It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.
~ Mark Twain
The Crash Course does a good job of explaining why we're heading into an uncertain future. One that will be defined by disruption and volatility.
How that change will unfold exactly is impossible to forecast. As Yogi Berra rightly quipped: It's tough to make predictions, especially about the future!
So, what to do? Well, we make the best decisions we can today and plan accordingly — while building resilience so that we have flexibility to withstand the surprises that will inevitably come.
It's important to come to grips with the reality that no matter what precautions we take, no plan is fool-proof. We might place the wrong bets. Or the right ones, but at the wrong time. Or we might become victims of simple bad luck.
Who knows? Maybe cheap cold fusion is discovered next year and the net-energy concerns raised by peak oil disappear overnight. Maybe precious metals halve in price again before their protective role against currency devaluation becomes relevant again. Or maybe that farm you spent your retirement savings on is suddenly found to rest atop a chemical dumping site. Stuff can happen.
The best way to defend yourself against the risk of 'losing it all' is to have an important part of your wealth stored between your ears, where it can't be taken from you.
If bad fortune should intervene and you lose your financial wealth, or you need to move away from your current community and start all over again, you'll be able to build a future if you have valuable skills, knowledge and expertise to rely on.
This will be especially true if the future unfolds the way we expect, where declining energy yields and economic stagnation sentence us to doing less. In such a world, a much higher premium will be placed on those individuals who know how to create value. Who know how to get things done.
In our new book Prosper!: How to Prepare for the Future and Create a World Worth Inheriting, we call this kind of wealth Knowledge Capital, and it's one of the most important of the 8 Forms of Capital that make up true resilience in life.
For those who have not yet read Prosper!, we're making our chapter on Knowledge Capital available here for free. Read it, and feel free to share it, too, as a means of engaging someone you care about in the discussion:
And as the chapter above mentions, one great way to enhance your Knowledge Capital is to join us for the Peak Prosperity annual seminar in Rowe, MA next month from April 14-17. We hope to see you there!
Adam & Chris