Most People stand on an Island of Opportunities, but look toward another Land

Monthly Market Commentary: September 1, 2018

Last month, I explained how challenging it was to make comparisons about the cost of living in different cities around the world and touched on the cost of health care and of education in various countries and specifically in the US. I mentioned at the time that Zurich and Geneva were deemed as the world's most expensive cities.

While Zurich is the "most expensive" city with the UBS Cost of Living Index at 116.6, the world’s least expensive cities are New Delhi, Manila, Kiev, Lagos, and Cairo (Cost of Living Index respectively at 46.0, 45.2, 44.0, 40.6, and 34.6).

So, where should you live and work? This report fails to provide a definite answer but addresses numerous issues that need to be considered when taking a decision.

Safety is, in my opinion, an important consideration. You need to be careful about your own security everywhere in the world whereby the cost of protecting yourself, your family, and your property is far lower in some countries than in others. [I would rank Japan and Singapore as the world’s safest countries.] Furthermore, sleeping at night without worrying about yourself and your family being violently attacked is probably worth the price of living in one of the world’s more expensive cities.

With respect to asset markets, I think the most important question investors have to consider is how central bankers will react when the global economy weakens and when asset markets decline. Furthermore, how will currencies, capital markets (stocks and bonds) and precious metals, and other asset markets (real estate, collectibles, cryptocurrencies, etc.) react to another round (inevitable in my opinion) of monetary and fiscal accommodations, and other interventions such as tariffs (in short further manipulations of free markets)?

Please read on!

With kind regards   
Yours sincerely   
Marc Faber

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