Apr 5 2011 10:01AM

Look for the Silver Lining

Back in the late ‘70s when I was marketing my big book “How to Prosper During the Coming Bad Years” that became such a huge best-seller, I had nothing but lousy press. The articles were build around the concept of “the coming bad years” rather than “how to prosper.”

It was assumed that I was a Gloomy Gus and a real pessimist because I was critical of the current state of things, bearish on the stock market, and forecasting some dire problems for the economy.

I have two reactions: 1) I was really emphasizing the “how to prosper” part, and was not a Gloomy Gus; and 2) my message is very optimistic. (In fact you can call me an optimistic realist or perhaps more accurately, a realistic optimist.) Nevertheless, I am an optimist.

The concept is simple. My message wasn’t that the world was going to hell in a hand basket, but only that certain parts of the main stream would sag, because the future didn’t look good for them. But there were opportunities to be found.

As a singer, I was very interested in Broadway. Back in the ‘40s, there was a Broadway musical called “Till the Clouds Rolled By.” One song became a lasting part the culture, and that is “Look for the Silver Lining.”

“Look for the silver lining,
Whene‘er a cloud appears in the blue.
Remember somewhere the sun is shining,
And so the right thing to do
Is make it shine for you.

A heart full of joy and gladness
Will always banish sadness and strife.
So always look for the silver lining
And try to find the sunny side of life.

Optimism is a very desirable quality and a socially acceptable trait, but it must not supplant realism. The real optimist will see the world as it really is and look for opportunities, as I have done for years.

The real optimist looks for the opportunities wherever they are. Gold and silver respond to the present world as I now see it, and have created glorious opportunities.

The clouds I see have real silver linings, and this should dominate your investments.

Silver has been on an upward trend recently, hitting over $37 an ounce. It has been grossly outperforming gold. This will continue. Eventually the ratio between gold and silver will narrow in favor of silver. It is narrowing all the time.

So remember, always look for the silver lining, but don’t deny there may be dark clouds. If you have a pessimistic state of mind, constantly looking at the downside, you will never see the opportunities. Realism is often improperly called pessimism, which it can become, unless, of course, your realism leads you to the silver linings.

By Howard Ruff
The Ruff Times


Howard J. Ruff, the legendary author and financial advisor, is the author of the 1978 mega best seller, How to Prosper During the Coming Bad Years, which still the biggest-selling financial book in history, with 2.6 million copies in print. He is founder and editor of The Ruff Times financial newsletter. The newsletter is much more comprehensive and deals with a broad spectrum of middle-class financial issues and includes an Investment Menu from which you can build your portfolio. (You can learn about it here). The Ruff Times has served more than 600,000 subscribers – more than any financial-advisory newsletter in the world. You can get Howard’s current book, How to Prosper In the Age of Obamanomics free when you subscribe to The Ruff Times (www.rufftimes.com), or if you buy the book at your favorite bookstore, you can deduct $10 from the subscription price.


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