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Wealth Building Habits for The Little Guy

By: Tom Chatham

Regardless of how much you earn it is always possible to save and build wealth little by little until it amounts to something substantial. Most people are in a hurry for everything. They want it right now and that mentality makes it impossible to deploy a long term plan to get where they want to be.

There are those that suddenly get rich but they are not typical of the average guy. The average guy needs a plan to get where they want to be and that plan will rely on certain habits to build wealth. The more money you save and the more wealth you build up, the more opportunities that will open up to you.

With the current economic situation threatening to get worse before it gets better it is even more important now to start utilizing some good habits that will help you . Good financial habits will help you get to the other side of any financial crisis in better shape than those around you. These habits will also allow you to see the long term picture and take advantage of opportunities that come about even in bad times.

Develop a stream of income- This is typically your primary income but it should also encompass any opportunities you come across that can increase your net worth. It can be a reoccurring payment or an occasional boost from opportunities that present themselves on occasion.

Increase ownership of productive real assets- You need to save for the future and that savings should be in real assets that will always be worth something regardless of the economy. It may be gold, silver, diamonds or real estate such as good farmland. These assets should also include ventures that produce a positive cash flow.

Save/invest some of what you make- You must save some of what you make regardless of how little that is. If you make $5,000 a week and spend $5,000 a week you are not wealthy just a highly paid broke person unless some of that money is going into fully owned real assets.

Invest in productive education- All education is not created equal. If you plan to go into debt to get a degree make sure it is necessary. Education in the medical or engineering field will likely pay for itself but going deep into debt to get a liberal arts degree may be a waste of time and money unless you already have a job waiting for you.

Read as much as possible- Reading is one of the most overlooked habits that people never think about. Most people today hate to read and that reduces their chances of identifying opportunities or solving problems. The more you read the larger your data base will be for solving problems or being creative in making money.

Don’t lose money- This seems like a no brainer but most people don’t really think about it. Making money is easy compared to holding onto it for the duration. If you are frugal but turn around and invest money in poorly thought out schemes or loan it to someone that won’t pay it back you have not accomplished anything.

Learn to read people- The failure to read peoples true intentions can cost you everything. There is always someone out there that wishes to separate you from your wealth and it is your job to prevent that from happening.

Building wealth takes time and work. To succeed everything must work properly. One bad habit can ruin all of your hard work and prevent you from reaching your planned goals. It takes planning, execution and willpower to keep it all together.

There is a saying that you can give a poor person a million dollars and they will just end up poor but you can take a million dollars from a rich person and they will just go out and make another million. I actually know a guy that inherited 50 million dollars and about 5 years later he was broke and had nothing to show for all of that wealth. Poor habits make you poor and rich habits make you wealthy.

There is another saying that if you hang out with poor people you learn how to be poor and if you hang out with rich people you learn how to be rich. This is all about learning certain habits regarding wealth and how to handle money. We learn throughout life and what we learn determines how well we do.

By learning good habits to building wealth, the average person can build an empire over time. It does not matter what your ultimate goal is. You can only achieve it if you exercise a certain amount of control over what you do. Learning what works and what does not is the key to unlocking your future wealth.


Wealth Trumps Income

By: Tom Chatham

Richard Russell made an interesting statement recently. He believes wealth trumps income and after thing about it, I have to agree. Many people today do not understand the difference between wealth and income. They think one equates to the other.

When people look at someone else today they immediately try to determine how much they make as a way to determine how wealthy they are. While it is true that the more you make, the easier it is to accumulate wealth, that is not a guaranteed outcome. What you do with your money is more important than how much you make in most cases.

The psychological aspect of income is all most people immediately respond to. A recent study indicates that most women will not even consider dating a man that does not have a steady job. While there are exceptions, this indicates that most women see income as the most important element when it comes to finding a mate. While having a job is one indicator of potential wealth, it is not the only defining one. There are many people today making over $100k per year and find it difficult to survive because they spend more than they make.

On the flip side, how many wealthy old men do you see with beautiful young wives? If you see a well dressed man throwing around hundred dollar bills and getting into a limo, few people ask if he has a job. They only see a wealthy person and respond to that perception. This is getting off the track a bit but is something to think about.

Wealth is a matter of what manages to “stick” to an individual over the course of time. I actually know someone that inherited around 50 million dollars some years ago. Within 10 years it was all gone and he had nothing to show for it. As unbelievable as that sounds, it is a true story.

Someone that makes $10k a year and is careful with their funds can actually have more wealth within a few years than someone making $50k a year and spending freely trying to live like their neighbors. As I have said before, wealth is not the paper assets you have but the physical things you buy with it. This includes knowledge. As Benjamin Franklin once said, “when a man pours his wallet into his head, no one can take it from him”. Knowledge is a form of wealth that you can spend over and over again and never run out.

Getting back to the wealth trumps income statement, it is obvious over time that the amount of money that sticks to you is independent of income and ultimately determines your wealth. This is why wealth is ultimately more important than income on many levels. Your income can be cut off at any time and leave you with nothing but bills you cannot pay but wealth is already in your hands and being used every day in the form of physical goods to maintain your current standard of living.

You don’t need income when you have sufficient real wealth. Real wealth is what allows you to sleep at night no matter how good or bad the economy is. That is something someone with a safe full of gold or a self sufficient homestead knows. Granted, some income is necessary these days if for nothing more than to pay taxes but the need for income is greatly reduced when you have real wealth that provides the things you need to survive from day to day in a nominal state of comfort.

For those that contemplate the future with dread as the economy sinks ever lower, it is important to realize what has the most impact on your economic future. Making sure that much of the income you get will stick will make a larger impact on your standard of living than anything else. You can try to wing it through life as most people do or you can sit down and decide how to leverage the funds you get and amass true wealth to insure you can take care of your family no matter what the economy does in the future. How much you make is not as important as what you do with it.

The West Line and China World Rule

By: Tom Chatham

The west line is a theory that the commercial shipping center of the world has slowly moved westward over the course of centuries. This line, by chance or some hidden economic force, has slowly moved for 5,000 years. It started in Lebanon about 3,000 BC, moving in small steps to Rhodes, Crete, the Greek mainland, Rome and Northern Italy. About 1,000 years ago a large step brought NW Europe to the forefront making Antwerp/Amsterdam, London and the Eastern Coast of North America the leading centers of trade. In the 20th century a giant step moved the center of trade into the Pacific and Japan, South Korea and China became the new centers of growth and commercial shipping.

Each step along the west line became a struggle as the old centers declined and the new centers emerged. This long term perspective on the world of maritime trade demonstrates the dynamics of the ever changing environment that we live in. It is a continuing process that civilizations must adapt to in order to accept their new place in international commerce.

England was a manufacturing power that allowed them to build a world class navy. This allowed them to secure a worldwide empire. When they began losing manufacturing power to the U.S. it affected their ability to project military power. When WWII came, they went into deep debt to fight the war and it was the end of their status as a world power.

The U.S. slowly built up a manufacturing base that made the country wealthy and powerful in the world. This manufacturing ability allowed us to build a world class navy during WWII and become the new world power. In the 1930’s the U.S. built up the worlds largest gold hoard with about 26,000 tons. The U.S. has now lost much of its savings and manufacturing power to China and gone deep into debt to that nation.

China now has the manufacturing capability that England and America once had. This capability has made the country wealthy and they are now starting to build a large gold hoard. They are in the initial stages of building a large navy and a middle class that can utilize it’s manufacturing capacity once the U.S. sales wane. When war comes to the world once again, China will take the reigns of power from the U.S. and become the new world power. The U.S. will have to learn to live with a smaller, slower economy just as England and the others before them have.

By understanding the process that is now occurring, we can mitigate the damage to America and insure a reasonable standard of living in the future, but if we ignore the process taking place we may very well end up in third world conditions. The future of America is that of a nation with a lower standard of living and less military power. It will be a nation that must compete in world markets and have a product to sell to stay viable. The ability to prosper due to having the world reserve currency is over and we must accept that fact and adjust to it. If we fail to adjust to the new reality unfolding before us, we will suffer terribly for it.

We hold the future in our hands as the actions we will take will ultimately reflect our standard of living in years to come. The U.S. is destined to be no more than a shell of its’ former self for many years to come if it survives at all. The divisions now present in our society are such that losing our current prosperity could tear us apart as a nation. Do not suffer any delusions. The prosperity we once had is gone and will likely never be repeated in this nation, at least not for several centuries. Anyone who tries to tell you otherwise is not presenting a rational argument based on the natural tendencies of the west line which cannot be controlled by man. The best we can hope to do is to build a stable society that we can live with in the years to come. Just as past empires have succumbed to the west line in its passing, so must America.

The American Standard of Living Will Collapse Soon

By: Tom Chatham

When we talk of our standard of living most people equate that to all of the stuff and the money that they have. They feel that the more of each they have the better they are doing. Unfortunately for most, the last few decades have seen an artificial prosperity in the U.S. with an artificial standard of living. The standard they think they have is propped up by massive amounts of fiat money that can and will evaporate soon.

We have been brought to this point by irresponsible policies created by irresponsible people that seek only to enrich themselves at the expense of the masses. Many Americans have massive amounts of mortgage debt, automobile debt, credit card debt, student loan debt, business debt, medical debt and/or recreational equipment debt.

When the money ends and the people can no longer pay for the things that make up their standard of living, they will lose most of those things and be left with a lot of cheap trinkets made in China, many of which are probably broken already, to signify their standard of living.

When the artificial standard of living collapses into the real standard of living that most will end up with, there will be a lot of denial then a lot of anger. This will be a dangerous time for everyone, especially those that made prudent decisions most of their lives and lived within their means and will still have most of their wealth in tact when it’s over.

The envy that the political left has sown will reap a deadly harvest when this false paradigm ends. Politicians on the left and right are responsible for this mess but it is the social tension from the left that will cause much violence. People that have grown up in a system that taught them they are entitled to a certain standard of living will become violent when the things they were promised are taken away without warning.

Those that have spent wisely over the years and lived within or below their means will remain solvent while others sink in the ocean of debt they have set sail on. Many will not go gently into that good night and will strike out at anyone that they feel has more than their fair share of stuff when everything falls apart. This is the reason many have a plan to leave for more tranquil waters when the going starts to get bad. For those that have made the hard decisions and remain solvent, the coming chaos is a foregone conclusion and they are prepared for that. But what of those that only now realize the danger and seek to prepare for it?

If you now realize that your standard of living is about to take a drastic plunge it may still be possible to cushion the fall for your family but some drastic decisions will need to be made. When you see an accident about to happen, the actions you take determine whether you get a bruise, a broken arm or are killed outright. Your actions need to represent who you are and the situation you are currently living in.

In a serious crisis the things that are important are water, food, shelter, clothing, security, medical, transportation and communication. Sanitation is also critical for well being but for brevity we will assume that your shelter will cover that aspect. In day to day living the four things needed are food, water, shelter and clothing. These are the things most people will struggle to provide for their families so these are the things you will need to place emphasis on if you are behind the preparation curve at this point. The other items are not less important but will depend on your location and situation as to their need. Once you can provide the basics to your family then the other items will become necessary.

For someone living in the suburbs or urban area with a job and few survival type skills, it would likely be necessary to store some of your wealth in a form you can use later to care for your family. This may take the form of food, gold, silver, diamonds or some other durable wealth preserving tool. The idea for this type of individual is to have the means to provide food, shelter and clothing during hard times. Since this type of individual may have very few skills to fall back on to produce these items themselves they would need a medium of exchange to trade for those things for the duration of the crisis. That does not mean this type of person should not seek education to provide these items themselves but given certain time constraints it may not be possible short term. An individual in this situation needs to have a plan to deal with these conditions utilizing the resources available to them at this time. A portable form of wealth may be the only option if relocation is required due to a deteriorating situation in the cities and/or your primary shelter is lost.

An individual living in the country may have more opportunity to provide the basics for their family depending on their location and the resources available in the local community. The basics still hold true though for the rural individual. For this person the skills available may make up for lack of financial means to store wealth for future use. This person will still need food, water, shelter and clothing as a minimum for their family but they may be able to provide those things by different means than their city cousins. The availability of open ground to grow food and the availability of water on site in most places may decrease the need to seek out these resources for day to day living allowing more time to be spent on acquisition of shelter and clothing.

In The American Dream Lost I cover one strategy that can work for most average families and can be summed up as follows.

Purchase a good used RV or camper trailer for shelter.
Purchase two sets of new clothing for each person to be stored in shelter.
Purchase food to provide a minimum of two meals a day for a year.
Buy a shotgun and ammo.
Buy $30 face value in junk silver coins for emergency use.

These things can be bought today for under $6,000 and much less with some shopping around. They can mean the difference between becoming destitute and helpless or being able to live with a good quality of life. Measures should be taken to prevent the loss of this backup system in the event you must declare bankruptcy and lose everything when the system collapses. Unless a mad max scenario happens very fast, anything you do not own free and clear may be lost in due time by foreclosure. Above all if you decide to implement a plan like this or some other the most important thing to remember is not to wait until you have no resources left before you try to enact the plan. Most people try to run things out until the last minute and all resources are used up hoping things will change and the life they are accustomed to will be saved somehow. That is a plan for disaster in the current environment and is very dangerous for you and your family to depend on. You must set aside resources for the plan you devise and be prepared to activate it when nothing else can be done. That is a mental leap you must be prepared to take when the time comes.

A good quality of life should not be confused with all of the consumer things you now have and feel necessary to function every day. Some of the best things in life are free and this is the thing you must mentally prepare your family for the most. A collapse of our living standard will require everyone to adjust to the new reality and those that do not make the transition will cause a great many problems for the rest. One of the biggest problems we face are those that cannot or will not adjust and this is where the greatest danger lies in society when the system breaks down.

Aiming For the Economic Sweet Spot

By: Tom Chatham

For those that are preparing for the worst in economic terms there are always the decisions of what to get now and what to get later. Your current economic situation may only allow you the option of buying necessary equipment and supplies at a slow pace. Primary items that you should buy first are food, water, fuel, clothing, household and sanitation supplies and if possible some type of shelter, either a primary structure or an alternative shelter you fully own. Only after taking care of these necessities should you put some of your money into silver or gold for wealth preservation. After these items you will want to acquire any large items you think you will need. If you cannot afford all of the items now that you feel you will ultimately need what are your options?

There is one option that while not perfect or guaranteed may work to your advantage in the near future.

When an economic collapse begins it will likely happen slowly over a matter of weeks or months. As paper assets are destroyed deflation will occur in some areas while inflation will occur in others. The things that are likely to see inflation immediately are those things that people cannot live without like food, water, fuel and clothing. Those things that can preserve wealth such as precious metals are items you should already have in your possession before the bottom drops out of the economy.

Those holding hard assets not considered wealth preserving but more like consumer goods will be liquidating those items to acquire inflating assets they must have like food. For those that have a store of wealth that can be liquidated and used to purchase other hard assets it could be a good time to leverage your limited wealth to acquire those items you could not afford before.

When paper assets begin to fail those that are holding mainly paper will rush to get into hard assets like gold and silver to preserve their wealth. This will rapidly bid up the price of these assets due to their very limited availability. The price of precious metals should appreciate much faster than inflation. Eventually gold and silver will go into a bubble before they drop a significant amount. This grey area between the metals inflated price and the actual inflation rate will give you extra buying power for a short period of time. This is the economic sweet spot. You may elect to liquidate some of your metals at this time to purchase other hard assets you are in need of but were unable to afford earlier.

Any prolonged economic collapse will make many goods hard or impossible to find as time goes on so buying in this grey area will assure you have what you need and at a price you can now afford. As the collapse gathers speed, those that cannot buy metals will shift into other types of hard assets just to be out of paper so you must act before this happens.

What type of hard assets will you likely be looking for? Things like tools, machinery, livestock, land and equipment you will need to care for your family longterm. These are the expensive items you may not be able to afford now but want for longterm viability. While it is best to get them now you may not be able to so a plan such as this may be your only hope. If this situation does not appear for you to take advantage of you will still have some precious metals to barter with at a later date and possibly acquire some of the things you need.

So for those needing to make large capitol purchases but lacking sufficient funds at this time, holding your funds in precious metals may be the best plan. Gold is good but silver may see the most increase over this period and is much easier for individuals with limited funds to accumulate. When trying to gage the market to get the most from your assets, don’t try to liquidate at the top of the market because you are likely to miss it. If you can get within ten percent of the top you have done well so don’t push your luck and try to squeeze out the last little bit. This will allow you to sell some of your PMs and get what you need before the prices begin to decline and panic sets in.

While not perfect this opportunity will allow you the possibility to get things that will be more important to you than precious metals as the crisis unfolds. There are no guarantees for the future so each person must decide for themselves how best to use their limited assets.

Will Wealth Expropriation Stop At Bank Accounts?

By: Tom Chatham

It is becoming a foregone conclusion that Cyprus was just the beginning of the new bail-in plan taking root in the world of finance. The mentality of the banking industry is that they will continue with their machinations as long as people are dumb enough to go along. The majority of Americans still live under the assumption that their bank accounts are safe and any loss will be covered by FDIC. Like a thief in the night the banking industry has changed the rules allowing the theft of bank deposits in such a way that FDIC insurance will not kick in to reimburse depositors. Many banks have sent their customers revised banking agreements in the last several months knowing that most never read these statements and throw them away. These new policies will not become known to most people until it is too late for them to protect themselves.

The banking industry is setting the stage for massive wealth destruction brought on by their massive misappropriation of funds. The bankers will walk away with their golden parachutes and massive bonuses while the ordinary citizen pays for it all. Credit markets will be destroyed and massive wealth in the form of savings will be destroyed leaving people a bleak future with many unknowns.

Even massive wealth destruction might be a recoverable event and new prosperity assured as long as hard assets survive the collapse. If the coming destruction were an accident that might be possible but the approaching destruction is organized and well planned. If that is true is it impossible to think that complete destruction of privately held assets is not the ultimate goal. Paper assets are the most readily available wealth but far from the only significant wealth in private hands.

Private property is the foundation of much of the wealth in the U.S. and the recent real estate scandals by TBTF banks gives us a look at a possible future. Much of the property held in America has a mortgage on it and would be easily foreclosed on by banks if the financial sector locked up in response to bail-ins and triggered foreclosures.

A sudden devaluation of currency could also cause default if debts were not indexed. An even sinister aspect of this is the fact that Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac underwrite most of the mortgage debt. A TBTF bank could easily foreclose and pass the property on to the government, after taking a sufficient handling fee of course. This would place much of the private property in the U.S. in government hands. Increased property taxes in the name of social justice would take care of the rest of the wholly owned properties.

In a world where there is rule of law this would be unthinkable but the rules are being rewritten almost daily now and it is only a matter of time before the unthinkable happens. Why would government want to deprive citizens of privately owned property?

Even with the destruction of wealth private property provides people the ability to be self sufficient and care for themselves. This places them outside of much of the governments control and control is the purpose of government today. Because of this private property must be eliminated along with private wealth. The nature of current events leads one in this direction and to ignore the potential of this possibility is to surrender any future prosperity sought by society.

He who controls money, controls commerce but he who controls property controls everything else including freedom.

Free Market Capitalism Vs Crony Capitalism

By: Tom Chatham

Stock market gurus and central bankers are always eager to tell anyone who will listen that they have all the answers and know how to create prosperity. In their eyes, prosperity is something that can be created out of thin air with the proper knowledge which they are privy to. This miracle of economics could also be called something for nothing. The greed of men makes this prospect particularly enticing. All honest people know there is no such thing as something for nothing. Everything in life has a price and that price will be paid at some point by some means or someone. It is this greed that has caused society to want the easy path to prosperity. Why work hard all your life and end up with very little when you can have everything the easy way. This is something the money printers and speculators have learned to capitalize on to get rich themselves the easy way. These people have found a way to use society’s tendencies against them. It is known as crony capitalism.

Free market capitalism involves the production of goods or services that are sold to society at a price the market is willing to pay. Society is the free market and will dictate the rate it is willing to pay based on supply and demand fundamentals. Supply is based on the availability of natural resources needed to produce the goods society wants. Prosperity in a free market can only occur as fast as natural resources can be developed therefore natural resources act as a governor to prevent society from living beyond its means. This acts to prevent inflation and debt from rising too fast. These forces allow society to prosper at a slow steady pace that is sustainable as long as the natural resources are available in sufficient quantities and can be extracted to meet supply. This means excess production can be stored for future use by workers because the excess production is held in hard assets.

Crony capitalism is the ability to pull forward prosperity and utilize the potential value of future production now by means of speculation and money printing. It causes the market to signal a false prosperity caused by the misallocation of resources and false signals indicating increases in available natural resources. Those that are behind the speculation and money printing enable a system that provides them the use of future prosperity today at the detriment of society tomorrow. The false prosperity brought into the market is no longer based on developed natural resources but debt secured by future prosperity that will never occur. As currently available natural resources are used by those utilizing crony capitalism fundamentals, the producers in society that save current production, in the form of paper assets manufactured by the money printers, will one day seek to cash in their saved production for hard assets consisting of natural resources. When the day arrives that no natural resources are available for the conversion of paper assets, the system will cease to function. At that point all paper assets will be destroyed by supply and demand fundamentals that society injects and free markets will seek to rebalance all previous misallocation. This will happen by destruction of paper assets that were never backed by hard assets. The destruction of paper assets will be proportional to the amount of natural resources that do not exist in the markets. This means that those that hold paper assets at this time will lose all of their stored production. Crony capitalism is a way for money printers and speculators to utilize the excess production of workers now while depriving them of their saved production later. To put it simply, crony capitalism is the organized theft of society’s excess production in a way that most do not and will not understand which is why it is so effective.

Governments that engage in money printing and deficit spending are only able to do so because large portions of society save their excess production in paper assets. This allows the government to utilize natural resources that should be allocated to these savers. When paper assets begin to collapse due to lack of hard assets those that are able to convert some of their paper will find prices inflating at an ever increasing rate and they will lose a certain percentage of their saved production as a result. Those that are too late in converting their saved production will lose much or all of it. This is what is meant when people talk of investors heading for the exits.

There is increased talk by some that capitalism has failed but this is misdirection by those that know the truth. Free market capitalism has not been practiced in many years and those that thrive on crony capitalism must blame the ultimate destruction of paper assets on free market capitalism to hide a falsehood sold to the masses that will lose everything they have worked for. The only places you can find true free market capitalism today is in small communities scattered across the nation where barter and precious metals are utilized.

Any savings instruments that are not backed by hard assets are merely promises waiting to be broken. In the near future there will be many broken promises and hopefully society will survive to remember a hard lesson. The worst thing that could happen is that society is manipulated to believe in another system based on lies and promises. Free market capitalism must once again be ingrained into society to prevent future crisis. Unfortunately, many people do not learn from their mistakes until enough pain is incurred and a failure of fiat currency will inflict a massive amount of pain that society will remember for a very long time.

A smart man learns from his mistakes. A genius learns from other peoples mistakes.

Buy Used and Save To Increase Your Net Worth

By: Tom Chatham

One of the problems with the credit industry that we have is the fact that you often pay twice or even three times for the object you want to get. Many people do not take the time to calculate the true cost of the things they buy on credit or simply do not care. They want it now and are content to overpay for it as a result.

Another symptom of the society we now have is the demand for cheap products that only last a few years and seem to self destruct. Repairable metal has given way to disposable plastic and solid wood has given way to pressboard. The era of planned obsolescence has taken its toll on our society and we are poorer as a society as a result.

If you go around in life paying twice as much for everything you get and end up with inferior products that do not last, how can you expect anything but to be poorer. This is a fact that seems lost on the new disposable, must have the latest edition generation. Over the years the forgotten frugal ways of the past offer those in this collapsing financial situation we find ourselves in a way out if they choose.

When you are young you want to have the newest and most fashionable items available because things have become status symbols to our society. To have something old or out of date is repulsive to some. This is the mindset we have been programmed with by those who profit from our impulsive buying habits. We as a people must reprogram ourselves to regain the upper hand and free ourselves from this economic system we have created. We must reprogram ourselves to look upon objects that we use in a functional way rather than a fashionable way.

As I sit here and write this article I do so on my Dell laptop circa 2004 that still serves me well. I purchased an old rocking chair recently made of thick solid wood that cost me all of $25, a chair that would sell for over $100 if bought new today. My want of a good lamp led me to the purchase of an old Aladdin Lincoln Drape lamp for $50 which would have cost me over $150 if bought new. To get the most from the money you work so hard for, you must leverage it in a way that increases your net worth and supplies you with the items that provide the needed function. By doing this you will come ahead faster and with less money and that is crucial in tough economic times.

When you need a lamp, find a used one that you like that will last a lifetime or at least can be repaired if it breaks. Good quality used furniture can be found in many places today that provide the function you need at a cheaper price and much of it is built to last a lifetime. When you prepare to buy a large durable item you should look at it and determine if it is something that you could use and then hand down to the next generation.

Sometimes it is necessary to purchase new but you should always analyze the item for price and durability before making your decision. If it is not possible to buy a new item that you want due to price that is when you should search for good used items that are affordable and durable. By taking this approach you will increase your net worth by paying less and getting better items that will last. If you only have to buy furniture for your home one time in your life, that will save you a lot of money in the long run. If you only buy a car every ten or twenty years and get a used one at that, it will save you thousands that you may not have or can use for other things that you need. This is how you can come ahead in life much faster and with fewer worries and headaches that will keep you awake at night.

We are now in a situation that many younger people should take advantage of to insure a good quality of life in the years to come. Many of those from the older generations are retiring and down sizing their homes. Many of these people bought quality American products to furnish their homes when they were starting their families in the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s. These items are now starting to flow into the used market and those that want quality for a fraction of the price now have a golden opportunity.

One of the greatest stumbling blocks is the programming of the newer generation. Those in the know about what I am saying need to make an effort to educate the next generation before it is too late. If you have children in college and want to help them get a good start in life then why not buy them some good used furniture to give them a helping hand. If things continue to deteriorate that used durable furniture may be all they have to use for many years to come and they will eventually come to appreciate it.

I’ve said before that if you were to go back in time and find yourself living in the 1950’s you might not have all of the technology we have today but you would have a good quality of life even with that old technology and the products they had then. These older products should be a foundation you build on to insure a good quality of life while you work to improve your position. Some of these products are also a good way to store excess wealth until later.

With the decaying economic system we are faced with, it is up to each of us to make the best of what we have, and what we have will likely decrease with the years. By getting the most from our spending dollars we will be in a better position to weather the storm. While you may be able to buy more cheap stuff short term, if it does not last, you will be right back where you started from except without the funds you wasted. It is not always possible to buy the best quality but it should be a top priority when possible and buying used can help you with this. Quality is not expensive, it’s priceless.

What is Your Economic Plan?

By: Tom Chatham

The people that have an understanding of the current financial situation have already begun their plans to stay solvent and provide for their families. They have stored food and seeds, bought some silver or gold coins and looked into alternative sources of power and energy for their homes. These are the logical starting points, but is it enough?

With the downturn in the economy many are doing the best they can to prepare but smaller paychecks, higher taxes and rising prices are making it difficult to stay ahead of the growing problems in the world. Even though you may have a limited amount of money, you need a long range plan to get through the potential troubles ahead.

The best way to navigate economic troubles is to be as free from the economic system as possible. This means you must be able to provide as many of your own goods and infrastructure as possible to limit the needed financial resources you have available. The act of building a self sufficient homestead is a large and often expensive task. It is beyond the ability of most to do it in a short period of time.

For those that see the need for self sufficiency but lack the financial resources, a long range plan must be devised to get you there. In devising a plan you must decide what resources are critical and which are the most readily attainable with the financial resources you have.

A raw piece of land that you can grow food on and build a structure from locally available materials is a critical piece of the plan but you may lack the financial resources at this time to buy what you need. You must look at your financial ability to buy this piece of land and determine how long it will take you to save up to get it. You want to buy it in full with no debt obligations which will make it more difficult.

After determining how long this will take, you must decide if the length of time will leave you vulnerable to economic shocks while saving this money and what the best use of your money short term would be. If it will take you several years to save up the needed money for purchase, some of your funds may be better spent short term on infrastructure to equip your homestead when you finally get it.

The purchase of gardening tools, grain mills, canning supplies, alternate energy systems, carpentry tools and production equipment may offer you more for your money now if prices are rising fast. The stocking of materials you will need later is one way to beat inflation. This must be done as part of a well thought out plan though to insure your goal of purchasing property is not undermined.

Many of these items are useful even if you do not have your own property yet so you will be able to get some use from them and even save some money as a result to put towards your land. If you grind wheat you buy in bulk and can as much as you can from a kitchen garden, it can do a great deal for your cash flow. A wood stove that you can use now and relocate later to your new property can be a good investment. Something as simple as collecting tree limbs from around your yard during the year and from your neighbors providing free fuel may allow you to use much less fuel or electricity during the winter allowing you to put that savings toward your property.

The purchase of production equipment will detract from your land fund but the ability to use that equipment now may allow you to save as much or even more to put into that fund. This will provide a compounding effect if planned well that can see you to your goals even sooner.

You may decide getting some livestock is advantageous. A few pullets and a rooster are easy enough to care for and once moved to your new property you have the capability to hatch more chicks and expand your flock with little expense. The same can be said for pigs. Buying a pair of piglets cheaply several months before you move will provide you with the ability to expand your hog numbers shortly after arriving at your new homestead providing a good source of extra cash. A livestock operation can be expanded very economically once the breeding animals are obtained.

This is the value of having a well thought out plan. It will help you determine what you can purchase now and what financial savings and impact it will have. A good plan is the key to economic security and your future happiness. While you accumulate your tools, you may want to study the economic situation and determine the best method to preserve your savings until you buy your property. If it will take you several years to save enough, during that time high inflation may rob you of a lot of your purchasing power.

You may decide it is best to store this money in gold or silver until it is needed for the purchase. As long as the government continues to print money it is a safe bet that paper assets will take a big hit over time. This may allow you the opportunity to leverage the value of your savings up allowing you to purchase sooner.

What should come first, the land or the tools? This is a question that you will need to answer. If you have the means to buy property now outright it might be the best idea to get it and work on the tools next. If you have property, you have the means to grow food and provide a minimal structure for shelter. In a worse case scenario, this might be the best insurance policy to have especially if you may lose your current home due to job loss or other economic shock. This is what your plan will help you to decide.

Nobody knows better than you what your needs are and what your capabilities are. A sound plan will help you through the difficult times we are facing. No two plans work equally well for everyone so your plan needs to be tailored for you and your circumstances to be most effective. It costs you very little to run some numbers and do some research now but the payoff can be well worth it. .

If you don’t know where to begin, start with this. Make a spreadsheet with all of your monthly purchases and bills. Do this for the whole year and include everything you know you will have to pay during the year such as mortgage, insurance and even clothing. Once you have this list you will see the payments that are somewhat set every month and those that vary. It is the variable items where you will save the money you need for your plan. You must look at these variable items and decide what is more important, entertainment and expensive foods now or financial peace of mind later. You must develop a plan to save as much of your disposable income as possible while still providing those things in a cheaper way such as growing and canning your own food or repairing your clothing instead of just buying something new.

The paradigm we all have built our lives on is coming to an end and those that refuse to plan for the inevitable changes will be devastated. The flexibility you have in future years will determine how well you will adjust and how much pain you will have to endure. Those that have no plan will suffer the most and will find it difficult to lead a normal life. If you have no plan it is not too late but time is very short. You must act now or live with the consequences.

Prepare to Protect Yourself From The New Ponzi Currency

By: Tom Chatham

Recently when the G20 met they discussed plans to deal with the devaluing currencies around the world. The same bankers that created this problem are going to fix it by creating another problem. When the system breaks down they intend to fix it by making the problem bigger.

The idea is to make the IMF the new Global FED and use SDR’s as the new world currency. Once the bankers do this they can start their Ponzi scheme all over again but on a larger scale. What the bankers don’t own when the system fails this time, they figure they will own by the time it fails again. Creating a world currency that is still under their control will allow them to decide who the winners and losers are in the world. They will be able to redistribute the wealth and resources of the world anywhere they want.

The bankers are counting on this to continue their looting of the world and are counting on a gullible public to go along with it. If the public stands by and allows this after the currency fails all I can say is, the people deserve to lose everything they have, which they will. When the currency fails it will mean that everyone that has produced excess over the years, and stored that excess production in the form of fiat currency for future use, will lose it and have to start producing and saving all over again. That will mean that all of your excess production ended up in someone else’s pocket. This is what fiat currencies are designed to do.

For anyone that has been keeping up with the machinations of this group of international swindlers, it is obvious that some sort of self preservation is in order. Before they can destroy the system as we know it, it would be beneficial for local communities to devise a medium of exchange they can use and have it in the wings ready to go when the system breaks. Gold and silver are preferable but most people will not get on board until it is too late so something else may be needed.

If most Americans held just $25 face value in pre ‘65 silver coinage, that would be enough to circulate and establish local commerce. That does not sound like a lot of money but keep in mind, this amount in the 1940’s was a weeks pay ($1,299 annually) to most people and prices reflected that fact. The minimum wage was 40 cents per hour and a quart of milk cost 15 cents. A recalibration of prices to 1940 values would be a starting point to get things moving again. These two small steps by the population could avert disaster and provide a foundation to return to a stable monetary system. Unfortunately, very few Americans will make the small sacrifice now to insure a transition can take place without a great deal of chaos.

Even if there is not enough pre ‘65 coinage available to do this, the purchase of 20 oz of silver bullion by individuals would have the same effect. Getting silver into the hands of as many individuals as possible is the only long term solution to this fiat madness. The use of gold coins in this situation would act as the medium for larger purchases.

The use of local barter currency is an alternative that would work well but would be limited to the locality where issued while silver would be universally accepted. Barter script could be used universally but it would take a great deal of coordination to make it accepted. This would take time and the chaos experienced would make it difficult initially.

When the current fiat currencies fail we must not allow a new fiat currency to take its place. This will be nothing short of knowingly selling ourselves into debt slavery for life. Any attempt to subvert this fiat transition will likely be met with force projected by the surrogates of the ruling class. When this happens you will have to decide how you will deal with these people. The future of this nation will be determined by the actions we take during this crisis.