Last week, through a CFA related event, I had the opportunity to have lunch and visit with Axel Merk of the Merk funds. One of the fun, and this time, slightly embarrassing moments, associated with these type of events are often I have not met the manager in person prior to the event. At this event, I had carried on a 10 minute conversation with Axel, the founder of the Merk Fund group before I figured out his identity. Not withstanding our awkward introduction, Axel a currency and macro economic expert had some very interesting ideas concerning the state of the global economy.
Axel Merk, a Swiss born, German raised well-traveled founder of the Merk funds, specializes in macro economic event. As founder of the Merk Fund Group, which is a global currency investment Mutual Fund group, Axel and his team of managers use their expertise to attempt to exploit currency opportunities in a conservative manner.
Here are Axel’s main points from my perch:
- The Federal Reserve has pushed rates so low, a main gauge, the interest rate yield curve, is less effective at giving clues.
- Asia and the EU will try to grow at any cost, even if man-handling their currencies are necessary.
- There are many mandatory global market participants, not profit maximizing, leading to inefficiencies.
- Global investors are watching our presidential election race closely, as almost every country is thrown under the bus at one time or another during the debates.
- Greece is gone, according to Axel and they have made many mistakes along this way. (See Cartoon, a Merk funds specialty)
Axel impressed me as much as any professional investor has before. I am fortunate to meet and visit with a tremendous amount of professional investors which allows us to develop a benchmark. Axel and his firm will be a regular part of future discussions due to their expertise, competence, global knowledge and objectivity.
Have a Super Day!
P.S. Zigg says “Don’t Forget About me!” I told him not to worry, we would not.