Dent, Prechter and Others Warn that the Worst is Yet to Engulf Us
Most investors don't take seriously warnings about the future of the economy and the financial marketplace, but those who did avoided the dreaded "Cs" of finance: the Credit Crisis and Crash of '08. What warnings are we talking about you might ask? Well, it was the headlines of several years ago screaming that a 'Category 6 Fiscal Storm', 'Debt-Driven Meltdown', 'Systemic Banking Crisis', 'Financial Train Wreck', 'Wild Ride', 'God-Awful Fiscal Storm', 'Major Upheaval', 'Rude Awakening', 'Great Disruption', 'Debt Bombshell', 'Major Upheaval', 'Unwelcome Economic Spiral', 'Perfect Financial Storm', 'Serious Collapse', 'Drastic Fall', 'Financial Disaster', 'Major Bear Market' and/or an 'Economic Earthquake' was in store for the U.S. and, indeed, the global economy in the very near future. And the future is now!
Some Predictions do Come True
These warnings and predictions were often derided as just negative nonsense coming from alarmists, 'party poopers', 'Chicken Littles', 'perma-bears', 'doom and gloomers' and the like rather than from the insightful economists and financial and market analysts who made them. To their collective credit they were all substantially correct in their prognoses of what we could expect to happen as exemplified by what has occurred (and is still occurring) over the past 6 months. It has cost many investors 50+% of their stock market investments, 20 - 30% of the value of their home or even the loss of their house itself. Perhaps we should have paid more attention to what they said and as I compiled in the 6-part series back in 2006 regarding the "Ominous Warnings and Dire Predictions of World's Financial Experts" followed up by a 4-part series entitled "Warning! Fiscal Hurricane Approaching! Is Your Portfolio Secure?"
Once again warnings and predictions are being put forth about the next crisis to befall us and this time round it behooves us to pay more attention and make sure this time that we are better positioned to survive and prosper whatever comes our way. Below are major market forecasts and investment advice based on drastically different analytical styles (demographic, fundamental, technical and 'socionomic') from forecasters who have 'been there, done that' successfully in the past and are once again forecasting what their research indicates is in store for us over the next decade. It should be ignored at our peril.
Harry S. Dent Jr ., the author of 'The Roaring 2000s', 'The Roaring 2000's Investor', 'The Next Great Bubble Boom' and his latest book entitled 'The Great Depression Ahead' states that "The most important cycle change for your wealth, health, life, family, business, and investments is just ahead during the first and last depression you are likely to experience in your lifetime."
Dent makes it clear that his predictions, while almost always contrary to most economists and expectations, have almost always proved to be correct because his predictions are based on the same sound and quantifiable logic insurance actuaries use with a high degree of accuracy to predict, decades in advance, when people will die. Dent says he applies the same science to predicting what things will happen in between birth and death - such as when people enter the workforce, get married, spend, are most productive, borrow, invest, retire, buy houses and so on. He believes that such a study of demographics and other key cycles allows him to determine the future based on the facts of the present and of demonstrated behavior so he can see the pig, or the pigs, going through the python. With that understanding of the basis for his forecasting he goes on to predict (and I paraphrase) that:
Dow will Rebound to 10,000 - 13,200 within 6 Months
A likely massive stimulus plan will bolster the economy somewhat into 2009 for a likely rebound in the Dow to between 10,000 and 13,200. A projected bullish scenario puts the Dow between 12,000 and 13,200 between April and September 2009 if the Treasury rescue plan takes hold with the markets anticipating a recovery. A projected bearish scenario assumes that if the recovery is at best rocky, or at worst that we were to move more into a depression in 2009 than a serious recession, that the Dow would only get back to 10,000 to 11,000 and not last as long.
Oil will Increase to $180 - $215+ by 2010 and then Decline to $40 - $60
Oil prices will likely rise to a commodity bubble peak of between $180 and $215, possibly even more, and if not that high then, at an absolute minimum, retest its 2008 high of $147, between late 2009 and mid-2010 unless the economy implodes earlier in 2009. We should then see a major crash in oil prices, beginning in 2010, back into the $40 - $60 range, and possibly even lower, between 2012 and 2015 which will continue for years.
Commodities will Peak between 2009 and mid-2010
Commodities in general, including gold and other precious metals despite their crisis hedge qualities in the past, will likely peak between mid- to late 2009 and mid-2010. It will probably be 2020 or 2023 before we see the next sustained commodity boom and bubble which should last into 2039 - 2040.
Dow will Fall to 3,800 - 4,500 by 2012
The next accelerated stock crash, led by emerging markets, Asian stocks, financial stocks and tech stocks - and finally by oil and commodity stocks - will likely occur between mid- to late 2009 and late 2010, when most of the damage will occur, and continue off and on into mid- to late 2012. The Dow will fall at least to 4,500 and more likely as low as 3,800 by mid-2012, the 1994 low where the stock market bubble first began.
Nasdaq will Fall Below 1,100, its 2002 low, by late 2010 or mid-2012 at the latest.
Market will Rally from 2012 until 2017
A substantial bear market rally will likely occur between around mid-2012 and early to mid-2017 and then a less severe downturn will occur from around mid-2017 into early 2020 or as late as early 2023.
Economy will be in a Depression by 2011
The worst of this next depression is likely to hit between mid-2010 and mid-2013, especially around early 2011, but if the banking system continues to implode a deep downturn or depression could begin sometime in 2009 instead of 2010.
Editor's Note: According to a recent research paper on "Stock-Market Crashes and Depressions" by David Barro, a professor of economics at Harvard, there is a 20% probability that a stock-market crash such as what we are currently experiencing will result in a minor depression - where the economic decline is between 10% and 25% - and a 28% possibility if it is associated with a major war of the magnitude of World War 1 and World War ll. Conversely, if a minor depression occurs first we can expect a market crash to follow 69% of the time and 83% of the time if the depression is major i.e. the economic decline is in excess of 25%. As such, should our current recession escalate and culminate in a minor or major depression by 2011 it may well follow that we will indeed experience another major stock market crash in 2012 as Dent forecasts.
Unemployment could Increase to 12 - 15% by 2011
Unemployment could reach 12-15%, or possibly higher at the peak of the depression.
Inflation will Increase until mid- 2010 and then turn to Deflation
A rise in inflationary trends from mid-2009 into late 2009 or early mid-2010 will then reverse to an ominous deflationary trend in prices, as the economy slows and all assets deflate, as they have done after every bubble boom in history. It is not that the government will not try to inflate its way out of this next crisis by cutting interest rates and undertaking public works projects, etc. but that the massive write-off of real estate and business loans will outweigh those efforts and contract the money supply.
Interest Rates will Increase
The Federal Reserve will raise interest rates aggressively from mid-2009 forwards due to rising inflationary pressures which will contribute to the on-going crash of the stock market down to the 3,800 to 4,000 level.
U.S. Dollar will Decline
The U.S. dollar, which declined in early 2008 in the face of a strong stock market and which strengthened considerably during the Crash of '08, is likely to decline again into 2010 - 2012 as the stock market declines considerably further. The dollar will then strengthen again before we see the second milder stage of the depression between mid-2017 and early 2020 or 2023.
Housing will Decline by 40 - 60% from Today's Levels
A more severe deflation cycle in housing will begin between late 2009 and mid-2010 and will likely last until somewhere between mid-2011 and 2013, and possibly as late as early 2015 in larger homes. During that period the average American house price will fall at least a further 40% and as much as a further 60% from today's market prices.
Housing has remained essentially flat when adjusted for inflation over the last century except during the extreme bubble after 2000 and the deflation cycle of the early 1900s and 1930s. As such, the current grossly overvalued house prices of today, coupled with expected rising unemployment deflationary trends and the continued real estate slowdown due to the aging of the massive baby-boom generation, will likely make such a decline in house prices a reality.
Greatest Economic and Banking Crisis since the 1930s will Occur Between
2010 and 2012
Dent concludes by saying "If you thought 2008 was scary, 2010 to 2012 will be the greatest economic and banking crisis since the 1930s. You must be prepared in advance to survive this most difficult season. Do not accept the proposition that you cannot, or should not, take steps to guard against losses. As an investor, it is your money, your future, and your responsibility to protect yourself in the best way possible and there will be the greatest reward for those who do prepare during this once-in-a-lifetime 'great sale' in financial assets."
How Best to Invest and Prosper during the Tumultuous Times Ahead (according to Dent)
1. Early to mid 2009:
a) Sell stocks, except commodity and energy sectors.
b) Allocate between commodities and T-bills or money markets and /or safe currencies.
2. Late 2009 to mid-2010:
a) Sell commodities and commodities and energy stocks.
b) Allocate 100% to T-bills or money markets and safe currencies.
3. Mid- to late 2010:
Start to allocate to 30-year Treasury bonds only after their yield begins to spike.
4. Late 2010 to mid- 2011:
a) Allocate to 20-year corporate bonds when yields go to extremes.
b) More conservative investors should focus on AAA corporate, more aggressive investors toward BAA.
c) All investors must recognize, however, that even high-quality bonds will be in question as to their viability, given that the downturn between mid-2009 and 2012 is anticipated to be more extreme than anything we have seen since the early 1930s, mid-1970s, or early 1980s.
5. Mid-2011 to mid-2012:
Allocate to long-term municipal bonds when yields seem to be peaking (high-tax-bracket investors).
6. Mid- to late 2012:
a) Aggressive/growth investors: allocate majority into Asian stocks and lesser into U.S. multinational, technology and health care, with minor allocation in long-term corporate, Treasury, or municipal bonds.
b) Conservative investors: focus largely on 10- to 30-year Treasuries and 20-year corporate AAA bonds, with minor allocations in multinational, health-care, and Japanese stocks.
7. Late 2011 to early 2015:
Look for selected opportunities in real estate (small condos and starter homes early on; vacation and retirement homes later; trade-up homes by 2015).
8. Mid- to late 2014:
Aggressive/growth investors: allocate more to leading stock sectors such as China, India, health care, multinational, technology, and financials on a likely short-term correction between late 2013 and late 2014.
9. Early to mid-2017:
a) Sell stocks in all sectors.
b) Convert largely back into long-term bonds and, to a lesser degree, into T-bills or money markets.
Editor's note: His book goes on to provide additional advice on which assets to invest in up to 2036 which I have excluded here as our interest and focus is much more short-term given our current economic, fiscal and investment environment.
If you doubt the validity of Dent's above mentioned predictions and advice consider this: 'The Great Depression Ahead' was written in the fall of 2008 yet Dent projected on page 56 that a) many banks would fail - that has already happened; b) or have to merge with others - that has already happened; c) or have to be bailed out by the government - that has already happened; d) the Fed would have to cut short-term interest rates to near zero - that has already happened; e) the federal deficit would soar to in excess of a trillion dollars - that is already a reality and f) the 30-year Treasury bond would eventually fall to something like 2% in yields (3.77% as of March 16th, 2009). Dent has an extremely good track record of telling us what we would rather not hear and acknowledge as most likely the case so it behooves us to make the most of this important information. Dent encourages everyone to apply for his free periodic e-mail updates to his basic forecasts and investment strategies and to check out 'Free Downloads' at www.hsdent.com for further and more current information. I encourage those readers who have found the above forecasts and investment advice to be informative to buy his latest book for a greater understanding of the study of demographics and other key cycles that allow him to determine the future so precisely.
Russell Napier is the author of the book "Anatomy of the Bear", a professor at the Edinburgh Business School and a consultant to CLSA Ltd. which is one of the top research houses in Asia. Napier's research indicates (and I paraphrase) that:
The S&P 550 will Reach an Interim Bottom by 1Q'09
The S&P 500 now trades at below fair value based on Tobin's "q" ratio (which compares the market value of companies to the cost of their constituent parts) which has dropped below its long-term average of 0.76 to 0.68 from a peak of 1.9 in 1999, and the cyclically adjusted 10-year price-to-earnings (CAPE) ratio and, as such, should bottom by the end of the 1Q'09.
The S&P 500 will Rally between 2009 and 2010
The S&P 500 will experience a significant rally from the end of the 1Q'09 until mid-2010 to late 2010.
The S&P 500 will Decline to 400 by 2014 (the Dow 30 to 3800)
The S&P 500 will then undergo a major crash that will see U.S. equity prices bottom at almost 50% below current levels (i.e. to 400 or less; the Dow 30 to 3800 or less) sometime around 2014 as Tobin's "q" drops to 0.3 signaling the end of the bear market, as it has done at the end of the four largest U.S. market declines in 1921, 1932, 1949 and 1982.
U.S. Treasury Sales Could Collapse Leading to End of U.S. Dollar as Reserve
The crisis of 2008 will force key large global economies such as China, India and Russia to target domestic consumption-driven growth to replace sales to the U.S. and Europe. When China, in particular, succeeds in shifting to a consumer-driven growth model it will clearly provide the key marginal demand for most global consumer goods and this will further reduce the need for the current export-oriented growth countries to manage their currencies relative to the U.S. dollar in pursuit of export growth to the U.S. The fewer countries that pursue such a policy, the less foreign support there will be for the U.S. federal debt market. This could well be the cataclysmic event that forces U.S. equities to the massive under-valuations seen at the previous major bottoms of 1921, 1932, 1949 and 1982 and the end of the U.S. dollar as the de-facto reserve currency.
Deflation Expected until 2015
The yield on treasury inflation-protected securities (TIPS) shows (using the yield differential between Treasuries and TIPS) that deflation is now expected and forecasts that the average prices in the U.S. will decline every year between now and 2015. Such a deflationary economic contraction would be a major shock to the business community and earnings damage associated with such a contraction would probably be larger than normal initiating a significant decline in the U.S. equities markets.
Continued Deflation or Renewed Inflation are Possibilities
The supply of U.S. Federal debt will be soaring just as foreign demand for that debt is waning and this combination will produce an up-shift in the yield curve which, if it were not met by a Federal Reserve reaction, would be highly deflationary for the U.S. On the other hand, if the Fed were to decide to open its balance sheet to buy Treasuries and keep interest rates low, then the consequences would be an inflationary scare that would further exacerbate capital outflow and the collapse of the dollar.
Sell U.S. Treasuries Soon, Buy Equities in 2014
Bond investors are already being presented with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get their money out of U.S. Treasuries. Equities will look truly terrible by 2014 but they will be so cheap they will once again represent excellent long-term value as they did in 1921, 1932, 1949 and 1982. Should the world lose faith in U.S. Treasuries sooner and suddenly then U.S. equities would decline the projected 50% very quickly thereafter.
Foreign central banks' faith in Treasuries can be monitored by checking the value of marketable securities held in custody for foreign official and international accounts at www.federalreserve.gov/releases/h41/Current/. Any marked decline would be a warning to investors in U.S. securities that the end game was in progress.
Editor's note: What is truly remarkable about Messrs. Dent's and Napier's predictions is that they approached their economic and financial analyses from totally different perspectives - Dent using demographic trend analyses and Napier using technical and fundamental economic analyses - yet came to the same conclusions by and large. It really makes you want to sit up and take notice as to what they have to say.
Robert R. Prechter Jr. is author of a number of books including "Elliott Wave Principle" (1978) in which he predicted the super bull market of the 1980s; "At the Crest of the Tidal Wave - A Forecast of the Great Bear Market" (1995) in which he predicted a slow motion economic earthquake, brought about by a great asset mania, that would register 11 on the financial Richter scale causing a collapse of historic proportions; and "Conquer the Crash: You can Survive and Prosper in a Deflationary Depression" (2002) in which he described the economic cataclysm that we are just beginning to experience and advised how to position one's self financially during that period of time. Prechter also publishes two newsletters, the 'Elliott Wave Theorist' and the 'Elliott Wave Financial Forecast' both of which are paid subscription based. The Elliott Wave Theory takes a 'socionomic' approach to forecasting which contends that markets are driven by psychology and, while it is relatively easy to understand in concept, the interpretation and resultant application of the trends are difficult to implement consistently.
The above being said, there are no shortage of senior economists, analysts and financial industry executives who sing the praises of his work. Such words as "ignore Bob's books at your peril"; "it could help you save your financial future"; "the closest thing to a crystal ball we could look for...it is a road map that no investor should be without"; "ignorance may not be bliss - it may mean bankruptcy. Ignore the message at your risk"; "knowing long term risks and opportunities in financial markets ahead of time is absolutely the key to consistent investment success"; "if you want to preserve your wealth (or what little is left of it) I urge you to follow Prechter's advice. You will be grateful that you did". There are more words of praise to be had but I'm sure you get the idea of what astute professionals think of Prechter's work.
So what does Prechter have to say about the current situation and how we should deploy our assets? He is not as exact with free advice as Dent and Napier are but, as a result of his analyses, he has the following to say about the economic and financial environment (and I paraphrase):
A Deflationary Crash and Depression is Imminent
Deflation requires a precondition: a major societal buildup in the extension of credit and its flip side, the assumption of debt. Credit expansion continues as long as there are those willing to lend and borrow and there is the general ability of borrowers to pay interest and principal. These components depend upon whether both creditors and debtors think that debtors will be able to pay, and the trend of production, which makes it either easier or harder in actuality for debtors to pay. So long as confidence and productivity increase, the supply of credit tends to expand. The expansion of credit ends when the desire or ability to sustain the trend can no longer be maintained. The supply of credit contracts as confidence and productivity decrease.
The social mood trend changes from optimism to pessimism when creditors, debtors, producers and consumers change their respective primary orientation from expansion to conservation. As creditors become more conservative, they slow their lending. As debtors and potential debtors become more conservative, they borrow less or not at all. As producers become more conservative, they reduce expansion plans. As consumers become more conservative, they save more and spend less. These behaviors reduce the 'velocity' of money, i.e. the speed with which it circulates to make purchases, thus putting downside pressure on prices.
At some point, a rising debt level requires so much energy to sustain - in terms of meeting interest payments.... chasing delinquent borrowers and writing off bad loans - that it slows overall economic performance. When this burden becomes too great for the economy to support the trend reverses causing reductions in lending, spending, and production which, in turn, cause debtors to earn less money with which to pay off their debts, so defaults rise.
Default and fear of default exacerbate the new trend in psychology, which in turn causes creditors to reduce lending further. A downward "spiral" begins, feeding on pessimism just as the previous boom fed optimism. The resulting cascade of debt liquidation is a deflationary crash. Debts are retired by paying them off, by "restructuring" or by default. In the first case, no value is lost; in the second, some value; in the third, all value. In desperately trying to raise cash to pay off loans, borrowers sell all kinds of assets to market - including stocks, bonds, commodities and real estate - causing their prices to plummet. (Sound familiar? It should because such behavior is unfolding as you read this very article!) The process ends only after the supply of credit falls to a level at which it is collateralized acceptably to the surviving creditors.
Editor's note: Where are we at this point in time? Let's take a look again at the various stages of decline to determine where we are:
The major banks of the world major are concerned that any credit obligations that they were to enter into with other banks would not be honored because of the unknown extent of toxic assets (such as derivatives and sub-prime Mortgage Backed Securities) on their books - as was/is the case on their own books.
This, in turn, has caused them to go from an expansion mode to a conservation mode resulting in a credit crisis such as we currently are experiencing.
The major banks' refusal to lend money to business has caused, or is causing, business to go from an expansion mode to a conservative mode which has, in turn, adversely affected the trend of production.
This is evidenced by the 6.2% seasonally adjusted annualized decline in GDP during the 4th Qtr. of 2008 which was the worst decline since a 6.4% decrease in the 1st qtr of 1982. To make matters worse, economists don't expect any relief in the current quarter, which ends March 31st, projecting a further -4.8% annualized rate which would be the first time since 1947 that the GDP has fallen by more than 4% for two quarters in a row.
a) The reduction in production by business has, in turn, led to or is leading to, over-capacity which has increased employee layoffs.
Indeed, unemployment soared to 8.1% in February, the highest rate in over 25 years. The consensus of private forecasters is for the unemployment rate to get close to 9% in 2010 with some forecasters suggesting a 10% rate. The Federal Reserve, itself, doesn't expect the unemployment rate to fall below 7% until 2011.
b) The increase in unemployment has, in turn, reduced the affected consumers' ability to buy goods and services.
c) The consumers' inability to buy goods and services has, in turn, reduced company sales and profits.
d) The reduction in company sales and profits has, in turn, caused the price of their stock to decline.
e) The lack of easy credit and/or loss of employment has meant that home "owners" (i.e. mortgagees in some degree of co-ownership with whichever financial institution holds their mortgage) have not been able, in increasing numbers, to re-finance and/or afford to re-finance their mortgages and, as such, have not been able to make their escalating monthly mortgage payments which have, in turn, led to a record high number of mortgage foreclosures.
Indeed, as of the end of 2008 12% of Americans with a mortgage were at least 1 month late or in foreclosure which was up from 8% a year earlier. Even worse, a stunning 48% of home "owners" who have sub-prime, adjustable-rate mortgages are currently behind in their payments or in foreclosure which, in turn, has resulted in ever more distressed house sales by the mortgagors and other neighborhood homeowners with, or without, a mortgage.
The dire economic scene (fear of loss of job, loss of money invested in the stock market, reduced resale value of their house, etc.) has seen, in turn,
a) a major increase in savings (the personal savings rate rose by 5.0% in January, the highest rate since 1995)
b) a reduction in spending (it dropped 0.2% in December)
c) a reduction in the sale of goods and services
d) a decline in the price of such goods and services (as evidenced by the U.S. GDP Price Index which declined by 0.1% on a quarter-over-quarter annualized basis in the 4th Qtr of 2008 - the 1st decline since 1954 - and supporting the Fed's obtuse view that "inflation pressures will remain subdued in coming quarters." That tells us that deflation is imminent.
We are going to see a self-reinforcing escalating vicious cycle of stage two, stage three and stage four over and over again. The downward "spiral' is in progress.
So there you have it! We are in the early weeks of stage five. As such, it is fully understandable why the governments of the world are throwing money at the credit problem so excessively in an attempt to get the wheels of industry turning to stem the decline before it takes hold. It is an extremely dire situation with no end in sight at the moment.
Gold and Silver Beginning a Decline to Under $680 and $8.39 respectively
Gold and silver will fall into their final dollar price lows at the bottom of the deflation...after which time these metals should soar in price. Given the likely political inflationary forces following the period of deflation the rebound could be much stronger than anticipated so owning precious metals prior to the onset of the post-depression recovery is desirable.
Should you buy gold and silver now? If you are willing to accept the dollar value of the precious metals dropping another 30% ($680 gold represents a 26% decline from the early March 16, 2009 price of approximately $923) or more before they rise substantially....but are willing, nevertheless, to pay such a price for its current availability and for the 'insurance' of greater portfolio stability under an unexpected inflation scenario, then the answer is yes.
The above being said, it is probably not as good an idea to invest in gold stocks because in common stock bear markets stocks of gold mining companies usually go down with the overall market trend except in relatively rare 5 to 10- year periods of accelerating inflation. As such, in this early stage of deflation gold mines will enjoy no false advantage over any other companies. Their stocks will probably rally when the overall stock market rallies. Owning gold shares is fine at the top of the Kondratieff economic cycle when inflation is raging and political tensions are their most severe.
DJIA Should Fall Below 777
The Dow Jones Industrial Average will go down to at least 1000, most likely to below 777 which was the starting point of its mania back in August 1982, and quite likely drop below 400 at one or more times during the bear market.
Editor's note: To Prechter's credit he acknowledges that these aforementioned forecasts are considered to be impossible by virtually everyone. He is of the opinion that the price swings will be dramatic over the course of the decline - as evidenced by recent swings in the Dow 30 from 11,723 on Jan.14th, 2000 to 7286 on Oct.9th, 2002 (-37.8%); to 14,165 on Oct.9th, 2007 (+94.4%); to 6594 as of March 5th, 2009 (-53.4%) - providing phenomenal investment returns to the successful long term in-and-out investor. Even short term in-and-out investors can profit considerably from the current market volatility as the market swings up and down (October '08 low of 7774 to a November '08 high of 9654 (+24.2%), to a late November '08 low of 7449 (-22.8%), to a January '09 high of 9088 (+22.0%): to an early March '09 low of 6594 (-27.4%). Is another 20% to 25% increase about to occur in the very near future (i.e. to approx. 8250) followed by an even lower low of 25% to 30% (i.e. to 6000 or so)? Only time will tell but Prechter sees money to be made during such times for those astute and fortunate investors who choose not to park their money in some form of cash or just 'buy and hold' as so many financial/investment advisors are so prone to recommend.
U.S. Dollar Index to Continue to Rise
It is important to make a distinction between the dollar's domestic and international values. In a deflation, the value of any currency - the U.S. dollar, in this case - rises domestically while the USD's international value, as represented by the U.S. Dollar Index, can rise or fall relative to other currencies in a deflation. In a time of financial crisis, however, the U.S. dollar is considered to be a safe-haven currency. This time is no exception, particularly given that the Euro, a major component of the USD Index, is going through extremely trying times itself. As the deflationary depression proceeds over the next few years demand for U.S. dollars should increase even further. In such a deflationary environment, where a strong dollar still persists, you want to be in safe cash equivalents such as U.S. T-bills.
Treasury Bonds are in a Bear Market
The 10-year Treasury note yield has been in a sharp decline since the early '80s when it reached 15.84% at the height of inflation and is at a deflationary level of 2.89% as of March 13, 2009. The gargantuan government bond issuance to fund the U.S. debt bubble, however, may push yields, which move inversely to prices, steeply higher in the years ahead.
Prechter has been quoted as saying "The reason that I remain willing to express my unconventional view is that I believe that my ideas of finance and macroeconomics are correct and the conventional ones are wrong. True, wave analysts make mistakes, but they also make stunningly accurate long-term forecasts." Updates to Prechter's insights and predictions on all asset classes can be found at www.elliottwave.com. I encourage those readers who have found his above forecasts and investment advice to be informative to buy Prechter's books for a more in-depth read and understanding of the basis for his making such projections of future events with such confidence.
What is so intriguing here is that Messrs. Dent and Napier, using totally different analytical approaches, have come to much the same conclusions as Prechter. Again, when analysts with different approaches to a situation agree, more or less, with the outcome it is something to take very seriously indeed. And such is the case here!
If you still need to be convinced that extremely difficult times are ahead and that action must be taken please refer to www.kiplinger.com/features/archives/2008/12/they_were_right_08.html for an article entitled "They Called it Right (Plus Predictions for 2009)". This article reviews the correct predictions of 8 noted investors, analysts and academics for the year 2008 and their outlook for 2009. The individuals are: Nouriel Roubini, Peter Schiff, Meredith Whitney, David Tice, Jeremy Grantham, Robert Shiller, Bob Rodriguez/Tom Atteberry and Mark Kiesel. Their forecasts are much more general than those of Dent, Napier and Prechter but clearly indicate what is in store for us in 2009 and beyond.
In summary, we are being forewarned yet again about yet another economic and financial crisis coming down the pike. This time don't get burned as you most likely did during the Credit Crisis and Crash of '08. Instead, position what is left of your portfolio such that you will actually prosper during this ongoing financial hurricane. Now that you know what is about to happen, take action, now! To just hope that everything will turn out okay would be downright foolish.