Where should I put my money?

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Not car related, hope that’s okay. I feel I’ll get some interesting and noteworthy responses here.

Where should I be putting my money? I just have a checking account at the moment, with not too much money to my name. I’ve considered putting it in a savings or money market account to have at least SOMETHING to fight inflation. My father says there’s really no point because interest rates are so low. What do you guys do, or recommend?

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22 COMMENTS

  1. I keep telling people that saving money is a fool’s errand.
    It is not money…It is counterfeited currency that looses value.
    The terrorists that run the global counterfeit rackets (they actually have everyone refer to them as “Bankers”…Isn’t that bizarre? WoW! What power they must feel, eh?) want you to spend the counterfeit and not to save it. Remember…The counterfeit is just a future claim on wealth and not wealth itself.

  2. As others here have pointed out firearms & ammunition (good quality firearms that are well cared for) hold their value very well. Mil spec ammo will last for decades. I’ve fired pre-WW II .30 M2 ball (30-06) and .45 ACP without a misfire. Just keep it in a cool, dry place preferably sealed in metal ammo cans. Pick your calibers based on popularity. Oddball calibers like 6.5 X 57 are less desirable than something ubiquitous like .223 / 5.56 NATO. In recent months anyone sitting on a pile of .223 or even .22 LR could have profited handsomely from the panic buyers. Reloading equipment and supplies are also a good bet. Here again you want good quality equipment in common calibers.

    Candles, oil lamps and lamp oil are always good to have on hand. Should your region experience an interruption in power delivery, you won’t be sitting in the dark. A good source for cheap lamps and candles are yard sales and garage sales. Batteries and good quality LED flashlights are another great investment. Modern alkaline batteries have a long shelf life if stored properly. Modern NiMH rechargeable batteries and a portable solar charger would also be a good “investment.” A good emergency radio is another thing you should consider. Check out the Eton Scorpion radio. It’s a conventional AM/FM rig with weather band. It has a built in hand crank generator, solar panel, rechargeable batter, flashlight, bottle opener and USB charger output in a ruggedized compact case with built in karabiner.

    Consider buying a good quality shelf type dehydrator (the Excalibur comes to mind). Do a little research (youtube is a good place to start) on food dehydration and storage. Buy frozen vegetables on sale, dehydrate them and store them in Mason jars or Mylar bags with O2 absorbers. They will keep for years. You can dehydrate all sorts of food items and hedge against inflation without the energy and space requirements of freezing.

    Tools are another excellent store of value. Stick with good quality tools and build a comprehensive tool set that will allow you to repair and maintain practically everything you deal with in your life from electrical systems, automobiles, carpentry, plumbing and anything that interests you. Look for tools with lifetime warranties from stable retailers. I have often found Craftsman tools at yard sales that were broken, took them back to Sears and got a new one. That really multiplies your buying power.

    Build a “Bug Out Bag” or depending on your situation, a Bug In Bag for your vehicle. A good quality pack, like Maxpedition, loaded with the essentials for getting you home or to an alternate location, should a SHTF event occur could mean the difference between being alive and relatively comfortable and being absolutely miserable for the last few days or hours of your life. There’s a lot of good info at SurvivalBlog on this and a lot of different opinions of what you need to carry. It’s really up to your individual taste, needs and skill set though. But it’s a great feeling to always have enough stuff with you, to know you can make it on your own for at least three days.

    Medical and first aid supplies are another good area to maintain a decent stock in. I read that during the breakdown in Greece you couldn’t buy aspirin. Having some basic medical supplies and equipment along with first aid training is an excellent investment of your time and money. Fire extiguishers (and knowing how to us them, look up PASS) are another good item to invest in. Water filtration is another essential. Look at the Berkey systems. Good health hinges on clean water.

    As SojournerMoon pointed out, inflation is the disease and increased prices are but one symptom. Any manufactured goods will be affected by this, so whatever you buy today at current prices will just about be guaranteed to cost more next year based on Fed policy. Just purchase a little bit each payday and before you know it, you’ll be light years ahead of your friends and neighbors. Invest in your skills and knowledge base. The most valuable asset you have is your mind. If the worst happens, you could very well be the go to guy in your sphere of influence. There’s no better investment than good relations with those around you. Being honest, upright and nice is more valuable than diamonds and gold and doesn’t cost you a cent.

    • I like the craftsman tools idea, and the lifetime warranty idea. So much excellent advice and ideas here. I will check out the Eton Scorpion radio, but I do think for my current position I’d be best suited to stock up on tools and medical supplies. Unfortunately I can’t do many of these things because I don’t own the house I live in and live, more or less, in a city.

      Again, thanks for the reply, I’ll save this information for when I’m more prepared for, preparation itself.

  3. Guest Poster:

    I’m no investment expert, but looking at the guys who are, and who correctly predicted the current mess (and the past several for decades now), I’d say your best bet is to take a look at what they are doing right now with their money. Forgive me as I now also provide some explanation along with the ideas.

    I’d recommend checking out guys like Peter Schiff, Richard Maybury, and other Austrian Economics gurus. They give specific as well as more general advice and tend to have a record that backs up their skill more so than most.

    Speaking VERY generally, if you’re more worried about a hedge against inflation, you’re probably better off converting your dollars into tangible assets that hold their value or that tend to rise.

    The commonly government-reported rate of inflation is actually not very accurate as it’s a heavily manipulated measurement by government economists. It is essentially calculated by adding up the total cost of a large variety of products and services and calculating the difference (increase or decrease) periodically. The main one you hear about is the Consumer Price Index.

    The first problem is that they don’t keep the goods and services consistent. It used to be that, for example, prime cuts of meat were used. Now they use ground beef instead. The logic was that prime cuts were getting too expensive, so people would logically choose cheaper cuts of meat. Obviously, though, you’re comparing apples to oranges, so it artificially lowers the CPI rate of increase. It’s not always the same “basket of goods” from period to period.

    The second problem is that, properly defined, price increases on goods and services is not the same as inflation. Inflation is most accurately defined as the rate of increase in the money supply on the market. In other words, how many dollar bills are floating around in circulation. Price is only an indirect reflection of this. If, for example, you take an economy that has only $100 in circulation at any one time and all goods and services can be purchased by some small fraction of that total. What would happen if, over night, this money supply was doubled to $200 floating around. Prices would quickly double in response because no new goods and services were suddenly made available over night. It was only the number of dollars floating around that was increased. Double the dollars and you’ll halve their value.

    This is a gross oversimplification, admittedly, but it serves the point. Now imagine that instead of the money supply being doubled only one time, it is being constantly expanded at an incredible rate by the government (more specifically, the Federal Reserve, which is a para-governmental body). The ripple effect to prices takes a lot of time to sort out and it affects different parts of the market differently.

    Also, it matters very much how this money enters the economy. It’s not given to all citizens equally to spend, but rather is given to specially favored corporations (mostly banks and Wall Street) essentially as free money. Whoever gets to spend it first, gets to spend it when the dollar’s value is still relatively high. As these new dollars trickle out into the economy, the impact of this monetary inflation takes effect and each dollar loses more and more value. By the time it gets to you or me, it’s lost most of its momentum. All the while, more and more dollars are being pumped from on top into the economy without anything to back them up of substance, so everyone’s dollars continue to plummet in value.

    So that’s the real problem with inflation, prices rising are a symptom of inflation, not a way to measure inflation itself. It’s like trying to measure how strong an earthquake was by how many buildings it knocked down rather than directly measuring the earthquake.

    The other catch is that the Fed is actively hiding how much the money supply has been inflated. We have some indirect measurements, but the actual measures have been hidden from the public, intentionally.

    Lastly, because the economy, despite doing so poorly for the past 6 years (and pretty dang bad for the past 12), is being actively propped up by record rates of “money printing” (read that as inflation of the money supply), the Fed cannot back off now. If it were to significantly reduce the rate of “stimulus” to the economy, it would collapse. But if it continues to print money, the dollar will continue to lose value and the economy would collapse. There is no clear way out of this.

    So how does this relate to your initial question about “where should I be putting my money?” Given that we can reasonably predict that the dollar will collapse one way or the other, though there’s no way to accurately predict when, it seems most logical to get your “money” out of “dollars” and into something sheltered from inflation. Thus my suggestion to get into tangible assets.

    The most obvious of these are gold, silver, and other precious metals. That is, indeed, what I see most commonly recommended by the Austrian Economist/Investors, and even with the minor hiccup in gold prices recently, they are WAY ahead on that recommendation. DO NOT consider this an “investment,” though, as all you are really doing is side-stepping inflation. You’re money is still just sitting there doing nothing. Instead of stuffing dollar bills into a mattress, you are stuffing gold and silver coins into the mattress. Some suggest splitting the money up between safe keeping in actual precious metals and in precious metals mining stocks. Ron Paul has done this and has made a killing in the market. The risk here is that if the market collapses, as it’s likely to do at some point, you’ll possibly lose a lot of your invested money even in mining companies and interests.

    Other possibilities include collectibles expected to rise in value, though it’s even harder to predict what will rise and fall in the future there than it is in the stock market because if the economy collapses, how many people are going to be buying baseball cards and muscle cars? Some see investing in land/property (not houses) as a viable option, and it may be. Land is always useful to someone, though you’re stuck trying to figure out what the “right” plots of land will be in the future and what will be more desirable then than it is now.

    For the more cynical, you could look at investing in military/defense company stocks. It’s one of the few certainties in this country that we will be continually getting into wars with other nations for no good reason. The only people that win in this situation are the people who supply the weapons and material to the war. It may be blood money, but someone’s going to profit off of it. Might as well be a good guy.

    Again, I’m not an investment or financial advisor, so take everything I said with a grain of salt. I’m not even an economist. Just a schmuck with an internet connection and a broad range of interests. Do your own research and reading. I think those guys I mentioned above are a pretty good start. Schiff has some good books for basic understanding of economics, and Maybury has a whole series of “Uncle Eric” books that give a broad overview of economics and history to better understand stuff like what I (poorly) described above and much more. It’s helpful to know how we got here in order to see where we might be going next.

    Good luck!

    • Seems like great advice to me, and I appreciate it. General consensus seems to be that tangibles are the way to go. I will be keeping this in mind over the next few years as I accumulate a bit more. And I’m following Peter Schiff now.
      Sucks, because I’ve been raised as a saver, I feel wrong doing frivolous spending, but it seems those principles have less benefit in today’s world. Maybe I will end up buying a house then.

      I wasn’t signed in when I asked this question, thanks moon, and everyone.

  4. Funny you should ask. We’ve been wondering the same thing (wife and I). The other day when I was talking to Eric on the phone I brought up precious metals. He brought up guns/ammo/food/supplies.

    • I’ve read that In Argentina some people buy cars to try to escape the effects of inflation, and that many people down there wish they would have bought gold or silver ahead of time.

      I like the idea of spending your money to increase your income, a good way for some might be to start up a side job, a small one for when or if the main one goes so you’re not completely without an income.

      Looking at guns and ammo prices and availability I wouldn’t want to have to buy now, but as with PM’s, it’s said that it’s not a good idea to be without if you have none. And a lot of financial writers are saying now is the time to buy PM’s, and a lot of gun guys are saying now’s not the time to be without one.

      What little money I have is going to a dentist, he in turn is giving it to his assistant, and she is buying tile to replace the carpet that keeps getting wet in her basement from all the heavy rains we’ve been getting.
      I told the dentist I was going to spend the money on a motorcycle (a KLR perhaps?) He said, “Oh, I’m sorry.”
      I told him, “No, that’s ok. It’s a fair trade.”
      It still hurts though. Not getting the KLR that is.
      I’m not sure if the tile is a good purchase or not though, for her.

      I was on Craigslist looking in the garden section and noticed how cheap ducks, chickens, pigs and cows were selling for vs. how much I pay in the grocery store. …Wish I had a farm.

      Some people are talking up those 3-D printers and what you can do with one. That might be useful to have, but then I read there’s some guys coming out with a very small and inexpensive CNC machine. One of those might really be useful! Especially if you could find a way to turn a buck with one.

      On the small side of the scale, I followed eric’s advise and bought a couple extra oil filters and some oil.

      • I don’t know about the tile. If her basement keeps getting flooded I’d invest in a battery powered sump pump and a generator. Also, I’d forget about tile and get the concrete acid stained (I’ve been doing it on concrete garden casts for a bit now). Can’t go wrong with earl filters and flewd too! We usually keep enough supplies on hand to keep everything we own running for a couple years. Matter of fack I’m going to get more filters and earl this weekend.

        • dom wrote, “We usually keep enough supplies on hand to keep everything we own running for a couple years.”

          …I’m so far behind.
          On the bright side, I now have a new goal.

      • Morning, Downshift!

        Hey, tell your friend that before she puts down any flooring, find/fix the water problem. If the basement leaks, grouted tile will not last long, either. I’d advise (having dealt with leaky basements):

        * Make sure all downspouts are directing water at least eight feet away from the foundation walls of the house.
        * Make sure the slope of the earth surrounding the immediate perimeter of the house is directing rainwater away from the house and not toward it.

        Are the walls seeping? Or is the water coming up from the floor?

        If it’s coming in from the walls, it may be necessary to dig up the ground around the outside of the house and re-do the water barrier (black tar coating, etc.)

        If it’s coming up from the floor, the water table may be too high – and sump pump might be the solution.

        If it’s just seeping a bit (especially block walls) because of outside drainage issues, you might be able to get off easy by redirecting the drain spouts away from the house, etc., as per above – and then coating the walls (inside) with this product: http://www.amesresearch.com/bluemax.htm

        It’s the shit (as they say).

          • Interesting. I have one spot that I haven’t been able to stop by conventional means. It only seeps in the worst weather and then goes directly to the floor drain so I stopped fighting it when I got it down to this point. Something like this blue max might kill it once and for all.

    • dom, if you think about a scenario where TSHTF, inside the first week the main things everyone will want will be water, food, energy(gasoline, diesel, propane, etc. electricity by some means)ammo, guns and transportation, not necessarily in that order. No matter what, I think one of the most wanted items will be transportation and the fuel to do so. Travel, of many types, will be of utmost importance somewhere in this scenario. Maybe soon or later on, transportation is going to be very important, the very thing that will lead you to all the other necessities.

      • What are you saying, Eightsouthman? I need to get a donkey,… or I need to move to that place where all they use to get around on is donkey’s?

        I may just start calling my truck, donkey.
        Or maybe I should use that name for my bike?
        Donkey-bike?
        Bike-donkey?
        Bonkey?
        Bonkey, don’t die on me on my way home.

        • Downshift, bonkey, I like it. Leave grazing in the yard and fueled up for tomorrows wanderings. If there are things you desire you don’t have, then obviously being able to go places and contact people is a big plus, especially when you have something to transport you besides your rubber heels. I can sure think of things a lot worse to have than a 4 legged beast of burden. A mule would be ideal for people with plenty of grazing or a horse for those who already have tack…and that can be used on the mule as well. That big tank of fuel you have is going to be quite the bargaining chip as will whatever you have to use it in. It makes me want to have a propane kit around I could stick on a vehicle since I rarely keep any gasoline of any amount, don’t always have a tank of diesel and usually have an extra tank of propane. And if you need to roam, a good old pickup you can put a few people in would be great since you want to go with a not so noticeable security detail. Big guns, plenty of ammo and people who are competent to use such as a huge advantage when it comes to bartering. If you go asking, you’ll find. If you go taking, you’ll find a hostile reception. I’ll go with my hand out and a big stick to protect it. I think most people would do the same. Bonkey, just a few more miles and we’ll both be good, come on now, giddyup.

    • All good suggestions by Eric. The bottom line is you can’t EAT gold but you can certainly force feed someone lead if they try to steal your food. Definitely fall on the side of self-sufficiency with stores to keep you alive while the rampaging mobs go looting and murdering. The further from the metro areas the better.

      • “You Can’t Eat Gold!”

        Seems to be the mantra of the typical public school retard – but they can’t process:

        “You Can’t Eat Federal Reserve Notes!”

        They go all stupid looking on you.

        Yes…Rapid Onset Lead Poisoning is a bitch.

      • MoT, amen. Before the internet I was using my Regional Buyers Guide to try to find an obscure part. I have no luck so I call the factory that makes it. I speak with a guy who says “We only sell to dealers”. I replied that I couldn’t find a dealer. He asks me where I live and I tell him so he starts naming dealers. He asked How far from Houston are you? Oh, 450 M or so. Ok, how far from Dallas are you? Oh, 300M thereabouts. Well, he says, how far from Amarillo are you? Oh, about 300M. El Paso? 490M. He laughed and said, Damn, you’re 300 miles from anywhere. I said he was correct. He said just give me your name and address and a credit card number and I’ll send it to you. Ok, mighty fine. My bugout bag is full of loaded mags. My emergency supplies are walking around grazing. My emergency vehicle is my tractor. My water, straight from the well and a tank for the cattle and hogs. In case someone wants any of it, I’ll let my finger do the talking. Too old to run, too damned stubborn to hide. I’d rather shoot sitting down anyway.

        • Funny. Having lived in Midland/Odessa for ages the old joke was that if you wanted to “go anywhere”, meaning Dallas or Austin for example, you’d have to drive at least five hours to get there. The other saying I’ve heard around here when I moved to this place back in the early 70’s was, “We can order it for you”…. One of these days I won’t feel compelled to return and I’m longing for it every waking moment.

          • Yeah, but that was oilfield driving, it would be 7 hours for anybody else. Here’s to hoping you can leave sooner rather than later.

          • The old “we can order it for you” is my mantra I guess. The first time I saw O Brother Where Art Thou? I nearly fell out when the guy at the store said he could order Dapper Dan, be here in two weeks. O Brother, I feel your pain.

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