Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Tangible investments

On the radio today, they started talking about investing in a turbulent time. One of them pointed out that those wishing to invest in gold should get the actual gold, rather than certificates. The other two were astounded by this. They didn't know why anyone would want to invest in gold, though they did recognize that paper promises could be rendered meaningless. They wanted to know about buying gold bars and the sort of people who buy gold.

Investing in tangibles is a safe route, for the most part. Gold and silver have value that isn't linked to the performance of any particular economy. They tend to go up in value, rather than losing value to inflation. Governments can't just print more gold or silver. Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not saying you should convert your savings to gold bars. No, investing in some gold coins gives you some wealth that'll still be there if the dollar (or other currency of your choice) bottoms out.

The only way gold will be worthless is if we end up in a situation where survival is the only priority. Gold, at that point, will be heavy metal that has little use. Hopefully, though, you have some investments that are of more use. Guns, ammo, tools, food, and other supplies with inherent utility are going to be the only things with value in a survival-based society. But once things calm down, gold will almost invariably be a standard of wealth again. And, hey, if you had enough of the necessities, you probably got some gold for almost nothing during the bad times.

Yep, tangibles are nice.

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