Do We Really Understand Inflation? with Cullen Roche
“If you could pick one variable in the whole world that you had to understand that would be your go to indicator, inflation would be the thing to me; you tell me what the rate of inflation is in twenty years, I’ll tell you pretty much what most financial assets have done, whether it’s bitcoin, bonds, stocks, whatever.”
— Cullen Roche
Location: New York
Date: Saturday 5th December
Project/company: Pragmatic Capitalism, Orcam Financial Group
Role: Chief Investment Officer
In the 1980’s, Harry Browne devised an investment strategy designed to perform well in all economic conditions. It is referred to as the Permanent Portfolio. Investments are equally allocated to stocks, bonds, gold, and cash. The objective is for the portfolio to perform well in all economic conditions.
But Harry Browne’s strategy was developed in a period when short term boom and bust debt cycles were still a feature of economic systems. Since the global financial crisis of 2007, the debt cycle hasn’t been allowed to function properly: recessions have been mitigated through unprecedented governmental monetary and fiscal stimulus programmes.
In this new paradigm, where inflationary pressures cast a large shadow, what are the best investment strategies to take? Certain Bitcoiners are all in on the new form of money designed for these times. This does not fit everyone’s risk appetite. But, having a portfolio that lacks exposure to Bitcoin risks missing out in a market that could otherwise be devoid of alpha.
Then there is also a geographical variable at play: the US has certain inherent strengths that are not available to citizens of other countries, significantly affecting investment decisions.
In this interview, I talk to investment strategist and founder of the educational website Pragmatic Capitalism, Cullen Roche. We discuss the drivers for inflation, the role of government, investment strategies during uncertain times, and the place for Bitcoin in asset portfolios.
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