Harry Browne Audio Archives

The Harry Browne Investment and Political Radio Show Archives

This area contains all of Harry Browne’s originally archived investment and political radio shows. Gaps in the dates are shows that are missing or were perhaps repeated from the previous week when Harry Browne was not available.

Please enjoy browsing the directory of shows. It’s best to listen to them in chronological order and they are all very much worth your time:

Harry Browne Investment Show Archive Mirror

There is also a complete compressed archive of them here:

Harry Browne Investment Show Compressed Archive

Those interested in his political show can find them here:

Harry Browne Political Show Archive Mirror

Harry Browne Political Show Compressed Archive

These shows have been mirrored by permission from Pamela Browne, Harry Browne’s widow. The original area where these shows are located is here:

Original Harry Browne Investment Show Archives

About The Investment Radio Show

From 2004-2005 Harry Browne had a once a week radio show where he went over his investment philosophy and strategy called the “Permanent Portfolio”. In addition to explaining why he used his strategy, he also discussed many other areas relating to finance and free-market economics. During the end of the show cycle, Harry Browne had his long time colleague and publisher, John Chandler, join him on the air.

These shows are full of timeless advice but make little reference to the market happenings of the day. As a result, the information in them is just as valid now as when they were first recorded. Most importantly, Harry Browne had a strong grasp of economic history and understood that uncertainty in the markets is the norm, not the exception, so you better have an investment strategy to deal with it.

What is the Permanent Portfolio Concept?

Back in the late 1970′s, Harry Browne and his partners Terry Coxon and John Chandler came up with an investment idea called the “Permanent Portfolio”. The portfolio was designed to weather a wide range of economic conditions (prosperity, inflation, deflation, recession) to protect and grow your money.

The allocations changed slightly through the years mainly to simplify the assets for an individual to implement. The asset allocation is:

25% – Stocks (S&P 500 Index)
25% – Long Term US Treasury Bonds
25% – US Treasury Money Market Fund
25% – Gold

You can read more about this allocation here:

Permanent Portfolio Allocation

The Permanent Portfolio Fund

If you don’t feel comfortable managing your own portfolio, there is a mutual fund called The Permanent Portfolio Fund (Ticker: PRPFX) started in 1981. The fund uses a slightly different allocation from the one above, but the results are similar. The fund was established in the early 1980′s by John Chandler and Terry Coxon and has a long track record of safety and growth:

Permanent Portfolio Mutual Fund

Does the Permanent Portfolio actually work?

Yes! It provides strong growth and powerful diversification against serious losses in the market. In 2008 for instance when the market declined by nearly 40% (worst since 1931) the Permanent Portfolio was up 1-2% for the year.

From 1972-2008 it was able to rack up 9-10% compound annual growth per year with the worst losing  year in 1981 at about 4-6% of portfolio value. Read more about the historical performance here:

Permanent Portfolio Historical Performance

More Background Information on The Permanent Portfolio

The Permanent Portfolio idea was first presented in Harry Browne’s and Terry Coxon’s book Inflation Proofing Your Investments[1981]. The ideas were then refined in Browne’s Why the Best Laid Investment Plans Usually Go Wrong[1987], The Economic Time Bomb[1989] and Fail-Safe Investing[1999, 2003].

These last three books contained essentially the same allocation advice, except the last book recommended that your stock allocation should be an S&P 500 index fund and not an actively managed fund as previously suggested. His 1987 book, Why the Best Laid Investment Plans Usually Go Wrong, is a classic text in my opinion and blows to pieces commonly believed myths in investing. If you can find this book used it would be an excellent addition to your investment library although there are some portions that are out of date today.

If you are interested in the Permanent Portfolio in the latest and greatest form, you should definitely purchase Fail-Safe Investing (This electronic version is the revised 2003 copy. Many of the book versions are from 1999 and are missing his advice on using index funds and other useful pieces of information). Harry Browne considered Fail-Safe as the ultimate culmination of his 40+ years of investment experience. It is a quick read and contains everything you need to know to setup the portfolio.

The 16 Golden Rules of Financial Safety

His last book, Fail-Safe Investing, lays out in very simple terms his 16 Golden Rules of Financial Safety (now 17 rules in his 2003 version of Fail-Safe Investing!) along with the Permanent Portfolio strategy. I think following this investment strategy and the 16 Golden Rules you’d have a hard time losing a large sum of your life savings in the market. Even better, you can grow it safely with low volatility so you can ignore the noise in the news and get on with our life.

Read more about the 16 Golden Rules of Financial Safety here:

16 Golden Rules of Financial Safety

Final Thoughts

If you want a portfolio allocation strategy that is simple and secure then I encourage you to read more about the Permanent Portfolio here:

Topics Covering the Permanent Portfolio Strategy

Also, buy his book Fail-Safe Investing! It’s less than ten bucks and could save you a fortune on your investments:

Fail-Safe Investing

Fail-Safe Investing

10 thoughts on “Harry Browne Audio Archives

  1. Pingback: Hello Random Roger Readers… | Crawling Road

  2. Pingback: What asset class will do best? | Crawling Road

  3. Pingback: Permanent Portfolio - Back to Basics | Crawling Road

  4. Marc Veeneman

    Don’t you think it’s time to remove the mistaken exception (for other than your home) from Rule #7. The basic rule, don’t use leverage, certainly applies to home mortgages as well as any other investment. The past several years of foreclosures and declining real estate prices provides ample proof that this exception was a mistake.

    Leverage always increases risk and is useful only for speculation, certainly not for something as important as your home.

     
  5. craigr

    I actually agree with Browne to a certain degree. Using a mortgage to buy a home is usually the only way most people can afford to buy a house (especially when they are young) and is usually a low risk option if used reasonably.

    Mortgages are not a problem if someone has good credit, is responsible, and has a sensible outlook to what they can afford. The problem over the past many years is that people were using their homes as “investments” instead of what they really are: consumption goods.

    With that said, I don’t like debt and think if one has an option to pay off their mortgage they should.

     
  6. Pingback: Introducing the Permanent Portfolio

  7. Pingback: Introducing the Permanent Portfolio « MoneySense

  8. Myles Uyema

    Just purchased the Kindle version of Fail-Safe Investing, and it turns out it is the 1999 copy! Boo Amazon Boo.

     
  9. craigr

    Myles,

    The books are largely identical. The main difference is he suggested using the S&P 500 index in the later book instead of actively managed funds. But the core advice is the same. Today I recommend using a total stock market fund over the S&P 500 even.

     
  10. Randy

    I always enjoyed the Harry Browne show. And I agree with him that mortgages are the only way to buy a home. It’s too bad that the finance companies ruined so many people by giving unrealistic mortgages to unqualified people

     

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>