2019 had many lessons. It was a year dogged by trade worries, market volatility, an embattled Fed, Brexit tremors, and endless talk and timelines about a coming recession. In 2019, the world’s problems also became our own --- as falling GDP, rising debt, and economic contractions around the world put pressure on our money, our markets and our financial portfolios.
“No man is an Island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the Continent, apart of the main.” John Donne
America joined the “main” in 2019 and became part of the global tinderbox of weakening growth, waning business confidence, rising wealth inequality, and systemic risk. The mere collateral damage of a slumping China, a weakening Germany, a diminished U.K. and woefully over leveraged emerging markets could result in a dramatic loss of financial security.
And, in the midst of one of the most bitter and contentious elections in U.S. history, we’ve taken our eye off the ball. While the world thrashes to stay afloat, and America battles for the heart and soul of its free enterprise system ---retirement dollars, savings accounts, financial portfolios, and economic futures hang in the balance.
The political divide in America is deep and destructive. It fuels volatility and feeds investor insecurity and can single handedly bring down our record-setting expansion. Uncertainty is leading at the polls as our political discourse has become a partisan charade that threatens to send consumer confidence, capital investment, and economic growth into an historic tailspin.
We’ve weathered investigations, reports, probes, inquiries, subpoenas, testimonies, reviews, closed-door depositions and open-door spectacles that has done little more than sew deep discord and national disharmony.
As the 2020 election approaches, things will only get worse. Other than political dysfunction, what else is at stake? In a word --- everything. Voters will have to choose between two very different visions for business, industry, trade, commerce, the role of government, the nature of free enterprise, and the quality of our economic future.
Is Wall Street anxious? Without a doubt --- the bond market spent the better part of 2019 sending up warning flares. And what about the Fed? In many ways, America’s central bank is a shadow of its former self. With interest rates still sitting at historic lows, the Fed could very well be shooting blanks in 2020 --- and enters the new year more exposed, more vulnerable, and painfully low on ammo.
And, both political parties could very well put forth a presidential candidate that could exacerbate a downturn or deepen a recession.
Gold set 6-year highs in 2019 and has a steady undercurrent of strength fueled by the converging forces of supply and demand, trade tensions, lax monetary policy, and financial uncertainty. It is an apolitical asset that protects wealth in every economy, on every continent, and in every currency.
In 2020--- retirement accounts, savings accounts, and financial portfolios will be at the mercy of ever-growing global turmoil and dramatic political change. And, this the moment when gold shines brightest.
While we remain in the longest economic expansion in history and the longest bull market of all time --- we have gone where no market and no economy has gone before. Suffice to say, something has to and something will give.
The question is --- what will the IRA’s, 401(k)’s, savings, pensions and retirement plans look when the dust settles and final statements are issued. Our 2020 Global Gold Report: Special Election Edition outlines the trends, risk factors, and market forces at play in this most pivotal moment in time --- and demonstrates how gold can help preserve wealth and secure the economic future.