|Is It Coming To This?|
We must face the question of where exactly is a good place to dig, or in other words, where is the best place to hide or squirrel away what they have worked so hard to save. Savers who have been hurt by low-interest rates will be the first to testify to the pain they have had to endure during recent years. Since we do not have the ability or power to simply freeze in place the value of what we own in relationship to other assets we should at least try to minimize harm to ourselves by avoiding economic black holes. Many of these are akin to what is generally known as a "Ponzi scheme" and they exist everywhere, just because they hide behind a solid sounding moniker designed to conjure up images of stability should not fool us into thinking the promises they make will be fulfilled even when they are guaranteed.
Correctly predicting the form a future crisis might take and your preparations prior to it are particularly important in determining how you might fare economically at a time others are brutalized. Another key issue is how best and broadly you might want to hedge your bets, my personal history has shown that diversification often fails to meet expectations, while it is a great concept it does not always save your wealth. How diversified and into what areas you shift your savings, however, is the most important decision you can make when it comes to capital preservation.
The fact that certain asset classes will wildly outperform others is defiantly an issue and so is the matter of inflation. I continue to contend that a primary reason that inflation has not raised its ugly head or become a major economic issue is because we are pouring such a large percentage of wealth into intangible products or goods. If faith is lost in these intangible "promises" and money begins flowing into tangible goods seeking a safe haven inflation will soar. It should be noted that during times of inflation the effect on values is not even across sectors. In times of massive flooding a large rubber raft is quite valuable, but in times of drought not so much. The sad reality is there is no place to hide when it comes to avoiding how different assets react and change in value depending on supply and demand.
Years ago the common wisdom is that if you saved enough money you would be able to live comfortably off the interest in later years, currently that scenario appears to have vanished. Today a person holding a half million dollar savings account receives a paltry twenty-five hundred dollars in interest compared to ten times that before the 2008 financial crisis. To those of us who feel the world economy is a house of cards teetering on the edge of an abyss it is only a matter of time before a major reset begins that realign asset values to reflect the reality of today, this does not necessarily mean restoring them to historic norms. When this occurs those trapped in the wrong investments will pay a heavy price.
Because people often want to know if you are eating your own cooking I will tell you now, the answer is yes. A few of my favored investments fall into the category of paid for real estate, the real gems being those that are leased and returning a solid cash flow. I think bulk silver coins that can be purchased at a coin store for their silver content are also interesting over the long term, I also have a strange affinity for pennies, old copper ones are greatly preferred. I love collectibles bought on the cheap, they seem available everywhere these days as Americans often desperate for cash rid themselves of clutter. I find people will often gladly take a few dollars for high-quality items their parents bought. What I don't like is the ever growing number of paper promises like stock, annuities, and money put into a system dependent on computer kept records.
For example, a real Black Swan event not taken seriously enough would be a devastating cyber-attack on America's power grid. This is not only possible but more likely than most people realize. As both a country and as a culture we are shockingly unprepared for such an occurrence and one lasting for an extended time would leave many financial instruments in shambles. While the media paints both the financial system and our economy with a broad brush accepting and even promoting the idea those in power have control over what they have created remember just because someone says something does not mean it is true. An honest evaluation shows that many of the economic options and strategies open to the financial elite are unavailable to the masses or come only in some costly stripped-down form. I'm not advocating that people panic but it would be wise to remain cautious, plan ahead, and have at least some assets tucked away in a safe place.