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Sustainable Wealth: Achieve Financial Security in a Volatile World of Debt and Consumption Hardcover – October 26, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

The world has endured an economic crisis of epic proportions—the biggest since the Great Depression. Trillions of dollars in accumulated wealth lost, gone forever. That crisis reminded us once again how quickly economic crises can strike and how bad they can be.

You're a wealth builder. You work hard, and you want to have something to show for it some day. You want to send your kids to college, to plan a comfortable retirement, to sleep comfortably at night, and to achieve financial peace of mind. You want to use debt prudently, if at all, and have the ability to do what you want—financially—come hell or high water.

What should you do to ensure that the next financial calamity stays clear of your backyard? That's where Axel Merk's Sustainable Wealth comes in.

Over the course of his successful financial career, author and fund manager Axel¿Merk has led the way in identifying major economic trends before they occur. Most importantly, he has been a guiding light for investors and individual wealth builders to navigate economic crises like the recent global recession. Now, with this timely new book, Merk puts your financial decisions in a global context, showing you how "big picture" factors can influence your financial well-being.

Part I of Sustainable Wealth helps you understand the dynamics that drive this world and how they may affect your finances. Here, Merk skillfully discusses the world we live in, by highlighting the temptations of our society: the temptations of credit, consumption, policy change, and complacency. Rather than be left scratching your head about the meaning of the last Fed decision, you'll learn how the world really works and what it really means for you and your wealth.

In Part II, you'll discover how to apply these lessons to your personal finances. Merk highlights that everyone should be challenging the conventional wisdom. He then illustrates how to save, spend, and invest in a volatile world, providing clear, straightforward advice should you and/or the economy be faced with a crisis.

Filled with in-depth insights and practical advice, Sustainable Wealth:

  • Reveals why "staying the course" when governments or markets change the rules may be hazardous to your wealth

  • Coaches you on how to recognize major economic trends before they happen

  • Offers a plan to spend, save, and invest wisely in the face of an uncertain world, build a financial legacy, and achieve peace of mind

As you read Sustainable Wealth, you'll quickly be able to understand—and adapt to—today's erratic and rapidly changing markets. Financial peace of mind. That's what this book is all about.

From the Back Cover

Praise For Sustainable Wealth

"Finally an easy-to-read but very comprehensive study on investments in a world where sadly common sense is no longer so common—and short-term profit 'temptations' overwhelm the discipline of building sustainable wealth."—Marc Faber, Editor, Gloom, Boom & Doom Report

"Maybe had Congress gotten this book before this financial crisis, we wouldn't be in this crisis. But alas, we are, and alas, there's hope. Axel Merk not only shows Washington the way out, but more importantly, the rest of us too. Not with a lecture, but a plan, and a damn good plan, without the bull and without the jargon. It's why I love this guy. He really means it when he says he's looking out for the rest of us guys. In Sustainable Wealth, he proves it."—Neil Cavuto, Sr. Vice President and Anchor, Fox News Channeland Fox Business Network

"The right financial decisions are always essential, but become particularly important in today's turbulent times. Preparation and knowledge are required to protect you and your family, and this book provides everything you need to develop a sound plan for the future."—James Turk, founder and Chairman,

"It's hard to accumulate wealth without making many costly mistakes along the way. That has never been more true given the enormous financial risks we see today. This book may help you avoid them."—Bill Fleckenstein, Fleckenstein Capital

"Axel Merk's Sustainable Wealth is a storehouse of historical and current investment information—clearly written and packed with valuable information. I recommend this book without reservation."—Richard Russell, Publisher, Dow Theory Letters

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 257 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (October 26, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470496584
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470496589
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.9 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,212,268 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

AXEL MERK is the President and Chief Investment Officer of Merk Investments LLC, an SEC registered investment advisory firm that manages mutual funds specializing in currencies. He has published many articles describing complex economic phenomena in understandable terms and is a frequent expert presenter and moderator at conferences. Merk is a sought after voice for financial news shows, known for his understandable advice and uncanny ability to predict market movements. He is a regular guest on CNBC and Fox Business, and frequently quoted in Barron's, the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg News, USA Today, and the Financial Times.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By photondn on November 8, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Axel Merk's Sustainable Wealth is a financial planning book for the Depression-like economic times. This book is a good introduction to sustaining whatever wealth you have left after your wealth was squashed by the economic collapse.

The highlights of this book were the following:
- How public policy is killing economy recovery.
- How social complacency and hubris lead to the slow downfall of the American economy
- Making the distinction between conventional wisdom and true wisdom.
- Getting a grip on one's expenses and debt and concentrate on building wealth.

This book reminds me of Kiyosaki's Rich Man, Poor Man from long ago as a financial planning book. Although it spends a considerable portion to the historical events leading up to the economic collapse and somewhat psycho-analyze why people did what they did that contributed to the economic collapse, This book ultimately focuses on modifying one's behavior to cope with the current economic conditions and build one' wealth.

The strength of this book is that it attacks conventional wisdom toward investing and stresses to be skeptical of current public policy that is targeted to fix the current economic problem. In other words, don't buy into conventional mainstream wisdom and don't rely on public policy to save you. It encourages to keep your eyes peeled to changes in the economic landscape, and consider various ways to preserve one's wealth. I am glad that this book targets conventional wisdom, complacency, and current public policy, all of which I thought were lacking in other gloom-and-doom books.

This book is quite concise, but it is a good intro to describing to the unsophisticated as to what is going on and what to do think and do next.
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47 of 56 people found the following review helpful By C. W. Rogers on October 30, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have been looking for a way to transfer my money out of dollars into some other currency legally and easily which I thought would be addressed in Axel Merk's new book. He appeared on Fox Business News on Nov. 18 during which interview he advocated investing in a basket of foreign currencies such as the Euro, Swiss Franc, British Pound, etc.

Thinking a method to accomplish this would be described in detail in "Sustainable Wealth", I rushed to buy a copy. Alas, the book was crammed with endless cliches about invest wisely according to your own needs, be flexible, invest only what you can afford to lose and so on and on plowing old ground over and over. No mention was made on how to invest in foreign currencies, only that it was a good idea to do so.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By James on October 26, 2011
Format: Hardcover
It's likely that this book was written to leave the reader wondering how he or she could invest in a way to minimize loss if the dollar loses value which it already is. Since no solution was offered, this book may be more a motivation for the individual investor to look at Mr. Merks Mutual funds (Which may be the motivation for this book in the first keep the reader uninformed). These might be something to consider except that the management fees are high and so far the results have been disappointing. What we need are specifics as to how the individual investor can invest in foreign currencies via the same type of vehicles available in US markets. I personally prefer individual bonds, stocks and other assets rather than mutual funds. That book remains to be written. The only other book that comes close is Crash Proof by Peter Schiff. If you look at his firm, you'll again find outrageous management fees, underperforming assets, and an unwillingness to work with clients unless they have at least 1/2 M. The only avenue that I've found that I may consider is the new discount foreign investment department at Everbank.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By David C. Hessler on October 26, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I found this book to be very helpful in both it's broad overview of how our society has arrived at so much debt and financial losses, and also in providing a framework for thinking about personal finance and how it relates to broader economics. Axel does a good job of demonstrating how excessive credit and consumption, along with market intervention and assuming best-outcomes led to the financial collapse of 2008-2009. But he doesn't linger there, he uses it as a foundation for building better personal financial management habits.

Unlike many commentators, Axel is not on any extreme. He's just an experienced money manager who questions the conventional wisdom and encourages regular people to participate in their own financial future, not just follow the "experts". I highly recommend this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Recent Retiree on December 17, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book contains is written in a easy readable direct style. It contains a summary of the best most common sense advise about financial planning I have found after reviewing many financial newsletters, reading many financial planning books and talking to a few knowledgeable friends and relatives that I use as financial planning filters. These financial filters have been investing successfully in some cases over 50 years thru many bull and bear markets and one a financial instrument manager has CPA, MBA, CFA certification. I retired in mid 2009 with a all cash retirement portfolio and needed advise in how to allocate my funds from a all cash US Dollar position. I am currently still 35 % US dollar cash but have a mix of domestic and foreign equities ( individual stocks via a few investment newsletter advisories I trust and who are rated good by non profit American Association of Individual Investors and Vanguard Mutual Funds including 10 % position in its precious metals fund) and Vanguard and Pimco Harbor Bond Funds . Its hard to invest for both a Bull and Bear Market and protect your funds against the US Dollar erosion and future inflation but I am trying.
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