An impending “70% stock market crash”.   A “$100 trillion meltdown”  A “coming catastrophe”  and “Our leaders have kept us in the dark about this dangerous situation”.  This is one of many claims made by a Mr.  Jim Rickards in webpages and email blasts filling spam folders.   But Rickards isn’t sharing his alarmist point of view out so that unsuspecting US citizens can protect themselves.   No, Mr. Rickards wants your money.   He’s selling you on his doom-saying book about how money is no longer safe as well as a site called “Money Morning” which houses other doom merchants and scaremongers.    Before you share your hard-earned money with Mr. Rickards and his associates,  we urge you to consider the following:

  • Rickards is claiming that beginning in 2015, the U.S. will fall into a 25-year Great Depression.  Mind you, this would be longer than that other Great Depression that lasted about 15 years.  (notably, in a Reuters interview, when asked about when this would happen he  concedes “I don’t know any more than anyone else”.
  • He argues that the CIA created something called “Project Prophecy” which actually predicted a 2006 terrorist attack.  (shockingly, there are thwarted terrorist attacks every year…..who would have predicted?)
  • The Federal Reserve and the Treasury are greater threats to the U.S. than Al-Qaeda.  (should we alert the TSA?)
  • Debt has been systematically used to grow our economy  (Ah, there we go…..joining the legions of debt-obsessed apocalyptic doomsayers who have been preaching financial failure for decades)
  • The system is “about to collapse”

These are the oft-used catch phrases of a large number of doom-preaching self-styled financial advisers who are looking to take your money and make investments that they view as “safe” when everything goes to hell in a handbasket.   Is it a scam?  Perhaps not, as he is offering information, even though it may be skewed.    Is it fraud?   Again, probably not, as these people may actually believe their dire warnings.   But Mr. Rickard and the ranters at Money Morning are one of many such financial doomsayers.   They include dubious experts such as  Porter Stansberry,  “the Donald” Trump, Dave Hodges,  Jeff Berwick,  Jeff Thomas and just about every gold bullion seller in the world.

Here’s our beef with these (mostly) gentlemen who are so pessimistic about America’s future.   If Rickards and his fiends/friends really believe this alarmist fare, then best of luck to them.   But what they really want is your money.  It starts with $39.50 for a one-year subscription to even more of his marketer-crafted blood-pressure-raising blabber.    For $79, you qualify for an ‘Executive Package’ that includes four books full of this fear-mongering.  Rickards also wants you to buy his book “The Death of Money”.  (should we notify its family members?)   Supposedly, Rickard’s prescription to financial wellness during his coming Armageddon is gold, real estate, art, hedge funds and cash.   Ugh!   These are all very complex investments, with fine art being among the most challenging.   No surprise then, that you’ll need to pay for his guidance to make it through the financial mine field that he’s about to lead you into.

Folks, it is your business and only your business to decide whether you want to short America and accept the angst-mining and fearmonger of authors like Rickards and the other Money Morning mad-at-America-men.  Although do keep in mind that there is a direct correlation between aging and being fearful.    In fact, anxiety is a documented common illness among older adults, affecting as much as 15- 20% of seniors.   The marketing approach used by these financial advisors are designed to prey upon seniors who are already disposed towards anxiety-based phobias.  And they are doing so using very cleverly designed sales pitches that push one’s hot button concerns and fears.

If you are over age 50 and are beginning to share the concerns of these financial phobia-peddlers, we encourage you to first do a serious assessment of your own psyche.    Are you feeling fearful or concerned about the future?   Any signs of mild-depression?   Is life seeming more and more meaningless and out-of-control?   Before you subject yourself to a financial fleecing by opportunistic marketers, conduct your own personal assessment.   Make sure that you consult with others before putting your money into the many fiscal horror-hucksters who reside in the online nethersphere.  If you really need to fear something, we encourage you to fear so-called financial Chicken Littles who seek your money so they can spread their gloom and doom gospel.

This brings us back to Mr. Rickards.   Because this is America, we’d fight for his right to air his opinion.   But there are many observers who don’t share his point of view and, beyond that, believe his analysis to be skewed.    He is clearly a bright man and his insights into the global banking system that could help inform the debate on global monetary policy.  But he’s not selling a policy book.   He’s exhorting individuals to substantially change their investment portfolios and plunge their assets into very challenging and risky investment vehicles.   We encourage you to read some of the articles below before you invest in anything that Mr. Rickards and his associates are pitching:

Rickard’s IMF SDR proposal

Rickards on gold confiscation

Rickards on Insider Trading by banks

Rickards’ Misinformation on Gold

Rickards on the Fate of the Dollar

Forbes on Rickards