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Stunning volatility is the new “fact of life” that defines our age. Financial markets fall off cliffs one day, but then stage a recovery the next, only to do it all over again. The switch back and forth is emotionally draining, making us susceptible to irrational responses that can turn manageable problems into huge personal crises. But while there is danger in volatility, there is also the opportunity to profitably juggle the knives that volatility throws your waywith less risk than you might think.
The first step toward profiting from volatility is to understand why these radical ups and downs are taking place now. Jim Jubak's deep and broad-ranging analysis looks into not only the financial but also the economic, market, and social trends, showing how they reinforce each other, including:
the consequences of global central banks operating as cash machines,
a financial system that will not be reformed,
China as the world's largest game of three-card monte,
the aging of populations around the world and the resulting war between the young and old,
and the large bill we will have for the consequences of environmental externalities such as climate change and energy uncertainty.
Jubak analyzes these and other trends, providing practical insights and specific investing strategies that show investors how to respectbut not be scared ofmarket volatility, and how to make smarter investment decisions to profit from and hedge against it.
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About the Author
Jim Jubak has spent 25 years writing about the capital markets, beginning in the early 1980s as the editor of Venture magazine and later as senior financial editor at Worth. In 1997 he joined MSN Money as senior markets editor and started Jubak's Journal and the Jubak's Picks portfolio. The MSN software developers were justifiably skeptical that a mere journalist (even one with a Knight Bagehot fellowship in business journalism from Columbia) could beat the market and they issued a challenge: "If you're so good, track your buys and sells as a real portfolio." That's exactly what he's done ever since, first on MSN Money (with 4 million unique users per month), where Nielsen ranked him the #1 investor columnist on the web, and now on his own blog, JubakPicks.com, launched in 2009, which averages 50,000 unique users per month. His stock-picking track record speaks for itself: the Jubak's Picks portfolio has returned 445% since its inception in May 1997. Jim currently runs two other stock portfolios on JubakPicks.com. Jim now writes for Yahoo Finance.
Table of Contents
1 An Age of Volatility 1
Part I Volatility in the Decades Ahead
2 The Volatility of Volatility 21
3 The Volatility of Everyday Life 28
4 Whom the Gods Would Destroy They First Make a Pundit 48
5 Rollin', Rollin', Rollin', Keep Them Presses Rollin' 64
6 A Strategy Appetizer: Dividend Stocks as a Way to Beat Market Volatility 84
7 Older, Yes, but Wiser? 92
8 The World's Largest Game of Three-Card Monte 113
9 The End of the Debt Model of Growth? 135
Part II The Volatility of Everyday Life
10 Volatility Trend No. 1: Houses as Financial Assets 149
11 Volatility Trend No. 2: The Job Market Feels More Volatile as Economies Slow 158
12 Volatility Trend No. 3: Volatility Rises when There Is No Place to Hide 173
13 Volatility Trend No. 4: The Anxiety of Affluence and Soaring Spending on Education 181
14 Volatility Trend No. 5: Real Estate Boom and Bust and the Volatility at the Extremes 194
15 Volatility Trend No. 6: The Shortage of High-Quality Debt 209
16 Volatility Trend No. 7: The Age of Energy Uncertainty 217
17 Volatility Trend No. 8: Big Data and the Reinvention of Risk 231
18 Volatility Trend No. 9: The Economics of Hoarding Food and Water 243
19 Volatility Trend No. 10: Climate Change as Pure Volatility 256
Part III Investing Solutions for an Age of Volatility
20 Improving a Traditional Stock-Picking Strategy 267
21 A Strategy for Bonds 277
22 Portfolio Construction 291
23 A Not-So-Random Walk on the Long Side for Stocks 305
24 The Option of Options 315
25 A Tisket, a Tasket, an Emerging Market Basket Strategy for an Age of Volatility 324
Conclusion: Summing Up: Why Volatility Is Too Important to Ignore 333