In This Chapter
Understanding the most pressing concerns for stock investors
Recognizing other markets that can affect stocks
Spotting hidden opportunities with new economic megatrends
Over the years, I've found that the easiest way to make money with stocks (or to avoid losing money with stocks) is to simply be aware of the economic environment in which they operate. Stocks can be the best (or worst) investment depending on the economic/political environment. Many economic challenges face the stock market, including what's happening with government policy, societal trends, and national/international geopolitical conditions. In this chapter, I discuss the most important issues or megatrends that can affect you and your loved ones, as well as your stock investments.
You need to be aware of the big picture by regularly checking in with great Web sites such as Financial Sense (
www.financialsense.com), Free-Market News Network (
www.freemarketnews.com), and the Mises Institute (
www.mises.org). See Appendix A for more resources.
In the summer of 2008, the U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) surpassed the $14 trillion mark. Great! However, the total level of debt in the country surpassed $40 trillion. Ugh . . . NOT great. What has kept the economy afloat and "growing" during the past eight to ten years is massive and pervasive debt that must be dealt with. Debt in just about every category is at record ...