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What a Big Mac Tells Us About World Currencies Today

By Dr. Steve Sjuggerud
Monday, March 13, 2017

The big opportunities in currencies happen at extremes...
That's the moment that you want to consider trading them.
I don't trade currencies that often. But when these extremes materialize, I get in.
We haven't seen many currency extremes lately. But we are about to...
The U.S. dollar has gained roughly 25% in three years against the world's major currencies.
Said another way, the world's major currencies have lost a heck of a lot of ground against the U.S. dollar – in just three years.
Finally, we are approaching extreme levels. We are reaching the point where we will look to get some money outside the U.S. dollar again.
But where are the extremes?
The United Kingdom and Mexico are the obvious choices. Let's look at the U.K. first...
The British pound has fallen from 1.70 (in 2014) to 1.20 versus the U.S. dollar since the people of Britain voted to leave the European Union.
The fall has been terrible... For the last 30 years, the British pound had always rallied whenever it dropped to around 1.40. But not this time. Take a look:

The pound is the cheapest it has been in 30 years, relative to the dollar.
And that's not just on the exchange rate. England is CHEAP right now...
Historically, a trip to merry old England was expensive for Americans – everything cost more than it did back home. But now the situation is the opposite.
This next chart shows a simple example... It's the cost of a McDonald's Big Mac in England versus the cost of one in the U.S. (I use this as a quick-and-dirty way to size up the relative values of currencies.)

From 1999 to 2007, a Big Mac in Britain was dramatically more expensive than one in the U.S. Now it's the opposite – to a record extreme.
In my investing lifetime, I've never been able to buy into Britain this cheap.
I'm not rating the British pound a "buy" yet, because the downtrend is still in place. But I am close.
The story in Mexico is similar...
The Mexico peso is the cheapest it has been in decades.
Thanks in part to Trump's rhetoric, the decline in the Mexican peso has accelerated. A Big Mac in Mexico is 56% cheaper than one in the U.S. That's the record-cheapest value for the Mexican peso in two decades' worth of data. Take a look:

I am not buying the British pound or the Mexican peso just yet...
If you're a longtime reader, you know why – I want to wait for the uptrend to confirm this idea before I get into it.
But I will get in. These are multi-decade lows. This is an exceptional moment.
We will take advantage of it... Just not yet.
Put the British pound and the Mexican peso on your radar. When the uptrend returns, consider buying British and Mexican investments.
Good investing,

Further Reading:

Catch up on more of Steve's latest ideas here...
"The computers behind my high-priced True Wealth Systems service are signaling now is the time to buy."
"Everything has gone up... Nothing is cheap anymore... right? My friend, you are not looking hard enough..."
"After a month of terrible underperformance, gold stocks are a little bit less loved..."

Market Notes

3M (MMM)... manufacturing
Fastenal (FAST)... tools
Lennar (LEN)... homebuilder
PulteGroup (PHM)... homebuilder
Toll Brothers (TOL)... homebuilder
Madison Square Garden (MSG)... sports and entertainment
Camping World (CWH)... recreational vehicles
National Beverage (FIZZ)... soft drinks
Panera Bread (PNRA)... restaurants
Activision Blizzard (ATVI)... video games
Electronic Arts (EA)... video games
Sinclair Broadcast (SBGI)... TV stations
Facebook (FB)... social media
Priceline (PCLN)... online travel
Global Payments (GPN)... digital payments
Symantec (SYMC)... security software
TransUnion (TRU)... credit reports
Visa (V)... credit cards
Citigroup (C)... banks
Morgan Stanley (MS)... financial services
Cigna (CI)... health insurance
Humana (HUM)... health insurance
UnitedHealth (UNH)... health insurance
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ)... health care products
Eli Lilly (LLY)... pharmaceuticals
Baxter (BAX)... medical devices

GGP (GGP)... dying malls
Simon Property (SPG)... dying malls
Target (TGT)... discount retailer
Barnes & Noble (BKS)... book retailer
Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY)... home-goods retailer
Mattel (MAT)... toys
GoPro (GPRO)... personal cameras
Rite Aid (RAD)... drugstores
Sprouts Farmers Market (SFM)... organic groceries
ExxonMobil (XOM)... oil and gas

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