"[M]onopoly profits exist over the long run only when the government guarantees them, as in utilities and cable. And for concentration of market power, no robber baron can hold a candle to the U.S. government.... The hugest concentration of market power in this country does not lie with the likes of Rupert Murdoch or Bill Gates, but with government itself.... No private company, no matter how huge or wealthy, could possibly have as much widespread power over the function of American markets as government does." ~ Brian Doherty
Pirate Poop #5
Exclusive to STR
Over 350 readers have asked me how to get started in bullion because they don't know how. This is not unusual because bullion today is often considered to be something only for gold bugs, gun nuts, survivalists, or doom-and-gloom types. While there is some truth to this popular belief, from the perspective of a strategic planner, being a gold bug, a gun nut, or a survivalist are all very good things to be, especially in a crisis era.
As for being a doom-and-gloom type, the real questions are a.) What do you believe?, b.) Whom do you believe?, and c.) Have you done your homework?
If'after having done your homework'you decide what you believe and whom you believe, you then become a gloom-and-doom type as a result, that is also a good thing, because from that point forward, your actions will be based on your beliefs, not on rhetoric from State agents or partisan media outlets.
Pirates think for themselves, but sheeple expect the State to do it for them. As Homer Simpson once said, 'Marge, the reason we have a State is so that we don't have to think!' Homer could never be a Pirate. What about you?
Several readers have commented that over the long term, gold has not been a very good investment compared to selected stock market indexes. While this statement is obviously true in some cases, it also simply ignores the other very good reasons for holding bullion.
Bullion can be whatever you want it to be; savings, speculation, inflation hedge, capital accumulation, capital preservation, secret stash, or catastrophe insurance. Bullion is much more about capital preservation than it is about investment, per se.
In my opinion, buying and holding bullion is properly viewed as private capital accumulation and capital preservation, with the added benefit of catastrophe insurance. Most financial advisors do not recommend more than 20% bullion in an investment portfolio, but some gold bugs have 100% bullion. Your mileage may vary.
The fundamentals never change; assess risk, diversify, allocate assets, have a plan, and execute the plan. Bullion can be a part of your plan, but that does not imply that bullion must be the plan, for you or anyone else.
A reader recently complained to me that he was not happy after making his first bullion purchase. After asking him why this was so, the reasons were obvious to me.
First, he paid too much for his bullion coins because he did not shop around. He insisted on buying his coins online, despite being able to purchase them quicker for less, with one free phone call to CNI , as I had recommended.
Second, he paid too much for his bullion coins because he did not buy them on a down day. He insisted on buying them when he wanted to, instead of simply waiting several days for a down day.
Third, he also paid for shipping and insurance because he did not purchase his bullion coins from CNI , as I had recommended. He insisted on buying them online, for the convenience. You normally pay a premium for convenience.
Now that the inevitable bullion price correction has transpired, he thinks that he is 'losing money' because his bullion coins are currently available for less than he paid, even from the dealer he bought them from.
I explained to this reader that he had paid an additional premium for his bullion coins because of his inexperience, but this was a mistake that he would never make again. Haste makes waste, limited knowledge can be dangerous (or expensive), and experience is the best teacher, if you learn from it.
JCN: Prepare For the Coming Storm
The wind has changed; a storm is coming. It is just becoming visible; preparation time is running out. This is not the first storm; Pirates learn from past seasonal storm cycles.
The approaching storm is the winter of seasonal cycles of history. Autumn has just ended, old systems are dying, politicians are desperately fighting over the few remaining scraps, and the enemy is on the march. The sheeple are becoming confused and angry. Pirates should be taking all of the following steps to ensure their survival and comfort:
Take Stock of Virtues ' Sharp distinctions will soon be drawn between people who can be counted on and those who can't. Bond with those who can be counted on, politely avoid those who cannot be counted on.
Have a Plan ' Develop a plan of escape now, for there is no time to waste. The approaching storm is visible on the horizon.
Be Self-Sufficient ' Do not count on the State to bail you out; it cannot help you. Disasters may occur quickly and often and on such a scale that only the prepared will survive . . . get used to it. Cash will not hold any value; neither will most stocks or bonds. Have some real money (precious metals) and if you must have securities, make sure that they are in essential goods or energy.
Blend In ' Be a low profile'but visible and friendly'helpful part of the community. Join a lodge, the VFW, or the local Volunteer Fire Dept. Unplugged or counter-culture types will be dealt with harshly in a crisis era.
Go Rural ' Cities are not self-sufficient and they never will be. Establish a home base of operations in a small, rural community that is at least one tank of gas away from any major metro area.
Get Mobile ' Be mobile and find other places where you can go. Make your extended absences a routine event. Ask your fellow lodge members to watch over your home base. Have a nice story. 'I am a retired 'whatever you were'' is always the best story.
Buy Quality ' When you buy something, buy a good one. Pay a little more for quality items that will last and then treat them well.
Be a Generalist ' Specialists whose esoteric skills are useful only in an undamaged economy or urban environment will be as useful as teats on a bull.