With this unprophetic effort, Cassandra's erstwhile economic heir could lose his following among cultist investors. Browne made a name--and fortune--for himself as a contrarian, recommending purchase of gold, silver, Swiss francs, and other so-called hard money vehicles, first in How You Can Profit from the Coming Devaluation (1970) and then in the best-selling You Can Profit from a Monetary Crisis (1974). The author reminds us that anyone who acted on his advice made a bundle. But this time around, there's precious little counsel and hence less reason to suffer Browne's repellent ""realeconomik."" With gold now around $200 an ounce (up from $35) and the Swiss franc 70 percent above its 1970 value, Browne concedes that unfavorable risk/reward ratios bar the buy-and-hold path to investment riches. Overtaken by events, the author offers an elaborate timing strategy that purports to minimize investors' exposure to loss while maximizing their chances for gain. For ""perspective,"" however, Browne starts with a rehash of his thoughts on inflation, the fecklessness of government, UN Free Markets, and the economics of chaos. Next, he assesses investor behavior and surveys available investment opportunities including equities, warrants, and Treasury bills, which he advised avoiding in previous books. The windup sections address portfolio planning and the use of technical indicators like the Federal Reserve Board's discount rate. The whole, however, is appreciably less than the sum of these parts; orthodoxy simply is not Browne's game. The difficulty does not center on his analyses of problems--as simplistically eccentric as most are--but on his solutions, which are long on generalized theory and short on practical substance.