Protect Yourself from Economic Collapse – You Can’t Stop It, But You Can Survive
What Is a U.S. Economy Collapse?
A U.S. economic collapse is when when the economy no longer functions to provide the daily necessities. Any of the following scenarios could create an economic collapse. First, if the U.S. dollar rapidly loses value it would create hyperinflation. Second, a bank run could force banks to close or even go out of business, cutting off lending and even cash withdrawals. Third, the internet could become paralyzed with a super-virus, preventing emails and online transactions. Fourth, interstate trucking stops, thanks to parallel terrorist attacks or a massive oil embargo, and grocery stores would run out of food.
Money Needs During a Disaster
Every survival and disaster preparedness book recommends that you keep some cash in your stash. The reason is obvious; when the electricity is off, credit card terminals, ATM machines and bank computers will be out of commission. Even if stores are open, without electricity they will not be able to accept your credit or debit cards. All transactions will be cash only.
Keeping a stash of cash for emergencies is good advice and I recommend it too. But your cash is only going to help if the stores are open and stocked with goods, and if they have figured out a way to conduct transactions without computerized cash registers.
Perhaps your neighbor has some goods that you need and is willing to accept your cash in exchange for them. But during a far-reaching and prolonged emergency, a situation could arise in which your cash could be worthless. After all, no matter how much money you have, you can’t eat it! If the stores are closed or their shelves are empty, it is also possible that your neighbors will be unwilling to part with their supplies for your money. After all, they can’t eat it either. If their goods are essential for their survival, and if they have no immediate use for your cash, then they might not be willing to trade—unless of course you have something that they do need.
This would be a time when it would be far better to have excess stocks of essential goods rather than a lot of money, which after all is nothing but paper. (Perhaps you will find a use for your paper money when you run out of toilet paper.) Certain items in particular tend to be highly sought after during times of emergency and may be particularly useful for barter. These include batteries, matches, candles, fuel, ammunition, etc. Anything of value can be used for barter. It all depends on your neighbors’ wants and needs. You can also barter your services. Perhaps you are good at performing first aid or at processing a deer for example.
The topic of money is complex so a thorough understanding of the basics is essential. I consider this to be one of the most important chapters in this web site. I assure you that your time will be well spent, for by the chapter’s end, if I have been successful at setting the stage, you will understand far better than most what I consider to be our most imminent threat, and just as importantly, how you can successfully prepare for it.
How Can I Protect Myself from a U.S. Economy Collapse?
It’s difficult to completely protect yourself from a U.S. economic collapse because it can happen very quickly. In most catastrophes, people survive through their knowledge, wits and by helping each other out. Therefore, make sure you understand basic economic concepts so you can see warning signs of instability
Second, keep as many assets as liquid as possible, so you can withdraw them within a week, if needed. In addition to your regular job, make sure you have skills that are needed in a basic economy, such as farming, cooking or repair. Make sure your passport is current, and you know where you would go, in case you’d need to quickly leave the country. To be completely prepared, research target countries now and travel there on vacation so you are familiar with your destination.
Keep yourself in top physical shape, always a good idea anyway. Know basic survival skills, such as self-defense, foraging/hunting and farming. Practice now with camping trips. If you are really concerned, it might be best to move near a wildlife preserve in a temperate climate. That way, if a collapse occurs, you can live off the land in a relatively unpopulated area.
As for cash, it’s almost pointless to have it in a real economic collapse because its value might be decimated. Gold isn’t much help, either, because it’s heavy to transport and fairly useless in a real survival situation. (You can’t eat gold.) However, it would be good to have a stash of $20 bills and gold coins, just in case. During many crisis situations, these have been generally acceptable bribes when needed.
A Brief History of Money
It can be argued that civilization began when people started trading with one another. Before there was money there was barter. Perhaps I was particularly adept at gathering eggs, while your skills excelled in retrieving edible roots. We both had food to eat, but eating eggs three times a day was getting old, and you were becoming bored with eating nothing but roots. Our problems were solved when we each discovered that the other would be willing to part with some of his commodity in exchange for some of the commodity of the other. With this first transaction the seeds of civilization were planted, and just as importantly the free market was born.
How to Survive an Economic Crash Depression
The way to protect yourself is to put some of your assets into commodities, such as gold and silver, with intrinsic value that can not be taken away by government decree nor confiscated by inflation, by buying from reputable dealers such as BuySilver.net. The value of gold and silver will always be determined by the open market. Even if the government outlaws their possession, as it did with gold in 1933, their value will be determined by the international market or the underground market and they will most assuredly maintain their valuable status as a medium of exchange and a safe haven and store of value.
Astute investment advisors have always recommend that a percentage of your investment capital be kept in precious metals as insurance against an economic disaster such as a stock market crash, hyperinflation, or a collapse of the economy. Precious metals, particularly gold and silver, have always served investors as hedges against inflation because they typically move in the opposite direction as stocks and the dollar. When currencies are decreasing in value (decreasing in buying power) precious metals are nearly always increasing, and at the very least they will maintain their value insuring that your capital is not eroded by inflation or a falling dollar.
The percentage usually recommended by investment advisors for your precious metal safe haven is 10 to 15% of your investment/savings portfolio, but that recommendation is always increased during times of economic uncertainty. We have never lived in a time of greater economic uncertainty, so I recommend that you consider putting 20% or more of your investment capital and savings into precious metals. Furthermore, I recommend that you take physical possession of your precious metals and keep them in your possession. The government has confiscated the people’s gold in the past, and that could conceivably happen again. But they can not confiscate what they don’t know about nor get their hands on. But I believe that an even greater danger during an economic crisis is the possibility that the institution holding your precious metals could become insolvent, and you may find it difficult or even impossible to get your hands on your precious metals during the time of an emergency.
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