James Altucher: The economy is completely screwed – which is why you need these stocks

“I’m scared. Imagine you’re the passenger and a coke-addict speed addict drunk is driving the car and it’s on one of those James Bond cliffs where one wrong move and everybody dies in a firebomb,” James Altucher writes for Yahoo Finance. “That’s where the economy is. I’m not a doom and gloom guy. I’m an optimist.”

“The average person is screwed. There’s nothing left to help us. That’s all you need to know about the economy. I’m on the board of a billion revenues temp agency. I can tell you, it’s not pleasant what is happening. Don’t believe the employment numbers. Look at the part-time numbers. Look at underemployment. Look at people leaving the ‘numbers’ behind,” Altucher writes. “Which is the good news. Because there is a separate economy… the innovation economy. So if you want to avoid riding over the cliff in economy #1, you must go into economy #2. Here are the trends coming in the next ten years and the stocks to keep an eye on.”

• Lithium shortage: Every car needs batteries. A car is just a computer with a car app on it now. And computers need better batteries. All the lithium is in..guess where…China and a tiny unheard-of country called Afghanistan. Why do you think we’re still there?

• Old people: Every ten years the average age of death is rising by 2.2 years.

• The OFFENSE industry: Too many people mistakenly call this the defense industry. What exactly is America defending against? We have military in 74 countries. We’re in ten different wars in the past few years. And the government doesn’t hire tiny companies to offend for us. They hire big companies that then hire the tiny companies.

Clean energy: And by clean energy I mean coal. You ever see those vast tracts of land with those ugly wind farms that don’t work? Land that could’ve been used for food? You get coal by mining straight down, and still fuels half the country with electricity.

The leaders: There are three clear leaders that are not going anywhere and keep out-innovating each other: AAPL [Apple], AMZN [Amazon], and GOOG [Google].

Tons more – including Altucher’s specific stock picks – in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: There is no market in which they all compete where Google or Amazon have out-innovated Apple (and, no, accumulating mapping data for a longer period of time, is not innovating).

[Thanks to MacDailyNews readers too numerous to mention individually for the heads up.]

23 Comments

    1. Except at the very start: cars don’t use Lithium. He may be an optimist but he is an ignoramus at the same time. And I’d like to know who gave up farming to plant wind farms that don’t work? The only place I have seen wind farms is in the desert or on mountain tops and he is right about one thing, a lot of them are broken.

      And if he doesn’t know who we are defending ourselves against then he hasn’t seen the news recently or know history.

      Well, he has zero cred with me.

      1. Cars may not use lithium batteries yet, but they are clearly the coming technology in rechargeable batteries. Wind farms, whether they replace crops, grazing, or whatever else the land may be used for, are economically unsustainable without massive subsidies. The amount of land consumed for wind farms is huge compared to the generation produced.

        As for the Department of Offense, we are defending ourselves against goat herders who have to make their bombs out of fertilizer and deliver them on foot. Why we need to spend $1T per year on a DoD budget that includes nuclear aircraft carriers, ICBM submarines, and tanks and fighter aircraft nobody wants I don’t know.

        1. I am surrounded by windmills here in the midwest. They are RARELY broken down, and the windmills are all situated in farmland, but you know what? They take up VERY LITTLE farmland space.

          How do I know? I’ve driven right out to the tiny patch of land they take up. They occupy maybe one acre in a field that numbers in the thousands of acres.

          1. Agreed. That was a solid miss by Altucher. Cows and crops coexist peacefully with wind turbines. Birds, not so much. And coal is not clean, from beginning to end. I have relatives in West Virginia that can attest to the environmental destruction and human risks associated with coal mining, and that is only the first step in the process.

          2. “Biglow Canyon Wind Farm is an electricity generating wind farm facility in Sherman County, Oregon, United States. It is owned by Portland, Oregon based Portland General Electric and began operations in 2007. With the completion of phase 3 of the project it has a generating capacity of 450 megawatts. It is located roughly five miles (8 km) northeast of Wasco, Oregon,[1] and about ten miles (16 km) southeast of Rufus, Oregon. Biglow Canyon Wind Farm covers 25,000 acres.”

            450 Megawatts on 25,000 acres…A coal fired steam plant in Montana generates 2300 megawatts on about 50 acres.

            1. What’s your point? How much area is covered by the acid rain downwind of your future 50-acre Superfund site? Wind energy is here to stay because it works. Coal would be unaffordable if one bothered to calculate the environmental damage it has done and the direct health costs that filthy industry has caused.

            2. Wind generation is a nice fantasy, supported by massive government subsidies. It’s non-dispatchable. It’s the most expensive cost of generation. I was in the power generation industry for 30 years. I’m familiar with the real world numbers. A natural gas fired combined cycle 500 MW unit takes up about 5 acres of land and generates electricity at about 4¢ per kWh. That plant will last 50 years with minimal maintenance expense, long after the capital costs have been recovered.

              This compares to 450 MW of wind power on 25,000 acres producing power at 18¢ per kWh. That 25,000 acres has to be leased or purchased, then amortized over the life of the project. The equipment wears out every few years and has to be replaced and it’s not cheap. Capital costs are never completely recovered. Maintenance is continual and expensive. Of the commercial grade wind locations in Oregon, for example, 85% of them are in the scenic Columbia Gorge area. Wind power, as it is implemented at the moment, is viable only due to legislated requirements and subsidies.

      2. Try again, hoffbegone. Many hybrids and plug-in vehicles use lithium-based batteries.

        So-called “rare earth” metals are actually not that rare. Granted, China currently supplies the bulk of the market and Afghanistan is rich in valuable metals, but the U.S. has a reasonable amount of its own rare earth resources. However, since the mining and processing produces toxic byproducts, we prefer to have some other country deal with the waste.

    1. i thought it was chile, but bolivia is pretty close. point is, i don’t think afghanistan is anywhere on the top 10 even. and still most of the lithium is in seawater anyway.

  1. Whenever an editorial tries to scare people, my first thought is what their agenda is? That leads to fact checking on the web, which usually blows the editorial’s premise apart.

    So, YMMV. Consume news/opinion with care.

    1. …From the same guys/Cable TV network selling (1) gold coins, (2) catheters, (3) LifeAlert, (4) more donations to a foreign ally that already has nukes and gets more than $4 billion annually in military aid from the US, (5) male dysfunction drugs…

  2. So, let’s start a running additions list for Klown Kars list-of-list,,,

    Number 1 source of Lithum is BOLIVIA… Has this been mentioned ? Nope… Not a good indicator that this knucklehead knows what he’s talking about, Afghanistan…. Not.

    ‘Offense’ industry… First, you need to try and affect the governmental Klowns that are STARTING wars… The small companies only serve a speciality niche… It’s always the big companies who have FORCED the no bid world… Get OUT of the way.

    Once again, stupidity reigns… THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS CLEAN COAL – PERIOD!! Move on… He clearly has a belief that the wind will stop blowing… Not likely…

    With just these named in the snippet highlighted here, i can’t wait to get to the full article… Altucher writes for Yahooze…. That should tell you most of what you need to know…AND IGNORE.

    1. Hmmmmm, where I am today it’s going to be 90 degrees F. I’m going to run my air conditioning equipment. The wind? It’s predicted to be 2 mph all day. Here’s a newsflash for you. Commercial electricity is generated at the time of consumption. When you turn on a light switch or an air conditioner a generator somewhere on the grid has to immediately increase it’s generation. That capability is called dispatchablilty. Forms of generation with what’s called spinning reserve are dispatchable. Wind power does not have that capability. It must generate at full power all the time, or not generate at all. There’s a minimum wind speed involved in that decision. So wind power can’t allow for variations in load. What we end up with is the ludicrous situation where the most expensive power, wind, operates at full capacity whenever there is wind, and less expensive generation is shut down to follow the demand. The problem with that is that those less expensive forms of generation are very much less efficient when operating a partial capacity. Thus, using wind power raises the costs of all power produced. If we could store wind generated power in DC battery banks that would eliminate these problems, but that’s not economically feasible.

  3. Apple will, at some point, go into “personal robotics.” Apple will probably buy a Japanese company as the starting point. Japan is pioneering this new industry, because there are not enough (human) caregivers for their aging population. A robot that can help take care of an elderly person can do MANY other useful things.

    A “driverless” Google car is just a single-tasking robot. Apple will create “multi-tasking” robots, that can drive cars.

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