Tuesday, May 27, 2008Executive Summary
In this report, I lay out my near- and intermediate-term investment themes.
My assessment is that the economic and financial risks are exceptionally high and possibly historically unique. This is no time for complacency. A defensive stance is both warranted and prudent. A 50% – 70% (real) decline in the main stock market indexes is a distinct possibility, and portfolios should be ‘crash-proofed.’
Heeding the calls that “a bottom is in” and “the recession could already be over” could be hazardous to your wealth.
The recession is just beginning and will be the worst in several generations.
Residential housing data is still accelerating to the downside, while commercial real estate is just beginning its long date with tough times. There is no bottom in sight for either.
Inflation for life’s necessities is up, and rising energy costs will likely keep certain items at persistently high – and rising – prices for a very long time.
Bottom line: My assessment is that the financial and economic risks that currently exist are exceptional, historically unique, and possibly systemic in nature, and therefore call for non-status-quo responses. A defensive stance is both warranted and prudent. As for timing, my motto is, ‘I’d rather be a year early than a day late.’Some Context
I am an educator and a communicator, and I focus on using the past to view the future. Some might consider me a futurist. I think of myself as a realist, and I try to let the data inform me about what’s going on. Of course, the extent to which the data is flawed represents the risk of being wrong.
My goal is not to simply inform, but to inform in a way that leads to you take actions. I want you to protect what you’ve got and prepare for a future that will, in all likelihood, be very different from the present. So different, in fact, that I think you should begin making changes to your lifestyle as soon as possible. In my own life I have found that the mental, physical, and financial actions I am advocating take a considerable amount of time to implement.
Broadly speaking, they are:
Adapting to a general decline in Western standards of living. The servicing of past debts, coupled with relentless…