May You Live in Interesting Times

Written by Ryan Stancil
Posted August 31, 2019

“May you live in interesting times.” 

It’s an expression I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. At its core, it’s used ironically to wish a life of disorder, uncertainty, and strife on someone. Just look at what has been making the news recently: 

  • The President of the United States suggested dropping nuclear weapons on hurricanes to stop them from hitting the country. 
  • People are actually getting into fights, with each other and employees, because fast food restaurants are running out of chicken sandwiches. 
  • The Amazon rainforest, one of the most important ecosystems on the planet, is burning. Brazil’s president doesn’t seem interested in doing anything to stop it. 
  • Indonesia is planning to make a new capital city because the current capital, Jakarta, is sinking. 

I could go on, but you get the idea. If nothing else, we certainly live in interesting times. 

That's readily apparent to most people in terms of social events. It might be less so when it comes to the economics that run the world. 

You may have heard a lot of talk about how a recession is looming and growing more likely, but that doesn’t seem obvious. On a day to day basis, you don’t feel the slowing of global growth. The effects of the ongoing, seemingly endless trade war don’t always make themselves known in your everyday life. Unless you watch the markets every day, you probably don’t know about the dips that sectors are taking. 

And even if you are aware of these things, you might not think much about just how far-reaching these problems are. 

At the moment, everyone in the world is living in interesting times. 

It’s apparent when you look at the fact that Germany just sold 30-year bonds with negative yields. 

It’s apparent in the fact that investments and GDP growth in Britain have taken a hit due to the ongoing Brexit circus.  

It’s apparent in the previously mentioned trade war. Chinese growth and investment have slowed down. There are no signs of it progressing beyond empty promises of continued talks between the two sides. 

There are plans to try to stop the bleeding, of course. Talks of fiscal stimulus in the forms of increased government spending, tax cuts, and everyone’s favorite, quantitative easing, are making the rounds. 

But these look to be temporary solutions that delay the inevitable at best and don’t do anything at all at worst. 

The signs all point to the strife and uncertainty of interesting times already being here, even though many people don’t realize it. When it becomes a big enough problem that no one can ignore it or avoid its influence, it will already be too late. 

Facing the Challenges of Interesting Times 

There is, of course, a way to find a safe haven. One that will make it easier to weather the market turmoil we’re going to see over the next few years. 

While the world economic markets are on a downward spiral they can’t get away from, some investors are quietly realizing one of the best places to put their money is in gold. 

These ‘interesting times’ have created an environment where gold is thriving when nothing else is. It’s in the early stages now, but it’s only going to grow as the economy elsewhere slows and things get more interesting. 

There’s no telling how quickly it’s going to happen. Because of that, you want to make sure you grab the chance to protect your money while you still can. 

Then, when things do get worse, you’ll be prepared no matter how interesting things end up getting. 

Keep your eyes open,

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Ryan Stancil
Contributing Editor, Outsider Club

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