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Where We Stood - 2008

Where We Stood
To get a sense of the accuracy of our market predictions over time, please take a look at how we analyzed financial conditions before the 2008 financial crisis became a matter of history rather than conjecture. The outlook below occupied the "Where We Stand" portion of the Euro Pacific Website from mid-2004 through the beginning of 2009.
U.S. Stocks
We believe that in general U.S. equities remain substantially over-valued, and that despite nominal new highs for some popular stock market averages, they remain in long-term secular bear markets when adjusted for inflation. As such we are bearish on the broad U.S. stock market, and only find value in certain carefully selected U.S. equities, generally those companies that are export oriented and/or commodities based, including mining and oil and gas.
U.S. Bonds
We believe that the U.S. bond market is in the process of forming a significant top, in what has been a major long-term bull market. Once completed, we expect bond prices to collapse. Given the highly unfavorable long-term risk reward situation, we recommend that investors maintain minimum exposure to any long-term debt instruments, be they treasury, municipal, or corporate. Those holding U.S. dollar denominated debt instruments should restrict ownership to only the highest quality, short-term maturities. Even those high income investors seeking tax-favored yields are cautioned that avoiding the inflation tax, which stealthily confiscates principal, is more important than avoiding taxes on mere income.
U.S. Residential Real Estate
If it looks like a bubble, walks like a bubble, and quacks like a bubble, it's a bubble. The combination of artificially low interest rates, foreign central bank intervention, an irresponsible Fed, excessive credit availability, the proliferation of low or no-down payment, adjustable-rate, interest-only, and negative-amortization mortgages, a can't-lose attitude among speculators, validated by ever rising "comps," the complete abandonment of lending standards, wide-spread corruption in the appraisal industry, rampant fraud among sub-prime lenders, and the moral hazards associated with loan originators re-selling loans to buyers of securitized products who perceive minimal risk and an implied government guarantee, has produced the "mother of all bubbles." When it finally bursts, it's not just real estate speculators and home owners who will suffer, but the entire U.S. economy, its banking and financial systems, and anyone with U.S. dollar denominated savings.
The U.S. Dollar
We believe the U.S. dollar is in a major long-term bear market, and as such recommend keeping exposure to the dollar at an absolute minimum. All long-term savings and investments should be denominated in select foreign currencies against which we believe the dollar is likely to fare the worst.
We believe that Gold is in the early stages of a new, secular bull market. Conservative investors are advised to have a portion of their savings allocated to physical bullion, while speculative investors are advised to own shares of carefully selected mining companies, both domestic and international.
Like gold, we believe that commodities in general are in the early stages of a new bull market, and that conservative and aggressive investors should seek out appropriate ways to gain exposure to this sector.
Foreign Stocks
We believe that unique opportunities exist in many carefully selected foreign equities, particularly those that have minimal exposure to the United States, and are in no way related to U.S consumers, financial services, or technology. Many foreign markets are counter-cyclical to the U.S., and have recently emerged from long-term bear markets. In many cases valuations are low, yields are high, and prospects for earnings growth are favorable.
Foreign Bonds
Given our bearish outlook for the dollar, bond investors should concentrate their holdings in instruments denominated in select foreign currencies. However, given our global outlook for higher interest rates and rising inflation, shorter maturities are preferable. However, given current U.S. tax law, we believe that those seeking conservative, income generating investments should concentrate on high dividend paying, carefully selected foreign property stocks, utilities, energy trusts, and natural resource based companies.
The U.S. Economy

We believe that the growing imbalances in the U.S. economy, its twin budget and current account deficits, its lack of domestic savings, and the erosion of its industrial base, have now reached a point where a severe recession, culminating in a substantial decline in the over-all American standard of living, is imminent. The Federal Reserve, Congress, and the President, for political expedience, are likely to continue seeking to delay this adjustment, unfortunately in ways which will exacerbate its severity, making the inevitable recession that much worse, and increasing the probability of a hyper-inflationary outcome, which could potentially render the U.S. dollar, and all U.S. dollar denominated financial assets, practically worthless in terms of real purchasing power, possibly creating a situation of extreme financial, political, and social unrest.

The above forecasts are made with much regret, as we realize that they foretell significant hardships for millions of our fellow Americans. However, we feel compelled to caution as many of our countrymen as possible about the fate that we foresee. We believe that it is important that Americas seek to protect their wealth by moving portions of it abroad, so that in the event the economy does collapse, it may be repatriated in the aftermath, and used productively to help rebuild our economy.

The opinions expressed above are exclusively Peter Schiff’s, President and CEO of Euro Pacific Capital. They do not constitute a solicitation of any order to buy or sell. The opinions contained herein are intended for informational purposes only, and are in no way warranted by us as to their accuracy or completeness.

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Investing in foreign securities involves risks, such as currency fluctuation, political risk, economic changes, and market risks. Precious metals and commodities in general are volatile, speculative, and high-risk investments. As with all investments, an investor should carefully consider his investment objectives and risk tolerance as well as any fees and/or expenses associated with such an investment before investing. International investing may not be suitable for all investors.

Dividend yields change as stock prices change, and companies may change or cancel dividend payments in the future. The fluctuation of foreign currency exchange rates will impact your investment returns. Past performance does not guarantee future returns, investments may increase or decrease in value and you may lose money.

Our investment strategies are based partially on Peter Schiff's personal economic forecasts which may not occur. His views are outside of the mainstream of current economic thought. Investors should carefully consider these facts before implementing our strategy.