When I was asked to review Jason Schenkers latest book Recession-Proof: How to Survive and Thrive in an Economic Downturn, my immediate thoughts were – is the economy not picking up and what does he know that the rest of us do not?
Schenker is a well-respected economic forecaster specialising in the field of commodities with two previous titles under his belt, Commodity Prices 101 and Be the Shredder not the Shred.
He believes that all the economic indicators and history are pointing to another recession. With that belief, he shares his ideas on how an individual can prepare, survive and even prosper in a recessionary environment.
Most economic forecasters are concerned with what happens to continents, countries and corporations in the event of a possible economic reversal, but Mr Schenker concentrates on the individual.
The book begins with the case for another recession, with an in-depth analysis of the underlying factors which lead the author to believe another recession is coming.
Once this rather depressing section is out of the way, the rest of the book concentrates on the positive steps and self-analysis an individual can undertake to ensure they are best placed to weather any upcoming negatives in the economy.
No one can fail to have been impacted personally or indirectly by the Great Recession, and as with any great change, how you react is chiefly up to you. This is the key plank of the book.
You can either be a victim, or take control of a situation. Mr Schenker explores a number of strategies that you can adopt, such as re-educating yourself to adapt to an evolving world or even taking a leap off the corporate juggernaut and using your faith in yourself to start your own business.
The strongest parts of this book are the self-analysis exercises – the author calls them drills, which is quite apt, as they will certainly stretch you mentally.
While this book is very American-centric in its analysis, attitudes and anecdotes, do not let that put you off. It has a range of simple strategies that anyone can adopt to prepare for the future, if you believe, as Mr Schenker does, that a recessionary environment is ahead. If, however, you are more optimistic about the economy, then perhaps it’s not for you.
John Joe McGinley is principal of Glassagh Consulting