling investors, the days of double-digit investment returns are likely long gone. And this is without even entertaining the darkest visions of the global financial future, those apparitions of either hyperinflation or, worse, deflationary depression that a number of no-less savvy financial figures have been warning us will be the real cause for the end of the double-digit investment returns era.
Fortunately, those interested in the observation, analysis, and commentary for which those caution-providers are known have at least one more place to bide their time while waiting for the end of the world--or at least a major decline that is not immediately short-squeezed back to baseline. And that place is SafeHaven.com.
HOME IS WHERE THE (SAFE) HAVEN IS
In the context of the sort of cautionary warnings I've been talking about, a trader or investor could be forgiven for wondering: If we are bound for hell on the handbasket express, then isn't the only website I need to know about the one with the latest returns on certificates of deposit (or, for the hyperinflationists, the best dealer rates on gold and silver)?
Should kingdom come, those sort of websites will certainly have their utility. But what is so worthwhile about SafeHaven is that rather than simply rehash the same sorts of "watch your wallet" advice many market observers, economists, and technical analysts have been providing since at least the market top in 2000, SafeHaven provides daily analysis and commentary from a diverse range of authors and contributors-many of whom disagree not only with each other but with some of the underlying premises upon which a website like SafeHaven.com were created.
Ask yourself: How often is it that you hear or read an extended, detailed debate on the possibility of $1,000 gold, or the notion that the US dollar, as the currency in which an inconceivable amount of debt is based, might become at least temporarily a "super currency" as debtors all over the world are caught in a debt-driven short-squeeze? If you've read much about either argument, then there is an excellent chance that your authors have either provided work to SafeHaven or had their work referenced by any one of the website's talented and diverse contributors.
I keep referring to the website's contributors. Let me provide a few names, some of which will undoubtedly be familiar to many readers: Ed Bugos. Douglas R. Gillespie. Henry To. John Mauldin. Doug Noland. Dan Denning. Hans Sennholz. Marc Faber. Robert Prechter. Richard Russell. Bob Hoye. Kurt Richebacher. Paul Kasriel. And more. Sample titles of articles recently posted include such teasers as: "The rise of the Dollar.com," "Black gold and real gold," and "Did the retail investor just show his hand?" This doesn't even include the "SafeHaven Top Picks," external links making SafeHaven browsers aware of other interesting writing on the topic of the preservation of capital from authors such as Bill Fleckenstein.
As a website, SafeHaven.com couldn't be simpler or easier to operate. The left side of the home page provides readers with an opportunity to subscribe to free external feeds from sources like BBC Business (UK edition), Mises.org, and The Wall Street Examiner. Below that are a set of external links to a number of popular financial websites-such as MarketWatch, TheStreet.com, and Yahoo! Finance-as well as to some lesser-known but highly regarded websites like Prudent Bear and Financial Sense, Sharelynx and Kitco.
The rest of the home page is dedicated to the most recent articles. Two links at the top of the article list let readers skim by way of article abstracts or the most recent 50 contributed articles. The fact that a number of SafeHaven contributors are regulars means that those readers who frequent the website get to know and understand the occasionally sophisticated and complex analysis that goes on there. Regular readers will start to understand this kind of financial analysis not just as dry accounting of the ups and downs of markets, but as a story that is every bit as social as it is financial, as political as it is economic.
I've long thought that one of the greatest things about the investigation into intermarket technical analysis launched by John J. Murphy years ago was that it provided the sort of tools that technical analysts could use to understand, interpret, and even criticize the world of economists and policy planners. Understanding the intermarket technical relationship, for example, between gold and gold mining shares, or between stocks and bonds, is a tremendous tool for technicians looking to divine the world around and within the markets they trade. The trader who can read technically the gold market, for example-and understand the role of commodity prices in interpreting inflation-has a leg up on a sizable number of economists who are stuck reading the sheep entrails of hedonic deflators and adjusted Consumer Price Index (CPI). As far as I was concerned, SafeHaven was an excellent complement to the intermarket technical analysis I learned from the work of technicians like John Murphy and Mark Boucher.
In addition to their articles, SafeHaven.com maintains a voluminous archive of more than 4,000 past contributions; a SafeHaven Career Center (!) with featured companies such as Edward Jones, Edo Rss, and Sky Financial Group, and a number of career-placement resources including industry magazines like Bank Technology News and Investment Advisor, "personality-type" surveys, and career-planning videos. SafeHaven also supports an email-based webforum on "long waves," shorthand for the research conducted by the Russian economist Nikolai Kondratieff.
Writing in a short piece called "About SafeHaven," the website sponsors note: "We are not permabears, nor are we bullish for the foreseeable future. The Stock Market Bubble is not our greatest concern. The Credit Bubble, however, when it inevitably implodes, will wreak havoc on all sectors of the World Economy, including the Stock Market." And true enough, while there is a variety of commentary on a variety of subjects, those interested in the role of credit and debt in the global economy may find more grist for their deflationary mill than in a thousand websites from the mainstream financial media.
"Investing is not saving!" SafeHaven's sponsors cry, alerting or merely reminding readers that, contrary to the siren song of much financial commentary, there are indeed times for a cautious and more reasoned approach to both making money and preserving it-an approach that only brings investors closer to the sort of financial safe haven that will make years of investing discipline and caution worthwhile.-David Penn, Technical Writer
Originally published in the January 2006 issue of Technical Analysis of STOCKS & COMMODITIES magazine. All rights reserved. © Copyright 2005, Technical Analysis, Inc. Return to Table of Contents