Saturday, December 1, 2007

Poll: What Should We Invest In?

I have attempted to organize the answers in a top down fashion from the things we should probably need the least to the things we should probably need the most, in general. Some of that is open for debate obviously.

Bonds includes all forms of long-term debt instruments (including but not limited to normal treasuries and their inflation adjusted counterparts).

Gold is ranked above dollars simply because you cannot buy most goods and services directly with gold. That could of course change at some point. Gold is ranked below stocks and bonds because gold is something, in theory, you could pay the border guard with if you needed to flee the country, lol.

U.S. Dollars also includes short-term treasury bills.

Construction includes skyscrapers, factories, and/or housing.

Food includes canned goods, presumably for your pantry.

You are very bearish if you can't even invest in humans. However, there are some 6.6 billion of us now. Perhaps there is a glut.

Update: I don't mean to seem cold but adding "Humans" to the list probably comes off that way. Just keep in mind where I put them on the list (as the most important). Without people, the rest of the list is rather unimportant. Further, investing in "Humans" might simply mean you are investing in yourself.


Anonymous said...


In my disturbed view the question is the real question is whether we invest or save? Is saving the same as investing? Saving appears more to me akin with hoarding. Essentially saving is hoarding money and you have to pay me enough interest if you want my money for you to use. That necessitates the money /commodity I am saving in has to be of a finite supply. I would not save sand in a desert or snow in the artic. I feel the moral hazard comes from the PTB with every bailout or drop in interest rates demeans the function of money. If you are hoarding/saving money you are long in it an shorting other assets and when other assets stop performing why does anyone have the right to devalue the asset I have. Saving money requires the belief in the long term that bubbles will come and go and you have to ignore them because money will be better in the long run. Our negative saving rate appears to me to be a result of the devaluation of essence of money more than our supposed prolificacy. With that view in my mind any electronic money/commodity created with it’s potential to be manipulated cannot do as well as a form of hoarding/savings in a finite money/commodity. Which finite commodity to save/hoard is another question. Again I think investing is a separate issue but it's value supported by the soundness of money.

Anonymous said...

Just reread what I wrote. I would like to be able to claim English as as second language, but I am afraid I cannot. As a point on the other side of the question if the soundness of money is not in question saving/hoarding it with compounding interst is by far the best choice.

Anonymous said...

Good question Mark,

I think the answer is going to boil down to ones time frame. Currently I think cash is going to be king, Treasuries will do well in what is looking to me like a deflationary environment, some stocks such as consumer staples and utilities may do well also, commodities will underperformed short term with maybe the exception of food due to restricted credit creation but will outperform over the longer term along with China and India, as the banking system is reflated and bad debts are written off over the next couple of years, residential real estate will be in the toilet for about 3 more years and commercial a year or two after that. Europe will be a mixed bag.

As for humans for something to have value it must be scarce and necessary, I'll let you ponder that one.

The last time I was singing this was in 02.


Anonymous said...

"Humans": you're not proposing to reintroduce slavery?

Stagflationary Mark said...

abby normal,

Great points! I probably should have used invest/save/hoard.

Stagflationary Mark said...


I should have supplied a time frame as well clearly.

Stagflationary Mark said...


"Humans": you're not proposing to reintroduce slavery?

I think slavery is already being reintroduced. The income inequality gap continues to climb (as seen in the Gini Index). :(

Gini coefficient

Wage Slavery

A Commentary on Wage Slavery in America

Debt Bondage

Debt Slavery? Congress Approves Bush's Bankruptcy Bill

"So now today we are slaves here in the land of plenty that You gave to our ancestors! We are slaves among all this abundance!" Nehemiah 9:36

I'm not a religious person, but I do wish we all had a "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" mindset. The world would certainly be a lot better off anyway.

Stagflationary Mark said...


I have updated the poll description to offer my thoughts on why I put Humans on the list.

Thanks for your input. :)

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

You shall not press down upon the brow of labor this crown of thorns. You shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of mortgages.

Stagflationary Mark said...


The meek shall inherit the mortgage!