Harry Dent | Friday, January 4, 2013 >>
Readers, audience members, reporters, hosts, even family members, often ask me:
“Is there anywhere in the world where the economic downturn won’t be crippling? Is any place safe from looming civil unrest? Which country is the best place to be during the next volatile decade?”
The answers I give everyone, except the people I don’t like, are simple and direct:
I’ve been a regular visitor to the land-down-under since the 1990s and spent three weeks there in late 2011. I’m actually planning a trip back there this very moment. If all goes according to plan, I’ll be there for a week or two before April.
But what draws me to the country?
Actually, there are several compelling reasons this prison-colony is my go-to place in a world turning upside down and inside out…
First and foremost, Australia has the strongest relative immigration of any major developed country. Even more so than the U.S. And its immigrants tend to have a strong work ethic and high education.
That means this country-at-the-bottom-of-the-world has the best demographic trends in the downturn AND into the next boom. No other major, wealthy country can say the same. In fact, most other developed countries face awful demographic trends over the next few decades, which is part of the reason we face the great crash ahead.
The following Spending Wave is a clear illustration of the demographic trends ahead for Australia.
Compare that to those of Europe or the U.S. (or even Japan and China) and you’ll see Australia is a no-brainer. Here’s the Spending Wave for the just one of those four countries. A quick glance will show you the difference…
Of course, there are other reasons I’d run to Australia if I wasn’t tied to family and business here in the U.S.
Australia is on the perimeter of the greatest growth region in the world. I.e. Asia.
It is a very civil society with a strong law-and-order system. Don’t even think of speeding or jaywalking on Oz streets. They have cameras everywhere.
And I don’t see the levels of civil unrest there that we see in southern Europe now or that we’ll see in the U.S. or China when the world economy turns down.
I don’t even see the same level of political polarization there as I do in the U.S. and Europe.
Plus, its government has almost no debt and more capacity to support the banking system when real estate finally declines there (and decline it will).
Besides that, Australians are just great people. They’re down-to-Earth and they get along with us Americans better than most European or Latin cultures. And they’re English-speaking.
Sydney, in fact, is one of my top two cities in the world for its overall aesthetics and quality of life (except Australia’s high taxes on luxury cars). Melbourne has the best culture and Perth is a beautiful city in the middle of nowhere (which is the safest place to be during a worldwide crisis). Brisbane boasts the best year-round weather and is a stone’s throw from the famous Gold Coast and the Barrier Reef.
And just in case I needed any more reasons to disappear down-under while the world goes to hell in a hand-basket, Australia has great weather, great beaches, the best diving and snorkeling in the world, lots of strange and unique animals and beautiful women.
Plus, its citizens boast a high standard of living without the break-your-back work attitude we suffer here in the U.S. An attitude they can afford, by the way, thanks to the country’s abundant natural resources and its tiny, 23 million-strong population.
It’s not all champagne and roses though. There is one ready-to-burst pimple on the country’s nose…
That is: real estate.
Australia has some of the most overvalued real estate in the developed world. It takes about 10 times your income to buy a house in Sydney or Melbourne, the same valuations that stopped the great California real estate bubble in its tracks.
Still, the country will fare the best in the depression ahead. If you’re thinking of hiding under a rock during the worst of it, look down under. Just don’t buy the rock!
Ahead of the Curve with Adam O’Dell
Harry’s right on. Australia has a lot of great things going for it right now. It’s an amazing place to visit, from a tourist’s perspective, and it’s one of the world’s most envied economies.