The #1 Threat To Your Investment Strategy Is Not Being Able To See The Forest For The Trees...
“Before you proceed, step back and look at the big picture, lest you act rashly on raw impulse.”
~ Epictetus, Philosopher, 55-135 AD
My readers tell me I’m a straight shooter. They say I tell it like it is. And they like that because it helps them see the entire forest and not get seduced by the allure of any one tree.
So, since you’re on this page looking for answers, let me get straight to the point…
On this page I’m going to invite you to subscribe to my Tree Rings report. It’s only $198 per year.
As you’ll see, that’s a steal because…
- It’s a compilation of critical data points that help sophisticated investors make better decisions with their money.
- It’s not about value stock picks. It’s not about quick in and out trades. And it’s certainly not a clever disguise to sell you on some “must have” stock story of the day.
- Better yet, there’s no fear mongering.
- And best of all, there’s no hype.
- In fact, subscribers tell me there’s nothing else like it
Consider this recent message we received:
Kind words. And probably similar results to what you’re looking for.
Even so, and even though the annual subscription comes out to a little more than $4 per issue, you probably still have some questions.
So, on this page I’m going to answer 8 questions.
I’ve been told these are the 8 questions you, the reader, need answered in order to feel confident about subscribing today.
Here’s the first question…
How Do I Know Tree Rings Can Help Me?
If you’re here on the internet reading this page right now, then chances are good that you’re looking to fill in some nagging holes or gaps that could have a direct impact on your investment strategy if not filled.
And that makes sense because even more than a decade later, the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis has left us reeling for answers.
We need to understand not just economics, but political economics, too.
A failure to investigate political economics can lead to either significant actual loss or significant opportunity loss on major investments.
Let’s take a look back at three examples from the 2019 issues of Tree Rings…
Look Back #1
Manufacturing Slow Down NOT a Surprise
January 25, 2019 Issue – My research spotted an unusual stat that made me sit up and take notice. In my letter that week I wrote:
“The US E&& sector hasn’t had a single bond sale since November.”
I then explained how not raising capital in a very capital intensive sector was often a leading indicator of manufacturing weakness. Weakness that would likely show up in US ISM reports.
Just 9 months later in early October, this headline made its rounds on the mainstream financial news sites:
Few others were talking about this in January, which means few were making moves in their portfolio to prepare for, protect against, or profit from this move.
However, as a Tree Rings subscriber, you’d be ahead of the news and able to adjust your investing strategy.
Here’s another example…
Look Back #2
Getting Ahead of the Gold Rush
January 31, 2019 Issue – Gold can be tricky. Does one invest directly for safety? Play it, and perhaps miners, for profits? Something else?
No matter how you play or use Gold, one thing is clear…
You want to know what is happening BEFORE everyone else figures it out. BEFORE everyone else starts piling in.
That’s why in the last week of January 2019 I showed how the Central bank demand for gold was the highest it had been in almost 40 years.
However knowing WHAT is not as useful as it could be unless one knows WHY.
For this reason, I also gave readers a big picture view of WHY this might be happening… why it might continue… and why that might mean the price of gold could continue to rise.
This is what we mean when we say connecting the dots. Looking at the big picture stuff… including past, present, and future long term political and global economic plans.
Now, if you were just following the price of gold and not the geo-political and/or global economic games being played behind the scenes, then by May of 2019 you might think I was off base.
But then in June, the stuff going on behind the scenes started to show-up in the price of gold as you can see in this chart from late September 2019:
Our readers are loving being in the know too…
Look Back #3
Fed Denials: "It's almost Biblical"
March 1, 2019 Issue – I alerted readers to ignore the denials of MMT coming out of The Fed over the previous month. Two denials in back to back weeks that, in our eyes, hinted at a real acceleration in events that some would call “trouble” we were describing.
Rather than try to predict or guess about these fed denials based on what I thought, I thought the best way to serve my readers would be to reference great writers and thinkers like Liaquat Ahamed… to achieve a historical perspective… and then take a dive into the numbers for a look at what was going on behind the scenes.
Once I felt like I had a clear big picture view, I shared my thoughts, and called for the Fed to address these signs of “trouble” in late 2019 or the first half of 2020.
Well, we didn’t have to wait long.
On October 16th of 2019 – just 6 months after I wrote about it in Tree Rings – this headline hit The Wall Street Journal:
I could go on with more examples but I hope you can see by these three look backs into past issues demonstrate the type of work we do and why our readers find it so valuable…
Let’s take a look at another question investors ask me… and one I had to ask myself in 2008…
What's Holding Me Back?
In a word, information. As an investor, information can be both your most loyal Ally, and your most cunning enemy. The challenge, of course, is being able to tell the two apart.
Living and working on Wall Street through the financial crisis of 2008 made me realize many things I thought I knew were, well, wrong.
This realization sent me off on a journey of new learning. I knew that I needed multi-dimensional thinking. To have more than one lens to look through.
And I thought if I needed this, my clients might benefit from it as well.
So I read – a lot. And I began understanding that there was more to see, if you had the eyes to see it, and more to hear – if you had the ears to hear it.
That’s why every week I comb through hundreds of pages, some of it well-known, some of it obscure.
But here’s the thing…
Even if you did know about all these sources, you would have to spend over $1,000 per year just to access some of these sources. Sources like…
Wall Street Journal
Buerau of Labor Statistics
And these are just the starting sources.
Because when a story or stat catches my attention and requires a deep dive, then there’s no telling where I might end up.
Now let’s assume you knew about all these sources. And let’s say you spent the money to subscribe to all of these sources (and others).
You’d STILL need to spend HOURS pouring through hundreds… even thousands… of pages per week.
Week in. Week out. Month after month. Year after year.
For me that looks like locking myself in my office from Tuesday through Thursday every week. No interruptions. My wife calls it “going into my cave”.
I scour my sources. I turn over rocks. Often, I have no idea what I’m looking for until I see it. And that’s on purpose. I’m not trying to validate my beliefs about what I think is going to happen.
Instead, I’m open to letting the information tell me where things are headed.
Then on Friday, I deliver it all to you in one easy to read report. More on that in a minute.
Now, my guess is even if you enjoy investing and keeping up on the markets and politics, you probably don’t have 40+ hours per week to dedicate to this stuff.
And that’s a problem because that’s exactly what’s required if you want to stay ahead of the trends and not get blind-sided by something you could’ve seen coming had you been able to connect the dots.
Who or What is to Blame?
I’m not really into blaming others. Not because there’s no one to blame but because blaming doesn’t help you become a better investor. Blaming doesn’t put money in your account.
With that said, it is critical you realize there are forces, internal and external, that can deceive, derail, and destroy even the best investment strategies.
However, simply being aware of these forces makes you a far better investor. An investor able to see the entire forest beyond the trees immediately in front of you.
What kind of forces?
That’s a good question. There are literally dozens of forces working against you as you try to grow your portfolio and make smart investment decisions.
For now, let’s just take a look at two examples that come to mind. One example is an internal force and the other example is an external force…
188 Ways To Make The Wrong Decision
Did you know our brains have 188 cognitive biases?
These biases cause us to…
… gather information from the wrong, or limited, sources,
… seek out information to confirm existing beliefs.
… and fail to remember events the way they actually happened.
You’ve likely heard of these biases. They include:
- The Bandwagon effect
- The Blind Spot bias
- Confirmation bias ㅤ
- The Ostrich effect ㅤ
- And about 184 others…
As you can see in the graphic, there are 4 types of problems that trigger these biases. Problems our brains are constantly trying to solve….
- Trigger One – problems involving information overload;
- Trigger Two – lack of meaning;
- Trigger Three – the need to act fast; and
- Trigger Four – how to know what needs to be remembered for later.
Quite often these biases are like dominoes.
For example, information overload can lead you to FEEL like you need to act fast.
Or, a lack of meaning might have you disregard a critical piece of information that should have been saved for later.
The bottom line is your brain, your emotions, and even marketers, are triggering these biases all the time.
These biases are real. And they are always being triggered.
Fortunately, all is not lost.
In just a minute, I’ll show you how you can slow down or eliminate these triggers from being pulled when making investment decisions.
But first, let’s look at one example of an external force at play in your investment strategy…
Why History Books Might Be The Most Undervalued Assets on Wall Street...
For better or worse, these young men and women have influence over the markets.
Now, here’s the concern as quantified by Bloomberg.com:
- 30% of traders are so young they’ve NEVER experienced anything other than zero interest rates.
- 66% of traders have no adult memories of the dot-com crash of 2000.
- Only 43% of traders are old enough to remember the 2000 dot-com crash and the 2007 credit crisis–the two most significant economic cycles of the last 20 years.
And by the way, those stats are from 2015. The average Wall Street trader today would be a half-decade further removed from those events.
The problem is these young traders and market makers have very little historical context for what appears to occur in markets and in Geopolitics.
Relatively few of them have even read about it in textbooks.
In short, they (and those who are unknowingly following their analysis) have no perspective on what could be coming next…
Why Subscribe Now?
Listen, if you follow me on twitter or listen to my podcast then you know there are lots of reasons to stay ahead of the news right now. Lots of reasons to take a step back and get a clear view of the big picture… to connect the dots.
For instance, I could talk about societal and generational shifts that are happening like those unfolding as (eerily) predicted in the book The Fourth Turning back in 1997. Shifts that typically create chaos and crisis like the 2008 crisis. According to the authors, there’s one more crisis coming.
When? Most likely within 24 months.
I could also talk about how we are now in the longest economic expansion in history. The previous longest expansion was 120 months from March 1991 to March 2001.
This current cycle surpassed that mark in July 2019 even though this expansion has experienced far slower growth than previous expansions.
Of course, that brings up all kinds of questions.
- How strong is this expansion?
- How long will this expansion last?
- How quickly, or ugly, will it end?
- And how will it affect your investments this time?
- Will it be as bad as 2008? Worse?
ㅤAnd then there’s…
- the student loan crisis
- the soaring US debt problem
- the political unrest–domestic and global
- the social unrest–domestic and global
- the ever increasing speed of technology that is changing how we do business and who we do business with
- and soooo much more
Any one of these things could cause the next shoe to drop.
The thing is, even if we knew the timing of the next shoe dropping, there’s also the matter of analyzing what the “next shoe dropping” might look like, which is not as straightforward as many think.
It’s a nasty cocktail of stress, anxiety, and uncertainty for many investors.
But here’s the thing…
Tree Rings offers a lens you can look through to see what may be developing out there. You simply need to know where to find the information and how to piece it together, how to connect the dots.
Well, actually, you don’t need to know HOW to do it because that’s exactly what I do every week for my Tree Rings subscribers.
But, you might be thinking…
Why Should I Trust You?
By the way, my name is Luke Gromen. You may know me from Twitter or other social media channels. Maybe you’ve seen my Videos.
Then again, you may not know me at all and just stumbled onto this page or saw an ad and landed here.
Either way is ok. And either way, I’m glad you’re here.
Now, since you’re still reading (or at least skimming) this page, you probably would like to know who you’ll be hearing from each week if you decide to go ahead and subscribe today.
So without getting too boring, here’s the short version of my story and why I believe I can help you…
Prior to starting Forest for the Trees (FFTT, LLC) in 2014, I worked on Wall Street as an analyst and salesperson. To date, I’ve got more than 20 years worth of experience in investment research under my belt.
It was while I was on Wall Street that I began to see a huge chasm between how information was being received and compiled to how it was then being interpreted and delivered.
It was causing a silo effect – information being hoarded rather than shared openly between interested parties.
Data was sold on the market, much like gold and platinum, but we were missing the bigger picture. There were few who bothered connecting the dots or explaining what this information actually meant.
Basically, investors, analysts, and salespeople found they were often “missing the forest for the trees,” so to speak.
And that is exactly why my company FFTT, LLC and the newsletter you’re reading about, Tree Rings, exists…
My journey has helped create a new perspective through which I view the world and which, as mentioned in the “look back” examples above, has demonstrated to have predictive value in the past decade.
If that doesn’t answer the question “Why should I trust you?”, maybe this will…
I believe so strongly in the type of research I now provide through FFTT and Tree Rings that I resigned my partnership position with a sizable regional brokerage firm so that I could provide 100% independent research for my clients.
I needed to be able to speak freely… to be allowed to be wrong when new information presented itself… to look back and use history as a tool to balance technical or fundamental thinking.
I simply couldn’t do that in my existing seat, I felt I had to create and launch my own firm to be able to call things as I saw them.
And now, subscribers are responding with appreciation…
So, I put everything on the line because I believe so strongly in this research.
ㅤIf you’re still reading your next question might be…
How Does A Tree Rings Subscription Work?
“We learn most readily, most naturally, most effectively, when we start with the big picture…”
~ Alfie Kohn, Author
Since 1995, I’ve helped my clients understand their investment process by creating a weekly report highlighting 10 vital pieces of information.
I called it, “The 10 Most Interesting Things I’ve Seen This Week.”
Not the most evocative title, I know, but my clients loved it.
Over the years, my report has been modified, renamed, polished, and imbued so you’re getting only the most important stories, coupled with my insights, that truly benefit you.
It is that framework that we use and try to share in every issue of Tree Rings.
No hype. No pitching. No BS. No fluff.
Tree Rings focuses on helping you look through a multi-dimensional lens in order to make better investment decisions.
The weekly insights inside each issue are like the lines that connect the dots that make your investing picture clear.
For just $198, you’ll get an annual subscription to Tree Rings. In each weekly issue you’ll get:
In short, it’s everything you need and nothing you don’t.
With each issue you’ll see more clearly and understand more deeply how to “connect the dots.”
You’ll feel more confident as you read each issue and you begin to realize you finally have the kind of unbiased information you’ve been looking for… information that allows you to take action based on your unique investment strategies.
How Do I Get My First Issue?
First, I should be clear that a subscription to Tree Rings isn’t for everyone.
It’s not a pick of the day kind of newsletter. It’s not going to get you all excited about “The Next Microsoft of China” or some mysterious sounding “Little-Known Market Glitch That Turns Value Investors Into Millionaires in 3 Clicks”.
In fact, it may even scare you a bit at first. But the longer you’re a reader, the more you’ll see how everything fits together.
That’s because Tree Rings gets in the trenches… behind the scenes… ahead of the mainstream news.
It’s not about hype or promises.
It’s about looking at the big picture.
It’s about seeing the entire forest and not getting seduced by one cool looking tree.
So if you like what you’ve read on this page, then you’ll probably like having a subscription to Tree Rings too. I like the way this subscriber said it when I asked him:
“What value does subscribing to Tree Rings give you?”
Or this answer to the same question:
To get started cutting through the noise, simply click the button below:
You’ll get a confirmation within the hour and login access to our platform where you can find all of the past Tree Rings reports – the current report will be added each Friday by 4pm Eastern.
Then, each Friday by 4pm Eastern, you will get a new issue.
Read through it.
Track the stories.
Put it to the test…
… maybe even with a cup of coffee like this subscriber:
If within 30 days you do not see the value, let us know and we’ll give you a full refund.
But my guess is, you’ll soon value your subscription as much as these subscribers do…
All I Need To Do Is Wait For The Next Tree Rings
I Learn Something New Every Week
Like a LightHouse Beacon Cutting Through the Fog
Truth is, you won’t know if Tree Rings is right for you until you give it a try. So give it a try for 30 days. If you don’t like it, let us know and we’ll give you a full refund.
Ok, last question that might be on your mind…
What If I Don't Subscribe?
If you do not subscribe, that is okay, like I said above, Tree Rings is not for everyone. I’ll keep reading and researching all my sources. I’ll keep putting the best, most important findings into each issue of Tree Rings. And I’ll keep sending it out to the people who are subscribed.
So that’s me, but what about you? The way I see it you there are three ways you can go from here…
Do absolutely nothing...
If you already have everything you want then you don’t need the information inside Tree Rings.
However, if you would like to be one of the investors who will often be out ahead of the news that leaves you with two other options…
Do it yourself
You absolutely can spend the time, money and energy required to do what I do each week in Tree Rings.
For me, that required…
- spending nearly 25 years in investment research, ㅤ
- developing a methodology that _____
- a robust and “Rolodex” of contacts and sources
- and 60+ hours per week doing research.
Now, maybe that sounds like fun to you. Maybe you’ve got some of those pieces and you want to figure out the rest. That’s cool. I get it! I love this stuff too.
But all of this in hopes that you’ll be able to piece together the information you find, without getting overwhelmed, in a way that allows you to protect what you’ve got and/or profit from what’s next?
If you’re willing to work hard and not afraid to spend the time, money, and discipline required to “lock yourself in your cave each week” then you might be able to pull it off.
Let me do the heavy lifting for you.
I’ll put my resources and experience to work for you.
I’ll dig deep, scour hundreds of pages online, read thoughts from the greatest financial minds of all time, chase obscure data, and whatever else is required.
Then, I’ll package up the most important points each week and deliver it to your inbox.
All you need to do is log in, maybe grab the drink of your choice, and read through the pages of that week’s Tree Rings report.
Then, make any adjustments, or none at all, to your investment strategy.
So ask yourself…
Of these three options, what’s going to be easier for you? Which is going to give you the consistent insights you need over time?
You see, there are really only two types of people in this world…
Those who talk about achieving their goals without ever taking any action to make it happen…
And those who are ready to take action when the opportunity presents itself.
Most people will tell you they want to be happier, less stressed, more informed, not swayed by the news, etc…
But we both know very few actually create an environment to make it happen.
Even so, here’s what I know…
Only you can decide. I can’t reach through the screen and make you do anything. Nor would I want to.
So, if you choose to subscribe, I look forward to seeing your name added to our list of readers and to helping you “connect the dots.”
If not, that’s ok too.
Either way, I hope you find what you’re looking for.