Who is Peter Schiff?
Peter Schiff is a well known American investment broker, author, economic forecaster and investment advisor. His strategy is strongly influenced by the free market Austrian School of economics. He is credited with accurately predicting the 2007 housing market collapse and the subsequent 2008 financial crisis in USA. His expertise on financial matters and economic theory has made him a sought after speaker and analyst at various forums. His views and predictions have been aired across the spectrum of media including the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, CNN and Al Jazeera. He also hosts his own radio and television shows and runs a video blog on financial matters that is heavily subscribed. Schiff started his career as a stock broker and went on to establish various financial establishments including a brokerage firm and bank. His investment strategy focuses on long-term wealth savings with emphasis on emerging market and commodity focused investments. He is a strong supporter of the Libertarian Party and contested for the Republican nomination to the 2010 United States Senate elections in Connecticut. Today Peter Schiff is a respected economist with a net worth estimated to be over $ 70 million.
Childhood & Early Life
Peter David Schiff was born on March 23, 1963 in New Haven, Connecticut, USA into a middle class family. His father, Irwin, was the son of a Jewish immigrant from Poland, who served in the US Army during World War II.
His parents divorced when he was young and he was brought up with his brother by his mother who moved around till they finally settled down in Southern California. He credits his father for introducing him to the Austrian School of economic thought. His father was sentenced to 13 years imprisonment for tax evasion and died in prison in 2015.
Schiff completed his schooling from Beverly Hills High School and went on to do his Bachelor of Science degree, with a double major in Finance and Accounting, from the University of California, Berkeley in 1987.
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Schiff started his financial career as a stockbroker with Shearson Lehman Brothers brokerage in the early 1990s. Within a period of five years, he acquired a sick brokerage firm with a partner and renamed it Euro Pacific Capital. The firm initially operated from a small office in Los Angeles and later relocated to Darien, Connecticut in 2005.
His firm has its current headquarters in Westport, Connecticut and has several branches in Arizona, Florida, California, Los Angeles and New York City. Its investment strategy focuses on long-term wealth savings in the face of a declining US dollar with emphasis on emerging market and commodity focused investments.
He founded the Euro Pacific Bank which operates on a full reserve basis and is licensed in St Vincent and the Grenadines. Euro Pacific Canada Inc is another of his companies based in Toronto which deals in brokerage services and capital market. Euro Pacific Asset Management was also founded by Schiff to manage mutual funds of his clients in the global market with a long term investment perspective.
Peter Schiff had strong views on the US economy and hosted a weekly radio show titled ‘The Wall Street Unspun’ from 2005 to 2010. He later hosted the ‘Peter Schiff Show’ on internet and terrestrial radio from 2010 to 2014 which covered a daily commentary on market activity, current events and economic philosophy. He also frequently appeared on CNBC and Fox News as an expert commentator on the US economy and wrote a number of books.
The Peter Schiff Gold News is a daily magazine that focuses on the prices of precious metals. He also has a regular video blog which reports on the market activity and contains clips of his various appearances.
In 2007, Schiff wrote the book ‘Crash Proof’ in which he said that the US economic policies were unsound. He predicted that the imbalance between the amount of goods consumed and produced by USA would eventually lead to an economic crisis. He advocated increased personal savings and production to stimulate economic growth. In his view low savings were because of high inflation and low interest rates set by the Federal Reserve.
He earned the nickname ‘Dr Doom’ due to his pessimistic views about the US economy and its eminent collapse. However, articles in Business Week and a few other journals conceded that his predictions about the financial crisis of 2007 – 2010 were more or less correct.
Schiff was an economic advisor to the Libertarian Party nominee, Ron Paul, for his 2008 presidential campaign. In his campaign he advocated savings and production as against the current policy of borrowing and consuming.
In September 2009 Schiff announced his candidature for the Republican nomination to the 2010 United States Senate elections in Connecticut. He had the support of Ron Paul and Steve Forbes, however, lost to McMohan in the primary round. The seat was finally won by the Democratic Party in the general elections.
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His book ‘Cash Proof 2.0 : How to Profit from the Economic Collapse’, 2nd Edition, published in 2009, appeared on the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestsellers lists.
His other books include ‘The Little Book of Bull Moves in Bear Markets’ (2008), ‘How an Economy Grows and Why it Crashes’ (2010) and ‘The Real Crash : America’s Coming Bankruptcy’ (2012).
Awards & Achievements
Despite being nicknamed ‘Dr Doom’ and making predictions that were not easy for politicians in power to digest, Peter Schiff had the true pulse of the market and made sound investments for his clients. He has been named ‘Man of the Year 2010’ and bestowed with the ‘Hustle Bear Award’.
Personal Life & Legacy
He is married to Lauren Schiff and resides with his family in Puerto Rico. The couple has two children named Spencer and Preston.
In October 2015, he accused the Federal Bureau of Prisons for inhumanly treating his father, which led to his death in prison.
Peter Schiff has testified before the US Congress twice, in September 2011 and June 2012.
Schiff is also a video blogger on the internet and propagates his views through You Tube and iTunes.
He was against the minimum wage law and said that it was against the interest of the poor and least skilled as it reduced their opportunities of acquiring skills that would make them more employable.
Schiff advocated national sales tax as against personal and corporate income taxes as he believed the latter discouraged work.
He was bullish on gold and believed that gold and silver would protect investors against prolonged decline in the US dollar. He introduced the first 100% physically backed gold / silver accounts integrated with the global debit card system through his Euro Pacific Bank Ltd. He established SchiffGold in 2010, which has the largest gold dealings in the US.
Schiff is one of the few Libertarians who is sceptic about Bitcoins. He understands the value of technology as a payment platform rather than a currency.