I am reading a book on an investment strategy proposed by Harry Browne (1999, Fail-Safe Investing: Lifelong Financial Security in 30 minutes, pp. 39–40) known as the "permanent portfolio". He makes the following assumption/statement regarding an economy when he presents his reasoning:
Your portfolio needs to respond well only to those broad movements. And they fit into four general categories:
Prosperity: A period during which living standards are rising, the economy is growing, business is thriving, interest rates usually are falling, and unemployment is declining.
Inflation: A period when consumer prices generally are rising. They might be rising moderately (an inflation rate of 6% or so), rapidly (10% to 20% or so, as in the late 1970s), or at a runaway rate (25% or more).
Tight money or recession: A period during which the growth of the supply of money in circulation slows down. This leaves people with less cash than they expected to have, which usually causes a recession — a period of poor economic conditions.
Deflation: The opposite of inflation. Consumer prices decline and the purchasing power of money grows. In the past, deflation has usually triggered a depression — a prolonged period of very bad economic conditions, as in the 1930s.
Investment prices can be affected by what happens outside the financial system — wars, changes in government policies, new tax rules, civil turmoil, and other matters. But these events have a lasting effect on investments only if they push the economy from one to another of the four environments I've just described.
To what extent is this assumptions "true" or vaild? Are these all the relevant and/or existing states of an economy and are the suggested asset types(stocks,long/short bond and gold) really balancing this in a nice way,theoretically?
Does it have any apparent theoretical drawbacks restriction attention to these four?
I also posted this on the Economics Stack but without luck. I am aware that everyone has to evaluate info using their own logic, hence don't worry about that!