Investing Philosophy + Free Economic Newsletters and Websites

You may have noticed that I only write sparingly about economics and investing. I do follow economic trends closely, but I don’t consider myself an expert. If you want to categorize me, then you could say that I fall into the “Guns and Groceries” school of survivalism rather than the “Krugerrands and Plane Tickets to Offshore Havens” school. My current advice is fairly terse: Concentrate on buying tangibles. (Namely: productive farm land, storage food, practical tools, guns, and common caliber ammunition.) Then after you have your retreat fully squared away with logistics, it is time to consider buying some gold …




Letter from “Dr. Buckaroo Banzai” on Living Debt Free and Retreat

Shortly before Katrina hit I eliminated all of my unsecured debt. At the moment we have just the mortgage and two car payments (aside from utilities and insurance payments.) We put a 48 month plan into action. Every month we ‘bank’ a percentage of our income, roughly $1,000 USD a month. At the moment it’s going into the safe and we are entering month 3 and are at $2,000 and right on track. Our car payments will be done before the 48 months are up and 100% of that will then also be going towards our new home/retreat. We are …




The Precious Metals Bull Market Continues

I was gratified to see that the spot price of gold went to a 17 year high ($459 per ounce) yesterday, while silver closed at $7.21 per ounce. (See my metals price ticker.) I expect some brief profit taking for a few days (and perhaps into October–which has traditionally been a weak month for precious metals prices), but then the metals bull will probably resume his full-tilt charge in the winter. How high will the top be? Who knows… But consider that when adjusted for inflation, the $805 top that gold saw 25 years ago would equate to around $2,200 …




Zimbabwe’s Tragedy Continues

If you want to see a full scale “slow slide” economic collapse in action–one that rivals the severity of what I portrayed in my novel Patriots–then just look at modern day Zimbabwe. Comrade Mugabe and his ZANU-PF cronies have absolutely ruined a once prosperous nation. Please take the time to read the August and September letters archives at the Cathy Buckles web site. IMHO, Zimbabwe needs our prayers, and a vigorous counter-revolution!




Letter Re: Silver Coinage and Ammunition for Barter

Dear Jim: I am thoroughly enjoying your web site and appreciate very much all of your quality information. Recently you had an article about storing coins and ammo for barter and trade purposes. I would like to ask several questions about this subject. 1.) You mentioned pre-1965 silver dimes, but what about silver quarters and half-dollar coins? 2.) Do you recommend gold coins? I understand the inherent problems with gold bars and bullion, but what about .10, .25, and .50 ounce gold coins for barter? 3. What types and quantities of .22 ammo do you suggest? Stingers, hollow points or …




Letter Re: Is Katrina a Harbinger of an Economic 9/11?

Jim: Not looking good these days. It is chaos down south. Those poor people, may God be with them in their time of need. What is your opinion on the current state of the union? Gas prices, oil supplies in doubt. Do you think this could be the harbinger of an economic 9/11? I hate to admit it, but I do. JWR’s Reply: Perhaps you might be right. There is the outside chance that this could be “it“: You know, The Big One. WTSHTF. Total wipeout. The Day. TEOTWAWKI. The Crunch. But something that drastic would surely take several more …




Semi-Spiked Story from Oz — “Dumping of US Dollar Could Trigger ‘Economic September 11′”

I very rarely post lengthy excerpts from other sources. However, I am essentially forced to in this case. You see, this prematurely archived article was posted at The Australian newspaper website for just a few hours, earlier today. (Actually late afternoon on the 28th in the U.S., due to the time difference and being on the other side of the International Date Line). It was briefly on their “The World” page–one of their main pages. But it now shows up only in their archives. No explanation was given why it has mysteriously disappeared from their “The World” page. It appears …




The Daily Reckoning On The Housing Bubble

The folks at The Daily Reckoning mentioned yesterday vis-a-vis the Housing Bubble: “…What a run it has been. The Center for Economic and Policy Research reports that the housing market added $5 trillion in ‘bubble wealth’ to the American economy, an amount equal to $70,000 for a family of four. That is the fraudulent money that has sustained Americans at a standard of living they cannot really afford. It is the source of the illusion that the U.S. economy is growing and healthy. It was psuedo-wealth, an asset that really didn’t exist. Too bad so many people spent it. “House …




Sales Tax as a Criteria for Choosing Your Retreat Locale

Sales tax is another important issue if you are setting up a retreat. This generally entails buying a lot of “big ticket” items, such as an AC/DC power generator, photovoltaics, tractors, 4WD vehicles, guns, ammunition, storage food, wood stoves, propane tanks, propane appliances, and so forth. Sales tax can be minimized if you buy via mail order, but that creates a paper trail, which IMO should be avoided. In some circumstances you can travel to an adjoining state with low (or no) sales tax to make major purchases. Keep a low profile when making major purchases–especially ammunition. Pay with cash …




Income Tax as a Criteria for Choosing Your Retreat Locale

Taxes are another important consideration when choosing the state where you plan to live/retreat. Take a close look at property, income, and sales taxes before you decide where you might like to relocate. Car registration fees are another factor worth considering, especially if you have several vehicles. (In some states registration fees are a piddling administrative fee, while in some of the more populous Nanny States they are a big revenue source.) If you are retired or nearing retirement age and middle class, property taxes will likely be more important to you than income taxes. Conversely, if you are in …




Letter: Why Gold and Silver?

Sir, Thank you for your website. I am only now beginning to read through it and so far I am finding it excellent. I have been meaning to ask this survival-related question and maybe it will spark some interest on your blog: Why bother with gold and silver? As far as survival economy goes, I understand that things with intrinsic value such as fertile land, water, manpower, armamentaria , food, and medicines will be useful for trade for the simple reason that they are valuable items. Gold and Silver may be very handy if the global, stable economy is restored …







Zimbabwe: The Slow Slide Scenario

Comrade Mugabe, the Marxist dictator in Zimbabwe (the former Rhodesia) has instituted a virtual news blackout in that once great nation. Mugabe’s “War Veterans” (read: ex-terrorists) are busy again. After spending two years forcibly occupying some of the best farmland in the country (and thereby rendering it fallow) they are now bulldozing the homes, shops and subsistence garden plots of average city dwellers. As usual, the minority tribe is getting the worst of it. But that is hardly a news flash. Rhodesia was once the bread basket of Africa–its food exports fed much of the continent.But now, after 25 years …




The Housing Bubble

I’m sure that you’ve read about the bubble in residential real estate prices, most noticeably on the coasts in the U.S.. (There are similar bubbles in Oz and England, both of which have already seen their peaks. Far too many people have over-extended their finances buying houses. In fact, up to 35% of the houses being sold in some markets are being bought purely on speculation, with the goal of “flipping” them within six months to take advantage of the rising market. This is making some speculators a lot of quick money, for now. But at some point the music …




I Told You So!

I posted the following to the misc.survivalism Usenet newsgroup on February 8, 2001, under the title: Rawles Calls Major Bottom in Silver Price: “I have come to the conclusion that the long term bear trend in the price of silver has finally come to an end. Silver touched $4.55 earlier today. (Feb. 8, 2001.) If it closes in N.Y. at over $4.75 anytime in the next few weeks, that would be a strong bullish indicator. Look at the six month and ten year silver charts at www.kitco.com for the “big picture.” Once there is a strong bullish indication, don’t hesitate …