How to Position Yourself for the Future: Step 1 – Financial Security

By Chris Martenson

What we care about most here is helping people adjust and adapt — happily, profitably, and safely — to what is likely to be a very different future.

Our framework centers on the idea that humanity is facing a set of predicaments quite unlike anything else in the history books. Because this time there are no borders to cross in search of safety; the entire world is involved. On a global basis, we’ve never experienced collective debt loads of this magnitude. Never before has an entire set of intertwined currency systems — all debt-based money — collectively been backed by nothing more than the hope of a larger future, and never before have this many people had to figure out how to move from more-concentrated to less-concentrated energy sources (from fossil fuels to sun- and wind-based alternatives).

The convergence of exponential trends in population, energy depletion, debt accumulation, and an economic model that is hooked on growth will combine to produce quite an interesting, if not challenging and disruptive, future. The funny thing about complex systems is that they are unpredictable, and therefore preparing for what may come is a non-trivial (yet absolutely essential) task.

All of this is spelled out in the Crash Course and more recently in a succinct presentation that I gave at the Madrid Gold Conference in November.

The immediate question for most people is What should I do? We break down the intelligent responses into three big buckets: financial, physical, and emotional. In this report, I detail the financial steps that everyone should undertake right now to manage future risks using the framework that I use to assess and understand the financial world and markets.

My approach is founded as faithfully as possible on facts and data. But my views on how the markets operate are formed from personal experience, observation, and connecting a few dots that rely on opinions and sometimes beliefs. Therefore, this financial and investing framework is something that you should only accept if it works for you — and reject if it does not.

The Basics

I am of the opinion that we are in a gigantic structural bear market. The role of any bear market is to get the most people to lose the most wealth. And so our first goal is to help you be among those who lose the least, as they are the ones who win the most.

This bear market, however, has more to it than the usual bust the follows a typical period of irrational exuberance. Where past bear markets could always count on the natural world helping to induce a recovery by providing more natural resources (especially energy) in whatever quantities and qualities that were necessary, it seems that this time oil will be playing a spoiler role.

Because this bear market has the additional complicating factor of being global in nature, mauling a global financial edifice saddled with the most debt and liabilities ever recorded in addition to stubbornly high oil prices, it is my view that the economy will not respond in the same ways as it has in the past. Further, we need to be mindful of the idea that the risks are large (derivatives, anyone?), they are actively and collusively hidden from view (what are banks really holding?), and where they are concentrated is mostly unknown — something I spell out in greater detail in Part II of this report.

Even more troubling, it is no longer unthinkable that one or more major currencies will lose some or all of their value over the next few years.

The conclusion I draw from all of this is that this is a period of time to be concerned with return OF capital instead of return ON capital. Maximum safety has its own rewards these days, not least of which is the value of having a good night’s sleep.

Our basic advice has changed little over the years.

Gold (and Silver)

The first step is to have physical gold in your possession. By this we mean bullion coins or bars stored somewhere very secure that does not place you at risk. I keep mine in vaults and safe deposit boxes, mainly because I lead a very public life and find it too risky to store it in my home. You may wish to protect yourself similarly.

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via How to Position Yourself for the Future: Step 1 – Financial Security.

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