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Survival Investing

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posted on Dec, 15 2006 @ 05:33 PM
So.. I only make 1200$ (and amazingly, I still own a decent home) a MONTH. I will only have credit card debt for another 3 months. I got 6 gold coins. And I put $200 a month in a money market account currently at 5.03%, 25% of which is for my child on the way. I am just some young buck that works at Wal-Mart.

I dont really give a damn if society collapses because I am not just handy with a gun, but also with a dart gun, am handy with knives, javelins, anything else that can be thrown, and pretty agile in an urban environment as well as bushes and trees. I am not a picky eater, and will pretty much take down any dog/cat I see wondering the streets if that kind of scenario ever comes up. I am also a decent gardener.

Besides the end of society scenario, considering my income what am I doign wrong or right, and what should I change? I am of the poor persons, and do not exactly have the sort of wealth you guys have to own stock accounts. I am thinking about these bonds, but what kidn of quantities do yall buy these in?

posted on Dec, 15 2006 @ 05:50 PM
LOL I'm in the same boat...I was lucky enough to get a chunk of cash recently and did a small bit of investing.

I still think it's a safe bet that I'll be destitute after Situation X passes. Just one of millions.

posted on Dec, 15 2006 @ 08:49 PM

Originally posted by DYepes

Besides the end of society scenario, considering my income what am I doign wrong or right, and what should I change? I am of the poor persons, and do not exactly have the sort of wealth you guys have to own stock accounts. I am thinking about these bonds, but what kidn of quantities do yall buy these in?

I started out where you did, or a notch lower. Yep, I'm pretty sure shoveling horse***t ranks below the blue vest.

Remember, the secret to riches is NOT increasing your income. All it takes to become rich is this:

To live below your means.

Spend less than you earn. Cut corners.

Here are the books that got me out of the oppressed classes, and into white collar grime:

"Your Money or Your Life."

"The Richest Man in Babylon"

"The millionaire next door"

(and the book of Jonah out of the Bible. But that's another story)

Anyway, I would suggest you buy a firesafe and a bicycle lock. lock the handle of the safe to your bed, so no one can steal it. Every paycheck, put 10% of your income in the box. Focus on first on an emergency fund of 1000 dollars. Then focus on getting out of debt. (The grand will make sure that car problems or dental bills don't keep you using the plastic.)

Since most credit cards are between 12 and 18 percent interest, and most investments don't pay as well, the BEST investment is wiping out your own debt. The return on your investment is much more rapid than even a GREAT year on wall street.

Next, start piling up cash in your box. Every three months, divide the money into 3 stacks. With the first, keep it in cash. With the second stack, go to the bank and tell the clerk you want a Government savings bond. You can go to the govt website and buy them online. I suggest either series I, which will vary with inflation, or Series EE, which wont. Personally, I like the fixed rate, because I play them off against rising interest rates. But either is fine.

With the last third, go online. I used to use a website called "Netstock Direct." Another is "Sharebuilder." Basically, they give you the information on companies that will sell you stock directly, without using a broker. There are a couple of drawbacks. First, they will only fill your order once a week, and you cannot predict exactly what price you'll get. Selling is the same. But on the other hand, the handling fees are pennies instead of dollars, and they wont pressure you to buy buy buy like a broker will. The power is that you can buy a given stock in dollar amounts-- $5 or $10 or $50, instead of having to buy whole shares. This is a lot easier for the little guy. They will also buy your stock back on whatever weekday they trade, and mail you a check.

I would only buy stock on the Dow 30, the list of the 30 biggest companies in the NYSE. I would also go to a used bookstore and get a little book put out as a come on for a financial paper. it's called

"The Wall Street Journal Guide to Money and Investing."

It explains things like the federal reserve, and how to buy bonds. It is free if you subscribe; but I'd get the WSJ at the library. A lot of used bookstores will sell old second hand copies of the booklet, because it is that high in demand. you don't need to be a stockmarket ace, as long as you stick with long-term stable companies, and average your purchases over years and years.

If you take the advice in this post, I've given you everything you need to retire a millionaire, if you are under 35 and have discipline.

The discipline is a lot more important than the age, by the way. I've seen a 50 year old get serious and retire a millionaire, ---in addition to opening his own brokerage!


posted on Dec, 15 2006 @ 08:54 PM
US bonds are denominated with face values of $25, $50 $75, $100, etc.

You only have to pay HALF the face value. When you hold it over the years, it will slowly mature to the face value.

you can cash them in at any bank, in about 5-10 minutes. They look you up in the computer to make sure they are yours, and not stolen. ONLY you or your heirs can cash them, even with the paper in hand, so they are theft proof. It's more work, but if you have the serial numbers, you don't even need the physical certificates. So write their numbers down some place outside your home, in case of fire.

Perfect for someone fleeing a localized disaster. Or coming home to rebuild after the hurricane has passed.

I just found the US savings bonds government website:

.US Treasury savings bonds

I think it's cool that they have a special section for Katrina survivors, and will let them cash in their bonds early, if they were bought less than 12 months before katrina.

[edit on 15-12-2006 by dr_strangecraft]

posted on Dec, 15 2006 @ 11:03 PM
I have a question. Not directed to anyone in particular-just throwing it out there. Many Christian "survivalists" believe that there will come a time when "no man may buy or sell unless he has the mark of the beast" (whatever that is). Since they have no intention of taking any kind of mark, computer chip, etc. they will be forced to survive outside the legal realm of civilization.
My question is this: How does one financially survive/invest in such a scenario? If a one world economy occurs and it's based on computer chipping people, then money, bonds, stocks, etc. will all be pretty much worthless as the economy shifts to a new paradigm. Also any "dissenters" to such a global economy/economic change would become instant fugitives immediately recognizable by their bartering, bag of survival items, etc. All those who secretly stockpiled cash became known when the anti-counterfeiting measures went into effect and you had to drag out your current cash and trade it in for the new cash or lose whatever face value it had. See where I'm going with this? Survival investment methods that have historically proven valuable may not apply at all in a "brave new world".

posted on Dec, 16 2006 @ 01:59 AM
I personally don't think the "buying and selling without the mark" is a reference to a physical computer chip or tatoo or anything. It is symbolic. Revelation also says that the followers of Christ have his seal on their right hands or foreheads. Maybe it's invisible ink.

I'm not too worried about a global government. We are moving further from it every day.

A lot of conspiracy-critics screamed last year when the US govt quit publishing some of the M-1 thru M-5 numbers, which detail the ebb and flow of America's cash. Paranoiacs were sure this was because the govt. is trying to control us.

Actually, they quit publishing the info because it's all bad news for the credit card makers and other globalists. The government is having to print record amounts of 20 dollar bills to meet demand. More Americans than ever make even large purchases using cash. Landlords of large apartment complexes have complained that sometimes half of all tenants will pay in cash, amounting to hundreds of thousands in cash at the first of the month.

You don't see many of the old style pedestal cash ATM's. Know why? because they don't usually hold enough money to run for a whole weekend. People will use their debit card, withdraw cash, and make purchases they could have made with a debit card, but do it in greenbacks. Sometimes this is because they are doing illegal things with their money. Sometimes it's because they want to hide a gift from a spouse. More often, it's because ATM's are out of cash, or the "network is down" right when you want to make a critical purchase. Survivalist attitudes in the wake of Katrina have increased this tendency. So has the fear of being tracked by advertizers and the government.

In the larger picture, globalism is a billionaire pipedream that is its own worst enemy. I believe that history goes through pendulum swings of globalism versus isolationism. Since 1990, isolationism is the new trend. And not just in the US. Iran, China, and the former Soviet republics may be obvious examples, but think about the EU. They may be "pan-European" in their own way, but the move is toward creating a distinct loyalty to Europe vis a vis the US or Asia.

The EU is merely isolationism writ large.

I believe the passage, and the reference to "may not buy and sell" is a reference to a coming famine or seige, and only those who worship the beast will be fed.

Buying and selling was not how ancient people acquired food. They grew it. They only time they bought and sold food was during famines or seiges. That who passage about "a measure of wheat for a penny, and mind the oil" is a reference to high prices paid during wartime. Basically, on the servants of the beast will have food.

Most of the references to buying and selling in the Bible are in references to famines:

Genesis 41:57 - 47:22 details how Joseph uses a famine to buy up all the available farmland in Egypt. Only the Egyptians priest wont sell to him.

Ruth 4:4-8 Ruth's boyfriend is buying back all the lands her dead husband lost in the previous famine

2 Kings 6:24-31 details the prices for disgusting food during the seige of Samaria. An ass's head was sold for 80 shekels of silver, and pidgeon dung was sold as fuel.

Nehemiah 5 begins with people selling their fields and farms to buy grain during a seige.

Isaiah 53 refers to people buying food, but remaining unsatisfied (hungry)

Jeremiah 32 concerns buying land, again during a famine.

matthew 14:15 is about the disciples wanting Jesus to send the people away, to go and buy food for themselves, since they are hungry.

Matthew 25:29 is about the foolish virgins, who have to go out in the middle of the night and BUY oil, because their lamps are going out. They are foolish for not having stored up their own supply beforehand. (a lesson in survivalism/preparation?)

The third seal in the book of revelation (6:5, ff) begins a period of famine, with inflated prices, when people don't use oil (for light and cooking) or wine (for cooking) because of the high price.

Sort of a rambling post here. I'll sum up by saying that planning for trying days IS a Biblical virture, and that the Bible points out how, through out it's pages, people who don't plan ahead are controlled in times of famine because of their own prior laziness.


posted on Dec, 16 2006 @ 02:04 AM
Gold is not a commodity, it is a currency. This is what most people dont realize.

In fact, it is THE currency, which all others are Traded against. Metals in general are on a tear the last few years, Gold has doubled in the last 4 years i believe. Zinc, Uranium, lead, silver...they are doubled to more than 12X their price just a few years ago.....

Gold can be traded against any other currency. The price of Gold is settled by 5 major trading houses. The signal to buy gold is a decoupling of the price against all major world currencies, which occured about 3 years ago. These cycles can run 12 -15 years, making fortunes for people that run with them. Nobody knows the future, but many believe gold will gradually rise to 900-1000 per ounce in the next 2 years.

If survival investing is your goal, 15-20% of your portfolio should include hard assets such as Gold. if you wish to purchase shares in Mining companies, please use due diligence and purchase shares in companies that operate producing mines and have NOT hedged their gold sales forward.

Other stocks to consider are medical and construction companies, and long established companies such as emerson electric.

good luck

posted on Dec, 16 2006 @ 03:11 AM
My advice is purchase Gold Sovereigns and Half Sovereigns, Internationally recognised, contain roughly 1/4th Oz per Sovereign.

If you purchase grades around Uncirculated they have a collector value along side a Intrisic Gold content value.

Just remeber you cant eat Money .... So practicle items like Shovels, Blankets, Solar panels, Guns etc could literally be worth there weight in Gold in a End Game scenario.

posted on Dec, 16 2006 @ 03:50 AM
Indeed, my collection of pennies and nickels is now worth more as scrap metal than the face value. Too bad I can't legally melt them down and make a tidy profit...

Most people throw out their pennies, or give them away. Those little babies are worth more than 1.10 cents now.

And about government bonds...

Are they really the way to go? If there's one thing most survivalists have in common, it's a fair bit of distrust for the government.

You mentioned, dr. strangecraft, that the government is printing record numbers of twenty dollar bills. Every twenty printed reduces the value of every other twenty in circulation, no?

Maybe I'm too conservative with my money, but I know that if I buy some staples today, they're still going to retain 100% of their value a year from now, or two years. Anything else I buy could depreciate rapidly, and the same holds true for cash in hand.

What about wine? It's hardly a guaranteed gold mine, but fine wines appreciate nicely over the years, and you can always drink them if you're so inclined.

Maybe it's just me, but the investments that appeal to me most are the ones that have some value besides the potential to make money.

I invested in Magic cards in 1994-96, and enjoyed them for several years until I sold them for a tidy profit in 99. Boxes of the first series of that game, printed just 12 years ago, have appreciated in value from less than a hundred dollars, to more than ten thousand. I know places that will buy sealed boxes of Alpha for $12k, cash, no haggling, no questions asked - so, in twelve or thirteen years, some non-traditional 'investors' have turned 100 bucks into $12,000, that's a damn fine ROI.

The other thing to think about might be quick-flip investments that capitalize on trends, like the recent PS3 madness. A buddy of mine in CT got 2 set aside for him, had another friend stand in line to buy a third for him, paid for them with cash he had saved, and then re-sold them a couple of weeks later for more than 500% profit.

Another area that's promising (despite the looming bubble-burstage) is real-estate. Buying in the right area at the right time and from the right seller, you can make twenty or thirty grand just moving in to a place. Slap a coat of paint on the place, do some yard work, polish the wood, and you can make two or three times that from a quick sale.

There are a million ways to make money, I think the ones that are the most rewarding are those that have some value-added. You can live in a home, drink wine, play games, and so on. What can you do with government bonds?

I dunno, these are just my personal feelings. You say 'survival investing' and my instincts tell me that any investment you control and that has some intrinsic value qualifies as a good survival investment, whereas any investment you don't control, that has no value apart from the value set by the issuer, is not a good survival investment.

posted on Dec, 16 2006 @ 10:15 AM
I'm not trying to argue with anyone. You're all welcome to your opinions, and I read what other people type carefully.

I'm a pessimist. I believe that EVERYTHING is a commodity. Gold included. Nothing is a sure fire investment. If you were holding silver the day that Cortez had returned to Spain from his conquest of Mexico, you'd have been ruined . . .

US Dollars are a commodity, just like everything else. The dollar, and other major currencies, are accepted without so much as a cursory glance, and I don't think that habit is going to change overnight. So, while their value may well go to zero, it won't happen overnight. It's possible that I'll have months or weeks or even years, before I'll needed to have converted my dollars into land, power tools, food and ammo.

"Rome wasn't burned in a day."

That's my reason for recommending government savings bonds. The US govt. has a lot of its prestige tied up in the fact that it has never missed a bond payment. I believe that Uncle Sam will let a lot of things slip before they miss a bond payment--they'll lose wars, allow famine, and allow states to succeed from the union, before they quit paying on their bonds. Bonds are how the wealthy invest, and without the support of the rich, Uncle Sam is history.

In the depths of the Stock market Crash, when banks were closing all over, the Govt set up offices in every part of the country, where people could still cash out their savings bonds. When there are runs on a bank, the bondholders are allowed in a separate line, BEFORE people closing out their savings accounts.

Sure, bonds can become worthless. They are a commodity like everything else! But the US govt has a huge amount of ego bound up in bonds, and they will not willingly relinquish that. And unlike other "stores of value," they are readily convertible to cash.

I'm not against fine wines or coins, but I don't use them as a store of value, and don't recommend them, because their value is subjective. An expensive wine, in the middle of a catastrophe, is worth as much as a cheap one. If there could come a point where a coin's collector status, or mint condition, becomes irrelevant because someone plans to melt it down, then you'd have gotten more money by merely buying bullion, and selling that. you'd have gotten a lot more bang for your buck. If you want to speculate in those things, fine. But they may not be worth anything over their utilitarian value in a crisis.

Everyone must suit his own tastes for risk. the ultimate goal I'm advocating is to have your money work for you right up to the point where you need to convert it to survival goods. Of course, the trick is to come up to the point without going PAST it. And the "Harvard Plan" has helped people handle their money that way. Harvard has been in business for over 300 years, and has survived a dozen major recessions, 3 depressions, and 2 invasions by occupying troops, without losing their principal. That's why I advocate copying their style of investing for downturns.

It isn't "the answer." It's just another tool in my kit.


posted on Dec, 16 2006 @ 11:04 AM
Dr S,
Thank you for your considered response. I don't agree that there won't be a global economy but I'm not here to argue either.
One thing that has not been mentioned is "debt reduction/eradication". Since credit cards are 18-24 % interest, reducing or eradicating credit card debt will free up more of one's money for investing.
Home and car are big monthly expenses but we all need shelter and transportation. The past 2 years I've been working on paying those big money eaters off. I'll be completely debt free in 2 years (house included). Doubling my house payment every month is saving me tens of thousands in interest payments.
I can envision several scenarios in which the economy collapses and no matter what kind of portfolio you have, if you're a homeless vagabond toting around your briefcase full of stocks and bonds, you're going to lose even that.
Investing is always a good plan because The End Of The World As We Know It may never occur in our lifetime and one needs something to retire on. If another depression like the one in '29 hits, most people will lose their homes at which point all that cool survival gear becomes worth whatever someone is willing to give you for it.
I've met survivalists who assume they're going to shoot their way out of any troubles, have guns for hunting, etc. but their thinking is extremely short-sighted. (guns are a good financial investment, btw.) If tomorrow, in our current political and economic climate, guns are outlawed, are the survivalists willing to just turn over their collection to avoid jail or are they willing to "shoot it out" now? The need for "survival" may come gradually, in degrees in which we just wake up one day and realize we're there. At that point, I don't know of any tangible items, pieces of paper, shiney rocks or numbers on a ledger that are going to help. Health, knowledge and skills will always serve one better in a true survival situation (and don't take up any space in a backpack) than stuff. Of course, if that day never comes, stocks, bonds, precious metals, etc. will have proven the wiser course.

posted on Dec, 16 2006 @ 11:29 AM
I agree.

Which brings us back around the diversity thing.

Some cash, some items for trade, some food, some fuel, bit of weaponry, some education; some of all of those is better that a ton of one of them.

I've done a lot of thinking about gun confiscation, and have studied how it's been practiced. Outright confiscation only drives the black market prices through the roof--validating guns as an investment.

The tactic that began in the 1990's has been a government sponsored "amnesty/buy-back" program. They've got one going in Romania right now, I believe. They pay you in lottery tickets (!)

Atlanta and D.C. have both done this in the states. What they ended up buying was a bunch of non-firing, heirloom crap, while still driving prices up locally, since they'd made gun advocates nervous. Best of both worlds for the gun enthusiast.

I started this thread in hopes of getting survivalists thinking about "what if the world DOESN'T end?" and "what do I do with my life UNTIL it does?"

I think each person needs to find their own answer, based on careful consideration of their values and beliefs, and not just wishful thinking or paranoid nightmares.

If my bonds are worthless, my gold probably won't be. If the gold isn't worth much, the cash will be strong, and so forth. I'll have SOMETHING to fall back on, and cushion the blows of sudden catastrophic change. I guess that's what I'm advocating.


posted on Dec, 16 2006 @ 01:35 PM
Question: In a post apocalyptic setting
how likely is it that the stocks and bonds you own on paper will actually transfer to to "items in the hand".

Say I invest in weapons, gold or even liquor. I don't actually have the majority of that stock on hand nor do I truly have access to it.

What I have is a piece of paper saying it's mine.

I dunno but that doesn't make me feel terribly secure. If I'm wrong about how it works please give me a quick 101 - I'm a newb investor and have only a couple of liquid assets(GIC and Bonds) and a small Waterhouse account.

posted on Dec, 16 2006 @ 02:18 PM
I'm not sure what you mean. I have the gold and cash hidden where I can access them faster than it will take me to comlete this email. The savings bonds, I only need the serial numbers for, and positive ID. I have the wallet in my back pocket, and the serial numbers listed in another location. I could give them those numbers at any bank in the USA, and show my ID, and get US currency. That's not bulletproof, but it would be useful in a regional or local emergency, or when I've been robbed, or just need emergency car repairs on vacation or something.

IF I see the US collapsing, I will probably have time to liquidate my stock and bonds, and convert them to assets I can carry. Not guaranteed, I know; but I seriously doubt that I'm going to wake up tomorrow to headlines that the US is defunct and government bonds are now worthless. When other nations have declared bankruptcy, it has taken a year or more of financial crisis before the government folds. The US will stop paying civil servants before it leds bonds default. Probably, my regular paycheck will bounce before my savings bonds do. In that sense, they are MORE "survivalist" than my monthly paycheck is!

So I will have enough warning to retrieve at least part of my value. If the government fell in less than a week, it would be a disaster so unprecedented that I suspect even gold might be hard to barter with. I call that chance remote. Not impossible; just remote. Maybe that's an unacceptable risk for you. It's not for me.

Look, I am steeled for the possibility that those bonds might be worthless; I've factored the possibility into my investment and preparation plans. But in a world where this computer wont work, where the phones and the lights and the fridge don't work, the fact that I got stuck with a few more pieces of paper that turned out to have no value is an acceptable risk.

The other option is retiring at the end of my working life, and realizing I had made no adequate preparation for a peaceful, prosperous future. With nothing put back, it would be as bleak as some disaster scenarios. If you don't believe that, just volunteer with meals on wheels, and see what happens to old people who didn't make any provision besides social security.

It's a world of risk out there. I'm describing which risks I take, and which are unacceptbale for me.

I bet I've given this at least as much thought as you have, over the past 20 years. I'm just offering my conclusions to whomever wants them. Of course, bad advice is always free, isn't it?

all the best.


posted on Dec, 16 2006 @ 02:53 PM
$1000 in Euro, US and UK Pounds each.
Gold and silver coins.

Canned Food stuffs, a couple of cases of the most popular ammo, 9mm, 5.56, 7.62x39, 38 cal, 357, 12 gauge shot and slug.

Cans of fuel. Wire and magnets, wood various dimensions. metal sheets, rope, Solar products. Baby Supplies, Diapers Powder etc.
Portable Water filters .
Vegie seeds asstorted.

BOOKS on do it yourself, and Paper MAPS. in case of EMP!

ohh and batteries asst sizes.

With this I can trade and survive. AND YES I have this.

posted on Dec, 16 2006 @ 05:44 PM
I am Curious why do you recommend stockpiling Magnets ?

posted on Dec, 16 2006 @ 05:55 PM
Magnets and wire are the core of most Appliances and can be used to make your own Windmill Powerplant for recharging batteries and for suppling power to an inverter to power your radio, tv, refrigerator.

I am currently building a windmill generator and a solar system for my home.

I am not waiting for the price of electricity or fuel oil to go up.


posted on Dec, 17 2006 @ 12:34 AM
Thanks for the info Dr. Strangecraft! It does make perfect sense to plan for the "what if the world doesn't end" LOL...I'm only 37 and frankly I think things won't really go to hell for some time. I may as well do what I can now right?

I can't invest in lump sums so it's small stocks and bonds on sale or discounted. I don't know too much about it but I am learning slowly.

I guess it takes a bit to get used to the concept of the whole trading business. That's why I chose the Waterhouse, its relatively low risk...lower rewards but it's a bit easier for me to start out with.

It's nerve wracking when you haven't got much to lose

posted on Dec, 17 2006 @ 05:29 PM
Well strangecraft there is talk on these forums now about the Chinese getting ready to dump one trillion US dollars. I have about 1500$ in cash savings...

Should I take 30-60% of that now and convert it into bullion to be on the safe side for the next few months? IF I start hearing about it on more reputable websites, I think I will have to do that. Maybe turn the remainder of it into small short term I series bonds?

Assuming the Chinese do go through with thier dumping plan in the next couple of months, would this be a proper route to take?

posted on Dec, 17 2006 @ 08:00 PM
Honestly, The chinese, IF they plan to do it, (and if they did, you wouldn't know about it, would you?) will try to do the opposite of "dumping." A dump of money gets you the low bid in currency exchange, if you're the dumper.

Frankly, I would stick with the Harvard plan for my long term planning. If you want to speculate, then by all means, do something else. But recognize that you are not "investing" in any sense, but outright playing the market.

I am a fan of speculation. Capitalism would be impossible without speculators. But you want to keep a "fire wall" between your spec money and your "planning" money.

Discipline is what keeps more people from making money in the market. I recommend (and practice) writing out a handwritten action plan, which I look at before consulting the market data. That way, I'm not influenced by what I "want" the market to do.

That is the discipline that is essential to profitable market action:

Plan the work; work the plan.

all the best.

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