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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Precious Metals Security

There seems to be lots of chatter around the Internet that silver and gold are overpriced and ready to take a fall.  Some guy even made what essentially amounts to a $1 million bet that silver will drop to around $25 an ounce from the current north-of-$40 price.

Could be, I guess.

I just don't see how it's going to happen, at least not in the foreseeable future.  And no one predicting the decline has yet to provide reasoning for a "correction".

Anyways, I'm not going to try and convince anyone either way.  I've given my pros and cons on PMs before.  You either think PMs are right for you, or you don't.

If you do have or want gold or silver, you have one other thing you need to consider:  Security.

Tag, you're it.  Unlike a bank, if you're robbed, you will most likely have no recourse to recover your losses.

Some things to consider - 

>>A TL-30 safe - these safes are rated to withstand the efforts of a professional thief for 30 minutes.  This is the type of safe we are required to have in our PM shop for our insurance coverage.  Interestingly, the bigger the safe, the less it will cost you!

These are big, bad safes.  We have one that weighs over 4,000 pounds - empty.  It cost us around $500.  A smaller one that tips the scales at around 2,000 lbs ran us almost $2300.  You obviously need a floor structure that can handle the weight.  Many folks place them in their garages.

They are fairly easily found online.  Be sure to negotiate delivery as well, which will usually run you a few hundred extra dollars.  Trust me, it's well worth the extra expense...

>>Bait safe - very often used by homeowners.  It is a decent looking safe that is placed in a fairly obvious location, such as the master bedroom closet, and is filled with pennies, washers, etc.  Anything to give it weight and the sound of coins.  Make it small enough so the bad guys can pick it up and run away with it.... missing the hidden stash of coins and bullion in your home.

>>Geographic dispersion - the old, "Don't keep all of your eggs in one basket" philosophy.  If you are targeted, and they find your stuff, it's not ALL of your stuff.

Just make sure you remember where you've stashed your stash!  A few years back, I had a part of our silver in a homemade "fake" #10 can of food.  I freaked out when I couldn't remember that I had put the silver in the can!

>>Alarms and Dogs - dogs and alarms do two things:  They give you advanced warning that someone is coming, and they tend to scare away most thieves.  Bad guys want an easy "mark" and you've added a level of risk they don't want to deal with.

Handguns and shotguns help to reinforce your intent to protect your property when an alarm is sounded...

>>Shut your pie-hole - don't tell people that you have PMs.  Think about it - what benefit do you gain by disclosing you own gold and silver?  Bragging rights?

Did you see what has happened in Japan after the tsunami?  It seems that many Japanese people don't like to keep their money in banks.  They've reasoned that since they're not getting paid any interest (sound familiar?), they might as well keep their cash and valuables in home safes.

Well, when the tsunami hit, all of their home safes got swept away!
Safes are washing up along the tsunami-battered coast, and police are trying to find their owners — a unique problem in a country where many people, especially the elderly, still stash their cash at home. By one estimate, some $350 billion worth of yen doesn't circulate.
There's even a term for this hidden money in Japanese: "tansu yokin." Or literally, "wardrobe savings."
This reinforces the need for geographic dispersion.  It also makes sense to have some form of documentation inside of the safe indicating that the untraceable cash and bullion inside is YOURS!

Accept The Challenge

The concept of geographic dispersion first really sank in for me while watching this old-timey movie on a nuclear blast that hits LA (I can't remember the name of the movie, but watched it online for free).  The family had gone on a vacation, LA got nuked, and they were out in the hills when it went off.

The father had decided to dig a number of caches around their new "home" in the hills and filled them up with their food and goods.  If/when they were attacked, a family member could "crack" and give up the location of their food in a single cache without risking everything.

Even in a regular, normal society, people want to steal your stuff.  More so when times are tough, and people become desperate.

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Copyright 2011 Bison Risk Management Associates. All rights reserved. Please note that in addition to owning Bison Risk Management, Chief Instructor is also a partner in a precious metals business. You are encouraged to repost this information so long as it is credited to Bison Risk Management Associates.


RL said...

The movie sounds like "Panic in Year Zero! (1962)".

My brother, who has a new family but has never been prep minded, asked his first questions about prepping after I loaned him that flick.

Anonymous said...

I like the idea of having multiple caches of food/silver. "No, honey, don't tell them! It's for you and the kids!" "it's under the porch!" and the crooks leave satisfied, but your family is intact and has only lost the bit under the porch, etc.

Chief Instructor said...

Robert, that's it! I pulled up a Youtube trailer. Ray Milland and Frankie Avalon. I found the movie on one of the free online sites. Pretty good with some decent ideas.

Anon, exactly. It also showed the value of firearms (no cops around) and the worthlessness of fiat currency. Tangible goods and food were what counted.

Note to self: Bring silver and barter goods on next fishing trip ;-)

suek said...

I like the idea...but what about access to property that you don't own?

I could certainly understand having multiple caches on your own property, but other places? that seems to me like it could be a potential problem...

RL said...

Just watched the movie again.
It was pretty darn sobering how well they treated the personal economics.

Chief Instructor said...

Sue, true, so those kinds of sites have to be carefully chosen. The property of family members, state/national park lands, etc., are suggestions I've heard. For public lands, just be sure the areas chosen are secluded.

Robert, yeah, went from cash to barter/trade instantaneously!

suek said...

>>went from cash to barter/trade instantaneously!>> have to 1962, credit cards were fairly unusual - mostly used for business transactions. The use of personal credit cards for everyday purchases wasn't the standard practice it is today. It was either cash or checks, or you had a personal account with the individual merchant.

RL said...

Value for value is how it always goes when things go boobs up.