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livelifehappy.com

Better A Year Early Than A Day Too Late

Preparation only has value if it's done in advance
Tuesday, August 22, 2017, 1:42 AM

When it comes, change happens swiftly. And life after -- for better or worse -- is forever different.

I've witnessed this time and time again since co-founding Peak Prosperity. And pretty much every time, I notice that the vast majority of people -- including many of the the watchful and preparation-minded folks who read this site -- are caught by surprise. » Read more

Blog

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

Insider

How To Beat Inflation

Protecting the purchasing power of your wealth
Friday, July 29, 2016, 3:31 PM

Executive Summary

  • Taking Advantage of Subsidies
  • The Importance of Adding New Income Streams
  • Income-Producing Assets
  • Hedges, Cost-Controls & Other Strategies

If you have not yet read Part 1: The Burrito Index: Consumer Prices Have Soared 160% Since 2001, available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

In Part 1, we compared official rates of inflation with hard data from the real world, and found that it’s not just the cost of burritos that has soared over 100% while inflation has supposedly been trundling along at 1% or 2% per year. The real killer is the soaring cost of big-ticket essentials such as rent, higher education and healthcare.

So what can we do about it? There are only a few strategies that can make a real difference: either qualify for subsidies (i.e. lower household income), own assets and income streams that keep up with real-world inflation, or radically reduce the cost structure of big-ticket household expenses.

Qualify for Subsidies

Though it runs counter to our philosophy of self-reliance, we have to address incentives offered by the system we inhabit. One powerful set of incentives is entitlement subsidies for lower income households: rent subsidies (Section 8), healthcare subsidies (Medicaid and ACA/Obamacare), college tuition waivers, food subsidies (food stamps), free school lunches, and so on.

These programs were designed to aid households that cannot earn more income, but for households on the borderline between paying full freight (no subsidies) and receiving some subsidies, it makes sense to work less, earn less and qualify for substantial subsidies.

I am not recommending gaming the system, I am simply noting that subsidies exist and those who earn just above qualifying incomes are in effect punished for earning a bit too much.

In many cases, we assume subsidies are reserved for “poor people” and we don’t qualify. For entitlements such as food stamps (SNAP), this is generally the case. But other programs offer some subsidies to households with incomes that are substantial... » Read more

Insider

How My Personal Portfolio Is Positioned Right Now

You've asked. I answer.
Friday, June 24, 2016, 4:46 PM

Executive Summary

If you have not yet read Part 1: Fortunes Will Be Made & Lost When Capital Flees To Safety available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

So, given the conclusions in Part 1 -- as well as the larger risks to the economy and financial markets that we analyze daily here at Peak Prosperity -- how am I positioning my own personal investments?

I get asked this question often. Often enough that I'm deciding to open the kimono here and let it drop to the ground. Everyone interested to look will get the full frontal.

Before I do though, let me make a few things absolutely clear. This is NOT personal financial advice. The investment choices I've made are based on my own unique situation, financial goals and risk tolerance. And I may change these choices at any moment given new market developments. What's appropriate for me may not be for you, so DO NOT blindly duplicate what I'm doing.

As always, we recommend working with a professional financial adviser to build an investment plan customized to your own needs and objectives. (If you do not have a financial adviser or do not feel comfortable with your current adviser's expertise in the market risks we discuss here at PeakProsperity.com, consider scheduling a free consultation with our endorsed adviser)

Suffice it to say, any investment ideas sparked by this report should be reviewed with your financial adviser before taking any action. Am I being excessively repetitive here in order to drive this point home? Good...

OK, with that out of the way, let's get started. I'll walk through the asset classes I own and my rationale for holding each.

The strategy behind my portfolio allocation is of my own devise, though it has been influenced in no small part by the good folks at New Harbor Financial, Peak Prosperity's aforementioned endorsed financial adviser.

At a high level, it has been constructed to address my strongly-held conclusions that:

  • Prices of most asset classes are dangerously overvalued
  • The risk of another economic contraction on par with (or greater than) the Great Recession within the next 2-4 years is uncomfortably high
  • The most likely path is we will experience a short period of coming deflation, followed soon after by one of high inflation as central banks starting printing currency without restraint (the Ka-POOM theory)
  • Capital will increasingly want to flow from paper assets (tertiary wealth) into tangible ones (primary and secondary wealth)
  • This is a time to prioritize protecting capital (defense) over speculating on how to grow it (offense)
  • Diversification is wise: just be emotionally prepared that some of your bets, by definition, will not pay off
  • In today's world of financial repression, no asset class is truly "safe". As such, asset performance is all relative.

This is not a swing-for-the-fences portfolio. It's much more of a prepare-for-the-storm approach... » Read more

Podcast

Scott E Read/Shutterstock

New Harbor: A Time For Staying Out Of Harms Way

Preserving your financial capital
Sunday, January 24, 2016, 1:16 PM

Given the brutal start to the markets in the first three weeks of 2016, we thought it a good time to check in with the team at New Harbor Financial. We have had them on our podcast periodically over the past years as the market churned to ever new highs, and have always appreciated their skepticism of these liquidity-driven ""markets"" as well as their unwavering commitment to risk management should the party in stocks end suddenly.

So, how is their risk-managed approach faring now that the S&P 500 has suddenly dropped 8% since Christmas? Quite well. Their general portfolio is flat for the year so far -- evidence that caution, prudence and hedging can indeed preserve capital during market downdrafts.

We've invited the New Harbor team back on this week to hear their latest assessment on the markets, as well as how they're approaching their portfolio positioning moving forward. » Read more

Insider

Oksana Shufrych/Shutterstock

Off The Cuff: A Financial Adviser's View Of The Recent Market Turbulence

New Harbor weighs in
Friday, August 28, 2015, 2:26 AM

In this week's Off The Cuff podcast, Chris and New Harbor Financial discuss the recent gyrations of the market.

  • Are we witnessing a secular trend reversal?
  • What's likely to happen next?
  • How can prudent investors position themselves now?
  • Where can shelter best be taken?
  • Is it time for risk-seekers to place bets?

All these questions and more are addressed in this podcast. Needless to say, this is one of the most challenging times to protect capital in living memory.  » Read more

Blog

Oleksii Sergieiev, Dreamstime

For Heaven's Sake: Hedge!

If you're not positioned defensively by now, you're nuts
Thursday, April 30, 2015, 10:58 PM

Last fall, I wrote an article titled Defying Gravity that warned of the absurd price levels that stocks and bonds had risen to. Less than a month later, the stock market abruptly dropped by 7%. Those who didn't seek safety in advance were left licking their wounds, panicked not knowing if the painful down-draft was over.

So here we are roughly six months later, and the same warning bells are ringing -- just louder this time. » Read more

Blog

Gravity Returns - The Market Drops Nearly 5% in 3 Days

Years-long trends are finally breaking
Monday, October 13, 2014, 7:14 PM

A month ago, in an analysis titled Defying Gravity, I wrote about the unsustainable state of the stock market's high prices.

In it, I noted how the stock market had risen for an aberrantly-long time time without a correction, and that it hadn't even tested its 200-daily moving average price once since the beginning of 2012: » Read more

Podcast

Shutter_M/Shutterstock

New Harbor: Hedging 101

How to defend against a market correction
Saturday, September 13, 2014, 3:02 PM

This week's podcast build on our recent report on hedging, driller deeper into how the technique can be used to offer protection against falling asset prices.

There are numerous ways to hedge, which vary in cost and complexity -- with several being quite simple and low-cost (such as building cash or employing stops). But many investors don't practice them, mostly out of unfamiliarity. Which is a shame, as often a small degree of defensive planning can provide substantial avoidance of large losses. (In fact, our recent poll has discovered that one of the most common and cheapest methods of hedging -- setting stops --  is hardly used by PeakProsperity's readership.) » Read more

Featured Discussion

Poll: How Many Of You Are Actively Hedging?

Poll: How Many Of You Are Actively Hedging?

Learn which hedging tactics Peak Prosperity readers are using to protect against a market crash