Concerns about the future

I remember now, that one other reservation I’d had about investing in the stock market to plan for my retirement is the idea of Peak Oil. I was first introduced to this idea from the movie The End of Suburbia a couple of years ago.  Basically, life in North America as we know it will change radically with the advent of peak oil, and I’m sure that will take its toll on the stock market as well (how are those multinational dividend paying blue chips going to get their products all over the globe without oil for transportation?). And I don’t believe it’s the kind of impact you can hedge against by buying some stock in oil companies. Pretty much every aspect of our modern daily lives rely on some way on oil products.

At first the idea was just too doomsdayish, so I just kind of blocked it out of my mind. And then over the next few years, I’ve seen the environmental movement gain momentum, and that has given me great hope and made me think that maybe by the time peak oil hits, we will be able to adjust and society will not collapse. We will have some alternate sources of energy, we will have alternate sources of plastic-like materials (compostable cell phone, anyone?), and we will grow our food organically without the use of petroleum based fertilizers.

But now, I’m worried about the US economy. Reading about an abstract idea like an economy collapsing can be a little hard to relate to, but reading about this effect of the sub-prime mess is having on crime in Cleavland just makes me wonder how much worse it would be if the US economy really did collapse.

In a way it’s funny because my long-term dream is to have a little bit of land on which to grow some veggies and have some chickens, some bees (and make honey), and some sheep (spin my own wool), and a pony. (When I told the boy this he said, “And let me guess you want a rainbow too? I better to go wizard school then so I can make that happen”). Idealistic fairytales aside, it’s funny because that is exactly what one would have to do to mitigate any kind of big economic collapse whether brought on by peak oil or nations gone rogue.

My problem is, can I use the stock market to make the dream happen? Or is it going to collapse before I get there?

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