It’s probably an understatement to say I discuss underlying weaknesses in the economy with some frequency. Guilty as charged, but why be coy about it? The telling data is out there, front and center, for those who care to look at it. There is, in fact, so much of it that a recent poll by the National Association for Business Economics found 3 out of 4 economists expect a recession before the end of 2021.
“Whatever!” you might be thinking. “My portfolio is doing just fine, even among all of this ‘sky is falling’ talk.” And it might be intact – right now. But this is where it pays to have a discerning eye. Just recently, CNBC.com cited some very learned minds in global market analysis who attribute the now-evident renewed market energy exclusively to cash infusions from central banks, including the Federal Reserve.
Indeed, some of the most revealing pieces of information about the real state of the economy are those easily lost in all the screaming and shouting over record highs in key financial market indexes.
One of those bits of information recently came to my attention courtesy of the popular alt-financial site ZeroHedge. It seems Americans, as a whole, are spending a lot longer in their houses than they did just nine years ago. A longstanding tradition is on the wane: the restless American who cannot sit still because they’re always on the lookout for that next great opportunity. ZeroHedge says diminished mobility is at hand because “a housing affordability crisis, depressed wages, insurmountable debts, and a downturn in the economy have paralyzed U.S. homeowners.”
This personal economic imprisonment is a revealing consequence of an economy in far more trouble than suggested by superficial unemployment numbers and juiced-up financial markets. Those inclined to protect their retirement savings should take note and consider adding safe-haven assets such as gold and silver to their portfolios.
Americans Stuck in Their Homes
The ZeroHedge piece is short but very thorough. It breaks down data published by the popular Redfin nationwide real estate brokerage and property information firm. As of 2019, current U.S. homeowners have spent an average of 13 years in their homes. In 2010, the figure was eight years. And, although the 13 years does represent an average, it’s particularly noteworthy that in every region Redfin analyzed homeowners as a group remained in their homes much longer in 2019 than they did through 2010.
The following table details the 18 cities where homeowners have been in place the longest:
Although lower economic mobility is a problem everywhere, it effectively has come to a halt in some cities. In Salt Lake City, Utah, where the median price of a house has climbed almost 75% in the last nine years, homeowners have gone from spending an average of about 15 years in their homes to more than 23 years. In Worcester, Massachusetts, median home tenure in 2019 is not among the very highest, but it’s remarkable that at 16.7 years it’s now more than double what it was in 2010.
One wonders what the “median home tenure” will be in another 10 years, especially if we suffer another severe recession during that period. As ZeroHedge makes clear, a bevy of personal economic factors suggest the average number of years Americans are anchored to their homes could grow even more. Those factors include nonexistent wage growth and enormous debt – including massive education debt among millennials. ZeroHedge closes out its look at this data with a harsh assessment that some observers have been suggesting for a while now:
With economic mobility among all homeowners deteriorating, this is the latest example that the “greatest economy ever” is merely a hoax.
Hard Assets Can Offer Real Protection from Illusory Markets and Economies
Many experts expected a recession to have set in by now – or even a bona fide financial crisis. But they likely didn’t expect central banks to bend as much as they have in accommodating mainstream assets. Make no mistake: There are many indicators that say we’re on the verge of a recession. A willingness on the part of central bankers to cut interest rates to very low levels is keeping that eventuality at bay for now, however.
Unfortunately, this furious rate-cutting sets up portfolios for even worse damage when central banks have used all the tools in their toolbox and there’s simply nothing more they can do to sustain the growth of financial markets. That said, if you have enough discernment to recognize the problems, it could serve you very well over the foreseeable future. It’s important to educate yourself about the misleading nature of current financial markets and an economy that has left its citizens economic prisoners even while it waves the flag of a deceivingly low 3.6% unemployment rate.
In other words, your good instincts can do more than just warn you not all is as it seems. I suggest you take your gut feelings seriously about this and let them prompt you to move forward in protecting your savings. Yes, that may include adding genuine safe-haven assets such as physical precious metals to your asset base.
If you’ve never before given serious thought to buying physical gold and silver, it’s only natural to have a lot of questions. Fortunately, you can get all the answers you need when you call Augusta Precious Metals at 800-700-1008 and speak with one of our knowledgeable and friendly gold and silver professionals.
Physical precious metals tend not to be available options where most Americans are used to keeping their IRAs, 401(k)s and other tax-advantaged accounts. So, many retirement savers are very interested in learning more about how to add real gold and silver to their asset mix. We have the information you’re looking for, including how easy it is to open a silver and gold IRA made of physical precious metals. The bottom line is that it’s probably a lot easier than you think to prepare your portfolio for trouble. Embrace your good instincts, and give Augusta Precious Metals a call today.