What to Own in Troubled Times

|May 22, 2023
Stressed business man crypto trader broker investor analyzing stock exchange market crypto trading decreasing chart data fall down loss, desperate about losing money of crisis, recession, inflation.

Invest accordingly.

Those are the words we’ve used at the end of a few recent columns. They’ve been put there with great care… a warning to get our dear readers to turn off autopilot and think for themselves.

But, alas, a few readers have called us on it.

“What’s it mean?” they ask. “Don’t leave us hanging,” they plead.

Fair enough.

We can’t pull the levers for you… but at least we can point to them.

We’ve taken a glum outlook in our recent columns. Our shaded view isn’t so much for the stock market. The folks in charge will keep it juiced up… they must.

Instead, we’re gloomy on the economy and the fate of our nation, her culture and her laws.

In that context, “invest accordingly” means a lot… and perhaps something different for you and the next guy.

Desperate Times

We’re heavy on real estate these days, for instance. Investing accordingly means avoiding regions threatened by high property taxes, areas that are prone to zoning manipulation and, worse, governments that are unhinging from the idea of sovereign property rights.

As an economy unravels, desperate governments do desperate things.

Look at the capital that’s fleeing from states like California into Texas and Florida. That’s money from folks who are investing accordingly.

Bond investing used to mean we could rely on math and the idea that we could ladder our way to safe and reliable income.

Now, thanks to market manipulation like we’ve never seen, yields today are higher than yields tomorrow.

It’s backward.

We invest accordingly when we recognize what’s going on and depart from what we were taught – or, worse, what we’ve always done.

Banks are going belly-up because waves of folks are investing accordingly. They’re pulling their cash and moving it to where it’s treated better.

It’s caused trouble.

It’ll cause more still.

Bigger Is Better

We keep saying stocks will go up. And they will… at least the big boys will.

The market’s action so far this year more than hints at what it means to invest accordingly in a tumultuous market that’s hidden behind the gains of a few.

The image clearly shows the big are getting bigger. That’s often the case in a manipulated economy. The giants aren’t constrained by regulatory forces. They help create them.

As we wrote to you last week, bankruptcies are on the rise. Sunday afternoons are getting tough. Commercial filings are up 79% from a year ago.

Investing accordingly in this space looks simple after seeing the map above.

Bigger is better.

But that’s too simple of an approach. Your best bet is to look for companies that have cash flow, the ability to acquire debt at lower interest rates, market hegemony and, of course, some friends in Washington.

The folks from Amazon, Apple and Google get hailed to D.C. quite often. But when was the last time the CEO of a $5 midcap got time in Pelosi’s office?

These days, savvy investors aren’t looking at earnings as much as they are looking at borrowing costs, policy resilience and market hierarchy.

Investing accordingly means changing our tactics in changing times.

The economy is slowing. The heavy hand of government is pressing down more than ever. And the cost of money is on the rise while its value is falling.

If you’re investing the way you used to… you’re doing it wrong.

Andy Snyder
Andy Snyder

Andy Snyder is an American author, investor and serial entrepreneur. He cut his teeth at an esteemed financial firm with nearly $100 billion in assets under management. Andy and his ideas have been featured on Fox News, on countless radio stations, and in numerous print and online outlets. He’s been a keynote speaker and panelist at events all over the world, from four-star ballrooms to Capitol hearing rooms.