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Sustainable Wealth: Achieve Financial Security in a Volatile World of Debt and Consumption



Sustainable Wealth: Achieve Financial Security in a Volatile World of Debt and Consumption

Axel Merk, William Poole (Foreword by)

ISBN: 978-0-470-56437-0 October 2009 272 Pages

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A personal finance guide for today's turbulent world

Sustainable Wealth empowers you to achieve your financial goals by unleashing the shackles of debt, no matter how uncertain the future may be. Filled with in-depth insights and practical advice, this reliable resource illustrates how you can predict economic booms and busts before they happen, adapt to changing markets and plan for lasting financial stability.

Over the course of his career, Axel Merk has been at the forefront of identifying major trends, a leader in the public policy debate on how to fix the economy, and guide for investors looking to navigate the global credit crisis. With this new book, Merk puts your financial decisions in a global context and shows how factors ranging from the Federal Reserve and Congress to trends in Asia and Europe influence your financial well-being.

  • Coaches you how to recognize major economic trends before they happen
  • Puts forth a plan to help you cope with expenses and save for retirement, while building a legacy of wealth, not a mountain of debt
  • Reveals why "staying the course" when governments or markets change the rules may be hazardous to your wealth

As investors struggle to adapt to the new financial landscape, Sustainable Wealth provides straightforward answers to the tough financial questions we face-and the tools to achieve a financially sustainable lifestyle.




Achieving Excellence as a Financial Pilot.

What Is Sustainable Wealth?

A Volatile World of Debt, Consumption, and Temptation.

Unintended Consequences.

The Flight You’re About to Embark On . . .

Part I A World of Temptations.

Chapter 1 The Temptation of Credit.

The Relationship Between Credit and Debt.

Credit as Money.

The Power (and Un-Power) of Central Banks.

Sizing the Debt Problem.

A Crisis in Confidence.

Credit Crisis Consequences.

A Bond Market Bubble?

Credit as a Threat to Sustainable Wealth.

Credit as Fuel for Other Temptations.

Using Credit Wisely.

Chapter 2 The Temptation of Consumption.

The Consumption Paradigm.

The Cost of a Consumption Economy.

Long-Term Consequences.

Unwinding the Consumption Bubble.

What This All Means for You.

Chapter 3 The Temptation of Policy Change.

The Boom/Bust Cycle: Can You Fool Mother Nature?

Goldilocks Intended.

Above and Beyond: The Fed Ventures Into Fiscal Policy.

More Bad Medicine for Boom/Bust Cycles.

Regulation and Taxes: Consistency is the Best Policy.

Long-Term Policy Consequences.

Policy, Complacency, and Sustainable Wealth.

Chapter 4 The Temptation of Complacency.

Big Hat, No Cattle.

Complacency’s Counterparty—Risk.

The Complacency of Business Legacy.

Trust Must Be Earned Every Day.

Live Free or Die.

Part II Achieving Sustainable Wealth.

Chapter 5 Challenging Conventional Wisdom.

Recognize Your Responsibility.

Should You Use an Adviser?

The Proactivity of Sustainable Wealth.

Low-Probability, High-Risk Events.

Adaptive Investing, Rather Than Staying the Course.

The Sustainable Wealth Lifestyle.

Chapter 6 Saving and Spending in a Volatile World.

The Sustainable Wealth Grid.

Become a Scenario Planner.

Sustainable Wealth: A Store of Value.

The Individual Wealth Cycle Model.

The Importance of Pay As You Go.

Getting a Handle on Expenses.

How to Spend Less Than You Earn.

Make the Important Standard-of-Living Decisions.

Sustainable Wealth in a Volatile World.

Chapter 7 Crisis Investing.

Signs of Crisis.

Hope Is Not a Strategy.

About Insurance.

There’s No Such Thing as a Safe Asset.

Finding a Place to Hide: Depression Investing.

How to Invest in a Bust.

Toward Sustainable Wealth.

Chapter 8 Profiting in a Volatile World.


Scenario-Based Investing.

Investing in the Future.

Stock Investing: Investing for Value.

Diversification with Real Estate and Land.

Diversification into Alternative Investments.

Profit Opportunities in an Uncertain World.

When to Sell.

How to Invest in a Boom.

Toward a Sustainable Wealth Investing Model.

Chapter 9 Sustainable Investing.

The Power of Compounding.

Doing Investing Right.

A Golden College Savings Plan.

Taking Risks Without Jeopardizing Sustainable Wealth.

Purpose-Driven Investing.

Sustainable Investing and the Sustainable Wealth Lifestyle.

Chapter 10 The Pursuit of Sustainable Wealth and Happiness.

The Rewards of Living Within Your Means.

Sustainable Work-Life Balance.

Leaving a Legacy: Sustainable Giving.

Sustaining Wealth Spans Generations.

Surgeon General’s Warning: Sustainable Wealth May Be Addictive.

Final Thoughts.


About the Author.