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It's a grand time to be an investor.
Just past the halfway point and we have fields of green...
The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 4.25% in 2023.
The S&P 500 has notched a 17% gain already.
And the Nasdaq 100 is soaring, up 42%... a year's worth of returns in a matter of months.
Even Bitcoin, as I forecasted, is rocketing higher.
But underneath all of these bright and cheery headlines lurks a dark current. An unsettling trend - setting records of its own - that could be a harbinger of what's to come.
The report I read this week shook me to my core. And it was urgent that I share what I found with you now...
Falling on Hard Times
My entire career - and fortune - has been built on recognizing and capitalizing on trends.
I've built trading systems, ran several award-winning trading services, and traveled the world speaking to investors about the true profit potential of listening to the data, not the talking heads.
But the trend hitting new highs in America speaks to trouble brewing.
The news is not good...
Americans are raiding retirement accounts at record paces.
As of now, 37% of workers have taken withdrawals or loans from their 401(k), IRA, or similar retirement plans and accounts.
As I said, that's a record. But not the only one set in the survey.
Most troubling was the record number of U.S. workers taking hardship withdrawals from their retirement accounts.
For example, in 2022, 2.8%of 401(k) participants took a hardship withdrawal... And yes, that was a record too.
But in the first three months of 2023, hardship withdrawals from plan participants surged 33% from the same period last year.
The number one reason... medical expenses.
But here's the deal... Even as Wall Street's biggest banks are celebrating massive profits and double-digit growth in revenue - thanks to soaring equities - they're starting to see the first cracks of real problems on Main Street.
In June, U.S. inflation rose a mere 3%.
This was the slowest pace of growth since March 2021. And even better, it takes one step closer the Federal Reserve's goal of 2% inflation - the mark they consider their job done and rate hikes stop.
Unfortunately, the damage has already been done.
After more than a year of high inflation and rising interest rates, impacting everything from mortgages to car payments to credit debt, the average American is now strapped for cash.
In fact, JPMorgan (JPM) CEO Jamie Dimon sees American pandemic savings wiped out by the end of 2023.
After that, it's downhill... a slump in consumer spending and a slowing of the U.S. economy.
Dimon was the banker who spied "storm clouds" on the horizon over a year ago. And what followed was a bear market that ravaged portfolios, as equities tumbled to multi-year lows... and still haven't recovered.
Already, 57% of Gen Z workers are struggling to make ends meet. The same is true for nearly half of all Millennial and Gen X workers.
Most employees state they don't have enough saved for retirement. And now they're raiding what little they have set aside for their "Golden Years" simply to survive today.
This is a trend we at Money Morning refuse to accept for America.
We know from experience, and from guiding thousands of investors safely into the retirement of their dreams, that building that nest egg requires patience, time, and the right mix of growth and income generation.
Patience and time can do a lot of the work... but not on their own.
This is why our experts work around the clock to provide the best possible strategies to ensure our readers aren't taking hardship withdrawals... that they're thriving during both good and bad times.
In fact, the best hedge fund made a 43% overall gain last year. That's not bad... Especially considering the S&P lost nearly 20% during the same stretch. But what our own Tom Gentile just revealed, however, makes 43% profit a year look like chump change.
Here's to high returns,