Steve and Sinclair update trends and markets, followed by a visit from gold expert Nick Grovich, who gives factual insight on the metals markets.
Steve then reviews a key element of today's investment environment: Americans are feeling poorer and it follows that their ability to keep buying stocks at the same pace may decline long term. Currently, 51% of Americans say they are middle class or upper-middle class, while 48% say they are lower class or working class. In multiple surveys conducted from 2000 through 2008, an average of more than 60% of Americans identified as middle or upper-middle class.
Using the same cross section rules in 2015, the change is remarkable. Only 1% say they are Upper class—that’s a 66% decline in what is described as a strong feeling of affluence. But inflation has stepped in: You need $2.4 million to be a "1980 millionaire" and $5.1 million to be a "1960 millionaire. A million no longer buys what it once did. What will it buy in 20 years?
As an investor, no matter what YOUR net worth is, even if you are in the top five to ten percent in net worth, you must pay attention to the rest of Americans. Today, 70% of Americans make less than $50,000 a year, with less than $50,000 in savings. Although the reported unemployment rate is "low", low paying service jobs dominate, and the idea that young Americans can expect 30 years of high paying work, a big 401k and a pension, is out the window. Steve points out that this is an excellent time, while the market is near all time high's, to determine how you want to manage your money going forward. How much of it do you want protected from market declines at all times? Some of it? None of it? Most of it? Or, all of it?