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You Can Escape This Market

By Dr. Steve Sjuggerud
Tuesday, March 10, 2009

You have to make some major changes in your life, right now. 

Fortunately, making those changes doesn't have to hurt...

My friend Grant Pecoff made big changes in his life. He and his wife Layne used to live in San Diego. They had a nice three-bedroom house, three cars, and every modern convenience. But he got tired of trying to keep up.

He realized he didn't need all that stuff.

Today, the Pecoffs have a one-bedroom house. And they share one car. But their quality of life is outstanding... and they're much happier. They're living on the water, on the island of Eleuthera in the Bahamas. My wife and I visited them over the weekend.

"A lot of people don't realize that you can choose your life," Grant told me. 

"We realized that we had lost our priorities along the way. So we got out of San Diego to reconnect with what's important to us. It's a lot less stressful here in the Bahamas, and I get lot more work done."

Grant is an artist. He lives in the Bahamas, but he still has his gallery in San Diego. Other galleries feature his art as well, like the Wyland Gallery in Key West (where I first saw his work). 

While life as an artist might sound glamorous, it's stressful. Just think about it... Mortgage payments and car payments are fixed. But art sales vary... Your income goes up and down. So Grant did the smart thing. He got rid of his old fixed payments. 

Grant told me taking that initial leap and moving was huge. "That initial leap gave us the confidence to take more steps – to make more choices. When you think about it, the definition of 'leap' is that there is some moment where both feet are off the ground."

He told me, "Here, you can choose to never put shoes on all day... or to shower outside naked... or to walk for hours on the beach. It's up to you. We don't have fancy restaurants here or a hundred channels on TV. But they're not important to us."

The Pecoffs' new lifestyle is not for everyone... The house sits on a point, with water on two sides. But when they bought it, it had no electricity or running water. Even now, if you want a hot shower, you have to wait until the afternoon, when the sun has heated the water pipes on the roof. There's no air conditioning... You have to rely on the sea breezes. When it gets too hot, you take a dip in the ocean. 

A Grant Pecoff original. To read his story and see more of his work, visit

Grant's life is different than it was in San Diego. He made the leap. He made wholesale changes. He got rid of the anxiety. He got rid of the need to keep up with the neighbors. 

If you're stressing right now about money, you ought to consider making some changes. With Grant Pecoff as an example, the changes you make don't necessarily have to hurt as bad as you might think.

Grant escaped this market. He went down from three bedrooms to one... and from three cars to one. If you want to remove the anxiety, if you want to improve your quality of life, consider following Grant's lead. 

You don't have to move to the Bahamas or go without electricity. But keep Grant's words in mind: "You can choose your life." 

Take a moment to reflect on your priorities and see if you're living by them. If you're not, consider what changes you should make. Then...


Good investing,


Market Notes


For the first time in a year, we're getting a "glass half full" signal from our colleague "Dr. Copper."

Long-time DailyWealth readers know we pay close attention to the price of copper to monitor the world's economic health. Copper is used in automobiles, housing, power lines, electronics, appliances, and just about everything else around you... so its price immediately reflects economic activity.

For much of 2008, it was an ugly reflection. The global slowdown caused the price of copper to decline 68% from its peak to reach $1.30 per pound in December. The $1.30 area is a "must hold" level for us to believe things are getting better.

As you can see from the chart below, things are getting just a bit better. Since its December low, copper has enjoyed a series of higher highs and higher lows. Last week, the red metal reached its highest high since November. This price strength comes in the face of the worst manufacturing numbers in a generation. When an asset rises in the face of terrible news, it's a big bullish sign.

We're not saying the worst is over. But we'll take "glass half full" signs where we can get them. And right now, we're getting one with copper.

In The Daily Crux

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