When you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing; when you see that money is flowing to those who deal not in goods, but in favors; when you see that men get rich more easily by graft than by work, and your laws no longer protect you against them, but protect them against you. . . you may know that your society is doomed.
Ayn Rand in ‘Atlas Shrugged’
Andy Hoffman has only been on board for 24-hours, but in today’s newsletter he already lets it all hang out. It would be unfair to say that he presents his side of the debate because when you read his rant it becomes clear that in Andy’s fertile mind, there is no debate! It’s just that one-sided. My job, as Editor of the Miles Franklin Daily, is not to be a moderator. When I hired Andy Hoffman, I promised him that I would not tell him what to write, and I will live up to that promise. Trust me, no one can change Andy’s mind. He is as strong-headed about his views as anyone I have ever come into contact with – more so than even me.
I have traveled down the same road as Andy – except I started my journey 10-years earlier. I was oian unwavering precious metals bull by 2001, and was one of Bill Murphy’s LeMetropole Café’s earliest converts. I was influenced in my views on gold in the mid-80s by Richard Russell and Bob Chapman and I started writing a pro-gold and silver, anti-government and anti-fed newsletter in 1989-1990. It was a monthly subscription, hard copy newsletter called, Future Economic Trends. (Geeze, this was so long ago that I wrote FET on a word processor, not a computer.) I wrote it for two years after the untimely death of its founder, Dr. John King, who was a good friend of mine. At the time, FET was one of but two “deflationary” newsletters, the other by Vern Myers, in a world populated with nothing but the inflationary viewpoint. As usual, I was very EARLY to the table. My early insight into deflation, coupled with a very comprehensive understanding of the inflation side of the debate honed my “open-minded” approach to today’s economic landscape.
I started writing the Miles Franklin Quarterly (on an early PC) when I formed my new company in 1990. By the late 90s, my wife and my son Andy, who has been at my side since 1991, coerced me into writing it monthly, instead of quarterly. With the growth of the Internet, after the turn-of-the-century, the monthly became a “virtual” weekly. And a few years ago the weekly became a daily. Yes, I have been doing this for a long, long time and through it all, I have established myself as one of the pillars in our small community.
What separated me from most of the people that I follow and respect was that my perception of gold and silver were influenced by the fact that I also own a precious metals company. Does that make me one-sided and less than objective? Maybe, but no more so than Andy Hoffman is with his views. Being certain of your views does not mean that you are automatically wrong, nor does it mean that you are absolutely correct either. However, that said, I will stand on my record for the last three decades of being right, often enough to have become rather successful and to have birthed one of the most highly-respected precious metals firms in a very competitive industry. Miles Franklin’s rise in our industry was due in large part to the Miles Franklin Newsletter. The firm was built on my philosophy that stressed EDUCATION, CUSTOMER SERVICE and COMPETITIVE PRICING, in that order. We didn’t “sell” gold and silver. We educated our readers and clients “WHY they NEEDED gold and silver. If they agreed, they became our clients. Many of you have been with use since the 90s! From the start, I sold gold and silver as “an insurance policy,” not as an investment. To my knowledge, and I have been in the industry for over 28-years, I was one of the FIRST to take this approach – beginning in 1983. Very few in this business took the time to educate their clients. The coin industry was populated by coin salesmen, not by intellectuals. Most coin companies and virtually all of their salesmen merely sold coins for profit at a price. You see, the industry sprung up as an offshoot of small mom and pop coin dealers, some of whom grew into large national companies. There were two exceptions – highly respected firms that did discuss economics as well as sell their coins. They were Blanchard and Investment Rarities. Jim Cook and Jim Blanchard were teachers, but their salesmen were not. In the 80s, these two firms were the elephants in the room. I took my own path and I decided that it was the “WHY” that was important, not the “WHAT”. Because of my unique (at the time) understanding of the reasons why people needed precious metals, I became the Company Spokesman for Investment Rarities and traveled the globe on their behalf, speaking at financial seminars (like the Howard Ruff Conferences and SMI conferences) around the globe. I was on the same podiums as Doug Casey, Gary North and James Dale Davidson in the mid-80s. But my speaking career morphed into writing – and running my own business, Miles Franklin, which I formed in 1990.
I am often asked where the name Miles Franklin came from. Well, when I started the firm, I had a partner. My full name is David MILES Schectman and my partner’s name was Donald FRANKLIN Shiff. Don and I went our separate ways in 1995 but we are still close friends. There you have it. Miles Franklin was formed, NOT as a gold and silver firm, but as one of three domestic companies that worked with Swiss annuity companies through Swiss providers like BFI and Lattman. We were very successful in this venture until the Minnesota Commerce Department decided that we were placing “unregistered” insurance products here in Minnesota. Amy Klobuchar, now a Senator from Minnesota, was the person who put us out of business by issuing a Cease and Desist order. From that moment on, Miles Franklin became a gold and silver firm – at a time when virtually no one wanted to hear about gold and silver. Yes, I was beating a dead horse, trying to convince my readers that they needed “financial insurance” in the form of gold and silver. That was about the time Andy Hoffman went to work on Wall Street as an analyst. And now fate has brought us together, twin brothers from different mothers.
The growth of Miles Franklin, “the precious metals company” can be directly attributed to two things – the onset of the bull market and the increased responsibilities that were handed off to my son, Andy Schectman. Andy has risen like a rock star in this industry. He is now, the driving force behind the firm.
Is it just a coincidence that gold and silver rocketed UP when Andy Hoffman joined Miles Franklin? I knew his rants were powerful, but could they be this powerful??? If you were to ask Andy he would say, “Absolutely! He caused it all to happen!” True or not, it is refreshing to watch my net worth rise for a change. It has been a month and a half of disappointment. Dare we hope that this chapter is over? Yeh, let’s be positive this time. Holiday time is fast approaching and it’s time to be Merry.
Our friend Rick Rule, the consummate resource expert, is buying platinum.
Rick says, “Platinum is now cheaper than gold, and that rarely happens. It won’t last.”