Monthly Archives: May 2017

Investing in the Age of Trump

[11/12/17: Please also see the 6-Month follow-up to this article!]

As retirement draws near, I have to be more thoughtful about how I invest my admittedly modest savings, and the election of Donald Trump has made this very complicated, to understate a bit. Like most leftists, I believe that his campaign promises will damage the American economy in the long run, by overheating the economy, and then bringing in a popped-bubble recession. However, it is clear that the stock market totally disagrees with me. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, for instance, has skyrocketed from around 18,000 in early November to around 21,000 today.

If that sounds like a ringing endorsement of his promise to “make America great again”, however, we need to also consider the fact that the price of safe havens like gold and Treasury bonds have recovered much of the initial crash after the election.

This means that there is a bit of a split-personality going on in the market. Like the rest of the nation, Wall Street is also divided along partisan lines in their assessment of the future.

So, how is a middle-class soon-to-retire professional to cope?

I have asked one of my more level-headed lefty friends, also nearing retirement, and wealthier than me, to tell me what to do, and this is what they sent me a couple of months ago. Since I have found it helpful, I am posting it here, with some updates and corrections they wanted to make, to reflect recent events and data.

Investing in the Age of Trump

by anonymous

Trump’s seeming inability to quickly implement the major components of his economic agenda–tax reform, infrastructure spending, and health care reform–that the pro-Trump half of the market is betting on is a big source of complication. From the anti-Trump perspective, in the long run, this is a good thing, since he won’t be able to wreck the economy that quickly. From the pro-Trump perspective, however, in the short run, all of these promises have already been priced into the market. If he fails to deliver soon, the short attention span of the market will turn against him, and this will not be good for the economy as a whole, whether you are for him or against him.

To be sure, we can’t go all-in that he’s going to succeed, and we can’t go all-in that he’s going to fail. A good anti-Trump portfolio has to take a balanced approach. In other words, if you haven’t diversified, now is the time.

Here are the possible scenarios we need to prepare for.

Continue reading »

Journey through the States is now on Paperback!

PrintStates is now on Paperback at Amazon.

I originally wrote this book in 2014, partly as a joke—I figured nothing was funnier than America becoming a Muslim nation—and I obviously had not foreseen any of the political turmoil that have taken place in the last several months. I suspected such a thing might be possible, which forms the premise of States, but I was still shocked to realize that, if I had written it this year, I would have basically made the same predictions about our nation’s future, except with conviction and, ironically, incredulity.

The book imagines that, through a tortuous path that is over-explained in the book, America breaks up, with the bulk of it then becoming an Islamic Republic. What would finally divide this great nation for good? What kind of Islam would it need to be, and what would it be like for Christians to live in such a place?

But, the book is really about what life in America would be like if we should go back to the “good old days” of conservative imagination, from the points of view of ordinary people who probably would not choose to live in such as place, but would make the best of it. The conceit, of a pair of Christian teenagers traveling through the Muslim nation, is just to provide an outsider’s point of view, and also to create enough drama to keep the reader engaged.

It is, now, a cautionary tale.

As with all my books, bisexuality figures prominently in the plot, as do gender identity, health care, religion, transportation, and food. I did cop out on race, I admit, but cultural diversity remains a theme.

The book is available on paperback for $7.99; it will be increased soon. Purchasing the paperback version is supposed to make you eligible for a free Kindle copy; I have not tested this feature, so please let me know if it doesn’t work. Kindle copy alone is $5.99, or free if you have Kindle Unlimited. Kindle Unlimited pays me by the pages read, so it’s a win-win deal for you and me. I occasionally run promotions with free Kindle copies of all my books; these are announced on Reddit. I’ve taken the book off iBooks, Nook, and Kobo; please let me know if you’d like me to reverse this.