In a time of economic turmoil, what you know can be as important as what you have.
Your possessions can decline in value or be lost altogether, but your knowledge cannot be taken away. You can use what you know to protect what you have.
Evidence suggests that many Americans fail to grasp this basic truth. They've stopped learning.
The National Booksellers Association says:
- 70% of American adults have not visited a bookstore in the past five years
- The average American reads less than one book a year
- 58% of Americans have not read even one book from cover to cover since high school
Staying ahead of the crowd begins by reading. As for what to read, few topics are as important as protecting your finances and your physical safety -- and that's what can matter most during a severe economic downturn.
Recent austerity measures in Europe have already produced riots. Imagine if the European Union's debt crisis gets worse. The financial difficulties in Cyprus seemed to come out of nowhere; but they simply underscored how the euro zone's debt woes are still a major issue.
You might ask, "Why should I worry about the economy, much less my physical safety when the stock market is near record highs?"
As cities lay off police, frustrated neighborhoods turn to private cops
Long known for patrolling shopping malls and gated communities, private security firms are beginning to spread into city streets. ... The trend of groups of neighbors pooling money to contract private security for their streets is something new.
“It’s happening everywhere,” says [the executive director of the National Association of Security Companies]. “Municipal governments and cities are really getting strapped in terms of their resources, and when a police department cuts 100 officers obviously they are going to respond to less crimes.”
Christian Science Monitor, April 5
If cities cannot afford adequate police protection for residents now, when the economy is reportedly on the mend, imagine the scenario if another economic crisis occurs.
It may not be much fun to contemplate the social effects of downtrends, but it is important. It's true that if you become financially devastated, you can't take advantage of great investment opportunities. But if you encounter physical risk, you may not even be around to try.
Conquer the Crash, second edition, p. 230