by Gary Alexander

January 19, 2022

When lonely feelings chill the meadows of your mind,
Just think: If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?
Beneath the deepest snows, the secret of a rose
Is merely that it knows, You Must Believe in Spring

–by Alan and Marilyn Bergman (1967)

Three of the greatest lyric songwriters of the late 20th century died in the last two months, first the Broadway genius Stephen Sondheim and jazz composer Dave Frishberg in late November, and then last week (January 8), Marilyn Bergman, half of the songwriting couple, married since 1958, died at age 93.

The Bergmans’ most profound poetry came in conjunction with French film composer, Michel Legrand, who died three years ago while I was on a Jazz Cruise in the Caribbean, where a young pianist honored him with a 10-minute medley of four or five of the songs Legrand wrote with the Bergmans: “Windmills of Your Mind” (from The Thomas Crown Affair in 1968), “What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?” (from Happy Endings, 1969), “How Do You Keep the Music Playing?” (from Best Friends, 1982), and “Papa, Can You Hear Me?” (from Yentl, 1983), and then the song that launched their partnership: “You Must Believe in Spring,” from a 1967 French comedy translated as The Young Ladies of Rochefort.

That tune ends with this profound statement – which applies to far more than the weather:

In a world of snow, of things that come and go,
Where what you think you know, you can’t be certain of…
You Must Believe in Spring… and love

Whatever we “think we know,” we seem to forget that winter comes each year. Last February 10-27, Texas came to a halt over an unseasonably cold stretch that lasted 17 days and stretched green energy resources beyond their ability to meet the needs of the state, and now, a full year into the Green Dream Team’s plans for us, we have energy prices up 60% or more, threatening to freeze some poor families, nd whose fault is it? It must be those greedy oil companies! It can’t possibly be misguided politicians.

With yet another killer storm assaulting the East Coast this week, we seem to act surprised when major Interstate highways are locked in place overnight, or store shelves are barren, or families can’t afford heat. Yet this is the week we hold Inaugurations or stage NFL playoffs in ice rinks like Green Bay!

The latest example of misplaced outrage is a letter from 41 Congress Members (including former Presidential candidates, Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders) to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, calling for price controls, asking them to use their “power to influence retail rates for natural gas and electricity” to limit “the effect that anticipated increases in heating and energy costs will have on our constituents this winter.” They accused energy firms of “market manipulation” and “profiteering.”

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) countered with common-sense Economics 101: “The main reason wholesale prices of natural gas, crude oil, and petroleum products have risen is that fuel demand has increased from recent lows faster than production.” And why is that? The Biden Administration made it a crusade to phase out fossil fuels by canceling the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and the PennEast Pipeline, so that getting gas to New England (Ms. Warren’s Massachusetts and Sanders’ Vermont) now involves Russian tankers entering Boston harbor, a greater political risk and costlier route than pipeline transport.

The Cost After One Year of Biden’s Energy Policies

This week marks the one-year anniversary of the Inauguration of President Joe Biden. Where do we stand on energy costs, due to changes in supply and demand? At the end of 2021, the use of petroleum products hit a new record high for winter-time use (see chart, below), by volume, and more so in price terms. The red line (2021, below) even exceeded the December 2019 volume usage, before COVID struck the world.

Graphs are for illustrative and discussion purposes only. Please read important disclosures at the end of this commentary.

In Europe, where the Green Revolution is even more radicalized, energy costs have risen far faster than here. The average price of a Brent crude last quarter was up almost 100% from its Q4-2020 average. In addition, British gas prices rose 5-fold from January to October and European gas prices rose 7-fold:

Graphs are for illustrative and discussion purposes only. Please read important disclosures at the end of this commentary.

Here are some U.S. energy price increases in the last 52 weeks – since Mr. Biden was sworn in:

Here are some notes for each energy source, how they are measured, and why they have risen so fast.

  • Heating Oil trades at $2.67 per gallon, almost doubling in a year, reaching its highest price since 2014. Storage levels have been falling the last two months. Inventories fell by 515,000 barrels in the two weeks ending January 7. Also, OPEC exports are below their allowed increases in some nations.
  • WTI Crude Oil trades around $84 per barrel, another seven-year high, up from a theoretical price below zero in April 2020. Due to a recent rise in demand, analysts see crude oil prices rising higher.
  • Gasoline futures are $2.43 per gallon, up 69% from Inauguration Day but a bit below the $2.51 peak last October. Part of that is due to inventories rising by 7.961 million barrels in early January.
  • Natural gas futures trade at around $4.25 per million British thermal units (BTUs), which is well below the peak of $6.20 last October, but there is a huge global price anomaly here, as natural gas prices overseas are up to seven times above U.S. prices as Europe and Asia urgently seek supplies.

It’s also important to remember that there are no totally “clean” sources of energy. Fossil fuels were once viewed as the clean solution to killing whales for their oil, or harnessing manure-producing horses to pull our carriages through urban streets. Now, with the advent of electric vehicles (EVs), the sad truth is that the mining of cobalt and lithium for batteries can also damage the environment and raise the cost of EVs.

  • Lithium comes from China, where prices rose to 327,500 yuan ($51,575) per metric ton as of mid-January 2022, up over 500% in the last year, mostly due to demand from battery makers. According to Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, battery manufacturer’s lithium carbonate stocks are between low and non-existent. China cannot keep up with rising orders, as producers can’t fulfill all current orders.
  • Cobalt futures traded above $70,000 per metric ton, near the 3-1/2-year high of $71,750 from the beginning of July 2018. Cobalt is used in the production of lithium-ion batteries in electric vehicles.

My investment conclusion from this brief survey is that fossil fuels will return to a more balanced place in a common-sense energy policy – and portfolio. I am looking at specific energy plays which could make their presence known once America returns to a more sensible energy policy after the mid-term elections.

If you’re so inclined, here’s the timeless Tony Bennett singing You Must Believe in Spring with pianist Bill Eva.

All content above represents the opinion of Gary Alexander of Navellier & Associates, Inc.

Please see important disclosures below.

Also In This Issue

Global Mail by Ivan Martchev
So Far 2022 Looks Like 2018

Sector Spotlight by Jason Bodner
When the Fed Speaks, Everyone Listens – Way Too Much

View Full Archive
Read Past Issues Here

About The Author

Gary Alexander

Gary Alexander has been Senior Writer at Navellier since 2009.  He edits Navellier’s weekly Marketmail and writes a weekly Growth Mail column, in which he uses market history to support the case for growth stocks.  For the previous 20 years before joining Navellier, he was Senior Executive Editor at InvestorPlace Media (formerly Phillips Publishing), where he worked with several leading investment analysts, including Louis Navellier (since 1997), helping launch Louis Navellier’s Blue Chip Growth and Global Growth newsletters.

Prior to that, Gary edited Wealth Magazine and Gold Newsletter and wrote various investment research reports for Jefferson Financial in New Orleans in the 1980s.  He began his financial newsletter career with KCI Communications in 1980, where he served as consulting editor for Personal Finance newsletter while serving as general manager of KCI’s Alexandria House book division.  Before that, he covered the economics beat for news magazines. All content of “Growth Mail” represents the opinion of Gary Alexander

Important Disclosures:

Although information in these reports has been obtained from and is based upon sources that Navellier believes to be reliable, Navellier does not guarantee its accuracy and it may be incomplete or condensed. All opinions and estimates constitute Navellier’s judgment as of the date the report was created and are subject to change without notice. These reports are for informational purposes only and are not a solicitation for the purchase or sale of a security. Any decision to purchase securities mentioned in these reports must take into account existing public information on such securities or any registered prospectus.To the extent permitted by law, neither Navellier & Associates, Inc., nor any of its affiliates, agents, or service providers assumes any liability or responsibility nor owes any duty of care for any consequences of any person acting or refraining to act in reliance on the information contained in this communication or for any decision based on it.

Past performance is no indication of future results. Investment in securities involves significant risk and has the potential for partial or complete loss of funds invested. It should not be assumed that any securities recommendations made by Navellier. in the future will be profitable or equal the performance of securities made in this report. Dividend payments are not guaranteed. The amount of a dividend payment, if any, can vary over time and issuers may reduce dividends paid on securities in the event of a recession or adverse event affecting a specific industry or issuer.

None of the stock information, data, and company information presented herein constitutes a recommendation by Navellier or a solicitation to buy or sell any securities. Any specific securities identified and described do not represent all of the securities purchased, sold, or recommended for advisory clients. The holdings identified do not represent all of the securities purchased, sold, or recommended for advisory clients and the reader should not assume that investments in the securities identified and discussed were or will be profitable.

Information presented is general information that does not take into account your individual circumstances, financial situation, or needs, nor does it present a personalized recommendation to you. Individual stocks presented may not be suitable for every investor. Investment in securities involves significant risk and has the potential for partial or complete loss of funds invested. Investment in fixed income securities has the potential for the investment return and principal value of an investment to fluctuate so that an investor’s holdings, when redeemed, may be worth less than their original cost.

One cannot invest directly in an index. Index is unmanaged and index performance does not reflect deduction of fees, expenses, or taxes. Presentation of Index data does not reflect a belief by Navellier that any stock index constitutes an investment alternative to any Navellier equity strategy or is necessarily comparable to such strategies. Among the most important differences between the Indices and Navellier strategies are that the Navellier equity strategies may (1) incur material management fees, (2) concentrate its investments in relatively few stocks, industries, or sectors, (3) have significantly greater trading activity and related costs, and (4) be significantly more or less volatile than the Indices.

ETF Risk: We may invest in exchange traded funds (“ETFs”) and some of our investment strategies are generally fully invested in ETFs. Like traditional mutual funds, ETFs charge asset-based fees, but they generally do not charge initial sales charges or redemption fees and investors typically pay only customary brokerage fees to buy and sell ETF shares. The fees and costs charged by ETFs held in client accounts will not be deducted from the compensation the client pays Navellier. ETF prices can fluctuate up or down, and a client account could lose money investing in an ETF if the prices of the securities owned by the ETF go down. ETFs are subject to additional risks:

  • ETF shares may trade above or below their net asset value;
  • An active trading market for an ETF’s shares may not develop or be maintained;
  • The value of an ETF may be more volatile than the underlying portfolio of securities the ETF is designed to track;
  • The cost of owning shares of the ETF may exceed those a client would incur by directly investing in the underlying securities; and
  • Trading of an ETF’s shares may be halted if the listing exchange’s officials deem it appropriate, the shares are delisted from the exchange, or the activation of market-wide “circuit breakers” (which are tied to large decreases in stock prices) halts stock trading generally.

Grader Disclosures: Investment in equity strategies involves substantial risk and has the potential for partial or complete loss of funds invested. The sample portfolio and any accompanying charts are for informational purposes only and are not to be construed as a solicitation to buy or sell any financial instrument and should not be relied upon as the sole factor in an investment making decision. As a matter of normal and important disclosures to you, as a potential investor, please consider the following: The performance presented is not based on any actual securities trading, portfolio, or accounts, and the reported performance of the A, B, C, D, and F portfolios (collectively the “model portfolios”) should be considered mere “paper” or pro forma performance results based on Navellier’s research.

Investors evaluating any of Navellier & Associates, Inc.’s, (or its affiliates’) Investment Products must not use any information presented here, including the performance figures of the model portfolios, in their evaluation of any Navellier Investment Products. Navellier Investment Products include the firm’s mutual funds and managed accounts. The model portfolios, charts, and other information presented do not represent actual funded trades and are not actual funded portfolios. There are material differences between Navellier Investment Products’ portfolios and the model portfolios, research, and performance figures presented here. The model portfolios and the research results (1) may contain stocks or ETFs that are illiquid and difficult to trade; (2) may contain stock or ETF holdings materially different from actual funded Navellier Investment Product portfolios; (3) include the reinvestment of all dividends and other earnings, estimated trading costs, commissions, or management fees; and, (4) may not reflect prices obtained in an actual funded Navellier Investment Product portfolio. For these and other reasons, the reported performances of model portfolios do not reflect the performance results of Navellier’s actually funded and traded Investment Products. In most cases, Navellier’s Investment Products have materially lower performance results than the performances of the model portfolios presented.

This report contains statements that are, or may be considered to be, forward-looking statements. All statements that are not historical facts, including statements about our beliefs or expectations, are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of The U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements may be identified by such forward-looking terminology as “expect,” “estimate,” “plan,” “intend,” “believe,” “anticipate,” “may,” “will,” “should,” “could,” “continue,” “project,” or similar statements or variations of such terms. Our forward-looking statements are based on a series of expectations, assumptions, and projections, are not guarantees of future results or performance, and involve substantial risks and uncertainty as described in Form ADV Part 2A of our filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which is available at or by requesting a copy by emailing All of our forward-looking statements are as of the date of this report only. We can give no assurance that such expectations or forward-looking statements will prove to be correct. Actual results may differ materially. You are urged to carefully consider all such factors.

FEDERAL TAX ADVICE DISCLAIMER: As required by U.S. Treasury Regulations, you are informed that, to the extent this presentation includes any federal tax advice, the presentation is not written by Navellier to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of avoiding federal tax penalties. Navellier does not advise on any income tax requirements or issues. Use of any information presented by Navellier is for general information only and does not represent tax advice either express or implied. You are encouraged to seek professional tax advice for income tax questions and assistance.

IMPORTANT NEWSLETTER DISCLOSURE:The hypothetical performance results for investment newsletters that are authored or edited by Louis Navellier, including Louis Navellier’s Growth Investor, Louis Navellier’s Breakthrough Stocks, Louis Navellier’s Accelerated Profits, and Louis Navellier’s Platinum Club, are not based on any actual securities trading, portfolio, or accounts, and the newsletters’ reported hypothetical performances should be considered mere “paper” or proforma hypothetical performance results and are not actual performance of real world trades.  Navellier & Associates, Inc. does not have any relation to or affiliation with the owner of these newsletters. There are material differences between Navellier Investment Products’ portfolios and the InvestorPlace Media, LLC newsletter portfolios authored by Louis Navellier. The InvestorPlace Media, LLC newsletters contain hypothetical performance that do not include transaction costs, advisory fees, or other fees a client might incur if actual investments and trades were being made by an investor. As a result, newsletter performance should not be used to evaluate Navellier Investment services which are separate and different from the newsletters. The owner of the newsletters is InvestorPlace Media, LLC and any questions concerning the newsletters, including any newsletter advertising or hypothetical Newsletter performance claims, (which are calculated solely by Investor Place Media and not Navellier) should be referred to InvestorPlace Media, LLC at (800) 718-8289.

Please note that Navellier & Associates and the Navellier Private Client Group are managed completely independent of the newsletters owned and published by InvestorPlace Media, LLC and written and edited by Louis Navellier, and investment performance of the newsletters should in no way be considered indicative of potential future investment performance for any Navellier & Associates separately managed account portfolio. Potential investors should consult with their financial advisor before investing in any Navellier Investment Product.

Navellier claims compliance with Global Investment Performance Standards (GIPS). To receive a complete list and descriptions of Navellier’s composites and/or a presentation that adheres to the GIPS standards, please contact Navellier or click here. It should not be assumed that any securities recommendations made by Navellier & Associates, Inc. in the future will be profitable or equal the performance of securities made in this report.

FactSet Disclosure: Navellier does not independently calculate the statistical information included in the attached report. The calculation and the information are provided by FactSet, a company not related to Navellier. Although information contained in the report has been obtained from FactSet and is based on sources Navellier believes to be reliable, Navellier does not guarantee its accuracy, and it may be incomplete or condensed. The report and the related FactSet sourced information are provided on an “as is” basis. The user assumes the entire risk of any use made of this information. Investors should consider the report as only a single factor in making their investment decision. The report is for informational purposes only and is not intended as an offer or solicitation for the purchase or sale of a security. FactSet sourced information is the exclusive property of FactSet. Without prior written permission of FactSet, this information may not be reproduced, disseminated or used to create any financial products. All indices are unmanaged and performance of the indices include reinvestment of dividends and interest income, unless otherwise noted, are not illustrative of any particular investment and an investment cannot be made in any index. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.