This year has proven to be an interesting year for a myriad of reasons. Unemployment remains high, the economy is stagnant, unprecedented gun control has been threatened, and government assistance appears to be the mainstream income of the future. This is a great concern and leads many to wonder what the solution may be. These concerns bleed over into finances and investments which is a definite concern of mine.
I once heard a saying that went something like, “In the event of a collapse, all things will be equal.” If you think about it, there is a lot of truth in that statement. If electronic wealth was lost, many of those who were wealthy or financially comfortable could potentially be put on a level playing field with impoverished citizens. A little planning on what you do with your money now, can make a big difference in the future if things were to go in a downward spiral. If nothing happens…then you still have valuable items that you would likely have purchased to use anyway.
The following areas are where I am actually investing some of my money or would invest my money if I had more of it. But first, a word from our sponsor.
***DISCLAIMER*** – The author is not a licensed, bonded, insured, certified, or otherwise professionally affiliated financial advisor. The ideas contained in this blog post are merely shared to invoke thought and inspire the reader to consider tangible goods as part of any investing strategy. Any investments made based on the content of this blog post are the sole responsibility of the investor. The Prepared Ninja take no responsibility for such actions.
Guns – Despite all of the things that any of you may have heard, a gun is a tool. A tool that can be used to put food on the table or to protect you and your loved ones. The powers that be are trying to limit Americans rights under the Second Amendment. This year is also an election year which has the potential to bring even scarier times for America. Now is the time to buy guns. The best case scenario is that the laws will not change but even then prices are likely to be going up. The worst case scenario is…well maybe it is best to not think about that. I see there at least being a run on the purchase of firearms as the upcoming Presidential election nears. Firearms are a sound place to spend you money as they are items that can last a lifetime, be passed on to future generations, and sold easily and quickly if the need arises for liquidation. Buy now and buy often!
Ammunition – You need a ton of it! Like Jack Spirko always says, “Without ammunition, a gun is just a really expensive club.” It is important to not only have ammunition for your guns, but also to have the right type. It is likely that this will result in at least two types of rounds for each gun that you own, a specialized type of round that could be for things such as defense or hunting and a practice or target type of round to use for training. In the event of certain weapon systems like shotguns, you may have different rounds for personal defense, several types of hunting, and training. Only each gun owner can evaluate their individual needs. With the current political and socio-economic climate that exists in the country, my recommendation would be to come up with the number of rounds that you think you need for each weapon you have and then double it. It is better to have it and not need it, then to need it and not have it, right?
Storable Food – Food is fuel for the body and also provides psychological comfort in stressful situations. There is also the part about how you can die if you don’t eat also. Long term storage food such as the food that can be purchased from Safe Castle allows for a store of food that does not require special handling. On top of fueling your body, food can be used in building goodwill and partnerships with other. Typical caloric requirements average 2,000 calories per person, per day but you should consider that periods of extra activity such as during a disaster may require additional calories as well. If additional food stores for goodwill, bartering, or relationship building is desired than obviously the amount on hand would need to be increased as well.
Stored Water – A lack of water can kill a person in a short period of time. This makes water vital for survival. The greatest single advantage about storing water is that it can be acquired at a very low-cost. In fact it is likely to cost more to obtain containers to hold water than it will be to get the water itself. General guidelines would dictate that the amount of water that should be stored should be equal to one gallon of water per person, per day for the time period that you specify. This facilitates not only water for drinking and minimal cooking but for basic hygiene as well. If your preparedness plans involve heavy use of water for cooking or something else, then adjustments will need to be made to the overall figures. It would also be advisable to explore the option of getting a means to filter water such as a Berkey Water Filter to use as a back-up system.
Back-Up Energy Systems – Solar systems, gas-powered generators, and windmill systems are all examples of back-up energy systems that can used for continued life support if the grid and other life support systems were unavailable. On top of allowing life to remain comfortable, back-up energy systems could also open the door to income producing opportunities such as charging batteries.
Farmable Land – If you are in the market for property, then farmable land is the place to be looking. Farm and timber land are the two types of land that can be continuously planted and harvested, allowing for a virtually endless source of food and/or income. To be clear, farmable land does not have to be hundreds of acres. A single acre lot is capable of producing more food than a single family is able to eat while there are plots of land that are thousands of acres are not able to easily produce any type of useful resource.
Skills Training – I believe that a return to the basics is in America’s future. Part of this will be in the form of widely practiced “lost” arts such as gardening, blacksmithing, trapping, and animal husbandry. Many useful training opportunities are available for little to no cost for those that are willing to look for them. Potential places for such training could include the county extension office, local university, or farmer’s co-op. Other opportunities that could be more costly are available through specialty schools and training programs.
Tools – The ability to use your newly acquired skills will likely mean that you will need tools to complete certain tasks. In a disaster or collapse scenario it is unlikely that an abundance of options, if any, will be available to readily purchase much-needed tools. The obvious solution is to invest in tools now while they are easily and cheaply available. Evaluate what your potential tool needs are and ensure that you have at least one of everything and back ups for tools that may break easily or that have short life spans.
Barter Items – Items that can be stored easily, in large quantities, and always are in high demand make great barter items. The value in purchasing barter items as an alternate investment comes from the fact that they can be traded or bartered (duh!) for other items that you may want or need. In the event of a collapse or long-term disaster, barter items will likely be used as currency until stability is achieved again. Don’t be left without a way to get what you need! For a list of suggested barter items see the GreatDreams website, an exhaustive list of barter items and trade skills available from SHTF Plan, and the best barter items from Pakalert Press.
In addition to these ideas on tangible investments, the Alpha Strategy is a wealth of information about alternate investments and investing in tangible goods.
Don’t forget to make a comment or mention your favorite ideas for alternate investments for the year 2012.