Why didn’t someone tell me?

When I was 22 and working at a nuclear power plant I was assigned to work with an interesting guy, Richard. He was known as a “tax protester” and “conspiracy theorist.” I listened attentively to what Richard had to say. I was, after all, a captive audience, being an apprentice at the time. He told me all about the Rothchilds, the Bildergergers, the CFR, the new world order, the FED, and fiat money. Richard did not cheat on his taxes, he just refused to file a 1040. He did pay tax, claiming single and zero to have the maximum amount of income tax withheld each year, and then just did not file. The IRS was pissed at him, but never really came after him with vengeance. He was a gold bug. But it was 1982 and prices were down a bit. Silver had just popped its bubble. I went to the LCS and looked at 10 ounce bars of silver, but the premium was $2 each way. Silver would need to rise 40% for me to break even. I walked out, filed away most of what he taught me about conspiracies, and went on with my sheeple-life. Richard tried to tell me what was going on. I should have kept an eye on things.

But gold has been a store of value for a very long time, in all cultures!

I wish Richard would have taught me more about reading gold charts, advising me to start stacking, slowly and steadily in 1982. But he spent more time trying to convert me into a tax protester. Unfortunately, I linked the two together in my mind, decided not to fight the IRS, and let go of metal bugging also.

Be careful how much conspiracy stuff you try to warn others about! I was pretty smart back then and I couldn’t process it all or connect all the dots.

Later, in 2002, my wife and I, with two young-uns (ages 8 & 11) who needed room to play, decided to move from our downtown Victorian home in a small midwest town, out into the countryside on a few acres. Credit was easy. We found a wonderful home and then went to the bank and got our rubber stamp loan approval. After settling in, I received another raise at my university teaching job. Life was good for the Christmas of 2003 as we opened presents then played in the snow. The economy was strong and our budget had a nice surplus that we mostly used to pay off car loans and pay down the home mortgage. Our future looked bright. But something was going on that I did not know about.

Gold had become cheap, very cheap.

Silver was also cheap, very cheap. I got a whiff of its cheapness one day, looking briefly as some “walking liberty” half dollars in the coin shop areal of the local antique store. But I was thinking “collectible” and not investment. These coins were “smoothies.” Not interested. Alas! If I had only done some internet investigating for just 5 minutes… I would have recognized that the intrinsic value was greater than the fiat price.

In 2002, houses were rising in price while farmland in Indiana was reasonably cheap—1500 per acre for tillable land. So we bought 7 acres with two houses—a big one to live in and a little old renovated farmhouse to rent out. Life was good. But I wish someone back then had told me about gold!

I could have purchases an ounce per month without crimping our budget severely. And as the fiat value of gold began to rise over the next few years, I would have finally turned into a real metal bug.

But nobody told me about gold, about what was going on in gold—that the Bank of England had flooded the market in 2001, driving price way below mining costs. Why? Who cares…the stuff was cheap and you did not have to be a conspiracy theorist to recognize it. Besides, it takes too long to connect all the dots for people, and then they don’t get it and think you are crazy. So just show them your sensible side.

So that is my position today as I chat with friends and relatives.

I am telling folks what nobody told me in the 1980s and in the 2000s.

  • Precious metals are a great investment opportunity today! Stocks are at all time highs. 
  • Metals are low—too low, given inflation rates.

Big time players recognize how low these prices are--China and a plethora of nations who are buying gold and repatriating what they have stored in NY & London.

The monopolized mainstream media is consistently dissing precious metals. Why? Just connect the dots.

Am I a charlatan for advising people to buy and hold gold, long term, as it is bottoming at the “out-of-ground” price? While one could make a valid argument with gold at all-time highs, you are on shaky ground to argue that claim today. And the news know-it-alls who call for $800 gold simply embarrass themselves, depending on their good looks and managed credibility for the force of their argument.

Land that will produce food can also be purchased on the cheap. Do you want to stay in the city where Police are shaking people down, too trigger happy, and now have military gear to back them up? … In the city where those dependent on government handouts have become a very large percentage of the population? We have seen how riots and looting can start very efficiently these days, thanks to texting and free phones. In the city where food depends in “just in time” delivery and even large stores can see their shelves go bare within hours of a storm announcement?

So I am telling friends to consider moving to the countryside (or picking up a second home, where you can be safer and produce food—not to mention the peacefulness and beauty). Commute to work while the game lasts. I sure wish I had bought that lot in an Arizona river valley for $4000 back in 1984. The same lot costs 20K today. I could have put a travel trailer on it and just got out of Phoenix a couple times per month to tend the fruit trees planted there. And I would have had an option.

For those of you immersed in city life, I hope you can make your home secure. But I do fear for what cities will turn into if the economy takes a big dive. Perhaps consider prudently buying a desirable acre or two out in the countryside and parking a small travel trailer there as a get-away. You may need it. Or, since the banks are still letting out a trickle of foreclosed homes in good areas, consider that. But you have to know what you want, where, then watch closely and make an offer the first day they hit the listing services. A trusty realtor can be a good friend in the purchasing process.

How about this place on 9 acres in the woods with a creek for 34K?  Already has a well, septic and a structure. If you can handle living in a mobile home, it provides an option for you. These kinds of places are for sale throughout the US, and the bank-seller often takes a much lower offer if you have patience, are persistent, and don't offend the banker.

So I am telling friends & family, simply and straightforwardly to …

  • Consider purchasing metals—as an investment for now because the price is low—they understand that.
  • Consider purchasing a get-away place—relax, get away, enhance your life—they understand that.

What they do not understand is the FED, CFR, IMF, Bilderberger, globalist, Wall Street, corrupt, criminal, fiat-manipulating conspiracy.

All of us should provide ourselves reasonable options that enhance our lives now, provide choices if the future is more dismal than we can stand. Gold and land can store of your savings and provide food. Plant trees, build gardens, make your home more self-sufficient and secure. Merge into a smaller community. Make friends and gain their trust—both ways. Enjoy life. Sleep well.

I wish someone would have told me--clearly, succinctly, memorably, followed with sound, actionable advice. 

One more thing… did you see this delightful article on ZH yesterday? The author is not a “survivalist,” but a “thrivalist,” discussing the virtues and practicalities of owning a cow.


-SilverIsMoney-'s picture

Ive come to realize...

Stacking is not an investment, in fact one could argue it's a terrible investment, what it is is a new way of life and thinking - a way based on independence instead of dependence, self control instead of helplessness, and one measured in weights and not prices. 

The goal of everyone as you've alluded to here should be to find a way to build themselves a bug out location not too far from their current homes and create yourself your own safe haven there. Live two lives... one in this new normal and the other at your bug out location - balance between both is key. Live both lifes but speak of the 2nd one to almost no one...

When the time comes and your friends and family are looking for refuge you'll have the rabbit ready to pull out of the hat. I used to think we should try our best to spread the message and help others but now i've become so jaded in doing that I'm beginning to think the best thing to do is shut up about it and just focus on saving yourself and people closest to you. Harsh but every day it rings truer with me...

Accept what we're doing here is preparing for the end not investing to make money and once you realize that you'll be fine and if you got into this just to get wealthy recognize you probably made a bad call - again, balance the two lives but above all else keep prepping... if you want to more money i'd suggest investing in something that pays dividends and isn't abhorrently manipulated to the downside EVERY DAY. This to me is no longer about making money it's about survival and that's why I think i'm going back to school to study agriculture. Learning how to farm is going to be very key in the future... and getting the degree helps me in life 1 while learning the skill helps me in life 2.

matt_'s picture

As Turd predicted....

Gold was smashed down the last day of the year and ensured that price was down for the year.  Turd predicted the financial media would use it to talk down gold.  Well, he was right.

From Bloomberg: "For the first time since 1998, gold posted back-to-back yearly declines.":


From Fox Business: "Gold falls 1.5% in 2014.":


From the Washington Post: "A way better investment than gold in 2014? Coffee.":


Dr Jerome's picture


I bet they had those stories ready and waiting since Monday.

silver66's picture

Dr J thanks for the history of your journey

I am sure many in Turdville will smile while reading as they will probably see themselves in your story, I know I did


DeaconBenjamin's picture

Those were the days

I went to the LCS and looked at 10 ounce bars of silver, but the premium was $2 each way. Silver would need to rise 40% for me to break even. I walked out

I remember silver at about $4.50, and ASEs were selling for $120/roll -- $6 each.  That was a 33 percent premium.  I was way too smart to pay that kind of premium.

btcgoldbull's picture

@ matt_

That is too funny, they didn't even wait until 1/1/15 to start bad mouthing gold :-)

Mr. Fix's picture

The educational value of precious metals…

Years ago it just seemed like a really good idea to save my hard-earned money in something that would retain value, so I “went all in”, and stacked gold and silver.

Afterwards, I tried to investigate the wisdom of that decision, despite what many would consider adversity in these markets.

Trying to make sense out of  these “markets”, has led me down so many rabbit holes, that trying to explain what I have learned to those who are “unindoctrinated”, would  leave me sounding like a madman. I no longer bother.

Regardless, it's been the educational experience of my life, and I owe all of that to the folks here. 

At least most of it makes sense to me now, and the value of that is priceless.

Thank you all for being here, and happy new year. 

Patriot Family's picture

We went ahead and bought

We went ahead and bought rural (very rural) property in NE Washington after a 2 year search.  30 acres, shallow mountain well with exceptionally clean water, large gardening areas, workshop, large house with dual living spaces in case family ever comes to stay with us, abundant wood for heating, and plenty of hunting opportunities.  Quick egress to Canada if ever needed.  Good neighbors with huge orchards that cannot use all they produce (and willing to share until our own orchards are planted).  We're working on splitting the cost of a milk cow with them.  Green houses go up this spring.  We move up there sometime in the next three weeks; I will continue to work here in the city for at least another year and then we'll transfer our mail order business up to our rural location.  The mortgage is affordable $700/mo cheaper than the "cheap" rent we are paying here in the Seattle area, pluse we get about $600/mo in tax benefits for the first few years.

Even now, I still would have preferred the route of 5+ acres land with a year round stream, build a roofed structure I could park a 5th wheel under, build a storage building and workshop.  Would have met our needs just fine, too.  Those pieces of land get snapped up very quickly.

One thing we've learned through our explorations- it can take a few years to develop land into a useful asset.  The land we bought was developed over the last 20 years.  You may find yourself chainsawing a road through your property to get to a good building site or to even put in an RV pad.  Wells aren't cheap.  Septic may be needed (you can get away with compositing toilets until then). Orchards need to be planned and tended.  Garden areas must be maintained.  Neighbors need to be evaluated.  My advice - don't wait.  If you are buying cash and plan to hold the land for the long term, buy now.

The Westbrook Family runs a site called "Country Living University"  ( www.countrylivinguniversity.com ) .  They offer great insights into moving to a rural property.  I've found their free videos to be pretty helpful, and their other paid videos are very good, too.  You can avoid a LOT of heartache by planning your property purchase carefully.

We are also looking for an additional 20 acres - wooded with a stream or artesian spring.  I think we found it for a good price.  Firewood sales to the local community will more than cover the cost.

Stacking PMs - we still do it although we are waiting for our finances to settle before we resume.

Mr. Fix's picture

@ AUAGforever

So I listened to the video, and I adamantly disagree.

First off, it's a “government study”, and secondly, it doesn't even address the primary concern of an economic collapse, where supply chains cease to function, and resources become unavailable.

In such a scenario, which is arguably inevitable, the city would be a death trap.

Of course, our government, seems to prefer this outcome.

Don't be afraid to think for yourself.

DeaconBenjamin's picture


Why are rural residents three times more likely to die an accidental death than city dwellers?  Perhaps because the rural population (at least where I am) is so heavily weighted towards people in their 60s, 70s, and 80s.  I am not yet retirement age, which makes me younger than 2/3 or 3/4 of the people I attend church with (at 2 different churches).  Of my neighbors, I estimate half are retired.  Of those I work with in my office (approx. 20), more than half are at or past retirement age (e.g. 62-65).  Of those outside the office that I deal with on a regular basis, nearly half are at or past retirement age. 

infometron's picture

@ Dr. J.

Another evocative post, eliciting great comments!

Richard reminds me of a friend of my father who used to piss off the taxman by filing his returns in binary... a practice that is no longer allowed :^)

DeaconBenjamin's picture

Another reason to buy now

Are precious metals dealers ready for a new Vermont law?

A new law that goes into effect with the new year targets one segment of business -- shops that buy and sell jewelry and other precious metals.

Under the law, precious metals dealers have to fill out an application and pay a $200 fee to be certified. Gone are the days of quick cash and carry. Dealers will now pay with checks or money orders for anything over $25. They also need start keeping track of a slew of new information including digital photographs of items, proof of identity and documentation of ownership.


AIJ's picture

All Opinions welcome

Mr. Fix, Fernando is simply making the point to  understand the pluses and minuses of the city vs the country.

He is from Argentina and has lived in various harsh economic situations and personally lived those differences.

He has also studied Bosnia and other harsh economic collapses and analyzed the dangers.

I think an alternate to the "American Redoubt" is to consider an organized neighborhood where a defense can be made in many ways. 

If there is truly a collapse I believe that "The Road" scenario is possible where the isolated in the country are tempting targets.  A siege usually ends badly for those with no where to run.

I doubt a economic collapse will be the same every where.  Much is not predictable.  I always like to have as many options as I can.

My two cents.

gold slut's picture

@Dr J

Another excellent post,  I always look forward to your contributions, this is the sort of thing that makes TFMR such outstanding value.  It's not the place, but the people who gather there that matters.yes

Silver Patriot's picture

Caching & Country Living

I am in the process to moving out to a rural farm. These comments came at an appropriate time.... Anyone got any great tips on caching your stack where you could find it without a GPS? (My boat sunk long ago!)

Joseph Warren's picture

The Basics . . . never the 'hardcore' stuff

Good article Dr.

If talking to someone about the precious metals, I avoid the 'outrageously' controversial subjects. There's enough to amaze a thoughtful person without going down that road. -- I try to get them to understand the true nature of money. That leads them to the true nature of fiat and how the PMs are different.

Basic primers on these topics include "Dishonest Money" by Joseph Plummer and the DVD cartoon "The American Dream: Fighting the Lying Liars One Lie at a Time" (30 minutes).  These are presented at a level that a jr. high school kid could comprehend. - - - At a bit more sophisticated, but still readily accessible level, is the short booklet "What Has the Government Done to Our Money ?"  by economist Murray Rothbard.

These resources provide all the background information that is really needed by most people regarding the PMs and personal financial protection. It takes little time or effort to absorb these resources. 

I'd given away many copies of these books & the DVD and have recommended them to many over the years. Unfortunately, I am sad to say that most haven't even opened them. The issue isn't intellectual, but emotional. Most Americans are in denial and want to remain there for the present. Hopefully, some day that will change.

Patriot Family's picture


Pick a large immovable object, like a boulder.  Bury X feet in exact noted direct (i.e., 180 degrees, or exact west).  Also record longitude/latitude location.  Plant a metallic marker in case you need to find it with a metal detector later.  Remember - if it's easy for you to find, someone else can too.

Also, there is an art to caching both valuables and supplies and keeping them hidden from those who might search your property:  http://www.amazon.com/Modern-Weapons-Caching-Down---Earth/dp/0873645839/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1420148176&sr=8-6&keywords=caching

While the above book deals with caching weapons (that's not something I feel a need to do), the tips are universal for any type of supplies you'd like to put away outside of your home's walls.  I've read through the book and then did a Google search on "prepper cache supplies" and a number of fairly good articles popped up.  Key seems to be making sure nobody else can locate the stuff and keeping moisture out of storage containers.  I'll stop there.  I haven't really created any significant caches to date, so I hold no true expertise in this area.

Patriot Family's picture

Dr J - excellent article.  I

Dr J - excellent article.  I rarely post these days as I am traveling a lot out of the country for work.  I am only home because (a) it's the holidays and (b) I ended up in the hospital unexpectedly for surgery.  Thankfully a simple procedure - had my appendix removed.  A week later and I am recovering very quickly.

Talking to others about financial stuff is like banging one's head against a brick wall.  They don't want to think that something may happen to our financial system.  If their paychecks (or as in the case of at least one family member, government assistance) keep coming, why worry?  Sure, they may make little preparations here and there, like stocking up on an extra week's worth of food.  Doing more is simply beyond the scope of their reasoning and understanding.

I've found that Mike Maloney's series on the history, creation and use of money, as well as Chris Martinson's Peak Prosperity series are excellent introductions to anyone who has the patience to watch them.

We have family members who ask, "You make a really good salary, why aren't you taking a vacation, etc.?" Example, our close relatives are spending the holidays down in the tropics.  We simply say we are preparing for future.  I'd rather buy a used diesel garden tractor with that $7K that will last me 10-15 years than go to a sunny beach.  Or buy a few more ounces of gold.  Or get my family set up for canning a year's worth of supplies at a time.  Or build that chicken tractor with a moveable electric fence. That is also a wake-up call for some people that goes well past words.  Your deeds and actions are watched carefully by friends and family.  I think as the value of the dollar declines, they will see you as very smart rather than extremist.

Some of my family is waking up.  A relative on my wife's side certainly did a year ago.  When we were ready to sell off gold at spot to get the down payment on our home, he called us right away with an offer to buy.  He is in his late 70's and is now an official stacker.  He is also now doing storage food.

AlienEyes's picture


That's why they made New Hampshire.  cheeky

Vermont is a sh!t hole refuge for child molesters and communists.

infometron's picture

Surprise, surprise, surprise!

wildstylechef's picture

so sad he is so usless, worse than Harper, and thats bad

Dr Jerome's picture

metals up

I wonder if we get a repeat of 1st quarter 2013, rising to 1390?

I agree with Mr Fix that the Argentinean Prepper  was citing a study that was conducted in "normal times" and not the extraordinary times we may be facing. Several points are valid, such as access to medical care, but other points that favor cities will likely be diminished, such as driving distances nad likelihood of auto accidents. I really don't expect to be driving around much.  I'd rather be in the country if things get tough. 

btcgoldbull's picture

@ Dr Jerome

"I wonder if we get a repeat of 1st quarter 2013, rising to 1390?"

I sure hope so but I'm getting the sense that everybody is 'thinking' that way and that maybe Mr. Market might have a different plan in store for us. Dunno, gonna keep buying the dips until I run out of fiat :-)

btcgoldbull's picture

Strauss & Howe - The Fourth Turning

“Reflect on what happens when a terrible winter blizzard strikes. You hear the weather warning but probably fail to act on it. The sky darkens. Then the storm hits with full fury, and the air is a howling whiteness. One by one, your links to the machine age break down. Electricity flickers out, cutting off the TV. Batteries fade, cutting off the radio. Phones go dead. Roads become impossible, and cars get stuck. Food supplies dwindle. Day to day vestiges of modern civilization – bank machines, mutual funds, mass retailers, computers, satellites, airplanes, governments – all recede into irrelevance. Picture yourself and your loved ones in the midst of a howling blizzard that lasts several years. Think about what you would need, who could help you, and why your fate might matter to anybody other than yourself. That is how to plan for a saecular winter. Don’t think you can escape the Fourth Turning. History warns that a Crisis will reshape the basic social and economic environment that you now take for granted.”

Bollocks's picture

Dr J.

A wonderful article to start the year smiley.

Wow, 34k for a place in the woods with 9 acres of land. With a discount if you haggle!

You'd be lucky to get a shoebox in middle of t'road for that in London.

I'm living in the wrong place. Seriously, and not just because of the cost of living here, but the location. London is a crazy place, status is all-important and I'm sick of all that crap. You've got me thinking.

Markedtofuture's picture

"Audit The Fed" Bill Gains Momentum,Yellen Starts Damage Control

Submitted by Tyler Durden on 01/01/2015 16:45 -0500

After years of being blocked by Democratic leader Harry Reid, The Washington Times reports, the Senate will finally get a chance next year to vote on legislation to force a broad audit of the Federal Reserve's decision-making. Ron Paul's flagship legislative efforts have been picked up by his son and now has the backing of the leader of the new Republican majority, Sen. Mitch McConnell, whose office says the legislation will earn a floor vote. While the bill is not a sure thing, it appears to have The Fed worried as Reuters reports, Yellen and other Fed officials are lobbying Capitol Hill to drop the audit push.


infometron's picture

Re: Audit the FED

"Yellen and other Fed officials are lobbying Capitol Hill to drop the audit push." Google translation: "Please don't pull back the curtain, please."

Alternative translation: "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain."

lakedweller2's picture

New Year

Same old movement.

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