How To Prepare For The Coming Stock Market Crash

April 9, 1999

I'm guessing that you, the reader, are here because of an uneasiness over the future of your financial assets. Or possibly you have anxiety over the future of society in general. Your concern probably stems from your interest in the Stock Market, and it's role in gauging the health of the economic organ to the body of civilized society. You are not alone in your concern, in the climate of the ongoing world financial crisis many others have been asking: why is the crisis growing, what is the cause, where is it taking us, who caused it and who will end it, how do I survive or even succeed during the upcoming events?

I will try to offer answers to these questions in this and other upcoming articles. This first article conveys my feelings of the scope of the economic problem and offers some advice of what you can do right now to get ready for the upcoming stock market crash. Later I will offer information that outlines the problem and its sollution. I do not believe that the upcoming stock market crash can be averted, but I do have faith that there are many individuals with understanding who will help make the future brighter, beyond the crash.

The Bubble, How we got into this mess.

Just a few years ago, the DJIA hit a new high of 4500. It took most of the twentieth century to get there. But by early 1999 it had more than doubled and broke 10,000, despite a global economic slowdown. Americans of the 90's unlike those of any other time before in history, have become heavily invested in stocks. Small investors have entered the stock market in droves. And talk of easy money from the stock market has been everywhere: at work, lunch rooms, burger joints, health spas, family reunions and over the dinner table. Investment brokers seem to be more common than insurance, Avon and Amway people. CNBC and related financial programs have become more commonly watched than Sports Networks.

Americans no longer save money in banks but instead invest their savings in an over-inflated stock market. Debt levels have been climbing to all time highs, taking advantage of the "good times" climate of the 90's, and record proportions of America's (borrowed) wealth has been invested in financial assets. American consumers have been borrowing like there was no tomorrow. Household debt has climbed to 91% of disposable income, compared with 65% in 1980. Consumer financing has been as easy as paying with cash. Good credit is no longer required of the American consumer in order to purchase anything, from college to cars to computers. Nation wide real-estate values have risen dramatically and finance companies have been loaning Americans up to 125% of the over-inflated value of their homes. Credit card debt is at record levels and banks are continuously bulk mailing upwards of 5 billion credit card applications per year to the poor and anyone else. Student loans have over 7 million recent graduates in debt. Life insurance and 401(k) loans have been creating still more buying power. The stock market has been transformed into a nationwide social security plan for the working class, who have come to expect 15% to 20%+ returns. Savings for retirement that used to go to the banks has been invested into highly overvalued stocks.

These are signs of a huge over-swollen bubble economy that certainly could and has been falling prey to external destructive forces! During this period many advisors have been forecasting truly devastating financial and economic consequences. I started seriously researching this subject in September 1997 and began to know for myself that for these and other reasons, the Stock Market would soon crash. I studied the works of many bearish financial advisors that predicted the stock market has been finishing a cycle that would throw us into an all out crash. I began a web site later in 1997 to offer the information I was finding (http://darren.lib.utah.edu) and my explanation and answers to the questions I mentioned earlier.

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Run on the Banks (1930's)

"In 1929, only a small percentage of Americans invested (or speculated) in the stock market (under 5%). Today, 43% of U.S. households (over 75 million investors) have the lion's share of their savings and retirement assets in the stock market or equity mutual funds. When the crash comes, America will be far more devastated than in 1929 or the 1930s." ---The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor, August, 1997.

The first and most important steps you can do to protect yourself now.

1. Get Debt Free. As a stock market crash progresses, those with the least debt will be least affected. Get control of your credit cards and pay off those balances.

2. Get out of real estate investments. Many are advising that real estate will fall by half or more of its 1998 value. Liquidate idle property. Delay any planed real estate purchases until after the crash. Asia's real estate prices have fallen upwards of 70% in the recent period after their stock market crash.

3. Safe-guard your retirement funds. Investigate and see if your retirement funds are invested into over-inflated stocks, bonds, or annuities. Peril is coming to these paper assets. Flee stock market based retirement programs. Be very conservitive with your retirement investments.

4. Get out of the stock market. As the stock market crash progresses it will destroy most paper assets, consider switching most of your investment money into hard assets.

5. Invest in enduring hard assets. With your investment money buy gold and silver bullion and coins, preferably a variety of widely recgonizable units for trade including U.S. gold and silver eagles and junk silver coins (pre-1964) For reasons I will explain later these are the best investments to carry your wealth safely to the other side of the stock market crash.

6. Build a cash reserve. This means, according to the experts you must have cash on hand; then, as the stock market crash progresses and banks limit or suspend withdraws, you will be able to buy pennies on the dollar. Also, during this period banking services will be non-existent: checks, credit cards, etc. will be useless. An assortment of  newer copper-clad coins, $1, $5, $10 and $20 bills is recommended (it may be difficult to get change for larger bills).The amount you feel comfortable storing is up to you. Keep the cash where you can easily get your hands on it. You may not have access to your safety deposit box.

7. Obtain food storage and survival items. This is most important for peace of mind, stock up your food storage now.

8. Learn the sequence of the crash. Visualize how you would be impacted from the following, from my research this is the sequence of the coming Stock Market Crash:

A. The Stock Market goes into a deep prolonged bear market (50% correction or worse). Most investors will be completely ruined and mutual funds will be wiped out.

B. Bank failures begin shortly after the crash, Bank runs. (President Clinton will probably call for a national banking holiday so the banks can have time to sort out the mess). You will not have access to your accounts or safe-deposit boxes. Most banks will suspend withdraws.

C. Liquidity crises now occurs with the bank failures: This is the time to have "cash on hand". A short period where cash money is scarce. Purchase those bargains, especially items that will allow you to barter in the next stage.

D. Liquidity crises passes and the dollar devalues (it becomes worthless): the federal government takes over the failed banks, they make good on the FDIC and FSLIC goverment bank guaranty by printing new larger denomination paper money. Foreign stock piles of US money flood the market causing a confidence crisis.
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$100,000.00 dollar bill issued by the Government in 1934

$500, $1,000, $5,000 and then $10,000 bills will be reissued by the federal reserve in huge quantities, and/or they will issue a new currency. Copper-clad coins, and small bills will be worthless, unless you have wheel-barrels full of them. Run-away Inflation. This is the time to already have your, gold and silver, food storage and any other items you will want and to barter with. Government controlled rationing will be setup and the Black Market will be in operation.

9. Rebuff yourself. You need to ask yourself honestly, "How prepared am I and my family for the stock market crash?", get going, get mentally, physically and spiritually prepared.

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The photo above captured the essence of the Great Depression, the robbing of ordinary U.S. Citizens of their checking accounts and their life savings. The scene from April 25, 1933 at the First National Bank in Detroit, Michigan shows angry depositors standing in line to withdraw their money. Federal conservators demanded that the bank pay these depositors 30% of their deposits. The rest of their savings was lost forever.

Darren Perkins

April 9,1999

Darren Perkins is a Computer Technicain and Political Science Major at the University of Utah.

E-mail:  Darren.Perkins@aclis.utah.edu

Source: http://darren.lib.utah.edu/stock_market_crash1.htm

In 1934 President Franklin Delano Roosevelt devalued the dollar by raising the price of gold to $35 per ounce.