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John Mauldin's Outside the Box

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  • To the Class of 2012

    It is the season when students all over the country are graduating and listening to graduation speeches. I have heard more than my share over the years. But never one like this week's Outside the Box essay, from my friend and world-class demographer Neil Howe. Neil was co-author of The Fourth Turning, which way back in 1997 absolutely nailed the coming generational changes we are now living through, giving us a fascinating and eerily accurate guide to our future. The premise is that a generation is a 20-year period and that generational social tendencies repeat roughly every 80 years and have done so in the Anglo-Saxon world for hundreds of years. And now the Millennial generation is coming of age in a world dominated by Boomers, and we are seeing another cycle change.

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  • Into the Fourth Turning

    This week for your Outside the Box reading pleasure I am pleased to offer you the beginning of a very intriguing interview with Neil Howe he did with my friend David Galland at Casey Research. I think Neil is one of the premier forward looking thinkers of our time. His book The Fourth Turning is one of the more important books of the last two decades. 12 years ago, he and the late Richard Strauss basically outlined the psycho-social dynamics of our current time and his predictions have been uncannily accurate.

    Basically, he and Strauss demonstrated that the Anglo-Saxon world has a pattern of four repeating generational types. As each generation assumes its period of dominance, the character of the various nations change in a pattern that rhymes throughout 500 years of history. We are in the beginning–middle of what he calls the Fourth Turning. This is a lengthy (17 pages) but fascinating interview but one you definitely should read. It is too long for me to put up in its entirety, but if you want to read more there is a link to the full interview at the end of the article. Just type in your email and the people from Casey will send it to you. They will also add you to their very interesting letter written by members of their research team. And of course you can easily unsubscribe if you like, but you might want to read it for a few weeks to see if you like their angle on things.

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  • A 20-Year Bear Market?

    Long time readers know that I am a huge fan of the work of Neil Howe. His book, The Fourth Turning, was one of the seminal pieces of my reading over the last 30 years. And it has turned out to be stunningly prophetic. Uncomfortably so. A roughly 80 year cycle has been repeating itself for centuries in the Anglophile world, broken up into four generations or turnings. We have begun what Howe called many years ago The Fourth Turning.

    Neil Howe is the co-author, with the late William Strauss, of a number of seminal works on the impact of generations on cycles of history. Howe is a founding partner of LifeCourse Associates (lifecourse.com) which provides research to institutions looking to capitalize on generational research.

    The June 2009 edition of The Casey Report, the flagship publication of Casey Research, featured a comprehensive 23 page interview with Neil Howe as well as suggestions on how to position your portfolio to profit during a Fourth Turning crisis. I persuaded my friend David Galland to at least summarize it for my Outside the Box this week, and he graciously did so. David is the managing editor of The Casey Report and has had a long career in the financial services industry; as a founding partner of the successful Blanchard Group of Mutual Funds and, before joining Casey Research, as a founding partner of EverBank, one of the big success stories in independent online banking....