Five Ways It’s Different This Time

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“It’s different this time” is usually not true, but this time it is. Will we get amplifying extremes, or returns toward average? The feasible and likely scenario spells disaster.

It’s usually not true when someone says, “It’s different this time.” But it is true this time:

  1. Interest rates have never been lower.
  2. The U.S. government has never printed more money.
  3. Stock prices have never been higher.
  4. The wealth divide in the U.S. has never been wider.
  5. There has never been 78 million people simultaneously in the investment risk zone. Baby boomers are in the stage of their lives when their primary investment objective should be protecting their lifetime savings.

These are challenges that most people, especially baby boomers, are not prepared to deal with because most are not educated in finance and investing. Will Rogers said, “Everyone is stupid, but about different things.”

What could possibly go wrong? Here are the five possibilities: