Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Value of precious metals in SHTF Venezuela?

I was reading a thread today in a discussion board about the value of precious metals when SHTF.
There was the typical discussion, people quoting actual events in which precious metals were of great value, others pointing out how precious metals have been considered either a currency or form of wealth for thousands of years. There were also people claiming that it’s better to stock up food or ammo (why not store all? Food, ammo AND precious metals?)
At one point someone asked about Venezuela. What’s happening there, is gold and silver of use?
Well, that’s actually a good question. In my opinion the best lessons are the ones you get from actual events, empiric evidence.

So, what’s happening in Venezuela and what role does gold and silver play?

Well, there’s people in Venezuela called Garimpeiros. These are prospectors, people that scavenge the sewers looking for anything of value. What are they looking for? Metal, mostly aluminium or copper. If lucky a bit of silver jewellery that washed away in the shower, maybe even some gold.  These people claim that scavenging this way they make around the monthly minimum wage (about 33USd) in a week. Given the terrible conditions people in Venezuela have to live with, this isnt much, but it is enough to get some food to survive.

1oz of silver goes for about 700.000 VEF (Venezuelan currency) , and a pack of 1kg of rice costs 50.000VEF, which is about 1USD.  Its safe to assume that these people won’t get spot price for the scrap silver or gold they find, but even at half spot price a bit of silver let alone gold will be enough to buy some food.

So yes, in Venezuela today, gold and silver are both very valuable, can be exchanged for the local currency (and you spend it fast because it devaluates by the minute!) and then you can buy food or whatever else you need. Would it have been nice to have a bit of savings in precious metals? You bet! Would it have been nice to have 6-12 months stored worth of food? Of course. Then again, the problems in Venezuela have been going on for decades now and the food would have been gone already, maybe even the savings you had for a rainy day. Maybe the best thing would have been to use that gold or silver you had for a rainy day to get the hell out of there and not end up trapped in that place.
But yes, as expected, gold and silver are very much valuable in Venezuela and no one is changing entire ounces of gold (or silver) for a loaf of bread.
My advice? Cover all your bases. Have guns, have plenty of ammo, have a lot of food (you need to eat anyway) and have precious metal. And stay informed so as to make the right decisions.
Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”

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