- File Size: 7405 KB
- Print Length: 222 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Lioncrest Publishing (February 22, 2016)
- Publication Date: February 22, 2016
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01AL7VGN6
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #688,025 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Recession-Proof: How to Survive and Thrive in an Economic Downturn Kindle Edition
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The tone is conversational. It is easy to read, and Jason Schenker comes across as a guy who would be easy to like. The language is simple and the book itself reasonably short. It took me three hours cover to cover.
The premise of the book is that we are entering a recession. How do you know? Schenker tells you the things economists look at, starting with the Institute of Supply Management or ISM index. He also gives credence to the unemployment numbers and other government statistics. These leading indicators of a recession, particularly the ISM, are flashing trouble as of January 2016 when the book went to press. Other indicators such as the GNP are trailing indicators: so long after the fact, and so subject to revision that they do not provide as much actionable information.
Schenker describes the business cycle, alternating boom and bust, as a natural phenomenon. A person owes it to himself to know where in the cycle we are. In a recession it is probably a good idea to cling tight to the job you have, stay in college instead of fighting it out with millions of other graduates for the future available jobs, and ironically, travel, take time off if you want because the out-of-pocket and opportunity costs are lower. It is a good time to start a business. Resources, especially talented people, are more available and cost less money.
Schenker's own two-decade career has included 20 moves and job changes. He knows whereof he speaks. He gives good advice for timing one's exit from a failing company, region, or industry. His top pieces of advice can be summed up as "keep your eyes open." Make as many contacts as you can, retain the contacts you have built, keep your resume up-to-date, and recognize that you have to continually sell yourself.
He advises that everybody make ongoing education a priority. He continues to collect degrees in one thing or another. Most importantly, continuing your education as a way of keeping your brain functioning. It keeps you alert, and it signals to potential employers that you are a heads up sort of a person. I write this from some experience: my project for my eighth decade is learning my eighth language, Ukrainian. My seventh, Russian, is serviceable, and my four-year-old son pushes me hard to continue learning. I will also second his point that you are never too old to go to school. I entered a PhD program in statistics upon discovering that the University of Maryland allows free tuition to people over 60. There is always an angle.
His writing on education calls to mind Dale Stephen's book "Hacking Your Education." Stephens' point is that a young person should be building the skills that employers seek during their college years, and that rather than than building up a large debt acquiring a degree of dubious value, can often make better use of the time by earning money and building skills and contacts. That said, Schenker offers a plethora of good advice on how to acquire an education inexpensively. In this he echoes Charles Hughes Smith's "The Nearly Free University."
Schenker has a very keen appreciation of the way technology is changing the job market. More and more jobs are being automated out of existence. Typists are a thing of the past. Checkout clerks are on borrowed time. Taxi drivers and even long-haul truck drivers should be concerned. He does not connect the dotted lines to the proposition that the coming recession may be an extremely long one as the implications of technology work themselves out.
Another brilliant part of the book concerns the absolute unsustainability of Social Security, Medicare and other government programs. He writes primarily about the United States, but the problem is even more acute in most of Europe. A young person today must plan for a longer career than his parents. In a wonderful and rare piece of advice, Schenker observes that security in old age may come once again from one's children. Government promises will simply come to nothing, and people who grow old without children to take care of them will be in a very perilous position.
As good as Schenker's advice is, he has to recognize that it is beyond the reach of many potential readers. The things he has done, notably work for McKinsey and Company consultants, are the kind of career moves that are only available to people in the upper couple of percentage of the intelligence distribution. My bet is that readers who get this deep into this review are mostly in the upper 5%. The other demand, perhaps even more restricting, is the motivation, the commitment to do what it takes. The reader will have to look inward and assess his own willingness to do the work and take the risks that Schenker talks about.
Churchill apologized once for giving a long speech saying "I did not have time to prepare a short one." Schenker has done a wonderful job of editing this book down to a very manageable length and yet packing it with valuable information. It is truly a five-star effort.
One of the final chapters was particularly interesting to me because it walks you through the thought process needed to evaluate if you should start your own business. I've read multiple books that include information about how to build a great business/what to do when you are starting a business/risks to avoid/etc., but this was the cleanest answer to "should I start a business?" that I have seen. Looking forward to sharing these insights with a friend who recently started his own business!
When Jason Schenker explains the natural cycle of the economy in a way that everyone can understand, he takes the mask off the beast we call recession. When we understand what a recession is and when one is in sight we can better prepare and plan ahead for it. He shows that a recession does not happen overnight and that there are indicators of a coming recession. In Recession-Proof Mr. Schenker not only tells the reader what information is important but also gives the internet links to go to the information, it doesn’t get easier than that. I always knew the FED set the interest rate but didn’t understand fully the impact of or the reason for the changes. When the author explains the way the FED changes the interest rate and why they do it I finally understood the impact that it makes and how the FED keeps the economy stable.
When you read the book and do the drills you get a much better idea of how prepared you are for a recession and what you still need to do. I’m a first year accounting and finance student and I now know how important timing is I don’t want to fall victim to Jason Schenker's second dumbest thought. Even though I want to go on to get a master’s degree if the economy is good I should wait on that and start my career so I don’t graduate into a recession.
I want to thank the author Jason Schenker for writing this book so people like me don’t have to make the same mistakes that he did.
Jason explains his points in detail, clearly, and in a narrative that almost makes him appear to be sitting across the table, reading to you. It's very difficult to read a book on a subject such as this and stay engaged. This guy is one of the best at getting his point across because it is also entertaining.
This book will stay on my bookshelf, for reference. I've also bookmarked several of the sites he references on my browser so I can monitor the information periodically and keep track of things myself.