on August 23, 2011
If you would like to visit the author's website, hire them to financially advise you, or simply buy their friend's books, then you'll have plenty of opportunities during this read. Shameless plugs and weblinks are littered throughout so many of these pages you'll probably catch yourself laughing in spite of it all.
And seriously, I have never encountered a more pretentious self-congratulatory pat-themselves-on-the-back-and-then-do-it-again group of authors in my life. Ever. It's tolerable at first, annoying next, unbelievable, and finally comical. Is it entertaining? Oh ok, you'll finally be entertained by their level of arrogance... but probably because you suspect these guys (and gal) don't even realize it.
Their message is simple and never approaches the more erudite levels of their contemporaries. They even complain about their failure at publishing in peer reviewed journals at one point. More sour grapes appear when they devote a huge section of the book (probably about 35%) to attacking practically every economist in the known world. At least they explicitly reveal to the reader exactly where each economist makes their mistake and how they should proceed down the path of redemption. Hell, they even take on the entire SCIENCE of economics at one point.
It's a fun read though and I enjoyed it. It's a serious topic and these guys are probably pretty damn close to predicting what will happen in the next few years despite their sophomoric approach. Go ahead and buy it if you are interested, but in case the Aftershock has already left you penniless, here's the summary:
The U.S. will hit their credit limit when foreign entities quit buying our T-bills. The Fed will continue to buy bonds to manipulate the market, massive inflation will occur, so you better have stocked up on gold because nothing else will protect you.
on August 3, 2012
This book is a great big picture economic book of what is about to happen to the economy. However it only offers generalized information, there is no detailed information "map" or "Bullet List" of what to do exactly with your money at what exact points in time (or at the arrival of specific economic conditions).
It leaves that specific information about what exactly to do with your money and when to do it for either: (1) A Personalized Portfolio Management Service for people who have a minimum of $300k+ to invest with them (plus their fees); (2) A one hour phone investment consultation with Ms. Cindy Spitzer (one author) for a price of $795; or (3) a $159 to $349 based subscription news letter like packages for you to spend all of your time reading, studying, and figuring out how to invest for the generalized economic big picture that's about to occur that's written about in the book (but which is missing the specific investment advice needed to invest).
So don't plan on just reading the book and then start to invest yourself, unless you're a professional like the authors are, because you won't be able to do it alone by yourself.
The book does write in general about 6 psychological stages in which people and the economy will go through. It would have been nice for the authors to share with buyers of the book at that point in the book where we should put our money, what to invest in at each stage, how long, etc, but they left that important information out for you to buy from them at a later date after you've finished the book
In basic terms, the book is just the "teaser", you're going to have to cough up much more money if you want to know how to invest and when to invest.
For a 10 Chapter 304 page book, it would have been very easy for the authors to provide a 1 or 2 page "map" or "bullet list" of what to invest in and when to invest (based on the arrival of their predicted economic conditions). But they left those 2 pages out of a 304 page book to make you have to buy that additional information from them at a high price.
on September 30, 2011
The points made by the book seems legitimate. The argument is laid out for perceived doom and gloom to come. The book is easy to understand without much background in economics.
Stylistically, it is not well written at all. There is way too much repetition. The content could have been much condensed without any loss in meaning (I'm not sure what that would have done to the size as I read it on Kindle). There is too much advertisement for their company and website.
on September 21, 2011
While I agree that the authors' main thesis - that drastically increasing the money supply with no concomitant GDP growth will fuel massive inflation - is correct, they bludgeon you over the head with two statements the ENTIRE book. Literally dozens of pages could be taken out if they didn't repeat these two things hundreds of times - 1. We're in a multi-bubble economy that is going to collapse. 2. We saw the first one coming, and nobody else did, so you need to listen to us.
My issue with this is that macroeconomic activity is impossible to model or predict. That's actually a major point they make in the book - that we're not in a normal downswing of the boom-bust cycle, as many people believe. While I agree with this, the authors then try to predict with certainly that the economy is going to come crashing down when these multiple inter-related bubbles put pressure on one another and finally pop. While this may be true, history would dictate that free-market ingenuity often wins out in the form of more efficient production of goods or new markets (although these new markets often become bubbles themselves).
I think there's a very reasonable chance that the authors are correct,but I'm not going to bet my life on gold. My own personal strategy in the coming years will be to minimize debt, hold cash, and probably stay out of risky ventures like gold unless there are drastic, drastic warning signs that a total collapse is going to occur.
Bottom line - it's an interesting read, reads like it was written by a college student, includes dozens of shameless plugs (financial 'services'), but is certainly worth thinking about, so I do recommend people give it a shot.
on January 22, 2012
If you can get past the pure hubris of how right the authors were in their first book, and if you can tolerate being spoken to as if you were a sixth grader you get some very interesting information from this book. People with enough money and assets to care about reading a book like this are just a little more sophisticated than these authors treat them. But to be fair, as others have said, a lot of the information is excellent.
First would be the simple math, that the U.S. ultimately has to default on it's national debt. Paying it off is not possible.
Second would be to buy gold. This is an ancient metal that will simply fluctuate in value according to the state of the economy, providing a means of keeping whatever assets you have in dollars intact, provided of course that you are only invested in gold during the metamorphosis the U.S. economy is going to undergo. After that it's back into normal investments, and they say that in very simple language.
But third, about real estate, BE VERY CAREFUL with their directives. "Sell your Real Estate now" is a pretty broad piece of advice. If you own homes outright and collect rent on them then you are inflation protected to a great extent. Why would you want to sell them and give away your cash flow? Rents fluctuate according to market forces, and inflation causes everything to rise including rents. It's not a perfect correlation, but rents are tied to housing prices and when the foreclosure tsunami is finally over, especially if inflation is present, home prices will either stay where they are or rise. But people always have to have a place to live, so there will be inflation adjusted rental income.
Of course if I was a "flipper" I wouldn't buy anything in this market. But if you have cash, why wouldn't you take advantage of already low prices now on homes you can pay for outright for and rent? True, they may go down in market value, but if you don't have plans for selling them why would you care?
Also, the authors talk about a new philosophy and a new economic market. Yet buying real estate just to sell for a profit is an old trick, and I thought we were going to get some new tricks in their book. I think the older than old idea of buying stocks for their dividends, not their appreciation, as applied to buying homes for their rents, not their appreciation seems like a better idea right about now.
So the advice about waiting until real estate bottoms and then rises for a year to buy is kind of tailored for appreciation-minded investors, the kind who got us into this real estate bubble in the first place! And it leaves people who are looking for inflation-hedged holdings that produce income relative to the market, completely out of their picture.
on October 10, 2012
Certainly, this read is a fairly good recap of some of the underlying causes of what brought us into this financial situation recently. And for the lay person, such as myself, the style of writing is definitely not smooth nor flowing to get one to embrace such a intrinsically boring topic with ease.
Yes, the redundancy of their earlier points, repeated time & again in ongoing chapters, seems to really cater, intellectually; to a supposed, lower common denominator, in the minds of the authors. And indeed, some of it is blatant & distasteful self-promotion. Not to mention their collective arrogance, it feels a bit over-the-top to say the least. If truly, they are looking for the Nobel Prize in Economics as per their pronouncements, well here is my suggestion:
Investor psychology, Information Dynamics, and a multi-disciplinary approach to the entire field of economics - is something that smells like they are trying to sniff out a new path within this field. Traditionally known as the "dismal science", if indeed the economy is "evolving" per their insights, as opposed to the traditional notion of market cycles of booms & busts, then, perhaps the authors needs to further their research & put forth a broader view to further this indictment with a larger group to be more inclusive, and not quite so exclusive. The awards they so proudly present for "courage in thought", needs to be practiced within their group of like minded individuals interested in breaking from the status quo.
The Sante Fe Institute called together & facilitated some of the most brilliant thinkers of the day, decades ago, to explore the further reaches of non-linear dynamics. The field of inquiry eventually produced a new, emerging science of complexity. The sheer diversity of collective thoughts that emerged from this prestigious "think tank" was not only an experiment, but a bold step in the vast frontier of scientific theory & thought previously as disjointed as the current economic landscape. Prestigious & noted Nobel prize winning astrophysicists, cellular biologists, bankers, computer programmers, and even a few economists, along with a couple of high level bankers for good measure, where part of this divergent group. If a symposium of this nature can be sponsored to receive some media coverage, and with the help of some good "spin doctors", there just may be just enough public interest to get these issues into a top-of-mind grass roots discussion in all major cities in the US to start a movement, or even go viral for that matter. I deeply believe that we are indeed nearing the tipping point. Hopefully this will pave a path towards a much more open & honest set of intellectual discussion of probable solutions to perhaps interject into this dire scenario which they feel they are the exclusive purveyors; holding all the keys...
With their infinite & prescient supposed intellectual firepower, it is the Aftershock group that indeed needs to lead the way for the greater good, as opposed to further profiting from their narrowly focused personal gains strategies they are so desperately seeking here. Spread the knowledge, build the momentum, share the wealth, and then improve the world. That's one way to the Nobel Prize award, to my way of thinking. Then, as a natural end result, all the money in the world will be at their disposal, thus eliminating the need for shameless plugs in the book to further their respective business entities. With so much BS & duplicity in the world at large, this would be a much more elegant way to the top!
It's a bit salty, but buy it, keep an open mind, and perhaps it will give you a cursory introduction to the issues at hand of what certainly will affect each & every one of us. Again, the sum of the parts, is greater than the whole. As stated quite aptly by the authors regarding the evolutionary nature of the "multibubble" economies, these mavericks need to evolve as well...
on July 30, 2011
Good read but much of the information contained within is now a little outdated. For example, one of the suggestions is to move investments to Europe but those markets have crashed as well.
on July 28, 2012
Interesting book on the evolution of the coming multi-bubbles that will bring down the economy. I'm a little dubious about their recommendations--gold! gold!gold! is the only hope for surviving the crash (Aftershock). Also, the authors continuously plug their financial services (for a price). They spurn most other economists' theories as being shortsighted whose only goals are to protect their tenure and endowments for worthless research as "cheerleaders". Read the review, "Apocalypse...Now!" by Michael Hanson, 03/22/2010, on the Fisher Investment Market Minder website. Last comment: Take this book with a grain of salt, and double check your common sense when tempted to follow their advice. Only time will tell if they are as smart as they proclaim they to be.
on September 6, 2011
This book was interesting, frightening, and at times bombastic, but delivered enough compelling information to make me want to learn more about the national debt and its future implications. And I aim to do so sooner rather than later. However, having sipped the Kool Aid of Peak Oil and other catastrophic prophecies in the past, I intend to proceed with extreme caution.
on January 29, 2014
The ultimate cop out. Unfortunately, I really do feel both ways.
First, I am not an economist but I did sleep in a Holiday Inn Express. I so get the "one star" reviews. Yes, for sure, Chicken Little stirred up the kettle. People dumped stocks for bonds, gold, nickel, copper, silver, and gold. What was supposed to happen did not happen and, these authors made a tidy little sum peddling fear. I took the bait and will be working longer than I intended to while my friends, who ignored my dire warnings are doing quite well and have retired. I'm so happy for them... I'm grateful that I like my job!!
However, if you look past the good time talking heads and real estate agents and if you do study the macroeconomics of our economy, you would be a fool to be as smarmy as a few of the one-star reviewers have been. World governments, ours most assuredly, pay a fortune to a group of men and women who work 24 hours a day to keep their economy afloat. Bait and switch, smoke and mirrors, devalue, inflate, and massage the media go part and parcel with all the scheming to keep Humpty Dumpty from falling. The problem is that Humpty has already fallen and all the King's men are working hard to keep it a secret. When Greece burps, the world shudders. That's how unstable this house of cards economy is. It's not if, but when, we all go belly up. Each party will liberally (pardon the pun) blame each other. However, Lincoln's end statement will come true. You can't fool all of the people all of the time. That's when the Prez will order martial law to protect, who else, our two faced congressional reps that will be running to the Pentagon (along with their families) for safety. Hyperbole, oh, how I wish! My layman's perspective says 2-6 weeks of martial law, followed by 5-10 years of depression-like living before we crawl out of the wreckage. The silver lining is, if we are not taken over, we get a fresh start and a congressional rep that cares more for me than his reelection. That will last two, maybe three decades and we will start all over.