It’s About to Go Down!

By Jim Woods
  • It’s About to Go Down!
  • ETF Talk: Constructing a Portfolio with This Builder
  • I Share This with Joe Biden
  • Existential Freedom


It’s About to Go Down!

Perhaps the most famous, and most beautiful, line in the sublime film “The Shawshank Redemption” is the following: “Get busy living, or get busy dying.”

The importance of this proclamation can’t be understated, nor should it ever be ignored. You see, the message here is clear: life is spent going through the motions and waiting around for something to happen, or something is made to happen. The choice is up to all of us, as long as we are free to choose.

Today, I am about to help the world gain even more freedom, because today is day one of FreedomFest. In fact, I am writing today’s issue from my hotel room in Memphis, where this year’s FreedomFest is about to go down.

If you are here at FreedomFest, be sure to find me and let me know. Or, you can drop by the Eagle Financial booth and tell my publisher, the one-and-only master of puppets and the very best in the business, Roger Michalski, that you are here, and that you are a member of team Deep Woods.

So, why is it so important to have an event such as FreedomFest?

Well, because freedom is always under attack, and because freedom is anathema to control, and those who want to rule men by control mechanisms such as fear, demagoguery and force must be thwarted at every turn.

This year’s FreedomFest theme is “The Soul of Liberty,” a theme that I love. The reason why is that my conception of “soul” is one that exists free of coercion, free of servitude and one imbued with libertarian freewill.

As the brilliant novelist/philosopher Ayn Rand wrote in “Atlas Shrugged,” “As man is a being of self-made wealth, so he is a being of self-made soul.” Indeed, I think we are beings of self-made soul, but in order for that soul to prosper, we require the freedom to choose. Unfortunately, freedom is under constant assault.

Anti-freedom, authoritarian forces on both extremes of the political and philosophic spectrum actually abhor the notion of liberty, as free minds thinking for themselves are viewed as a threat to their ability to impose control. And guess what, they are right.

Free-thinking humans are always a threat to wannabe demagogues, would-be dictators, authoritarians, nationalist movements or any other stripe of collectivism intent on telling you that they know what’s in your best interest and how you should live better than you do.

I reject this concept, and I do so by assuming the responsibility of thinking for myself. And, knowing that I have the responsibility of thinking for myself is why I love FreedomFest.

You see, in order to come to rational decisions about the world, one must be exposed to the best ideas. Moreover, one must also be exposed to ideas that one may disagree with, because it is only through carefully weighing opposing views that you can truly understand and properly defend your own views. And at FreedomFest, there are many opposing views presented, which is one of the reasons why I love it.

This year’s keynote speaker at FreedomFest is a man who my friend, colleague and FreedomFest founder Mark Skousen calls, “the man who has restored his faith in America.”

That man is Mike Rowe, executive producer of such TV series as “Dirty Jobs,” “Somebody’s Gotta Do It,” “How America Works” and “The Story Behind the Story.” Mike also is the author of the New York Times bestseller, “The Way I Heard It,” and he’s also a podcaster extraordinaire.

I’m looking forward to hearing Mike’s message about how he is making a difference in reinvigorating America’s work ethic through his mikeroweWORKS Foundation. I’m also looking forward to sampling some of Mike’s Knobel Tennessee Whiskey, as his sample offerings will no doubt result in one of the most popular booths at the Memphis bash.

Of course, Mike Rowe is only one of the many fantastic speakers at FreedomFest. The lineup also includes Steve Forbes, Tulsi Gabbard, Michael Shermer, Enes “Freedom” Kanter and Douglas Brinkley to name just a few.

There’s even a FreedomFest “jam session” where musically inclined attendees can go on stage and play music together. And here’s some news, your editor will be there playing and performing, too, and if you go you will be one of the first to hear new, original songs from my upcoming album.

Hey, it’s about to go down, so let the freedom party begin!

P.S. Come join me and my Eagle colleagues on an incredible cruise! We set sail on Dec. 4 for 16 days, embarking on a memorable journey that combines fascinating history, vibrant culture and picturesque scenery. Enjoy seminars on the days we are cruising from one destination to another, as well as dinners with members of the Eagle team. Just some of the places we’ll visit are Mexico, Belize, Panama, Ecuador and more! Click here now for all the details.


ETF Talk: Constructing a Portfolio with This Builder

The iShares U.S. Home Construction ETF (ITB) is a fund that allows investors to gain targeted exposure to the domestic home construction sector.

This exchange-traded fund (ETF) invests in a basket of home construction companies. The fund’s clear aim and simple strategy have produced positive results.

Even the broader slowdown in real estate sales has not stopped the fund’s momentum and rise to new heights. ITB’s performance over the most recent 12-month period is quite impressive, as the chart here demonstrates.

This year has served the home construction industry well, with the fund rising 49.1%, nearly four times the return shown by the S&P 500 during the same period. Year to date, ITB has posted an impressive 40.55% gain, rebounding robustly from a 26.25% decline during 2022, after gaining 49.25% in 2021, 26.38% in 2020 and 48.71% in 2019. The chart below shows the mostly consistent climb ITB has managed in the last 12 months.

Chart courtesy of

This fund holds $2.4 billion in assets, and its expense ratio of 0.39% is more than balanced out by its 0.60% dividend yield.

Currently, its portfolio contains 48 companies. Among them are D.R. Horton Inc. (DHI), 14.88%; Lennar Corp. (LEN), 12.60%; NVR Inc. (NVR), 7.63%; PulteGroup Inc. (PHM), 6.95% and Lowe’s Companies Inc. (LOW), 4.58%. The bulk of the fund’s assets, 64.8%, are invested in companies in the homebuilding segment, with the rest spread among related sectors such as building products and home improvement retail. All companies included in the fund’s investments are based in the United States.

For investors who share my belief that the homebuilding industry is a strong investment or are impressed by its recent performance and strong momentum, iShares U.S. Home Construction ETF (ITB) might offer a compelling piece to complete one’s portfolio puzzle.

I am happy to answer any of your questions about ETFs, so do not hesitate to send me an email. You may just see your question answered in a future ETF Talk.


In case you missed it…

I Share This with Joe Biden

I don’t have very much in common with President Biden. He’s a career politician, a Democrat and someone who holds many political and philosophic ideas that I stridently disagree with. He’s also a man who has many, shall we say, “backward” ideas on how to live.

Perhaps the best example of these ideas was illustrated way back in 2008, in an article I wrote about my five-hour plane ride with then Senator Biden, “We All Scream for Ice Cream: A Joe Biden Tale.” If you haven’t yet read this article, let me give you the Cliff Notes version: He ate his meal in reverse order.

This behavior revealed what I concluded to be a type of reverse-thinking pathology of the sort that leads to bizarre and backward ideas, the latest of which being the proposals found in so-called “Bidenomics.” This is the economic playbook that consists of bigger and bigger government subsidies and spending, and more rules and regulations as a panacea for growing the economy from “the middle out and the bottom up — not the top down.”

Now, as a free-market advocate and a radical for laissez-faire capitalism, you likely know what I think about these ideas. So, the president and I certainly don’t share this key philosophic view.

So, what do I share with Joe Biden?

Two weeks ago, the White House confirmed that President Biden had recently begun using a CPAP machine to treat sleep apnea. The admission came largely in response to the visible indentations caused by the CPAP straps that were seen on both sides of the president’s face last Wednesday morning.

If you don’t know, a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine is a device that uses mild air pressure to keep breathing airways open while you sleep. It is the primary treatment option for sleep apnea, a sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts, forcing a person to essentially wake up constantly during the night, therefore depriving him/her of entering the various necessary sleep stages. It’s also a condition that an estimated 30 million people in the United States have, a number that I suspect is way too low.

I say that, because last year, I was diagnosed with severe sleep apnea, a condition I suspect I had been suffering from for many years without even beware aware of it. And here, you see, is what I share with Joe Biden — we both have sleep apnea, and we both use a CPAP to help us deal with this subversive health condition.

Your editor wearing his “nasal pillow” CPAP machine.

Like the president, I experienced some facial indentations when I first began using my full-face CPAP. However, when I switched to what is called a “nasal pillow” device, the facial indentations disappeared.

Now, the reason I am writing about this medical condition I share with President Biden is because sleep apnea is a very serious problem that, left untreated, can result in a host of serious health complications. For example, multiple studies have shown an association between sleep apnea and problems such as type 2 diabetes, strokes, heart attacks and even a shortened lifespan.

I don’t know about you, but I love my life, and I want it to continue for many years to come. I also want that life to be as free of disease as possible, and as healthy as possible. And considering that more and more research has revealed that quality sleep is a critical component of optimal health, a kind of health superpower, if you will, it only makes sense to get the best quality sleep you can.

Finally, I want you to seriously consider this vital health issue, because you may suffer from sleep apnea and not even realize it. If you, or most likely your partner, notice that you snore heavily, or if you feel sluggish in the morning, have unexplained fatigue and mood swings or if you have dry mouth and/or headaches when you awaken, you may have sleep apnea.

To begin the process of treating this condition, I recommend seeing your doctor and having them refer you to a sleep specialist for an overnight sleep study. This is when you go to a sleep facility, where they place sensors on your head and body that monitor your sleep and calculate your “apnea events” during the night.

According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), sleep apnea and the number of apnea events are categorized into mild (five-15 events/hour), moderate (15-30 events/hour), and severe (>30 events/hour). When I did my sleep study, I was off the charts at 66 events per hour. That means more than once per minute I was waking up and gasping for breath!

Thankfully, this situation is now under control. In fact, my CPAP monitor actually tells me how many apnea events I experience per hour. Last night, it was 0.0 events. So, from 66 events to zero — that is what you call deep sleep progress.

So, if you have any suspicion at all that you may be suffering from sleep apnea, I strongly urge you to find out if you share what the president and I share — a condition you should by no means feel embarrassed by, one that can be treated by medical technology and one that can help you live a healthier life.

Okay, now call your doctor.


Existential Freedom

“The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.”

— Albert Camus

Existential freedom is a concept that’s hard to grasp, and even harder to live. Yet cultivating and living in a state of real existential freedom is, I suspect, the only real path to true happiness and true independence. So, free your mind — and the rest will follow.

Wisdom about money, investing and life can be found anywhere. If you have a good quote that you’d like me to share with your fellow readers, send it to me, along with any comments, questions and suggestions you have about my newsletters, seminars or anything else. Click here to ask Jim.

In the name of the best within us,

Jim Woods

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