Optimistically Bad Advice and Predictions for Surviving Financial Disaster
By Chris Gaarde, Assistant Editor
This month, I asked some of the biggest names in finance for their predictions on the market… From crashes to booms to busts, I wanted to know what financial disasters they saw on the horizon, as well as how to take advantage.
In the end, their response was nearly unanimous: “Who the hell is this?
Stop calling me!”
So in lieu of their expert advice, I present my own entirely uneducated and misguided predictions… Three very real scenarios, the way I see them unfolding, and how I think you can prepare.
If there’s one thing you read in this issue, it should probably be something else.
Oil prices skyrocket
In this scenario, the price of oil soars beyond its record-high of $163 per barrel, making car and air travel expensive and impractical.
Lyft and Uber will respond by turning to a 100% e-scooter business model. Customers used to awkward conversations in the back of a 2009 Chevy Aveo can look forward to being whisked away by a brand-new, sidecar-equipped electric scooter.
Gone will be the days of cars and taxis blocking traffic and abandoned e-scooters littering sidewalks… The scooters will have drivers now (or “Scooter Skippers,” as they’ll be known). And traffic noise will drown out their inane chatter.
Tesla will follow the lead of Uber and Lyft but will eventually go bankrupt when its $25,000 five-passenger “Model BS” e-scooter catches fire. (Literally.)
Winners: Uber, Lyft, e-scooters
Losers: Tesla, airlines, oil companies, our dignity
Guess where the most millionaires and billionaires are now being created?
Hint: It’s not America
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The U.S. dollar collapses
American consumers not hedged with gold will suddenly find themselves turning to new forms of currency and trade, while the few surviving corporations race to fill the void left by a shuttered U.S. Treasury.
Amazon will announce “Bezos Bucks,” a digital currency for use only on Amazon (and participating Whole Foods stores). It will also use this to pay the handful of Amazon employees not yet replaced by robots.
For the average American consumer, abundant but discarded items – like fidget spinners and “I’m With Her” buttons – will become the new fiat currency… Hoarders and packrats will become “self made” millionaires, overnight.
And forget about paying top dollar to live a comfortable life… One 8 oz. filet mignon will cost approximately 10 used Juul pods and an old Birkenstock. Popcorn and a movie? That’ll be a Microsoft Zune and two HD-DVDs. (Beanie Babies will still have little to no value.)
Winners: Gold, consumer packrats, eBay, Jeff Bezos
Losers: Banks, financial markets, Beanie Baby collectors
A market meltdown
There’s no better time to “buy low, sell high,” than during a market meltdown (and the closer you pay to $0, the better). When shareholders run screaming for the exits, blue-chip companies like Google and Facebook will sell off faster than Hamilton tickets (sadly, still more than $200 a pop).
Some investors may even move to cash as the market turns, but don’t be fooled… This just means more shares for everyone else. Savvy investors will have the chance to become a majority shareholder in any number of companies.
Tired of Mark Zuckerberg hemming and hawing about Facebook and your privacy? Become the majority shareholder and kick him to the curb (and fire his barber, while you’re at it). All you have to do is wait for “the big bottom” and “buy low.” Piece of cake.
Unfortunately, investors not hedged or diversified will see their portfolios tank, and some investment firms will struggle to stay afloat. But if there’s anything we’ve learned from recent market crashes, it’s that companies like Apple sold for less than $5 and you probably didn’t buy them.
Winners: Diversified portfolios, short sellers, cash holdings
Losers: 401(k)s, banks, overleveraged portfolios, starving old people with blue-chip retirement portfolios, Zuckerberg