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Hell To Pay

The final condition for a market crash is falling into place
Friday, September 23, 2016, 5:23 PM

Those familiar with my writing know I put the word “markets” in quotes because we no longer have a financial system where legitimate price discovery is a regular -- or even recognizable -- feature.

It's destined to fail. What more can be said about such a flawed system?

Well, a lot as it turns out. 

And failure to pay attention at this stage of economic and ecological history will prove to be exceptionally painful. » Read more

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The Importance Of Perseverance

Without training to overcome adversity, wealth is soon lost
Friday, September 16, 2016, 9:16 AM

There are literally thousands and thousands of books that have been written on how to amass wealth. Some excellent, some less so; and too many not worth the paper they're printed on. Each posits its own special strategy, promising a future of riches to the reader. Of course, were there a sure-fire recipe for making millions, it's a safe bet that the last thing the guy who figured it out would do is share it with the world.

But as mentioned, some of these books have real value. One whose lessons have stuck with me in the decades since I first read it is The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America's Wealthy, first published in 1996 by two PhD researchers, Thomas Stanley and William Danko, » Read more

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If Everything's Doing So Great, How Come I’m Not?

Are you better off than you were 10 years ago?
Friday, September 9, 2016, 8:26 PM

Whether it's struggling to keep up with the rising cost of living, a 0% return on savings, working longer hours while real wages stagnate, scrimping to pay back education loans, despairing at the abuses of power in our banking and political systems, or lamenting the loss of nourishing social interaction in our increasingly isolated and digital lifestyle — most "regular" people find their own personal experiences to be at odds with the rosy "Everything is awesome!" narrative trumpeted by our media. » Read more

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Charles Krupa

Sorry Losers!

How the Fed has screwed the many to benefit the few
Friday, September 2, 2016, 4:48 PM

By its actions, the Federal Reserve has selected a precious few winners and many, many losers.  Sadly, you are highly likely to be one of the losers.

Sorry!

I'm one, too, if that helps soften the blow.

But we have a lot of company. » Read more

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Dreamstime

The Marginal Buyer Holds The Pin That Pops Every Asset Bubble

So it's important to watch him very closely
Friday, August 19, 2016, 2:01 AM

Those of you who took an Economics class in college may remember the saying that prices are set "at the margin". That's a fancy way to say that prices are set by the person (or people) willing to pay the most.

This person willing to pay top dollar is called the "marginal buyer". Most of us don't really think about him, but he (or she) is very, very important.

Why? Because the marginal buyer not only determines price levels, but also their stability and degree of volatility. The behavior of the marginal buyer, as well as the degree of competition for his/her "top dog" spot, sets the prices of nearly every asset class held by today's investors. » Read more

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Chris In Asia This October

We're looking to expand his speaking schedule while there
Wednesday, August 17, 2016, 5:20 PM

As many of you know, earlier this year Chris was recruited by the United Nations to participate in one of its Advisory Groups. The mission of this particular group is to award a $1 million grant to a promising innovator in the field of sustainable transportation.

In April, the Group, made up of high-ranking officials and experts from around the globe, convened its for first meeting at the UN's headquarters in New York.

Its next meeting is taking place in Hong Kong over October 7-9th. » Read more

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The Burrito Index: Consumer Prices Have Soared 160% Since 2001

Calculating the real inflation rate
Friday, July 29, 2016, 3:31 PM

In our household, we measure inflation with the "Burrito Index": How much has the cost of a regular burrito at our favorite taco truck gone up?

Since we keep detailed records of expenses (a necessity if you’re a self-employed free-lance writer), I can track the real-world inflation of the Burrito Index with great accuracy: the cost of a regular burrito from our local taco truck has gone up from $2.50 in 2001 to $5 in 2010 to $6.50 in 2016.

That’s a $160% increase since 2001; 15 years in which the official inflation rate reports that what $1 bought in 2001 can supposedly be bought with $1.35 today. » Read more

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Making The Wrong Choices For The Wrong Reasons

Why we're on a collision-course with crisis
Friday, July 22, 2016, 8:54 PM

Life is full of examples where folks make bad choices for noble reasons. Not every decision is a winner: sometimes you make the right call, sometimes you don't.

  • In 1962, Decca Records passed on signing a young new band because it thought that guitar-based groups were falling out of favor. That band was The Beatles.
  • Napolean Bonaparte calculated he could conquer Russia by assembling one of the largest invading forces the world has ever seen. He marched towards Moscow in the summer of 1812 with over 650,000 troops. Less than six months later, he retreated in failure, his forces decimated down to a mere 27,000 effective soldiers.
  • 1985 217 separate investors turned down an entrepreneur trying to raise the relatively modest sum of $1.6 million for his vision of transforming a daily routine shared by millions around the world. That company? Starbucks.  

In these cases, those making the decision made what they felt was the best choice given the information available to them at the time. That's completely understandable and defensible. Fate is fickle, and no one is 100% right 100% of the time.

But what's much harder to condone -- and this is the focus of this article -- is when people embrace the wrong decision even when they have ample evidence and comprehension that doing so runs counter to their welfare. » Read more

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raintreecommunitychurch.com

On Our Way To Freedom Fest

"The world's largest gathering of free minds"
Tuesday, July 12, 2016, 8:18 PM

For years now, a number of Peak Prosperity readers have been encouraging Chris and me to attend Freedom Fest, a conference billed as "The world's largest gathering of free minds". 

Every Spring, the calls and emails begin: Are you guys going to Freedom Fest this year?

They tell us this is consistently the most stimulating week of their entire year. And that, like at our annual seminars, the people you meet and relationships you make there are well worth the price of admission alone.

Well, this year we decided to take up the invitation. » Read more

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The Great Market Tide Has Now Shifted To Risk-Off Assets

A global sea-change in risk appetite & sentiment
Friday, July 8, 2016, 3:03 PM

In the conventional investment perspective, risk-on assets (i.e. investments with higher risks and higher potential returns) such as stocks are on a see-saw with risk-off assets (investments with lower returns and lower risk, such as Treasury bonds). When risk appetites are high, institutional managers and speculators move money into stocks and high-yield junk bonds, and move money out of safe-haven assets such as gold and U.S. Treasuries.

But recently, markets are no longer following this convention. Safe haven assets such as precious metals and Treasuries are soaring at the same time that stock markets bounced strongly off the post-Brexit lows.

Risk-on assets (stocks) rising at the same time as safe-haven assets is akin to dogs marrying cats and living happily ever after. 

What the heck is going on? » Read more