Prepper Investment Model Portfolio

Today we present another article in our non-fiction writing contest  PrepperDoc

In a recent article, I suggested that in order to follow Solomon’s investing advice given in the book of Ecclesiastes, one should divide their investments into multiple portions.   I suggested eleven areas for investments, which included such items as one’s own home, rental housing, precious metals, firearms, ammunition, and “paper” investments in both domestic and foreign businesses, and money market mutual funds (which are designed to pay an “interest” while keeping their share price stable at $1.00).  I posited that growth in the resulting portfolio would come from rebalancing – moving funds from sectors that did better, toward sectors that did worse.   (Of course, one should pay off their debts as fast as possible, and should keep an abundant emergency fund close at hand.)

Of course, some of those investments are more liquid (easier to sell) and others are less liquid or have significant short- and/or long-term tax consequences.   Some are easier to hold within a tax-protected account such as an IRA than others.  Modeling local rental housing is particularly difficult, as it has multiple forms of gain (capital appreciation as well as rental income) and multiple forms of loss (taxation, physical depreciation, required maintenance, insurances, etc).     It is difficult to adjust for all these factors.

Nevertheless, it might benefit preppers who are trying to be overall good stewards of their assets and provide for their future and families,  to be able to observe a price-weighted portfolio of such investments.  This is a mathematical “virtual” investment portfolio where the initial total investment is divided into equal (initially) valued amounts in each sector.   In this case, I am going to assume an initial virtual investment of $1000, so each of the eleven sectors must be adjusted with a weighting factor to reach $90.91.  (11 x 90.91 = $1000)  To accommodate different initial investment amounts, simply scale up or down.   Choosing representative proxies for the sectors is somewhat arbitrary;  index funds are a good choice for many of the “paper” sectors, whereas available retail products can be used for others.  Given the complexities of rental housing, I elected to simply use an index of rental income.

Then every six months, the total value of the model portfolio can be calculated (with either a loss or a gain), and then rebalanced by “selling the winners and buying the losers” at their then-current prices to re-achieve equal value in each sector.   This will result in new weightings for each sector.    The change in the weightings over time will be an indicator of the cumulative gain in each sector.

Carrying out this strategy in real life is more difficult, since some investments can’t be purchased in tiny aliquots (e.g., local rental houses, firearm) and others can’t be sold in large aliquots without certain licensing (e.g, large quantities of firearms).   An advantage of “paper” investments is that often they can be bought and sold easily in any amount desired; their obvious disadvantage is that they can’t be held physically in one’s one strongbox (e.g., as precious metals can).  Others have somewhat of a finite limit – one may not wish to invest more than a certain amount in their own home, for example, although this generally isn’t a limiting factor for most.

In spite of these limitations, such a model portfolio can somewhat demonstrate the gains (or losses) that can be achieved by a prepper doing their own investment, and would also help guide their sales and purchases as sectors diverge in value.

Using the current (as of late July) values of the sectors listed, and the weightings listed in Table 2 below, the total value of the model portfolio begins at $1,000.   I will attempt to publish updates roughly every 6 months (or, someone else could easily do the same).

Table One:  Sector Components of a Model Portfolio

Sector [U.S. based] Current Value
Domestic large cap stocks Vanguard 500 Index Fund VFIAX [1]
Domestic small cap stocks Vanguard Small Cap Index Fund VSMAX [2]
Foreign stocks Vanguard All World Ex-US Fund VFWAX [3]
Precious metals mining funds Fidelity Select Gold FSAGX [4]
Rental Housing Consumer price index:  Rent of primary residence [5]
REIT (real estate investment trust) Vanguard REIT Index VGSIX  [6]
Precious metals Gold spot price + 15 x silver spot price [7]
House Median sales price of existing homes, St. Louis FED [8]
Firearms Entry level AR-10 rifle on Bud’s Gun Shop, cash price [9]
Ammunition Lowest-priced 1000 rounds of  brass-cased bulk AR15 ammo from Lucky Gunner [10]
Money market fund Vanguard VMMXX, return calculated as 1 year return on $100 minus expense ratio

 

 

Table Two:

Current values (approximately end of July 2015) & weights to construct the model portfolio:

Sector [U.S. based] Current Value Multiplier to get to $90.91 so sum of index starts at $1000.00
Domestic large cap stocks $195.24 0.466
Domestic small cap stocks $58.27 1.56
Foreign stocks $30.20 3.01
Precious metals mining funds $13.29 6.84
Rental Housing 285.031 0.319
REIT (real estate investment trust) $26.15 3.48
Precious metals $1319.38 0.069
House $236,400 0.00038
Firearms $864.00 0.105
Ammunition $330.00 0.275
Money market fund Start at $90.91 (Start with $90.91)

 

REFERENCES:

[1] Yesterday’s value can be found at: https://personal.vanguard.com/us/funds/snapshot?FundId=0540&FundIntExt=INT

[2] Yesterday’s value can be found at: https://personal.vanguard.com/us/funds/snapshot?FundId=0548&FundIntExt=INT

[3] Yesterday’s value can be found at:

https://personal.vanguard.com/us/funds/snapshot?FundId=0570&FundIntExt=INT

[4] Yesterday’s value can be found at:

https://quotes.fidelity.com/ftgw/fbc/ofquotes/mmnet/Charts?SID_VALUE_ID=FSAGX&navBar=true

[5] https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/CUUR0000SEHA

[6] Yesterday’s value can be found at:

https://personal.vanguard.com/us/funds/snapshot?FundId=0123&FundIntExt=INT

[7] Spot prices at closing time:   http://www.cmi-gold-silver.com/gold-silver-daily-spot-prices/

[8] https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/HOSMEDUSM052N

[9] www.budsgunshop.com

[10] www.luckygunner.com

[11] https://personal.vanguard.com/us/funds/snapshot?FundId=0030&FundIntExt=INT

Prizes for this round (ends October 11 2015 ) in our non fiction writing contest include…

  1. First place winner will receive –  Two Just In Case… Essential Assortment Buckets courtesy of LPC Survival a $147 value, a  Wonder Junior Deluxe Hand Grain Mill courtesy of FoodPrepper.com a $219 value, and a gift certificate for $150 off of  Rifle Ammunition courtesy of LuckyGunner Ammo… Total first place prize value over $516 dollars.
  2. Second Place Winner will receive – A case of Sopakco Sure-Pak MRE – 12 Meals and a Lifestraw Family Unit courtesy of Camping Survival.com, and a One Month Food Pack courtesy of Augason Farms.com
  3. Third place winner will receive –  $50 cash.

Comments

  1. PrepperDoc says:

    Hmmm…. looks like I confused MD a bit here. After initially submitting this article, I realized the “local rental housing” component needed improvement, and rewrote the article. I think the earlier version is what is printed here. No big deal. Here is the gist of the improvement:

    Rental housing has TWO components of “gain”. Both appreciation of the property value, and the accrued rental income (minus various taxes and costs). To better represent the value of one’s investment in rental property at any given moment in time, I changed the rental property portion of the model portfolio to be defined as:

    “½ of the median sales price of existing homes [8] + the accrued rental income calculated by (Consumer price index: Rent of primary residence [5]) * number of months since last rebalancing). ” The 50% factors adjust for costs & the fact that rental property often isn’t pristine high-valued homes….

    In the July 2015 computation of the index, the rent component accrual is $0 since we’re just starting out, while the property value comes out as $113,200. A weighting of 0.00077 gets us to $90.91.

    When I next calculate the value of this portfolio, the rental component will have grown by both rent collection as well as property appreciation. It will be interesting to see where the other sectors go–some up, some down!

    The remainder of the article is basically the same. When I did MY OWN pie chart of my own all-encompassing investments, it was enlightening, and sent me off to the gun store! However when you get to quite significant sums, unless you have an FFL, you probably want to stop accruing firearms (past several dozen it gets interesting). Compared to non-preppers, this portfolio is low in paper investments, high in tangible-type stuff. Will be fascinating (to me at least) to see where it goes!

    • PrepperDoc,

      With an average of 3,000 emails a months it’s easy for me to get confused. Sorry for the mix up.

    • plainsroamer says:

      have you looked at a self directed IRA to hold your investments in so you can still gain some tax advantage and have physical possession of the assets?

      • Good idea…. just asking, would it leave a paper trail? Pretty much EVERY retirement/savings venue leaves a paper trail…. most regulations found in ‘tax codes’ (i.e., 501c3, 401k, 403b, SEPP, IRA, Roth IRA, etc etc….) If I were mistrusting I may say the laws leave the doors open for confiscation due to paper trail…. loose lips sink….just asking….

        • plainsroamer says:

          there is always a trade off, tax advantage against paper trail, but with me having physical possession it would be harder to confiscate and may allow enough time to convert out of the IRA

  2. mom of three says:

    Being a landlord, in my city is a nightmare the city council just passed more restrictions on landlord’s, at the end of June. In the last two weeks 1 fourplex, just went up for sale and a apartment complex, just went on the market both places have never been for sale in the 17 year’s we have lived in the neighborhood, being a landlord is getting harder and harder.

    • Chuck Findlay says:

      I do repair work for numerous landlords and I have noticed the tenant turn-over / walk-away are going up. some properties are ending up empty for 1/4 of the year and between tenants the repair work is more extensive. My main employer is selective to the extreme and even he is getting hit by both the lost of income from move-outs and more property damage.

      And there is an ever growing set of laws that protect the tenant and not the property owner making it easier for the tenant to screw the property owner. And tenants know how to game the system to the max.

      I would not classify property rental as a good investment at this time.

  3. JP in MT says:

    Currently, I break down my investments into 3 areas:

    1. Things I will need in the future. Like food, ammo, firearms, equipment, shelter, vehicles, training, etc.

    2. Things that store wealth. Specifically PM’s. (Currently a “buy” price for me.)

    3. Things that will increase in value (hopefully). This would be “investments” in rentals, stocks, bonds, and MF’s. I make sure that money invested with these is money that will NOT hurt me if I loose them. I have no real control of the value of these. These could become worthless, rents uncorrectable, simply based upon events/decisions of which I will have no direct input.

    This system lets me sleep well at night.

  4. Prepper Doc, I am what most would call a poor lady. I have no assets to invest. As someone who has done research though, I want to commend your article. You did a thorough job.

    My house, land, garden, animal care (have raised goats and commercial rabbits), plus my personal skills; teaching, gardening, food preservation, animal birthing issues, carpentry, plus a few others will have to keep the family together and functioning if not thriving as most of the family also have special skills; small engine repair, auto mechanic, nursing assistant, electrical and plumbing work, and the list goes on. In God’s eyes, I see myself as a very rich person. I have had a blessed life with a wonderful family.

    • PrepperDoc says:

      Sounds like you have invested pretty well: in 1) property, 2) livestock, 3) education, 4) family, to point out just a few! Of your investment sectors !! Keep up the great work and as you are able add even more sectors! You are rich!

  5. OwlCreekObserver says:

    JP in MT, I think being able to sleep at night is the bottom line. Whatever brings that level of comfort to me may, and probably will, be unacceptable to many others.

    PrepperDoc, I appreciate your article. It touches on some areas to which I hadn’t given much thought and I think it’s important that we all constantly reevaluate our strategies.

  6. Sisterjudi says:

    Well thanks for writing,as I read all I could think about was,how wonderfully different we all are.God is so good.I often think what is going to happen to the world as I watch evil take over..It is mind boggling to see what is happening.Over the years my priorities for my port folio are,
    Physical health
    Spiritual health
    No debt
    Be self sufficient
    Own home secluded
    Have a bug out home
    Store water
    Canned food
    Hybrid seeds
    Guns
    Ammunition
    Gold
    Silver
    Medical supplies
    Animals chickens cows,rabbits,turkeys,goats
    Multiple skills to sustain life

    So you see how different we are,isnt it awesome.

    • PrepperDoc says:

      Hi! Well, good news for you! Not only are five of your priorities actually INSIDE the “model portfolio”, you and I are a lot alike: I try to stay healthy, my wife and I are committed believers, we have no debt, we are (finally) virtually self-sufficient after this years’ crop experiments; we have potential bug out spot (but are more like to bug in), we hvae water, we have abundant food, we have an overabundance of guns & ammo, we have precious metals, we are both WORKING in medicine and fully prepared and we have multiple skills….the only area we don’t have covered is animals, but then we live beside a small rancher with scores of head of cattle and we have chickens in our neighborhood, rabbits that I see on the way to work, and goats on a field just about 2 miles away. So our OVERALL priorities are similar — except we do have investments to pay the taxes etc., when we aren’t working any more. Cheers to both of us!

      • Sisterjudi says:

        Awesome your best investment is your wife.Worth more then anything.For some reason God has not afforded me the gift.Both husbands died.
        God Bless you both Prepper Doc.

  7. on the one hand, I love the idea of me owning my personal property, not Uncle ho bama & his handlers….. to be able to leave it my offspring w/o legal encumberments paramount ( all papers completed & on file w/county, etc). Now I wonder about how my progeny are somewhat spoiled by the plenty I’ve provided….. would it be better 4 them 2 git r done w/o me covering their back…. or do I keep providing a safety net, whereby they don’t benefit from joy of accomplishment, they don’t apply their brains, ….. hmmm….. even worse is being caught unawares by a fur bearing jaw flapper & fleeced…. @ least there’s some fun in that…….

    • PrepperDoc says:

      My kids are in the dark as to my holdings and also as to what they can expect….as a result, I have kids who are becoming independent YEARS and YEARS before the national average. If you read “The Millionaire Next Door” — helping your kids when they should work themselves is a recipe for poverty of TWO families….

      • Hi PrepperDoc; “The Millionaire Next Door” is a great book. I think it should be required reading for all high school students. Required by parents, with a quiz at the end. Also “The Millionaire Mind” by the same people. Truly excellent books which look at why some hi income (and some not at all high income) people get rich, and many don’t.

        The Amazon one star reviews are pretty sad: to my mind by people who may be high income, but who clearly are of the Spend It As Fast As They Make It crowd, and perhaps feeling a little defensive about it.

        To respond to one of the critics’ constant refrains about not seeing any reason to get rich (ie enjoy life right now by spending one’s entire income on fun stuff instead of financially prep for the future), the purpose of accumulating wealth is to increase one’s options in the future. How one allocates that wealth is each individual’s choice.

        • Chuck Findlay says:

          As far as the Amazon one star reviews I think the general public has been taught to be very stupid about financial awareness since the 1960’s. This helps the government shaft the public because they are too stupid to know what is going on.

          A good book (and a free download) is “The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America” It’s about the government schools turning out stupid people. And it’s worked well as this country if full of foolish people that can’t do anything for themselves any more. Is this any wonder when 47% of the people in the USA are on the government tit?

          • ‘The Delib……’ by Charlotte Iserbyt…. heard her on a local AM channel interview some 12 yrs ago…..bought book direct from her…. great info! Perhaps a tad better…. “None Dare Call it Treason-25 yrs later” John Stormer…. right up there w/’The Naked Communist’ – Skousen…. I detest FDR….love a few of his quotes….’if something happens politically, you can bet it was planned that way’- ok that’s paraphrased, but as telling as another of his ‘gems’ “….some of the finest people I know are communists’……… yep deliberate dumbing down….. The above by Stormer launched the Goldwater campaign….. catalogues so much of the treasonous acts of our leaders, particularly Harry Hopkins…..

        • Old Alaskan says:

          The book “the millionaire next door” I happen to be an auctioneer!!!!
          I left the military after 11+ years in 1980 with $2,000.00 in cash & assets. at one point in time with a wife & 2 children my finances was a negative (I had 0 money) today high 6 low 7. I’m not bragging but I started with a duplex and invested in many different stocks and when I could PM’s. Today here I would do it again but sooner. Two years ago I read “Patriots” and that was the start of my journey down this road. Now the only thing I’m lacking is a good network but I’m working on that.

          • PrepperDoc says:

            Yes, auctioneers figure in the millionaire book, don’t they? Auctioneers have an insight into the true value of things!

            I think I only proceeded you in reading those books by about a year or two. Fellow at our church told us about the risks. Once I got started, I read everyone of the series as well as one second after. Caused me to do an off a lot of preparation!

      • kybelboy says:

        I agree. I have 4 kids that are all successful and don’t live at home. The worst thing you can do is be there to catch them every time they fall. If they know in advance there is no bailout, they are much more responsible than if they think you will cover for all their financial carelessness. My father did this for me and put me in the proper frame of mind to be successful and make it on my own.

      • The Millionaire Next Door was a great read, & remains so…. we lost a great man in Dr Robert Stanley when he passed a short time ago…. another great (similarly penned) tome is ‘The Wealthy Barber’ -a wonderful primer to personal finance…. of course, listening to Dave Ramsey (FPU) on a daily basis is a blessing also. Staying out of debt & budgeting & distinguishing btwn needs & wants are vital! Many of the best principles are biblically presented…. particularly in Proverbs…. TY 4 kind words!

  8. I’m told….

  9. Sierra Grey says:

    It’s interesting to see the variances in investment mentality, especially with a prepper interpretation. Thanks. And your plan is one that lays out a concrete formula. Even if a lot of us would disagree with the contents, the important thing is what you emphasize–the balancing of asset categories. It echoes some of the other plans out there. I am particularly fond of the rule of 25% (in normal times, and these are not normal), that is, 25% in stocks, 25% in bonds, 25% in cash, and 25% in precious metals. Then, shift the contents annually to achieve balance.

    In these current times, I would have a hard time with the bonds and stocks and cash. Diversifying those into strong foreign holdings seems prudent. As for me, I simply prefer not to have my money in stocks or bonds right how.

    The world’s economy is in uncharted territory. The future collapse of debt and credit is certain, but how it plays out is an unknown. Your plan is so diversified, it would minimize the damage, which is really important. I’d like to be able to think as I did 40 years ago, in terms of maximum growth, but I’m too cynical to think that way for the moment.

    My own strategy was the rule of 25% until about 8 years ago. I pulled out of stocks and bonds all together and began to buy real estate. Thinking that a collapse in currencies was imminent, I purchased real estate and precious metals. The real estate transactions have turned out well, although not as planned. I had hoped to preserve as much of my “wealth” (believe me, I’m not wealthy) and the buy into rental real estate. As it turns out, I’ve ended up having to do differently. Rental homes are far too expensive in Krazifornia, it’s been hard to sell the land for cash, and I lost my health and in doing so my ability to do normal work. SO my income went bye-bye.

    But here’s how it’s worked out. I liquidated my IRA and 401 plans, which held mostly stocks. By buying into real estate when it had crashed (post 2008) I was able to buy at good prices (I’ve learned that the MOST important factor in any investment is not what you sell it for but what price you buy it for). As the economy dragged on and the collapse didn’t happen, I decided to sell the land and try my best to get into rentals, as I needed income. But I have been unable to sell the land for cash and ended up carrying the notes on two properties. It’s not the rental income I wanted, but it is probably the safest investment, otherwise. If the owner defaults, I get the full property back. And for now, I’ve got income that I have to be careful to separate into the original amount and the actual interest, trying my best not to spend the original value. While I would prefer rentals, I’m pleased that I have a form on income secured by the real value of the land. AND, I was able to sell the land at full price in today’s market.

    Now I’ve got a couple of smaller properties left. One has become my emergency retreat if all hell breaks loose and my bug-in plans don’t work. The other is on the market while I’m on a long, long list to have a well drilled to make it more attractive.

    Age makes a big difference. Those of us who are older just don’t have the time to recover from a stock market (and now, bond) crash. We’ve got to preserve what we have in hopes that it will be enough

    Without meaning to sound very wise, as I am not, I would pass on the things that I started to do more than 30 years ago that have paid off for me, especially since becoming unable to work.

    Years ago I decided to get out of debt and avoid it, as the bedrock principle of investing. I could have done a lot better and looking back I’ve frittered away A LOT of money on useless trinkets. That said, I started by paying off my car and then driving it until the wheels fell off, while continuing to save the car payment for the next car. I started buying used cars instead of new. I cut back my expenses to the bone and started pouring the money into my mortgage, paying it off (that may not be a wise thing in these times, BTW).

    My plans were to put myself in the best position possible when I got old–having real estate that I owned and possibly had income from, and having no debt. Little did I realize that I would become disabled and in need earlier than expected. But I’m grateful that I did what I did, as I would be in serious trouble if I had not. I’m debt-free, for now, and that is the only reason that I am able to get by financially. Not sure how long I can do this, but I know that God will provide. I still hope to regain some health so that I can work again.

    If I’ve learned anything it is (1) debt kills, and (2) Main Street is a better investment than Wall Street. In a post S H T F world, you may not be able to depend upon rental income. But the real estate will still be worth something, if much less. And if you have possessions you can touch, and no debt, you are in far better position than having nothing but debt. A home with a mortgage or a car with loan balance can go away overnight. As it is, I’m grateful I have a place to live and a car that still starts and runs. At some point, I’ll probably have to sell my home and use that money to live off of. I don’t want to do that but where would I be if I had not gotten out of debt?

    So many younger folks are facing tougher times than I did. The jobs and income just aren’t there. Expense is up. They’ve got a tougher way to travel. But the principles are the same. You can’t invest until you first eliminate debt. And you often cannot do that until you live well below your means. When times are this bad, that’s not easy.

    • PrepperDoc says:

      Such Wisdom!! & PennyPincher, David the Good also — and others. Pay debt off!!!!! We paid our mortgage in 6.5 years, through my taking on lots more work. Just as you plowed the property market effectively, while I made some booboos in the markets [missed a boom completely] I properly handled a bond boom (sold at the top). I agree that what you PAY is the most important. I bought stock (mutual funds) at 1/3-1/2 their current price– TWICE!! Kept rebalancing (as you are) and made killings every time. Currently in my “paper” investing, I own very few bonds, loads of CASH, and only 50% stocks (which includes huge helpings of foreign and gold mining stocks….you can’t be more of a gold bug than to own MINING stocks….have lost > $50,000 on those, easily…..). Diversify! Rebalance! Live cheap!! I know many people on this particular forum don’t believe in “paper assets” but for many they are extremely important….and trust me, I have plenty of “hard” assets!

      Great comments.

      • Sierra Grey says:

        Great examples of buying things at the right price. Of course, with stocks, the lowest price is not always what we think. For example, if you had put a $1000 into the Argentinian stock market 30 years ago, it would be worth $300 million today. True. But that is because the price in 1985 was absurdly low. It has crashed and “nobody but a fool” wanted to buy Argentina’s stock market. Similarly, the Greek stock market is likely a good 30-year buy, right now. But how many people think in terms of 30 years?

        Right now there are many Chinese investors who bought stocks when they were a fraction of the price they reached a few months ago. Now they are likely worth less than what they paid, or soon will be. I saw so many friends see their IRA’s devastated in 1999, 2002, 2008. I was fortunate (not by wisdom, I assure you) to sell my stock positions in 1998 (for purposes of paying off a mortgage), and later, as well. But I’ve got relatives laughing at me now as they show me their retirement fund balances, rich in stocks.

        The current stock market is no longer a market it any sense of the word. It is result of excessive money printing, and the direct involvement of the plunge protection teams. It no longer reflects reality. Which makes the correction that would come with any cycle even worse when it finally hits.

        Trying to determine the “low” price for stocks becomes a game of chance in these times for anything less than a very long period. I’ve found in my own experience and watching my friends, that people who make a lot of money in the stock market are the 5%. 95% of them will either lose a lot, make nothing, or make far less than other means would have resulted in. Seems like the only low risk and high return for stocks come when one buys at the lowest entry point. As you pointed, out the price you buy at. If you had bought into Argentina’s market in 1985, say $1000, you would be sitting on over $300 million, today. But that was when their economy was devastated and in horrible condition, and that is after several periods in which it collapsed again. In that way of thinking, Greece might be a perfect buy, right now. But how many of us are going to plan for 30-year holdings?

        I have lost money when I followed the crowds. Before I understood that investment companies make money regardless of how your investment does. And before I realized that I might not be able to control when I have to sell.

        • Prepperdoc says:

          For the most part, I simply did continued investment and rebalancing. We’re supposed to seek after wisdom. As I gained wisdom, I was able to recognize what things are looking like and change my investment deployment by small amounts at a time accordingly. Usually I only make it 3% change in allocation in a months time, forcing me to be patient.

          These are the techniques favored by most experienced long-term investors. I learned them from Austin prior, who put them in a investing book for Christians.

  10. I would not trust any stock or mutual fund at this point in the game.
    Rental property is OK if you don’t leverage it too much and if you live in a landlord friendly state like Ohio. There are a lot of states that make it very difficult to put a problem tenant out.

    But, if you get a decent tenant it can work, for a year or two.

    Now you can still be held liable for discrimination if a rejected applicant “feels” discriminated against or if the “net effect” was to favor nonprotected classes, even if you applied Fair Housing procedures to the letter. In other words now you must fill a quota regardless of the merit of the applicant. If that means you must rent to felons and deadbeats to err on the side of “nondiscrimination”, too bad for you.

    I’m beginning to think the best investments are: Rural land (doesn’t increase much but doesn’t decrease either), crops that sell for a lot per pound (cilantro, blueberries, earthworms, nuts), food that keeps and has carbohydrates, cheap RV’s if you can get them for a song, guns, ammunition, gunsmithing and reloading equipment, PM’s, fixer upper cars, and heirloom seeds. You can dabble in antiques, art, and collectibles. Those things become temporarily worthless in a disaster so that is the time to buy them, when people are selling their finery for a bag of potatoes.

    The first things that disappear in a disaster or war are water filters, portable toilets, and quiet generators. If you wanted to turn a quick profit at the beginning of such a disaster, you might invest in these.

  11. Great post.

    I’ve jumped out of the stock markets completely and gone long on fruit trees. For example, I planted a mulberry tree and two years later harvested 35lbs of fruit – just ONE will provide all the berries you need in a year – check it out: http://www.thesurvivalgardener.com/index.php/2014/05/16/survival-plant-profile-mulberries/

    Holding land, avoiding debt, buying gold, ammo and fruit trees… it’s hard to beat that. Plus, caring for fruit trees is good for the soul.

    • PrepperDoc says:

      Right at this point, I almost agree. I am the LEAST in stocks that I have been in 16 years (and I tripled my money in the markets by simply doing what Solomon & others teach). No debt!!! Land, they aren’t making any more of it! I would just encourage you to be ready to move back in…..when the S&P500 is about HALF or less what it is right now…..TobinsQ is another indicator that is really high. But Solomon’s warning applies to ME also: I should look askance at my own estimation (that the market is overpriced) — hence, I still have some money in there. I just keep rebalancing. It will be very interesting to see which sectors of this “model portfolio” thrive in which parts of our future….I have guesses but they could be very wrong. But I’m buying firearms right now. They are cheap.

    • harvesting peaches early, today, because I didn’t have the time to thin (another) bumper crop earlier this year…. hafta add more Stevia when canning! Lost 3 lg branches already….dang!

  12. Chuck Findlay says:

    My then wife and now X-Wife helped me to get out of debt and sense then I avoid it like it was the plague.

    I think living below my income level and paying cash for EVERYTHING is one of the best investments I have made for my future. Right now I make less money then I did when I was married, but I have more money, silver and preps put up because of these two things (living below my income and paying cash) back then I had zero savings as it was spent as soon as I got the paycheck. Now I put money in the safe (my safe, not the banks safe) when I get paid, or buy silver and preps. Not give it to other people I owe money to

    Anyone can do it if you have to, and I had to do it over 20-years ago. I will never go back to that paycheck-to-paycheck life, it sucked. Funny thing the X-Wife is still living paycheck-to-paycheck and is an unhappy person according to my Son.

    Debt is in my opinion the hardest hurdle to a happy fruitful life.

    • Chuck Findlay says:

      (My then wife and now X-Wife helped me to get out of debt and sense then I avoid it like it was the plague.)

      Correction
      My then wife and now X-Wife helped me to get in debt and sense then I avoid it like it was the plague.

      It will make sense when comment moderation limbo is over.

  13. PrepperDoc says:

    They say timing the market is a fool’s errand. Unfortunately, I’m always trying to guess the next direction of precious metals.

    It used to be that the dollar price of the euro was thought to control the price of gold, as the dollar slipped versus the euro, gold went up up up. Perhaps that’s sort of what’s going on today: the Dollar index, the DXY, is sort of at a “near high watermark” (despite what we preppers think about its flimsy underpinnings, it is widely viewed as the best of all the dirty shirts ) although if you look at a chart since 1967, it has been even higher twice.

    With the dollar go higher? And gold lower? Maybe. Probably? Dunno. But that’s some of the reason gold & silver are cheap (Er) right now. So are guns. And gas.

    It will be interesting to see where this portfolio goes in the next several months.

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