88 of 90 people found the following review helpful
Financial Safety in a Nutshell,
This review is from: Fail-Safe Investing: Lifelong Financial Security in 30 Minutes (Paperback)
I rate this book five stars, less for the contents of this book on its own, but rather for the series of books that Mr. Brown put out in the '80's, _Why the best laid investment plans go wrong_ in particular. This book contains the heart of those earlier books without all of the explanation, which may be why the point of it missed the earlier reviewer. Browne suggests dividing ones portfolio into two sections -- a "variable portfolio" that you can speculate with and a "permanent portfolio" which should be set up to survive *any* possible financial disaster, war, revolution, natural disaster, or whatever. He achieves this by diversifying in several different classes of investment, at least one of which should be helped by whatever happens. So if it's hyperinflation that arrives, and stocks and bonds are tanking, the gold part of your portfolio will go through the roof -- if the great depression comes back, the bond part of your portfolio will skyrocket. Whatever happens, the overall value of your portfolio should move gradually upward. I know now that some people are laughing, what gold? Nobody invests in gold any more. You need to understand that Browne is advacating an investment strategy for the ages. So what if gold is in the dumps for a decade or two? When that disaster we can't even conceive of wrecks the world economy in 2020, won't you be glad you've got that gold bullion in an offshore account to help you rebuild your life. The "permanent portfolio" is not about getting rich quick, it's about avoiding becoming poor quick. The "variable portfolio" is about getting rich quick, if you can. I first read Browne's advice a couple of decades ago when I was living overseas and had just had the fun of going through a coup against the government that involved three days of firefights between govt troops and rebels *inside* the bank where every dime I owned was kept. Mr. Browne is right. Nobody knows what will happen next. If you have money you can't afford to lose, you have to be ready for anything, and Harry Browne gives you the tools to do so.