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This is from a post from earlier today. - Hewitt

The S&P 500 is down -4% YOY. Meanwhile, the CRB is up +34%, gold +53%, a barrel of oil +70%, and natural gas futures +30%. Even lowly sawdust is ramping, per the front page of today's WSJ. This commodities boom won't last forever, of course. But right now the strength in natural resources is impressive.

If you need help designing a portfolio that benefits from the changing world economy, subscribe to the Thomas Nogales Report ( I stumbled across this free monthly newsletter a few years back, and find lots of valuable information in each issue. Thomas Gleason, who writes the newsletter, also wrote "How to Invest If You Can't Afford to Lose." This book explains what assets you need to protect capital in all kinds of markets.

Gleason says steel yourself for more tough times. "By late 2009 this will be labeled as the beginning of a depression…this won't end up as a 1930s deflation, but rather as an unprecedented inflationary recession," he writes in the March issue.

Gleason also notes 401(k) withdrawls at Fidelity went up 17% in December [not sure if sequential or YOY], a sign that a growing segment of the population is under severe financial stress. A 401(k) withdrawl means less money for retirement, and also an early withdrawl penalty. This statistic is bad news for the economy, of which 60%-70% is fueled by consumer spending.

I highly recommend subscribing to The Thomas Nogales Report.
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