Stocks, bonds and homes account for the great majority of the net worth of most people - and all of these asset values are up by 30% to 50% over the last 20 or so years, when compared to long term averages (even after accounting for inflation).

Each dollar of earnings for stocks in the S&P 500 is being valued by the markets as being worth almost 50% more, compared to the prior long term average.

Single family homes are worth about 32% more, even after adjusting for inflation and changes in home sizes. Equivalent ten year Treasury bonds are being valued as being worth an average of about 34% more.

And while gold is quite different from the other categories - it shares the dramatic increase in value since 2000, with the inflation-adjusted price per ounce being up by almost 50% compared to prior long term averages.

As explored in this analysis, there is a shared reason for these much higher valuations. There is also a reasonable chance that they could eventually go much higher still, and perhaps persist for many years to come - though the path to that possible future would be a surprise to most people.

On the other hand, if we at any point merely return to the average valuations of most of our lifetimes - then what could be the loss of most or all of their home equity and much of the value of their retirement accounts could have long-lasting consequences for many millions of households.

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How A Soaring National Debt Can Reduce Retirement Standard Of Living By 77%

Many people see the soaring national debt as being a political problem that could possibly lead to default or hyperinflation in the distant future - but they don't see the practical impact on their lives or investment decisions today. This detailed analysis uses more than 50 years of data about the national debt and interest rates to demonstrate that the national debt is already transforming retirement investing and standards of living in retirement, and will have an ever stronger impact as the national debt continues to rise.

Using that historical information, we will develop the graph above in a step by step analysis. We will look at the example of someone who starts with $100,000, invests for 20 years, retires, and then draws down their savings over the next 20 years in retirement. As will be demonstrated for each $100,000 in savings - the full cost to that retiree of the growth in the national debt could be over a half million dollar reduction in their standard of living in retirement.

It is only when we take that half million dollar loss in standard of living, and multiply by millions of other investors, with some having less to invest and others having more, that we can find the true - and very personal - cost of a swollen and enormous federal debt for the entire nation.

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How Fed Cycles Create 6X The Real Estate Profits

As explored in this analysis, the fundamentals governing investment valuations have changed in the last 20 years. Using real estate as an example, we have seen increases in price that dwarf historical averages - even in inflation-adjusted terms. Yet, the losses can be much greater as well, as can be seen in the graph below.

The five graphs use the tools of financial analysis to explore in detail an aspect of investment valuation that is counter-intuitive for most people but yet is likely to be essential for investors in the modern era: how what might seem to be bad news can in a logical and rational process create new levels of investor profits that may substantially exceed historical averages. These new relationships have changed not only real estate investment, but have also changed investment performance for stocks, bonds and precious metals.

When we understand why the recent past has been so different from long term averages, then we can also understand why some of the largest profits and losses in history may still be ahead of us - but what will govern those profits and losses are factors that few homeowners and investors are taking into account today.

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What Causes Gold To Outperform Inflation By 700% - Or To Lose 80% Of Its Value?

(A 50 Year Historical Analysis)

One of the most common reasons to buy gold is to use it as a stable store of value. This analysis uses 50 years of history to test that common belief, and finds it woefully lacking - for it misses the best parts of investing in gold.

The graph above will be developed, and we will show that gold is instead a more sophisticated (and desirable) investment than most people realize. When properly understood, gold can deliver unique advantages to knowledgeable investors, and it can be put to much better uses than just acting as a mere stable store of value.

As we will explore, the actual history of gold is that it can deliver real (inflation-adjusted) profits that are up to 7X greater than what perfect inflation hedge would deliver. When we look at the times that this wide outperformance occurs, this means that gold can have an integral role in portfolio management in the modern era, and can "punch far above its weight" when compared to such inflation hedge alternatives as TIPS.

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Next Recession: Turning Zero Percent Interest Rates Into A 21% Yield

If there is a new cycle of recession in the next few years, then it is highly likely that the Federal Reserve will take extreme measures in response, with the primary response being to swiftly knock short term interest rates back down to zero percent.

For many investors - the combination of recession, heavy-handed Fed interventions, and the return of zero percent interest rate policies (ZIRP) is likely to produce devastating results for their portfolios, and possibly their standard of living in retirement.

At the same time - some quite attractive profit opportunities will also exist, once we learn how to see them.

This analysis explores one reasonably simple, practical and easy to implement alternative for playing the new Federal Reserve cycles. It shows how to turn zero percent interest rates into a 21% annual return. It has nothing directly to do with precious metals - other than being a complementary strategy that can be used as part of a diversified response to a potential recession. Unlike most investment categories - the harder the recession strikes, the better and faster this investment is likely to perform.

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Will Fed Cycles Create Dow 40,000 - And Triple Gold Prices?

The fears of imminent recession have been multiplying, and this has led to 1) plunging long term bond yields; 2) yield curve inversions and near inversions; and 3) a fearful Federal Reserve going into "dovish" mode in the attempt to prevent such a recession.

We've been here before, or at least we have with regard to those three particular components in combination. And the result was a tripling of already elevated stock market values in a little more than two years. With that tripling then being followed by a historic tripling of inflation-adjusted gold prices over the next decade.

History does not exactly repeat itself - but it does contain some powerful and surprising lessons that are well worth studying, particularly during times of market volatility.

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The Lucrative Profitability Of A Move To Negative Interest Rates

If we face an amplified crisis in the future - then the U.S. government and Federal Reserve have no intention of just letting the market forces play out. Instead, the intention is to contain a potential deeper round of crisis with the most extreme interventions yet.

In this analysis, we will explore a potential amplification of the Fed cycles, and how a possible future of negative interest rates in combination with quantitative easing could become one of the largest redistributions of wealth in U.S. history, with hundreds of billions of dollars in profits going disproportionately to insiders - at the expense of the general public. As illustrated with a step by step example, when we follow the money - $279 billion out of every $1 trillion in newly created money could end up going straight into the hands of organizations and individuals who make up a relatively small percentage of the nation.

If there is another recession, then the Federal Reserve intends to engage in what could become the largest round of monetary creation in U.S. history. Those dollars will be quite real, and the reason for their creation is to spend them. A big chunk of that spending will become profits going straight into the pockets of investors. This won't actually be a closed game - anyone can try for a share of those new Federal Reserve dollars, but first they have to understand that the game exists, and then they need to learn how it is played.

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Using A Matrix Framework To Identify Cyclical Risks & Opportunities

The United States has been moving through cycles of crisis and the containment of crisis, with an unprecedented degree of heavy-handed interventions by the Federal Reserve feeding the cycles and deeply distorting investment results.

These cycles are likely not over, but are ongoing and may even be amplifying. If the cycles do continue, and particularly if the amplification continues, then some of the biggest losses which we have seen to date are likely still ahead of us, and possibly within the next few years. These losses could be devastating for many millions of investors following traditional strategies.

However, when we take not a "gloom & doom" perspective, but a cyclical perspective, then we can understand the many logical reasons for why a new cycle of some of the highest asset prices and largest profits of our lifetimes for 1) stocks; 2) bonds; 3) real estate; and 4) precious metals could also still be awaiting us in the coming years.

In combination, the cycles and the extraordinary degree of Fed interventions create more volatile markets, with higher highs and lower lows than have existed in the past - and they do so in a rational sequence, much of which can be understood in advance by investors.

Using a matrix, with the cycles as the columns and the investment categories as the rows, we will introduce a new framework for seeing and understanding the many investment implications of the cycles in an environment where the economy and markets are still dominated by heavy-handed Fed interventions. This framework can be systematically applied to identify the logical sequences of nontraditional risks and heightened opportunities for each of the individual major investment categories at each of the different stages in the cycles, as well as in each of the transition points between the cycles.

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