The Power of Eternal Optimism

I'm an eternal optimist...

Nowadays, lots of folks have a pretty dim view of the world... whether it's the future of the stock market, the strength of our economy, or just the world in general. If you ask someone, there's a good chance they'll tell you that things are worse today than they've been in decades.

And I get it. But here's the truth...

The current revolution in health care is on the verge of forever changing how we live and the quality of that life. We're in a better position to fight diseases like cancer and HIV/AIDS.

Lots of us have seen our portfolios hit new highs this year as the stock market has climbed to historic heights.

That doesn't sound too bad to me...

A few years ago, I gave everyone on my team a book called Factfulness by Hans Rosling. It's a fascinating book. It's filled with facts and stories that are short and fun. And it's a book I encourage everyone to read because Rosling really will convince you the world today is a great place to be. It's not all doom and gloom.

In the book, Rosling wrote...

When we are afraid, we do not see clearly. Critical thinking is always difficult, but it's almost impossible when we are scared. There's no room for facts when our minds are occupied by fear.

Of course, not everything is perfect. But overall, our lives today are better than the lives of our parents or grandparents.

That said... these are the times when you need to properly manage your portfolio risk. As I mentioned, investors are sitting on big gains. And if you don't want to give up those gains, there are steps you need to take today.

No matter how good things are, there are always risks we need to manage so we can get past any big bumps in the road.

And right now, my friend Joel Litman is seeing warning signs flashing red. As Joel says, "You don't need to panic. But you do need to prepare."

On September 27, Joel will reveal...

  • Exactly what's coming...
  • The catastrophic losses he expects to hit hundreds of stocks...
  • And the lopsided opportunity this crash will create...

Click here to make sure you don't miss Joel's warning... and your chance to set yourself up for an incredible investing opportunity you're likely missing.

Now, let's dig into some questions... As always, keep sending your comments, questions, and topic suggestions to [email protected]. My team and I really do read every e-mail.

Q: I'm researching a vehicle to tow a small trailer 4,000 to 6,000 pounds. Looking at the Nissan Pathfinder with tow package or Subaru Ascent. Would appreciate any help you can give. – S.H.

A: Hi, S.H. My team's car expert Brady Holt will field this one...

A number of big crossovers like the Pathfinder and Ascent are rated to tow trailers in this 4,000-to-6,000-pound range, but that's generally near their maximum towing capacities.

Other factors can reduce this maximum capacity: how much of the trailer's weight is pushing on the hitch (called the tongue weight), the weight of your car (including passengers and cargo), and the trailer's tongue weight combined with what you're towing (called the gross vehicle weight).

The first important point I'd consider is pinning down more precisely the weight of the trailer you'll be pulling. If your trailer is 4,000 pounds, that should be totally fine for a Pathfinder that can tow 6,000 pounds. If the trailer is 6,000 pounds, that's likely cutting it too close for that same Pathfinder.

Secondly, what sort of towing do you have planned? Is this occasionally moving your boat 10 miles from your house to the nearby lake? Or is it pulling a camping trailer across the country every summer? Also, are steep hills involved? The less frequently and intensively you'll use the trailer, the more comfortable I'd be recommending a lighter-duty vehicle for the job.

As you may have read in my Health & Wealth Bulletin pieces earlier, I advise against overbuying. Lighter-duty SUVs tend to be less expensive, more fuel efficient, more comfortable, and easier to drive in everyday use. Still, you don't want to spend $40,000-plus for an SUV that turns out to be inadequate for your needs. That can lead to unpleasant or even unsafe towing experiences, in addition to premature wear and tear on your new vehicle.

So here's the next question: Are you looking for the best everyday SUV that can also tow sometimes, or the best towing SUV that can also be used every day?

Many excellent big crossover SUVs are rated to tow 5,000 pounds when properly equipped with towing packages, so they could handle a 4,000-pound trailer. I'd even trust them with a 5,000-pound trailer with careful weight distribution and not-super-heavy use (not every weekend, not super-long distances, not up mountains).

But with a 5,000-pound trailer and heavy use, these SUVs are probably too light-duty for your needs. And that's even more so if it turns out to weigh 6,000 pounds. That's when it's time for a heavier-duty SUV.

The other thing I'd consider if your trailer is on the heavy side of your range is a dedicated tow vehicle. If you plan to tow a heavy trailer 1,000 miles a year, it could be overkill to drag around a big, bulky SUV for the other 14,000 miles. If your driveway and budget permit, it might make more sense to have an older SUV or pickup truck whose main job is to tow the trailer, and then you can choose your everyday car based on which one you like most in everyday use.

You can also Google "[x vehicle] towing experience" to find reports from owners with trailers... Most vehicles have their own owner groups online, and you can also find good answers on the website Reddit. With any luck, you'll even find people who've towed your exact same trailer.

What We're Reading...

Here's to our health, wealth, and a great retirement,

Dr. David Eifrig and the Health & Wealth Bulletin Research Team
September 22, 2023