Image via WikipediaThe United States dollar is going down! The U.S. Government will be over 13 $Trillion in the hole by the end of this year. Unless something drastic is done to reduce the slide, by 2015 it will be 23 $Trillion in the hole. This summer rally , (some green shoots aside) was predicated on the back of a sinking u.s. dollar . Many American investors are so busy getting angry and waiving the flag to prop up King Dollar , that they are blinded to one of the best investment plays this year and probably through 2010.
Smart Canadians are ignoring the whining from their own Governments and businesses about a high Canadian dollar being bad for exports and they are taking advantage of a situation that Ottawa doesn't want to acknowledge. The Canadian buck will outstrip the U.S. buck over the next year. So how can you play this for the betterment of your Retirefund?
Back in January, when the Canada buck was trading for around .77 cents U.S. I traded my u.s. dollars into Canadian dollars. I have gained about 20% with this simple strategy, however there is another good market strategy that I, and many others, are making some money with. Commodities such as oil, gold, natural gas, are denominated in U.S. dollars. If you bought some of these commodities, with your Canadian dollars, back in March, you have no doubt made good money.
Now, many Americans, whose pride (and pocketbooks) have taken a big hit during this dramatic downturn in their economy, are championing the return of King Dollar. Can't blame them. If your house is losing value, and your dollar is losing value, and the Gluttons of Wall Street have swallowed a good portion of your retirement funds, you are definitely in jam. However, average Americans are once again being led down the garden path into believing their dollar will go higher over the next few years. Feeding those false hopes, every time the dollar goes up a bit (as it did on Monday) the talking bull heads on CNBC (Kudlow, Kneale etc) waive the flag and declare the return of King dollar. I believe they couldn't be more wrong.
In fact, I am so convinced of this that, when I see a rise in the U.S. dollar, and a corresponding drop in our commodities market, I see it as a great buying opportunity for those commodities, especially if you are paying for your shares in Canadian dollars. As I have pointed out before, we have had the best balance sheet of the G20 for the past 8 years (We've been in the black until the crisis hit this year) Our banks have stayed conservative, avoiding the toxic Derivatives debacle and have entered this summer rally strong. We have the second largest deposits of oil and natural gas in the world, the largest deposits of potash, lumber, gypsum, seafood, nickel, uranium and arguably, diamonds. We own 20% of the worlds entire supply of fresh water, with only .03% of it's population. We own the largest claim to the arctic, which is suspected to harbor 25% of the total world's oil supply, and finally, the largest consumer on the planet, is right next door.
Don't get me wrong though. The Canadian dollar and commodities market is by no means the only place with good value these days. They will go sideways for the next month or so, but by the end of the year the Loonie will approach parity. The BRIC countries , or at least two of them, are good investments. (Except China for the rest of this year) The Australian dollar, who's commodities feed into the Chinese economic realm may also be a good bet. We have some excellent, small Canadian companies that are basically overlooked south of the border, until they dominate a market (RIM). They are essentially, under the radar, so to speak. Find them, research them thoroughly, ensure they have good management, good science and technology , and then don't be afraid to invest. You could hit the RIM of 2010-2011!
If you are American, you should be in the stock market right now. Having cash, or cash equivalents sitting on the sidelines for any length of time is a recipe for losses, period! Sadly, the gluttons of wall street are the ones who will actually benefit from the dollar crisis they have caused. Stock Markets go up as currency devalues. It is actually that simple.
The Canadian Government and Canadian manufacturing don't want a strong Canada buck, but they won't have any choice in the matter. It is time our manufacturing and export companies grow because of innovation instead of a weak currency. Those days are gone.
A Canadian buck with a 5-8% premium over the U.S. dollar (a la the 1950's and 60's), is a Loonie I can live with. All of our retirement funds, and our travel budgets, have gone up over 20% this year because of it. The Loonie now buys 20% more than it did 6 months ago. It will go higher still. Here is a quote from Warren Buffett from his "The Greenback Effect"!
"The world "properly" worries about greenhouse emissions causing global warming", says Buffett. "Unchecked carbon emissions will likely cause icebergs to melt. Unchecked greenback emissions will certainly cause the purchasing power of currency to melt. The dollar's destiny lies with Congress."
Previous articles: U.S. Dollar dives - Pigs at the trough
Update - Aug 18th from Bloomberg .