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 


 ㅤDear Reader,

 ㅤMy 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.  

ㅤSo, since you’re on this page looking for answers, let me get straight to the point…  

ㅤOn this page I’m going to invite you to subscribe to my Tree Rings report. It’s only $96 per year.  

ㅤAs you’ll see, that’s a steal because…  

ㅤIt’s a compilation of critical data points that help sophisticated investors make better decisions with their money.  

ㅤIt’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.  

ㅤBetter yet, there’s no fear mongering.  

ㅤAnd best of all, there’s no hype.  

ㅤIn fact, subscribers tell me there’s nothing else like it.  

ㅤConsider this recent message we received: 

“Thanks so much for your Tree Rings [report]. I've felt like something wasn't right in markets for 3+ years, but without the broad context and being able to see the whole forest for the trees, it's a paralyzing position to be in as an individual investor. Now I know what I'm betting on and more important - why.” -E.K

ㅤOr this...

“[Tree Rings] has made me more confident in my investing and has allowed me to investigate trades and investments I would have normally overlooked”-J.W.

ㅤOr this...

“Luke is a smart person always looking behind the everyday news and bulk of seemingly disconnected events. Release of his weekly [Tree Rings] newsletter is an important milestone for me and I always look forward to the next issue.”-A.A.

 ㅤKind words. And probably similar results to what you’re looking for. 

I've Heard Enough. Sign Me Up

 ㅤEven so, and even though the annual subscription comes out to less than $2 per issue, you probably still have some questions.  

 ㅤSo, on this page I’m going to answer 8 questions.  

 ㅤI’ve been told these are the 8 questions you, the reader, need answered in order to feel confident about subscribing today.  

 ㅤHere’s the first question...  

How Do I Know Tree Rings Can Help Me?

 ㅤIf 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.  

 ㅤAnd that makes sense because even more than a decade later, the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis has left us reeling for answers.  

 ㅤWe need to understand not just economics, but political economics, too.  

 ㅤA failure to investigate political economics can lead to either significant actual loss or significant opportunity loss on major investments.  

 ㅤLet’s take a look back at three examples from the 2019 issues of Tree Rings…

Look Back #1

Manufacturing Slow Down NOT a Surprise

 ㅤJanuary 25, 2019 Issue - My research spotted an unusual stat that made me sit up and take notice. In my letter that week I wrote:  

 ㅤ“The US E&& sector hasn’t had a single bond sale since November.”  

 ㅤI 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.  

 ㅤJust 9 months later in early October, this headline made its rounds on the mainstream financial news sites:  

 ㅤFew 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.  

 ㅤHowever, as a Tree Rings subscriber, you’d be ahead of the news and able to adjust your investing strategy.  

 ㅤHere’s another example...  

Look Back #2

Getting Ahead of the Gold Rush

 ㅤJanuary 31, 2019 Issue - Gold can be tricky. Does one invest directly for safety? Play it, and perhaps miners, for profits? Something else?  

 ㅤNo matter how you play or use Gold, one thing is clear…  

 ㅤYou want to know what is happening BEFORE everyone else figures it out. BEFORE everyone else starts piling in.  

 ㅤThat’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.  

 ㅤHowever knowing WHAT is not as useful as it could be unless one knows WHY.  

 ㅤFor 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.  

 ㅤThis 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.  

 ㅤNow, 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.  

 ㅤBut 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:  

  ㅤOur readers are loving being in the know too…

 “Transformed the way I think about the $$ and geopolitics. Also had no gold position prior and now I have about 5% of portfolio in GLD.”-S.M  

Look Back #2

Fed Denials: "It's almost Biblical"

 ㅤMarch 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.  

 ㅤRather 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.  

 ㅤOnce 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.  

 ㅤWell, we didn’t have to wait long.  

 ㅤOn October 16th of 2019--just 6 months after I wrote about it in Tree Rings--this headline hit The Wall Street Journal:  

 ㅤI 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…  

“I've found that the Tree Rings service provides insights and narratives that has helped me be more knowledgeable about the macro landscape, which has resulted in allowing me to become a better investor.” - H.N.

 ㅤLet’s take a look at another question investors ask me… and one I had to ask myself in 2008...

What's Holding Me Back?

 ㅤIn 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.

 ㅤLiving and working on Wall Street through the financial crisis of 2008 made me realize many things I thought I knew were, well, wrong.  

 ㅤThis 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.  

 ㅤAnd I thought if I needed this, my clients might benefit from it as well.  

 ㅤSo 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.  

 ㅤThat’s why every week I comb through hundreds of pages, some of it well-known, some of it obscure.  

 ㅤBut here’s the thing…  

 ㅤEven 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…  

 ㅤAnd these are just the starting sources.  

 ㅤBecause when a story or stat catches my attention and requires a deep dive, then there’s no telling where I might end up.  

 ㅤNow 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).  

 ㅤYou’d STILL need to spend HOURS pouring through hundreds… even thousands… of pages per week.  

 ㅤWeek in. Week out. Month after month. Year after year.  

 ㅤFor 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”.  

 ㅤI 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.  

 ㅤInstead, I’m open to letting the information tell me where things are headed.  

 ㅤThen on Friday, I deliver it all to you in one easy to read report. More on that in a minute.  

 ㅤNow, 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.  

 ㅤAnd 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?

 ㅤI’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.  

 ㅤWith that said, it is critical you realize there are forces, internal and external, that can deceive, derail, and destroy even the best investment strategies.  

 ㅤHowever, 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.  

 ㅤWhat kind of forces?  

 ㅤThat’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.  

 ㅤFor 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…  

 ㅤ188 Ways To Make The Wrong Decision  

 ㅤDid 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:  

ㅤ> The Bandwagon effect ㅤ> The Blind Spot bias ㅤ> Confirmation bias ㅤ> The Ostrich effect ㅤ> And about 184 others...  

ㅤAs you can see in the graphic above, there are 4 types of problems that trigger these biases. Problems our brains are constantly trying to solve....  

  

 ㅤTrigger One - problems involving information overload; ㅤ Trigger Two - lack of meaning; ㅤ Trigger Three - the need to act fast; and ㅤ Trigger Four - how to know what needs to be remembered for later.  

ㅤQuite often these biases are like dominoes.  

ㅤFor example, information overload can lead you to FEEL like you need to act fast.

ㅤOr, a lack of meaning might have you disregard a critical piece of information that should have been saved for later.  

ㅤThe bottom line is your brain, your emotions, and even marketers, are triggering these biases all the time.  

ㅤThese biases are real. And they are always being triggered.  

ㅤFortunately, all is not lost.  

ㅤIn just a minute, I’ll show you how you can slow down or eliminate these triggers from being pulled when making investment decisions.  

ㅤBut first, let’s look at one example of an external force at play in your investment strategy...  

ㅤWhy History Books Might Be The Most Undervalued Assets on Wall Street...  

ㅤAccording to Emolument.com, the average age of the current generation of traders on Wall Street is just 30 years old.  

ㅤFor better or worse, these young men and women have influence over the markets.  

ㅤNow, 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.  

ㅤAnd by the way, those stats are from 2015. The average Wall Street trader today would be a half-decade further removed from those events. 

ㅤㅤThe problem is these young traders and market makers have very little historical context for what appears to occur in markets and in Geopolitics. ㅤRelatively few of them have even read about it in textbooks.

====== ㅤㅤLuke's ability to back up his theses with history and deep context for ㅤㅤㅤ how we got here helps make the potential paths forward much clearerㅤㅤ than I've ever seen before.-M.H. ====== 

ㅤ In short, they (and those who are unknowingly following their analysis) have no perspective on what could be coming next... 

Why Subscribe Now?

ㅤListen, 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.  

ㅤFor 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.  

ㅤWhen? Most likely within 24 months.  

ㅤI 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.  

ㅤThis current cycle surpassed that mark in July 2019 even though this expansion has experienced far slower growth than previous expansions.  

ㅤOf course, that brings up all kinds of questions.  

ㅤQuestions like…

  • 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...  

ㅤ… the student loan crisis ㅤ… the soaring US debt problem ㅤ… the political unrest--domestic and global ㅤ… the social unrest--domestic and global ㅤ… the ever increasing speed of technology that is changing how we do ㅤㅤbusiness and who we do business with ㅤ… and soooo much more  

ㅤAny one of these things could cause the next shoe to drop.  

ㅤThe 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.  

ㅤIt’s a nasty cocktail of stress, anxiety, and uncertainty for many investors.  

ㅤBut here’s the thing…  

ㅤTree 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.  

ㅤWell, 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.  

ㅤBut, you might be thinking... 

Why Should I Trust You?

ㅤBy the way, my name is Luke Gromen. You may know me from Twitter or other social media channels. Maybe you’ve seen my Videos.  

ㅤThen again, you may not know me at all and just stumbled onto this page or saw an ad and landed here.  

ㅤEither way is ok. And either way, I’m glad you’re here.  

ㅤNow, 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.  

ㅤThat’s fair.  

ㅤSo without getting too boring, here’s the short version of my story and why I believe I can help you...  

ㅤPrior 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.  

ㅤIt 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.  

ㅤIt was causing a silo effect - information being hoarded rather than shared openly between interested parties.  

ㅤData 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.  

ㅤBasically, investors, analysts, and salespeople found they were often “missing the forest for the trees,” so to speak.  

ㅤAnd that is exactly why my company FFTT, LLC and the newsletter you’re reading about, Tree Rings, exists…  

====== ㅤㅤLuke's analysis is informed by an impressive understanding of history, geopolitics, and macroeconomics, and tempered by a consistently admirable humility in the face of global complexities.-W.S ====== 

ㅤMy 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.  

ㅤIf that doesn’t answer the question “Why should I trust you?”, maybe this will…  

ㅤI 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.  

ㅤI 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.  

ㅤI 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.  

ㅤSo, I put everything on the line because I believe so strongly in this research. And now, subscribers are responding with appreciation…

ㅤㅤ“Best cut through the noise newsletter out there. The work is excellent and detailed and very informative.” - M.H. “Luke does a great job taking complex issues and boiling them down to investable themes.” - D.W. “Great weekly research if you want to understand not only what is happening around you but how it will impact your investments.” - S.S.  

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

ㅤSince 1995, I’ve helped my clients understand their investment process by creating a weekly report highlighting 10 vital pieces of information.  

ㅤI called it, “The 10 Most Interesting Things I’ve Seen This Week.”  

ㅤNot the most evocative title, I know, but my clients loved it.  

ㅤOver 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.  

ㅤIt is that framework that we use and try to share in every issue of Tree Rings.  

ㅤNo hype. No pitching. No BS. No fluff.  

ㅤTree Rings focuses on helping you look through a multi-dimensional lens in order to make better investment decisions.  

====== ㅤTree Rings gives great insight into the background of important geopolitical events. It shows them from a different perspective, which makes them logical and easy to understand. Investment recommendations that follow from their interpretations are logical and therefore easy to implement. - J.K. ====== 

ㅤThe weekly insights inside each issue are like the lines that connect the dots that make your investing picture clear.  

ㅤFor just $96, you’ll get an annual subscription to Tree Rings. In each weekly issue you’ll get:  

  • The 10 stories and charts I’ve found interesting and important that week,
  • Unique, independent, value-added thinking for urbane investors like you,
  • Powerful insights and interpretations you won’t hear anywhere else,
  • Clear and concise information broken down in a way you’ll fully understand, putting you in the driver’s seat of your investment process,
  • Just the highlights! You won’t be bogged down with information overload so you can fully view the Forest For The Trees  

ㅤIn short, it’s everything you need and nothing you don’t.  

ㅤWith each issue you’ll see more clearly and understand more deeply how to “connect the dots.”  

ㅤYou’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? 

ㅤFirst, I should be clear that a subscription to Tree Rings isn’t for everyone.  

ㅤIt’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”.  

ㅤIn 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.  

ㅤThat’s because Tree Rings gets in the trenches… behind the scenes… ahead of the mainstream news.  

ㅤIt’s not about hype or promises.  

ㅤIt’s about looking at the big picture.  

ㅤIt’s about seeing the entire forest and not getting seduced by one cool looking tree.  

ㅤSo 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?” He said, 

“Tree Rings has changed the way I look at geopolitics, and has given me an inside look into what makes the world tick.”-J.J. 

Or this answer to the same question:

“Luke, you cut through the noise and focus on the things that matter in geopolitics and financial markets. Keep up the great work!”-J.M. 

To get started cutting through the noise, simply click the button below:  

ㅤYou’ll get a confirmation within the hour and your first issue will be delivered as a PDF to your inbox on Friday by 4pm Eastern.  

ㅤThen, each Friday by 4pm Eastern, you’ll get a new issue.  

ㅤRead through it.  

ㅤTrack the stories.  

ㅤPut it to the test…  

ㅤ… maybe even with a cup of coffee like this subscriber:  

Of all the analysis and reading I do throughout the week to stay informed, the number one highlight I look forward to is my early Saturday ritual with a cup of coffee.....reading each word of the Tree Rings. It’s still the best synopsis of all the critical elements of global macro I need to focus on. - B.D.

ㅤIf within 30 days you do not see the value, let us know and we’ll give you a full refund.  

ㅤBut 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

“What I have learned about geopolitics, the relationships among the US dollar as world reserve currency, gold and oil has intrigued me immensely. I do not need to go to the movies anymore since everything happening in the world the last decade are far more exciting, so all I need to do is wait for the next Tree Rings” - B.M.

I Learn Something New Every Week

“Every Friday evening I look forward to reading the latest issue of FFTT Tree Rings. All the important events of the last days are discussed and presented in compact form. It seems that I learn something new every week. :)”- G.S.

Like a LightHouse Beacon Cutting Through the Fog

“Thanks for Tree Rings! Your analysis and unbiased views about current events and future predictions is like a light house beacon cutting through fog to lead safe passage through these challenging financial times.” - S.L.

ㅤTruth 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. 

ㅤOk, last question that might be on your mind...

What If I Don't Subscribe?

  ㅤIf 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.  

ㅤSo that’s me, but what about you? The way I see it you there are three ways you can go from here…  

Option #1 Do absolutely nothing...  

ㅤIf you already have everything you want then you don’t need the information inside Tree Rings.  

ㅤHowever, 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…  

Option #2 Do it yourself 

  ㅤYou absolutely can spend the time, money and energy required to do what I do each week in Tree Rings.  

ㅤFor me, that required…  

ㅤ... spending nearly 25 years in investment research, ㅤ… developing a methodology that _____, ㅤ… a robust and “Rolodex” of contacts and sources, ㅤ… and 60+ hours per week doing research.  

ㅤNow, 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.  

ㅤBut 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?  

ㅤIf 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.  

Option #3 Let me do the heavy lifting for you.  

ㅤI’ll put my resources and experience to work for you.  

ㅤI’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.  

ㅤThen, I’ll package up the most important points each week and deliver it to your inbox.  

ㅤAll you need to do is open the PDF, maybe grab the drink of your choice, and read through the pages of that week’s Tree Rings report.  

ㅤThen, make any adjustments, or none at all, to your investment strategy.  

ㅤSo ask yourself...  

ㅤOf these three options, what’s going to be easier for you? Which is going to give you the consistent insights you need over time?  

ㅤYou see, there are really only two types of people in this world…  

ㅤThose who talk about achieving their goals without ever taking any action to make it happen…  

ㅤAnd those who are ready to take action when the opportunity presents itself.  

ㅤMost people will tell you they want to be happier, less stressed, more informed, not swayed by the news, etc...  

ㅤBut we both know very few actually create an environment to make it happen.  

ㅤEven so, here’s what I know…  

ㅤOnly you can decide. I can’t reach through the screen and make you do anything. Nor would I want to.  

ㅤSo, 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.”  

ㅤIf not, that’s ok too.  

ㅤEither way, I hope you find what you’re looking for.  

ㅤSincerely,  

ㅤLuke Gromen