Economics & Investing For Preppers

Here are the latest news items and commentary on current economics news, market trends, stocks, investing opportunities, and the precious metals markets. We also cover hedges, derivatives, and obscura. Most of these items are from the “tangibles heavy” contrarian perspective of SurvivalBlog’s Founder and Senior Editor, JWR. Today, we look at Swiss watches versus Apple wathes. (See the Tangibles Investing section.)

Precious Metals:

Gold Surges to New All Time Record Highs in Euros at EUR 1,456 Per Ounce

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Week ahead commodity report: Gold, Silver & Crude Oil Price Forecast [Video]

Economy & Finance:

At Zero Hedge: China Is Disintegrating: Steel Demand, Property Sales, Traffic All Approaching Zero. The article opens with this:

“In our ongoing attempts to glean some objective insight into what is actually happening “on the ground” in the notoriously opaque China, whose economy has been hammered by the Coronavirus epidemic, yesterday we showed several “alternative” economic indicators such as real-time measurements of air pollution (a proxy for industrial output), daily coal consumption (a proxy for electricity usage and manufacturing) and traffic congestion levels (a proxy for commerce and mobility), before concluding that China’s economy appears to have ground to a halt.

That conclusion was cemented after looking at some other real-time charts which suggest that there is a very high probability that China’s GDP in Q1 will not only flatline, but crater deep in the red for one simple reason: there is no economic activity taking place whatsoever.

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Ecommerce Spikes by Most Ever. Brick & Mortar Melts Down. Department Stores are Toast. JWR’s Comment:  The Wuhan flu scare will likely accelerate this trend.

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Another at Wolf Street: It Gets Surprisingly Ugly: US Freight Shipments Plunge 9.4%, Steepest since 2009


Natural Gas Prices Fall Back on Demand Concerns and Forecasts for Warm Temps

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Commentary: Coronavirus Will Significantly Impact US Container Imports In March

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South Sudan President Kiir appoints former rebel leader vice president

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Copper Futures: Room for further decline

Forex & Cryptos:

Asian Economy and Forex Market Crippled by Virus Spread

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How the Coronavirus Impacted the Forex Market. Here is a snippet:

“The Japanese yen is a leading financial safe haven, in part due to Japan’s status as the world’s largest creditor nation. Other safe haven assets include the Swiss franc, the US dollar and gold. We can see the yen strengthening against the dollar during the period when the most unsettling coronavirus headlines were being published. However, the dollar has since rebounded to make fresh highs against the yen, undermining the yen’s safe haven status. Investors have preferred gold over the yen as a safe haven due to Japan’s proximity to and dependence on China. “

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Bitcoin’s Flash Crash was a “Healthy Pullback” That Could Catalyze Major Momentum

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Will the Recent Exploits Affect the Ethereum Run?

Tangibles Investing:

Strategy Analytics: Apple Watch Outsells the Entire Swiss Watch Industry in 2019. JWR’s Comment:  Yes, but what will be the resale value of a current Apple Watch be, in 10 years? Swiss watches only rarely go down in value.

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Fine Art: London, weaker performances


SurvivalBlog and its Editors are not paid investment counselors or advisers. 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 closely watch specific markets. If you spot any news that would be of interest to SurvivalBlog readers, then please send it in. News from local news outlets that is missed by the news wire services is especially appreciated. And it need not be only about commodities and precious metals. Thanks!


  1. I listened to the Steven Harris ( conference call last night regarding economic effects and suggested prepping items to focus on.

    Steven is a very bright, experienced engineer who tends to pontificate but the overriding aspect to his life is helping others, an effort he has devoted decades towards, including many disaster relief operations.

    He is focused on family sustainability for disaster preparedness. Now he has a web page on preparing for economic impacts of COVID-19. Virus1234.

    Discussions last night included dependency on lithium ion batteries. If you count on them for power tools, etc., you better get spares now.

    Same for meds. Get them now. Last week I still got my full Fish antibiotic order from Walmart delivered to my door.

    The oxygen accumulator I ordered which told me delivery would be this week, is now showing delivery FOUR weeks from now…..dangit.

    I also ordered fresh bottles of imodium, ibuprofen, and a package of 100 packets of sinus rinse for use with irrigation bottles. I get the NeilMed kits. You can easily make your own sinus rinses, but these are cheap and come with a great bottle for application.

    I won’t use a neti pot after my ENT doctor briefed me on best methods.

    The squeeze bottles do a superior job of getting the rinse up into your sinuses and more actively flush out all the tissues in your nose where viruses and bacteria find the homes and set up colonies.

    God Bless

    1. Thank you wheatley fisher for note on lithium ion batteries for tools. I completely forgot about those. Expensive but available now; but not in a few weeks I’m sure.

  2. Hey all
    Any recommendations on nebulizers?
    I have one of those Mypuremist ultra steam inhalers. Will that work or do I need a prescription to get a unit?

    I thankfully received my oxygen generator that I ordered (Thanks JWR), honestly I didn’t expect it so soon as they said end of March on Amazon but it came Friday!

    Extra accessories scheduled to be delivered today
    I’m glad because we’re in for a heck of a snowstorm where I am at

    Wheatley Fisher, I pray that your unit will show up early like mine did

    Take care & be safe

    1. Thank you. Dont need it yet, so now is the time to get it!

      I got a dozen 8 oz bottles of hand sanitizer last week and am giving them as “gifts” to our kids/grandkids along with instructions to keep them in their vehicles and use it before they come to our house.

      Stay healthy

        1. Here is a partial repeat from yesterday brought foward:

          Discussion from a Dutch medical health specialist about some of the benefits of nano silver, and how it works to defeat various kinds of infections. Understanding the mechanisium is important, and why the use of nano silver is far more effective than coloidal silver. Nano silver is not ‘voodoo’ medicine.

          Here is a less sophisticated method for generating a decent, and useful quality nano and ionic silver. It can also be purchased on Amazon in many forms including lonzenges (cough drops). I suspect silver is going to be popular in the Redout. On Amazon 1 gallon of 10 ppm solution cost about $100:

          Skip the process involved with heating baking soda in an oven at 450F for an hour, buy purchasing 55oz of washing soda for $4 on Amazon. All the necessary items, including the resistors and silver rods can be purchased through Amazon. The least expensive nano silver found on Amazon was $100 per gallon.
          Purchase ionic silver for use in a nubulizer can also be purchased on Amazon. This will get the silver deep into the lung, and airways where the virus will concentrate and cause disease. I’ve wrote a bit on this, and other aspects in the past few days, yet a search on the topic will get you there as well.

          The now talk about some success that has been made treating the disease with Vitamin C deliver with an IV. I image therapuditic doses could be taken orally, and to the point where the dosage causes soft stools. I also suppose, and made aurgument, that oxygen of any source including an oxygen concentrator, or accumulator, would be the most important medicine. If hopitalization were needed, yet no hospital had an opening, oxygen would be needed to support lung function that has seriously been degraded by ARDS (acute respitory distress syndrom), and secondary bacterial pnuemonias.

          If you can also store enough bottle oxygen for several weeks, you could provide a much higher concentration of oxygen, and with out power. Many patients who have severe disease will require a ventilator, or even a heart/lung machine to make it though. I also have a very important and inexpensive tool, an oxgen/pulse finger monitor. $20 bucks on Amazon. Got have it.

          I also have Dr. Joe Alton’s Top 5 Antibiotics, and more to treat opportunitic disease that can take hold along side the 2019-nCoV (aka. CoVid-2019). Also get his widely acclaimed book, Alton’s Antibiotics and Infectious Disease, and his other book, Survival Medicine, 3rd Edition. These are written for the layman, and are easy to read. Also pick up a used paper back, an older edition of a PDF (Physician’s Desk Reference) cheap on Amazon, and an older Merek manual. These reference materials do provide more advance information, and are helpful cross references to better help diagnose, and do provide additional, or alternate treatments that could not be covered in a Alton’s excellent, and made simple books. Often in this now antibiotic resistance world, first, second, and third line antibiotics choices fail, and other options, and combinations can be used, and can be successful. I am in no way qualified to suggest any medical treatment, yet in a survival situation, or in an “austere environment”, we’ll have to do the best we can with what we got, where ever we might be. I doubled up on the azithromycin, and doxycline. Fewer persons are alergic to these.

          Video, Dr. Alton’s Top 5 Antibiotics:

  3. Whether we quarantine or not there are several books that I regard as “must have”.
    #1 Survival Medicine and Infectious Disease by Dr. Joe Alton. They are written for the laymen with little or no medical experience.
    #2 The Merck Manual and The PDR.

    In the event of Internet failure or disruption hard copies of anything DIY will be a great help.
    We may have a lot time to read.

  4. Can anyone recomend a solid precious metals IRA? Or would you even recommend one? My wife has a regular 401 that I have suggested her converting to a preious metal ira (hopefully one where you take possession of the product). Thanks for any thoughts or recommendations!!

    1. Hi CJ, there are no precious metals 401k’s/IRA’s where you are legally allowed to take possession of the metals.

      Depending on too many variables to discuss, it may be worth it to cash out some of your money, pay the penalties, and put them directly in to PM’s you take possession of.

    2. CJ: The value of 401Ks are numbers on a computer screen or on a piece of paper. In normal
      times( what ever that is ) you can access your funds at your discretion.
      The volatility of the stock market ( as seen in today’s downturn) has scared us enough
      to put everything into PMs that we can hold in our hand.

      I wish I had recommendations for you. I’m someone will.

    3. CJ, rather than cashing out and paying the penalties, perhaps try this: Take a loan against your 401k and use the funds to buy precious metals. You will, of course, have to make a loan repayment each month to your 401k. It doesn’t get you out of the whole 401k dilemma but it does allow you to hedge some of those funds into a hard asset.

    1. To St.Funogas, Norml, & Grits – THANK You all for your thoughts and recommendations…I will take into consideration what you’ve said….you all have been a great help!!

  5. Tunnel Rabbit
    Many thanks
    I put in an order for 2 of the smaller bottles of nano and 2 of the nebulizers. These seem to be like the ones I found on another site, mesh technology but at least these don’t require a Doctors prescription and they were less for both than a single unit

    I also received a few weeks ago NOW brand Silver Sol, 10ppm 4oz spray $12.59 sale
    Source Naturals 30ppm Colloidal Silver 2oz – $14.38 sale

    Both of these items I got from the fruitful yield
    They have been in business since 1962
    These items are also both in stock AND on sale if anyone else is interested
    They specialize In wellness products

    1. RKRGRL68,

      Buying these silver products from a reputdable source is a good idea. Ionic, and possibly nano silver, has a shelf life if it is intended to be used inside the body. It can loose it’s electrical charge if frozen, or exposed to light. Regardless of the bottle type it comes in, I would store it in dark place, and where it will not become frozen.

      I am still learning about this stuff as I gear up for mass production. Most would find it easier to just purchase it.

  6. Dow is dropping …… Virus is spreading ….. Sounds like it’s about time to finish my preps…

    Are the sporting goods stores still sending out mail order?

    Cuz I’m gonna need ;
    1 hockey mask full padded
    1 set of football (American) shoulder pads.
    Some unnatural colored feathers to make a mohock out of…

    Oooh leather pants and spikey boots (can’t forget the leather pants and spikey boots)

    And my final need if for y’all to address me as

    “The humongous ”

    No need to add a mister infront of it I’m informal like that …..

    Maybe I should get that monogramed on my pads…

    1. So, you’re going full “Road Warrior” on us? Don’t forget the spikes and armor plating for your SUV or Monster Truck. Just don’t go with the uncovered “cheeks”(cheekless pants), it’s a really bad look. :-}

      1. Cheek less pants might be a bad look but… It’s pretty practical for not getting ambushed while…. (Thinking how to say this right… )

        I’m showing what I really think of gun laws….. ;-P

        Actually right now I’m busy laying in provisions I can’t legally own a fire arm in NYC… But my b.o.l. is in Virginia where my fire arm is legal. But I can order my ammo and trade ammo and spare parts up here. I’ve also finalized my arrangements down there (not property yet but a house with storage) that I can send my seeds to and ammo and jars etc. And since it’s actually and my wife has farmed and hunted on there should be less issues getting seeds in and food out of the ground

        Like I’ve said previously
        Plan a independence
        Plan b codependence
        plan z …. Don’t forget the leather pants.

      1. Absolutely!

        As of 8:20EST:

        Dow futures up 213
        NASDAQ futures-green
        S&P 500 futures-green

        Gold and silver getting monkey-hammered down 2% and falling.
        Gold down $27

        This was nothing more than a buy-in opportunity for foreign investors and big-money campaign contributors. Notice the PPT made no serious effort to halt the fall. Tomorrow 9:30 am will start a rip-your-face-off rally. Same as it ever was.

  7. Re: The Apple watch outselling the Swiss watch industry.
    Jim’s comment about the value of an Apple watch (or any other electronic watch) in ten years time is spot on.
    Friend of mine who is a machinist has been wearing his Rolex Submariner in the shop for over 30 years (with a couple of services). I’ve worn a Wenger Swiss Army watch in the shop for over 20 years. Lately I started wearing a Fitbit but there is no way the Fitbit is going to last near that long due to battery issues and software obsolescence.
    I have some mechanical watches too that I like- Hamilton Army Mechanical and Seiko 5 Automatic that I imagine will long outlast my Fitbit or anyone’s Apple Watch.

    1. Other than for trade expensive watches are over valued.

      Honestly our country did just fine in fact thrived during the time when most people didn’t have a pocket watch or wrist watch.

      You’d wake up. Drink your coffee eat a cold breakfast and head off to work.

      Or… You’d wake up to hot breakfast and coffee and head off to work.

      To be honest a pocket watch is preferable to a wrist watch (depending on your profession) as very few stand up to the abuse that actually working with your hands provide.

      Most every carpenter I know used cheap digital watches. As hand nailing all day will destroy analog ones. Most guys before cell phone when asked what time it is would produce a one strap wrist watch from thier pocket. Because the wrist strap had broken.

      1. It´s emergency Money on your wrist and some People like me like an automatic watch.

        The days, where a farmer or craftman could start his day at his leisure are gone

        A pocket watch is of limited use when you Need exactly checking time or Fighting, in my proffession a lapel or collar watch would outperform a pocket watch the whole day

        The wrist watch for men was a development of WWI when you Need your Hands for something different in the trenches than taking a watch out of pocket and turn it back

        Perhaps those Carpenters should´ve used not so low Quality straps, in over 30 years of honest work no strap had ever broken on me

        1. Makes sense. Except for pocket watches being of inferior quality for time keeping. But I will be sure to look into lapel clocks…

          As far as wealth of your wrist…. Pirates used to wear large gold earrings as a way to carry bury money on them often engraved with thier name so the tombstone should be labeled properly ….

          But I still maintain that wrist watches are next to useless unless you need to have your hands on a firearm counting down until attack time….

          3 , 2, 1 go Wolverines.

          But the difference between Casio and Swiss is measured in fractions of seconds…

          Don’t blink….

          Meanwhile there is an ounce of gold difference between Timex and Swiss…

          1. Sorry i don´t meant inferior Quality, but an hassle at best if you Need to do honest work with exact time measurement and an automatic watch don´t run out of Energy like a casio

            Leaders in Combat ´ve normally more important Things to do than shooting the enemy.

            Lapel or collar watches were pinned on those by british nurses during WWI for hygienic reasons AFAIK

  8. To those talking about converting IRA to pm with possesion…about 2015 there were several pm firms pushing this including one right here endorsed by JWR ….now they have mostly pulled back & Changed their tune. But,nothing has actually changed since then…the same irs court cases still stand that supported the they say instead of home storage,use a depository near your home…but NOT a safety deposit box…but the only thing that has changed is fear…fear of the irs…now they say the irs is going to crack down on this soon…but nobody knows when…it is hard to find good trustworthy info on why this changed….anybody know more about this ??

    1. You could use a depository outside the US- one of the best is in Cayman Islands(IRS would have difficulties auditing them) and If you travel to inspect your investment it could be tax deductable.

  9. Wheatley Fisher
    Spectacular!! Now you can move on to the next item on your list as I have done.

    Tunnel Rabbit
    Yes, I agree that the source of some of the items being discussed here matters a lot! No one wants to spend $ on something that is inferior.
    When browsing on Amazon, I generally ignore the “top picks” and just save them to my list and and then I’ll go back and study each item I have saved to choose an item.
    I will say that the items I received from the company I mentioned yesterday were packed incredibly well!! Each individual bottle had it’s own bubble protection so I take things like that in to account when making my selection.

    BTW, I have on order all of the items from the list to start making my own but this is something I am very unfamiliar with so Although I will have all of the components to do this I will need to study up on this before attempting this.
    At least I have all of the items and they didn’t cost ton of money

  10. Tunnel Rabit,

    You made reference to What I believe is a Wi Fi repeater with a 5 mile range. Can you give me the particulars on it. I live in a semi dead zone with a satellite connection I want to get rid of and use my phones Personal Hotspot.

Comments are closed.