The Path Forward

How to self-educate for success
Saturday, March 23, 2019, 1:39 AM

Executive Summary

  • Learning how to become rich requires 'unlearning' what we're taught in school
  • Clarifying the path forward
  • Recommended reading for getting started on the journey
  • Why investing in your continuing education is so critical at this juncture

If you have not yet read Part 1: The One True Thing, available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

The good news in our civilization is that there’s no reason at all for you to remain parked in whatever slot you’ve been assigned or fallen into.  You can break free and either move up -- or even out of -- the pyramid.

But first you have to understand the beliefs that keep you where you are.

As I write this I'm on the Real Estate Radio Guys annual Summit At Sea event (March 14-24), surrounded by very successful entrepreneurs and investors. 

Two key themes of the conference are (1) learning how to be a successful real estate investor, and (2) unlearning all the unhelpful crap you were taught throughout your upbringing.

Learning the right things and unlearning the wrong things.  Education and beliefs. 

One of the more delightfully blunt faculty speakers at this event is Robert Kiyosaki (of Rich Dad, Poor Dad fame) who keeps drilling home the point that the education system is not designed to help you achieve financial freedom. Rather, it's designed to slot you into the most heavily-taxed layer of the pyramid, and then keep you there.

The “Employee” slot, no matter how well-compensated, is heavily taxed.  As soon as you break out of a poverty-level paycheck you quickly escalate towards an overall combined rate of taxation of about 40%.

What if you were to learn that there were other means of making money that will legally reduce your tax rates to 20%, or even to 0%?  Further, what if you learned that nearly all of the rich people are operating in these areas? 

It's true. And so we learn that....     (Enroll to read more) » Read more


Off The Cuff: Inflationary Pressures Are Rising

Wage growth, other factors, now pushing inflation higher
Tuesday, March 19, 2019, 7:47 PM

In this week's Off The Cuff podcast, Chris and Axel Merk discuss:

  • Powell's Non-Message
    • He's trying to be as boring as possible to keep the markets placid
  • Rising Inflation
    • We may quickly go from "too little" inflation to "too much"
  • Good Times?
    • Many of the metrics the Fed looks at are still green
  • The Boeing Crash & Energy
    • Why one is related to the other

Fresh off his own reaction to Jerome Powell's appearance on 60 Minutes, Chris sits down with Fed watcher Axel Merk to hear his seasoned perspective on the central bank's future moves:

Click to listen to a sample of this Off the Cuff Podcast or Enroll today to access the full audio as well as all of's other premium content. » Read more


Assume The Crash Position

Actions to take before the market breaks
Friday, March 15, 2019, 7:17 PM

Executive Summary

  • The latest outlook from our endorsed financial advisor, New Harbor Financial
  • My recent portfolio changes & the rationale behind them
  • 6 strategies for positioning your portfolio for the next market downturn
  • Deciding which strategies are most appropriate for you

If you have not yet read Part 1: Hair-Trigger Markets, available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

As we take close note of the "coiling" of the markets, we supplement our own analysis with that of other experts we respect. Are they seeing similar signs of mounting risk?

New Harbor Financial is an independent financial advisory firm that manages investor capital using a philosophy that takes many of the key trends within The Crash Course into account. We asked them for an update on their current market outlook, and here's their response:

"The stock market, particularly in the US, is completely disconnected from reality.  It’s clear to us that the global economy has been slowing, and various data series point to a deceleration of global demand, starting in late 2018. For many years central banks have been able to create the illusion of growth by creating trillions of dollars out of thin air and throwing the money into the financial markets, with the primary objective of pushing asset prices higher.  It is becoming clear that not only did central banks fail to create sustainable growth, but by stealing growth from the future, they likely have made the situation even worse.

The recent sharp rally of approximately 20% from the December low is not unusual in the context of early bear markets.  In fact, a “last gasp” rally often occurs in the early stages of stock market declines.  This rally often lures unwitting investors in due to their fear of “being left behind”, and keeps complacent participants fully invested.

Stock valuations remain near the highest levels in all of history. Returns from these levels, particularly in the US markets, are likely to be pitiful, perhaps even negative, over the next decade.  Of course, market retreats to more reasonable levels make all the difference in reestablishing valuations that can support healthy subsequent returns.  At New Harbor, our portfolio for most clients has minimal net exposure to the stock market and a healthy percentage of short-term Treasury bills. While we can’t predict the exact path of stock market returns in the future, we believe it is imperative to hold a significant amount of cash to be able to take advantage of lower prices ahead.

Based on the data, we can’t stress enough how historically overvalued these markets are. While many professional investors acknowledge the data, and how extreme it is, all too often many of these investors will..." (Enroll to read more) » Read more


Off The Cuff: Demoralization Is Our Enemy

More and people are desperate for agency & hope
Thursday, March 14, 2019, 8:11 PM

In this week's Off The Cuff podcast, Chris speaks on:

  • Horsewhipped Markets
    • The authorities are driving them higher, not fundamentals
  • The 1% Is Abusing Its Advantge
    • And the 99% is beginning to get angry enough to matter
  • Demoralization Is Our Enemy
    • People are desperate for agency and hope
  • Where The Freedom In This Story Lies
    • Letting go of what's no longer working & adopting better models

It's house-cleaning week here at Peak Prosperity as Chris and I hit the annual Summit At Sea, at which we're presenting faculty. We had a lot to get done this week as we scrambled to get ready to set sail, and here's a solo Off The Cuff Chris recorded that should have been published Monday.

It's just as relevant and hard-hitting these few days later, after more horsewhipping of the markets (e.g., Powell, Yellen & Bernanke on 60 Minutes), more revelations that the elites exercise privilege to protect their advantage (e.g., college admissions bribes), and more rendering of the social fabric (e.g., yesterday's mass shootings in New Zealand). The status quo is destined to break, and what's going to get us through the aftermath will be the courage to adopt new models to replace today's broken ones.

Click to listen to a sample of this Off the Cuff Podcast or Enroll today to access the full audio as well as all of's other premium content. » Read more


Requirements For Any Kind Of Credible "New Deal"

Here are the policies Peak Prosperity endorses
Friday, March 8, 2019, 8:50 PM

Executive Summary

  • The key incentives to align to direct our efforts intelligently towards the key goals we want to achieve
  • The specific national policies Peak Prosperity advocates
  • Common sense guidelines for ecological sustainabilty, social justice, and addressing wealth inequality
  • Adding your ideas to this list

If you have not yet read Part 1: Deconstructing The Green New Deal, available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

At Peak Prosperity we’ve outlined a very large set of the problems (which have solutions) and predicaments (which only have outcomes to be managed intelligently or otherwise) that our socitey increasingly will have to grapple with over the next few decades.

Given the late stage of the present set of circumstances, we strongly believe that everybody should attend first and foremost to their own resiliency efforts. It means donning your oxygen mask before helping others get theirs on.

Everyone reading this should take the steps outlined in our book Prosper!: How to Prepare for the Future and Create a World Worth Inheriting to get your own house in order.

Done that? Then move onto helping those around you: your friends, your wider family, and your fellow community members. 

But what happens after all that? What are the critical steps we as a society should take to sufficiently and sustainably deal with the problems and predicaments facing us?

Here's what we propose... » Read more


Off The Cuff: Bad Assumptions = Bad Outcomes

Both the market & the Fed are making dangerous assumptions
Tuesday, February 26, 2019, 6:08 PM

In this week's Off The Cuff podcast, Chris and Wolf Richter discuss:

  • The Market Is Making Some Dangerous Assumptions
    • Right now it's confident the Fed won't hike this year. But will that be the case?
  • A Rate Surprise Would Shock The Markets
    • But the massive rebound seen since Jan supports hiking
  • Higher Rates Would Help The Fed Address The Coming Recession
    • Yet another reason rates can still go up
  • But There's No Guarantee The Fed Can Ride To The Rescue
    • One day its stimulus will stop working, no matter how large

There's been a lot of releases from the Federal Reserve lately which Chris and Wolf deconstruct here. Wolf is of the mind that the markets are interpreting the Fed's recent dovish moves as complete capitulation. He's not so sure about that -- he thinks the Fed will raise rates if given the opportunity. And the massive market recovery since the start of the year is giving it more and more validation for further hikes. So Wolf warns that the market could be in for a nasty surprise should the Fed hike later this year. 

But he also warns that the Fed is guilty of making some shaky assumptions of its own. Here he explains why its stimulus playbook may not work as expected when the next recession arrives:

Click to listen to a sample of this Off the Cuff Podcast or Enroll today to access the full audio as well as all of's other premium content. » Read more


Tuning Into Reality

Here's the hard data that they *don't* want you to see
Friday, February 22, 2019, 7:16 PM

Executive Summary

  • The central banks are the key players at this stage. When they fail, the system will fail.
  • How today's Frankenmarkets are poised to collapse
  • Where we see the most convincing signs that the global economy is now falling into recession
  • Why we should expect bad times to lead to even worse decisions

If you have not yet read Part 1: We're Living In 'The Groundhog Show', available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

The reason I still get angry and frustrated from time to time is because we’re just wasting very important time and resources that really ought to be dedicated to other pursuits.

As I watch the US electorate recklessly lurch from one emotional outrage to another, I truly wonder if this is really just the emergent outcome of how events spread virally -- or if it’s not something more intentional and sinister. Is this all a program designed to keep people revved up but pointed in the wrong directions?

So if you find yourself increasingly feeling that things are really off track, that’s probably because you’ve also been paying close attention to the news. Whether by design or default, this doesn’t speak well to our ability to rally effectively to address the many massive predicaments society faces.

As an ex-Facebook executive said about the nefarious aspects of the social media phenomenon he helped to create, “No civil discourse, no cooperation, misinformation, mistruth; you are being programmed.”

That closely matches what I am seeing in the online world now. And it’s really unfortunate, because the stakes are so high. We really need to begin preparing for a very different future.   

Which is hard, if not nearly impossible to do in a fractured and polarized world such as the one that’s been emerging over the past few years.

The central banks are at the very center of it all.  The financial markets have taken on a new significance in the world and are now one of the prime, if not the prime, signaling mechanisms used by central planners to communicate with the world.

So it's critical to understand that the most important factor in play is... » Read more


Off The Cuff: When Does The System Break?

Where's the line where inflation will become hyperinflation?
Wednesday, February 20, 2019, 2:13 PM

In this week's Off The Cuff podcast, Chris and John Rubino discuss:

  • When Does The System Break?
    • When will (hyper)inflation become the greater risk?
  • When Will The Central Banks Lose Control?
    • Their intervention is becoming increasingly desperate
  • Recession & Debt Exhaustion
    • These are limits that can't be 'printed away' forever
  • The Rise Of Authoritarianism
    • More countries are giving the State more power

One of the most frequent questions we're asked here at Peak Prosperity is: When does all this blow up? When do the sins of the past -- rampant debt/deificit spending, monetary meddling, cronyism, lies & propaganda, resource despoilage -- catch up with us and force a day of reckoning?

Well, in this week's podcast, Chris and John Rubino bravely attempt to answer. Their conclusions aren't pretty; it's better we be forewarned of the risks than slam into them blindly.

Click to listen to a sample of this Off the Cuff Podcast or Enroll today to access the full audio as well as all of's other premium content. » Read more


You vs The Recession

To fail to plan is to plan to fail
Friday, February 8, 2019, 7:23 PM

Executive Summary

  • The limits to central bank money printing
  • The key indicators signalling recession
  • The growing fractures in the US economy & housing market, Europe, China & global trade
  • Stepping out of the recession's path

If you have not yet read Part 1: Next Stop: Recession!, available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

Here in early 2019 the central banks have already caved to the market’s December 2018 weakness by printing more money, softening their plans for reducing their balance sheets and delaying the already timid schedule for introducing new interest rate hikes.  They are panicking early and often and seem inordinately afraid of any sort of downturn in stock prices, which is a concerning matter in itself.

So our asterisk on this claim of ours that a recession has arrived is contained in the phrase “until and unless.”  Until and unless the central banks reignite their QE booster rockets, and do so in larger-than-ever quantities, and do so by giving money to the common people (not the banks), we think that the die is cast.  The recession has arrived. 

Perhaps we should introduce a second idea which is contained in the phrase “they can until they can’t.”  The central banks managed to get a bounce in the equity markets through a combination of easing financial conditions, as they say (i.e. throw more money to the markets), and jawboning. 

This was sufficient to get a relief bounce in equity and bond markets, but it did nothing to alter the many recession indicators we’ll track for you below.  The central banks can still move the markets with their words and deed.  Someday, perhaps soon, it will be shown they can’t.  They can move markets until they can’t.  Other such times of the central banks being overwhelmed by the movement of the market tides were in 2000 and 2008.

What sorts of things could or will swamp the levitating effects of money printing?  One is a full-blown recession that ends up crushing the various crevices that central banks cannot directly control via printing such as real estate, consumer sentiment, and zombie companies’ ability to meet debt payments.

Another is a deflationary event that sweeps across overleveraged debt markets and causes the very worst sort of damage to a debt-based money system built on leverage; a decline in the amount of credit outstanding from one period to the next.  In other words, another 2008-2009 type of event.

The central banks can control things until they can’t.  That’s what history says.  Perhaps something more fundamental has changed since that allows them more complete control than ever, and perhaps we should always have a few of our chips placed on that possibility, but otherwise it’s not different this time and the central banks will once again discover that credit bubbles are really fun on the way up and utterly destructive on the way down.

We think the next recession has arrived and that it’s going to be a real doozy in terms of creating financial market panic and losses.

Specifically, you need to watch out for... » Read more


Off The Cuff: Further Exploring Our Collapse Trajectory

Chris builds on the insights of his recent report
Thursday, February 7, 2019, 3:57 PM

In this week's Off The Cuff podcast, Chris speaks on:

  • The Immorality Of Central Planning
    • The banks are stealing our future
  • The Poor 99.9%
    • The system is now geared solely for the 0.1%'s interests
  • Our Money Or Our Lives
    • The real damage is happening across our critical ecosystems
  • This Will End
    • Remember that collapse is a process. And local mileage may vary.

Chris recorded this podcast shortly after completing his recent report on the in-process collapse occurring in the key systems around us. Economically, envrionmentally, socially -- it's happening everywhere. Chris spend an hour exploring the collapse dynamic further, ending with this succinct prediction...

Click to listen to a sample of this Off the Cuff Podcast or Enroll today to access the full audio as well as all of's other premium content. » Read more