Economics & Investing For Preppers

Here are the latest items and commentary on current economics news, market trends, stocks, investing opportunities, and the precious metals markets. We also cover hedges, derivatives, and obscura. And it bears mention that most of these items are from the “tangibles heavy” contrarian perspective of JWR. (SurvivalBlog’s Founder and Senior Editor.) Today’s focus is on investing in hairspring watches.

Precious Metals:

First, at Seeking Alpha: Mining stocks’ valuation attractive, led by copper and zinc, BMO says

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India’s Demonetization Policy Takes a Turn for the Worse


Sanctions On Venezuela Could Push Oil Into The Mid-$50s

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China’s threatened scrap import ban jolts copper into life: Andy Home


The Dow Jones Industrial Average hit 22000 on Wednesday JWR’s Comment: Don’t be fooled. There is no such thing as a permanent bull market.

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Adam Hamilton:  Fed QT Bearish for Stocks


Dollar Under a Political Cloud

Economy and Finance:

EU explores account freezes to prevent runs at failing banks. JWR’s Comments: By definition a checking account or a standard (“passbook”) savings account is a demand account. This of course means that you may  demand the return of the money that you’ve lent to the bank at any time, with no prior notice.  But given the nature of fractional reserve banking,  they can’t handle more than 10% of their depositors doing so at any given time.  Hence the need for these proposed rules.  Bottom line:  It’s your money until the bankers and politicians say that it is no longer your money.

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In Alaska, pricey internet and nostalgia keep video stores alive

Troubling Trends:

Reader Josiah S. spotted this: Billionaire Marks, who called financial crisis, says ‘this is a time for caution’ on the markets

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Americans are going deeper into debt to buy cars


Tangibles Investing (Hairspring Watches):

Another tangible investment category that is of particular interest to preppers is self-winding wristwatches. These are commonly called automatic watches or hairspring watches.  Some hairspring watches are likely to appreciate in value. But all good quality (read: accurate) hairspring watches have practical utility in a long term grid-down situations, where watch batteries will likely be in short supply.  As with all other collectibles, knowledge is power.  You will need a good set of references, so that you will be able to detect fakes and so that you can determine relative values.

Self-winding watch prices range from as low as  $18 for an inexpensive Chinese-made Steampunk self-winder, to as high as $50,000 (for a Rolex Cosmograph Daytona), or even $80,000 (for a Patek Philippe Nautilus.)

Some good references:

Classic Wristwatches 2014-2015: The Price Guide for Vintage Watch Collectors

Wristwatch Annual 2017: The Catalog of Producers, Prices, Models, and Specifications



SurvivalBlog and its Editors are not paid investment counselors or advisers. So please see our Provisos page for our detailed disclaimers.

News Tips:

Please send your economics and investing news tips to JWR. (Either via e-mail of via our Contact form.) These are often especially relevant, because they come from folks who particularly watch individual markets. And due to their diligence and focus, we benefit from fresh “on target” investing news. We often “gets the scoop” on economic and investing news that is probably ignored (or reported late) by mainstream American news outlets. Thanks!


  1. Don’t forget the Casio G-Shock solar powered watches!

    I have one for six-years now and going strong, nice to have one or two when IT hits the fan!

    1. 1) I concur re the G-Shock , although I think lithium batteries have a 10 year shelf life and maybe 5 years usable life after that. I have not been able to determine if the rechargeable batteries in the Solar models will last longer.
      2) The LCD displays on the Gshocks are more resistant to shock than the analog hands on either automatic or quartz watchs. The G-shock only gains 30 seconds per month and does so consistently if the temperature stays roughly the same –if you set it by shortwave, you can determine real time to within 4 seconds two months later if you adjust for the elapsed days.
      3) The real time accuracy means you can use a G-shock to do celestial navigation across the oceans ( or across the continent a la Lewis and Clark) whereas automatic watches are useless.
      4) If the shortwave time stations are out, you can still determine the real time at departure if you are at a location with with known lat-long coordinates and know the calendar date. With a long term almanac, you can determine when one of the navigational stars (or sun) will cross the local meridian and hence determine the precise time. I.e if you know the precise time you can determine your location and if you know your precise location you can instead determine the precise time.
      5) Expensive automatic watches are supposedly “certified” to only be off around plus or minus 6 seconds per day but they can easily be thrown off by 20 seconds within an hour if subjected to shocks. Two months after they are set, they may be off by as much as 15 minutes — and every 4 seconds of error in time results in 1 mile error in location.
      5) My brother in law has an expensive automatic watch and laughed when I tried to argue the G-shock is the best watch made. A few months later I saw him on the golf course and he was wearing a quartz watch with a LCD display. I stared at it and he grinned ruefully. Automatics don’t like golf swings.
      6) But they do have collectible appeal — supposedly you can bribe your way out of jail in South America with a Rolex. I don’t think that works with a G-shock.

  2. Re: bank accounts.
    The law at present gives the bank ownership of your money.
    Once you deposit money into your account, it actually belongs to the bank, not you.

  3. I picked up one of the Seiko automatics for $58.00 – simple and straightforward timepiece. Copy and paste in “Seiko Men’s SNK809 Seiko 5 Automatic Stainless Steel Watch with Black Canvas Strap.” Good backup watch to wear while my 27 year old Rolex is in “the shop” for a 5 year overhaul. Will probably pick another 1 or 2 for barter.

    1. 1) If you search for “watch” in this blogs search box, you will find 6 to 10 articles in the past discussing survival watches.
      2) One reader noted that watch repairmen often don’t work on Seiko movements. That was also my experience with an old Seiko 5 watch my wife wanted repaired (sentimental reasons — belonged to dead father.)
      3) One excellent suggestion was to take a basic watch maintenance/repair course that includes a basic ETA 2824 movement and case and which teaches you how to disassemble and lubricate the movement for lifetime use. Such maintenance is needed by many automatics about every 5 years.

      While I prefer G-shocks over automatics, that person’s reco was the only way I see of having automatic level timekeeping over a course of 50 years after a disaster. My impression is that most batteries –including the solar rechargeables — would not last more than 15-20 years after date of manufacture.
      4) However, the ETA 2824 wouldn’t work for celestial navigation and most other timekeeping functions could be done as well with a large sundial (plus church bell to ring the hourly time for the surrounding area) and hourglasses.
      However, the ETA 2824 would be an excellent substitute for the sundial on cloudy days and could be reset to accurate time each day with sextant sights on the sun from a location with known, precise latitude/longitude.

      1. PS forget to mention — the watch repair/lube/maintenance course is available online as are necessary tools and watch parts including ETA movements and watch housing.

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