by Willie Thomas Butler
In a February 2013 report alleging a major shift in the “stay the course” investment philosophy of the past few decades, some billionaires have been observed quickly dumping their holdings of U.S. based companies and their stocks.
Specifically, quoting from a February 6th NewsMax Wire article, Warren Buffett, who has been a cheerleader for U.S. stocks for quite some time, is dumping shares at an alarming rate. He recently complained of “disappointing performance” in dyed-in-the-wool American companies like Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble, and Kraft Foods.
In the latest filing for Buffett’s holding company Berkshire Hathaway, Buffett has been drastically reducing his exposure to stocks that depend on consumer purchasing habits. Berkshire sold roughly 19 million shares of Johnson & Johnson, and reduced his overall stake in “consumer product stocks” by 21%. Berkshire Hathaway also sold its entire stake in California-based computer parts supplier Intel.
With 70% of the U.S. economy dependent on consumer spending, Buffett’s apparent lack of faith in these companies’ future prospects is worrisome. And, unfortunately for U.S. companies, Buffett isn’t alone.
The article goes on to cite fellow billionaires such as John Paulson, who having made a fortune betting on the sub prime mortgage meltdown, is also clearing out of U.S. stocks. During the second quarter of the year, Paulson’s hedge fund, Paulson & Co., dumped 14 million shares of JP Morgan Chase. The fund also dumped its entire position in discount retailer Family Dollar and consumer-goods maker Sara Lee.
Finally, billionaire George Soros recently sold nearly all of his bank stocks, including shares of JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup, and Goldman Sachs. Between the three banks, Soros sold more than a million shares.
So why are these billionaires dumping their shares of U.S. companies? Well, according to the article’s author, many professional investors are heeding the advice of stock-market researcher and esteemed economist Robert Wiedemer, author of the New York Times best-selling book, “Aftershock.”
Known for having predicted the 2007 Great Recession and collapse of our markets, Wiedemer’s opinion is important in the minds of savvy investors with lots to lose. When he says that the new threat against investing in 2013 is that the market is due for a massive correction of as much as 90%, should that warning coupled with his past successes in financial forecasting keep us all from getting in the market once again?
“A columnist at Dow Jones said that Wiedemer’s earlier book [America’s Bubble Economy] was “one of those rare finds that not only predicted the sub prime credit meltdown well in advance, it offered Main Street investors a winning strategy that helped avoid the forty percent losses that followed . . .”
Now with lingering financial fears being rekindled by both the Obama Administration and Congress over Sequestration, many are afraid to jump into the Stock market before seeing much clearer signs that everything is alright again. And, if you are among this group, are you in the right company?
My question to you would be this: Are the following warnings and signs something Christians should heed as well? Is God telling us through these actions that we are all about to experience a major financial meltdown again, or is His message at this hour different? And, if His message is in fact one and the same as what the world is reacting to, just what can Christians do to safeguard that which God has entrusted to them?
My answer is two-fold: First, I do not believe that God’s message for this hour is doom-and-gloom! In fact, the Church as a whole has been prophesying about a major change taking place in world affairs, which includes how economies will affect nations in the coming years. Some Christians will see significant financial increase in 2013, but more importantly, many will experience a major difference in how God works through them to effect change throughout the earth.
Second, the Lord has been preparing His own to understand the signs around us and the seasons we have entered into. These same individuals have been undergoing unique and highly specialized training to know what God expects of His people and what they can do to avoid being victims of worldly schemes for obtaining wealth and riches. This is why in Isaiah 48:17, the prophet of old said, "I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is good for you and leads you along the paths you should follow.”
Fortunately for us all, the LifePlanning Institute is among those organizations that God has been developing for just this time. More specifically as relates to investing wisely and with specific purpose, LPI also has affiliate partners that understand that a Kingdom strategy for investing and saving differs from conventional approaches, therefore Christians should seek to use a system that better represents their Kingdom interest.
Heritage Wealth Management Group is one such organization that I highly recommend for the Christian investor seeking both spiritual as well as state-of-the-art practical advice. Located in Norfolk, Virginia, the principals at HWMG are highly seasoned and experienced wealth managers who can assist you with understanding the trends, forecast and best practice steps for today’s financial markets.
But don’t just take my word for it, why not give them a call at (888) 337-0345, or send them an email? That way, you can learn from two of the industry’s best: men whose love of God places your financial interest well above how others might advise you.