We have long been interested in cycles–short term cycles–yes. But also long term cycles– the cycles that span centuries. For example, the cycles that empires always seem to follow.

We are told that the only thing we learn from history is that men don’t learn from history. But we’re not so sure that’s true. Is it possible to know history, see the cycle, see the direction a country is traveling, but nothing we do can change it because we are dealing with human nature? In that case, all that we can do is look at the facts and make the best decisions for ourselves.

Alex Fraser Tytler is credited with the quote, “The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been two hundred years. These nations have progressed from bondage to spiritual faith; from spiritual faith to great courage; from great courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance; from abundance to selfishness; from selfishness to complacency; from complacency to apathy; from apathy to dependence; from dependency back again to bondage.”

We can all follow that sequence, see evidence that our own country is following the typical trajectory, but we have come to believe that we cannot change it because we can only change ourselves.

This explains why we look at historical trends. They help us to know what to expect. And although all empires in history do seem to have taken that route, it is never the end. There may be a lot of trouble for a period of time. but always a new future rises out of the ashes. In the meantime, what is our own personal plan for weathering the storm? That’s our question today.

One trends analyst that we follow is Gerald Celente. We decided to review some of his latest prognostications for you. Celente doesn’t see much encouraging in the near future. Among other signs, a Bloomberg study shows that the cost of college tuition in the United States since record keeping began in 1978, has increased 1,120%, while wages declined 5%.

But Gerald claims that every period of challenge also presents opportunity. This time is not different. We just need to change our perspective to fit the changing landscape.

The first trend that Celente describes this month is that market fundamentals beyond FED control will push interest rates higher in the future. The higher rates go, the deeper the economy will sink. The FED will try to use “injection schemes” to pump up assets (stock market, real estate) and keep the retail market from falling. The result will be higher gold and silver.

It appears that we are looking first at deflation, as the FED cuts back (IF they cut back–the problem is that one never knows for sure.) But probably as things start to slow down we will see more QE, resulting in inflation.

You will have to decide if Celente is right; but have you checked the current price of gold? It has fallen roughly $600 from its high. This is not unusual for gold. We have been following gold prices since the late 1970’s. Gold is always volatile. How much lower will it go? We don’t know, of course, and we don’t give advice. We do know that China and others are buying all they can get their hands on and encouraging their citizens to buy it. We think gold is a fantastic buy for anyone trying to protect a percentage of their assets  from the dollar in the long term.

And now to the next trend–one that we especially like.

One of our most difficult tasks is responding to people who really want to join us here in the deep south, but they ask, “What are the chances of my getting a job  there?” We always have to say it’s probably good if you speak Spanish. In the case of South America, most of the time you will need to know the language. If you are a retiree coming here just to relax at the beach, there are plenty of English speakers around. But if you plan to work here, that can be different. Unless of course you plan to teach English. Believe it or not, you don’t need Spanish to teach English.

But Celente writes, “the extended work force is here to stay. Freelancing is expected to grow sharply in the immediate years ahead.” He claims that there is much opportunity for writers, artists, market analysts, financial advisers, educators, etc.

Some expats are already contracting work with companies from afar.

Just to give you some ideas, we became acquainted recently with a young woman who works right from her desk in Uruguay for an insurance company in California. She also does freelance translating since she is bilingual.  She tells us that she makes a very good income. An English speaking stock broker uses internet technology to call his clients, and tells us they have no clue he is not in the States. Another expat that we know is an engineer. His work requires a monthly trip to his home country. But the rest of the month he lives and works high up on the side of a mountain–in Chile. Engineering is not normally something that we would think of as being done from afar–but he is doing it.

With the technology that is available to us now, you can market for a company in your home town from anywhere in the world and target that marketing to the local area. In my case I could do travel writing full time right here in Buenos Aires. After all, it may be home to me but to other people it is a travel destination. Of course there is always opportunity for a writer. Especially for one who knows marketing.

With technology greatly expanding our world and Mr. Celente’s trend prediction of a heavy and increasing demand for an extended work force, we see much opportunity ahead for expats in fields that are adaptable to long-distance service.