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 Offshore Retreat Land. (See the Tangibles Investing section.)

Precious Metals:

We’ll begin with this news from Zero Hedge“This Could Be Huge”: Gold Bar Certified By Royal Canadian Mint Exposed As Fake

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Gold Softer As U.S. Consumer Confidence Index Rises To 17-Year High


Canada Stocks-TSX touches fresh record, Shopify tumbles

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Bloomberg: The Biggest Stock Collapse in World History Has No End in Sight



Big Oil Has Learned To Live With Lower Oil Prices

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Nick Cunningham asks: Can $60 Oil Last? JWR’s Comment: Unless a real shooting war breaks out somewhere, I expect oil to be in the doldrums for the next few years. I believe that the recent $60 per barrel blip is more of an aberration.


Many banks and markets around the world were closed on Tuesday, for Reformation Day.  But many analysts were still posting, like this on the Suissie: USDCHF prediction – technical analysis October 31, 2017



Next, Reuters reports: Trump tax overhaul under intensifying fire as Congress readies bill


Economy and Finance:

Moving on to some great commentary by Brandon Smith: Lies And Distractions Surrounding The Diminishing Petrodollar

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Bitcoin Price Hits $6000, What is the Future for Other Cryptocurrencies?


Troubling Trends:

Video: Crisis in California. “Soaring unemployment, trillions of dollars in debt, and exploding crime and illegal immigration have California headed for disaster.”

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Charles Hugh Smith: What Could Pop The Everything Bubble?

Tangibles Investing (Offshore Retreat Land):

Advanced preppers who already own and a live at a well-stocked and fairly self-sufficient retreat might be ready for the next step. This is investing in a piece of offshore retreat land, for use as a backup retreat. Many folks refer to this as their “Plan B.” But anyone considering this soon runs into the classic dilemma: There is no “perfect” retreat locale on Earth.  This is true for a number of reasons. These include:

  • Very few nations allow foreign investments in land without a grant of residency, if not full citizenship. In many nations–particularly Pacific island nations–the best that you can hope for is a 99-year lease.
  • Most of the world’s land in temperate climate zones is already heavily populated.
  • The most affordable land tends to be in tropical Third World nations with endemic disease problems, crime, poverty, and corrupt governments.
  • Most of the “desirable” locales have high taxes.
  • Very few nations have gun ownership laws as favorable as those in the U.S..  Typically, gun ownership is quite difficult for non-citizens. And sadly, registration schemes are ubiquitous.
  • Arcane land title laws, unscrupulous bankers and land agents, as well as language barriers can make buying offshore retreat land a daunting task.
  • Once you find offshore land, it is often difficult to have a house built to First World standards.
  • Surveying in many developing nations is not done to First World standards. So this can lead to property line disputes.
  • The concept of title insurance is non-existent in many countries.  There can be multiple claimants to land.
  • Many nations would lack resilience in natural disasters or in the midst of a global financial crisis.
  • Even quite friendly nations like Canada have set up barriers, such as non-resident speculation taxes. (At least the current Chinese land rush is slowing.)
  • Land buyers who obtain residency and then citizenship often make themselves subject to additional taxation and even military conscription for themselves or their children.
  • The United States is one of the few countries to tax all worldwide income. Hence, unless you renounce your U.S. Citizenship you’ll end up heavily (and often multiply) taxed. Thankfully, there is a Foreign Earned Income exclusion. That changes annually, with inflation. But the last figure I heard quoted was $100,800. Anything above that earned overseas could be double-taxed.
  • Many nations have currency restrictions, making it illegal to hold substantial amounts of foreign currencies, and/or allowing bank deposits only in their respective national currencies. This can make your deposits vulnerable to inflation.
  • Unless you are marrying a local, you and your family will probably be seen as “suspicious newcomers” for a full generation.

Anyone considering buying offshore retreat land should proceed with caution, extensive study, and prayer.

Countries to Consider

As of this writing, I’m pointing many of my consulting clients to the Czech Republic, Panama, Costa Rica, Belize, the Philippines, the Dominican Republic, and Chile. Spain is off my list, but if the Catalonian independence movement succeeds, then the more rural parts of Catalonia might be viable for a retreat.  There are many other options, but every nation has its own peculiar advantages and drawbacks.

I’m really looking forward to comments and suggestions from readers who have already taken the leap. We’ll benefit from you sharing your experience. – JWR


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 “get the scoop” on economic and investing news that is probably ignored (or reported late) by mainstream American news outlets. Thanks!


  1. The counterfeit Canadian gold bar found recently highlights why it’s best (IMNSHO) to focus on gold US Eagles (1/10, 1/4. 1/2. & 1 oz). You also need to have a way to test coins — Fisch tester, acid test, et cetera if you’re going to take them in exchange. The same holds for silver coins. I would stay away from all packaged [bullion] bars and coins, if you can.

  2. I understand the logic of desiring an offshore retreat, but I truly think if things are so bad here, I can’t imagine they’d be any better elsewhere in the world. I also know from experience that in other countries, immigrants are generally treated like garbage, regardless of their economic status. You cannot buy your way into acceptance. Your best bet remains purchasing a rural retreat inside CONUS no, before SHTF, and begin accliminating yourself to the community and acclimating the community to yourself. Just my .02

    1. I could not agree more. Unless you have family in a foreign country forget about it. I remember being in the Caribbean a few years back. A restaurant owner who had lived on the island for many years told us (because we asked what it was like to relocate and live there) that more than one local told her, “you may live here, but you will never be from here”. That’s what they say when times are good. It doesn’t matter if many people would treat you fairly, there will those that will not. I’ll take my chance here, where I know the lay of the land and access to like minded folks. Like minded folks would be few if any in other countries.

  3. I’ll take my chances in the USA. Having lived in several third world countries, I can tell you that you will definitely be an outsider (though you might think you aren’t). If the USA breaks down, I’d be willing to bet that you will be target #1 in a foreign country. The locals and the local police will have nothing to fear. They will come take your stuff, land, etc and there will be nothing you can do about it. The US Embassy will no longer protect you.

  4. Bugging out to a retreat within the US will be hard enough, but to another country? It depends on the type of crisis, I suppose, but in all the different scenarios I can think of, it would be near impossible.

    1. I believe the concept is aimed at the super wealthy, with access to things like private jets and private airstrips (I imagine). That being said, Im afraid (in my math), the cost benefit analysis is poor. As was pointed out by SE USA, I personally believe virtually anywhere you go, you are a target for a native with no strong love of Americans, esp ones who buy up there rural property. Neither Local law enforcement or the Embassy will help you when the mob shows up at your door. Poor decision, in my opinion.

  5. Addendumnto prior reply. Americans are generated tolerated abroad because the consequences of not doing so are dire. Not bc they like us (they don’t). When the threat of those consequences are removed, the compulsion to “suffer our presence” is removed with it.

  6. Concerning “Crisis in California;” I’ve been hearing it for years; “Nuke’em!” “Let ’em fall into the sea with the next earthquake!” The comments below the video go on and on. Never mind the fact that cutting off California would rob the United States of some of the most productive farmland in the world, oil and mineral resources, and three deep-water ports. Doing so would effectively enlarge the western border of the United States, with that border being adjacent to a financially feeble 3rd World country. What would keep “The Peoples’ Republic of Kalifornia” from “making a deal” with someone like China; You give us aid, and we’ll let you put military bases on our soil? There are MILLIONS of patriotic Americans who, for whatever reason, need to remain in California. It would be refreshing to get a little encouragement and support from our fellow patriots instead of being summarily written off.

    1. Hey not the whole of California. Just far west California. The state if Jefferson (northern cali) could stay. East California, (the central valley and east to the border could stay), even far southern California could stay. Just loose north of Orange County to just north of Sacramento and what is basically west of the central valley needs to go, let them secede, PLEASE!!! Don’t make everyone pay for the lunacy of the folks from San Fran to La La land.

  7. Ref Belize: While visiting there, I noticed that every house our bus passed, had what appeared to be rebar lattices standing out away from every window, and (most) over the door. In my days as a Detroit medic, we called such structures “ghetto gates”. When I asked the tour guide about them, I was told that they were for hurricane shutters. Interesting. I had thought that “hurricane shutters”, with a standoff from the structure of nearly a foot, would be somewhat less than effective. Unless, of course, the tour guide was trying to avoid spooking the cruise ship touristas. My appraisal is that these were to slow home invaders. My guess, from a tourist drive-by.

  8. Re: Centro America and Dominican Republic
    The cement walls topped with concertina wire or with broken glass embedded in the cement on top. Locks on gates and fast food restaurants with armed guards. Tells one a lot about the society.

  9. Lived in Caribbean for a year, traveled around — Barbados, Dominica, St Kitts, St Vincent, St Lucia, Jamaica, Guyana — beautiful areas, lovely people, but in WROL situation people will show up and take whatever you have, maybe peacefully, maybe not. Everyone will be friendly until The Day. Better to be in US, in place with like-minded people who you know and who know you. Read Kurt Schlichter’s novels, the country might break up into factional areas and you might have to move — but you’d still be better off here.

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