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Aftermath: Seven Secrets of Wealth Preservation in the Coming Chaos Hardcover – July 23, 2019
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Financial expert, investment advisor and New York Times bestselling author James Rickards shows why and how global financial markets are being artificially inflated--and what smart investors can do to protect their assets
What goes up, must come down. As any student of financial history knows, the dizzying heights of the stock market can't continue indefinitely--especially since asset prices have been artificially inflated by investor optimism around the Trump administration, ruinously low interest rates, and the infiltration of behavioral economics into our financial lives. The elites are prepared, but what's the average investor to do?
James Rickards, the author of the prescient books Currency Wars, The Death of Money, and The Road to Ruin, lays out the true risks to our financial system, and offers invaluable advice on how best to weather the storm. You'll learn, for instance:
* How behavioral economists prop up the market: Funds that administer 401(k)s use all kinds of tricks to make you invest more, inflating asset prices to unsustainable levels.
* Why digital currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum are best avoided.
* Why passive investing has been overhyped: The average investor has been scolded into passively managed index funds. But active investors will soon have a big advantage.
* What the financial landscape will look like after the next crisis: it will not be an apocalypse, but it will be radically different. Those who forsee this landscape can prepare now to preserve wealth.
Provocative, stirring, and full of counterintuitive advice, Aftermath is the book every smart investor will want to get their hands on--as soon as possible.
About the Author
Follow him on Twitter @JamesGRickards
- Publisher : Portfolio (July 23, 2019)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 336 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0735216959
- ISBN-13 : 978-0735216952
- Item Weight : 1.1 pounds
- Dimensions : 6.3 x 1.2 x 9.3 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #99,458 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Reviewed in the United States on July 25, 2019
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I am old enough to have seen books like this before, prophesying the coming financial collapse and the end of life as we know it. In 1979, I was on a road trip with my mother and stepfather during which she spent the entire trip reading aloud from Howard J. Ruff's How to Prosper During the Coming Bad Years: A Crash Course on Personal and Financial Survival. It was the summer before I headed off to college; I was interested in a bright future, not doom and gloom. Nearly 20 years later, apparently having learned nothing, I found myself reading Harry E. Figgle's Bankruptcy 1995: The Coming Collapse of America and How to Stop It, in which the author predicted the coming financial ruin of the U.S., which would then face Latin American level financial collapse. (his example, not mine) The Coming Collapse was not stopped, but neither did it occur. As with Aftermath, the people who benefited the most financially from the sale of these books were the authors, not the readers.
These two books at least had the advantage of exuding a sort of folksy charm. Not so Aftermath which runs the gamut from boring to hyperbole, with a few entertaining anecdotes thrown in. Although, seriously, mostly boring. It is simultaneously painfully dull and well written, which is to say it is not rife with grammatical inaccuracies.
Some random observations:
- Aftermath opens with a quote from Revelations before launching into Greek Mythology.
- The author thinks Gerald Ford will one day be known as a great president.
- He disses Hillary Clinton.
- He gushes about Trump, comparing him to Teddy Roosevelt as a fellow nationalist.
By far the most interesting part of the book is when Rickard discusses the plot of Lionel Shriver's The Mandibles: A Family, 2029-2047, which is a novel about life in the U.S. following financial collapse. He holds this book up as a realistic depiction of our future (much more so than, say, a zombie apocalypse, which I find truly disappointing). I intend to take a look at this novel because it does sound interesting, despite the fact that Rickard describes the book in such detail that I already know how it ends. (Seriously, if I were Lionel Shriver, I'd be pretty ticked.) I do like my post-apocalyptic fiction.
BOTTOM LINE: No one can predict the future. Rickard's does not have a magic crystal ball or special arcane knowledge so that he and he alone can glimpse the future and provide you with guidance. He does not have a special monopoly on some secret knowledge. Seriously, if the fields of economics and finances could actually give real insight into the future, don't you think the major financial problems we've seen in our lifetimes would have been avoided? Rickard is preying on your fear of the unknown (and unknowable) future. The only thing that can truly be known is that if you buy this book, you are throwing away your money. And that's no secret.
In all of Rickards books you’ll find detailed explanations on complex financial matters. I particularly appreciate his insights on relative geopolitical elements - and he’s bluntly factual when assessing the financial impact of politics in our divided nation. Like David and the slingshot, Rickards doesn’t mind popping giants right between the eyes, regardless of their political party or elite world status.
In this book I found it helpful to read the conclusion chapter first, getting a sense of where he might be going with the “Aftermath” theme. “Mandibles Redux” in that chapter was appreciated by this reader; Rickards is a better writer than Lionel Shriver, in my opinion.
If I had not already digested the three earlier books, I wouldn’t have gotten the full value of this book. If you’ve not read them, I recommend you at least read his “Currency Wars” and “The Death of Money” before this one... please keep in mind the year each was written, tho. “The Case for Gold” is the other quartet book.
Mr. Rickards’ investment advice in this book is general, cautious and intended to be beneficial to the reader - he seems to have written it in such a way as to ensure you will not over-react; its not “ alarmist.” Rickards wisely points the reader in a clear, helpful direction, encouraging you to make a few simple changes so the storm doesn’t hurt you as badly as it potentially could. He wants the reader to understand the forces in play right now that could crumble capital markets. Knowledge is power.
In this book, Rickard's shines a light on the structural issues facing the US economy, and he does so in an eloquent, easy to read fashion. I have been an avid reader of Rickard's work since the release of his first book, and I'm quite pleased to add Aftermath to my bookshelf.
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This is probably the worst book I have picked up in many years and can't recommend.