Did you know that for 99.2% of recorded human history, money was backed by a gold standard?
And only for the last 47 years has the world largely moved away from the gold standard.
It is easy to feel like we are on top of the world in 2018. Technology has never been better or more easily accessible. The standard of living is rapidly rising.
But does that mean we should dispense with 5,000 years of monetary policy which led us to where we are today?
Okay, but how do we get the financial system back on the gold standard?
That seems like a monumental task, which would require a critical mass of activists, a new strain of politician, and wresting control from the Federal Reserve… Good luck.
The cool thing is that the individual is more empowered than ever. So you don’t have to get Big Brother to give you a gold standard. You can create your own personal gold reserve. And no, you don’t have to put anything on the blockchain.
How to Create Your Own Gold Standard
Throughout history, paper money was often a stand-in for gold. You could bring the paper to a bank, and get physical gold in return.
Well, right now that is obviously not the case. Dollars are not pegged to anything, and every year over 2% of the value of your savings is robbed through inflation.
So why not just transfer some dollars into gold on your own volition? It is easy to transfer them back into U.S. dollars–or any other currency–if you ever need to. But meanwhile, 2.8% of your wealth will not be siphoned off by the U.S. government. Voila, your own personal gold reserve!
You’ll want to keep some gold in a robust safe on your property. That protects you against sudden market shocks. Even if the dollar hyper-inflates to become worthless–like the Venezuelan Bolivar–gold has a 5,000-year history that says almost anyone on earth will accept it as a medium for trade.
But your safe won’t protect you against the horde of pillagers most likely to take your stuff–the government.
So Sovereign Man tips readers off to another method of owning physical gold, out of the reach of your government, and frivolous litigants.
In short, it’s a good idea to have both coins and bullion.
But for asset protection purposes, for the ability to hedge against what might happen in your country, I like to send a portion of my savings overseas, to a secure storage facility, in the form of bullion bars.
It’s legal, and it keeps a portion of those cash savings safe and secure. The facility I like best is in Singapore — to me, they have the best, most well thought out security system in the world… and they also let you do peer-to-peer lending or borrowing based on gold instead of on paper (fiat) currencies.
We cover this storage facility and their precious metals based peer-to-peer lending platform in more detail on page 21 of our perfect plan B guide.
Sovereign Man’s Perfect Plan B Guide is free, by the way. It takes you through the best ways to hedge against collapsing markets and insane governments. Truly a must for anyone who wants to live as a free individual, insulated from the whims of politicians and their collectivist hordes.
The company they discuss has some interesting ways to make your gold standard work for you.
If you buy gold, and have it stored in their vaults, you have the option of borrowing against that gold at any time. So say you need a loan–you can get a good rate because your physical gold is your security. Then you can pay it back without having to sell your gold.
Or, you could be the one lending the money and earn more interest than you will get in any bank. It is a peer to peer system. And again, any money you lend is backed by the borrower’s gold. That means little risk–if they default, you get their gold. And the company facilitates it all. Nothing is risk-free, but this is pretty close.
Diversify Your Currencies
U.S. fiat dollars are backed by the full faith and credit of the United States government… if that means anything to you. This is a great currency if you think nothing bad will ever happen; if you don’t expect inflation to skyrocket from all the money that has been printed; and if you aren’t concerned about the $21 trillion of debt the United States carries, not counting unfunded liabilities.
The value of a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin is based on the agreement of people who use it as a medium of exchnge. Plus there are a limited number of Bitcoin tokens available which adds the scarcity aspect. The secure technology means conterfeiting is less of a concern, and transferring funds is much easier and quicker than using a bank. Cryptocurrencies are helping people in Venezuela work online to raise enough money to pay for their ticket out. So cryptocurrencies are certainly useful for keeping some of your wealth insulated from the effects of collapsing economies, and sticky government fingers.
Gold’s value is mostly based on scarcity and agreement that it is worth something as well. This is the classic hedge currency. It is pretty unlikely that gold becomes worthless, and similar things can be said for silver.
It makes sense to own all sorts of different currencies. Have some United States dollars, but don’t keep them all in the bank. Keep enough in cash for a few months in case something goes wrong–for instance mass power outages from a natural disaster like we saw last year.
Physical cash can also help you if there is a bank run like what happened in Cypress. Banks were shut down for an extended holiday, and no one could get more than €100 from the ATM. Depositors with more than €100,000 had everything above that confiscated and converted in bank stock, which obviously plummetted.
This is also an example of why it makes sense to keep some money in a foreign bank account. Then add another layer of protection by keeping some money in a foreign currency. Sovereignman recommends Hong Kong because it is relatively easy for a foreigner to open a bank account in Hong Kong and transfer funds from U.S. Dollars to Hong Kong Dollars.
Since 1983, the Hong Kong dollar (HKD) has been “pegged” to the US dollar at 7.8, +/- a very narrow range.
This means that, for US dollar investors, you could deposit US dollars at a bank in Hong Kong, and then convert those US dollars into Hong Kong dollars (and back) at minimal cost.
Holding Hong Kong dollars makes a lot of sense.
If the US dollar goes through a period of strength, the Hong Kong dollar will mirror that strength.
But if there’s ever a major loss of confidence in the US economy and the US dollar starts to depreciate rapidly, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (country’s central bank) could simply “de-peg” and let the Hong Kong dollar appreciate versus US dollar — thereby preserving the purchasing power of your savings.
So, holding Hong Kong dollars gives you ALL of the benefits of holding US dollars, but with free downside protection in the event of any major US financial catastrophe.
An ultimate diverse holding of currency will include:
But you can’t eat any of these things.
So if you really want to have a backup plan for if shit hits the fan, check out our list of the top 5 off the grid currencies.
These are usable currencies, so if you can’t trade them, they are still valuable. And they can all be used without electricity.
The good news is they are all relatively cheap to stock up on now but could be worth a lot more if society melts down, even for just a few weeks afer a storm, as we saw last year.