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The Demographic Cliff: How to Survive and Prosper During the Great Deflation Ahead Paperback – August 25, 2015
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Throughout his long career as an economic forecaster, Harry Dent has relied on a not-sosecret weapon: demographics. He can explain why our economy has risen and fallen with the peak spending of generations, and why we now face a growing demographic cliff with the accelerating retirement of the Baby Boomers around the world.
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Mr. Dent does a marvelous job developing his thesis with various graphs supporting the notion that as people age their spending habits change. But that's about as far as he goes. As others have noted, he quickly loses focus (and credibility in my opinion) when he jumps into all sorts of other "wave" theories. This starts in chapter 2 and continues for the rest of the book. I was totally captured by the first chapter (thesis) and by chapter 2 or 3 I just started skimming as he runs terribly off topic. Mr. Dent is rather like a conspiracy theorist: if you believe in one conspiracy you believe in them all. Dent believes in one wave (the demographic wave) but then goes on in nausiating fashion to show a bunch of other waves, which in my opinion are used by fanatics who are trying to sell a product rather than real science.
Dent's got an excellent theory and the data to support what will happen to spending levels in different areas over the next 30 years: why the heck is he talking about solar activity? He could have written a detailed book, almost an industry-by-chapter- about exactly what his data shows.
But he got lazy. And moreover, he loses credibility because every few pages he says something akin to: "if you go to my website I'll send you a newsletter and you can follow along as we go." Guess what? To get Mr. Dent's data in any useful form, you'll have to pay for a subscription.
Too bad: Dent could have been a really great author. He could have developed this topic and gone into a mainstream career as the go-to authority on the demographic shift that's about to occur. But in the end you end up feeling like he's more a snake-oil salesman than a true professional.
What could have been isn't!
Mr. Dent does a fabulous job as a demographer and the work he shows is exceptional. He presents one of the strongest cases I've ever seen for future economic cycles...I think everyone should be armed with this evidence and decide how best to use it. I was so pleased with such a solid fundamental approach to the world's economic situation.
Now the bad:
Covers topics like sunspots' effect on the US stock market; paints inflation only in the context of dollar value vs. other currencies; delves into politics and oversimplifies (and misrepresents) the positions of various parties; discusses environmental disaster and mischaracterizes the science; He gets way too far into the weeds. He should have stuck with the primary thesis of his book.
I'm sorry if that sounds harsh, but this guy comes off as a know-it-all and quite narcissistic. I would fire the editor and publisher for letting this book go so far astray.
With the negatives said, the core of this book is fantastic and I expect the science behind his demographics is solid. I am quite glad to recommend this book and I am very happy that I purchased it. This book provides so much insight into the economic cycles and where we are headed from here for the next 20 years or so. I wish there was an abridged version that sticks to the primary topic so this book were more accessible to more people. Please buy the book, and try to overlook the negatives I've discussed above. Also, please read other books on this topic. I'm sure the author is right in the main, but I would be very careful about investing 100% of your portfolio in the manner he suggests. Still, food for thought and I'm glad I bought the book!! Enjoy.
2016 is great for Gold and bad for dollar.
If I listened to him I would not have gained 300% on my mining stocks, 20% in metals, and infact lost 6% in the dollar value.
Although he did alot of thinking - whats the point if wrong