Hillary Clinton’s “Love Of Guns” Could Make You A Millionaire

Keith Fitz-Gerald Jun 08, 2016

Investors dropped gun stocks earlier this week like a hot potato following news that pre-purchase FBI background checks dropped 13% in May. The conclusion for many is that the great gun-buying boom is over.

Not so fast. I don’t do politics, so don’t make the mistake of assuming what I am about to say is politically charged. I’m simply going to lay out the facts as they exist today. And, as usual, point you to yet another great investment opportunity.

How great?

The company that I recommended the last time we saw this playbook is beating the S&P 500 by 18-to-1 so far.

If you’d like that kind of performance in your portfolio, then read carefully.

The last time a politician took aim at the gun business it doubled during the worse financial crisis in recent memory. And, it will again.

How Controversy Produces Profits

Last October, I told you that presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton could be the greatest millionaire-maker of all time if she assumes the mantle of “world’s best gun salesman” from outgoing President Barack Obama.

As you might imagine, my comments unleashed a blizzard of commentary.

I have no doubt that today’s column will ruffle a few feathers, too. But, that’s a good thing, for the simple reason that the best investment opportunities always come from chaos.

We talk about this a lot because of something I call the Total Wealth Principle of Divisiveness.

If you’ve never heard me use that term before or have just joined us, what I mean by that is very simple: the more divided people are about an issue, the bigger the opportunity at hand. You’ll know you’re on the right path to profits when emotion, mockery, and moral superiority are used to “prove” the point instead of the cold, hard logic and data we know leads to huge profits.

The important thing to understand is that a direct correlation exists between the scale of social discord and the size of the opportunity at hand. Most investors can’t put aside their emotions, so they never make this jump, nor unfortunately, do they capture the profits that could be theirs for the taking.

Take Big Tobacco, for example.

The industry coughed up a staggering $208 billion in 1998 as part of a landmark settlement reached by 46 Attorneys General and has bled billions since then. People thought the industry was best left for dead. Yet, a savvy few made their move.

An investment in Altria that same year would have returned 610% to date – not including dividends – compared to just over 100% for the Dow over the same time frame. Factor in dividends and reinvestment and the tally jumps to a jaw-dropping 1,634%.

Or, take Prohibition.

America spent billions in a futile effort to eliminate alcohol consumption, beginning in 1920. Yet by 1923, a scant three years later, consumption had already risen to 70% of pre-ban levels. Coca-Cola sales tripled, and Charles Walgreen’s chain of local neighborhood drug stores expanded by 2,525% to 525 stores in less than a decade. Both companies have minted plenty of millionaires since.

Divisiveness works because politicians perpetually underestimate an industry’s will to survive.

So they duke it out using social shaming and self-aggrandizing sound bites intended to generate votes and contributions when what they really should be doing is tackling the economics of how consumers, suppliers, and regulators interact. They suffer from the mistaken belief that “they know better” than the rest of us when it comes to what the public wants.

We see this dynamic with guns today.

What you need to understand is that guns made this country. Like it or not, they’re part of our national DNA. That means any politician who comes for them is going to boost sales to previously unimaginable levels. Democrat or Republican – it makes no difference.

President Obama, for instance, has made no bones about his feelings on the matter, calling for “common sense” ownership during his tenure. Incredibly, his elections have proven to be bigger catalysts for gun sales than even the horrific events of 9/11.


Source: The New York Times

I’d even go so far as to say that he almost singlehandedly created a gun-fueled economic boom during the darkest days of 2008 – 2009 that started before he took office and which continues today.

Ergo, what the FBI data really tells you is that the industry is struggling with good times – not that it’s failing.

Smith & Wesson Holding Corp. (Nasdaq:SWHC) has returned 800% since Obama’s inauguration in 2009, while Sturm Ruger & Co. Inc. (NYSE:RGR), also shown, isn’t far behind. The S&P 500, by comparison, has tacked on only 123.98% over the same time frame.


Source: Yahoo!Finance

So what’s next?

That depends on which Presidential candidate treads mostly closely to the very fine line between a monopoly on violence and fear of limited possession.

At the moment, that’s newly-minted presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

She likes to speak frequently on the campaign trail about her vision for gun control, pointing out her votes in the Senate to ban assault weapons, and even a proposal to raise the legal age for handgun ownership to 21.

The best way to play Clinton’s rhetoric, in my view, is to use the current pull back to buy gun stocks.

There are two pure-play – albeit very speculative – choices here in America: Smith & Wesson Holding Corp. (Nasdaq:SWHC) and Sturm Ruger & Co. Inc. (NYSE:RGR).

Ruger is the better alternative at the moment, especially if Clinton looks like she may trump Trump.

The company has the stronger balance sheet, stronger cash flow, and $80.46 million in cash according to Yahoo!Finance, which gives it plenty of staying power under challenging economic conditions- not to mention a direct political assault on its products.

I also like the fact that Ruger seems to have the more aggressive management, and that means plenty of new product introductions, including new handgun and rifle lines at a time when Smith & Wesson seems frozen.  I think Ruger goes aggressively after market share in the months leading up to elections.

Finally, Ruger kicks off a 2.24% dividend versus no dividend from Smith & Wesson. That means you’re going to receive cold hard cash in exchange for the risk you take as an investor.

Now, there’s a lot of concern being raised at the moment about dividends in general and whether or not a company in question can sustain them given declining earnings in many industries.

While there’s no hard and fast answer, you can look to something called the payout ratio as a means of judging that. Ruger’s payout ratio is just 35% according to Yahoo!Finance, which means the company devotes just over a third of its profits to shareholders in dividends, versus a company like Coca Cola, which has a payout ratio of 80.93% and is clearly at risk because it has to spend so much money to meet its obligations.

And if Trump wins?

Conventional wisdom says that he’ll be bad for gun sales, but I’m not so sure it’s up to him…

…we’ll have a new Congress come January 2017, too.

Until next time,

Keith Fitz-Gerald

9 Responses to Hillary Clinton’s “Love Of Guns” Could Make You A Millionaire

  1. FL says:

    I agree with your analysis, and see the gun business doing well for years to come

    • Keith says:

      Hello FL.

      Sadly, I, too, think violence is a growth industry at the moment. Personally, I wish it were not that way but professionally the discord speaks to one whale of an investment opportunity just as it does with several other key issues of our day: terrorism, big oil, global warming and the concept of nationalized healthcare.

      Best regards and thanks for being part of the Total Wealth Family, Keith 🙂

  2. R. J. says:

    The question is not whether a Trump or Hillary presidency bodes well for the firearms industry, but what a Hillary presidency would look like?

    Let’s take a peek into the the future…

    The first amendment is gone. Speech would be regulated, something along the lines of the fairness doctrine. Talk radio would be castigated and neutered. And for those who say the Internet would survive, that too will be regulated.

    The second amendment is gone. Guns are confiscated and ammunition sales prohibited. Those who say it can’t happen here, or weapons will have to pried from their dead hands, will give them up. It won’t happen.

    Essentially, Hillary’s world (aka the Clinton crime family) is a Fascist regime, something along the lines of what Merkel is doing in Germany to free speech. Moreover, just as Hitler banned the public from owning arms, the present day German can’t buy firearms simply for personal protection.

    Both Hillary and Trump are deeply flawed. I shudder to think of the possibilities with the former.

    • Keith says:

      Hello RJ.

      Thank you for taking the time to share your perspective. I know from your prior comments that you are clearly an intelligent person who tends to think things through. Respectfully, I can’t make the jump to Fascism but that’s what the spirit of discussion is all about – and how we find terrific opportunities.

      I remember sitting on my grandparent’s porch as a young man and listening to some really heated debates between friends. I asked my grandfather about that and what he’s told me as stuck with me to this day – “you begin as friends who respect each other and you end by respecting your friendship. Disagreement is always a point of discussion, not to make enemies.”

      Best regards and thanks for being part of the Total Wealth Family, Keith 🙂

    • Joe debot says:

      Under your scenario RJ I pray to God that our country has the balls to revolt and say enough is enough – We want our country back from the corporations and the rich and the people that would take away our rights including Hitler wannabe Clinton.

      • R. J. says:

        I agree. My commentary is a rather stark peek into the future of America. One that, hopefully, can be rescued.

        With that said, what world do we live in?

        Hillary was just completely exonerated by the FBI for what other people in government did far less of, lost their careers, and are sitting in jail for.

        There is absolutely NO record — transcript or audio — of her meeting (so-called) with the FBI. She wasn’t even sworn under oath!

        Are you telling me the fix wasn’t in from the beginning? That Billy boy’s impromptu meeting last week on board of the Attorney General’s private plane was just a coincidence, followed by the so-called FBI interview just before the July 4th holiday weekend, and then a closing of the case on July 5th?

        We have descended into a third-world banana republic. We is the rule of law?

        Who could actually vote this woman into the presidency?

        It’s a scary, scary thought.

  3. Ernest T Parsons says:

    I don’t have any guns, but I do think people need to leave the Bill of Rights the way our founding fathers made it, because when they start messing with one of our rights, what right are they going to take next. The only reason they want to disarm everyone is so they won’t have any problem taking over. The second amendment was put in place so we could defend our selves against a tyrannical government. Thanks

  4. Ernest T Parsons says:

    Also, a carry over on my reply… If guns are taken away from law-abiding people, then the only people that will have them will be the criminals to do what they will. When they know people are disarmed what will stop from coming into your house doing what ever they want? Rob, rape, or just whatever they want. Where are the police going to be when this going on? I can tell you where they will be: home watching over their own family. When seconds count they are minutes away. Criminals aren’t going to give up their guns, THEY’RE CRIMINALS !!!! Ernie

  5. John Davies says:

    I own handguns and rifles and I belong to the NRA but I do think the gun sales laws should be better observed and no guns should be made available to anyone who belongs to or has belonged to any organization connected in any way to terrorism. The Orlando killers were once banned from buying weapons by the FBI, why did they remove the ban?

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