The U.S. economy is consumer-driven, with private consumer spending dwarfing investment-driven and government spending. And in the digital age, consumers consume content and media – with a bulk of that content being user-created. In other words, we’re consuming many other people’s content.
Over the past few years, I have found it interesting that in my observations, I have discovered many users on LinkedIn suddenly changing their titles to something along the lines of SEO Expert, Social Media Expert, Crypto Expert, NFT Expert, Metaverse Entrepreneur, and Digital Marketing Specialist.
These people are jumping on the latest get-rich-quick trends in the so-called attention economy – users clamoring for eyeballs to generate income from ad revenue. They position themselves as quasi-experts and create tons of content to self-fulfill their “expert” self-designations. Unfortunately, most content is just speculative forecasts about the next big thing.
These so-called digital marketing experts all have the same playbook. The first step is to push SEO. “Be #1 on google without spending a lot of money,” they tout. Then they move onto social media and push how you need to expand your reach to be everywhere and how you need to publish this and that content on this or that platform to this and that audience.
On the one hand, you have entrepreneurs interested in promoting the next big investment strategy or asset. Conversely, you have the marketing mavens holding themselves out as experts to drive traffic to these entrepreneurs and so-called experts in their fields. Take, for example, crypto. Last year at about this time, crypto was riding high. Everyone was talking about it.
All the talking heads were touting how we were moving away from a centralized monetary system to a purely digital one with blockchain as the backbone of its architecture.
Touted for its decentralized structure, security, privacy, and traceability, blockchain was the star of crypto. Investors had nothing to worry about. Investors were told that crypto was secure.
The problem with crypto wasn’t its security; it was the fact that it was and is a highly speculative investment with no underlying value. And this didn’t stop celebrities from cashing in on ads promoting it. Celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow, Tom Brady, Reese Witherspoon, and even Larry David were all touting crypto and the exchanges like FTX that you could trade them on.
Remember Matt Damon’s crypto.com ad where he declared, “fortune favors the brave?”
The results of all the celebrity endorsements and buzz surrounding crypto were apparent. In November last year, Bitcoin hit an all-time high of $65,496. Many other currencies also hit all-time highs at about the same time. Then the bottom fell out. What happened?
Stimulus checks stopped rolling in, and inflation took off. Investors cashed out to cover rising expenses. The result? Bitcoin has shed nearly 70% from its all-time high to where today it sits at around $20,000. Fortune certainly did not favor the brave.
In the wake of the crypto fallout, celebrities returned to their multi-million dollar mansions while the investors who took their advice are trying to figure out how to cover their expenses amid their investment losses.
Don’t let so-called experts, marketing mavens, and celebrities influence your investment decisions. Follow the wise investors who ignore the buzz and hype. These investors invest in assets they can touch and feel – assets with values that don’t depend on what the fickle investing public is willing to pay. These assets are productive and fill a need like a shelter, or some other essential need consumers will always need.
Investing in demand that doesn’t waver in a downturn or inflationary times is the ideal buffer for uncertain times. So, while speculative investments like crypto and stocks nosedive as investors go into defensive mode, cash-flowing tangible assets like commercial residential real estate thrive as they fulfill an essential need without a drop in demand or revenue.
To survive in uncertain economic times, follow the smart money – investors who follow real assets, real demand, and lasting trends and not fads pushed by celebrities.
By investing in cash-flowing tangible assets, these smart investors are not only able to avoid the bubbles that lead to investment losses, but they are also able to establish a secure stream of passive income that compensates for any loss of income from job loss or reduction giving them a peace of mind that is invaluable during uncertain and chaotic financial times.
Kyle Jones is a co-founder and Key Principal of TruePoint Capital, LLC. Kyle is responsible for the company’s strategic planning, investment decisions, asset management, and overseeing all aspects of the company’s financial activities, operations, and investor relations.
Kyle obtained a Bachelor of Science degree from Texas State University – San Marcos, where he also played Division 1 Baseball.