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16 Reviews
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unbelievably Accurate, Forward Looking, and Timely
I am a daily reader of Charles Blog, and I respect him very highly for his detailed and critical assessments of our economic situation today. Like most books on investing, the economy, and the link between these two connected topics, I expected a recanting of his Blog articles, which are all insightful, but I feared it might turn out that way, but remained optimistic...
Published on July 29, 2011 by E. Paradis

versus
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Stream of consciousness, and long
This book has some good information in it, however, I just couldn't finish it.
This book is written in an almost "stream of consciousness" fashion.
It is long, very long.
The author repeats himself a lot. I think this book was written by the author talking into a tape recorder and then typing it up later. The same idea's swirl around again and again...
Published on April 16, 2012 by Michael Colligan


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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unbelievably Accurate, Forward Looking, and Timely, July 29, 2011
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This review is from: An Unconventional Guide to Investing in Troubled Times (Kindle Edition)
I am a daily reader of Charles Blog, and I respect him very highly for his detailed and critical assessments of our economic situation today. Like most books on investing, the economy, and the link between these two connected topics, I expected a recanting of his Blog articles, which are all insightful, but I feared it might turn out that way, but remained optimistic. Delightfully, I was extremely surprised and happy to find out this book is based on all of work to date, and then some. The ideas, insights and narration are second to none. It is a highly charged book and will be a beacon going forward into the next 3-5 year critical phase of US and Global financial Markets.

It is highly recommended, and I will be a buyer of the hard copy so that I can pass it along to friends when it comes up in September.

Thank you Charles for a great book!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Stream of consciousness, and long, April 16, 2012
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This review is from: An Unconventional Guide to Investing in Troubled Times (Kindle Edition)
This book has some good information in it, however, I just couldn't finish it.
This book is written in an almost "stream of consciousness" fashion.
It is long, very long.
The author repeats himself a lot. I think this book was written by the author talking into a tape recorder and then typing it up later. The same idea's swirl around again and again.
Unfortunately, I didn't get to the advice portion of the book. I just couldn't push myself that far.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book about the Economy and how to mitigate risk, while Investing in profitable assets., November 30, 2011
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This review is from: An Unconventional Guide to Investing in Troubled Times (Kindle Edition)
This book gives you the missing framework for any investment. I highly recommend it to anyone, even if you are not an investor.

When we speak of investments, we are not talking about investing, we are talking about products to invest in or classes of products to invest in such as: bonds, stocks, certificates of Deposits, etc... these are just a portion of what you can invest in.

We tend to identify investing in only a particular class, as described above, with gambling in securities. Gambling here being defined as purchasing a financial vehicle (security) simply on the belief that others' behavior will influence its value and therefore allowing us to make a profit. Example: you buy a stock which is trading at many times its book value (as most of them do) in the hopes that others will do the same therefore allowing you to sell it at a later date for profit. The fact that no value has been created and that the price of the stock moved by reason of fear or some expectation is now the "standard" practice, very few people question this today.

Investing on the other hand is when you have control of the asset and through your efforts you are able to determine its growth in value, thereby increasing its intrinsic value which you can then exchange for a profit. Example: you purchase/create a company which then expands.

I have seen that quite a lot of people gamble in the market while at the same time believing in their minds they are investing. In the USA I have also seen that when you mention the word "invest" ONLY a narrow array of securities come to mind. Through personal experience I know that most people that have "invested" in these types of assets barely make 5% APR if that at all. The author of this book contends that it is actually 2%.

If the above comments surprised you then this book will be extremely helpful since it will explain why this narrow view of investing is actually extremely risky and outside of your control, together with why you are actually getting a low return.

If you are a seasoned investor in paper-financial instruments (securities) such as the ones above, this book will give you the framework that, in my opinion, would allow you to choose those assets with the most profit potential.

Lastly, whether you are a professional investor or not, this book spends quite a bit of time detailing why we live in extraordinary times and why the existing economic-trading models are poised for failure, this you need to know to mitigate risks.

If you belong to the old traditional school of economic thought and standard financial adviser mentality, this book may shock you because it forces you to question the basic foundations of what we were taught or had to learn, however your clients will benefit tremendously from this insight since you will be able to protect them a lot better.

It is not an easy read in the sense that the author is very learned and uses an academic vocabulary, I recommend having a dictionary nearby, however the concepts he illustrates are simple to follow and he does give plenty of examples.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the most useful books giving specific advice on how to deal with the coming economic troubles, December 23, 2011
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I have read a number of books about the coming economic catastrophes due to our massive overspending, debt, loss of cheap energy, etc. What I was looking for were practical strategies for how to adjust my own life - my work/career, investments, and relationships - to weather the coming storms and even prosper. This book provides many useful ideas for how to do that. It address conceptions of work - e.g. the old, attend college and get a company/institutional job vs. the new paradigm, where work is not as stable and having multiple skills and more than one way to make money is important. It addresses investing - how the traditional buy and hold no longer works, and how "guerilla investing" may be a better alternative (only investing for limited periods to take advantages of drops or unusual valuations), and how investors need to find a style of investing that matches their unique personality. It addresses social relationships and how to structure one's life to put them first - how focusing on community, relationships, and even physical health are much more important to happiness than having financial or material wealth. This might sound obvious but I needed to hear it after having read many books which overfocus on accumulating and growing wealth, as if that were the end all and be all or life. Most of all, this book is truly unconventional - it challenges the status quo way of thinking about the American way of life and really challenges the reader to change his viewpoint in a way few books do. For all these reasons it's worth the $20 cost.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read!, August 1, 2011
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This review is from: An Unconventional Guide to Investing in Troubled Times (Kindle Edition)
This is a must read for all even remotely concerned about the future of our economic landscape and is truly unbiased. Charles has a rare talent for explaining the difficult situation we are all faced with today, and offers real advice anyone and everyone can benefit from...highly recommended.

His website/blog is also a staple in my daily "sanity check" in a otherwise left/right world of misinformation and biased reporting. He tells it like it is, period. Thank you Charles for your tireless work, you are a true journalist and really make a difference.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars CHS speaks the truth!, August 10, 2012
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Folks, wealth is not just about money. In fact it's probably not much at all about money. Are you healthy? Do you know how do do something besides modify spreadsheets? Are you engaged usefully in your community? If not, CHS tells you why you should be and gives some suggestions to help you accomplish these goals. REAL wealth. I suspect that many people who buy this book know this going in but a little encouragement never hurts and CHS writes very well. I am older, not reluctant but maybe a little less able. I need to get going. You should too....
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, August 2, 2011
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This review is from: An Unconventional Guide to Investing in Troubled Times (Kindle Edition)
Really enjoyed CHS's follow up to "Survival +". Clear overview of current economic conditions combined with practical advice for protecting and building wealth as the long cycle of deleveraging plays out. Mr. Smith has an unusual ability to analyze complex issues and distill the many facets into clear ideas and conclusions. This and "Survival +" have helped me reshape my approach to investing. Thanks.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Putting responsibility into investing, March 12, 2013
By 
biblioholic (San Francisco Bay Area) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: An Unconventional Guide to Investing in Troubled Times (Kindle Edition)
This book carves out new territory for investors seeking sound decision-making in ambiguious and volitile markets. Charles Hugh Smith points out the limitations of most investment guides, and puts the responsibility for investment decisions back in the hands of the individual, as a component of self awareness. He provides the reader with a comperhensive overview of our prediciment, discusses risks, markets, currencies, and the concept of real value. I found him to be refreshingly disclosing about himself and his investing, and in doing so, models the process he advocates toward making our investments a meaningful part of personal growth and self-expression. He effectively removes the mythology regarding Wall Street and investment brokers. This is not a book for investors looking for a system or canned answers to investment decisions. It more wholistic, and forms the backdrop for investing that is more rewarding and meaningful, and a component of one's life.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Would have been nice to have specific examples, January 11, 2015
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Starts off sharing very 'general' advice...and never moves from there. Would have been nice to have specific examples.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, November 20, 2014
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This review is from: An Unconventional Guide to Investing in Troubled Times (Kindle Edition)
Awesome product & seller. Highly recommend!!!
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