By Ross Powell, USDR Contributor
Looking ahead to the first 100 days of the Trump Presidency, expectations, anticipations, and speculations are running wild from all corners of society and all sides of the political spectrum. There are those who seem to imagine that the first thing Trump will do is order all ethnic and religious minorities to be rounded up and expelled from the country. Others appear to believe that with a single pronouncement America will become a utopia exceeding its former glory. The hyperbolic nature of the divergent viewpoints would be more comedic if it were less of an exaggeration of the extreme perspectives that are currently circulating around the incoming administration.
It seems that the battle lines have been drawn and the narratives have been entrenched on both sides. Once the rhetoric develops into more realism we’ll find out where and how far Trump can lead the country. However, since wait and see is a rather half-hearted effort to inform readers about what they should be looking for – even if it is the prudent approach – there are still some comments to be made about general themes and markers that will set the tone for the next four years. One thing everyone expects is for Trump to begin working on his objectives immediately. The latest in a string of concrete promises is that incoming Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has informed Canadian officials that the renegotiation of NAFTA, a key plank of the Trump campaign, will commence within days of the inauguration.
Does this mean that the giant sucking sound of American jobs leaving the country will be reversed and that the new giant sucking sound will be American jobs returning to the country? As discussed in our previous piece, the preliminary decisions and announcements from major corporations that continue to roll in provide evidence of a shift in that direction. Time will tell what the negotiations have in store, but it’s worth remembering that the process of negotiation involves tradeoffs. If word leaks of things being floated that many in the obsolete media will call unreasonable and evidence of bad faith negotiation, then know that it is simply part of an agenda and a narrative divorced from real understanding of a negotiation process. Both sides start with the best deal for themselves and then make their way to the middle with strategic concessions.
One institution that likely can’t be bargained with, however, is the Federal Reserve. If Trump’s first 100 days see follow through on procedures to audit the Fed or restrict their influence and power, then there is some immediate potential for fireworks. It is inevitable that something must occur to change the current global monetary system of central banks and fiat currencies. It could ultimately collapse under the weight of its own Ponzi scheme after an indeterminate period of continued manipulation, fraud, and graft, or it could be forced out and replaced with a Constitutional system based on real money and perhaps commodities. Speculation abounds about these various possibilities. The short term pain of implementing a systemic shift has prevented its occurring, but the prolonging of the current system extends the damage that will be caused by its demise.
While the Fed still holds the reigns of currency printing, monetary policy, and therefore debt creation, America and her citizens will continue to be trapped in a losing deal. If Trump is able to extradite the population from the current system, then it will be a monumental accomplishment for freedom and prosperity. Don’t look for an extraordinary emancipation to take place out of the gate, but watch closely for the wind beginning to blow in that direction. Such developments would indicate clearly that massive change is afoot. The Fed has tools of retaliation, but ultimately they may find that the bond market forces their hand on interest rates and that they lose control of the yield curve whether due to general ineptitude or by design. If the multi-decade bull market in bonds comes to an end in the next couple quarters then the Fed will likely be impotent to stop it.
Will Trump drain the swamp? Will he build the wall? Will he lock her up? Will he directly challenge the elements of the intelligence establishment that appear dedicated to withstanding him at every turn? Will he trim down regulations, bureaucracy, taxes, waste, and corruption? Will he rescind Obama’s executive orders with the stroke of a pen? Will he repeal or replace Obamacare? Most importantly: what should concerned citizens be focused on doing in light of the substantial uncertainty of what actions will be taken and what policies will be implemented in the near future?
Highest priority: make sure the purchasing power of your savings is protected by holding real assets in your possession. From a monetary perspective this begins with silver and gold. There are a variety of different instruments that are available to reduce exposure to fiat currencies and banks, but a core of assets should be in place before a fully diversified portfolio can be developed. Know how to protect yourself and never be overly committed to any particular paradigm. Conduct research with an open mind and consider perspectives and opinions that are different from your own. When done properly, this can only strengthen your awareness, resolve, and fortitude.
Along similar lines, now is the time to take stock of your current situation, to secure yourself, and to take calculated risks. Statistically speaking, things never play out exactly the way that we expect them to. There are certain decisions that you can’t afford to get wrong, but for everything else don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Making a non-critical mistake is only an issue if you don’t learn from it. Whatever is going to occur during Trump’s first 100 days, know that now is a time to learn, to grow, and to act. Focus on what you can control and take constructive action.
Ross Powell is the Founder of Survival 401k, LLC. He graduated from the University of Texas and is a veteran Naval Officer. Ross worked in banking and finance for almost 30 years including some of the largest banks and insurance companies in the country. His intimate knowledge of the inner workings of financial institutions helps him direct clients into Solo 401k products to take control of their retirement funds and escape the pitfalls many see in modern Wall Street centric retirement portfolios. He can be reached through http://survival401k.com/.