Silver and Gold as Prepper Investments
Some of you who’ve now been reading Graywolf Survival for a while may remember a quick article I wrote a while back on breakable gold bars which was interesting, but not really practical for most people. I’ve been meaning to come back to the general idea of barter and commodities after SHTF for a while but frankly, I just got sidetracked with finding a job after returning from Afghanistan and spending some time in the Bahamas. I really should sit down someday and come up with a plan of posts to write but whatever.
I’ve seen a lot of stuff out there on buying silver and gold due to the economy tanking and whatnot. A lot of that stuff is pure bullshit just to get you to buy silver and gold from whatever link you happen to be linking on so they can get their commission. So what is the real truth? Should you buy silver or gold to pack away in your bugout bag so you can barter it for whatever other provisions you can’t carry when TEOTWAWKI (The End Of The World As We Know It) happens? Hell, I don’t know; I’m not an investment counselor. But go grab a beer (or whatever your replacement beverage is for nature’s liquid bounty) though and I’ll sling some thoughts at you.
Prepping is all about investment - that’s the whole point. You invest time, money, space, and energy into things in advance of some upcoming emergency or disaster situation. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, due to opportunity cost (I haven’t read the book in that link but it’s hella expensive so it must have a bunch of good stuff about opportunity cost in it – $94 kindle FTW!), when you make one decision, it’s at the expense of all others. The problem is that with prepping, you don’t really know what you should be investing your time and money on because you don’t really know what crap is gonna come. All you can do is learn what you can, make an informed decision, act, rinse, repeat.
Silver, gold and jewel trading has always been a large part of commodity trading ever since ancient man realized that ancient women would sleep with them if they brought them shiny stuff that other ancient women didn’t have. From that, it became so popular that gold became the standard of bartering.
The problem with gold, is that it’s expensive. Real expensive, as you can see from the Breakable Gold Bars article I mentioned. That’s great if you’re storing it in a bank vault. Not so great if you’re carrying it around for daily use. It’s a bit difficult to shave off a tiny amount to buy a loaf of bread. Kinda like walking into a dollar store with $1,000 bills. Unless you’re buying a large item or they’re willing to make change somehow, you may have no choice but to overpay.
Silver, however is a bit easier to carry. At current prices, gold is about $1,200 per ounce and silver is $20 as of the time of this article. For all you math-deprived individuals, that means that a chunk gold to buy something will weigh about 1/60th of the same amount of silver. Sounds good on the surface but if you were looking to buy something like a chicken, assuming they’re about $5 for argument’s sake, you’d have to buy 280 of them for an ounce of gold or just 4 or 5 for an ounce of silver. In other words, a chicken is 1/240th of an ounce of gold and 1/4 of an ounce of silver. A pocketful of gold my ass.
Enough of that. Now my head hurts from math and I’m hungry. Time for another drink.
So why are we talking about all this anyway? If you’ve decided to invest in precious metals, buying silver may actually be a smarter choice than gold for practicality. If so, you can head to a local jewelry or pawn shop and get some or a website like Buysilvercoins.com (which has several ways to buy silver online or IRL (In Real Life for all you l4m3rs). If you’d like to go entirely the other direction, platinum or some other pseudo-unobtanium may be what you’re looking for to hold as much value in as little space as possible but it’s probably not the best choice for preppers.
Now, the big question is: should you be buying gold and silver in case SHTF? In short: yes. Kind of.
Well, honestly, I think that a lot of preppers out there buy entirely too much gold and silver. As I keep trying to get across, you need balance in your life. If you’re only worried about the end of society then gold and silver may be a good bet. The reality of the situation is that every dollar you invest in gold and silver (bullion, coins, jewels, whatever), is a dollar you can’t invest in something else like land, food, water, school, etc.
What happens if TEOTWAWKI doesn’t come for 32 years? Or 320? Gold and silver do fairly well in most economic conditions, especially when they’re crap, but don’t do as well in other times compared to other investments. For all you know, even if you’re concerned about some impending end of your way of life, TEOTWAWKI could come in 32 years and you could be hit by a bus in 31.
If you’re going to invest, you have to consider not only SHTF but all the time before that. By investing wisely, you’ll have not only a better life for the next XXX years, you’ll be better off if SHTF. Just don’t forget that if society does collapse, all the money in your portfolios and in your digital bank accounts will instantly become worthless. Just like if Justin Bieber becomes king of the US and declares all gold worthless, whatever investment in those assets may not pan out. This goes the same for land, learning, food – whatever. An investment only pays off when you sell it. Unless it’s a Harley. Then it pays off every time you ride it. Or a girl sees you ride it.
So what does all this rambling boil down to? In my limited perception of what is and what will be, my personal thoughts are that you should be investing in gold and silver, as both a SHTF solution and as investments in themselves. You should also be investing smartly in other investments such as stocks and bonds in the chance (the most likely chance) that shit isn’t gonna hit the fan in the next decade or so that would collapse society to the point that we’d be back to a full barter system. I also believe that in a TEOTWAWKI scenario, silver is probably a better choice than gold due to its utility but may or may not perform as well in the meantime.
Basically, invest with all of your future in mind – not just the end of the world. Also, diversify your positions in whatever you’re investing because you don’t know what’s going to happen with the market. Then keep in mind the non-trade utility (such as storage, protection, etc) of whatever your investments are in several different SHTF and non-SHTF scenarios.
But what percentage of your disposable income should you be putting in gold/ siver/ land/ school/ learning/ ammo/ alcohol/ medicine/ widgets? That’s a good question. Just make sure you don’t put all your eggs in one basket – even if they’re gold.