by Nathan McDonald, Sprott Money:
The year is 2018 and we have survived.
Despite all the fear-mongering, all the pessimism, all the chaos, the markets are still here, and they are thriving.
This has blown away many, as their are countless experts in the precious metals community and the financial world at large, who believed that this house of cards would of long ago come crashing down long ago.
Sparks have flown through the air on an almost daily basis, threatening to set blaze to this bone dry kindling that we call a financial system. Yet, time and time again, the hose is turned on and the small embers are blasted out of existence through a torrent of fiat currency.
The financial “elites” have done what many thought would be impossible, and for that, you have to give them credit, well, at least in the short term.
Endless amounts of money printing may have helped paper over the problem, and arguably, it has, as ten years after the financial crisis of 2008, we are still standing, we are still here and the modern world is still ticking by with each passing day, regardless of how dysfunctional our current political system may be.
So why do people not feel it? Why do so many people still feel like there has been no recovery, and that they are still living through the 2008 crash that is now ten years in our past?
A recent report by Betterment highlights this point and showcases, that despite the market being up a stunning 200% since the market bottom, the majority of Americans are not aware of this, and in fact believe that the market is either flat, or has moved even lower than the 2008 crash.
This survey highlights just how disconnected the vast majority of people really and truly are, and for good reason. Many people lost everything, and as is typical throughout market history, they panicked, and sold at precisely the wrong time, forever locking in their historic losses.
For many others, the crash has never had a chance to recover, as they lost their jobs in the years following and have still not returned to the previous heights they once achieved, many drifting out of the workforce, or taking on two jobs to replace the one higher paying job they previously had.
This survey went on further to prove this point, highlighting that 65% of those asked had not yet recovered from the 2008 crash and 27% had given up plans for retirement, halting their savings entirely as they just attempt to get by.
Meanwhile, the concentration of wealth, during this historic run up in stock prices has resulted in an ever increasing widening gap of the “haves” and “have not’s” as the vast majority of the gains move into a smaller and smaller pool of investors.
Ironically, we are once again about to repeat history, as investors slowly begin to dip their toes back into the frothy waters, at precisely the wrong time, buying into an over-inflated market and missing out on the “easy” gains, setting themselves up for the next big downturn, which is inevitably going to come.
This is unsurprising to a contrarian based investor, such as myself, as this is exactly what people have done throughout history, time and time again, getting suckered into the same old dog and pony show.