Both the U.S. and Europe are facing a decade of slow growth brought on primarily by the blunders of central banks, noted doomsayer Marc Faber said.
Investors should protect themselves by buying plenty of physical gold and putting it in a secure location, preferably outside the U.S., the author of the Gloom, Boom and Doom newsletter told CNBC.
"If I look at the politicians both in Europe and the U.S., I don't think that prospect (for growth) is very good," he said. "If I also look at the entitlement system and the government expenditures and the fiscal deficits and the debt overhang, I think for the next 10 years we'll have very muted growth in the Western world and standards of living for the average household will continue to decline."
In other words, he said, the next 10 years are likely to be much like the previous decade.
"I think we never really came out of the recession in many different sectors of the economy," Faber said. "If you look back to say 1999 to today, the U.S. as an economy, macroeconomically speaking, is of course much worse off than in 1999—courtesy of the Federal ReserveI may add."
Many prominent economists have joined Faber's dour outlook for the U.S. economy, at least in the short term.
Goldman Sachs has cut its forecast for growth to 1.5 percent for the year, and other parts of the world are experiencing slowdowns, as well.
In such a slow-growth environment, Faber prescribed a diversified mix for portfolios—25 percent to 30 percent in stocks, 20 percent to 30 percent in physical gold—"in a safe deposit box ideally outside the U.S. in various locations" because "I don't trust anyone"—some cash, and up to 30 percent in real estate, particularly in Asia.
"I think it's important in today's very uncertain world to diversify not only in various asset classes...but also the custody of your assets should be in different jurisdictions," he said.
Amid the turmoil surrounding markets, including the Standard & Poor's downgrade of U.S. debt, gridlock in Washington and burgeoning European debt problems, Faber predicted more investors would pull back positions in the capital markets.
"Investors, kind of worldwide, trusted the regulators, they trusted the system and they were enthusiastic about owning equities," he said. "Over the last 10 years, the mood has changed a lot. Investors and individual investors in particular, they don't trust management anymore. They are upset about executive compensation, they're upset about regulators. They think the markets are rigged and they're upset about the ratings agencies.
"A lot of individuals will not came back to the (stock) market and on rebound they will have reduced their positions."