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Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Hundredaire's Prediction For 2011

Last year, I entered the economic discussion from the perspective of a photo retoucher. I made some pretty horrible predictions for 2010. However, some were spot-on. What about for 2011?

Unlike my billionaire companions featured in Forbes, I've barely broken the elite hundredaire benchmark of my ultra-wealth status. In fact, I think I'm just about under that rank. But I'm proud of it and glad my taxes are going to good use for various bailouts, wars and congressional salaries. Will it change? Let's see:

What is the most alarming trend facing the economy today?
My assessment from last year hasn't changed. A national debt of $13.8 trillion is quite a bill!

In what direction will your country's stock market move, and what kind of returns do you anticipate?
I was right last year and I'm confident the United States stock market will do better this year. If you didn't get in 2008, you missed a buying opportunity. Real estate is attractive to me. However, it is still very risky. So I suggest buying a REIT mutual fund if it interests you.

Gold: buy, hold or sell?
I say hold or sell. If you believe that the U.S. is heading towards a complete economic meltdown within the year, hold. If not, take your profits. I still think a bomb shelter or off-the-grid earth-house in the wilderness with all the amenities is a good investment.

Which emerging world economy is the best bet for investors?
It's crazy out there. Risk averse folk should consider India and China. Yep. Long-term. All those retiring might want to keep a tiny bit overseas. But the rest should be cash or something very conservative.

What's the best asset to own in 2011?
I think cash with U.S. Dollars and Euros.

Will Twitter be a viable business in 2011?
No. However, I think it will be bought out by Google. They seem to be canning Google Buzz for a reason. They will acquire Twitter by 2012.

Global warming: Fact or fiction? How much money should your government invest in emissions cuts?
I still stand by what I wrote last year. It's good to be proactive about it and will not do any harm in the long-term.

Any other predictions?
Outsourcing will consume any commodity-like service. The graphic arts industry will be in Asia. As they become wealthier, I see it going to Africa. If you're in America and not focusing on creative work, you are obsolete.

What about Genealogy? 
This will undoubtedly become more and more interesting. When PBS aired African-American Lives, it opened the door of family history research much wider than before for all elasticities. The future for ancestral DNA research is very bright. I predict that within a decade, the grandchildren of African-Americans alive today will be able to track down their cousins in Africa from whom their surviving middle passage ancestry was separated hundreds of years ago. This is an exciting time for all people of all ancestry. We are truly related.

What about Photo Grafix? 
This will be our first year teaching at a national genealogy conference. After many years of applying, I finally got in as a teacher for 3 classes at the Federation of Genealogical Society's annual conference 2011. This year it's in Springfield, Illinois. I pray we meet alot of people and help them with their family photo digitizing efforts.

Any hopes?
I really hope to get my Photoshop course in the hands of more people. Folks have alot of photos they are scanning and they really don't understand what they are doing. I can show them how to do it right. I also hope more people will drive cars less and walk, bike, carpool/car-share or use public transportation. However, without a substantial increase in the cost of gasoline, I doubt it will happen.

So, dear reader, what do you think 2011 will bring?

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