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The markets are closed today, for Martin Luther King Day. In todays daily, Bob Chapman has a lot of interesting things to say about Europe. I have inserted a few paragraphs from the Dines Letter and Alf Field gives a very educational presentation (via Elliott Wave interpretation) on why gold is headed to $4,500.
When the subject of “the top one percent” comes up – what is the range of the richest one percent of Americans? I was sorta surprised to find out that the lower end starts at $380,000 for a household. This “elite” group receives just under a fifth of the country’s pre-tax income and they pay just over a fourth of all federal taxes. They received nearly one quarter of their income from capital gains.
They work longer hours, are often born into favorable circumstances, and are far more likely to be self-employed.
According to the Federal Reserve, which uses a broader measure of income that includes capital gains, the cutoff, as of 2007, is $690,000.
My son Andy Schectman arrived yesterday and we will spend most of the week together. Then, we get a rare week with no visitors, which will allow me time to “gird my loins” in anticipation of a week plus visit by Backwoods Jack (and Mrs. Backwoods, the ever-spectacular Judy). I am hoping to God that we don’t kill each other, but there is always the possibility that I could die laughing, during a conversation with Backwoods. Without any squirrels to shoot, he could get extra ornery. Miami will be a new experience for Backwoods and Judy. They rarely venture South of Jupiter Island, further up Florida’s Atlantic coast.

(Susan Schectman, Backwoods Jack and Mrs. Backwoods, aka Judy – Backwoods is asking the waiter if they have squirrel on the menu)
Jim and Diane Cook spent the last three days with us. Jim gave me my first job in the precious metals industry, in 1983, at his firm, Investment Rarities (Michael Spector, Kathie Bortnem and Bob Sichel all worked there with me in 1983). We are the best of friends and it is always nice to spend time with Jim and discuss the markets. Jim has been in the gold business since the mid-seventies and is very savvy. His business is strong, as is ours, and he also expects a good year for gold and silver in 2012 and an even better one in 2013. Jim and I have a different marketing strategy and a very different client base, and are not in competition.
This whole Florida experience is an eye-opener. South Florida is a world onto itself. An incredible density of people, and an eye-opening amount of real “wealth,” surround us. I have seen more ultra-expensive cars than I thought possible. Bentley’s, Ferrari’s and Rolls are everywhere. This place is a veritable United Nations. Every day I hear as many people speaking Spanish as English, and you can throw in a lot of Russian and Hebrew too. We have met people from Colombia, Venezuela, Russia, Israel and Brazil in our building. New York and New Jersey too, of course. There are very few mid-westerners here, though we did meet a few folks from Chicago. It is a very social place. Everyone has a dog – usually small and most likely white. Our Bichon, Ms. Shuggie, loves it here. She has never been around so many dogs, and for a change, most are her size. The three of us – Shuggie, Susan and me – have never been happier. This is the perfect setting for me to write the daily.