Sunday, January 21, 2018

The American Jubilee Book Review

This book - The American Jubilee - alleges that a round of biblical style debt forgiveness is inevitable and imminent, and that the nation will soon be plugged into chaos. I read this book at the request of a friend, and the following is an email I sent to her this morning reviewing the content of this book.

I just finished reading the American Jubilee book, and I am completely puzzled by its Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde combination of good advice and completely dangerous advice, leaving me to wonder what the true goal was of the author. 
The opening portion of the book attempts to convince the reader - through a series of confusing non-sequiturs, false dichotomies, and out of context statements & figures - of the dire state of the nation's economy, and that a debt jubilee is imminent. Although I think debt forgiveness may be on the table in the future on a limited basis for things like student loans as a political promise of the left, I seriously doubt our nation's leaders from either side of the aisle would intentionally plunge the nation into the deflationary chaos which would follow a complete jubilee of all corporate and consumer debt in our current economic system and scale.
However, were a person for some reason completely convinced of an impending nationwide debt jubilee, the only acceptable place for their wealth would be gold, silver, domestic cash, foreign cash, land, weapons & ammunition, food, fuel, communications equipment, and other supplies to weather the coming megastorm, the unprecedented scale of which we could only imagine. But the book then goes on to recommend that readers put their cash into the stock market, purchasing such companies as American Express. To be clear: this book, which just dedicated an entire section to convincing the reader that the end is nigh and that all debts are about to be wiped clean, instructed its readers to purchase shares of a credit card company which would be completely bankrupted by the ensuing chaos of a debt jubilee.
The book's advice on purchasing junk silver is good, but dated. Junk silver is available in denominations as small as $1 face value (not $1,000 as the book states) from several online retailers like, and as small as individual coins on eBay. The stock market investment advice in the front half of the book is quite dangerous. Advice to short the stock market is completely inappropriate considering that this book is clearly written to the novice investor. The back half of the book then happens upon some very good stock market advice, instructing the reader to invest in dividend aristocrats (which it calls "elite dividend payers"). These payers of growing dividends are truly the path to investment peace, as the book describes, since they continue to pay you increasing amounts of money no matter what the panicky stock market does. Dividend growth stocks comprise the majority of my investing strategy for this reason. 
It wasn't an altogether bad read, and it did get me thinking about purchasing some Loonies and Twonies as an additional hedge against US dollar weakness. Overall I think it's very important to research this or any investment advice before pulling the trigger, as this book does present a confusing mixture of good and bad information. 

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