Monday, January 26, 2009
Peter Schiff's Clients Got Hosed This Year, Too
Some facts that should pop the aura surrounding Peter Schiff.
Sure his on-air sparring makes for some great TV. And his pointed criticism of the stimulus plan is spot on, especially at a time when people believe the answer to our pile of debt is to spend like crazy. But that doesn't mean Peter Schiff has been an amazing steward of his clients' cash.
Michael Shedlock punctures the Schiff aura, saying he's heard from several clients who claim losses of 40%-70% after investing with EuroPacificCapital. How could this be? Hasn't Schiff been bearish during a horrible year for US equities? Yes, but that negative on US equaties was just a part of his overall strategy
Shedlock sums Schiff's complete thesis:
US Equity Markets Will Crash.
US Dollar Will Go To Zero (Hyperinflation).
Decoupling (The rest of the world would be immune to a US slowdown.
Buy foreign equities and commodities and hold them with no exit strategy.
Schiff was correct about point number 1 above. The US equity markets crashed. That was a very good call. Unfortunately, his investment thesis centered on shorting the dollar in a hyperinflation bet, and buying foreign equities rather than shorting US equities.
Furthermore, Schiff made no allowances for being wrong and had no exit strategy whatsoever.
What happened in 2008 was that foreign equities sold off much harder than US equities, and a strengthening US dollar compounded the situation.
Bottom line: Not all doomsayers are going to make money in a bad investment. And you can be extremely sharp and insightful with your analysis, but it doesn't mean your investment theses will pan out. In fact, there's frequently a disconnect between people who call for doom and their actual results