Checking Off My “To Do” List

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,

wcbsm“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).

iowafarmhouse_sm

Will you consider protecting yourself? And your family? This week?

Please?

Scott

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25 Responses

  1. Yes …
    I have been preparing for the Melt Down since Jan of 2009 …
    I have been converting most of my extra monies into Gold &
    Silver, Storing up at least 1 years worth of food for 4 people.
    (variety is important, eating just freeze dried foods can be
    quite boring, there is enough stress when you “Hunker in
    your bunker”) Also protection is important, Large cans of
    Pepper sprays (non-lethal), batons, body armor, Ammo,
    (Lead is the new precious metal), and a variey of fire arms.
    get a Ham Radio, CB radio, portable walkie talkies
    (who knows, Cells could be out, Internet shut-down, TV is
    controlled by the government) you need alternate sources
    of updated news.

    When the Shxt hits the fan(and it will), WILL YOU BE ABLE TO PROVIDE FOR & PROTECT YOUR FAMILY.

    Its not a matter of if the Shxt hits the Fan …
    It is are you ready when it Hits the Fan …

    May God and His Angels Protect you and your Family …

    God Bless You – Ed

  2. What do you think about moving to another country, I have some hectares of farm land in the Philippines.

  3. Scott,
    Check out vitacost.com. Their prices beat efoodsdirect for Mountain House products. And shipping is $4.99 for any size order. I haven’t pulled the trigger yet, but I will very soon.

    Tyrone

  4. We sold our house a few months ago to get our of debt and are renting it back at a fraction. We have put our eqity on a bank platform making 5% a month for 10 more months. We have an 8 month emergency account in dollars in the bank. With the undoubted new monetary system coming soon, what do you think we should do to protect our money?

    • Joann,

      There will not be a new monetary system. Right now, the stock market is looking rather juicy to me.

      Look outside- the economy is humming along nicely. Gold could drop to under $500 per ounce in rather short order.

  5. This web site is dead on. Pay attention people! I’m not going to a barn in Iowa or Idaho, I’m going to live off the land. There are very bad things coming…research for yourself. Google FEMA Camps, FEMA Coffins, Martial Law, Amero…mass media outlets are owned by the creators of the new world order, and if you are waiting on them to confirm or debunk all of what you are hearing…You will be too late.

    I thought the Amero would never see the light of day, and guess what? This Summer 2009 it is going to replace the US Dollar for pennies on the dollar. Everything you have worked for in your entire life will go to the Federal Reserve to pay on their debts, just like your Federal Income Taxes have been doing for your entire life. Those taxes don’t go to building roads, schools, etc…they go into the pockets of private investors that hold the wealth of the free world…The New World Order is well on its way. I anticipate that in the next few months TS is going to HTF.

    • michael:

      “This Summer 2009 it is going to replace the US Dollar for pennies on the dollar”.

      This scares me, of course. Can you give me the sources that convinced you of this? I’d like to see more proof for myself.

      Thanks for your time.

  6. Scott,

    Glad to have found your site. I have been looking for a farmstead like the one you described for a few years now. Could you point me in the right direction? Great site!

    Jeff

    • Jeff,

      I spent a few years checking papers and driving around rural Iowa and Nebraska towns for rural acreages. What did I learn? Don’t bother looking for real estate within a 2-hour drive of a major metro area. What I eventually found was located almost equidistant between Omaha and Des Moines: about 2 hrs away from either one.

      I actually bought an 80-acre farm in CRP (Conservation Reserve Program). I paid $750/acre BUT the gov’t paid me $80/acre each year to NOT farm it but leave it as a wildlife habitat. Unfortunately, the farmhouse I got with the land could not be restored to habitable form and had to be demolished. I had a no-longer-road-worthy camper I picked up for $1 and parked it on the land for a few years as a “beachhead’ while I cleaned up around the place and enjoyed weekends with family and friends out there. Great times! I got to know the local folks, attended some church banquets, enjoyed some local open-air country concerts and spent time in the nearby towns.

      Eventually, a farm house near the land came up for rent from one of the folks I befriended. I fixed it up and eventually bought it from the farmer who owned it. I then sold the 80 acres for a nice profit–the gov’t CRP payments had actually paid all the loan interest and more.

      If you can find land with CRP it’s an obvious bonus, although there are, of course, restrictions to it and the CRP contract typically comes up for renewal every 10 years. I discovered the gov’t would even pay half the cost of putting in a large pond on the property, if you’re into that sort of thing. The guy who bought the 40 acres next to mine did that to great effect. However, he never spent time getting to know the people around there. I think they thought of him as a “big city interloper.”

      Although I found the original listing for my 80-acre farm in the Omaha paper, I would have had much better luck with a different approach:
      1) Take Sunday drives out into the country in areas you might like.
      2) Eat at small town bars/restaurants and get to know the areas and their people.
      3) Choose the county in which you feel most comfortable and subscribe to a local newspaper.
      4) Peruse the real estate ads and find out which real estate firm seems to carry the listings of interest to you.
      5) Contact them, work with them, be flexible. See if you can get to a listing before it’s advertised.
      6) Be respectful of those you meet, treat ’em well, you’ll be treated the same way.

      Good luck to you!

      P.S. If you’re looking in western Iowa I’ve found these people to be a good resource, and they publish an annual report of rural farm values as well:
      Smith Land Service Co
      10 West 6th Street
      Atlantic, IA 50022
      Phone: (712) 243-4444

      Atlantic’s a beautiful town with a classic downtown area and wonderful old fashioned theater. Great memories there!

      • Hey scott, thanks for a great site. Seemes to me you are a blessed man. How is it possible for a Norwegian to come and settle in Iowa, farm the land or contribute with whatever according to my abilities?

  7. Scott,

    What does “repatriate ALL remaining cash that had awaited deployment” mean? My guess is that it means have it invested and not in cash or money market but not sure if that is correct interpretation.
    Thanks.
    Kevin

    • Kevin,

      I’m guilty of using 25-cent words (probably $5 after inflation) to say simply “the cash that was laying around not doing anything in my OE acct.” I had some in there after i sold all my SLV ETF and was leaving it with OE thinking I’d invest it in more mining shares, etc. I decided things were looking too dicey for that, and pulled my money out.

  8. Dave S,

    Good words for troubled times. Thanks!

  9. Hello Scott,

    Thanks for the informative and timely site.
    You seem like a tireless messenger with a good heart.
    While I am doing all I can to prepare and protect my family from when;
    TSHTF, or TEOTWAWKI, it all gets to be too much.
    So, to remind myself, I wrote a haiku.

    Faith and fear are both
    mutually exclusive
    Who rides with you?

    All the best,
    Dave S.

  10. Are you serious that you paid $8,000 for 2 acres and a house in Iowa?

    • Fred,

      Yep, $8k in 2004. We started renting it from the old farmer, Warren, who lives a mile away. Found out his dad built it in 1916 and he was born in it. It was kinda run down from previous careless renters.

      Asked Warren if I could fix it up: new carpet, paneling on the walls, etc. He said OK, but he couldn’t afford to spend much on the house. I said, “oh, no, I’m not asking you to pay for anything. I’ll pay to fix it up, and hope you’ll keep renting it to us.”

      ‘Bout a year later he was so pleased with how nice his daddy’s old house looked he asked if I wanted to buy it. “Sure,” I said. “How much?”

      “How about $8,000?”

      “Warren, it’s worth way more than that!”

      “Well, I figure you already put a good amount into her already. I’ve just been looking for someone who’ll take care of it. I just don’t want to see it turn into an old derelict like the others around here.”

      So, we helped each other out. Warren and his wonderful wife keep an eye on the place when we’re not around. We stop out occasionally for lunch with them. She makes the best pot roast and mashed potatoes I’ve ever had–ever!. And her corn-out of this world! I asked her what the secret was; she adds butter and cream to the kernals as she heats ’em up on the stove.

      They both are such good people, as are many of the others we’ve met out in that neck of the woods. Good, trustworthy, hard working folk. Living in the midwest is great!

  11. Cornholio, say, what are you smoking today friend? No hyper-inflation, 20 years to early on prep. Dude, you better buck up and look life in the face not stick your current speak, hear, see no evil attitude in the sand.

    There is absolutely no harm in being prepared. The harm is having the opportunity to get ready and not take advantage of it. Put the bong down and breath some fresh air then if you have a family prepare to protect them.

    Good luck

  12. I just stopped by your blog and thought I would say hello. I like your site design. Looking forward to reading more down the road.

  13. Cornholio, WTF?

    Definitely follow your own advice: walk away. Your “contributions” are pointless.

  14. Scott,

    Last post from me, ever.

    I believe you should shut this site down, and do what I’ve committed to doing (starting in about three minutes)….walk completely away from the web. No news (sports, financial, ALL of it)…just walk away…after six full months of absolutely NO internet (other than for work purposes) you should assess your mental health and then decide if you ever want to go back to the way you run your life today.

    I swear, I believe the web is 90% worthless, 10% good (email, that’s it).

    Trust me, Scott. Walk away…it’ll feel like a breath of fresh air.

    – Good luck.

  15. Scott – Relative to food storage, I found a useful food planning calculator at http://www.internet-grocer.net/planner.htm. It calculates how much and what kind of food to have on hand for a one year supply for whatever number of people you choose. Hope it’s helpful to folks.

  16. Scott,

    I’d say you’re about twenty years early on TEOTWAWKI preparation. We won’t see “hyper” inflation here, ever.

    That being said, I believe we will have a fair amount of regular old inflation, so your PM investments will likely pay-off well.

    Be wary.

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