I am head of global investment strategy for Richard C. Young & Co., Ltd. (Naples, Florida and Newport, R.I.). I founded the company, which today is run by my son Matt, to provide investment management services for discerning, conservative, retired and soon-to-be-retired investors. Our company’s focus is on a prudent mix of dividends and interest combined with patience and the profound long-term power of the two most important words in investing, compound interest. I began my investment studies while still a student at Shaker Heights High School in Ohio and completed my initial studies as an investment major (B.S.) at Babson College.
In the early ’60s, I began my investment career with the help of Ed Rosenberg at Clayton Securities in Boston. This was followed by an extended period in institutional research and trading, first with Model Roland and then with Hoenig & Co. In the late ’70s, I founded Young Research & Publishing to publish Young’s World Money Forecast, a 50-page monthly report for institutional investors, corporate financial officers, business owners, and individual international investors.
My focus was on U.S. monetary policy, U.S. economic momentum, world currencies, and gold. Today I continue my research in each of these areas and develop our family investment company’s strategy based on this research. Since 9/11, I have focused increasingly on the mounting threat of radical Islamic terrorism and its potential impact on U.S. investors. Although I wish it were different, no other threat is as important in understanding the potential long-term risks and rewards for U.S. investors. Back in the early ’70s, I began to focus on inference reading as my preferred methodology for forming investment strategy. Most of my day is spent reading. I don’t commute, attend meetings, supervise employees, belong to boards, or spend much time on the phone. I read. The computer, of course, in an invaluable support tool, but it is books, authoritative journals, industry and trade reports, and long running special interest periodicals that provide my foundation. And while I wish politics did not have to be a primary consideration for investors, history demonstrates that it does. U.S. companies, and thus the securities of U.S. companies, perform best in an environment of low taxes, low inflation, low interest rates, reduced central government regulation, and small government. In order for America’s internationally focused business enterprises to maintain their most competitive edge, there is an urgent need in this country for sweeping tax and judicial system reform.
I am a powerful supporter of the Originalist approach to constitutional interpretation. I believe, as Associate Justice Thomas believes, that “we should interpret the Constitution as drafted, not as we would have it drafted.” Many of the foundation principles I look to as forming the ideal setting for internationally competitive U.S. business enterprises are articulated by the Republican Study Committee, which reviews every piece of legislation under consideration on the House Floor. The six guiding principles, printed on the RSC’s “conservative check card” are (1) less government, (2) lower taxes, (3) personal responsibility, (4) individual freedom, (5) stronger families, and (6) domestic tranquility and national defense.
In terms of domestic tranquility, my focus is on the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment, which states, “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” My home state of Florida (I live in Key West), leads the way in Second Amendment rights for Americans. Florida passed its landmark Castle Doctrine self defense law in 2005 and passed the Preservation and Protection of the Right to Keep and Bear Arms in Motor Vehicles Act. The biggest lobby in Washington is the NRA with over four million members. And the NRA is, of course, America’s leading proponent of Second Amendment rights for all.
In his campaign for governor, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal produced an excellent position paper entitled Fresh Start for Louisiana. Governor Jindal’s driving theme is to eliminate roadblocks that stifle investment and to develop new incentives to expand Louisiana’s economy. Governor Jindal has a lot to teach our backward-looking rustbelt states, like Ohio. As The Wall Street Journal notes, “Ohio’s most crippling handicap may be that its politicians-and thus its employers-are still in the grip of such industrial unions as the United Auto Workers. Ohio is a ‘closed shop’ state, which means workers can be forced to join a union, whether they wish to or not. Ohio has an economy suppressed by high taxes and work rules that impose heavy costs on employers. Texas by comparison embraces free trade, keeps taxes low, doesn’t impose unions on business, and has tooled itself for 21st century competition.”
Tort reform is another major focus of mine and has proven itself extremely useful in promoting better health care. As a recent Wall Street Journal editorial also noted, “Over the past three years, some 7,000 MDs have flooded into Texas.” And trial lawyers are pouring out. Texas Governor Perry and Louisiana Governor Jindal obviously are students of supply-side economics. Cutting marginal tax rates to boost incentives to supply labor and capital to encourage private output is powerful medicine.
Cutting government spending to free resources for private use is a hallmark of supply-side economics. A sound currency is the lynchpin. Using deficits to power demand is off the radar. And money growth must be curbed to combat inflation.
In June of 2004, Milton Friedman told Wall Street Journal readers, “To Mr. Reagan, of course, holding down government spending was a means to an end, not an end in itself. Few people in human history have contributed more to the achievement of human freedom than Ronald Wilson Reagan.”
In The Conscience of a Conservative, Barry Goldwater wrote, “The graduated tax is a confiscation tax. Its effect, and to a large extent its aim, is to bring down all men to a common level. Many of the leading proponents of the graduated tax frankly admit that their purpose is to redistribute the nation’s wealth. Their aim is an egalitarian society-an objective that does violence both to the charter of the republic and the laws of nature. We are all equal in the eyes of God, but we are equal in no other respect. Artificial devices for enforcing equality among unequal men must be rejected if we would restore that charter and honor those laws. One problem with regards to taxes then is to enforce justice – to abolish the graduated features of our tax law; and the sooner we get at the job the better.” The WSJ noted recently that Senator Goldwater’s small-government, strong-military, anti-communist alternative to a Democratic government-can-fix-it philosophy stemmed from the New Deal. As Mr. Goldwater wrote in his 1960 book, “My aim is not to pass laws, but to repeal them.”
I have developed Richardcyoung.com as an ongoing forum to deliver daily updated content on many areas of my direct focus. Included here are terrorism, and politics, as well as personal interests that include music, health, and travel, with special emphasis on Key West. At www.younginvestments.com, I introduce you to our family investment management company. Please feel free to call and schedule an appointment. At www.youngresearch.com, you will find a broad array of strategic insights that my research department uses to formulate our global investment strategy. If you are not already a subscriber, it’s time to join us. The Young Companies look forward to welcoming you.