Análisis del artículo Soluciones para la jubilación

Hace unos pocos días leímos un artículo para Afi-Unespa (Unespa defiende los intereses de las empresas aseguradoras) llamado Soluciones para la jubilación (enlace aquí). Las tesis que el artículo defiende no puede estar más sesgadas, por lo que en absoluto recomendaríamos la solución propuesta. Vamos por orden.

Es obvio que no podemos confiar en las pensiones públicas, por lo menos en cuanto a la cuantía que se recibirá. Es también obvio que debemos ahorrar para tener más fuentes de ingresos en el futuro, pero que esto se haga a través de seguros de rentas vitalicias es más que dudoso.

Según el artículo, como está por contrato, ya no hay incertidumbre (???). Los seguros de rentas vitalicias tienen 3 debilidades enormes:

1. Riesgo de quiebra de la aseguradora, insolvencia o colapso de este mercado. El capital invertido no está cubierto por el fondo de garantía de depósitos. Por este motivo, tradicionalmente, muchas rentas vitalicias que contrataban los americanos se hacían en Suiza donde nunca ha quebrado una aseguradora.

2. Paupérrima rentabilidad. Al invertir en bonos con bajísimos tipos de interés, es prácticamente imposible que puedan cubrir ni siquiera la inflación. Si los tipos subieran en los próximos años (lo que es razonable porque no se puede bajar más), las alternativas de inversión iban a ser más competitivas.

3. Las cifras que se presentan son engañosas para el no lego. Algunos comerciales pueden decir ¨si inviertes 100.000 euros, cobrarás tanto al mes de por vida a los 65 años¨, el problema es que esa renta mensual puede ser ridícula cuando se cobre debido a la inflación.

Hay que prepararnos para el futuro, pero también es una renta vitalicia las mensualidades cobradas por el alquiler de una vivienda donde la inflación está en el ladrillo y las rentas aumentan con los años.

Para terminar, el artículo habla de los problemas que va a acarrear a la economía la futura caída de las pensiones. Esto no tiene ni pies ni cabeza. Es muy parecido a la falacia de la ventana rota. Si los pensionistas reciben menos dinero, otros lo tienen (quizá los trabajadores en activo), no ha desaparecido. Debemos cubrirnos el futuro por nosotros mismos y ese debiera ser nuestro principal incentivo.


Bitcoin, follow up

We have received many, many questions about bitcoin. We thought we were clear about it, but it seems not. Let us sum up our position:

1. We love bitcoin from a philosophical point of view, however we wouldn’t invest big money there.
2. Bitcoin is not working as it was supposed to do, transactions are slow and expensive.
3. There is a big difference between blockchain (technology behind bitcoin) and the bitcoin itself. Blockchain has a very bright future ahead.
4. Many people think bitcoin is already dead. We don’t know yet, however, just for the guys who held bitcoins from the beginning and sold half of the position in December (link), if we reach above 30,000, it could be a good moment to sell a high percentage of the remainings. It is like playing with the house money.

Some gurus don’t understand that they might be right about the bitcoin being a bubble, but markets like this one can very easily be manipulated and the price can keep on going up for a long time (story of Herbalife).


What do we do?

Is Peter Shiff right and the recent drop in the markets is just the beginning? Or, on the other hand, is it just a healthy correction? We don’t know. But there are some facts that can help us:

1. Charts. The curve is very far from the mean. It usually reverses.
2. P/E. It is way above the historical average. We can expect to lower a bit.
3. Cash. The politicians won’t be able to resist the pressure and there will be more QE.
4. Timing. Individuals are awful timing the market. Even if we sell our positions now, probably we won’t find the right spot to reenter.

So, being sensible, a possible solution could be to have a balance portfolio (during the last month we’ve talked to many investors and some had more than 60% of their wealth in stocks, which is huge and very risky). Reduce the percentage of shares until you feel comfortable. Also, it could be a good idea to include some gold as insurance. Amanzingly gold is not overvalued.


Against the tide. Portfolio

As most of the readers know, in SimplyNoRisk we try to reduce pain. When fund managers compete to see who has a greater yield every year, we observe it from a healthy distance. That is not our target, but to CONSTANTLY create a sustainable portfolio that never suffers a terrible year.

As we show on the next chart, we have beaten REAL inflation (we use double the official one) and the drawbacks have never been awful. Last year, the SNR portfolio made a sound 9.2%.

The idea of this portfolio, as explained in our book, is based on Harry Browne’s permanent portfolio, but with a more realistic approach. As you can imagine, we are very happy with the results.


Best books about bitcoin

As we all know by now, bitcoin is a virtual currency based on a distributed database called blockchain. It was the first crypto money, but there are many others which can be even more interesting, like ethereum.

We have zero doubts about the future success of blockchain. It is one of the most brilliant advances scientists have achieved. However, even if we love the idea, we are not so sure about virtual money. Governments could ban it as they want to have the exclusivity of money creation. In any case, if you are interested in this topic, we have chosen some of the best books about bitcoin so that you can learn on your own:

  • Mastering Bitcoin, by Antonopoulos
  • Digital Gold, by Popper
  • Wildcat Currency, by Castronova
  • Blockchain, by Swan
  • Ethereum, by Diedrich


Bitcoin, don’t buy, sell?

Some months ago most of the financial analysts were recommended to sell bitcoins. We didn’t agree (link). It seemed it was going to go much higher... And in fact it did:

Now everyone is talking about bitcoins and you hear its target is 40000... We don’t know, of course. However the way it has soared doesn’t “smell” good. Therefore, just to be practical, it might be the wrong moment to enter into this market and it might be the good one to sell half of the position with big gains.


Bank for International Settlements

The BIS is “the Central Bank of the Central Banks”. It is based in Basel with offices in Hong Kong and Mexico. Its goal is to create monetary and financial stability. Of course, they set up the rules for the comercial bank’s leverage.

But the purpose of this post is to draw your attention to the very interesting papers you can find in its web. You will have to separate the wheat from the chaff, but, in a sense, it will help you to better understand what is happening globally.

For instance, here you can find the Global Liquidity Indicators, or you can read the interesting Annual Report, or the Research Papers.


Once upon a time...

...there was a successful shop with a lot of cash in its accounts. It was going to face a lot of competition from other online shops, but it was ready to fight. However a financial firm took control of the shop using other people’s money (leveraged purchase) and didn’t care for the fight. They just wanted to gain access to the cash, so they decided to increase the debt of the shop as much as possible (at the time, it looked good for the debt buyers and/or banks, because the business had more than enough cash) and use the cash to pay themselves.

Now the shop is in bankrupcy. Perfect cash extracting.


Machista... ¿o no?

Recientemente he leído un artículo sobre la igualdad salarial entre los hombres y mujeres jugadores de rugby en Nueva Zelanda (enlace). Se está extendiendo como la pólvora el concepto de “a mismo trabajo, mismo sueldo”. Lo vemos muy claramente en los países escandinavos. Pero, ¿es correcto?

Claramente no. Los ingresos de los jugadores deben estar unidos al monto que generen. Si, por muy buenas que sean, las All Blacks no son vistas en televisión por el mismo número de personas que los All Blacks, su salario debe ser inferior.

Recuerdo cuando era pequeño que me parecía injusto que una tenista ganara lo mismo que un hombre en determinados torneos cuando ellas jugaban a la mejor de 3 sets y los hombres al mejor de 5. Estaba equivocado. Normalmente el tenis masculino genera más interés que el femenino, pero si por el motivo que sea la audiencia de un partido entre Steffi Graf y Monica Seles encandila a la audiencia y por ende produce más beneficios que el equivalente masculino, jueguen 3 o 5 sets, ellas debieran ganar más.


Invest in gold in UK tax free

A common way to invest in gold is to buy certain gold coins (not collectible). For instance: Maple Leafs in Canada, Kangaroos in Australia, but also Britannias in UK. Usually an investor has to pay capital gains tax on the money he is making when selling a product with profit. However, some coins from The Royal Mint are exempt from CGT (link here).

If you live in UK and can find good deals to buy Britannias, it makes sense to choose them instead of other gold coins (how to find good deals to buy gold coins).

Just as an example, here you can find a list of tax free coins from a UK dealer.


Have you ever thought of buying bonds through stocks?

Well, amazingly it is a new trend. Investors are buying certain companies such us Apple, Google (Alphabet) or Microsoft for the pile of cash they accumulate.

Apple´s market capitalization is around 800B and they own 260B in cash, Microsoft 585B and 133B in cash and Google 680B and 95B in cash.

In these uncertain times, buying companies with a lot of cash means safety, geographical diversification (most of the cash is kept outside the US) and BONDS!


Important factors to choose a medical card

The main intention of this article is to guide you on how to analyse the different medical cards.

The comparison shall include in order of priority:

1) Limit for Outpatient Cancer Treatment / Kidney Dialysis. It should have no limit.
2) Annual Limit.
3) Life Time Limit. Minimum of 1M.
4) Term of Coverage. At least 80 years old. Besides it is necessary to find a solution for this age onwards.
5) Co Insurance.
6) Surcharge if exceed room and board.
7) Cost of Insurance.

Remember that the idea is not to get bankrupt in case something bad happens. It is perfectly acceptable to pay CONTROLLED amounts of money for a treatment. Also that the world is big and it makes sense to find the best countries in terms of healthcare (some even public).



Cada vez que Apple realiza alguna actualización de software, mi vida es peor. 5 aplicaciones muy usadas han dejado de funcionar en el iOS 11, incluyendo la que utilizaba para escribir los artículos en dos plataformas diferentes. Pero no solo ha sido Apple, sino también Google Finance quien ha avisado que a partir de mediados de noviembre dejará el seguimiento de carteras (portfolios). Tras el lógico enfado inicial, he intentado buscar soluciones y sustitutos. Por ejemplo, Bloomberg tiene una excelente herramienta gratuita de seguimiento de carteras (enlace aquí).

Sin embargo, tras reflexionar un poco más, me di cuenta de que el ser humano tiende a dar por fijas cosas que no lo son. Por ejemplo, un taxista compra una licencia haciendo un esfuerzo y piensa que tiene la vida resuelta porque por lo menos, con su trabajo, saldrá adelante. Es decir toma como estático algo que es dinámico pues existe un claro riesgo regulatorio. Por cierto, en este mismo sentido, resulta un auténtico desvarío quitar la licencia a Uber en Londres por algunos casos puntualísimos. Los servicios de masas funcionan en base a estadísticas que premian a los buenos y sacan del sistema a los malos.

Además de temas regulatorios (máxima atención porque los políticos bien procuran que tengamos alta dependencia de ellos; estoy seguro de que los romanos cuando escribieron que el hecho de no conocer la ley no era un eximente para no cumplirla, no se encontraron con volúmenes complicadísimos e ilógicos de leyes y reglamentos), hay que tener en cuenta aspectos personales y vitales. Lógicamente, no se puede prever todo, sin embargo tener analizados algunos escenarios de crisis básicos y no dar en general las cosas por sentadas, puede ser nuestra mejor ayuda para una vida plena.


Kevin Hassett

Kevin Hassett is Trump's new economic advisor (link). This economist has been politically involved in the past. You can check his profile here.

One of his most famous books is Dow 36,000 and, as Krugman rightly points out, it is full of basic errors (critic here). So, even if he advocates for the free market, we wonder if he is a good technical pick or a biased wannabe politician.