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 rare postage stamps. (See the Tangibles Investing section.)

Precious Metals:

Gold prices holding steady, waiting for potential trade fallout after Thanksgiving holiday

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H.L. sent us this: Poland Repatriates Gold From Bank of England Storage to ‘Show Strength of its Economy’

Economy & Finance:

Martin W. Armstrong:  QE Versus Managing Benchmark rates.

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At Zero Hedge: Chinese Media Stunner: China Will Be The Next Country To Cut Rates To Zero

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Voting with their feet: After Years of Threats, Schwab Joins Exodus, to Move Headquarters from San Francisco to Texas. Here is a quote:

“In 2015, Schwab still had 2,040 employees in San Francisco. By now, that has shrunk to 1,200.

So the writing was on the wall, when in May 2019, Charles Schwab himself indicated that moving the company’s headquarters out of San Francisco is being kicked around.

‘We’re pretty much a national company now,’ he told the San Francisco Business Times. He was “not sure” the company would remain in San Francisco. ‘We’ll continue looking at that as a possibility,” he said. “The costs of doing business here are so much higher than in some other place.’”

Commodities:

Oil steady amid muted Thanksgiving trade and ahead of OPEC+ meet

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OilPrice News reports: Reuters Confirms That Iran Was Behind The Saudi Oil Attacks

Cryptos:

Intensely Bearish BTC Futures Market Predicts Gloomy 2020 for Bitcoin Price

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China’s ‘Official’ Virtual Currency Could Be Arriving “Quite Soon” To “Challenge The U.S.”

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Reader T.Z. flagged this: When the internet is cut off, protestors find it hard to rely on bitcoin

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And one more from H.L.: Bitcoin ATM Firm Partners With Largest Shopping Mall Operator In US

Tangibles Investing (Rare Postage Stamps):

I’ve recently had two readers ask me about investing in rare postage stamps.  My advice is simple: Unless you want to become an expert in one small niche in the market that you can be certain has great upside potential, then don’t bother. The main problem with postage stamp investing is the new access to the Internet via smart phones, worldwide. So a stamp that seemed truly “rare” 20 years ago now can be all too commonplace, with the global marketplace acting like an enormous auction, in reverse.  Sellers are jostling to under-bid each other. So, with the exception of a few ultra-rare stamps that sell for $10,000 USD+, the rest of the market is presently trapped in a slow downward spiral. The second problem with stamps is generational. The bulk of American stamp collectors are now in their 70s and 80s. The entire millennial generation has little interest in stamps, because they rarely receive letters from overseas friends and relatives. They get e-mails from them, or they chit-chat on Skype.  So the long term prospects look poor for the development of a new generation of investor-age stamp collectors.

Annual Financial/Investing Disclosures:

By Federal law, I am obliged to make periodic public disclosures.

For the record: I am presently the sole author of SurvivalBlog’s twice-weekly posted Economics & Investing For Preppers column. I am not a paid investment counselor or adviser. My paid consulting is on preparedness, relocation, retreat property development, and related topics–not on investing, per se.

I am not a board member of any corporation. I hold no stocks, bonds, options, registered securities, or ETFs whatsoever. I am not paid or otherwise compensated by any company to promote any investment vehicle or currency.

I do not recommend or endorse any financial particular investment advisor, firm, blog, or web site, although I do quote various advisors and make links to their web sites. Such mentions and links are my own choices, and are never compensated.

While I personally hold precious metals, firearms, ammuntion, and other tangibles as a large portion of my portfolio, I have no connection or financial arrangement with any firm, other than that some such firms do buy advertising space in SurvivalBlog, and that we have affiliate advertising contracts in place with others. I do on occasion personally make purchases from these companies. However, I receive no special discounts or other consideration from them. Such advertising relationships have no bearing on the investing news that I report and the recommendations that I make. I personally hold some foreign currencies, but I have never held Forex options. I have never held any Comex options.

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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!




19 Comments

  1. Those accumulating precious metals should think about the ease or difficulty of selling should they ever decide to do so. It may be impossible to sell a large gold bar, for instance, due to dealers being closed or it being impossible to transfer the money to you. This is why I never buy gold in any form larger than one ounce, and also periodically buy 1/2, 1/4, and 1/10 ounce coins. I prefer US eagles, but gold’s the same in a variety of coins.

    I buy silver eagles too, but also make sure to have junk silver on hand for potential transactions. Larger silver bars have the same potential problem as gold bars.

    “It’s not paranoia if people are really out to get you.”

  2. As with all investments and item ownership: If you don’t hold it, you don’t have it.

    Regarding Cryptocurrencies, if you have to say “I need both electricity and the internet to access it.” then you don’t really have it do you? Good luck.

  3. As a Gen X’er stamp collector, I agree with your assessment regarding rare stamp investing, especially the value of the stamps on a downward projection. For myself, I no loner purchase current stamps since they are now stickers, as opposed to glued stamps we had to lick in the past, call me old fashioned…

    The one thing, however, that stamps do show, is history. It is quite interesting to me how many different historical events have been displayed on stamps. Over time, I’m not sure how many of these stamps will be around, so for this reason, I keep my stamps to pass on to my kids and grand kids.

    I relate the history shown on stamps similar to history books. The trend for books is obviously to electronic format. Can you trust an ebook in the future that can be altered or tweaked on a whim? Half of my kid’s school curriculum no longer have text books, but the entire subject/text book is on-line.

    IMHO, keep any old stamps you have; if you want to buy stamps, buy for the subject matter on the stamp you may like, but don’t look at it as a monetary investment. The history lesson your grand kids will get from them one day may be priceless.

  4. In response to the Virginian regarding Sanctuary Areas inside your State:
    As a former LEO with over 30 years experience, I can tell you with absolute certainty that Law Enforcement Officers WILL enforce the Laws, and tell you : If you don’t like the Law – change it ! My duty is to enforce the law, and that’s just what I’m going to do.”
    It’s completely useless to quote Articles of the Constitution to them.
    So, as an individual, you will come to that point in your life – are you going to obey the law, or disregard it, without regard as to what the eventual consequences may be.

    To quote the signers of OUR Constitution : ” We either hang together, or most assuredly, we will all hang separately. “

    1. JohneyReb,
      Let me first say, I’m a big supporter of LEO’s and other first responders (thank you for your LE service), as long as they don’t abuse the powers granted them by the citizenry. I proudly live in ‘flyover’ country in a state that entered the Civil War on the side of the confederacy (States Rights), and call the Ozark ‘Mountains’ my heart & soul. My family has been in this country since 1640.

      That said, “I can tell you with absolute certainty”, that case/statutory law is different from Constitutional Law. Even LEO’s have a sworn duty to uphold the Constitution. It took a lot for our forefathers to finally rebel against the crown, but the spark that finally lit the fire of open fighting was firearm confiscation.

      You say “if you don’t like the laws, change them”. To that I say, “If you don’t like the US Constitution, change it”. There’s a mechanism to do those changes. But usurping our Rights and Liberties, hiding behind Woodrow Wilson’s scheme of using case law, doesn’t remove our rights. You can pass any laws you want but they don’t supercede the US Constitution, and enforcement of laws that violate the Constitution cannot be allowed to stand.

      Today there are 100’s of millions of guns and almost as many gun owners in America. There are probably tens of thousands if not 100,000 LEO’s. I’m sure if we ever got to the point where guns were banned, and being confiscated, some LEO’s would enforce the law, for a period of time, UNTIL the people said enough! At that point (and I’m just talking if/then here), my guess is people would resist, with force if necessary. If you think the county and state roads are dangerous now, imagine what life would be like for LEO’s that tried to defy the US Constitution in counties all over America, where there are millions of rural and remote miles. Imagine driving those roads – alone. Country people can be very friendly, until they feel violated. Those miles can become mighty lonely, unfriendly, and unforgiving. County and State roads would become very dangerous places for those who would deprive others of their Constitutional Freedoms and Liberty. Just something to ponder…

      1. Some people don’t get it. THEY will never confiscated guns but pass a gun registration after another mass shooting by some white male living in a feminized broken home with no father.

        Then retain an annual fee for each gun of $10.

        Then up the registration annual fee to $100 per gun.

        Then up it to a $1000 per gun.

        Then the government buy back program will be rolled out to collect the guns by the tens of millions.

        1. First of all, THEY are already talking about confiscating guns! – NEVER underestimate your opponent.

          Second, you can’t BUY BACK what you never owned.

          Third, you may be correct in what they may attempt, but we shouldn’t plan for only one possible strategy, and there are many ways of dealing with that specific strategy. Just sayin’

      2. I can add to your writings by relating what an ex green beret/special forces friend told me when we were talking about resistance. He said “you never win a battle by being on the defense.” In other words you don’t just hunker down and try to defend your retreat because if you do you will have to defend it over and over again until finally they win.
        Instead you go on the offense. You take the fight to the enemy, whoever that may be. You go to where they congregate, you go to their homes and you seek them out and make every square inch of ground that they stand on dangerous. According to my friend.

  5. To Survivsblog.com, in agreement, stamps depict true history in every sector of life. The problem is that the industry itself did very little to sustain interest in the generations to come. Surely, in connecting stamps to subject matter, stamps could be used as an educational vehicle. Consider math, for example, sports and music, (the entertainment industry). The art, in itself demonstrates another area. In fact, each curriculum, is represented. Proposal for showcasing stamps, in an exhibiting and an educational library setting, is not too far fetched. Presentation of such an idea, is available, starting with small children. The essential to re-kindling the hobby, is to rejuvenate the industry, via a fun-educational avenue. Rather than give up, why don’t all the hobbyist , businesses and world postal institutions, (including the Universal Postal Union), come together to build a “World’ s Postage Stamps. Library Research and Educational Center”? Seriously speaking, I could prepare a comprehensive proposal, to do just that. Inform accordingly. Too many collectors have their stamps in boxes. They pass too, and so has the hobby been a less interesting one. Technology should be no excuse, for the death of the hobby. The making of stamps and the collecting of stamps could be an interactive, sociable, and an educational outlet. For the world.

  6. Johnny, I don’t know any LEOs that share your position on seizing guns from homes. There are millions of rifles in private hands in Salt Lake County, and it might be a whole new ball game when two dozen deputies don’t return home after a day’s raiding. Once people, even a few, resist, any sheriff with an IQ higher than a refrigerator is going to suspend whatever program they are carrying out and beg the citizenry to refrain from any further expression of their unhappiness.
    We had a stupidly conceived “raid” on a house in northern Utah a few years ago, and one guy with a 9mm pistol fired one magazine at the dozen officers coming down the hall. Of course, it was after dark, so the homeowner is not expecting a hoard of police in his house. Friendly fire caused the death of at least one officer, and several more were seriously wounded. The entire city PD shut down for a week, the UHP taking 911 calls for them. It was tragic all around, but the main point here is that police are not shock troops, and are not very excited about dying for a stupid stunt like gun confiscation. Your mileage may vary in some states. In the above case, men died and bled for the removal of six pot plants.
    The otherwise law abiding homeowner was held in jail pending weak chargers, and ultimately “committed suicide” in his cell. The department was loathe to go to trial because the “ballistics report”, which was never finished (we are told), would be unsealed and a lot of unpleasant facts revealed to the public. Kind of, no…it IS reminiscent of Jeff Epstein’s suicide. The so-called ballistics report never saw the light of day and the whole affair went away.
    BTW, Johnny, 74% of Connecticut’s police have not registered their magazines or rifles to comply with their 2012 ban. It will only take a small minority of unhappy citizens to take all the fun out of door kicking.
    Don’t get me wrong, we need police, and there are some very good ones out there. The good ones I know will not be kicking in doors. Neither will the smart ones, but the stupid will will figure it out soon enough. As Ben Franklin said, “Experience keeps a dear school, but a fool will learn in no other.” I support my local police and would not hesitate to defend them against the violent onslaught of the extreme Left. Everything changes when they shift their loyalty away from the people.

  7. JohneyReb….. You hit the nail on the head….you were a LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER, not a PEACE OFFICER. I’m old enough to remember ‘peace officers’ there is a BIG difference. The founding fathers wish to maintain the PEACE. Even the sound of the two monikers are strikingly different. Law enFORCEment officer vs Peace Officer. Every law is a violation of liberty! Yes, I know, I am not so naive as to assume the we can live without any laws….mankind is way to immature to do so……but when you must use FORCE something is very wrong. I think every Survival Blog reader should read, Frederic Bastiat’s ‘The Law’ to get a clear understanding of how ‘law’ is used as a means of controlling freedom and sustaining the power of those in control. Please, understand what liberty is! Liberty is your right to choose. The more your right to choose is fettered the less ‘free’ you are.

  8. Reuters gave up being a legitimate news outlet several years ago and is a propaganda outlet for a few TPTB. Be very circumspect(double/triple check)of anything from them. The article is a bunch of unverified and unverifiable hearsay from “secret sources” that may soon be used to attack political targets.

  9. In response to the police “kicking in doors”, that’s old school thinking.
    With all the surveillance and data checking devices at their disposal, they know who the gun owners are. Don’t kid yourself. When you are out on the road, and the License
    Scanners pick out your plate and ID you as a gun owner (all done in a few seconds), you will be pulled over and taken into Custody, to explain to a Judge (the next morning, after spending the night in jail) why you haven’t turned in your guns. (Which, by now, has been Classified as a Felony, resulting in Huge Fines and/or Incarceration.
    Welcome to the New Law and Order, coming to your doorstep !

  10. “None are so blind as those who have eyes and cannot see.”

    If you think Cops are going to obey The Constitution, you truly are blind as to what’s going on right now. It’s just like interpreting the 2nd Amendment to one’s own interpretation. There are many opinions on just what exactly that means.
    Try arguing that point with a cop, and his response will be “You can tell that to the Judge. He has his job, and I have mine.”
    Good luck with that one.

  11. I see there’s some confusion and misunderstanding as to the role of a Law Enforcement Officer (COP).
    The sworn duty of a cop is to enforce the laws as they are written. He/she does not have the luxury of picking and choosing which laws he/she will enforce. The interpretation of the law is the duty of the Courts. If said cop refuses, knowingly, willfully, and publicly to enforce the law – that is Dereliction of Duty, and cause for Loss of Certification to be a cop.
    This is basic Police Academy stuff.
    Arguing the Constitutionality concerning the enforcing of a law with a cop, is a complete waste of time. As it has been said – “Tell it to the Judge.”

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