Smart ways to invest and attain early financial freedom

My last blog on the economy written on June 3rd started with lines - “Just like the sea which seems calm at the surface but has massive amount of energy boiling inside it, I am seeing business as usual on the outside but large amount of chaos beneath this calmness.” As I wrote those lines, I was sensing trouble ahead – but I did not expect that it will erupt so soon.  Last fortnight - the chaos finally surfaced – just like a volcano erupting, all over the globe, the markets turned extremely volatile. Even as this was happening – I see experts in CNBC calling the situation “temporary” and urging people to invest in mutual funds and equity as the Indian markets are attractively priced at aro
Just like the sea which seems calm at the surface but has massive amount of energy boiling inside it, I am seeing business as usual on the outside but large amount of chaos beneath this calmness. All across the world there is news that is screaming for attention – but one has to connect the dots —we see rioting in ME, increasing fuel prices and spontaneous uprising against corruption and bad governance in India, sovereign debt downgrades in EU and volatility in all the stock markets of the world. The most unusual news that caught my attention is that one state in the US, Utah, has legalised Gold and Silver as currency –are we going back to the Middle Ages? There is fair amount of unusual news around us - but if you look at the business news papers – there is calmness and near normality. No one seems to be connecting the dots, not at-least in public.
I see that Gold and silver are touching new highs globally – Gold has appreciated 5% in April alone.I also see that even though crisis in  Japan and Middle east has overshadowed the Euro area debt crisis – it is far from over - and now it is the turn of Portugal to seek help from IMF and EU. I also see that Greece is close to defaulting on it’s debt obligations and it could end up in Greece  exiting the European Union. (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/gilts/8461745/Greece-forced-to-pay-sky-high-rates-to-borrow.html) I also S&P
Who would have predicted the events of Q1 - As I sat and tried to predict the year ahead in early Jan 2011 – could I have predicted the blow out in Middle East? Could I have predicted the devastation caused in Japan? I am humbled by the fact that we can only predict so much – there are forces beyond us – however, it also means that we must constantly revisit our predictions and fine tune our strategy constantly.  Also as a risk mitigation strategy, we must be prepared for the worst and have an action plan for the worst case scenario.  Having said that, when I see my predictions made for 2011 – I am not sure if I will change anything.
As the New Year dawns all of us in India are optimistic – the mood is good, the future looks brighter –the MBA placements are doing well – the Engineering placements look still better –companies are hiring and there is a flurry of activity in almost every sphere of economy as we enter 2011.Like any investor, my investments in 2011 would be based on my predictions and I thought I must share this with others – with a view to help and guide as many people as possible. I tend to be on the conservative side – hence if we do better than these predictions – I am happy. I am going to keep updating on these as we go through the year – and as all of us know, things can change. So here are my predictions: