Is Bitcoin the new gold?

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I’ve always avoided giving financial advice. Not my job and just too much responsibility.

When it comes to such a thing, I just stick to what I know well which is economic collapse. It’s what I went through and it’s what I’ve researched over the years.

When it comes to an economic collapse there are a few basic points to keep in mind.

When everything is going to hell, you can count on banks screwing you to save themselves. Closed doors and a “Me speako no English” sign on it… in New York City. Frozen accounts, conversion to new currencies worth a fraction of what the original one was worth.

Precious metals provide a hedge against hyperinflation or full economic collapse. They are an established commodity over thousands of years, accepted as something that holds intrinsic value. IT doesn’t matter if it’s just a chunk of metal. In our minds, and now for thousands of years, “its worth its weight in gold”. And oil is worth its weight in oil, so are cereals, beans and so on.

And then there’s bitcoin. A complex cryptocurrency which most people don’t even fully understand what it is. The only way to understand more is to spend several hours, maybe several days reading up. What’s important to understand is that Bitcoin is a commodity. The best way to describe it would be the digital gold of the internet era.

No, its not gold, nor is it silver. The piece silver in my pocket, a 1964 Kennedy half dollar, is material, tangible, but that doesn’t mean Bitcoin isn’t valuable as well. What it lacks in tangible peace of mind it has in liquidity. Its easy to move around, access and sell all over the world. Its not controlled by anyone, no government. For Bitcoin you’ll need a Bitcoin wallet. Which one?  I’m not affiliated in any way to any of them and cant recommend a specific one. Just look online and go for the one with the best reputation.

When asked for financial advice I’ve always kept a pretty conservative position. Diversify, some cash is important, very important actually. Some money in the bank, some money in a bank in a different country, some precious metals, investing in reliable stocks, investing in good real estate. And yes, putting some money in Bitcoin.

Bitcoin has been going up non stop this year. Will it stop and drop? Probably. Will it go up even more in the long run, maybe a LOT more? I think that’s very likely. While its digital nature means there’s always the risk of hacking or other tech related problems, its ability to be moved around, the market for it, easily converted to different currencies and increased acceptance are advantages worth noticing.

FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”

SurvivalRing fundraiser time — Updated

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SurvivalRing Radio has been shut down for the time being (mentioned this last Friday). The main SurvivalRing.org site and the SurvivalRingRadio.com websites will remain online…just no upcoming podcasts or shows for the time beings. We’ll call our “Hiatus for the next few months. Focus on family and career (and health) for now….It’s all about the […]

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Stocks During the Economic Collapse of Argentina?

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Dear Ferfal,

I think I’ve read every blog post you’ve ever written. Long time fan. Thank you so much for sharing your experience and wisdom with everyone.

The Dow Jones just hit 20,000! I have a question about what the stock market is like when TSHTF. Like most Americans, I “own” stocks through my retirement plan. If inflation goes really high, is a stock like a gold ring that doesn’t have value until you sell it (and therefore increases with inflation), or will stocks kind of stay the same price, and therefore lose tremendous value? What happened in Argentina?

And I want to say that you have actually changed my life. I live in a very safe place, the kind of place where people still can leave their front door unlocked. Which I sometimes do when I go next door (on the other side of the porch), but I’ve made it a habit to always lock the door behind me when I come inside. If I come home and someone is inside, I can run away. But nobody’s coming in when I’m home unless I let them in (not too many ways out except the front door). Anyway, I think it’s a good habit, and I think I’m better prepared for what’s coming thanks to you.

Best Wishes,

-Adam

Hello Adam,

Thanks for being a long time reader. I’m glad to know I helped make your life a bit safer! These are all little things we do, habits and strategies that start building up as our mindset changes.

I see survivalism, at least the practical version of it that I call modern survivalism, as a lifestyle in which practical decisions are made keeping in mind the best possible outcome in a worst case scenario. Sounds paranoid but it’s not. If doing one thing instead of another improves my odds and quality of life (better, safer, more peace of mind) then it is the one that provides the most strategic advantages from a tactical point of view. From the items in your EDC, the clothes you wear, the car you drive and the place where you live.

Regarding the stock market in Argentina during the crisis, here yet again we see that common assumptions and what actually ends up happening during an economic collapse have little in common.

Of course, the stock market has collapsed in the past and such a possibility is something to keep in mind, but we must remember than these situations are pretty complex, both in causes and effect. It is crucial to fully understand the former to correctly predict the latter.

Here is where we must ask ourselves, what caused the collapse in the first place? In the case of Argentina it was a bank run followed by a devaluation. The knowledge of an impending devaluation and rumours of accounts being frozen obviously triggered such bank run. If the same had happened for example with stocks, rumours of a bubble, followed by sharp sales and loss of value the story would have been different. The chart below reflects the Merval, the most important index of the Buenos Aires Stock Exchange.

We clearly see a big drop as expected at the time of the economic collapse in December 2001, but then as time goes by it starts going up, even as the Peso goes down, why? Well, the price is now in Pesos no longer pegged to the dollar, but even more important is that stocks represented something physical to own, a part of a company (even a struggling one!). Even if people suffered it often occurred that companies did well eventually. The common saying in Argentina years after the crisis about “its great that the economy is doing much better. Too bad we don’t get to see any of it” reflects just that. With a 25% inflation per year anything that held its value was better than the Peso. Real estate, US Dollars and yes also stocks.

I would say that looking at it from a historical perspective, good time-proven stocks tend to do well on the long run. High risk ones are more of a question mark. It sure isn’t a chunk of gold or silver in your hand, but the chances of it being worth only the paper they are printed on and the company going belly up isnt as high if you invest wisely. As always, don’t keep all your eggs in one basket and so on.

FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

My thoughts on Dave Ramsey

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Ferfal,

Good Afternoon what are your thoughts on Dave Ramsey’s plan for

getting out of debt as a preparation for Economic problems? Are you

familiar with it? I’ve never heard you mention him, albeit you

certainly talk about having cash saved up. I think if everyone had

their debt paid off the extra income would certainly help absorb some

inflation. Give options anyway.

-A

.

I very much like Dave Ramsey and recommend his book “The Total Money Makeover”. I like how he recommends staying out of debt, having a tight budget and living below your means. His advice regarding not buying new cars or taking leases is spot on. Buy your car cash. If you can’t, you certainly shouldn’t go into debt for it.

The only point I don’t agree with him is gold.

Dave calls gold a “lousy” investment and mentions the poor returns compared to other investments. That much is true, gold is a lousy investment but that’s because gold isn’t an investment at all. Gold is a commodity. Investments generate money for you, think interests or a property you put up for rent. Buying and selling gold won’t make you much money. You’re more likely to lose some given premiums and shipping. But for an economic collapse? Oh yes, that’s different. When something terrible happens and the dollar, Euro or whatever fiat currency starts devaluating at double digit rate per week, gold will hold its own and then some. In reality it’s just keeping its true value, plus the higher than normal premium due to market interest as an economic shelter.

At one point Dave says that a pair of blue jeans or a tank of gas are “very valuable”, but not gold coins and that canned soup “would have been a better hedged against a failed economy”. As someone that actually went through an economic collapse and has studied failed economies elsewhere around the world for years, I can tell you this just isn’t true. I’ve haggled and bought two pairs of very nice jeans at a black market in Buenos Aires for a fraction of the cost of a similar quality pair in USA or Europe. After the collapse, the business of buying and selling gold went up 500% in Argentina. Gold became so valuable it became a premium target for pickpockets and burglars, so much that its still just impossible to go around town with any visible gold jewellery.

Gold is not an investment. It is a commodity considered valuable throughout history, which goes up and down in price but overall remains a globally recognized form of wealth.

Besides, as someone that dealt with an economic collapse first hand I can assure you is that you can’t grab any other asset or investment, throw it in your pocket and make a run for the airport while the country falls apart around you.

Then again, this is why you take advice regarding economic collapse from me rather than Dave Ramsey! 😉

FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

Gold, Rolex and Cash after SHTF

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File:Gold Bars.jpg

Hi

I read the portion of your site devoted to the Rolex watch and the supposed value of the watch.

For the last so many decades I have been dealing in vintage watches.

Couple of points. It’s a ladies watch and ladies watches are much less in demand on the resale market than men’s watches are.

Also, there is no set price for vintage watches. It’s kind of what you can get. It’s not the stock market where the prices are posted for anyone to see.

Also, Rolex are a mass produced watch. Replicas are very good and not many people can spot the difference unless they have some experience in the field.

Best thing to have for emergency is gold. Bullion gold. Such as Maple Leaf coins or some other 999+ gold coin. Also, one should buy bullion gold coins in a minimum of 1/4 ounce size. Smaller than that there is a premium that the buyer never never gets back when they sell to a dealer.

Gold, as you well know is a publicly traded commodity with published, both print and on the net, prices for buying and selling.

Preppers are a funny bunch. Lot of silly ideas and full of conspiracies and fantasies about how they will cope/live in a difficult environment that they foresee coming our way.

They may be right about the future but I suspect few of them are prepared.

Btw, I have purchased your book and read it at least twice.

Be smart and lucky amigo.

All the best.

-James

.

Thanks James, you bring up some excellent points.

As I said before it all comes down to how much you’re paying for it. There’s always a price. A buying price. A selling price (which usually offends those on the other side of the counter when they are the ones doing the selling) and there’s a price just too good to walk away from.

I would be very cautious about buying anything I don’t know well, for example in my case watches. I have a pretty good idea of what guns cost. I know a Colt Single Action Army has a certain value that no gunstore will refuse to pay for given the possible resale value, so I have a pretty good idea of what the “too good” price is. As you say though, it is better if you have a fixed, unbiased price for the specific item so that’s why gold and silver are so appealing. There’s no debate regarding their given price each day. Then again, there’s even less of a debate when it comes to a wad of cash. A couple thousand dollars in 100 USd bills is still pretty compact, and you don’t need to sell it fist to use it as you would with gold or silver. This is why the first savings you put aside for a rainy day, those should be hard cash.

“But cash is useless during an economic collapse”. No, no its not. Especially during the first few days and weeks, it may lose its value but it does so slowly. At the same time the shortage of cash, in spite of the economic collapse, creates an environment where cash is king. During this first period of time, cash gives you leverage even if it loses value. In the case of a strong currency like the USD, its even less likely that it will become worthless or lose significant value overnight.

Then yes, if you want to put aside something “economic collapse proof”, that’s when you go into precious metals.

FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

Survival… Rolex?

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Hi Fernando,

Whats your experience with rolex watch?  Will it hold value in SHTF?  Decrease, increase?
If I remember correctly, you mention in your first book, but I am traveling and do not have it with me to look up what you said about it.
I have some savings which I am using to purchase precious metal coins. However, in one of the shops, I came across a (genuine) 18k gold ladies oyster perpetual president made in the early 80’s for US $3,800 and it got me to thinking.
1) It is my understanding is that I could walk into any major city in the world and be able to convert it easily into cash.
 
In your experience, would that be accurate?
I am always on the go—traveling somewhere—both around the US and international.  I like the concept of a rolex because its subtle.  It is seen as a personal item and would never get counted towards the $10K cash limit.
Since it is an older model, if anyone ever asks about it, I will say it belonged to my grandmother and was passed down to me.
We have problems now in the US with police officers confiscating (stealing) your cash and monetary instruments claiming its suspicious for “drugs” even if you have committed no crime and have never touched a single drug in your life.
As opposed to bullion, it is highly unlikely that a rolex worn on your wrist would ever be confiscated by police or customs.
Other questions/concerns:
2) The scrap value of the gold in the watch is only about US $1200 compared to its asking price of $3,800.  In terms of holding its value, is it better to stick to bullion coins? Or would it be reasonable to expect that a genuine gold Rolex would hold/increase its value in bad times?  
3)  I am a single female and usually solo.  How much danger am I putting myself in by having and wearing a gold rolex? 
I am automatically on “yellow” alert whenever in public, and practice situational awareness at a level much higher than most.
For the time being, I’m sticking to “1st world” countries, although who knows? That could change.
I have done a lot of internet research about this model of watch and the price. Retail price for the same or similar watch in the US right now is between $7,000-$12,000.  This caused me to be suspicious of the seller, so I went back and examined the watch closely with gem magnifier, and it is definitely authentic.
I asked the shop owner why this piece is priced so low.  He said that most of the merchandise are things he purchased and re-sells.  But that this particular piece he is doing on consignment for a friend and she needs the $$.
He confirmed everything I had researched online about how, in the USA, this watch would sell for $7,000 +;
He said that here in Canada (quebec), there just aren’t many buyers for rolex because Canadians don’t have money like Americans do.  And that most of his rolex customers are actually Americans who come over the border to make purchases.
Thank you so much for everything you do!  Love your stuff, and Im just bummed that I didnt bring your book with me!
Angela

Hello Angela,

In most countries that I’ve been to form USA to Argentina and here in Europe, the advertising seems to be the same: “We buy your gold, silver, diamonds and Rolex”.

You have to keep it mind though that the selling price is nothing like the buying price. In general you are lucky to get half of what a potential customer is willing to pay once the dealer flips the watch. Now if you can get it yourself for such a low price then you could probably sell it elsewhere without losing money or maybe even making some on top.

In general yes, Rolex do hold their value pretty well, same as quality jewellery. The trick is knowing your trade, knowing how to avoid counterfeit items, and of course avoiding the ridiculously low offers you come across sometimes and sticking to serious people.

I was talking with a jeweller today and he was showing me how to grade diamonds, which imperfections are acceptable and which are not. Its all very interesting stuff. Again, the selling price is often not as good as the buying one so you do lose some, but Rolex watches hold on nicely. The nice thing about bullion is that market price is fixed so there’s less room for excuses. Try talking with the shop owner. Ask him, honestly, how much would be pay for a similar item if he was buying so as to get a reasonable profit margin himself. That will give you somewhat of an idea of how much you can get for it.

So, answering your questions.

1)Yes, in most city centers around the world you will be able to sell your Rolex for good money. Some dealers may haggle worse than others but you will walk out with a wad of cash. The trick is buying a quality item, paying as little for it as possible and then asking around to get a good deal when it’s time to sell.

2)For protecting money, I think precious metals is the way to go because as I said before, it has a given market price and there isn’t much to debate about. Pure gold is just that. Watches, antiques and even numismatic coins have a certain value as well and they may well be good investments and ways of moving around a lot of cash. I doubt the average TSA agent knows what a Mercury Dime 1916 D is, but the thing is worth $135,000 in  MS67 condition. Having said that, its not as reliable in terms of knowing the specific price as checking the daily given value of gold and silver. The same coin can be worth $100, or $100.000 depending on its grade, and the difference between Fine condition or Very Fine condition can be hard to tell. Even experts may have a difference of opinion. This kind of problem doesn’t exist with precious metals.

3)I would say the risk is pretty high. In a place like Argentina its downright suicidal. I’m not exactly a “soft target”, yet for some time I stopped wearing my gold wedding ring, replaced it for a silver one like lots of other people did back in the day. Now in first world countries this may not be that much of a problem. In most European capitals and large cities you see women with very expensive jewellery. Still, I would say a gold Rolex is pretty noticeable and pretty tempting. In moderate to high crime areas I would keep it out of sight. If you just want to keep it with you then it would just be a matter of being careful and when you know you are in more troubled areas just put it in your purse.

Stay safe!

FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

Preparing for a Better Quality of Life: The Question

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items

As we continue to PREP AND WATCH what is happening around us, one topic that seems to always get my attention is the economy.  I know that many have been watching it too…and quite frankly, many are surprised that the PTB continue to find ways for the economy to limp along.

Eventually, things will have to come to some sort of reset.  If that means a complete crash which includes Mutant Zombie Biker Mice from Mars or just a hiccup as “they” force everyone to go to e-currency, who knows.  I’ll keep watching and prepping and paying attention as I live my life to the fullest.

That last statement leads me to ask the Prepper Website Community a question….

What tangible items do you invest in to help ensure a better quality of life?

The reason I ask this question is three fold…

  1. Keeping your money in the bank is kind of dangerous.  Surely you’ve read that banks are starting to talk about or even go to negative interest rates.  You also have the possibility of not being able to access your money if there was ever a bank run or limits were imposed to how much you could withdraw.  As a result, some advocate pulling your money out of your bank and leaving only what you need to pay bills, etc…
  2. Second, there has been a lot of talk that physical cash will be replaced with electronic currency.  If that happens, physical cash will be worthless.
  3. Third, if a crash happens and money is worthless (physical and e-currency), those who have tangible items that are desired or able to help with a better quality of life will be better off.

So, while you have access to all your money AND you can make all the decisions regarding your own money, what would you invest in to better your quality of life?  Guns, equipment of some type, tools, solar, livestock, land?????

I would like to compile a list for the Prepper Website Community of tangible items that are more than just items bought at the store because they might be considered a prep item, but instead, items that add to your overall quality of life.  For example, a few years back I added to my garden beds.  I looked at putting more garden beds in my backyard as an investment.

I’m asking those who have some good ideas to contribute using the form below.  Using this form helps me to sort through all the information in an easy manner.  I then will share the information with the Prepper Website Community.

You can share your answers below or visit this link – click here.

Loading…–TS

Four Things To Consider Before Buying A Bug Out Location

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bolWe have all heard about the need to have a bug out location. I actually prefer to call it a second home as I don’t intend to use it only when I need to bug out.  After all, this is an investment, why not use it on a regular basis. Regardless, there are four important […]

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