Greetings all, this is my first post.
I am an avid student of the Austrian school - having first learned of it while I was (ironically) working as an Economics teacher in China. I must confes that I feel like I am learning many of these concepts for the first time - I was of course governmnet educated and then earned my Economics degree under the tutelage of the mainstream Keynesian school - so I have had a lot of ground to cover since graduation. Thank you, Mises Intsistue for doing all that you have done to aid those like me!
Cutting to the case. I have only just begun to earn an meager income and I need to read and learn as much as I can about sound financial actions - given that the Government is destroying my wealth Left and Right (pun intended) .I am looking for reading material or any comments regarding housing (renting or buying and why) and investing (or protecting my wealth). I would like to provide for a family one day and I have a lot of new ground to cover in an ever uncertain world. I do understand the general consensis in both these regards (renting is better than buying and Gold is good) but I am looking for a bit more material - escecially if I am to convince others. No doubt others have asked the same questions, so I apologize for bringing it up again.
Welcome to the club. Glad you were able to find the LvMI, just as the rest of us have. I know I'm for one very thankful for the priceless resources made available here (and at no cost to us either).
As for what you're looking for, just as I told the user in the other recent thread, if you're interested in current investments as an Austrian perspective might encourage, I'd say Peter Schiff is the best guy to listen to. He's got a handful of books on the subject that I highly recommend.
He also hosts a daily radio show that you can catch for free on SchiffRadio.com, and call in anytime with questions. He talks about the markets, current events, and gives his overall outlook from an economic and investment perspective. And of course you can find his news clips on youtube. (channels that usually post them the day they aire are PeterSchiffChannel, C4Liberty, and PhilDeCarolis.) Between those three you should be able to catch most news appearances, but these sometimes have some that those miss: DrRonPaul2012, PeterSchiffBlog, RonPaulFriends. And of course his personal channel usually just features updates every week or so: SchiffReport.
I go into all that because I think that's really the best resource for what you're looking for. Schiff is well-versed in Austrian theory and at the same time is a career broker and investor. What you're asking for is what he does for a living. He knows the markets and has done quite well for himself using Austrian economics to guide his investing. Not to mention, he has a real talent for relaying economic concepts in a very concise and understandable way. Between the books and the daily radio show, I think you'll get exactly the insight you're after.
I would also look into Marc Faber and Jim Rogers. They also have a few books between them, and their news appearances can also be seen on those channels.
And of course for general Austrian economics learning, the Mises Classroom is the best place to start. You can download the lectures for the Home Study Course here, and nearly all the texts used in the course can be downloaded for free (in audio and digital text) on the Mises.org site. And for more advanced study, the Mises Academy offers plenty of excellent courses.
Charles Goyette has a book like that.
The best solution at this point is to leave the USA while you do not have assets for the US Government to confiscate on the way out and renounce your citizenship. Do this before you have family here and you will find it easy and enjoyable to meet friends and relatives outside the USA in Caymans, Bahammas and other resort places in addition to your own location. I recommend moving to one of the bright lights of freedom that are starting shine around the world: Beliz and Costa Rica, Chile, Select Islands in the West Indies, the Czech Republic, Botswanna, Singapore or Malasia, Hong Kong, Norway, New Zealand, Luxembourg and the smaller kingdoms in Europe, etc. Or even some semi-socialist republics that are just as socialist as the USA but spend much less money and effort watching, interferring or just killing the people in different countries.
I agree with John James, Peter Schiff knows his stuff. A good first step is getting your savings out of USD. Preferrably some kind of precious metal commodity or foreign dividend paying stock.
Buy a house!
If you can handle the monthly mortgage payment, you're going to love your tax returns: your interest is deductible! I received thousands back this year. So, you're building equity and the government hands your interest back to you.
It's an illogical, immoral mess, but it does reward home ownership (if you can handle it).
"I'm not a fan of Murray Rothbard." -- David D. Friedman
I have to go with Lew Rockwell and Tom Woods' recommendations for the Robert Wenzel blog Economic Policy Journal. Take a look and if you're serious about investing then sign up for the Daily Alert.
Buy a house!
What about property taxes, maintenance and STILL depreciating home prices? It's very possible housing prices will fall much more. Read today's daily:
I almost felt that "buy a house! My tax bill is awesome!" didn't even need a response. I wasn't even sure he wasn't being sarcastic or just a troll. There's a thousand reasons not to buy a house. But depending on your situation and your goals, it may be the right move. But even still, that would just be a decision for your lifestyle and financial situation...there's virtually never a situation in which a house you buy and live in could be considered an investment.
Rent vs. buy: It is not necessarily better to rent than buy. In the US, it's almost certainly still a bad idea to buy so it is probably generally true that renting is better than buying in the US. But it's all about location. But even if the market were not in a big mess, most people should not buy a house because buying a house is actually real estate speculation ... which the average person almost certainly has not done their homework on. Unless you know why you are going to sell the property at a profit, don't buy it. Rent and save the difference. Home ownership had become popular in the US because it was a good strategy for many people to build a pretty significant chunk of net worth simply by paying their bills. If you do your homework and understand the risks of buying and how to incorporate buying into a lifelong strategy of equity building, then it might make sense to buy.
Gold is good: Gold is indifferent. It's honest money but gold is being inflated into a bubble. I just saw a front page article on the Wall Street Journal about buying gold. That's bad news for gold in my book. Never buy with the herd. Gold is way up. Inflation is also up and much of the gains in gold can probably be explained by the dual causes of inflation and the (temporary) end of price suppression by the international central banking cartel. But gold is definitely a highly political commodity and I suspect that the gold price suppressors are going to try to pounce gold investors as I believe they did in 1980 when the gold price temporarily went to the stratosphere before crashing hard. I'm predicting a brief, stratospheric rise in gold sometime in the next year or two followed by a crash to possibly below $1,000/oz. once all the armchair gold investors go running home crying from their massive losses. The international central banking cartel cannot suppress the price of gold if there is widespread interest in gold either as a shadow money or even as an inflation shelter. They must strictly maintain the perception that gold is a "dead investment" and they are surely looking for the next opportunity to give gold buyers a good whipping.
Contrary to the predictions of some gold enthusiasts, I doubt very much that an age of monetary enlightenment is upon us. The status quo will continue limping along as it is for the time being until the international central banking cartel unveils its next move. They tipped their hand quite a bit back in 2009 when there was a lot of chatter on the news circuits about a proposed global money based on SDRs or a commodity basket called a "Bancor". The final proposal will likely be unveiled in tandem with some sort of new Bigger Better Faster payment system that will be subsidized to the point of irresistibility by all financial service providers.
I'm quite the conspiracy theorist and I believe there has been an invisible war running between two major competing camps struggling for control of the new world financial order. One bloc is dollar-aligned and is in favor of an SDR-based (IMF/US dollar-based) world currency. This bloc also happens to be aligned with oil drilling and so on by virtue of the intimate link between the US dollar and oil. The other bloc is in favor of a commodity-backed world currency. Of course, this would not be an honest commodity-backing but would be a managed commodity-backing (e.g. the "gold standard") permitting unlimited debasement. This bloc is "green" and committed to strangling the global oil industry which is the true source of the power of the US dollar (hence, global carbon tax, etc.) I won't go into too much detail here but let's just say the Deepwater Horizon oil spill wasn't an accident in my book. There is a titanic struggle going on just under the surface, a true cold war.
@ the OP
Don't buy. Keep your assets liquid and be able to move easily. Live cheaply. Look around and find a location with an economy based on commodities. We'll probably be in a commodity boom for another decade at least, although there will probably be another correction shortly. I moved to Alberta last year from Ontario, from a manufacturing based province, to a oil and natural resource province and it has made a world of difference for me. Choosing were you live is a way of investing itself. I think commodities and gold especially are going to boom in the long run. Real goods are better than financial assets as the political risk of having your assets seized and of fraud will rise over time. If you are going to buy equities, buy companies that you understand, that have fairly stable business practices, that pay dividends regularly, that have strong balance sheets, good ratios, high opertating margins, and sell a product with relatively inelastic demand.