Rick’s Time Machine. Prepare or be Shocked!

Morning Folks!

Business in my mind starts with an assumption. An assumption comes with variables. The variables are the moving parts of the equation that can change things drastically. But you start out with certain numbers that are assumptions. Then what you can do is go back in time and fill in the blanks or update them as needed. How well do you know your Algebra? How long into the future do you look?? Minutes? Hours? Days? Weeks? Months? Years? Decades? For a lot of us we have visions in all those time periods. Visions, predictions, planning and expectations based on assumptions. Below is a post for 2007 looking forward. The single most important variable in that post and equation was the low unemployment rate. Through the eyes of 2007 I can go back into 2007 and adjust the variable and then a new assumption is updated, adjusted and born. But the birth of this side of the assumption becomes much stronger as actual data is substituted for those assumptions.

Last year I made some pretty outlandish comments. I wasn't even going to post it because I know the fallout. But hey, it's what I do. Things like your favorite restaurant will close down. Thinks like malls will start to close down. Only a crazy person would have taken me seriously. But that was what I saw. That is what I still see. Only thing different is now we are close enough to see the reality of it and the fallout and the comment is now believable when just a few months back it was not. It was seen as an 'Exaggeration' and worse or so many thought at the time. Do you still think that sounds so crazy or is that something that now looks like it could happen? Is about to happen? Is happening?

That conclusion was not being a visionary, it was taking a set of assumptions and seeing where it would lead to. But HUMAN NATURE prevents most from looking that far down the road and seeing things that seem ridiculous at the time. If I were to predict life as it actually unfolded and did it 5 years ago and got it 100% right, I still would have been put in a rubber room. Seeing things that far ahead only get you in trouble because human nature weighs in and folks can't handle things they don't see. That they don't understand. Human nature has an ugly side and human nature is fueled by other human nature. History proves this over and over again. History is where you look to get answers for the future. It's all there. It may be disguised, but it is all there. Once you learn how to read the history in disguise, add a little reality and you can see things pretty clearly. You can plan instead of being surprised. You can avoid by seeing the pitfall. You can triumph because you see great weakness that can turn into great strength.

Here is my update. We are SOOO SCREWED!. Oh yes, screwed and tattooed and the greatest transfer of wealth is occurring below our collective noses as I write this. The greatest robbery in the history of mankind. The greatest shift in reality the world has ever known or seen. That is before we even talk about the political instability that will get worse as the economics get worse. The problem is 'Where do you put the wealth?' The dollar is going to collapse and then melt and we are going to have inflation the likes of which we have never seen. Before you jump up and down and cheer the downfall of the dollar, let me predict it will wipe out the Euro and every other monetary instrument in the wake of what is to come. My $2 million dollar turtle for your 4 million euro lizard.

The entire world economy is akin to a ticking time bomb. Each day we get closer to the collapse, meltdown and fallout that is to come. Don't believe the experts, they have gotten nothing right yet. They are always 'Surprised' or 'Late to the scene' or they did not 'Expect'. They work from a best case scenario POV. Can't do that in business. You have to work on a 'Worst case scenario' and work inwards. I think experts are largely just guys that are unemployed or fired from their last job.

So what do you do with that info? Honestly, I have no idea and I hope what I see is wrong. What I do know or what I fear is that it will break down and get out of control. Gold works for the short term but it is really not a solution. How much are you willing to put in gold? If you have $1 million cash, how would you diversify? Whatever you do you MUST BE PREPARED to lose 80% of your value. Stop screaming!! Yes, I said 80%. Between runaway inflation which is coming to the world very soon, or crashing stocks, or a meltdown of the dollar or too many variables to list. So 20% gold, 20% currency, 20% stocks, 20% property, 20% misc and a meltdown could wipe out 4 out of 5 sectors just on the initial strike. A shell game like none other in the history of the world.

Now that is just a scenario if everything goes smooth. It does not include a host of other variables and have not even factored in an assumption. First we have the Swine flu which is now predicted to infect 1/3 of the world's population. Not too good for travel. Collapse. Then if you were listening to the news, North Korea just tested another nuke. Something could go terribly wrong there. Israel and Iran have a showdown coming in a future close and near to you. An attack worse than 9/11. What would that do for confidence? A corruption meltdown that sweeps governments around the world. Hell, I have barely scratched the surface. I could list so many more it will make your eyes spin. Never in HISTORY have we had so much turmoil and a world in danger of screwing itself.

Point is I have no idea at this point where this roller coaster is headed. It is a ride that is out of control. When the population of the world figures out that nobody whatsoever has any control of any sort, the reality and gravity of what we are about to go through will become apparent. Doom and gloom? Hell no. Reality at its best. Deal with reality. Hoping and wishing and crossing fingers won't save anyone this time. We are all going to be tested in ways we have yet to even think of. We have all been bullshitted in ways history will write about. A train wreck is on the way. Where on the train is the safest place? I still don't know but with Chase Bank now paying .01% interest rate, the dividends domains pays is worth a great deal. So we are lucky in that respect. But we are very vulnerable in every other aspect. The fallout of all this is just beginning. A tornado in slow motion is about to hit. Each day of each week of each month will be much worse. What you can do is stay tuned to life. Keep your nose close to the ground. Find opportunity. Look for safety. Have a plan 'B' and plan 'C' and don't be surprised for both plans to not work out.

The crime rate is rising. Desperation will set in. Robbery could get to an alarming rate. Courage is only found in commoners. Those responsible for our future have little courage, no backbone and their word is cast in wet cement and soon to disappear.

The high end housing market is about to meltdown. The high end homes on the ocean that were going for $12 Million are now going for $6 million and THERE ARE NO BUYERS even at that level. So what you are likely to see is even the wealthy walking away from mortgages. Why pay on a $10 million dollar mortgage when the house is worth only $5 Million and the costs in taxes and insurance is weighing you down? So when these folks walk away this will present an entire host of other unforeseen problems and local tax base in free fall.

So why this post now? Well when I read the post below the key variable in my assumption was we were at 5% unemployment. Now we will soon be closing in and then eclipsing 10% nationally with pockets of 25%. That's a big deal in the equation and that equation will get worse. What we are going through is akin to the world spinning off its axis. The wobble is off center. The wobble could easily become out of control. Those that think about this stuff and prepare for it will not get hurt as bad as those that laugh in the face of something certain to affect them. Time will prove these words true or not. But I certainly would trade the embarrassment of getting it wrong for waking up and have this crisis over and gone and get back to the future!

Have a GREAT Day!
Rick Schwartz

Here is the Direct Link to the actual post below which was written on December 20th 2007 long before the bailouts and the banking collapse. When a key variable changes (Unemployment) so does the equation.

Good Morning folks!!

2007 has been a great
year. The challenges came from every direction and we emerge stronger than ever and ready
to tackle 2008. It's still a couple weeks away but 2008 is already in full
swing. In the first few weeks of the year we will hear how the experts are surprised
about how strong online spending was. The experts are really no experts at all
or they would have predicted what is coming not reacting to it.

The same may be true of
the Presidential primaries that in the next few weeks may change the entire
picture as the nominees from each party emerge. In all my life I have never
seen a more interesting race and be prepared for some surprises. I have no idea how it will shake out. What are your thoughts?

2008 won't be without
its' challenges. The economy is in a bit of turmoil but unlike past economic
woes this time employment is very strong so the dynamics may be quite a bit
different. We are at a teeter totter point and I am not sure if we will
teeter or totter. We just might squeak through but not without some real pain
scattered through the economy. Then again it could get very ugly as we really
are in uncharted territory. The saving grace may be the Internet. But if the
folks begin to run scared and pull back, it will lead to a self fulfilling
prophecy and they will be responsible for their own undoing. In slowdowns you
don't pull back. You gun the engine and hope you can minimize the impact as
opposed to pulling back and let the tide be your destiny. You fight to stay
even or you lose very big.

Personally I am looking
forward to the coming shakeout. There will be all types of opportunities and
bargains spread throughout the business spectrum. Many things may manifest
themselves in an unpredictable manner. As Steve Forbes told us directly in
October, be prepared for a 'Roller coaster' of a ride. The key is having CASH to swoop down and score big.

Like many of you I am
going to unwind and enjoy the next few weeks. I will return in mid January
ready to go for 2008. Until then I invite you to go back and read my 52 posts
that I made in 2007. Most will pay you dividends the minute you read some of my
points and think about it. Even if you disagree, I force you to engage. I force
you to reconfirm. I force you to take a second look at something that you may
think complex and actually find out it is quite simple.

To get you started here
is a list compiled by someone as 5 of the top 100 domain blog posts this year.
I encourage you to read all my posts like they were chapters in a book. With
the exception of a handful they are all related and entwined.

The Line in the Sand


Truth to power


The 'C' word


How Madison Avenue let
corporate America down


Domain 'type
ins' represent more eyeballs than American Idol


Happy holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy
New Years, GOOD HEALTH to all and see you when there is something to say.

Have a GREAT day!!
Rick Schwartz