1) Following Jim Sinclair’s advice [Sinclair’s Third (and Final?) Warning] I have sold off my silver ETF (SLV). ETFs are now too suspect to be trusted.
2) I have repatriated ALL remaining cash that had awaited deployment in my brokerage account with OptionsXpress.
Even though OptionsXpress remains in the top tier of online brokerages, per Jim’s recommendation I’m further limiting my exposure to financial entities.
3) I have checked the health of my local bank. [How to Rate Your Bank’s Safety] It’s now rated “C” (down from C+ last fall). The rating agency says,
“The C rating means that, in our opinion, this institution offers fair financial security, is currently stable, and will likely remain relatively healthy as long as the economic environment avoids the extremes of inflation or deflation.
In a prolonged period of adverse economic or financial conditions, however, we feel this institution may encounter difficulties maintaining its financial stability.”
Update June 7, 2009: Please keep an eye on your bank! One of my banks was rated C+ last Oct. 2008. When I checked again in Feb 2009 it had dropped to C. Now it’s dropped to C-, just one step away from the deadly “D” range. I’ve set up a contingency plan establishing new accounts at another bank.
4) I have previously [Week of Nov 24] laid in a 3-month supply of freeze dried food for my family (1 year supply divided by 4 people) and a gravity-powered water filtration device. Also picked up N95 anti-virus surgical masks.
5) I have stockpiled about 4 months of prescription meds. I’ve been working on this since last fall. (It takes planning when dealing with doctors/insurance.)
6) I continue to monitor economic events. When (not if) TSHTF I am ready to yank our remaining $ from the bank and go on a WalMart shopping spree for essential items and non-perishable or extended-expiration-date food. (Think oatmeal, canned milk, cereal, canned meat (SPAM), actually canned *whatever*, sugar (it self-stores for years). Flour? Some but not a lot, it’ll spoil quickly no matter how it’s stored. But a 5-gallon pail of wheat from our health food store? Yep!) I could go on but you get the idea!
7) Our three cars are paid off and healthy. No credit card debt. Large store of propane, just in case. The only thing that’s financed is our house–I plan on paying that off once hyperinflation hits and precious metals skyrocket. Beating the banksters at their own game with inflated dollars: cool.
8) A store of physical silver and gold (of course) in a secure location where I can get at it in less than 15 minutes. Please! NOT IN A BANK “SAFETY DEPOSIT BOX” [Safety Deposit Boxes Confiscated]. Better to bury it if you have to rather than trust a bank after 9/11 and The Patriot Act.
9) Guns and ammo? Not yet, I still can’t see myself shooting someone. ‘Course, Yogananda used to tell a story about a saint and a snake…[Is It Spiritual To Defend Yourself?]. Maybe it’s worth having a gun just to fire over the heads of potential attackers…
10) Yes, we have a second home in the rural Iowa countryside. You too can buy an old farmstead cheap. Ours is a modest story-and-a-half on two acres, beautiful view, pasture all around us, nearest neighbor 7/8 mile away. 10 minutes to the nearest town with a grocery store. 110 minutes away from home #1 by Interstate.
Cost? $8,000. Nope, I didn’t forget a zero. Taxes are cheap, too. Quiet. Velvet black night skies. No more than handful of cars passing by on any given day, fewer if it’s been raining (dirt roads).
Will you consider protecting yourself? And your family? This week?