Looking for a blue-sky economic forecast with sunny days just around the corner?

Then you'd better not pick up Ron Coby's forthcoming book, "Discover the Upside of Down: Investment Strategies for Volatile Times."

The Medford investment adviser surveyed the economic landscape two years ago, penned his thoughts in mid-2007 and couldn't immediately ink a deal with a publisher. So he self-published a few hundred copies.

Then everything changed — almost as if Coby had scripted an economic play. That turned him into an attractive commodity for cable television's financial networks, who — like everyone else — are trying to explain the global financial meltdown.

By the time he signed a deal with John Wiley & Sons — whose published works include more than 350 Nobel laureates — so much was in motion that the book had to be reworked.

"I essentially wrote the book from June to September2007," Coby says. "It took untilJanuary to clean it up and edit. By that time all my predictions came true. I've basically turned it into a history book from 1900 through October 2008 and used recent events to justify investing strategies in an era of volatility."

The 272-page book is due out Jan. 15, 2009. It's listed at $29.95.

Early next month, Coby is slated to go on Bloomberg Television in New York, and a January appearance on Guy Adami's "Fast Money" show on CNBC is in the works.

"Discover the Upside of Down" suggests investment strategies for both protecting assets and earning profits. Chapters include information on hot-button topics for today and the foreseeable future: oil, gold, real estate, stocks, the dollar, the U.S. and global economies, and the future outlook from a long-term viewpoint for each.

The book targets people concerned about maintaining investments, but Coby says the principles go beyond the $25,000-minimum accounts he handles along with Denny Lamson at Coby-Lamson Capital Management on Delta Waters Road.

"I wanted to write for the masses," Coby says. "I wrote to average guys about complex things. People who say they're not really interested in finance and market books (will) like this one. I tell war stories, good ones, and horror stories. The point is, risk control is essential."

His underlying theme is that the long bull market characterizing the past quarter century is over, and we're in for a lengthy bear market.

"Bear markets, on average, last 16 years," Coby says. "So you've got to change your strategy."

Coby, 44, has been in Wall Street finance for 22 years, 11 of those handling a hedge fund. He's been a broker, strategist, analyst, venture capitalist and trader. He points out that Americans got used to seeing quick recoveries following the 1987 stock market crash, 1990 Gulf War, the 1994 crash and the period following the 2001 terrorist attacks.

"What we're facing now needs to be understood," he says. "We're talking deflation and massive deleveraging of the economy."

That means a lot less borrowing across the economic landscape.

"The good news is prices are going to go down along with stock prices, things will get cheaper," Coby says. "The bad news is the country will go through a difficult period not dissimilar to the 1930s, but it will be different because the government is dealing with it differently. It's not going to get better next week or the next month."

What does it mean to the average Joe, living paycheck to paycheck?

"They can adjust their way of living and save for a rainy day," Coby says. "Everyone that had money in the stock market has seen their 401(k) turned into a 101(k). People are going to have to hunker down and make different choices. There will be people thinking that things will get better because the government is going to bail them out; it's just not going to happen. You are going to see prominent companies go away."

Once the owner of a high-priced home in Bend, Coby is practicing what he preaches, renting an east Medford house for $1,400, waiting for the market to fall.

He says we're entering a period of stagflation — "when the value of everything you own falls in price but the cost of everything rises — from tuition to groceries in the store."

Reach reporter Greg Stiles at 776-4463 or e-mail

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