Generational Inputs…

The following is a more indepth version of what I posted earlier this week.

Over the years I have mentioned the book Neil Howe and William Strauss wrote back in 1997 “The Fourth Turning”. Neil Howe wrote a sequel which was published last July called “The Fourth Turning is Here”.

Strauss and Howe divide the 80 year lifespan cycle into Four Turnings. For modern times The First Turning 1946-19 is called an “American High”. The Second Turning 1964-1984 is called the “Awakening”. The Third Turning 1984-2005 is called the “Unravelling”. The Fourth Turning 2005 – 2026?? is called the “Crisis”.

The timing of the next Turning , the New High, is what is now in contention. I believe there are indications that the Fourth Turning may have ended actually in 2022 and the New High has already begun. More discussion on that below.

A new book published last summer written by Jean Twenge, called “Generations” takes a different look at generational work. It still uses the 18 to 22 year generational spans but calculates them on different criteria than Strauss and Howe. It determines the triggering factors based on real data, not the theory that Howe uses.  Of the 518 pages, probably 200 are charts of real data. To me, it allows a real window into generational analysis.

Anyway next I have copied a text that Neil Howe posted on X (Twitter) this week and my response. It has gotten some attention in the last couple of days. You might note, Neil Howe went to work last year for the Hedge Fund forecasting firm that has a big following on Twitter, “HedgeEye” as their Head of Demographics.  They have been a leading a large bearish group on Twitter during the past couple of years. You can look up Neil Howe on Twitter, he and HedgeEye are big promoters of Bearish views on things plus MAGA type promotion.

This is what Neil Howe posted this week:

Yes, the “The Fourth Turning is Here”! But when will it end? What will bring it to a close? And how will it change our lives? This book represents years of brainstorming, research, long hours, and of course the support of my family, friends, colleagues, and team. Available in all formats: 


My response:

Neil, you hit the nail on the head. “The Fourth Turning” when will it end? or maybe when did it start? The Theory is solid, the timing is debatable.

I would guess that a majority of traders and certainly many political strategists believe in the around 80 year lifespan split into four segments that define what goes around, comes around. The Fourth Turning book which you and William Strauss wrote made many of us students of the theory in 1997. Some discussions that I have been involved in over the past 26 years since the original book was written, cite the look back/curve fit nature of the book.

However, traders do not want to miss the High that will come after the turning, likewise Political strategists want to have the right candidate for the coming important “High”President.

Going back to the initial comment, did the Fourth Turning start in 2001 with 9/11 or in 2005 with the Housing Crisis? And when did it end, with Covid in 2020, end of Funny Money in 2022, or at some later date like 2033 after a Civil War.

That is the real debate, did the Hedge Fund crowd miss the first 18 months of a “High” Bull Market, or is there some disaster coming like the Boom and Bust crowd are citing?


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