- Hardcover: 400 pages
- Publisher: Free Press; 1 edition (Jan. 6 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1416588981
- ISBN-13: 978-1416588986
- Product Dimensions: 23.5 x 16.4 x 3.1 cm
- Shipping Weight: 590 g
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #467,515 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Great Depression Ahead: How to Prosper in the Crash Following the Greatest Boom in History Hardcover – Jan 6 2009
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About the Author
Harry S. Dent, Jr. is the president of the H.S. Dent Foundation, whose mission is "Helping People Understand Change." He is the founder of HS Dent, which publishes the HS Dent Forecast and oversees the HS Dent Financial Advisors Network. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller, The Great Depression Ahead, as well as of The Great Boom Ahead, in which he stood virtually alone in accurately forecasting the unanticipated "boom" of the 1990s. A Harvard MBA, Fortune 100 consultant, new venture investor, and noted speaker, Mr. Dent is a highly respected figure in his field.
Rodney Johnson is the president of HS Dent, an independent economic research and investment management firm. He oversees the daily operations of the companies and is a regular contributor to the HS Forecast and the HS Dent Perspective. A graduate of Georgetown University and Southern Methodist University, Mr. Johnson is a frequent guest on radio and television programs to discuss economic changes in the United States and around the world.
Top customer reviews
What's the essence of the case he's making?
1. Developed countries are facing many years when there will be declining numbers of people in their peak spending years.
2. A multi-decade commodity price cycle is about to peak to be followed by lower prices.
3. The burst bubble in real estate will be with us for some time, and prices will fall further and longer than most people expect.
4. There are no new innovations waiting in the wings to drive economic growth forward.
He takes that scenario and develops investing, business, and personal financial planning solutions over the next century.
The essence of the advice is to play it safe for now by being in short-term Treasuries and to later switch into Treasury bonds after interest rates rise a lot (expecting that the bond prices will soar as the yields once again fall to near zero). If you can sell your house now, sell it and rent. If you can sell your business now, do it. Otherwise, play it safe, hunker down, and wait for competitors to disappear.
Economic forecasts are notoriously wrong. In fact, some forecasters "predict" the opposite of the consensus. Financial forecasts are even worse.
Mr. Dent is famous for vastly overestimating how much the stock market would climb in the 2000s period. In this book he explains what he missed (commodity and real estate inflation coupled with unsettled world conditions due to terrorism and the U.S. trying to stamp out terrorism is unlikely places like Iraq).
He repeats and updates all the graphs you saw in earlier books and adds some new ones. He has so many cycles that I wasn't quite sure how he puts them all together. He offers free updates on this book's forecasts via an address on his Web site.
I'm pretty pessimistic about the economy and the financial markets over the next 18 months, but I can see that Mr. Dent is much more pessimistic than I am. He wrote this book before the U.S. and other governments began spending over $10 trillion to prop up the economy. As we saw in the second quarter of 2008, the government can spend enough to prop up the economy for a few months. There seems to be a will by government leaders to spend another $10-20 trillion in this cause. Since you and I will pay the bill, I can see why they are enthusiastic. Otherwise, everyone will want to kick them out of office as the economy sags and stays down.
Don't take the book seriously. Learn from the assumptions, keep your eyes open, retain lots of cash in safe places, and look for terrific bargains.
His major predictions were:
The Dow will hit 40,000 by 2010.
The Nasdaq will reach 13,500 and possible go as high as 20,000 by 2009.
Looking back we see the Dow peaked at 14,000, the Nasdaq at 2,800. Didn't quite make it did we Harry?
Now three years later Dent has changed his tune and has some new doom and gloom predictions for us.
In this new book Dent predicts the Dow will bottom mid-2012 between 3800 and 7,200.
All I can say is I hope time proves him to be as wrong as he was with his last book.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Review: Wms (Jack R. Williams)
Mr. Dent opened our eyes to the compelling affect of demographics on the market. His earlier best seller, `The Great Boom Ahead' plotted the future for us based on demographics. This predicted a number of events and tendencies that subsequently occurred. These not only included the market, but the affect on our school system, the weakening dollar, etc. It similarly plotted many of the economic aspects of the future using his demographic assumptions and tools. The results were very informative, establishing him in my mind as a great developer of economic tools.
In this book, `The Great Depression Ahead', he applies the same processes to the present where debt and disaster appear imminent. However, I believe the present since 1980 is an anomalous greed debacle period that will be corrected. This is a matter of faith on my part that will lead us into a brighter future. Mr. Dent is more pessimistic, depending on demographics and various waves and cycles.
This is a good read. He is a gifted writer with a vivid imagination. I bought the book and recommend it to others.
A similar book is 'Did Greed Kill Capitalism'. Check it out.
I figure if he's right, I'm in good shape, if he's wrong, I'm still in good shape. When you read that a upcoming winter for the economy could go until 2023 it makes you listen...scary just how correct he has been on many things over the years I've been watching him. Talks of the dow at 5500 or lower by end of 2012...ugh...better to have a plan then none, gives a lot of guidance on the direction and magnitude of what is going on. A good read.
While I do have some criticism of certain cycle theories in Dent's book (that span centuries)...overall he helps to illuminate how it makes more sense to believe in a cyclical perspective of time as opposed to a linear viewpoint. In fact, this book does a great job of showing the reader where to get additional information on generational theories by referencing the work of William Strauss and Neil Howe.
As you read other comments on Amazon no doubt there is a lot of arrows thrown Dent's way because the Dow didn't get higher in 2008...but Dent has been picking the correct trends based on his demographic studies for a long, long time. Moreover, Dent first called for a Depression after the boom in one of his books published in the early 90s. My point is the book will help the reader to identify possible scenarios on what may be about to happen in the next few years...and few decades based on demographic facts - the Baby Boomers are aging and facing retirement - there's no way around that. I don't care so much if his prediction on the Dow is correct at 3,800...but the overall direction of the market and the economy is more important to me as I try to allocate investment dollars and asset purchase decisions.
As with all cycles, Dent posits that this to shall pass and perhaps my children will enjoy the next wave of prosperity that a boom generates and that an economy needs to facilitate maximum economic experimentation to innovate, adapt, and grow. Dent shows why booms and busts are necessary and "good" for our capitalistic economy. Read this book to have a better understanding of why these things are happening...and what you might expect to see.
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