|The Great Depression Ahead: How to Prosper in the Crash Following the Greatest Boom in History
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The first and last economic depression that you will experience in your lifetime is just ahead. The year 2009 will be the beginning of the next long-term winter season and the initial end of prosperity in almost every market, ushering in a downturn like most of us have not experienced before. Are you aware that we have seen long-term peaks in our stock market and economy very close to every 40 years due to generational spending trends: as in 1929, 1968, and next around 2009? Are you aware that oil and commodity prices have peaked nearly every 30 years, as in 1920, 1951, 1980 -- and next likely around late 2009 to mid-2010? The three massive bubbles that have been booming for the last few decades -- stocks, real estate, and commodities -- have all reached their peak and are deflating simultaneously.
Bestselling author and renowned economic forecaster Harry S. Dent, Jr., has observed these trends for decades. As he first demonstrated in his bestselling The Great Boom Ahead, he has developed analytical techniques that allow him to predict the impact they will have. The Great Depression Ahead explains "The Perfect Storm" as peak oil prices collide with peaking generational spending trends by 2010, leading to a more severe downtrend for the global economy and individual investors alike.
He predicts the following:
• The economy appears to recover from the subprime crisis and minor recession by mid-2009 -- "the calm before the real storm."
• Stock prices start to crash again between mid- and late 2009 into late 2010, and likely finally bottom around mid-2012 -- between Dow 3,800 and 7,200.
• The economy enters a deeper depression between mid-2010 and early 2011, likely extending off and on into late 2012 or mid-2013.
• Asian markets may bottom by late 2010, along with health care, and be the first great buy opportunities in stocks.
• Gold and precious metals will appear to be a hedge at first, but will ultimately collapse as well after mid- to late 2010.
• A first major stock rally, likely between mid-2012 and mid-2017, will be followed by a final setdback around late 2019/early 2020.
• The next broad-based global bull market will be from 2020-2023 into 2035-2036.
Conventional investment wisdom will no longer apply, and investors on every level -- from billion-dollar firms to the individual trader -- must drastically reevaluate their policies in order to survive. But despite the dire news and dark predictions, there are real opportunities to come from the greatest fire sale on financial assets since the early 1930s. Dent outlines the critical issues that will face our government and other major institutions, offering long- and short-term tactics for weathering the storm. He offers recommendations that will allow families, businesses, investors, and individuals to manage their assets correctly and come out on top. With the right knowledge and preparation, you can take advantage of new wealth opportunities rather than get caught in a downward spiral. Your life is about to change for reasons outside of your control. You can't change the direction of the winds, but you can reset your sails!
- A mixed review
This review was made by my husband, who has read two of Dent's previous books, The Great Boom Ahead and The Roaring 2000's. Recently he has also completed other books on America's economy, The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression and The End of Prosperity.
These are the strengths of the book:
Dent's latest book compares favorably to his other books in style and the comprehensive discussion of the role of demographics to the economy.
The macroanalysis of the economic impact of demographics is very compelling. Investors should definitely read what Dent has to say. His data arrays are well presented, comprehensive, and easy to follow. His forecast of the currently unfolding depression seems accurate.
These are the weaknesses of the book:
Dent's microanalysis (short-term) is poor because he overreaches what the data are actually telling him. That is, he is largely guessing. It is clear that using his approach, he completely missed the crash of 2000. So, his analytical tools appear to have little ability to predict short term events. Further, by being willing to accept the premises of global warming, Dent extends himself beyond his expertise. An underlying implication in Dent's book is that no matter what government does, there is going to be a depression. He may be using this as an excuse to not discuss the role of poor governmental policies in aggravating the economy.
- Tremendous information
Tremendous information in it that makes a lot of sense. The only complaint I have is that the author repeats himself a lot. ...more info
- This book will not be remembered a year from now
This is a book about economic cycles mostly based on demographic trends. The book goes in great detail of variety of technical and statistical cycles with its main theme being the baby boomer spending cycle. This book offers an interesting view on housing prices and it's mean reverting, and inflation following properties. It discusses concepts like, election year cycles, Kondratiev's super cycles and how commodity prices follow long term (30 year) cycles. There is some personal finance planning type discussion that might be helpful to the untrained retail investor.The book recommends moving to cities that will benefit from the economic cycle, and how the current downturn will effect places like California, Michigan.
While the book is full of interesting demographic, technical, statistical, and economic trends that will help the reader think outside the box -it is not well written and perhaps it will be forgotten soon.
- Lack of Insight
The fact that this guy has had this book published this year, when so many people have lost a good portion of their retirement investments, after he predicted that this would be a fantastic year for the market in his earlier book, shows an incredible lack of insight....more info
- untrustworthy, fundamentally wrong, and very subtle propaganda
This is not a book for the ages, i.e. this book will not be read at all ten years from now. But even as for reading it in the present, this book pretends to be an exhaustive summary of today's illness rather than what it actually is: amongst other things, a play to get scared folk, wannabe financiers and wannabe real-estate types to shell out the cash to subscribe to Harry Dent's newsletter.
The only positive about this book is that if you are completely ignorant, then this book has some information. But it is precisely these people that are easy to lead down the wrong path. The information about demographics is illustrative and makes sense, if you can separate it from the claims and propaganda that surround it. And finally, none of this book will be new at all to those who are interested in such things, the information all being available.
This book is shilled by plenty of financial people, a head of a Federal Reserve bank and even a governor. To counter such power, let me critique it chapter by chapter:
Prologue - Sounds very reasonable. Makes the case for everything being explained by an analysis of a lot of 'cycles' in history, and the process of Dent's continuing evolution of his research methods.
1.The Great Crash of late 2009-2010 - A full chapter of forecasts without any explanation why. Many of them sound reasonable, but it slowly starts to stretch your belief.
2.The Fundamental Trends that drive our economy - Contains the two cycles that make sense, a demographic cycle and a technology cycle. However, the combination of the two cycles at the end of the chapter seems wrong.
3.New Geopolitical, Commodity and Recurring cycles - Is he dreaming? This chapter seems fantastical. A civilization cycle every 5000 years?? A terrorist cycle every 8-9 years (based on 1993 WTC and 9/11, and therefore 2010!)??? Or, is that some kind of warning?
4.The Greatest Bubble ever in real estate - This seems to be his area of expertise. Combines demographics to make sense in different real estate categories.
5.Echo boomers continue to move - This chapter on migration makes sense ONLY given existing assumptions. But what if Americans cannot as many cars as they have in the past? What if oil reaches new peaks? These fundamentals will change migration trends.
6.Changing Global Demographic trends - This might be new to many people, but if you're aware of this already, again there's nothing new. There is an investigation of many individual countries across the world.
7.The Clustering of Risks and Returns - Seems designed to intimidate and seems out of place in a supposedly non-technical book. A clustering of various mathematical concepts and didn't seem to have any connection (at least to me, and I don't think I'm dumb), and the chapter ends by stating, out of the blue, that conventional investing strategies won't work.
8.Investment, Business and Life Strategies for the great winter - This chapter has his investing ideas. Invest in bonds; How to invest each year from now on; and what to do with your business, education and healthcare in the coming years.
9.Political and Social impacts of the Great Depression - This chapter makes sense and ends with forecasts that might or might not be true.
All in all, this book sounds like a wishlist of what Dent wants to come true. But is it reliable? He states that inflation cannot happen, but what if it does. Will you lose your money? Wolves like these among the sheep make this book dangerous, which is why the book insert has the 'Read this at your Own Risk' disclaimer. Ultimately, the topic he is addressing is a very complex topic which needs time and effort to be understood. But there is a mass market for instant comprehension that Dent is trying to satisfy. All said and done, in the Great Depression, the financial sector will collapse from being 15% of the US economy to less than 5%, and people like Dent have to find ways and means to survive. What better than coming up with a mass-market bestseller to enrich oneself and continue doing so.
- Required reading for politicians
This book should be required reading for all high school, college, and especially for all politicians in the country. Maybe then they wouldn't act in such an irresponsible manner. Excellent!!...more info
- There are some valuable insights here
Like many of the earlier reviewers of this work, I, too, am not completely unaware of Mr. Dent's previous work. I, too, sense a certain lack of consistency. There is also a constant tone of hedging, like, "This is definitely going to happen in 2010, or maybe 2011, unless, it doesn't." Still, what I do like about Dent's work is that it is a lot "harder" than most books on trends, forecasts, and predictions. He takes into consideration a lot of things that most people do not. As far as I know, he's the only one who accounts for 200-year and 400-year economic cycles in his predictions/analysis. Does that make him more accurate? Probably not. Does that give his predictions more insight? I think so. Whatever you think about his conclusions, there are plenty of facts, charts, and analysis here, so any intelligent person will be able to get something of value out of the 350 pages of facts and speculations. Taking that information and Dent's conclusions to the next level and implementing (or avoiding) them in one's own investment strategy is what is going to help the savvy investor anyway, not relying on one guy's pitch that "the end is near". Ultimately, investing is all about risk versus reward and like many other forms of gambling, boils down to maximizing your percentage chance of "winning" versus losing. Any serious gambler will tell you the only way to increase your winning chances is to have as much information as possible. For that reason, I think investors who ignore Dent do so at their own peril. And since this book is interesting enough, why take that risk?...more info
- Maybe relevant but boring
This book is overly detailed, repetitive and just boring. Harry Dent at least 20 times in the book tries to sell his newsletter. He also get very political in places throughout the book, especially in the last chapter. At times I felt I was reading a book on global warming not a book on the economy. I was very disappointed in this effort. ...more info
- Calm Before The Storm
"This is the calm before the storm." Harry Dent was referring to the real estate market in September 2006, as he addressed the Network Advisors at a conference in Tampa. His research suggested that we were in the greatest housing bubble that we have ever experienced, which was about to rapidly deflate. Dent uses the same forecasting methods to predict the future of our economy in his newest book "The Great Depression Ahead".
Dent's insight, research and practical forecasting methods are a tremendous advantage in providing information to our clients about the changing economic environment that we are facing, and the importance of demographic trends on our lives. In "The Great Depression Ahead," Dent uses demographics to not only determine that there will be hard times ahead, but also to aid his readers in finding ways to prosper during these times. This key guidance has impacted the investment strategies that we use in creating portfolios, allowing us to factor in economic sectors, investment classes, and geographic regions of the world that Dent believes are favorable for investment during the various economic seasons....more info
- Hard to know what to make of this book
Ultimately, this book will be judged based on how the economy does over the next ten years. The author has made predictions in the past, including some that have not been close to accurate.
The author makes heavy use of economic trends and patterns that appear to be measurable and repeatable over time. Additionally, he suggests how to move money around in the event that his predictions begin to unfold as he expects.
Ultimately, though, this is a very dry read that I wasn't able to work my way through thoroughly. I selected this item when the economy was really facing dire predictions in some media, but it did not maintain my interest....more info
- Predictions seem to becoming Reality
Few would have believed Harry S. Dent, Jr. when he made his predictions for the current gloom; the economy always seemed to bubble higher after past corrections. Fortunately, Mr. Dent also provides strategies for dealing with this big, bad bear....more info
- Worst trend forecaster
I read Harry S. Dent's "Roaring 2000s" when I was still drinking the cool-aid from these Wall Street cheerleaders. This guy is nothing but dead wrong. He didn't see the collapse in the housing markets or the derivatives WMDs. All he saw and used was population statistic extrapolation to help sell his books and promote his speeches. Now this Johnny-come-lately is joining the bears and contrarians who have been warning about what's happening since 2000 or earlier?!?
If you want to read a trend forecaster who studies the trends without bias and whose forecasts actually hit the mark, try Gerald Celente of the Trends Research Institute....more info
- Is it or isn't it?
Will it or won't it? Could it or couldn't it? Should it or shouldn't it? These are all extremely valuable questions to ask as we enter these exciting, tumultuous times ahead of us. Will the stimulus package help, or will the subsequent inflationary times be the final nail in the oak laden coffin of death, decay and destruction? My advice... I'll keep my money in gold, and suffer with the rest of you during these anxiety wrenching times that will surely make the great depression seem like a trip to Midas Muffler. (Without the backfire!) Hey, at least we can have our cake...but can we eat it too? That my friends is the $64,000 question. Stayed tuned... Agree with me or not, I am surely entitled to my opinion! Ride safe my compadres. And never forget, keep the rubber side down and as always, I'll see you at Sturgis! ...more info
- The crash of 2008 and beyond
This is a great book to read for all of us trying to wrap our minds around the economic crises we find the world in. I am an avid investor, stock trader, and keep myself up to date on the economic environment which has enabled me to do very well over the past 6 years. What this book did for me was project out where we are headed, and the foresight is not pleasant but it is necessary.
This book focuses on history, economics, and demographic trends.What you will see is how the baby boomer spending wave is currently coming to an end and the effects that will have. You will learn that house prices got to far away from the normal trend of inflation and replacement costs. Surprisingly, Commodity prices generally rise and collapse in 30 year cycles. In the United States we have had a pattern of a depression about every 80 years. The book does a great job showing how new technologies have different phases: innovation, growth, and maturity.This can really help investors understand the internet boom and collapse with some stocks really becoming winners while most went to zero. The book advises moving to cities in the sweet spot of current growth in the Southeast. Or cities like Nashville, Charlotte, N.C., Tucson, Tulsa, or Albuquerque to name a few. It shows how there is massive migration out of more expensive areas like California, Michigan, and the Northeast to the Southeast, Midwest, and Texas for many reasons.
This is just a few examples, the book is full of interesting demographic economic trends that will help us all gain knowledge of how to navigate these uncertain times. I highly recommend.
- Dealing with the coming depression
Dent presents compelling demographic evidence that the current economic crisis (1Q 2009) will worsen. While his prognostications do not represent precise scientific evidence or precision timing, they are both informative and useful. Anyone who is economically aware will benefit from his analysis of the curent economic situation and his suggestions for recognizing and dealing with the challenges it presents....more info
- Dent is tough reading but worth it.
This book is a sequel to 3 other books written during various phases of the last 15 years economic cycles. It is quite dry, but loaded with charts that will either instruct, inform or just plain confuse the reader. I do not think you will get rich on this book, but you might at least gain some insight on what is going to happen in the next 15 years....more info
Just couldn't get into this book.Will try to read when I want to take a nap....more info
- Save your money
In the first 40 pages he rumbles on and on praising his great skill of forecasting. Once you have read the first 3 pages then you can actually skip the next 40 as they are a repetition from the first 3 pages
In the reminder of the book he confuses his readers with ever more overlapping time series. His key tag line is a repetition of "It will rain tomorrow, then we will have some sunshine and it will rain again" With this approach he will always have the ability to praise himself as great forecaster by picking the time series that accidently came close to future events.
Therefore expect from future books that he correctly predicted that it will rain followed by sunshine.
He clearly fails to provide a clear investment advice that can be put in action. In his former books he predicted a Dow Jones index of 36,000 and as we all know he was dead wrong with that prediction.
- The Roaring 2000's, Harry's previous prediction.....
If anyone had picked up Dent's book, The Roaring 2000's, one would have read about, according to Mr. Dent that is, that the year 2009 would be our all time most prosperous year of the decade. Funny, it seems that 2009 seems to be the WORST year of the decade. Kind of hard to take anything this gentleman says seriously at this point....more info
- SO MANY PEOPLE IN DENIAL
This is a must read book regarding the future. People will soon be forced to wake up and see the reality of what is in store for the US under this administration.It is not going to be anything like the country we grew up in and fought for. Freedoms will be cut more and more and you will find that you are working for nothing and paying the bills for people that don't want to work. As it stands right now 20 year olds will each pay $3000 per year during their (40 year) working career just to pay the interest on the debt this administartion has caused already. Contracts, incentive to get ahead and the American Dream are becoming things of the past........more info
- Deserves serious consideration
I first heard about Dr. Harry Dent 10 years ago, when I picked up his book, the Roaring 2,000's in an airport bookstore. I found his approach to forecasting refreshing then, and his predictions have been proven right since. That's why I ordered his latest book, and am waiting to see if he is as accurate this time as he was before. We base our entire insurance industry on the same sort of research - why shouldn't it apply to economics?
- Dent is Wrong - Proof Below
I love how Dent is now touting how to prosper in the depression - His last book "The Next Great Bubble Boom" made promise after promise that failed to deliver - I was even suckered into spending over 150 bucks for his monthly newsletter and he was dead wrong.
December 2005 newsletter - "Last Chance to Buy!"
We have seen the first sign of a peak in oil prices with the break
below $62 to just below $60. But we still need to see oil break con-
clusively below $58 and gold below $458 to confirm that inflation
fears and the commodity bubbles are over for now and that the mar-
kets can make a more sustainable strong advance. But the next
advance will likely accelerate before that occurs.
Oil went to 140 - Gold went to over 1,000
How about THIS beauty from the same newsletter:
In addition to high end condos in New York suddenly
falling and the flattening in overall home prices in South
Florida, home equity lending has also flattened in
response to rising short and long term rates since July as
we show in Chart 3. We think this is the beginning of the
end of the housing price bubble that we have been fore-
casting would deflate suddenly, but not crash overall into
Not only did the housing boom ESCALATE and lending didn't "flatten", it went through the roof! And guess what crashed in the fall of 2008?
I love the conclusion - remember, this was Dent touting the next big BOOM at the beginning of 2006
Summary Recommendations: In our extended April
and May issues we were warning that oil prices were
approaching a peak in the summer and that home prices
would start to slow by the fall, with energy and home-
building stocks correcting substantially and then lag.
That has already begun with the recent falls in oil prices
and the slowing in equity lending and house buying. We
continue to recommend buying stocks in the small cap
growth, technology, health care, biotech, financial servic-
es (investment-oriented) and Asian sectors on any weak-
ness just ahead and being as fully invested as your risk
There's a sucker born every minute I guess....more info
- A Dark Vision Through a Cracked Crystal Ball
During the beginning of the current financial meltdown, a large bank in Charlotte cancelled a planned base jump off of their skyscraper headquarters. The image of people jumping off a bank building, they decided, was inappropriate for the current economic climate. Reading this book might make you feel like trying it out anyway, maybe without a 'chute.
To distill Mr. Dent's basic theorem down to its most fundamental, he proposes that the global economy, and hence the valuation of the stock market, is driven by US consumer spending. Since the "Baby Boom" generation has passed its spending peak, which according to Mr. Dent is roughly 40 to 55 years of age, the US and the world as a whole is condemned to an inevitable economic downturn that will last roughly 20 years. In support of his theory, Mr. Dent has provided a raft of charts and graphs, some of which look quite impressive, but don't really provide enough information to be truly useful. Another problem with Mr. Dent's demographic models is that they fail to take technological advances into account. He essentially says that technology doesn't matter, that while technology has improved in the past, it has had minimal impact on the overall economic growth, when viewed in comparison with demographics. There are many who would take issue with this contention, and Mr. Dent doesn't spend a great deal of time investigating and/or refuting contrary theories.
Mr. Dent further says that our traditional investment strategies are all flawed, and that if we follow them, we will wind up losing. He says that his strategies, on the other hand, will allow us to beat the trend and preserve our personal wealth. Mr. Dent is clearly trying to position himself as a contrarian investor. Immediate term, he says, play it safe, then gradually move back into higher growth areas as things shake out. This of course, is not really contrarian at all.
Also Mr. Dent's claims to have been the most accurate economic predictor seem at best to be "cherry picked" data. If Mr. Dent really can see the future, why is he not outperforming Warren Buffet?
In the end, the picture is too grand, the small details too nuanced and the predictions too equivocal for this to be of much value, I think. When I read the book, I was reminded of my college economics professor, a Nobel-prize nominee, telling us of how he got his start in economics. He said that immediately after World War 2, he predicted a recession as wartime spending ended, and at first there was none. So he quietly predicted a recession again, and again, there was none. This continued for several cycles until finally there was a recession which was very short, as the US cranked up spending again for the Korean War. But it didn't matter, he said, that the recession he had predicted only lasted for about year. What was important was that he had predicted it! And he told anyone who would stand still long enough that he was a great economist, because he had predicted a recession. I think Mr. Dent is a similar economic forecaster. He even hedges in his book, and tells everyone to subscribe to his newsletter for regular updates in his predictions. This is not intended to be an indictment of Mr. Dent. He is likely just as accurate a predictor of the economy as any other economist or researcher. The economy is a chaotic system, and what we should realize is that no one can predict the future of such a system. In the end, no matter how educated the guess is, it's still just a guess. ...more info
- I'm no economist, but this book was spooky
Economics is not my thing, but the title sounded very intriguing.
I was not dissapointed. I was, however, more than slightly sceptical when reading of cycles of economic cycles and how a confluence of those cycles are rapidly approaching. The theories put forth will likely be good for years to come though since they are based not on just the author, but on the work of many (allegedly at least) other well-known economists and forecasters.
I was a Doubting Thomas until I started blending the news with the reading of the book. It was an odd experience. Like reading Vince Flynn. I have only begun to digest the material and can't give really good examples of what I'm trying to communicate.
Regardless, my impressions were met and exceeded. I'm going to try and give it another shot: This is not a simple introduction to modern economic forecasting! I'm not the wisest guy on the block concerning this information, but the author is very convincing when he begins to break out the models that he uses to demonstrate his thesis.
He uses commerce models, historical models, philosophical models and economic cycles with conviction. All those cycles do converge from time to time. The author demonstrates that the next convergence is 2009-2010, slightly rebounding around 2014 and ultimately going strong around 2020 (or so).
SPOILER: One of the biggest "take-away's" I had was: Buy in May, sell in October. That was just cool. He used his cycle-model things to show that in the US, if you invested in May and sold in October, you would have made something like 400% of your initial investment. But if you bought in October, you would have lost about 1%. All in just 50-60 years.
He does a great job at showing how if one is prepared for the cyclical changes, expecting recession or depression, that person can be armed against loss and possibly even grow capital.
I highly recommend this title. It smacks of consipiracy in the opening pages, but I believe you'll find that resolved within about 30 pages. Seems pretty solid. Good and in depth treatment....more info
- Great Vision
Harry Dent has an outlook based on a solid foundation that has been greatly accurate since his first book many years ago. While nobody can predict the future, Harry gives a wonderful guideline to follow, and offers interesting angles on economic cycles and prosperity. This book is a quick read, and will give you an edge in all of your investing ventures....more info
- Informative and timely with good advice.
Dent has provided a much needed service in defining what is happening in society and why it is happening. It can help people make wiser decisions that affect their future. I recommend it highly....more info
- Shame on You Harry
I too read Harry's prior book, The Roaring 2000s, in which he claimed that the year 2009 would be the apex year in the greatest boom period in history with the DOW reaching unimaginable highs. Well, I was younger and more naive then. I've since learned that NO ONE can predict the stock market.
Fool me once, Harry, shame on you. Fool me twice, it ain't gonna happen.
- Save your money!
I'm so glad I checked this out from my local library and saved my money. Skip it. ...more info
- Using History of Economic Cycles and World Wide Demographics, Dent Forecasts A Long Down Cycle
The books reads somewhat like a good news, bad news joke in the sense that Dent explains that economic cycles are predictable and the bad news is that our current economic situation will take years for recovery. Dent goes in detail explaining historic cycles of economic highs and lows and based on these patterns that economic depressions are predictable. In addition, Dent explains economic gains and declines based on demographics, population based on age and buying power and innovations. Dent goes into sometimes-minute detail to explain the predictability of an individuals peak buying power and the effect the aging boomers have on the economy as they head in mass to retirement without the financial slack picked up by the too distant echo boomers. Dent provides numerous charts, sometimes endless, demonstrating the same consequences for many countries such as China. Along with the charts are detailed descriptions that are virtual quick reads, since once you pick up the patterns of descriptions, you can look at the charts and pick it up pretty quick. Dent's news is not good for the short term but he offers investment advice over a projected period, his initial news is not good for investing in the stock market. Dent's book is very interesting but with an over 10 year tough economic projection, I just hope he is wrong in regards to the long run....more info
- History Has The Answer To What Is Happening Now
Harry Dent does the research and we can benefit from it. There are historical cycles that occur. Recently, several have collided to create "The Perfect Storm" in the economy. Facinating reading since he is correct so much of the time. Hind-sight is wonderful, but not very useful. Predicting the future is not a perfect science, but studying the predictable cycles make it more clear....more info
- Something everyone needs to know about
This is a sobering look at how circumstances and cycles are coming together for what might well be the worst depression since the 1930s. Everyone owes it to themselves to examine the demographic cycles and projections for the depression that lies ahead. It has plenty of supporting econommic data for those so inclined. At the same time it is an easy read for the non-economist. I suggest you don't rely only what the government is telling you. Read this book to help in your personal and family preparations....more info
- You gotta give Harry some credit
Harry definately "puts em out there" in this very interesting book.
When you make the number of bold calls that are in this book, there is no possible way that you can get even most of them right. But its fun(scary type of fun) to read anyway.
I know a lot of people are having an impossible time getting over the Dow 40,000 debacle from the early part of the decade, and I can certainly appreciate that, but Dent openly addresses that issue and does a decent job of explaining why he was so wrong.
I am fairly confident that much of what Dent presents in this book is founded on solid logic so I think its worth reading. I like his investment strategy chapter and you gotta give anyone who's willing to provide a FORWARD LOOKING chart on the DJIA a little lee way.
I'll tell you one thing, if the Dow comes close to hitting 11,000 by May or June we better all read this book again....more info
- The Great Depression to Come by Dent
This book is not what I thought it would be. A lot of graphs and statistics and not easy reading.
There are some general recommendations but in the whole not too useful to me.
This is better read by economists. ...more info
- Methodical Examination Followed by Uncertain Conclusions
Harry Dent forecasts an economic downward spiral anticipated to be considerably worse than today's already poor conditions. The book is mixed with an abundance of charts and analysis, and combined with bold predictions based on an accumulation of data and thoughts. Dent's primary focus is on the long term economic cycles that he feels are overlooked by most economists.
Among the strengths of Dent's evaluation is his study of population trends that affect booms and busts. Dent effectively points out that when the largest portion of the population is among the highest producing and spending age groups, it is natural to anticipate economic booms. Accounting for the age of the `baby boom' generation, Dent fittingly asserts a severe upcoming economic downturn. He also excels in his portrayal of S-curve trends; charting innovation, growth, and maturity in many sectors. The conclusions based on these examinations are both logical and sensible.
Dent's assessment deteriorates as a result of his reliance on the 80-year cycle and the importance he attributes to this above his other findings. There is credence in evaluating technical cycles, but his adherence to this at times borders on the gamblers fallacy. Dent insists he has discovered 80-year cycles within our economy; yet our economy is less than 240 years old which would encompass 3 full cycles; thus how reliable are three mere iterations?
Dent would have been better served discussing his examination and leading the reader to his/her own conclusions. Regrettably, the book is filled with numerous assertions that are seemingly loosely tied to his analysis. There is value within the book and the study is comprehensive; however, unless already a fan of Dent's, I would recommend reading better supported economic material.
- The Great Depression Ahead
Harry Dent has made a fortune in bold predictions using lots of statistics and demographic studies, but to quote Mark Twain, "There are lies, damn lies and statistics." Dent is like many prognosticators; you remember when he's right and tend to forget when he's wrong. And the fact is, he is trying to predict an unpredictable. The title itself is provocative enough to get people to buy his book, and when he's off in most of his predictions in a few years, Dent will have survived the Great Depression not by following his investment forecast, but by selling books....more info
- Simple Principles Drive Complex Change.
I have given Harry Dent's latest book, "The Great Depression Ahead" 3 stars for effort. This is high praise from me as I am a bit of a skeptic where predicting economic trends is concerned. Dent has in fact badly predicted such things in the past. But he is a stubborn man so he keeps sharing his hubris with anyone that will read him. So why read him?
Why, because he is not only full of his own thoughts but he is also full of demographic information. And unlike many prognosticators he actually uses scientific means to find and then present his findings. He is a Demographer that specializes in Economics. Demography is the statistical study of all human populations. His thesis is that demography is the principle driver of economic events. He hangs his hat on the aphorism: "Simple Principles Drive Complex Change". Follow the Boomers and the Echo-Boomers--Generation Y.
Dent can be quite convincing. But I would venture to say that as is nearly always the case in such matters Dent is guilty of oversimplification. Yes, there are identifiable cycles in life, in our economic lives. But I would also venture to say that such cycles have a way of nearly always being identified if not after, at least far along their path. Usually too late to be able to do much about the present. And to his credit Dent admits as much and so hedges his bets with the caveat that simply realizing that things happen in cycles is helpful for decisions that one makes in the interim. Sage advice there. If not obvious.
And yet with all the apologetics Dent puts forth for his "Way" of predicting the future, much of which makes very good sense, there is at least one fundamental flaw. Life is not a linear function. Life cannot be reduced to this or that. Life does not play by the rules of Science. Life has its own rules. Think "Jurassic Park". Life is whole and any and all piecemeal attempts to "control" or "predict" it are inherently flawed. Doomed to ultimate failure. But we keep trying. And few try as hard as Dent. This is not to say that modern Quantum Science is still in the Dark Ages, it is just that neither are the Priests of Science yet the Gods they would like to be. That they would like the rest of us to believe they are. Trust me, I am more Scientific than that guy over there. Maybe. Maybe not.
So, if you read this book with an open mind you will in my opinion exponentially increase the amount of knowledge you have about Baby Boomer demographics and its impact on Society-at-large. Nothing wrong with that. But knowledge is not necessarily wisdom. Dents states that there are no new "Inventions" on the horizon to change the path of the major cycles for now and for the immediate future--for the next few decades. How can he know that? Nobody knows that. Maybe General Motors will start making cars that get 400 miles to a gallon of gasoline next year. Maybe some nerd living in his parent's house will have revealed to him in a dream a cure for all Cancers. Maybe someone will figure out how to use "Fusion" to power our planets electric needs.
Fact is most Scientific discoveries have been the result of the intuitive rather than the rational processes of Man. The rational cannot divine the intuitive. The Left Brain can work with the Right, but it cannot take its place. I trust my inner guide more than I do any outside agency where existential matters such as Change are concerned. Modern Social Science remains tied to the Cartesian method and the Kantian paradigm. Social Science is not the be-all to end-all that some would like it to be. But then the same can be said of the so-called Hard Sciences as well. The Left Brain does not have a patent on reality. It just likes to "think" it does. I think, therefore I think I know.
Read this book. It has a lot of very useful and interesting information in my opinion. Just don't take its predictions as anything more than what they are, predictions. No one knows for certain where life may flow. It has a will of its own.
You might like to go to Dent's website to learn more about the "Dent Method" with free access to his "Global Demographic Trends Database". ...more info
- A very Technical Review of Where the Economy may be Headed
They call economics the Dismal Science and this book really paints dismal picture if not a dire warning of what awaits us in the months, years and even decades just ahead.
All of us know by now that our economy is in a tail spin. Although people are working, buying, selling and still moving ahead, for the most part, the house of cards created by three great bubbles is about to collapse for the first time in many decades. Actually, for the first time since the last great depression of the 1930's.
Having studied economics in college, I was hoping that any discussion worth reading would have Kondratieff Wave theory and this book does. He discusses the many things coming together at the same time that impacts our economy, including the spending trends of the Baby Boomers coming to its peak. The bubbles of Technology, Housing/Mortgages and commodities all coming on the heals of one another are a result of trends that hit on a cyclical basis.
Instead of warning of economic doom alone, Dent focuses on evaluating and examining what is happening, technically using many charts and graphs, and forecasting a couple of dire scenarios for the immediate future and a little beyond. He shows that Asia and Latin America will actually start to come up as the West declines economically.
Most importantly, he advises us on not only how to survive, but also, maybe even thrive in the coming years. As the tags associated with the book indicate, he recommends among other things Bonds. You will have to read what his advice is though.
Additionally, he warns that the bail outs we are seeing coming to fruition may have a negative impact in the long run. I guess we will see if that is correct. I believe it will in the short run keep things going as long as the money is used to hire people in the country that the money is coming from as a delaying of a major blow off.
Yes, ecomomies come and go in waves. Some longer than others. Yet, we are warned that things can get rather serious in the times just ahead of us. Read the Great Depression Ahead and be prepared....more info
- Correct Me If I am Wrong
But is this not the same "economist" Harry Dent about whom Wikipedia says:
"In 2000, Dent predicted that the DOW would reach 40k, a prediction which was repeated in his 2004 book. In his book, he also predicted the NASDAQ would reach 13-20k. In late 2006 he revised his forecasts to much lower levels, estimating the Dow would reach 16-18k and the NASDAQ 3-4k. In January 2006, he predicted that the DOW would reach 14-15,000 by the end of the year. It ended 2006 at 12,463, 11% below the lower end of his prediction. It ended 2007 at 13,264, again significantly lower than Dent's revised prediction of 15,000 by early 2008. Since then, the Dow crossed 14,000 in late 2007 before retrenching."
If so and Wikipedia is accurately describing his predictions, I think I will try my Magic 8 Ball instead....more info
- Thought Provoking
Well reasoned, researched, and thought provoking work; written in July 2008, and when you read its asuumptions in March 2009, the book becomes even more amazing....more info
- Some noive ! Some noive !
Can you believe this guy ?! I'm amazed he has the brass to show his face in public after the last few books he's written that were totally, utterly, completely and embarrasingly -- wrong. Let alone come out with yet another of his fantasies. Unbelievable. I can't believe he has a Harvard pedigree. What a nutjob. But I suppose in a way he's helpful. He provides a good object lesson in not blindly trusting "experts" and "authorities". And in how to sniff out the loonies from the genuine....more info
- Repetitive, Redundant
I like reference books to get straight to the point.
I also like reference books not to repeat the same information every third page.
Harry S. Dent's editor should be fired, because I have had an extremely difficult time dragging myself through this material thanks to its repetitious nature.
A very tedious read, to say the least (am I repeating myself?)
I'll try to get to the end of this book, but I'll be surprised if I make it through to even the next chapter.
On the other hand, if I ever have trouble falling asleep at night....
- Sobering assessment of the world economy's future
"The Great Depression Ahead" by Harry S. Dent offers a sobering assessment of the world economy's future. Mr. Dent is the president of an eponymous think tank and research organization that regularly harvest and interprets economic and social data for wealthy investors and corporate clients. This timely book presents an impressive amount of original research suggesting a rough road ahead for the U.S. and other leading industrial nations; yet the author suggests how individuals, businesses and government policy makers might choose to cope with these changes in the most constructive manner possible and build a better future.
At the heart of Mr. Dent's analysis is the science of demographics. In convincing fashion, Mr. Dent demonstrates how peaks and troughs in economic activity can be predicted by measuring spikes and drops in population, especially as it pertains to counting the number of people in the key consuming age group of 30 to 50 years. Based on this rather straight-forward calculation, we learn that the U.S. will face many challenges going forward; for example, as the number of people available to purchase homes from the baby boom generation becomes insufficient, home values must inevitably contract for at least the near term.
Mr. Dent uses his methodology to go into considerable detail about the likely year-by-year, decade-by-decade changes that will ensue in the U.S. and many other countries around the world. As an investor, you will learn how opportunities will emerge in some places while they recede in others. Numerous charts and graphs illustrate the key points and make the discussion easy to understand. The effect is both startling and illuminating.
Of course, whether the U.S. economy experiences mere recession or dives into another Great Depression remains an open question and will greatly depend upon the decisions of the current administration. Acknowledging this uncertainty, Mr. Dent offers his thoughts on how the government will likely respond by comparing the current crisis with the 1930s. Mr. Dent goes on to discuss the long term, theorizing that the latest crisis of globalization will force some long-overdue action on a host of issues ranging from global warming to terrorism, interstate relations, health care, taxation, and so on. The author's opinions reflect a mature and informed outlook that offers hope about humanity's future prospects, despite the book's dismal title.
Unfortunately, Mr. Dent tends to get carried away with the methodology. Almost every social dynamic becomes a "cycle" whose effects are calculated on various time frames, such as a spurious "terrorist cycle" that supposedly predicts a major attack every 8 to 9 years, a "civilization cycle" that predict a major shift in social relations every 5,000 years, and so on. While certainly entertaining to contemplate, this kind of superficial analysis tends to detract from an otherwise solid piece of research.
Notwithstanding this minor reservation, I highly recommend this compelling book to everyone. ...more info
- A Little Too Late, A Little Too One-Sided. Needs A Bigger Picture.
My copy of Mr. Dent's book reads inside that it was published for January 2009. Well, if that be the case, then this book is way too late for it to be "prophetic" to any degree. Any numb skull who bothered to watch the news for more than one week could have told you what was going to happen to the U.S. economy.
Dent makes some good arguments, but I think they are somewhat incomplete. First, it's clear that he's bought into the Wall Street and media hype about the fear of potential a deflationary depression. His is the crowd that says that you should hold U.S. Dollars while the financial system straightens itself out. They see prices sharply falling 1930's-style and equity holders getting killed.
They also suggest holding supposedly inflation-protected government bonds like I-Bonds and TIPS. The theory is that one could still earn a fixed interest rate in a hyperdeflationary scenario while one's money would still keep ahead of inflation in a hyperinflationary scenario. What this technique doesn't take into account is that it relies on the government being trustworthy in its reporting of the CPI, which the interest rate these assets are fixed to. The CPI has been manipulated many times before to government advantage. (Just take a look at John Williams' website Shadow Stats to get a more interesting perspective.)
Dent's crowd also doesn't take into account the reason for the present deflation and credit dry-up: banks hoarding cash. He acknowledges the need of financial institutions to de-leverage their speculative positions and the effect of investors redeeming their portfolios for liquidity in a panic, but this is only half the story. Banks are also extremely afraid to lend to one another some are hoarding cash just so that they will shore up their balance sheet. To attempt cure this the Federal Reserve and Ben Bernanke has left the printing press on 24/7 and lowered interest rates to zero. We are literally being flooded with cash. When banks finally feel confident enough to lend, what we'll most likely get is hyperinflation as all of that cash comes pouring out into the market. This is why the price of gold is presently soaring on Wall Street even as the price of oil drops to decade lows.
Last but not least, I found it shocking that Dent did not mention gold and other precious metals. He did not even seem to be bothered with it enough to give in a healthy criticism. I feel that is unfair to his reader, given the gravity of the claims he makes in his books. He should at least consider this avenue of asset protection, as many have touted it and his readers will certainly encounter it at some point. If his deflationary scenario doesn't play out as perfectly as he predicted and instead we start to see signs of hyperinflation, Dent should have at least informed the reader that at such a point one would want to rollover their portfolio to hard assets like land and precious metals. His reason for not doing this, I do not understand. Perhaps its because there's far less money to be made for a Wall Street manager if his clients buy metal and hide in their closet than there is in providing active advice on the trading of currency and bond portfolios....more info
- Opportunistic investment guide
This book is a bold attempt to predict not only the next several decades, but also the next several centuries - at one point, author Harry S. Dent prognosticates about the year 2400. As he mentions, however, he did predict Japan's 1990s economic slump and the U.S. boom that began in 1998. If you are a believer, take cover, because now Dent's predictions are not so rosy. He foresees a major depression followed by a long period of slow growth. He is singing with the great chorus of economic pundits and prophets, the preponderance of whom seem to be chanting a dirge. However, Dent predicts several encouraging points of light in the very long tunnel ahead, and a great new boom starting about 2020-2023. His methodology is distinctive, though not unique. He anchors his analysis in demographic and technology cycles. Readers might or might not share his faith in the existence and predictability of these cycles, keeping in mind that good advice in the past is not an accurate predictor of the future. However, getAbstract notes that even readers who scoff at the notion that one can predict developments over a centuries-long scale might find the author's methodology useful and his investment recommendations worth considering. ...more info
- Makes sense!
Mr. Dent has extensively researched trends and cycles in all areas of our lives to come up with his predictions. Makes a lot of sense!...more info
- Editing D+; Charts B; Ideas A-
D+: This is the most poorly edited book I've read in years. Dent jumps from one topic to another sentence by sentence, making for paragraphs that don't flow, pages that are rife with staccato information, and, thereby, making it unpleasant to read and synthesize his ideas.
B: It seemed he was jumbling many themes together, and as a high school math teacher, I could tell that many charts were fine, but some of them didn't always line up with what he said. I am also all too aware that statistics are easy to manipulate, and I wonder if he is crunching numbers to favor his ideas.
A-: What I liked were the ideas of demographics and other influences on our world's economy. Right or wrong, I don't know, however this was very interesting to me and I will look into this more by researching what some other Amazon reviewers suggested:
1. Paulos' "A Mathematician Plays the Stock Market" (overview of behavioral psychology).
2. Dreman's "Contrarian Investment Strategies: the Next Generation" (extensive discussion of pattern-seeking.
3. Gerald Celente of the Trends Research Institute.
4. Dan Arnold's The Great Bust Ahead...more info
- Very Thought Provoking Work
Harry Dent has developed a number of new approaches to demographic trends since his last book which greatly enrich the quality of this work. Whether one agrees or disagrees with his conclusions, this book is a must read for anyone wishing to better understand the times we are experiencing....more info
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