Thank you Ferfal. I could not agree with you more. While preppers remain a minority in the US, more and more are getting sucked into buying more and more stuff they don't need. I find it interesting that both the commenters are attempting to justify their purchases. The thing is, the dollar is weak right now but if the economy collapses, the dollar will be very strong for awhile. It will be what people want to hold as the price of everything collapses. THEN would be a good time to buy this stuff as people attempt to unload it to get DOLLARS to buy food. Perhaps the greatest value of your blog, besides all the great info, is in your mindset. You help people prepare with their feet planted firmly on the ground. Kudos.
While I was reading your comment I was on the phone with a real estate agent that manages a small floor my grandma owns.
Its in a not so nice part of town, but the price is reasonable and its close to the train and bus stations.
That small apartment floor cost my late grandfather around 30.000 USD or so, its been generating around 250 dollars a month and I just settled next year’s contract for 300 USD.
Nothing to brag about but still pretty good considering that the area has gone down steadily these last few years, now full of prostitutes and thugs, a rather rough area around Constitucion station(reason why I have an agent instead of taking care of it myself). The other flat she rents is located in a nice area and makes 40% more, didn’t cost much more than that when he bought both many years ago.
That my friends is as investment. Something that has real market value and generates profit. Generates profit, being the key word for something to be called investment.
1000 glass jars for canning may be considered an investment by some experts. Unless those jars come alive as in Disney’s “Beauty & the Beast” and start working in the nearest call center for you, they are not.
And the resale/barter potential in a questionable and terrible unlike future is also a farfetched supposition to say the least.
I’m not saying that you should stock piles of paper currency (you’d be in a tough spot if it devaluates) but make realistic investment, not suppositions based on fantasies.
Emergency cash at home, precious metals, and real estate, those are good ways of preserving your wealth. Piles of tools and yardsale junk for when you set your stand in “Barter Town”… after SHTF of course, or lizard food to for trading when the lizard men from outer space invade, those are a waste of money.
Edited to add: Just received this email
I read this message on the Survivalblog about liquors as a barter item : http://www.survivalblog.com/2009/11/letter_re_distilled_spirits_fo.html
It's about stock-piling some bottles (5cL) of alcohol such as vodka, whiskey etc to diversify from gold and silver as a mean of exchange during a crisis (depression, war etc). The guy presents good arguments.
I read the barter chapter in your book but I didn't find anything about alcohol and tobacco. I think it might not be a good idea to buy large amount of these products, even if there's a STRONG market out there, because you can become a target...
What is your opinion on these two "would-be" barter items ?
If you quote my message, call me "Canis Lupus". Remember the guy (or one of the guys) who wanted to translate your book in french ? :-)
Hi man, yes I remember you. :-)
Unfortunately the French market would be too small and I doubt it would cover the cost of the translation. It would be a different story for someone with a large publisher, but in my case I make comparatively few sales.
About your question,
Sure! Its a GREAT idea to sell booze and tabaco! If your name is Canis Lupus Walker and your old man is Johnnie Walker I'd say stay in the family business! You're making a lot of already. Any chance your last name is Marlboro?... :-)
Sorry, but try to see the point I'm making. Everything is more complicated after a crisis, not easier, and you cant begin to imagine how hard it would be after a complete collapse for a small business.
As of right now I'm sure sounding like a jerk, so tell you what: To everyone that believes I'm wrong, try starting now.
All these wonderful businesses no one every though of... (well, apart from Mr. Walker, Mr. Marloboro and Mr. Budwiser) just start them now, see how easy or how hard it is to have a production line, suppliers, clients, how much profit you actually make.
Serious folks. As of right now sales in general have gone down around 30%-40% for most goods and services in the areas where the crisis has affected the most.
You think the big alcohol and tobacco companies will just disappear into thin air?
No dude, they restructure and more likely destroy any weaker competition.
Start now. Horse shoe maker, tanner, arrow maker, moonshine distiler or whatever you have in mind, start now and see how you do. If you do well, expect profit to go down 50% or worse during a real crisis. Most business weren't that lucky and simply had to close.
You dont make money during a crisis by competing against market giants, you make money by finding and satisfying the new niche and opportunities the crisis creates.
These "would-be" barter items, as you wisely put them. Think for a second, "would be" according to who? You're going to base your investments on some supposition from a fiction novel?
Hope that helped, take care and keep things real, ok? ;-)