This is an excellent real money education book. Mike reviews the principles of sound money that have endured throughout human history. One thing is consistent and that is that gold and silver are real money. In today’s world of fiat currencies, gold and silver are tools you can use to preserve and protect your wealth. Mike goes over the differences between currencies, real money and fiat money. Fiat money is basically paper money that is not backed by anything. We will explain in detail why this is dangerous and the average investor should at least understand the importance of degraded money and inflated fiat currencies. With the economic collapse of 2008 with Ireland, Greece and other countries going bankrupt, we as small investors need to be educated so that we can protect ourselves.
Why is this important to me?
It matters because the greatest transfer of wealth is happening right now and that transfer is away from America and not toward us. This should be a priority if you want to protect yourself and your family.
Several things are happening but 90% of the general public don’t really understand it. It’s understandable because the noise between political bobbleheads on CNN and Fox News deflects the real issues. The real problem is this: the Federal Reserve is a private institution that is neither regulated nor audited. They control the financial system. These guys are the quintessential kingmakers who run the country from the background. Thomas Jefferson was certainly against a central bank in the United States. For more on this, you can listen to Ron Paul. It’s the Texas congressmen who are all over this stuff.
The big swings we’ve seen from the internet boom to the housing bust have been a direct result of the Fed. Few people know this and some will say it is false. The Fed kept interest rates artificially low, resulting in an inflated housing market. The easing of debt versus equity and the financial instruments of mass destruction known as CDOs and MBS and other weapons nearly killed the country. Financial education is necessary for us little guys to stand a chance. Read this book to open your eyes. One thing that goes unsaid in the mainstream media and is more powerful than terrorism is this: if the dollar is lost as the world’s reserve currency, our total standard of living will decline by at least 25% . Right now, it’s already difficult for 85% of American families. Another wealth transfer could put the final nail in the coffin. Educate yourself.
There’s a ton of information in Mike’s book. The history of currency debasement is depicted in all major empires including Persian, Greek, Roman, British and now American. Currency depreciation, inflation and taxation are the thieves of wealth. If your money is a candle, then taxes and inflation are the flames burning at both ends.
1. Ingenuity – I am not a pessimistic person. I believe in the strength and determination of the American people. This still doesn’t detract from the fact that we all need to be educated and the only way to change is from the bottom up. There is no way a top-down government can benefit the country in this regard. It is the ingenuity of the iron horse of the American people that will solve our financial problems.
2. Gold and Silver – Gold has been silver for over 5,000 years. Her redhead sister-in-law Silver was also known as Silver. The ratio between the two has historically been 16-1. I have personally seen this spread over the past year go from 80 to 1 to 30 to 1 and back up to around 40 to 1. That means you can buy 40 ounces of silver for 1 ounce of gold. Thus, silver costs $35 per ounce and gold $1,500 per ounce. Now – reality check. Warren Buffett does not invest in gold. If you’ve followed any of my book summaries, you know I’m a Buffett fan, so let’s check this out. Basically, Buffett says if he had all the gold in the world, he would have a 67 foot cube of gold (height, width, length for math beginners). He could polish it, kiss it and sleep on it. Instead of the gold cube, he could have half the farmland in the United States plus 7 Exxon Mobiles plus a trillion dollars in cash. He would rather take the latter like I would. Basically, Buffett is arguing that gold has NO USEFULNESS. I agree with him. The money on the hand is different. Buffett has owned money in the past and may still own some. Silver has utility as it is used in cell phones, computers, smart devices and medical gadgets. That’s why I love Silver as a way to save.
3. Cash Flow vs. Capital Gains – We don’t want to fall for the big fool theory and invest in capital gains. Well, completely contradictory, silver is an investment in capital gains. Either way, you need to look at all of your investments in a synergistic approach. This means that we want investments to generate cash flow, but we also want our savings to grow. Robert Kiyosaki says savers are losers. This means that if you hold on to dollars, you lose to inflation and currency depreciation. Thus, you can hold your savings in cash.
Now let’s talk about holding “real money” as a lifeline. Note: Get educated, I’m not saying go out and invest in silver and gold today. I say educate yourself. I personally invest in silver and will continue to do so, but it is a very volatile market so you need to educate yourself. Also, I’m not a financial planner and don’t give advice, so do your own homework. My goal is simply to help you with this homework.
1. Mountain of Debt – This book was written in 2007 BEFORE the subprime mortgage crash. Even then, the United States was buried under a mountain of debt. Since then, the money supply has been tripled by the Fed. Thus, this mountain became Mount Everest. This has happened over the past 3 years and that is why the dollar is at an all time low in 2011.
2. Unfunded Liabilities – Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid……… These unfunded liabilities along with the mountain of debt only magnify the problem. When you give someone something and then try to take it back, all hell breaks loose. Take a look at GM. They had to go bankrupt, get a government bailout, and forfeit all their unfunded liabilities to survive. They are now doing pretty well but the little guy has lost his pension and medical care. Learn my friends. Don’t let other people handle your money… The same will happen in the US with unfunded liabilities. Start planning NOW.
3. Derivatives – We talked about this earlier, but here is in a nutshell what happened during the subprime meltdown. About 100 people sat in rooms and decided to sell MBS (mortgage-backed securities) to investors. The problem was that they were packaging crap and spraying it with perfume and selling it as triple A rated instruments. The rating agencies and the executives of these companies should be prosecuted. What happened was that a 1-2% move in values could wipe out companies because the leverage was so deep. These guys were raising billions to make tens of millions. There are too many zeros for this to work long term. As we now know, that was not the case.
To sum up, what does all this mean? This book and others like it will help you take control of your own destiny. It is recommended to hold 10% of your assets outside the financial system. This means that there is no counterparty risk. When you put all your money in the bank and there is a run on the bank and it fails, the bank is the counterparty. Holding physical gold and silver like real money eliminates counterparty risk.
I hope you have found this short summary useful. The key to any new idea is to incorporate it into your daily routine until it becomes a habit. Habits are formed in as little as 21 days.
One thing you can take away from this book is GET EDUCATED. Please open your eyes and spend a few minutes a day educating yourself. You’ll be glad you did.