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 the coming divergence in rural versus urban real estate prices. (See: The Work From Home Transformation section and the Tangibles Investing section.)

Precious Metals:

U.S. stimulus to trigger rally: Gold price to surge to $2,200 by year-end – ANZ

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The Piper is Calling: A Sea of Debt, a World of Problems

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Video from Dunagan Kaiser: Behind The Scenes at Miles Franklin’s Bullion Ops

Economy & Finance:

At Zero Hedge: An Emerging Markets “Doom Loop” Time Bomb Emerges, And Inflation Could Set It Off

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Morgan Stanley: The Soaring US Current Account Deficit Will Act As A Global Reflationary Impulse. JWR’s Comments: Massive government over-spending by 40+ nations will surely lead to a resurgence in currency inflation. At the minimum, we will see late-1970s-scale inflation. But I suspect that it will be even worse. Plan and invest accordingly. In times of high inflation, cash is trash and tangibles are king.

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At Wolf Street: Extend-and-Pretend Caused Bankruptcies to Plunge in Germany, France, Spain. Now Central Banks Tell Banks to Prepare for Bankruptcy Surge

America’s Work From Home Transformation:

At Wolf Street: Synchrony Financial Disclosed Radical Work-from-Home Plan, Layoffs, and “Office Footprint” Reduction. JWR’s Comments:  Megatrends like this must not be ignored. The Work From Home transformation of the U.S. economy will have huge implications for office real estate (expect a collapse in the price per square foot), and the demand for suburban and rural residential real estate versus urban real estate. The latter will surely see a sharp decline. Do you want to track “The Smart Money”? Well, It already left for the Hamptons and the Hinterboonies, months ago. It won’t be until next spring when the Generally Dumb Public asks: “What happened?” Only then will the mass media properly acknowledge the accelerating mass migration. How are you going to keep them in the Big City, once they’ve seen the farm?

If you own any urban real estate, then I hope that you already have it on the market.  If you wait until next summer to list it, then you probably suffer a substantial loss.

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Did you see this, when it was posted back in July?  America’s Work-From-Home Transition Will Have Many Economic Ripples.

Forex & Cryptos:

USD/JPY drops to fresh one-month lows, closer to mid-104.00s

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Sterling jumps nearly 1% as Barnier strikes more upbeat tone

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EUR/USD Forecast: Poised to challenge a critical resistance level

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Pompliano: Central Bank Digital Currencies Are All The Rage Right Now

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PayPal to offer crypto payments starting in 2021

Tangibles Investing:

A good nationwide summary: US Housing Market Forecast 2020 & 2021: Crash is Coming? JWR’s Comments:  There won’t be a housing market bust until interest rates spike. However, even then, I foresee that rural real estate will hold value, while urban real estate tanks.  But for now, it is still a seller’s market.  Your mantra for the next few years should be: “Sell urban, buy rural.”

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The rise of ‘zoom towns’ in the rural west

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Avalanche Lily spotted this: Unhappy urbanites find homes on the range

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Repeating an item that I penned for Wednesday’s blog Top Note: I noticed that Amazon.com has updated their ordering page for my latest book (The Ultimate Prepper’s Survival Guide) to read: Usually ships within 1 to 2 months.”  Sooooo… They apparently blew through their entire inventory in two days. (I just love Book Bomb days!) I really doubt that Simon & Schuster is going to want to do Amazon any favors, since the book is printed in Hong Kong and any subsequent print runs have a three-month lead time. This opens up some interesting possibilities for anyone who dabbles in retail arbitrage.  Given Amazon’s current corporate zero supply, enterprising folks can buy up stacks of copies at Costco stores, at $14.99 each and then re-sell them on Amazon or eBay for around $22 to $25 each, plus postage. And if the supply gets any tighter between now and Christmas, then the market price might get to $30+ each. Buy low and sell high, folks!

Provisos:

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 items from local news outlets that are missed by the news wire services are especially appreciated. And it need not be only about commodities and precious metals. Thanks!




27 Comments

    1. Concur. I had two rental properties in town (and another in a different town). One is well-rented, the other wasn’t. I listed #2 in MARCH and had only two walk-throughs until late August. God smiled on me and I took a rational (and slightly profitable) offer.

      Now working on #1 in order to list this coming Spring.

  1. I’m glad I ordered The Ultimate Prepper’s Survival Guide when i woke up Tuesday Morning – got it yesterday and started reading it instead of watching the president debate. Reading Jim’s new book was a much more productive use of my time.

    1. I’m jealous! I ordered it in the wee hours of the morning on Tuesday and it said it would arrive yesterday but it didn’t; it appears to have disappeared after making it as far as CT. I suspect it won’t show up. And as they are out of stock now they won’t be reshipping it anytime soon.

    2. You will have that book forever, but you missed a chance to watch the President completely dismantle the radical socialist candidate on national TV. Listening to Buy-in lie like a cheap rug wasn’t good for my blood pressure but it was well worth it.

  2. Live free or die: The Federal Reserve which is a private entity that was created for the benefit of already wealthy bankers and is responsible to no one will continue to print money
    for the purpose of subsidizing and propping up all markets.
    When the new worthless paper renders the US dollar into a victim of hyper inflation then those that worship at the altar of the NYSE will be at the mercy of the government to give them a handkerchief and a pat on the head.

    I really hope and pray that your house sells very soon. This is the wrong time for any of us to take on debt.

  3. I am aware of the motorcycle club in Tucson, Arizona called the “Huns” preps. They prepped for the 2012 event. They are ready and will survive the bad times unfolding around us. If the Huns are prepping should we not be prepping. The Huns will flee to the rural area to survive if that need occurs.

  4. JWRs comment about “keeping them in the city once they’ve seen the farm” is a direct 180 deg. from what it was the I was growing up (Ok, I still am growing up but that’s a different story).
    Used to be how are you going to keep them on the farm once they’ve seen the bright lights of the city.
    Biggest issue I see is the recent transplants to the rural areas are not adequately prepared for the complete change in lifestyle, in culture, beliefs, or necessities.
    Most are liberal leaning and few remember or never have been prepared with
    adequate skills required for rural living….. Which makes it doubly tough for the folks that have lived in rural areas all, or the majority of their lives. Not only do we have to train our kids, but now we gotta train the newcomers too, and they sometimes don’t learn so well, having heads filled with mush from years of easy citified living and everything provided for them…..

  5. With regard to work from home as opposed to using a company office. I did that for a major computer company for several years. It was a good experience. The company provided a computer, internet, phone and supplies as needed. Many people figure you can/will sluff off the work and get away with it. NO chance. Since they provide the phone , internet and computer, they can and do monitor all the standard metrics with regard to productivity including what, when and who you are on the internet and with. To do the job over years, you needed to approach the desk and computer as if you were going into the regular office, complete with slacks, white shirt and tie. You had to set expectations for yourself and the live up to them. Unfortunately one company I was later associated with had severe trust issues and justifying your existence took almost as much time as the regular work.

    1. I worked from home a great deal before early retirement. I had 2 laptops and at one point I actually had 2 Internet connections (a cable and dsl connection to keep home network traffic and work network traffic separated). Anything personal, anything, and I’d swivel around and use the personal laptop. Same with the cell phones. I *never* mixed business with personal. Working from home gave me back several previous “commuter hours” and I used those for work. I worked many more hours when home than when I commuted to work. It cuts both ways though. If your home life is out of control and you don’t have a workspace, then it’s very difficult to work from home. Ever grabbed a laptop/cell and ran into the bathroom and locked the door for a conference call? LOL. Someone I know recently was forced to work from home due to covid. They converted a shed into a work office next to the house (they live in a warm climate), so Wi-Fi was available from the house. It will be interesting to see how many people will be able to telecommute. In my experience, the managers who are control freaks are the ones who have the hardest time with employees working from home. The ones who look at the bottom line, output, etc., rather than micro-managing, do much better.

  6. In regards to the great rural flight that has been occurring, people are in a bit of a panic, buying property sight unseen in some cases, and many all cash offers. Not good. I know people who will put their homes on the market the day after the election depending upon how they feel things are going. I expect things to be chaotic through January at least, in the real estate market, when the President takes office. My hesitation in chaotic times, is the great rural flight is driving property prices through the roof and it could turn out to be a short lived high. Having lived through the ’07-’09 crash, the signs were there, I just didn’t see them. Now, I’m tuned in. Making a sell and move decision is very personal for people and not just emotionally/family related. Now, would be a very bad time to become more indebted, in my opinion. Altho, I’m with everyone who thinks getting as far away as possible from urban areas is a good idea. But, that’s a general principle for most prepared minded. I don’t know how things are going to turn out, but I really don’t like seeing prices jumping so high so fast, even though I am a beneficiary of that trend.

    1. @ Sara Sue

      The thing with rising real estate prices is that unless you own a home somewhere that has escalating prices that people now want to move to, say Idaho or Montana, and want to move to a place where people don’t want to live and thus the prices are lower, the rising RE prices don’t benefit you at all, even if you are the seller. You’d be selling high and buying high.

      I’m uncomfortable with the mad dash to buy up rural properties and thus the drive-up in prices. While I know that I could get more for my house which I just purchased earlier this year(although having had to put on a roof, install heating systems etc I would sure hope so!), if I sold it, where would I go? Prices have escalated in any place I’d want to live. I hope this trend fades away soon!

  7. Two data points re. working from home/reduced office overhead:

    1) Son #1 lives and works in the DC area for a government contractor. He has not been to the office since March, and in my last call with him he told me the company was terminating their office lease and radically re-sizing their corporate leased space

    2) Son #2 lives and works in the DC area for a government contractor. He has not been to the office since March (See the pattern here? Not a typo; two wholly different companies). His company hasn’t expressed leasing space reductions but my assumption is that they are wargaming the idea.

    Lesson: if you are working in an office, get connected, get tech-savvy, and get ready for radical change. Ditto for education; my personal view is the brick and mortar educational institutions are rapidly headed to the La Brea Tar Pits.

  8. The price of rural properties and houses in small towns is skyrocketing in Oregon. In addition to the work-at-home trend and the people fleeing cities due to Covid and the riots, there is also the loss of thousands of homes to the recent fires.

    I’m glad I bought my property 25 years ago.

  9. Re: The Kitco article about gold prices surging
    The author’s premise is based on additional stimulus being passed by our dysfunctional Congress, particularly the Demon-controlled House of Representatives. Either the Demons keep control of the House, in this case they will continue obstructing everything the President proposes resulting in nothing happening and continued instability in the PM markets. Option #2 is that Republi-cants regain control of the House, and by enough of a majority to make the Demons irrelevant, and the Fed will resume its depredation of the American worker’s wallets. I think that unless you are panning your own gold, buying it is a fool’s errand at this point because you would be lucky to keep pace with inflation.

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