Lots of very smart and very wealthy people are asking me where they should put their money. The friend that asked me last night though that the traditional alternatives like Swiss Francs and Gold felt sooo 1970's and wondered what else is out there.
Here's my answer:
The SFr and gold are definitely a 1970's approach. The problem with this crisis, as opposed to previous ones that we have direct experience with, is that it is systemic/global. It is a crisis of Capitalism itself, and therefore not confined to any subset of badly managed countries.
Everything traditional will take a hit. So, it's not a question of shifting financial asset classes anymore.
The only asset class worth considering: A social investment in economically viable communities, whether local/production oriented or virtual/design-info oriented.
When thinking about this, don't think Facebook or a surburban bedroom communtiies. This about communities that can be, or be a part of, viable economic ecosystems. They produce things.
Why are they valuable? When everything else is tanking, these systems will persist. Further, these systems are likely to lead us out of this crisis, and they have the potential to grow quickly once competitors are swept away.
It's likely, given the advent and success of virtual currency systems like Bitcoin (which, as a proof of concept, shows that any economic ecosystem can launch virtual currencies that survive in the wild), that these new economic communities won't treat the traditional financial asset classes and currencies very favorably. It's too easy to replace them. Some may shun them entirely.
NOTE1: Looking for a safe asset class today, is like a Soviet bureaucrat in 1989, sensing trouble ahead, looking for the directorate with the safest job.
For techies, this means it's much better to be fully invested in microprocessors (the more advanced system) when every vacuum tube (the older inefficient system) in the world melts down due to a flaw in design/implementation.
NOTE2: Where am I putting my own money? Into MiiU. With MiiU, we're trying to create a store/clearninghouse of information needed to create these economically viable communities. For example: we just signed on a permaculture curator and more experts will follow. Our ambition is that MiiU will eventually be seen as a platform for these new communities to leverage (as things get worse). So, if you are looking for a place to dip your toe in the water on this concept, we could probably help you with that.