Daily Cut regulars know we repeat that advice often. And as you’ll see in today’s mailbag, it’s for a good reason.
But one reader had a practical question… If you own gold coins, how do you figure out what they’re worth?
We’ll get to that in a moment.
But first… The rising tide of socialism in America and around the world continues to be one of the most popular topics among Daily Cut readers.
So let’s kick off this week’s mailbag edition with a question about how this will all play out.
Legacy cofounder Bill Bonner (The Bill Bonner Letter and Bill Bonner’s Diary) is on the case with an answer…
Reader question: You can’t make the poor rich by making the rich poor. With more than 50% of our population on some form of welfare from the state, our politicians have only to appeal to a “something for nothing” mentality.
When elected, they will proceed to “share the wealth” until either that wealth is gone or the people who have the wealth are gone to another country. Not a pretty scenario to predict or to see happen.
Will we awaken from this dream before it turns into a nightmare? Bet on emotion not intelligence in the voting booth.
– Richard E. (Legacy Research member)
Bill’s answer: Traditionally, the liberals want to “soak the rich.” The “conservatives” want to soak the middle classes (no point in bothering with the poor; they don’t have any money).
And the Deep State – insiders, cronies, and the elite who actually run the show – don’t care who gets soaked, as long as the honey keeps oozing in their direction.
And there’s the doom. Over time, more and more real output is twisted, bent, and corrupted to pay off the elite. Worse, the old leashes – common sense, fair dealing, limited time and resources – are slipped; claptrap runs wild.
Then, people think they can live at each other’s expense… and get rich by spending money none of them ever earned.
Tax increases, like tax cuts, are just part of the scam. The December 2017 tax cut pretended to boost the economy; the next tax hike will pretend to sock it to the rich.
Who wins? Who loses?
The beat goes on… the parasites grow bolder… and the real economy weakens.
Moving on… Last week, we told you about Dan Denning’s (The Bill Bonner Letter) treks throughout the Pacific Northwest, Rocky Mountains, and, currently, New Zealand. He’s searching for secure places – or “bolt-holes” – to escape to in case of a domestic or international crisis.
Well, your fellow readers like the idea. And they want more…
Reader question: I enjoyed reading about the suggested bolt-holes, especially about the criteria used to select these.
Are any more trips planned to identify bolt-holes in the Appalachian region?
– Carole R. (Legacy Research member)
Dan’s answer: The answer is, yes, the “bolt-hole” tour is coming back to Appalachia in 2019. Why? Because that’s one of the places in the country where you’ll find towns and small cities that have a higher quality of life AND a lower cost of living. It’s hard to find both in the same place.
Take Auckland, where I am for the final few days of my tour of New Zealand. First off, it’s in New Zealand. That’s a long way away. But it has a really high quality of life. Auckland was just ranked the third-most livable city in the world by Mercer (behind Vienna and Zurich). Mercer ranks 231 cities on things like the cost of housing, recreation and parks, public transportation, and climate.
But the cost of living is quite high – unless you’re spending U.S. dollars or British pounds, in which case the exchange rate is generally in your favor. That said, you can live quite “richly” in terms of food, entertainment, climate, and culture (if that’s what you’re looking for). This is not a lifestyle for preparing for a pandemic or EMP blast, mind you.
Meanwhile, you can retire for less than $100,000 a year in some fairly well-known American cities, according to a recent article in Barron’s. It’d cost you $41,615 a year to retire in Memphis… $41,120 in Fort Wayne… $40,624 in Buffalo… $38,643 in Toledo… and $38,147 in Cleveland.
But that’s not what I’m looking for in American bolt-holes. I’m looking for small to mid-sized towns, preferably not more than two hours from an international airport, less than an hour away from a Level 1 trauma center, and with some other factors I’ve covered in The Bill Bonner Letter.
P.S. I’ll publish a full write-up of what I’ve found in New Zealand in an upcoming newsletter.
I realize retiring overseas is not everyone’s cup of tea. That’s why I started the American paradise bolt-hole project in the first place. But here’s the key point: everyone I’ve met (whether here in NZ or in the U.S.) made a decision at some point in their life to live differently.
Where and how you do that is entirely up to you. But whether you do it at all? That’s what most people have yet to decide. And that’s what I’m trying to help with in my research.
P.P.S. My first choice to spend this winter was Bozeman, Montana. Bozeman was beautiful in the late fall. But it looks like I picked a good time to come to New Zealand! Montana just had one of the coldest winters on record. In Great Falls, the thermometer dipped below zero for 32 days in a row.
That kind of climate is brutal no matter what kind of bolt-hole you’re looking for. Climate is a factor. Late summer and fall will take me back to the mid-Atlantic and then up to New England.
For readers interested in finding a secure “bolt-hole,” Dan agreed to make his special reports available to Daily Cut readers. Just click the links below to access them.
But what if you want a way to protect your wealth… and bolt-holes aren’t an option for you? As we reminded you yesterday, gold is the best way to safeguard your wealth in times of crisis.
But one Daily Cut reader isn’t convinced. So, we turned to Nick Giambruno (Crisis Investing and The Casey Report) for some insight…
Reader question: I have never understood holding gold in a time of crisis. Governments can confiscate it and make it illegal to use as tender. It might be used for black market barter but at what exchange rate, divisibility, and transportability?
– Fred L. (Legacy Research member)
Nick’s answer: For thousands of years, gold has been the safe-haven asset. It’s preserved wealth through every kind of crisis imaginable. It will preserve wealth during the next crisis, too. That’s because it’s durable, divisible, consistent, convenient, and has intrinsic value.
When you hold physical gold, no government can easily confiscate, nationalize, freeze, or devalue it at the drop of a hat.
Gold is universally valued. It’s worth doesn’t depend on any government.
There is nothing particularly American, Chinese, Russian, or European about gold. Different civilizations have used it as money for millennia. It’s always been an inherently international asset.
And while you’re right that governments can confiscate gold – like the U.S. feds did in 1933, under the pretext of a national emergency – it would be pointless for them to do so again.
Today, only a tiny fraction of the U.S. population owns gold. Heck, I’d bet most Americans have never even seen a gold coin, much less appreciate its value.
This wasn’t the case in 1933, when the U.S. was still on a variation of the gold standard. That’s why the government probably won’t repeat the 1933 rip-off. It’s simply not worth the effort.
For proof, I suggest watching this video of a social experiment of average people on the street being given the choice between a candy bar and a gold coin.
If the government wants to confiscate wealth, it’s far more likely to go for the easy option… steadily debasing the currency by printing money. It’s a stealthy way to confiscate from savers.
For our last question of the week, we’ll stick with gold…
And we turn to gold industry insider E.B. Tucker (Strategic Investor and Strategic Trader) for the answer…
Reader question: I am a U.S. citizen currently residing out of the country. Can anyone suggest the best way to get a collectible gold coin to PCGS for examination and grading?
Via Fedex? In a carry-on and declare? Is anyone experienced in such matters? Greatly appreciate your input.
– Mark C. (Legacy Research member)
E.B.’s answer: Professional Coin Grading Service, or PCGS, is the preeminent coin grading service in our experience. One advantage of going with the best is you’re not alone in the process.
If you call PCGS, the staff will be able to suggest the safest method for international shipping. Since you’re outside the U.S., the number would be (949) 833-0600.
That’s all for today.
Have a nice weekend.