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Those of you with tinfoil hats...

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

How do you invest?

 

My DH has a 401K that of course took a big hit a few years ago. We are not currently contributing -- we're taking a break to pay off some bills and build up an emergency fund (and I know all about how we're losing the benefit of compound interest and time by doing this).

 

I believe in the whole peak oil/"life as we know it is going to be gone in our lifetimes" thing, and I can't shake the feeling that pouring money into investment funds like a 401K might be foolish. I just have this picture of it being worth nothing twenty years from now, and that it would have been better to instead pay off the house and build up a huge cash reserve or do something else.

 

What do you all think? And I'm really asking those of you who believe what I believe, because I already know the conventional wisdom on all of this.

 

TIA!

post #2 of 15
Gold coins, silver coins. We have our 401k in Chinese mutual funds and it is doing quite well, but we also have a stash of gold and silver coins
post #3 of 15

Well, I don't wear a tinfoil hat, but my dad does. We've had many discussions about this issue. He has land that he will be leaving to me & my brother. Because he lived off-grid for years & years (finally got electricity when his cancer progressed to the point that he *needed* A/C), the land is set up for living without utilities. He's said often that he feels that's the best thing he could do for us - to give us something that allows us to be prepared to live off it if needed.

 

He also has bought up gold coins/bars over time and has a store of metals (copper mostly, but also aluminum) in his shed that could be used to barter or melt down or...something if needed.

 

The irony is that my brother is single, childless, and amazingly frugal. He has a bicycle and a surfboard. Everything else he has will fit in his duffel bag. I don't think he really needs a big set-up to live off-grid. My husband & I have no desire to live off-the-grid. I suppose if we had to, it'd be nice to know it's there, but we don't have any desire to do so. 

post #4 of 15

If I had extra to invest I would invest in tangibles. Is your house as energy efficient as can be? Do you have back up heat/cooking/lights? How about long term storage food? A grain grinder? A big Berkey?

 

IMO, food is an excellent investment. Over the next few years we will see food prices sky rocket.

 

Then, and only then, I would buy precious metals.

post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 

I agree with insulating, food storage, etc. and I'm working toward that. But I'm wondering if we should be investing in the stock market/bonds or not...I can't help feeling that we're losing out by not doing so, but also that possibly it's throwing money down the drain.

post #6 of 15

Some people buy bear stock funds that short the market.  If the market does down the bear funds go up.  I haven't done it myself, but the downside is that you are not going to have a "short" fund choice in your 401k and you are going to need to do it in a taxable account.

post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Usually Curious View Post

If I had extra to invest I would invest in tangibles. Is your house as energy efficient as can be? Do you have back up heat/cooking/lights? How about long term storage food? A grain grinder? A big Berkey?

 

IMO, food is an excellent investment. Over the next few years we will see food prices sky rocket.

 

Then, and only then, I would buy precious metals.



This. I would also make sure that your mortgage is paid off, and any outstanding debts. I'm not a financial expert by any means, but all the signs point to a crumbling dollar, and when that happens, no investment will be safe-- except, of course, one's investment in tangibles.

post #8 of 15

I think investing in nearly anything, period, is mostly a luck of the draw, incredible timing and a talent and sixth sense for that sort of thing. For me, personally, I feel like I have no business investing my hard earned money. Of course, the alternatives are low rate savings accounts and zero compounding mattresses. From what I understand about the stock market, specifically, is that within a given time frame you will come out even, that is, you will make about as much as you lose. Unless you're one of those aforementioned lucky persons.

 

Those retiring at the height of the bubble and withdrawing from their 401k's were just in the right place at the right time. Those trying to withdraw when the bubble burst were SOL. I am not going to gamble with my money in that way. My husband and I withdrew from and closed our 401k's at the height of the boom but it had nothing to do with luck or timing. It was for other reasons I won't go into now but we are glad we did. I sort of wear my tin foil hat half cocked. eyesroll.gif  I don't want to be doom and gloom but I do want to be prepared in some small way as far as stockpiling food reserves and having items on hand for when the power goes out and the water is unusable but that's smart for any reason. I'm not necessarily looking for an "end of the world" scenario but I want to be cautious.

post #9 of 15

We have a 401k but it is not invested in the stock market.  It doesn't earn much interest but compared to the loss most people took, we are way ahead.  My husband doesn't believe in investing.  We just save, save, save like our life depended on it.  We try to live off half his income and save the rest.

 

We have invested in one rental and would like to invest more.

 

My husband doesn't wear a tin foil hat (I do a little)-- he just thinks the stock market is the same as gambling and would rather just save and slash expenses.

post #10 of 15

Tools, skills, tangibles, small home-based businesses, social support systems, "laying up treasures in heaven", and also a 401k (though I think these are going to be taken over or taxed to death within the next few years, so we'll likely stop contributing soon).  Diversification is important. 

post #11 of 15

There is already talk by certain congress people about nationalizing 401(k) plans. I wouldn't keep a substantial amount of money in one. I might contribute whatever amount my employer matched just in case the gov't. pulls a rabbit out of its hat.

post #12 of 15

I've got a bit of tinfoil going on over here.  We have small$ in some silver coins, some cash on hand, some jewelry, and some cash in the bank.  By far, our largest investment is our home.  We bought our home for cash and are investing in that.  We are upgrading all the systems (slowly as time and money allows) and fixing it up in general, floors, windows, fences, fruit trees, etc.  The most important investment would be to get out of any debt you have.  

post #13 of 15

I would just move the 401 into something more conservative. We contribute the max to our 401, both b/c of his employer match, but also b/c of the tax implications. The contributions lower our tax bill, and are, to me, free money. I'm not a TFH wearer, or a TSWHTF believer, but even if I were, precious metals are at peak prices, and realistically, that's just market psychology. Gold and silver will eventually go back down again (and back up again) just as they've done throughout history. They're just as volatile as stocks IMO--we're just in a bubble now, like stocks have been in the past. I'd just save it if I were you like a PP recommended.

 

Oh, and I"d watch out for those bear funds. They really only move on heavy volatility, or at least in our experience. They're not meant to be held for any period of time. We had better luck w/ ETFs like DIG (oil) vs DUG (ultra short oil), but even that we don't hold more than a couple of weeks/months.

post #14 of 15

I would not invest in anything tied to the stock market, including 401K. 

 

As others have said:  durable goods, paying off all debt and mortgage, home improvements (new roof, weatherization/insulation, good windows, consider converting to natural gas if you can, if you live where winters are cold), items that will last a lifetime that you need or will need, "good" land (with water supply, solar exposure, that stuff will grow on - suitable for off-grid living if it came to that, or if you needed to sell it), also some gold and silver - in your possession, not a certificate - in coins first, bars second), backup systems for your house (what would you do if your normal systems failed - sanitation, water, heat, light, cooking), equipment for self-sufficiency or the ability to produce barter goods, warm bedding and weatherproof outerwear for everyone in the family, a significant long-term emergency food supply with a good storage system, heavy-use water filter like a Berkey...really the basic idea is to be able to eliminate debt and reduce your potential dependence on and obligations to others (like the oil company, town utilities, grocery stores) in preparation for tough times.  Also you could invest money in useful things that could be sold to people who didn't think ahead, if you had even more money left over after all of the above.

 

I think your 401K is likely to be worth nothing or nearly so 20 years from now, I'm sorry to say.  Arranging in advance for self-sufficiency and minimal need for money in retirement is my plan.  It's not going to be 100% or perfect, but the less money you need, the better you'll be able to afford the necessities, so setting that up now while you have funds is wise.  Conventional investments are not going to hold their value long-term anymore - that time is past, unfortunately.  And the US dollar is on a definite track to permanently losing value before "we" (parenting-age people) hit retirement age, so keeping money long-term in the form of anything based on the dollar is a recipe for loss (unless you're interested in keenly and actively playing the market in the short-term, but I think most people are not up for that, and there is risk there, too).

 

There is helpful info on this topic in the forums at chrismartenson.com - it's a common question there, if you're looking for more info than you find here.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by quelindo View Post

How do you invest?

 

My DH has a 401K that of course took a big hit a few years ago. We are not currently contributing -- we're taking a break to pay off some bills and build up an emergency fund (and I know all about how we're losing the benefit of compound interest and time by doing this).

 

I believe in the whole peak oil/"life as we know it is going to be gone in our lifetimes" thing, and I can't shake the feeling that pouring money into investment funds like a 401K might be foolish. I just have this picture of it being worth nothing twenty years from now, and that it would have been better to instead pay off the house and build up a huge cash reserve or do something else.

 

What do you all think? And I'm really asking those of you who believe what I believe, because I already know the conventional wisdom on all of this.

 

TIA!

post #15 of 15

Things that would barter well. 

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