Historically, I’ve been fairly poor at understanding economics. I barely skated by in Econ 101 in college, and my collegiate-level understanding of supply and demand was warped by the ever-increasing demand for the libations of my classmates and the never-ending supply flowing from the local taps.
The real world has taught me a lot more about economics. And, thanks mostly to the Great Recession I’ve become somewhat of a student of economics over the last few years. I’ve done everything I can to seek out business magazine articles on the economy, and the list of books I’ve read about the economy seems to grow by the week.
It really got started when a friend recommended “Ahead of the Curve,” an HBR Press book written by Joseph H. Ellis. It’s subtitled as a Commonsense Guide to Forecasting Business and Market Cycles. It was a great book, and I had plans to use the concepts to develop some forecasting tools for the marine industry. That is, up until the recession threw those market cycles a curve. It’s a great book, though, and I’d highly recommend it.
In late 2009, I picked up a book by Harry S. Dent Jr., at the recommendation of John Spader over at Spader Business Management. Dent had spoken to some of Spader’s 20 Groups in the past and had done well in predicting economic success through his books “The Roaring 2000s” and “The Next Great Bubble Boom.” I followed Spader’s advice and picked up Dent’s book, “The Great Depression Ahead,” which was written in 2008.
It was a tough read, particularly because I, like many others, like to believe in a brighter future, and this book does not predict that. But I was fascinated by Dent’s predictions and how he used demographic trends to forecast. I enjoyed it so much that I picked up Dent’s most recent book — what might seem from the title to be a replica of the previous book — called “The Great Crash Ahead.” But this is another fascinating book that outlines not only the inherent problems with our economy, but predicts what is to come and how you can profit from it.
So infatuated was I with the economic perspectives, that I picked up another book that Spader recommended: “Aftershock. Protect Yourself and Profit in the Next Global Financial Meltdown.” It’s another fascinating, if even more negative, overview of what may be to come from our economy.
I realize how “doomsday” these books sound, and while I’m not writing about them because I particularly believe that their grim predictions will all come true, but rather because I’d much rather be educated about the potential pitfalls ahead than to be blindsided by them. I hope that you feel the same way.
I finished that book over Thanksgiving, and I picked up another book, a recommendation from Bob Williams over at Marine Five Star Dealership Certification: “Endgame: The End of the Debt Supercycle and How it Changes Everything.” Again, a fascinating (and educational) book on the economy. I’m just over halfway through it, and I can tell you that it’s another book I would recommend.
What’s interesting is that all of these books provide different perspectives. In fact, of these last three, one suggested that our economy is headed for deflation, another said that we’re headed for inflation, and the most recent is suggesting that our economy could go either way.
In any case, an education on what might be around the next corner is always valuable, no matter if you got that education at collegiate tuition rates or for the cost of a few books on Amazon.