Tom Kerr writing on free thinking

The financial outlook is rosy from Washington to Wall Street, and for good reason.

For nearly eight consecutive years the U.S. economy has beaten the pants off of other leading nations – and the stock market is going gangbusters.

The business pundits and politicians are giddy with optimism.

But to me it sounds a little too good to be true.

Remember the Prince song “1999” – that great party anthem?

I’m sure you do…but you may not recall what transpired in 1999.

America was hailed in business publications as “the dynamo for much of the world growth,” and recorded its eighth straight year of outpacing the rest of the industrialized countries. Between 1999 and 2000 oil prices nearly doubled. The labor markets were strong and unemployment fell. The Fed felt confident too, and a year later it began to raise interest rates. Consumer spending rose – while consumer confidence reached a new high.

But back to the present…interest rates are creeping up, but are still dirt cheap. Jobs are coming back, and the stock market is at an all-time high. Median home prices a year ago were under $214,000. Now they are above $234,000.

Those kinds of fantastic gains haven’t been seen since 2007. Real estate investors are once again buying, remodeling, and then quickly reselling houses for fast, hefty profits. Consumer sentiment? It hasn’t been this high since 2007, either.

Everywhere I look, experts are comparing 2017 to 2007…like it’s a good thing.

But wasn’t 2007 the year when the housing market collapsed, created a foreclosure crisis, and wiped your retirement savings off the map? Oil prices nearly doubled between 2006 and 2007. During the past year the price of oil did actually double. A dramatic year-to-year gain in the price of a barrel of oil has only happened about four times in U.S. history.

Each time it happened, the economy has slowed dramatically…and then fallen off of a cliff…taking all the lemmings with it.

Will it happen this time?

Maybe I’ve got it all wrong…it wouldn’t be the first time. But history does have a tendency to repeat itself… just when you least expect it.

I’m a pretty positive, optimistic guy. But the level of euphoria I see right now is disconcerting. I am starting to suspect that your stock broker and Realtor may have mixed the New Year’s champagne with the Kool-Aid that Wall Street and Washington want us to guzzle.

Maybe my outlook is way off base…I sure hope so. But what if I’m right? Do I have anything to offer in the way of a solution? Yeah…I do.

2017 is the greatest year in history to take advantage of easy-to-implement information on how to disengage from a corrupt financial system and move farther off the grid. You can drastically lower your overhead while dramatically enhancing your quality of life…and it will be the most fun you’ve had in decades.

My retirement prospects used to live and die with the stock market or home values, and it was nerve-wracking and oftentimes downright depressing.

But now?

My whole life feels like retirement. The only bears where I am these days are the real ones, not those born and bred on Wall Street.

Bear free thinking

©waldenpublishing.com/Tom Kerr

Old-timers say that whenever you spot a black bear it’s a sign of good luck. I’m happy to report that recently a young black bear lumbered right by the window where I was sitting…as I was writing an Independence Monthly article about how to get more of what you want from life.

P.S. Discover how you can enjoy a more laidback, authentic, independent way of life in Truth & Plenty. Sign up below to have it delivered – free of charge – to your email inbox.

Image: ©iStock.com/franckreporter 

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