Showing posts with label junk silver. Show all posts
Showing posts with label junk silver. Show all posts

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Foundational Precious Metals Post 2 of 2

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

What Have You Done To Prepare Lately

I picked up a couple of budget chest rigs to fill some gaping holes in my gear stash.

The FAL needs a chest rig so I got this
I want an MVT Versa Chest Rig but right now the tactical nylon budget is tight and while I do love the FAL it is kind of an ancillary rifle. I'll probably pick one up this fall/ winter when the fairly predictable run on politically incorrect guns as well as the mags/ ammo that feed them happens.

For the old Commie Warhorse I got a

Also bought some silver a week or so back when it was under $15. These days I would say silver is a deal under $20, under 16 and fugetaboutit. The rest of my discretionary funds are getting stashed for another ammo purchase. Probably a case of 7.62x51 but if I get impatient might just get more 5.56.

Other than that there has been a renewed effort on diet and physical fitness plus some dry fire.

So that is what I have been up to. What have you been up to lately?

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Christmas AAR

We had a pretty darn good Christmas. Rented a cabin out in east Texas with my sister and her family. It was a nice little place out in the woods by a pond. We were well on our own but not too far from town to get more beer replace the odd items. A cool place and not too expensive, especially considering two families stayed for a few days.

Bro in Law and I did most of the cooking. For Christmas he did a ham, I did taters au gratin and an apple crisp for desert. The food was well enjoyed by all.

We did lots of fishing for perch. Caught a lot and had a bunch of fun. Wifey (a far better fisher person than I) got the oldest nephew catching fish so he had some fun. I taught him how to gut, clean, filet and cook a few of the biggest ones. Made a rough go of the fileting but with little fish and lacking a proper knife one does what one can. [If we actually needed to eat them I wouldn't cook small fish that way. I would gut, scale and cook them whole then we'd pick off the meat. The point was to show him how to do it.]

The trip was  success and we would like to make similar ones in the future. For a holiday it was nice that nobody had the pressure of hosting and it is easier for everybody to relax about the cumulative traditions and cultural norms that can make holidays a nightmare, especially for the women who try to put it all together. Anyway we had an awesome holiday experience and hope you did too.

Now that the important stuff is over we can move onto material things. Did you all get anything cool and preparedness/ firearms oriented? If so what?

Personally it was a good Christmas for this guy. Got a nice Makita cordless drill and a set of various bits, 20 silver dollars (passed down from a depression era silver bug which is kinda a cool story), a nice CCW friendly long sleeve shirt, an encyclopedia of survival type book that looks pretty cool, a gift card to my favorite local restaurant and through various sources $300 in cash.

The unexpected cash infusion is going to give my long planned AR pistol project a start. It'll get me a lower and start the fund for the upper. This is a priority for the year but will only be funded not via prep funds but solely with 'personal money' so I'm not totally sure how long it will take to complete. I should be able to buy the upper by this summer. This is pretty exciting to me. This has been on the wish list for awhile and I'm finally getting to doing something with it.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Book Review: Expatriates by Jim Rawles

Today it is my pleasure to review Expatriates: A Novel of the Coming Global Collapse by Jim Wesley Rawles. Like Jim' other novels Patriots, Survivors and Founders this one takes place during the same chaotic period of time set ominously in 'the not so distant future.'

Here is the promo blurb
In the latest survivalist thriller from founder of and New York Times bestselling author James Wesley, Rawles, two expat families struggle for their very survival in the midst of a global economic collapse.

When the United States suffers a major socioeconomic collapse, a power vacuum sweeps the globe. A newly radicalized Islamic government rises to power in Indonesia, invades the Philippines, East Timor, Papua New Guinea, and finally northern Australia. No longer protected by American military interests, Australia must repel an invasion alone.

In the thick of these political maneuvers, an American family of missionaries living in the Philippines and a Texan petroleum engineer in Australia must face the fear of being strangers in a world in flux. Are their relatives back home healthy and safe? Will they ever see them again?

In its depiction of the authentic survivalist skills and techniques needed to survive a global socioeconomic meltdown, Expatriates is as informative as it is suspense-filled.

The novel follows 3 groups; on  a family of Christian missionaries living in the Philippines, a  Texas oilman and some Australian folks he gets intertwined with and a family that run a hardware store in Florida. Like the previous books in the series it sort of flashes between the different groups in a generally chronological order.

Onto the usual format.

The Good: I really feel like Jim Rawles turned a corner in his writing with this book. Maybe it is personal development or learning from the last couple. Maybe it's some change in the editorial process or the slippers Jim wore while writing, I don't know. Regardless whatever it was should be kept the same for all of Jim's future writing. This book went a long way to address my (and some other folks) biggest criticisms of the Jim's last 2 fiction books that they jumped around too much and sometimes there were fairly long passages or even characters that didn't really tie into anything.

Expatriates keeps the multiple characters in different places format but this time it really works. The passages on an individual group are a bit longer so it flows better. Instead of reading 5 pages about Group A then 7 about Group B you will see more like (I didn't count it out so this is a rough guess) 20 on Group A then 14 on Group B. The overall result was a lot fewer transitions which made for a book that flowed much better. This was definitely a sustain.

The other good part is that everything tied together. The writing in this book seemed more intentional than in some previous books. There was not a point where I found myself thinking "Why am I reading this passage?" Everything fit in nicely and stayed on track. This added to my overall enjoyment of the reading experience.

Using the massive audience of Survival Blog Jim is able to bring in real world practical knowledge that surpasses what any one individual could possible accumulate. He can lean on 3 people who live in an area and another 4 who have decades of experience in whatever. I suspect this strongly helped with being realistic about technical details and the settings in the book. In particular, without getting too into spoiler territory this book has some very interesting stuff on taking long ocean voyages in relatively small boats and home/ small business security to continue operations in a dangerous environment. I found myself taking some mental notes on both of these topics. This authenticity/ factual correctness and high level of detail across a wide variety of areas really helps make the book useful, even for someone who has read his previous books.

As it's been awhile since I read Jim Rawles other fiction novels I found myself appreciating that these books nature is that they stand alone. You don't need to remember where one book ended to enjoy another. While continuations of the same theme they involve different places and characters. There is occasional overlap but you do not have to read Patriots to understand Survivors or either to get Founders or the newest in the series Expatriates. A person could pick up any of the books to read and enjoy as a stand alone novel.

Expatriates is by far the best written of Jim Wesley's fiction efforts and clearly the best of the Patriots sequels. It kept the interesting and plausible concepts of previous books but was wrapped in a far more readable package. I can see it gaining considerable traction in the adventure type circles; especially for folks who like a good read sans unnecessary gratuitous sex, profanity and graphic violence.

The Bad:

The only part I found a bit of a stretch was the non survivalist hardware store owners who happened to conveniently have a variety of unique characteristics in their home/ store setup AND lives that left them better set up than most survivalists. It was just a couple too many convenient things to be realistic without them making intentional choices in that direction.  Also it was probably implausible that the guy did all this other stuff and had a whole bunch of silver but didn't have a fighting rifle. Way more folks own an AR/ AK/ .308 battle rifle than own a couple hundred dollars face in 90% silver.

The Pre 1899 gun thing came up again albeit in the same gun ban as previous books. Again I have to say the idea that basically every modern gun could be banned yet this loophole would be carried over is just silly. While they do have a unique benefit TODAY if everything is being banned you would be far better off hiding/ fighting/ whatever with modern guns. A far more prudent course of action would be to buy a Glock/ Sig/ M&P/ 1911 and AK/ AR/ .308 with cash via a private party, maybe even get a spare set to stash away. Sure if you live in a totally anti gun area or like collecting old guns rock on but stash some modern defensive guns just in case.

The Ugly:

I wish whatever clicked to make this book such an easy, enjoyable fluid read happened earlier.

Overall Assessment:
Excellent book that is well worth the money. Folks who may have been turned off of Jim Rawles fiction would be well advised to give this book a shot as I think they will be pleasantly surprised.

Please wait till the 1 October Book Bomb Day to buy your copy of Expatriates!!!

Disclosure: I received an early copy of Expatriates to review. Also fundamentally Jim Rawles has been very good to me and my blogging efforts over the years. Not quite a mentor parse but more like that cool guy at the range who lets you always lets you shoot his cool new toy which you get to shoot and has the tool/ item you need but forgot to bring. How much that clouds my judgement on the matter I cannot say but there it is.

Buy your own copy of Expatriates on 1 October Book Bomb Day!!!

Sunday, March 31, 2013

PSA Easter Sale, Free Joshua Ebook and Gardening Fun

PSA is having a pretty awesome Easter Sale. They have a variety of mags in 10 packs for $11-14 a piece and some other stuff on sale too. Probably worth checking out if you are in the market for gun accessories. John Wilson wanted me to mention that his Ebook Joshua will be available free until the 3rd.

Unfortunately it seems some folks are counterfeiting 90% silver.  This is why I buy our silver and gold from trusted dealers like JM Bullion. Learning more about testing silver might not be a bad idea either.

Today I got a cherry tomato plant and put it into the upside down planter thing Wifey got for $1.50 on clearance. Didn't take a great look at the Strawberry one and it takes multiple seedlings so I'll have to pick up a few more. Think I'll try to do them in phases so we can stagger the harvest a bit.

The strawberry plants we have so far looked pretty dead at one point. However now that they are in some dirt and have gotten some water they are turning around. One is good to go and the other is probably going to make it.

Also started some seeds to sprout. Lettuce, spinach, green beans and carrots. Did the egg carton thing. I am cautiously optimistic that enough will go to be able to plant when the time is right. Since the house is empty I'm just keeping them in the sink. 

I am definitely enjoying this whole gardening thing. It is really calming for me. Hopefully next year we will be in a place where I can do something bigger and a bit more organized than my current gaggle of containers. Either in the ground or if the soil sucks a raised bed. That sort of effort would definitely make canning worthwhile. This year I will probably do it but mostly for it's own sake.

Hope you all had a good Easter. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

What Did You Do To Prepare This Week?

Some weeks you end up buying a bunch of stuff and this was sure one of them. Prices seemed right so we bought silver and gold. I got a bunch of stuff to finish off the get home bag which I am pretty psyched about. I ordered a Nalgene bottle  with matching steel cup, another knife sharpener, some more water purification tablets, one of those heavy duty emergency blankets, too much stuff to remember or list. I will probably talk about it at some point once things arrive.

Also  we seem to be fiddling some with alternative transportation. I got a bike, though sadly not a sweet Harley. Also I found a small wagon, like to pull the kid around in. It is pretty cool. It has little seats and a place for him to put a sippy cup. We took it out this weekend and he really liked it. Being able to move him and a bit of stuff in a way that he is happy with is significant. Also the wagon led to a slew of Oregon Trails jokes which was big fun. These little steps may just take us somewhere.

Anyway that is what we were up to this week. I hope you all did some good stuff. Remember it isn't just about buying things. Exercise, learn and practice new skills, network and build relationships, work on your tribe. Just do something that makes you more prepared than you were last week.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Random Thoughts- Common Caliber Ammo, groups, friends and mediums of exchange

I have done some reading lately and have posts on that ready for you to read shortly. I have been thinking about a few things.

Somebody once said that America has a century worth of guns and a couple years worth of bullets. I am not sure if that is true exactly or quite how to measure it. However the vast majority of Americans do not have a "buy by the case and stock it deep" kind of survivalist mentality. I once broke gun owners into 3 groups when it comes to ammo a) a box or less per gun b) a couple/ few hundred rounds or less and c) my kind of people.

I would wager that the vast majority of Americans fall somewhere between a and b. In all but the shortest term disaster if things go less than ideally folks will start to run out of bullets. This is an issue because some of these folks will be in your family, tribe or neighborhod. A gun with a person behind it that could be actively on your side, pulling guard and fighting if need be for want of bullets.

I think pistol ammunition, ammunition in gaming rifle calibers and shotgun shells would be aweful useful and .22 for practice and gaming is always useful. My observation is that folks who have semi auto rifles tend to have at least a few hundred rounds of ammo and thus I am less inclined to worry about them (unless we are talking about a longer darker scenario but that is another discussion) and I keep decent amounts of that stuff around anyway.

I take this into account in my ammunition stockage. I went to Walmart the other day to stock up on ammunition which I know some folks might need. Picked up a couple hundred rounds of .38 and a few boxes of 30-30 to put away for this type of situation and to help meet my own happy levels.

Knowing your friends and family helps here. I know a bunch of folks with .38 wheel guns and not a lot of bullets so that is a real consideration of mine.

Also you always want to have something folks want. Of course you try to have things squared away so there is no need to get anything but life never works quite that way. Best case you are trying to get something to help out a friend or develop a new group project to fill an unanticipated need. Personally I do not know what somebody might want. Having a wide variety of possible curriencies (cash, gold, silver, ammo, food, etc) gives me some options. Personally I always want the ability to do some swapping. Just some food for thought.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

What Did You Do To Prepare This Week?

I am just not sure when it comes to precious metals these days. I see definite shades of 1980 in the charts and buying at the top of the market is bad. On the other hand it may be different because of our insane monetary policy and other factors. Prices could continue to climb and stay high for many years so I may start getting priced out of the market entirely. Right now I see the up side for silver being better than gold. I am still buying but am not going to increase my contributions any. This week silver dipped some and I was able to pick up a roll of 90% quarters and another of dimes. It was money from last year so I guess I was a bit closer to last years PM goal then I thought. Or we could say this year is getting off to a great start.

We also picked up a snow shovel to keep in our vehicle. Wifey got a lightly used Helly Hansen waterproof shell type coat at the used stuff store for like 18 bucks. She needed a waterproof coat with a hood and even if she had 3 that was too good of a deal to pass up.

I also got started using my Kindle. Downloaded a bunch of public domain books. Got the Gibbons I plan to read as well as some Shirlock Holmes and The Count of Monte Cristo. Next I am going to get military manuals and survival type PDF's. A solar charger would greatly aid in its prep utility and is worth at least looking into.

It has been a pretty crazy week here with getting back home from the holidays and me jumping back into work. We are probably still feeling the after effects of jet lag and all that. I cooked dinner yesterday and incorporated a bunch of cans of stuff we have had lying around. There were some substitutions but it turned out well.

Next week I am going to try and get through more of The Bear Went Over The Mountain. It is very interesting if dry at times. Also I am going to get some more stuff to put on the Kindle.

Got emergency seeds? If you don't you probably should.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

New Years Resolutions 2011

I am doing things a bit differently this year. Breaking goals down Suze Orman style by people, money then things seems to be a good way of categorization. Some goals are going to be conducted consecutively. For things I took a stab at prioritization.

1. Maximize family time. I think spending at least a hour of good undivided family time a day is doable on all but the longest work days. More on weekends.

2. Take better care of myself. I need to work on getting at least 6 hours of sleep even when I get off work late. Also I need to eat more regularly (I have started to get busy and just not eat) and like most people could also consume more green stuff. Find a suplimentary (to regular PT) exercise program that I can really stick with. I got busy and this goal sort of ebbed/ flowed and then just slipped away over the past year. I'm not in bad shape but could definitely be in better shape.

3. Better prioritize tasks and be more efficient.

4. Become debt free- Should be done in by the end of March

5. Fully fund ROTH IRA's for Wifey and I.

6. Add at least $500 (ideally $1,000) to our emergency fund.

7. Buy some silver. It is somewhat flexible but am leaning toward 90% coinage. I hesitate to say an exact amount because as I noted last year price swings change those goals from being realistic to unattainable.

8. Start funding Walkers college education.

Of course we will also continue to not make stupid choices.

Skills and Education

9. Study insurgent/ guerilla/ partisan tactics. This has the added benefit of being 'red hat' stuff for work.

10. Get better at first aid/ trauma stuff.

11. Shave with a straight razor. Sharpen it also. (implied task, get a straight razor)

12. Work on making antennas for world band radio’s and tuning into a variety of stations around the world.

13. Get better at using Excell. Particularly writing formulas to get the most out of what the program is capable of. This will help me with work, blog stuff, preps and life.

14. Learn more about IED construction, emplacement and use.

15. Read a couple of significant books. I wouldn't say classic but but old, noteable type stuff. In particular Edward Gibbon's The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire is on my list.

Alternates- Skills are an area where things seem more prone to changing due to factors beyond my control. I decided to come up with a few alternatives against that scenario.

Get better at making flat bread

Learn some HTLM

Get better with Powerpoint


Family/ Life:
16. Probably going to purchase another vehicle. A fairly low mile mid sized SUV with a decent sized 6 cylinder engine (3.5Lish or above) and 4WD. It goes without saying that we  will pay cash.

Prep Stuff:

I did a couple of things differently here. I broke stuff down by category. Also if you notice there are numbers after the goals. Those numbers are a tenative plan on what order I will acquire this stuff.

Force Protection Stuff-

17. 1x bullet proof vest. Probably class II or IIIA concealable type-2

18. 3x gas masks-9

Firearm Stuff-

19. Folding stock for my AK and a US palm grip-1

20. 500 rounds of .38 special-5.1

21. 500 rounds of 12 gauge buckshot-5.3

22. 1 case 7.62x39 hollow points-5.2

23. AK spare parts-11

24. Buy more mags. In particular a few more Glock happy sticks and a half dozen each for the AR and AK. I am not in a bad place but if I happen to have a couple extra C notes lying around in the late fall this is where they will go- 12

Food and Water-

25. 4x Berkley black filters-3

26. 1x Katadyn replacement filter-7

27. Nice solar oven-4

Energy and communication-

28. Bigger and better solar trickle charger (folding mat type)-10

29. Compact world band radio-6


30. Get 2 spare Cold Steel folding knives (my EDC) and a leatherman for a rainy day-8

What are your thoughts about my goals? Do you have goals? If so would you like to share them in a comment or a guest post?

Saturday, December 25, 2010

It Was a Merry Christmas

It was a very nice Christmas Day for the TOR Clan. Pretty traditional really; we opened presents, had some breakfast, relaxed for awhile, watched some movie FIL watches every year (don't remember what) and then had a big dinner. After that we watched Toy Story 3 which little sister in law really enjoyed. It has been a quiet evening. I really enjoyed being able to take about a nice long nap between lunch and dinner.

We had a really good Christmas haul this year. I got a mag light, an energizer LED lantern, a Garmin E Trex series GPS, a Kindle, a silver dollar (I was pleased to hear they got it awhile back when silver was a lot lower), enough cash to buy an external hard drive and a few other things. Wifey got some cash, a Kitchen Aid mixer with some accessories, a kit to make baby food at home and some various other stuff. Walker got a ton of clothes, toys, various other stuff and almost a hundred bucks to go into his college fund.

I noticed that most people spent about as much as they normally do this year. The last couple of years may have been down a bit. I did however also notice that people (us included) seemed to put more thought than normal into the gifts they purchased. Instead of just grabbing something as people can do they seem to be putting some real thought into it.

I am looking forward to getting the GPS up and running. I have an old Magellan somewhere but the user interface is seriously lacking. That was back when them and Garmin were neck and neck. Since then quality has improved a lot and the Etrex is pretty darn easy to use. I am quite eager to check out the Kindle. I think it will be useful instead of hauling a dozen books here or there. It won't replace a good old fashioned book for situations where there is inclimental weather, rough use and such. However for something like a deployment or other situation where I will have decent (using a very low standard of dry, minimal electricity acccess, etc) accomodations this will be a lot easier than  30 pounds of books. Also seeing as we move a lot sooner or later the sheer weight of physical books will start to be an issue. Of course I will continue to purchase prep type books in a physical format but for a new fiction novel or just something I want to read the Kindle may be the way forward.
I hope everybody had a really nice Christmas.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Hold? Sell? A Precious Metals Perspective

I read something by a smart person on this. I think it depends a lot on why you purchase precious metals. If you bought them some time ago as an investment this may well be a profit taking opportunity. However if you purchase precious metals as a store of value or emergency currency in case of massive inflation or a full on economic collapse then you would not want to sell.

In precious metals if you lean toward the store of value/ emergency currency side I think it makes sense to have a core holding. This is stuff you do not sell if the price goes up or whatever. Kind of an 'in case of hyperinflation break glass' thing. How much would be in your core holding depends on your income, financial situation, liquid assets and concerns. For a low income family a core holding might be 500 90% silver dimes (about 35 ounces). For an average family a couple hundred ounces of silver and a few ounces of gold would be a very nice stash. A rich man might have a thousand ounces of silver and 100 ounces of gold.

I think one should just buy and hold until they meet their core holding goal. I think life changes could dictate a change in your ideal core holding and it might be a good idea to review it every few years or if you have major life changes.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Financial Preps for WTSHTF or Your Own Personal TEOTWAWKI

Preparing for the worst can be daunting. It is also easy to focus on putting back several rifles, cases of ammo and everything else that goes along with it (Now you need some optics, a safe, spare mags, lights, another safe, etc.), or other emergency gear that we could spend hours listing. Let’s face it – acquiring the cool gear is fun! It’s also one of the most often talked about topics in this community. People like their toys and that’s perfectly fine. But it’s only one leg on your stool. Food and medical preps are covered to a lesser extent but still fairly regularly. Something I feel that is of equal importance, though not near as fun to discuss, is financial security.
I think many people avoid the financial preparedness topic because it can bring you back to reality: sometimes it’s hard to find enough to go around. How can you pay the bills, buy your beans, bullets, band-aids and still find money to save when disaster seems to be looming over the horizon? You better make room for it. That EMP may happen tomorrow or your small town might look like “Jericho” (TV series) next week, but I guarantee you sometime this year your own personal TEOTWAWKI will happen if you don’t put some cash back now. It could be a transmission that starts slipping, a layoff, an ER visit – Murphy will throw something at you when you least expect it. So where do we start?

Rotate Your Stocks AND Your Priorities

Several thousand rounds of center-fire rifle ammo and several reliable battle rifles for you and the family is a noble effort, but not at the expense of everything else. Set up some sort of system where all of your goals are slowly being met. One example can be found below:

Discretionary Spending Schedule:
Week 1: Guns and Gear
Week 2: Medical Supplies
Week 3: Trip to the Local Sam’s or Costco for Food Stocks
Week 4: Cash, Savings or Silver/Gold

Rinse and Repeat Next Month

It doesn’t have to be as rigid as the above example. I grocery shop at Wal-Mart; I’ll throw a box of 9mm and something for the first aid kit in the buggy every week on the grocery trip. I also will put some money back every week to slowly build our reserve. There is no right way to do this, find something that works and stick to it.

So, you’ve got some money set aside for financial preps. What now?

Cash is (for now) Still King

The manager at your local grocer is going to be pretty darn reluctant to let you leave the store with a gallon of milk for a 1964 quarter. Sure he may exchange it for some cash in his pocket but I bet you’re not going to get the most recent spot price from this transaction. If the power is out from the ____ (insert your regional disaster of choice – hurricane, snow storm, earthquake, etc. - here), chances are that credit card is not going to cut it either. Cash still has its place in your safe. One week’s paycheck is probably a good start to get you through most bumps in the road, especially if you already have at least a few weeks of food and a good first aid kit (you do, right?). For larger bumps in the road…

Make a War chest

Not literally, but treat your savings account with the same passion as you would a chest full of sharp pointy battle implements. A lot of folks say aim for 2-3 months worth of expenditures (everything from the mortgage down to gas for you vehicle). My wife and I are taking it a step further and have set the bar at 3 months worth of income (big difference). This is going to take some people longer than others; that’s OK. As long as you are making progress then don’t get discouraged! If an emergency comes up one month and it cuts your war chest in half then look at it like this: Success! You took a hit on the chin and are still standing! Our strategy has another benefit; life is all about timing. Opportunities come and go; if a great deal comes your way on a piece of land or something else and you have the spare cash to jump on it, do it. Just don’t look for excuses to raid your war chest. Make sure it is a worthwhile investment. Then proceed to build your savings back up immediately. Get your savings built up and then start considering…

Silver and Gold

How much precious metal (PM) is enough? It all depends on whom you ask. Just remember, PMs aren’t an investment (well they can be, more in a minute), they are insurance. Investments grow your wealth. Over the long haul, PMs will simply store your wealth. Short-term plays on PMs can be done to turn a profit, but buying and selling coins is the least efficient way to do it. You might as well trade paper gold on the stock market, and that’s not why we’re here. I once read a very interesting article that stated that an ounce of silver today buys approximately what an ounce of silver bought 2,500 years ago (I believe their example was loaves of bread). Try that with any fiat currency in the world! (Well, you can’t – it never stays in circulation long enough) We want to hedge against inflation. PMs are our insurance against the failure of our currency. Whatever currency becomes the world reserve when ours fails, silver and gold will hold value in that denomination as well.

My personal goal would be to eventually (long term) have 1 year’s salary in PMs. I think an 80/20 gold/silver holdings ratio is reasonable, but do your own Due Diligence and find what is right for you. You will probably want to start with silver, but at some point you have to switch to gold because silver gets bulky quick. I’d recommend starting with Pre-64 junk silver and 5-10 oz. bars. If you run across a good deal on some silver eagles, buy them! I bought some silver eagles last week for under spot! How did I do it? I deal solely with a local merchant who I trust completely and him likewise. I can’t stress the importance of dealing locally. If I find a 1965 dime (no silver content) in my roll I bought from my local guy, he graciously exchanges for a silver dime. No questions asked. Try that on E-bay.

I won’t talk about gold much because if you invest in silver first, by the time you are ready to dive into it, you will be fairly savvy with PMs; you will have done extensive research, right?

Now that we’ve covered some financial ground, let’s see if we can change the way we look at our other areas of preparedness to save us some money.

Streamline Your Gear

I have approached my firearms purchases in a manner that reduces the amount of different ammo we have to purchase. We have multiple pistols and carbines serving multiples purposes chambered in 9mm. We have also chose to standardize 12 gauge and 7.62x39.

A case of ammo in any of the above 3 calibers has the immediate benefit of being utilized by multiple firearms. Stocking up is much easier and cheaper.

Of course we have other firearms that are not in our standard calibers, but we don’t stock ammo for them like we do for the standard calibers. In theory you would want not only the same caliber, but the same brand as well. I say “In theory” because this is a tough one. In practice everyone in the family will have different tastes so it may be hard to convince everyone that carrying Glock 19s is in their best interest when they cringe when they have to hold the ugly bugger. A good goal would be to aim for full uniformity, and settle for caliber uniformity.

Another cost saving measure is go out and buy a .22 rifle and pistol if you don’t already have one as soon as it is financially sound to do so. This will obviously save you countless money over the years.

This doesn’t simply go for firearms. Try to buy battery-operated equipment that takes the same size batteries. Once again, this makes stocking up much easier and cheaper.

Make a Budget

The word “budget” can strike so much fear in a man, you would swear Hessians had just breached the privacy fence and are now occupying the pool house. It doesn’t have to be so scary, however. Your budget can be as loose or strict as you like, as long as it serves its purpose. One of the main benefits of the budget is it forces you to think through your expenditures.

I create a simple budget on spreadsheet that first tallies our income for the month, and then deducts all of our estimated expenditures. This allows me to determine our surplus and project what our end of the month balance should be in our account. If we surpass our goal, I do a little dance and then try to determine where I’m overestimating. If we miss our goal, we take step back and determine what went wrong. I don’t subscribe to the Dave Ramsey School of budgeting (budget down to the very last penny) because to me it seems like a lot of effort for not much of an improvement over my simple system. It works for many people, so I’m not knocking it. Find something that works for YOU.

Trim the Fat

Often people tell themselves that they just don’t have the money to save (you may even hear them say this on their brand new iPhone). They’ll say maybe next year, or after the house/car/boat is paid off or the kids are older/grown/etc. – that’s procrastination. One day you may wake up retired and struggling to make it; let’s avoid that outcome.

Internet, home phone lines, cable TV, cell phones, new vehicles every five years, too much house, etc. are all traps people fall in. I won’t tell you to turn off all of your services and move to the hills, but do take a rational look at your expenses and determine what you can reasonably cut or downgrade to allow you to put back some money. One thing I do recommend that has saved me over the years is brown bagging your lunch. Learn to love it. In one year brown bagging can save you enough money to buy that AR you want (Or – several pounds of silver).

Prepare for TSDTWAWKI (The Slow Decline of the World as We Know It)

TEOTWAWKI has happened for thousands of years, but the sun still rises in the east and the birds still fly south for the winter. If you were born in 1910 in Germany and lived 70 years, I’d say you lived through several TEOTWAWKIs (Weimer Germany, WW2, a literal divided nation, etc.). Our grandfathers and great-grandfathers had it hard at times; but they raised families, grew old, and hopefully were able to enjoy some sort of retirement after decades of work. The world may not end tomorrow, but it may slowly change for the worse for the rest of your life. Don’t rely on entitlement programs in your retirement years. Stock up on beans, bullets, band-aids and bullion, but also contribute to your 401K (at least get your company match, if offered), sock away some cash, buy real estate – diversify. Do not over-leverage yourself in our economy, but at the same time don’t rely solely on tangibles as a store of your wealth.

A true survivor plans for all contingencies. His portfolio is as diverse as his options. He buys cases of ammo and rolls of old coins, but he also contributes to his 401K to at least get the match his company offers. He has several acres of land in God’s country somewhere far from the city lights, but he also strives to be debt free. He has the cash on hand to G.O.O.D. and the savings and insurance to come back and rebuild (and the larder to live on until then). He doesn’t know the future so he prepares for all outcomes; no matter what happens his family will have options. He also recalls that Rome wasn’t built in a day, and American affluence has been squandered slowly for a while now; there is trouble on the horizon, so he starts now.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

New Years Resolutions IPR #3

 Lined through are completed.

My goals for this year.

1. Pay more attention to my wife. This one is continual but I can reasonably say it is going well.
2. Travel a lot.  We went to Croatia, Italy, Spain, Luxembourg and the Czech Republic. May make it to Paris just before years end.

Personal Stuff:
3. We can use a few smaller things like a new TV and another laptop. The main push however is to get a reliable second car which we pay cash for. The first car is still plugging along but I think when we get a better second one and it is relegated exclusively taking me to work and back its life would be greatly extended.

4. Stash some more Euro's. Say E400 or so. A good chunk into this one. Will probably just finish it off in one shot at some point.
5. Contribute 10% of our total take home to retirement.
6. Stash at least a half an ounce of gold  and 40 ounces of silver. Just started on the silver. Don't think we will make 40 ounces but oh well.
7. Continue to not make stupid choices.

8. Take an automotive class.  They offer them on base and I need to know more about car repair. 
This one got replaced by brewing some beer which I did.
9. Be able to setup and trouble shoot a small solar setup.    Sorta mute since I went with a solar charger and a bunch of eneloop batteries.

Preparedness Stuff :
10. A good radio that can pick up everything. Probably a Grundig.
11. Maybe a Berkey water filter and maybe some spare elements for it and the portable filter.
12. A basic solar setup. 

Gun Stuff:
12. Buy a full case of .223
13. Buy a full case of 9mm. (I am going to call this complete because it is funded)
14. Glock 9mm mags. At least 10 and ideally closer to 20.
15. Some M1a mags. At least 10 and ideally closer to 20.
16. A few more spare parts and at least one AR15 full bolt carrier group.

Food Rotation:
17. Get a pressure canning setup and can something.

This one just isn't going to happen. We can't get any of the stuff locally and paying shipping negates any financial benefits. I am willing to do it just for the sake of the skill but not with that hassle.

18. Get a dehydrator and dehydrate something. Jerky is good and so are banana slices.

And Just To Get To An Even 20......
19. Get a subscription to Backwoods Home Magazine and otherwise work on my self sufficiency/ preparedness library.
20. Join a gun rights organization.

Time for discussion. Things are going pretty well. All the more expensive goals have been met.

Oh yeah and click on my advertisers links and  buy lots of their stuff.


Monday, October 11, 2010

Reader Question: Commemorative Gold Coins

You've talked about buying gold and silver coins on the blog but have never addressed a question I've had come up lately.  Would you buy a commemorative gold coin if you could get a good deal on it?  Assume that you were satisfied that the coin and seller were legitimate and that it was clearly marked as "X dollars".
Think about it and let me know.  Heck, you might even be able to use this as the basis of a blog post.

Steve, I buy bullion. I buy it in the form of old currency and bars/ rounds. I make that distinction because what I am paying for is, at the end of the day the physical metal based upon weight. That differs from numismatics where you are buying based upon the rarity and condition of the coin and its collect ability versus strictly its metal content. I think old gold coins are neat so I sometimes buy my gold in that form versus say Credit Suisse ingots. The price difference is negligible so I get what I think is cool.

I would say that there isn't a big reason to avoid a solid gold commemorative coin if it is selling at a reasonable price in relation to spot and other coins of the same purity/ size. The only thing I can think of is recognition if you go to sell/ trade it to somebody. People are usually more comfortable with something they are familiar with like say an American Eagle or a Krugerrand. However I cannot help but note that often the people saying that generally sell American Eagles or Krudgerrand's. Someone might be dubious about it and either not want to accept it or want to give you less for it. If you are comfortable with that risk then I can't see a reason not to.

Have a good one,

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Buying Silver and Gold

I got an email recently asking about how to get started buying silver. I recalled a post some time back where that was covered. After a bit of digging here it is.

Where to buy precious metals.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Homework Assignment for the Week

Buy an ounce of silver. If you genuinely can't afford to pay $20 or whatever the current cost in your area is then think hard about your life and finances.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

quote of the day

"I’ve said before that I don’t think most of us will face what I call the “George Romero Scenario” — starving zombie hordes battering down our doors in desperate search of our dried lentils and pre-1964 silver quarters. But we clearly have some hell to go through." 
-Claire Wolfe

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

PCSing with Physical Precious Metals

One of the annoying parts of moderating comments is that you can read a comment, click to approve and then have it vanish back into the archives somewhere. That happened this afternoon. Anyway Chris from Alaska asked my thoughts on moving with physical precious metals, he said a bit more but that is the jist and well the comment is back somewhere. Anyway here it goes.

Personally I would be inclined to hand carry precious metals during a move. If for some reason that didn't seem like a good idea another option if you have a PO Box or very trusted individual on the other side would be to ship them in the mail (or UPS/FEDEX) insured up to their full replacement value. Well those are my thoughts. There will be a normal post later.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Buying American Eagle Silver Coins

Dear TOR:
Can you give me some specific pointers on the easiest and most cost efficient way to buy American Eagles? I have tried the ebay route and (a) the auctions are very time consuming, and (b) the prices end up being 'way over spot once you calculate the shipping.
I have also contacted a couple of online sellers and they are quoting prices that are even higher over spot. And higher shipping.
Is there a way for a person to buy a coin or two at a time (or 4 or so a month) at relatively uninflated prices or am I being ridiculously naive?
Alternatively, is junk silver a better way to go? I would like to spend about $100 a month and get the most bang for the bucks.
Thanks for you advice and for your great blog.
TOR here: In order to best answer that question I will do it in 3 parts: first American Eagles, second cheap silver and third buying in small quantities.

First I will talk about American Eagles in general. They are just more expensive than normal silver. Right now they are a couple bucks an ounce more. That difference can ebb and flow but a couple bucks is fairly typical. This is partially because they are government minted and there is a sort of collectors premium. Also some folks who have a vested interest in selling them like to talk about how they are certified by the US government and such. Go figure how businesses will talk about the benefits of more expensive products. So American Eagles (and to a lesser degree Canadian Maples, Koalas, etc) pretty much always cost more than other various types of silver. As for Ebay in general unless you are bidding on large lots (say a dozen ounces or more) the cost of shipping usually negates any small savings you may get.

The cheapest small silver (as opposed huge 100 or 1,000 ounce bars) is generally one ounce bars and rounds. Unlike American Eagles lots and lots of them are made by private companies. Unlike junk 90% silver they are still in production and thus supply and demand are not working to drive up the price. Some folks really like 90% silver because it is very divisible and easy to identify. While there are some benefits to 90% junk silver IMO they are largely negated  by its far higher cost. Remember that at the end of the day you are buying silver so get it at the cheapest price per ounce you can.
Now onto buying relatively small quantities of silver.  This is the situation most of us are in. Folks who are cashing out some savings or just have a lot of money or whatever can make one time purchases of thousands of dollars and get huge bags of 90% silver at good  prices.  Right now a thousand dollars face value (about 715 ounces) of 90% silver costs about 30 cents over spot. However most folks don't have 12k lying around at one time to buy silver with, I know we don't. You can get $100 face in 90% (71.5 ounces) for sane prices also but anything smaller has a huge premium. Rolls of $10 face from APMEX a very competitive online dealer cost more like $145 for quarters and even worse $172 for dimes (that is $24 per ounce!) before delivery. Unless there is a cool local coin shop small quantities of 90% silver can not be found at a price in any relation to spot.
As you noted any decent prices found on Ebay or what not are quickly negated by shipping costs. The same can be said by making purchases of two- four ounces by various online or mail order stores. If you are paying $18.5 an ounce each for 3 silver one ounce rounds and then $15 to ship them the real cost is $23.5 each which is a bad deal. You've got to factor shipping costs into the equation.

I learned all this for myself the hard way. I have found two solutions for this problem. 
The first is to find a local coin dealer with decent prices and buy from them. From most of my experiences and observations established coin dealers are a pretty honest bunch. they make their living based on people trusting that what they sell is what it is supposed to be and the precious metals world is not very big. Not saying that a bad apple can't exist or that a bad coin might not slip through an honest dealers shop unnoticed now, just that it is probably reasonable to consider established coin/ bullion dealers as honest. That being said there is a big difference between a dealer cheating people and their prices being great. The best thing that I can say is to be an informed buyer. Know right about what spot price is (knowing to to the cent isn't necessary but have a decent idea whereabouts it is at least to 50 cents or so) and what the price of a certain item like a 90% silver dime, one ounce round, etc in order to get a decent deal. If you can find a local coin dealer with reasonable prices then picking up an ounce or two of silver every pay day is simple enough.
The second option is that unless there is a place within reasonable driving distance which has decent prices you are either going to have to take a longer drive to a good coin shop (I would call ahead to make sure they will have what you want first, learned that the hard way too) or purchase via an online dealer. [FWIW I have had real positive experiences with APMEX and their prices are always competitive especially since their shipping is quite reasonable. The only affiliation I have with them is as a satisfied customer.] For these purchases in order to make your drive or shipping costs average you will want to save up and make larger less frequent purchases. 

What we do is put aside a certain amount every month for precious metals. You could put money aside every week or payday or whatever, it is the same principle. Save that money up and make less frequent larger purchases. We typically make 4 or so purchases a year and generally shipping is $15 or so. This lets us greatly lower the added cost of shipping. This way instead of it adding 20-30% to the cost of a purchase it adds less than 10%.

Hope this helps some. 

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