An EXPLOSION Near My 4yr Old Son...

I was on a trip over the weekend with my 4-year-old son Caleb, when an explosion detonated 40 yards from us. Dirt and gravel shot skyward and I could instantly smell the acrid scent of gunpowder.

My dad instincts kicked in immediately as I grabbed Caleb and pulled him close. His little body was tense and I could see the shock and surprise in his eyes…

From my vantage point next to some trees I watched as a military jeep rolled to a stop. Apparently, this was the target of the initial explosion. Was it an IED that had disabled the jeep?

I didn’t have time to think about it as the woods across from us erupted with gunfire. I could see muzzle flashes between the trees as gunmen rained fire down on the jeep.

Three passengers ran out of the vehicle and were quickly cut down.

That’s when a team of U.S. Army Rangers deftly maneuvered onto the field to clear the area. After confiscating weapons, gathering intel and setting a demolition charge, the rangers “popped smoke” and melted back into the woods.

Below is a picture I snapped as my 4-year-old watched the good guys wrap up their exercise.

Green Smoke

The whole scenario was a demonstration at an Army Ranger training camp we were visiting in North Georgia.

You see, this weekend, my Grandpa celebrated his 96th birthday. And a few of my siblings took a trip to spend the day with Grandpa and check out the training camp.

As a young adult, my Grandpa fought his way through Europe during World War II. Over the past few years, he’s opened up more about his experiences during the war. On Saturday, Grandpa told me a new story about racing jeeps across mountain ranges while the Germans shelled him from their positions below.

I’m thankful for Grandpa’s service, and that my kids have a chance to hear what Grandpa went through to protect and defend our freedoms.

The Threat of Terror is All Too Real

The explosions, gunfire and military operations that I witnessed this weekend were just training exercises.

But for all too many people in the world, the threat of violence is a very real possibility.

Just yesterday, four people were stabbed in Tel Aviv in an apparent terrorist attack.

France has been hit with multiple shootings, stabbings, and vehicle rammings as terrorists carry out their brutal attacks.

In the Middle East, the threat of violence continues to escalate.

And as global powers like North Korea, Syria and Russia move closer to conflict, the threat of violence and war becomes more and more ominous.

I pray that my son Caleb will only see demonstrations of war and hear stories from his Great Grandpa. But the reality is that the threat of war is becoming a much larger possibility for the near future.

The Business of War, And Protecting Your Retirement

When it comes to the threat of war, my first instinct is to make sure that my family is as safe as possible.

But as an investor, my second instinct is to make sure that my family (and your family) is able to protect the nest egg that we’ve set aside for retirement. After all, regardless of what happens in the world, you need to be able to provide for yourself and your dependants when you retire.

One thing to keep in mind as the U.S. gears up for more conflict is that war is expensive

Since the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks, the U.S. has spent $4.79 trillion to fund Homeland Security and the Middle East Wars.[1] This data was compiled in 2016, and doesn’t include budget requests for 2017 (including nearly $32 billion for Homeland Security this year alone).

It’s hard to fathom just how big the defense budget has become, and the toll this is taking on our national budget.

Fortunately, as investors we can recoup some of that cost by owning shares of the companies that are receiving the lion’s share of this military spending. By investing in these companies, you’ll be able to defend your own wealth in this time of danger and uncertainty.

Two weeks ago, we talked about three major defense stocks that have large contracts with the U.S. government and should benefit from rising tensions. I’ll list them again with a brief explanation of each:

The Boeing Co. (BA) is the world’s largest aerospace company with a market cap of $109 billion. The company is well known for its F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter jet, and was just awarded a $2.2 billion contract for a new submarine hunter warplane.

Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT) is known for its F-35 Lightning combat aircraft. LMT is working to bring prices for its aircraft lower, which should help the company to better compete under Trump’s cost-conscious administration.

United Technologies (UTX) has a total of 179 different military contracts worth $23.9 billion. In addition to its defense business, the company has a thriving commercial business as well.

All three of these stocks have moved higher over the last two weeks. And as the U.S. war machine continues to build, I expect these stocks to continue to increase in value.

Now is a good time to add these defensive names to your portfolio. If war escalates, these stocks should trade sharply higher. And even if we remain in a “cold war” state, these stocks should still perform well as the U.S. and its allies continue to build and modernize weaponry and defense capabilities.

Here’s to growing and protecting your wealth!

Zach Scheidt

Zach Scheidt
Editor, The Daily Edge
EdgeFeedback@AgoraFinancial.com

1US spending on Middle East wars, Homeland Security will reach $4.79 tillion in 2017, Costs of War, Watson Institute – Brown University

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