Gold is a commodity just like any other commodity.
The American Gold Eagle is the most popular gold coin in the US.
If you’ve ever talked to a retail level financial advisor that was recommending stocks or mutual funds you’ve probably heard this exact position on gold. There is a mountain of mainstream media propaganda that reinforces this position as it attempts to convince you to tie up all your assets in tax deferred retirement accounts. I’ve read a lot of it myself.
Gold is money and nothing else. -JP Morgan source.
If you’ve ever seriously considered gold as an investment you’ve probably come across this quote from a famous banker. Many advocates of gold say similar things. Yet we know gold is not money. We no longer buy groceries or cars with gold coins.
The truth is that gold is not like any other commodity. Gary North’s recent article explains some of the misstatements surrounding gold made by those interested in trading US dollars for gold.
Gold Has An Almost Permanent Durability
Gold stands the test of time. It doesn’t rust and it doesn’t deteriorate. Coins found at the bottom of the ocean submerged for hundreds of years are just as marketable as recently mined gold.
Is there any other tangible good or commodity that can be stored indefinitely? What if you wanted to purchase a year’s supply of gasoline at today’s prices? How would you store it?
Gold Has A Long History Of Value
Have you ever heard that a thing is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it? North explains this in economic terms by stating that people impute value to an object. People have valued gold for thousands of years. A two thousand year old one ounce gold coin could be traded for roughly $1400 worth of goods and services today. What other physical object could last that long and still be used to purchase goods and services? Gold is something that could be passed on to future generations.
Whether you already own gold or have never considered it as an investment, read North’s article. If you are curious, find a local coin shop and go in to see what a 1/10th ounce Gold American Eagle looks like. You could also feel the weight of a 1 ounce Gold American Eagle while you are there.
Do you think gold is a barbarous relic or a valuable commodity? Let me know in the comments section.
The big banks profit at our expense in many ways. They certainly know how to monetize their relationship with the government. Two egregious examples recently came to light.
1. JP Morgan Chase Profits From Food Stamps
There has been an increase in the number of Americans receiving food stamps in recent years to about 43 million today. The total US population is about 307 million people. That means that more than 10% of the population is on food stamps. How does this benefit one of the biggest banks in the world? It turns out JP Morgan has contracts with state governments to issue debit cards for food stamp recipients.
2. Big Banks Profit From Short Sales
The stated purpose of the FDIC is to insure investor deposits in the event of a failed bank. In reality, the FDIC enables fractional reserve banking by providing a psychological barrier against depositors questioning the banking system. Why should you care if your bank fails when the FDIC will step in and make sure your deposits are returned to you?
With all the bank failures lately the FDIC has been busy. Their modus operandi has been to arrange a buyer for the failed bank ahead of closing it down. Then the federal agents come in on a Friday and close down the failed bank, transfer the accounts to the purchasing bank and open the doors of the failed bank under a new name by Monday morning.
But there is the rub. With more banks failing, the list of potential buyers shrinks. In order to entice a buyer the FDIC is prepared to make sweet heart deals enabling the kind of arbitrage plays that can only be made by participants with big money. The FDIC will often let the purchasing bank buy the debt obligations of the failed bank at a steep discount and even guarantee the purchasing bank against losses. This leads to a can’t lose deal for the purchasing banks. This YouTube video explains how these deals lead to profits and rent seeking by the acquiring banks.
These profits schemes are worthy of outrage, but what positive actions can you take as a result of these examples coming to light? Do not support the large banks by giving them your business. These institutions already have their hand in your pocket via your tax payments. Consider using a small local bank or a credit union. Make use of cash where possible to deny the large banks the profits from the transaction fees associated with credit and debit cards.
Picture yourself paying cash for your next new computer. Would you enjoy it more because it was completely paid for from the moment you took it home and plugged it in? Credit card debt can hang over your head like a rain cloud and cause undue anxiety. This will inhibit the enjoyment of life. I know that is how I felt before I paid off my credit cards in full. Below I list the top three reasons to eliminate credit card debt.
1. Start Saving for Retirement
In order to retire, you must develop a positive net worth. It is important to set aside some of the surplus during times of abundance so that it will be available later. If you have credit card debt that carries an interest rate into the double digits, there is no safer way to make 10% plus on your money than paying off your credit cards.
2. Reduce Complication
How many bills do you pay every month? Every monthly bill that can be eliminated makes life simpler. When a card is paid off there will be no fretting over late fees if the bill is not paid on time. There will also be one less thing to worry about and less paper to track.
3. Peace of Mind
The sense of inner peace that comes from debt elimination is priceless. Throwing off the debt yoke will enable you to move forward unburdened. The money saved on interest can be used to establish savings that will help when an unplanned expense occurs.
Credit card debt profits the large banks that issue the cards and is detrimental to the net worth of those who choose to carry a balance. You can choose to pay off those balances and opt out of credit card debt.