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Crash Proof: How to Profit From the Coming Economic Collapse
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From the Inside Flap
From both an economic and monetary perspective, the United States is a house of cardsimpressive on the outside, but a disaster waiting to happen beneath the surface. In a relatively short period of time, the country has gone from the world's largest creditor to its greatest debtor; the value of the dollar has declined; and domestic manufacturing has given way to non-exportable services. While these and other issues could potentially spell disaster for your financial well-being, the situation could also present unique opportunitiesif you're prepared.
For more than a decade, seasoned Wall Street prognosticator Peter Schiff has not only observed the U.S. economy, but also helped his clients restructure their portfolios to reflect his outlook. What he sees today is a nation facing an economic storm brought on by growing federal, personal, and corporate debt; too little savings; a declining dollar; and lack of domestic manufacturing.
Now, in Crash Proof, Schiff provides you with an insightful examination of the structural weaknesses underlying this impending economic meltdown, and discusses the measures you can take to protect yourselfas well as profitduring the difficult times that lie ahead. Using common-sense analysis, creative analogies, and easy-to-understand language, Schiff entertains as well as educates. While Schiff carefully details the grave economic forces pushing the United States closer to the edge, he also outlines a specific three-step plan that will allow you to preserve wealth and protect the purchasing power of the savings you have worked a lifetime to accumulate.
Step #1: Rethinking Your Stock Portfolio: shows you exactly how to replace your endangered U.S. dollar holdings with a portfolio of foreign securities that are safer, significantly higher yielding, and appropriate for any investment objectives
Step #2: Gold Rush: examines the various ways you can capitalize on the bull market in gold, as well as silver, and explains how these precious metals can add both safety and exciting growth potential to a conservative foreign stock portfolio
Step #3: Stay Liquid: discusses the importance of liquidity in times of financial uncertaintyfrom having enough money for living expenses to keeping a reserve of uncommitted cash that can be used to acquire assets at bargain prices
Investing using conventional wisdom will not work during times of financial distress. That's why Crash Proof has taken the reality of today's economic situation into account as it offers you guidance. Filled with in-depth insights and expert advice, Crash Proof will help you survive and thrive during the coming years of economic uncertainty.
From the Back Cover
Praise for Crash Proof
"The dot-com implosion proves that we all need Peter Schiff's vision of investing.?His view is so global and so unique in its approach, and at a time when we all should be looking to crash-proof our portfolios, Schiff offers us this much-needed life-raft."
Liz Claman, Cohost, CNBC Morning Call
"For those accustomed to America's economic dominance, Crash Proof is a frighteningly forthright wake-up call. But Peter Schiff is one Cassandra whose voice deserves your rapt attention. Devoid of the usual Wall Street spin, this frank and prophetic read will make you reconsider the very foundations on which your financial house is built."
Jonathan Hoenig, Portfolio Manager, Capitalistpig Hedge Fund LLC and FOX News Channel analyst
"Schiff does an outstanding job of outlining the dangers to individual investors of the current economic environment and presents a plausible plan about how to deal with the risks."
David W. Tice, Portfolio Manager, Prudent Bear Funds
"A sober assessment of the financial problems facing our country. Reading this book will prepare you for potential outcomes that Wall Street and the mainstream financial media are completely unaware of."
Bill Fleckenstein, founder and President of Fleckenstein Capital and MSN.com Money columnist
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Top Customer Reviews
I worked as a bullion dealer in the 1970's so this is my second "crash" cycle. Many people thought the US would collapse in the 70's due to inflation and a national debt of $1 Trillion dollars. Many thought gold would zoom to the moon. Instead, gold crashed and languished for over 20 years. That's because the US was able to shift gears.
Reagan pulled the US economy up from its tailspin by switching from printing money to issuing debt. He took advantage of the low US debt/GDP ratio to inflate debt by selling bonds to Americans and foreigners. It accomplished the same thing - letting the economy expand with a near infinite supply of cash liquidity. George W Bush then doubled the US national debt to $10 Trillion in only eight years. Low interest rates sucked in the public who took on enormous personal debt.
The US now can't rapidly inflate because the dollar would collapse and can't take on more debt because investors doubt it can be repaid in sound money. People don't accept the possibility of an economic crash because they think the US/Bernake/Fed will always be able to pull another rabbit from the hat. This complacency will lead to disaster for most investors.
The US is tapped out on debt both public and personal. The US has so debased the dollar that it has fallen tremendously since Bush II took office and continued the pattern of reckless spending.
If you don't want to believe Schiff when he warns of what's ahead then listen to Greenspan as he touts his recent autobiography. He states directly that the US will have inflation for the next 25 years. He says the outlook for stocks, bonds, and the general economy is 'gloomy' for the forseable future. He says the dollar will likely lose its reserve currency status. This is "The Maestro" talking. He says it's going to be bad. Schiff tells you how bad and what to do about it.
Some people here crticize Schiff for touting his firm's services. So what. He tells readers what to do, but most won't act for themselves. So, he provides the service. Currently, gold is at 725 (September 2007). That's not cheap, but it won't be cheaper in 2009. The US will have to reduce the rate of gov't spending and that will feed back into jobs and consumption. I doubt that the dollar will totally collapse, but when it's all said and done, we'll get a combination of "manageable" inflation and rising interest rates. Most other nations will also inflate as they prop up their economies and scramble to get their share of the world's increasingly costly oil.
The only asset that trumps oil is gold. Bite the bullet and get your share. Reduce your US stock exposure and don't go within 20 miles of a long-term bond. Your financial advisor will be of little help in these matters. Their loyalty is to commissions. You'll have to start thinking for yourself and acting on it even though it will make your stomach churn and give you a migraine.
I'd suggest a general portfolio of 25% gold (ETF or coins), 50% cash, and 25% international stock index fund. If inflation is gradual, the foreign stock will keep pace. If war or rapid inflation strikes, gold will win big. Hold cash to provide liquidity and to take advantage of opportunity. You shouldn't have to wait too long. The politicians will paper things over until the 2008 election. At least hold enough gold to offset declining purchasing power of a fixed pension. If you need 30k a year to live on, then hold that much gold - at least. Live cheap and get out of debt.
Peter Schiff's book is certainly worth reading. We'll see the truth of that within a few years.
"how can we all be so wealthy yet save nothing?" "How can we have had such a run up in home prices even though we haven't added that many people to the nation?" "How can inflation be officially low even though so many things have gone way up in price (food, fuel, insurance, education, health care, and even home prices till recently)". "How can we manufacture relatively little and sell each other services and still become more wealthy?" If that was possible I'd stay home and cook my wife meals while she mowed the lawn for me and we'd just get rich that way.
Maybe I just like how Schiff shares my natural pessimism and distrust of politicians being put in charge of our national statistics. But I used a simplified form of his advice, bought gold via ETFs, an international bond fund, with the balance in a treasury money market fund, and in just a few short months I've made quite a bit more than I did in any single year since I've been investing. And unlike in past years, I feel very confident that the trend in my investments is going to be up. The underlying economic picture simply demands that these products will do well. I realize that 3 months of good results (up 20%) does not prove anything, but I read this book way before I heard anything in the news about the dollar decline or housing bubble. Now that I've read the book, I tune in daily and the news just confirms the book's premise.
We have had a debt based too-good-to-be-true affluence. Like a drunken college kid on a spending spree, it will end eventually. The housing bubble alone might not sink us. The consumer credit crunch alone might be something we could work with. But add in the astronomical federal govn't obligations ($50 trillion unfunded?) and it's just a matter of time before the ride gets wild.
I would like to thank Mr Schiff for writing this book. I honestly feel that it has saved my financial future. I am in a business where one cannot work into old age, and instead of seeing my traditional stock investments knocked back down in value, I may actually be able to make a nice profit that will help us get through the hard times ahead.
I'm no expert, just a small business owner, but I looked hard to find an honest rebuttal to this book before investing my money in gold (I dont' want to lose money!) , but all I have been able to find were cheerleading tomes to the stock market that were short on logic and long on boasts and how great things were and still are. I find those to be total BS and so I can't trust their theories. Post a comment here if you know of one who actually makes a good argument for staying in the US stock market.