Many of my recent consulting clients have mentioned the same feeling of unease about the coming years. Perhaps it is just the general predisposition of my consulting clientele, but they nearly all say things to the effect of "I've always been well prepared, but now I consider myself under-prepared, because I feel like something big is coming." One American client summed it up best when he told me, "I get the impression that I'm living on September of 1929 or November of 1941. Something macro scale is approaching, and I want to be in the right place and to be well-provisioned when it happens."
Certainly, recent international events (Iran's posturing and threats, sectarian strife in Iraq, etc.) are cause for alarm, as is the mountain of debt (both public and private) that is looming. Gold is seen as a refuge in times of war or currency chaos, and the fact that gold and other commodities are soaring is indicative that a growing number of savvy investors see trouble coming--especially for the dollar as a currency unit. Whether it will be just another economic head cold or whether it will be double pneumonia remains to be seen. Similarly, wars and major terrorist attacks are difficult to presage. I can't in good conscience make unfounded predictions. In fact, I cannot say anything with certainty other than that tomorrow will not be like today. The bottom line is that we are living in turbulent times and it is prudent to prepare.