Friday, December 18, 2009

Reply: "Post SHTF currency"

pompompom said...
Among others, a good tangible asset quality is it's mobility. Real estate is all but mobile, you can't move out with it. You can't hide it either, nor deny it's yours. Especially against government or big _legal_ predators. If the government decides to overtax your house, you are screwed. If your bank pushes you into foreclosure, ditto. And this risk is as high as violent home-jacking... if not higher!

Small assets = solar PV panels. Will be in high demand immediately after the next energy blackout. Bulky to store though but a smart oppportunist flash business.

Hi Pompom pom,

I know what you mean and it is a good piece of gear to have around, but this is the type of thing I was talking about in the "Post SHTF Currency" post.
I don’t think it’s a good idea to buy gear expecting it to go high on demand after a crisis or SHTF event.
First, its not even a basic need. If you had for example lots of canned food (which you can eat yourself as well) and then maybe selling some after SHTF, I wouldn’t have much to say about it even if I believe its not a smart business move because at least you’ll have it and use it yourself and your family.
Now, getting stuck with a pile of solar panels that you don’t end up selling because people are not interested, because whatever power problem occurred was fixed soon, because the Army showed up with a big generator and is supplying power. I mean, the spectrum of possibilities were people would rush to you willing to buy your stash of solar panels, AND doing so at a more expensive price that you originally paid for, I’m sure it’s a much better idea to put that money in an extra cash stash or buying more gold or silver.
I’m extremely conservative about this or that being “worth its weight in gold” after a crisis or SHTF event. Its like gambling, or worse.



Anonymous said...

This idea represents a common mind-trap that I have seen and read many people falling into. Call it the "One Thing" trap - if I only have this one thing, I can barter/sell/use it to take care of everything.

This is a natural way that the mind works: we try to simplify a complicated situation into something that we can cope with, or that gives us the illusion of coping when the magnitude of the problem is overwhelming.

An illusion can give us enough comfort that we can act in the face of a reality that is extremely stressful. (Read some of the accounts of the survivors of 9/11 - some of them just shut down, but some of them thought it was just two accidents in a row, and that silly fiction helped them keep functioning.)

For people who are new to the preparedness lifestyle, they can experience enough stress to put them into a mild form of this mode. This illusion does no harm unless and until a crisis strikes.

Over time, we can grow less stressed by thoughts of emergencies, and that is the time we grow beyond the "One Thing" illusion. But "two things" is just as limiting as one, and three is not much better.

There is a world of things that we could buy today, and figuring out which ones are vital to have and which ones are not is a huge task, until you know what you are prepping for.

Luckily, one can identify the basics that are always going to be helpful: Food, water, shelter, defense, light, transportation, etc. These things will be needed regardless of which crisis appears.

Doubtless there will be "One Thing" that if you had just had it, in addition to the food and everything, then your problem would be solved. Deal with it - the "One Thing" is something different for each person, and for each crisis, and no book can tell you what it is going to be, until you write your diary after the fact.

The "One Thing" that you really, really need is an open mind that is not paralyzed by fear, that can figure out some way to muddle through, salvage what you can, spot opportunities, and make a plan to move forward. You can't buy that mind, although I suspect that military training might give you a boost in that direction.

pompompom said...

Sorry if my comment was misunderstood. It was an answer to an anonymous guy asking for assets SHTF. My main answer was about real estate.

The PV thing was just because I felt I had to give him an answer, ie 'material stuff' to sell. Not a strong position for myself.

I edited my message for brievity but at some point I said that PV should not be more than 10% of your assets. My suggestion would work only if you are able to sell your PV plug-ready within hours of a main power failure to people in full panic. We'd need pages to explain such a flash-busines.

I'll stick to my own strategy depending on money available:
< 1000€ : keep it on cash at home
< 10k€ : 50% cash €+$+£, 50% gold
< 100k€ : 3k in cash, 20+k in gold, the remaining on a foreign bank account.
Over 100k dedicated to SHTF? You don't need my consulting!

Anonymous said...

Pompom Pom;

I like your approach - splitting assets and such. If my first comment sounded too critical and you took it personally, well, that was not my intention. Sorry.

My purpose was to point out a pitfall that I have fallen into on occasion, and that I have observed others falling into as well. And it is a mistake regardless of who makes it.

There is an old bumper sticker I saw once - something like this: "For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong." (Attributed to H. L. Mencken - a famous old-time newspaperman)

That is the trap that I was warning against. Muddling through is a messy, complicated process, and not susceptible to simple neat answers.

Investing too much money and hope into a single item or skill or survival-kit-in-a-can is a mistake that can harm you two ways: it wastes resources that might be better used elsewhere, and in the event that a crisis occurs and your magic bullet doesn't work, the mental disorientation that follows will cost you valuable time and infect you with self-doubt at a time you can't afford it.


Anonymous said...

dead sure investment. TOILET PAPER!