The Only Reason I Go to Vegas

I can't stand Las Vegas...

The casinos reek of cigarette smoke. The din of bells and chimes as fools are parted from their money at slot machines is deafening. The waiters in phony French and Italian restaurants stare at you like extras playing B-movie zombies.

It's as if no one cares or thinks about anything but themselves.

But every year, I head to Las Vegas... And I inevitably have a wonderful time.

The annual Stansberry Conference is one of my favorite gatherings...

It's the biggest event of the year when I get to meet readers like you and hear your stories over a shared meal or glass of wine.

And I always learn something from the presentations by some of the best folks in financial research. You'll hear from financial heavy-hitters and inspirational speakers, mingle with like-minded folks, and get investment ideas you can act on in real time.

For example, last year I recommended Ingersoll Rand (IR). IR sells, installs, and maintains heating, ventilation, and air conditioning ("HVAC") equipment. Homebuilding and home-improvement spending were both growing at rapid rates. And IR was seeing increasing demand for renewable energy products.

It was a conservative pick, but I could see the upside. And it's working…

If you bought shares of IR in early October, you'd be up nearly 20% today.

Plus, if you're an oenophile, I'll even be pouring my latest release of Eifrig Cabernet Sauvignon.

This year, we'll be meeting Monday, October 7 and Tuesday, October 8 at the beautiful Aria Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.

This year's lineup is incredible. Here's a handful of folks I can't wait to see...

  • Joel Litman – I think he's an incredible, super smart, super sharp guy. He has advocated for uniform accounting standards around the world (it's way more important than it might sound). And he has great insight into business valuations.
  • Nomi Prins – Author of Collusion: How Central Bankers Rigged the World. I hope to hear more on her thoughts regarding the problems with central banks.
  • Chris Voss – Author of Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It. His unique background as the FBI's lead international kidnapping negotiator will make for an interesting talk.
  • Buck Sexton – A former CIA and New York City Police Department intelligence officer, and current DC insider. I'll be paying attention to what Buck has to say as we get closer to the next Presidential election.
  • Richard Turner – A fantastic magician. (I'm known around the office for my own magic tricks.)

Last year, we sold out of all our presale tickets... So I urge you to lock in your spot now by clicking here.

Q: At Fidelity when I attempted to update my existing approval level for trading options, I found out that I had to apply for approval of trading on margin if I wanted to trade option spreads! This is the message I got: "You have selected an option level that requires you to also apply for the margin feature. If you choose to proceed you will be applying for both the margin and option features." Is this because I could be stuck with buying the underlying stock in the spread? Or is it because in selling a call I technically might have to sell those shares?

I assume this means that trading spread options in a Fidelity IRA account will not be allowed. – J.W.

A: We’ve reached out to a few brokers, and they do allow Advanced Options trades in IRA accounts. From our research, E-Trade, Fidelity, and Interactive Brokers allow the types of spread trades we'll be doing in IRAs. But Vanguard does not.

Typically, brokers won’t allow trades that involve naked options in IRAs. That's fine – we don’t use naked options. With our trades, we know exactly how much we can lose in each trade, so our risk is defined. That’s why brokers are more willing to allow our trading strategies.

It’s important to note that different brokers have different regulations when it comes to which option strategies can be permitted in IRA accounts.

If you want to make Advanced Options trades, you’ll need Level 3 option approval to make spread trades with most brokers. You’ll also need margin approval because the government requires all options be held in what is called a "margin account."

Q: Concerning your article 'The Lifestyle Change' of 11th June, I have a question for you…

You mention white bread, but you do not mention pasta. Here, in France, the bread, even if it is 'white' is still a leavened food, fermented if you wish, just as are breads in Spain and Italy with a corresponding lower carbo loading.  Pastas are not.  It would seem to me that bread is better than pasta.  Am I wrong? – R.H.

A: Unlike most carbohydrates, pasta has a low glycemic index. The glycemic index is a scale of 1 to 100 that measures how much the carbs in a certain food increase your blood sugar. Foods high on the index spike your blood sugar. That's dangerous over time, particularly for folks with diabetes.

Bread has a GI in the 70s, with white bread hitting 75 and even unleavened wheat bread hitting 70. Spaghetti, on the other hand, has a GI of 49 (it's 48 for whole wheat pasta). That lower GI amount comes from the structure of pasta. The way folks make pasta creates a stronger gluten structure that takes our bodies longer to break down. That means it takes longer to turn the carbohydrates into glucose. This slower breakdown provides energy over a longer period of time. It's why runners often chow down on pasta the night before a big race.

So overall, that's why pasta is a bit of an anomaly for carbs. But keep in mind… you need to watch your portions. Too much pasta increases glycemic load (GL)… which is a better measure.

GL measures how much your blood sugar rises based on serving size. It involves multiplying the GI by the number of carbs in a serving, then dividing by 100. A serving of pasta (one cup of cooked pasta), equals about 44 grams of carbs… that's roughly 21 in glycemic load. That's much higher than many foods (anything over 20 is considered high). Two slices of white bread have 30 grams of carbohydrates, so the GL would be about 22.5. (Many sources rank this lower, as a generic serving is only one slice of bread.)

Understanding the glycemic load for your portions gives you a better view of how a certain meal will affect your blood sugar. So feel free to enjoy your pasta, but don't go overboard on the serving size. And as with bread, we still recommend looking for whole wheat versions, as these still retain many nutrients.

Q: You've written a lot about how much you like coffee, but I heard it could cause cancer. Fear mongering or true? – S.M.

A: It's absolute nonsense. Longtime subscribers know I'm a fan of drinking java...

Coffee fights cancer and inflammation, alleviates migraines, and lowers your risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease. I like a brewed dark roast cup with a little splash of cream. (And I stand by McDonald's as having the best fast-food coffee.)

But always blow before you sip... I've mentioned before that coffee's high temperature could be the culprit of the coffee-cancer myth. While there's not a proven connection, hot drinks (anything more than 149 degrees Fahrenheit) do damage to your esophagus. A recent study published last week in the International Journal of Cancer supported this link between hot liquids and esophageal cancer.

It makes sense: Burns damage cells. The body then generates new cells to replace them, and these new cells can have mutations that lead to cancer. Esophageal cancer is the eighth-most common cancer in the world and is often fatal, so this connection is something to take note of.

But before you throw out your Keurig, here are a few tips to cool down your coffee to a safe drinking temperature. Wait a few minutes before drinking your brew. Coffee purchased at Starbucks or Dunkin' Donuts especially can be too hot by default. You can also lower your drink's temperature by adding a few ice cubes or a splash of cold milk. For folks who prefer tea (green tea is also known for its cancer-killing abilities), these same suggestions apply.

Keep sending your suggestions, comments, and criticisms our way… [email protected].

What We're Reading...

Here's to our health, wealth, and a great retirement,

Dr. David Eifrig and the Health & Wealth Bulletin Research Team
June 28, 2019