Currency Punch
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Welcome to the world of currencies and common sense.

What makes this blog different?  Punch is designed to provoke thought and action.  Secure your assets and position yourself so that you can both survive and thrive despite a chaotic investment environment.

A key premise of Punch is that the investment world is about to get more turbulent.  The reason is this: the U.S. government (true of a number of governments around the world) is excessively in debt.  Whether it was for good or bad, the government spent a lot more than it collected in taxes, and promised huge welfare, social security, medicare and medicaid benefits that it cannot fund.  Forget whether the programs are good or bad -- let others debate that -- my point is that the music is going to stop, and when it does, you better be prepared for: higher interest rates, higher taxes, inflation, the devaluation of the US dollar (and your wealth, if your assets are dollar denominated), more unemployment, and reduced retirement and medical benefits (from both corporations and the government -- even if you were promised these benefits).

Another premise of Punch is that the 'investment world' matters to all of us -- not just the white-collar-fancy-tie crowd; blue collar workers have just as much at stake, if not more.  Everyone with a little common sense knows that we have to look out for ourselves -- it is unsafe to blindly assume a company or the government will take care of our health and retirement.  Like it or not, you need to face the fact that we are in charge of financing our retirement.  While this may seem intimidating, it is just like anything else -- practice, the investment of your time and effort, and common sense will all go a long way.  Blindly delegating your future to someone else, as comforting as that seems, is risky business.  In general, Wall Street is focused on selling you stuff (and they make money whether you win or lose) -- and Washington D.C. is focused on getting re-elected; everyone has their own agenda.  Do not wager your retirement that they will put your interests ahead of theirs, especially not when things get tough.

Yes, for some, the rules may have changed mid-game.  And yes, that is patently unfair.  But this blog is not about what is fair -- it is about economic survival and figuring out how to thrive, protect your assets and enjoy your life despite the challenges of a chaotic economic environment.

Stefan Whitwell

Disclaimer: this blog is not an advertisement for any product or service and does not permit any marketing of products or services on this site.  It is meant to be a safe place, apart from my professional work, where I can informally share views on the investment markets.  I do not manufacture or sell magic wands.  I am, however, an experienced investment professional.  I went to the Wharton School of Business, I am a CFA charterholder recognized by the CFA Institute, and have had the benefit of apprenticing with the best bankers in the world at James D. Wolfensohn, Inc., Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse, both in the United States, as well as internationally in London, Tokyo and Hong Kong.  That said, I have learned at least as much, if not more, from my own investment and trading mistakes over the years -- some of which were painful.  As Mark Twain remarked, "some men are smart enough to learn by observing others, but most of us have to pee on the electric fence to find out for ourselves."  I love trading and as you will probably see, I am passionate about the investment business on many levels; including some that have nothing to do with business.