The 2008 Global Financial Crisis left a trail of destruction so extensive that despite almost a decade of recovery, its after-effects can still be felt.

Millions of jobs were lost, and many more lives were disrupted; some ruined.

But as time slowly brings this memory to a close, affording us a moment of relief, it appears that another major financial storm is brewing on the horizon.

Bill Gates, billionaire and Microsoft co-founder, believes that another meltdown is about to happen. His message: brace yourself.

Last week, during an “Ask Me Anything” Reddit interview, Gates was asked whether he believed that another financial crisis similar to 2008 was coming. His answer: “Yes. It is hard to say when but this is a certainty.”

The “hard to say when” part, given our market’s current volatility, possibly indicating the instability of our economic and geopolitical landscape, is a bit disconcerting.

The truth is that nobody can predict the exact trigger for or timing of such an event.

It may happen in several months’ time, or it can be happening right now.

But anyone staring at the horizon with clear eyes can see that something is amiss.

Gates adds, “Fortunately, we got through [the 2008 crisis]  reasonably well. Warren [Buffett] has talked about this and he understands this area far better than I do.”

In fact, Buffett’s seemingly optimistic statement in a Time magazine essay earlier this year actually hides an implicit warning.

He states that “most American children are going to live far better than their parents did.”

Does that sound optimistic? Think again.

Some people will thrive…many others will not. And there’s no guarantee at which side you will end up.

It’s like natural evolution: those who thrive will do so thanks to the others who perished in their place.

Gates’ makes a similar statement in his AMA response: “I am quite optimistic about how innovation and capitalism will improve the situation…”

“Innovation and capitalism” will bestow its advantages on those who remain.

In other words, you first have to survive what’s ahead before you can do anything else.

So, whatever you do in regard to the markets, proceed cautiously.

 


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