CNBC Reports: Mark Penn Outlines Three Microtrends to Beat the Financial Crisis


Wall Street Journal Microtrends Column: Fearless Freddies: Bungee-Jumping in the New Economy

Wall Street Journal Microtrends Column
By MARK PENN with E. KINNEY ZALESNE
From The Wall Street Journal Microtrends Column
Published March 30, 2009

In these uncertain times, most people are seeking protection and safety from the prospect of even more economic turbulence. But another group is going bungee-jumping into the middle of the financial crisis — bravely increasing their investments even as the markets and the financial system collapse and gloomy predictions abound.

These “Fearless Freddies” are the ones who had the stomach to invest in Citigroup when its share price dipped below a dollar. They are the ones buying oil (and oil stocks) as it hits new lows. They are down in Florida looking for condos and checking out the foreclosures. They are either the smartest people in this changed economy — or the dumbest.

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Wall Street Journal Microtrends Column: The Impressionable Elites Get Snookered

Wall Street Journal Microtrends Column
By MARK PENN with E. KINNEY ZALESNE
From The Wall Street Journal Microtrends Column
Published December 19, 2008

For most of this century, con men and hucksters preyed on the uneducated and the elderly who couldn’t read the fine print. Some still are.

But now we learn that the real mother lode for con artists is not composed of uninformed dowagers who were left an estate they don’t know how to manage, but rather the Impressionable Elites* of country clubs, and the rarefied hedge fund managers of Wall Street and Greenwich.

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Wall Street Journal Microtrends Column: The Mattress Stuffers

Wall Street Journal Microtrends Column
By MARK PENN with E. KINNEY ZALESNE
From The Wall Street Journal Microtrends Column
Published December 10, 2008

As the financial crisis swept across the nation these past few months, one of the first microtrend groups to emerge is the New Mattress Stuffers — people who have lost their trust in the financial world, and are preparing for the next meltdown.

Just as 9/11 created a vast industry in building security, so the recession could create a big industry in personal financial security — a new kind of survival kit. New Mattress Stuffers don’t care about the 10% interest rate on GE preferred stock that Warren Buffett snapped up; they care about making it through if hard times get even worse. As a result, firms which can offer ironclad guarantees of safety will appeal to this new group. These are people who have lost their faith in the housing market, the stock market, their bank, their big corporate employer, their auto company, and their last president. What is left but themselves?

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