Matthew Piepenburg is the Commercial Director at Matterhorn Asset Management and co-founder of SignalsMatter.com. He has extensive experience in alternative investments, law, and finance, with particular expertise in managed futures, credit and equity investing. He also has years of experience researching, evaluating and investing in alternative investments, from hedge funds and private equity vehicles to real estate. Matthew is also a published author and regular contributor to The Good Men Project and the author of the Amazon #1 New Release “Rigged to Fail,” which bluntly details the systemic and structural flaws behind central-bank distorted capital markets.
In the beginning of our conversation, Matt talks about releasing his book RIGGED TO FAIL in February of 2020 when the markets had reached an all-time high. The book was designed to prepare readers for the unavoidable cycles in the markets. Matt saw so many problems in the debt and credit markets even prior to the current pandemic. In fact, Covid was one of the best things that could have ever happened to Wall Street because it allowed for another huge bailout. He says: “Unbeknownst to most, Wall Street got another, much bigger, bailout in 2020 than they did in 2008, 2009.”
If you watch the news and listen to the talking heads, there is a perception that the economy is doing quite well. However for Matt, the financial news isn’t transparent, in fact it is borderline propaganda. There’s so many ways the system is rigged in favor of Wall Street. These are certainly the best of times for a select minority of people, but it’s been bad for the middle class and the majority of the country: “It’s important to not confuse a rising stock market with a rising economy.”
Matt explains that 84% of the wealth in the US stock market is owned by the richest 10% of the US population. He says that the wealth disparity has never been greater, not even in the roaring 1920’s or 1783 pre-Napoleonic France. There’s a massive disconnect between Wall Street and Main Street.
According to Matt, you can’t rely on old measures of value during this debt based bubble of epic proportions. He says that the most simple indicator to to keep your eye on is the cost of debt, since this is a debt driven bubble. This can be measured by the yield on the U.S. 10 year Treasury. If you see the interest rate on the 10 year spiking or getting higher and higher, then this might be an indicator that the debt party is getting weaker, and it might be a good time to get more defensive.
Some classic hedges against inflation include real estate, precious metals such as physical gold and silver and possibly crypto currency, if you can handle the volatility. In this inflationary and currency debasement environment, it is getting more challenging to protect one’s wealth.
During his college years, Matt was inspired by several of his professors (such as Cornel West and Ralph Potter) as well as the great books he was reading. He noticed patterns and recurring themes that showed up again and again. In his late 20’s, he decided to organize these themes into a book called “What Matters.” His hope was to give his kids a roadmap to navigate this life. He says: “books do matter, ideas do matter and great minds can help us.” This timeless wisdom can help us through a dark time or even a wonderful time.
One key message Matt’s taken away from the great books is to be responsible for your own life. “At the end of the day, the secret to your life is to be responsible. And one of those responsibilities is to be accountable for your own mistakes.” He says part of being human is to challenge yourself, experience the full range of emotions and learn from your mistakes.
Another important life lesson for Matt is the power of gratitude. His dad taught him about maintaining an “attitude of gratitude,” even during the most difficult times. If you look closely enough, you can find reasons to be grateful and signs of kindness all around. He loves finding joy in the simplest things, such as spending time outdoors in the yard with animals, visiting with friends or even just taking a deep breath.
Nature is such an important part of Matt’s life. He talks about being drawn to wide open natural spaces that are free of noise and distractions. This is where he feels most rejuvenated.
In the end, Matt references French philosopher Albert Camus who once remarked that the most serious problem facing the world is conformity. This is why Matt encourages everyone to ask a few important questions: what do you enjoy, what defines you and what really matters to you. These questions must not be ignored, and they must be asked at some point in our lives…. the sooner the better!
You can learn more about Matthew Piepenburg and Signals Matter right here: https://www.signalsmatter.com/
You can also find him at Matterhorn Asset Management, the leading and largest private gold wealth preservation and vaulting service for institutions and private investors outside of the commercial banking system: https://goldswitzerland.com/.
And you can check out his book Rigged To Fail right here: https://www.amazon.com/Rigged-Fail-Blunt-Spoken-Investment-Unsuspecting-ebook/dp/B084YDSDPH