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Stop 401k contributions or sell off gold (or "is the collapse coming?")
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qwertyuiop Offline
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Post: #51
RE: Stop 401k contributions or sell off gold (or "is the collapse coming?")
You guys are crazy. You can take your 401k and turn it to cash with a penalty...then go withdraw it from the atm same day (in my case at least).

If you are also so worried, switch jobs and roll your 401k over to an IRA...now you have control of it.

Pensions are differnet, but 401ks is your personal bank account that has tax advantages.
09-14-2019 07:21 PM
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Post: #52
RE: Stop 401k contributions or sell off gold (or "is the collapse coming?")
(09-10-2019 11:29 PM)bucky Wrote:  I've been that guy too. Always expecting a collapse somewhere in the near future that never materializes. Used it as an excuse to not contribute to my 401k when I was in my 20s...I hate to think about what I'd have saved now if I hadn't been so dumb.

To clarify, I don't think I'll need to sell gold or stop the 401k with the new car, but who knows. I was mostly interested to see what the forum members think, and who really believes a collapse is coming in the next few decades. Vox Day is guaranteeing one in the 2030s and has actually advised young people not contribute to their 401ks. Then again, he also predicted the Republicans would pick up seats in the house in 2018.

Read James Rickard's latest book, Aftermath, and you may feel a bit better about not putting it into your 401k. No he's not another doomsday hack, he's a financial player taken seriously enough to be brought onto a CIA committee to study market intelligence. The debt to GDP ratio of the US is insane right now - worse than under Bush, worse than Obama (who doubled what Bush already blew up), and there's no amount of quantitative easing that can make it go away.

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09-14-2019 07:38 PM
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Leonard D Neubache Offline
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Post: #53
RE: Stop 401k contributions or sell off gold (or "is the collapse coming?")
(09-14-2019 01:46 PM)bucky Wrote:  Solid post, but is it true that precious metals are worthless in Venezuela? I'd have thought it would be quite the opposite.

You're still thinking "functional trade market".

If you've been reduced to trading in metals then it's a fair bet it's all black market at that point. People in that situation want a direct trade between something they have and something they NEED. Trading in silver or gold means that not only does everyone have to learn to value metals correctly but they have to engage in two risky trades to get what they want rather than one.

God demands of Man responsibility. God demands of Woman vulnerability. These are their curse and blessing alike. Libertianism is to Man as Feminism is to Woman.
09-14-2019 11:02 PM
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bucky Offline
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Post: #54
RE: Stop 401k contributions or sell off gold (or "is the collapse coming?")
(09-14-2019 11:02 PM)Leonard D Neubache Wrote:  
(09-14-2019 01:46 PM)bucky Wrote:  Solid post, but is it true that precious metals are worthless in Venezuela? I'd have thought it would be quite the opposite.

You're still thinking "functional trade market".

If you've been reduced to trading in metals then it's a fair bet it's all black market at that point. People in that situation want a direct trade between something they have and something they NEED. Trading in silver or gold means that not only does everyone have to learn to value metals correctly but they have to engage in two risky trades to get what they want rather than one.

But they have Internet in Venezuela. Well, when the power is up. Wouldn't they just check the value of the precious metal in question in USD and trade based on that? I assume their black market runs on USD, not local currency.

My wife's home country is only a few steps ahead of Venezuela in danger, chaos, and general shittiness and gold is definitely valuable there, to the point that you can't wear anything gold in color in public because it's too dangerous. I get that in a total collapse of global civilization, something like a return to the stone age, precious metals wouldn't be worth much because you can't eat them or shoot anyone with them, but Venezuela is still far from that. I'd image that gold and silver were worth something even in warlord-ruled Somalia.

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09-15-2019 01:00 AM
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Leonard D Neubache Offline
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Post: #55
RE: Stop 401k contributions or sell off gold (or "is the collapse coming?")
Okay, you can value gold per ounce but how about the guy you're trading with? Is the gold weighed, rated and stamped appropriately? Mint coins, perhaps?

Not that you'd be trading for anything but very high value items with gold. Silver is the metal of choice for common transactions. But using metals also marks you as a target for robbery since you've signaled that you have high value easily transportable assets to take.

God demands of Man responsibility. God demands of Woman vulnerability. These are their curse and blessing alike. Libertianism is to Man as Feminism is to Woman.
09-15-2019 04:51 AM
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bucky Offline
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Post: #56
RE: Stop 401k contributions or sell off gold (or "is the collapse coming?")
(09-15-2019 04:51 AM)Leonard D Neubache Wrote:  Okay, you can value gold per ounce but how about the guy you're trading with? Is the gold weighed, rated and stamped appropriately? Mint coins, perhaps?

Not that you'd be trading for anything but very high value items with gold. Silver is the metal of choice for common transactions. But using metals also marks you as a target for robbery since you've signaled that you have high value easily transportable assets to take.

I agree about silver. If I had precious metals (which I absolutely don't for anyone who might somehow figure out who I am in IRL and where I live) I'd have a bit of gold for large transactions, but way more silver for the small stuff.

You're also right about precious metals marking you for robbery. However, having USD or any kind of goods that are in demand also does that in a place like Venezuela. I once read a blog post by a Venezuelan were he discussed at length how to buy the right cell phone there. Has to be not so new and fancy that it will get you robbed, but also not so old and busted that it's an obvious decoy for your nice cell phone and will also get you robbed. Needs to be somewhere in between, and that sweet spot changes frequently.

Anyway, my original point was that I highly doubt that gold and silver are worthless in Venezuela or a hypothetical future "north Venezuela" situation in the US like they would be in a stone age society or on a desert island.

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09-15-2019 05:46 AM
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Leonard D Neubache Offline
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Post: #57
RE: Stop 401k contributions or sell off gold (or "is the collapse coming?")
Not worthless, no. That's a bad term. "A more troublesome form of currency" probably makes more sense.

God demands of Man responsibility. God demands of Woman vulnerability. These are their curse and blessing alike. Libertianism is to Man as Feminism is to Woman.
09-15-2019 07:22 AM
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bucky Offline
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Post: #58
RE: Stop 401k contributions or sell off gold (or "is the collapse coming?")
(09-15-2019 07:22 AM)Leonard D Neubache Wrote:  Not worthless, no. That's a bad term. "A more troublesome form of currency" probably makes more sense.

That I agree with. Although like I said, in a place like Venezuela anything of value is troublesome. A family friend of ours in my wife's country has a G-shock watch that is worth about $100 brand new. A guy tried to steal it from him by physically manhandling him. It just so happened that a couple of friends of the guy with the watch were nearby, so they beat the would-be robber to within an inch of his life. Turned out that the guy they beat up had gang connections, so all three have had to flee the country to avoid being murdered. All of this over a cheap watch that you could probably wear in the worst parts of the US or Australia without anyone noticing or caring.

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09-15-2019 08:43 AM
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scorpion Offline
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Post: #59
RE: Stop 401k contributions or sell off gold (or "is the collapse coming?")
There are certainly plenty of reasons to be concerned about the economy, but planning for the outright collapse of society is not a good investment strategy. First of all, living with that kind of doom mindset is incredibly toxic and is inevitably going to negatively affect your day to day mood and general happiness. Secondly, a societal collapse would be so catastrophic that you would very likely be screwed no matter how well you prepared. About the best you could do is live in a rural area, form a strong local network of like-minded friends and neighbors, have a modest supply of food, guns and ammo and maybe stockpile a bit of gold and silver. Anything beyond that is pure LARPing.

As for investments in particular, it's important to maintain a long-term outlook. Remember that inflation has been a constant for the past 100 years. Keep that in mind when people start talking about unsustainable debt crashing the economy. That horn has been blowing for decades but it hasn't mattered. The debt will be inflated away. You hear old-timers talk about when they used to buy a bottle of Coke for a nickel and your marvel at how cheap things were back then. When your grandchildren pay $25 for a can of coke they'll marvel at how you used to pay $1. The can of coke is the same, whether you pay 5c, $1 or $25. In other words, you remain the same height whether you are measured in inches, feet, centimeters or soup cans. The underlying economy can still be strong despite monetary inflation. The past several decades have proven that.

The takeaway is that if you refrain from investing in a highly inflationary environment you won't keep up and will lose out. That's the reality we're in now. Yes, there is always a risk with investing - but there's also a risk to NOT investing. Storing all your money in gold under your mattress is not a risk-free strategy by any means. And in fact, there is no risk-free strategy. You stand a risk of losing everything no matter what you do. It's best to come to terms with that, and invest primarily in non-monetary assets such as your personal skillset, your health, your friends and family, and a strong faith in God that will see you through regardless of what setbacks lie ahead. And then in the meanwhile, be prudent with your investing and hope for the best over the long-term with a diversified pool of investments. That's all you can do.

"For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” - Romans 8:18
09-15-2019 11:23 AM
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jeffreyjerpp Offline
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Post: #60
RE: Stop 401k contributions or sell off gold (or "is the collapse coming?")
(09-14-2019 11:34 AM)Dr. Howard Wrote:  That is a theory that I agree with. My opinion, on a sliding scale of collapse will be:

1. Governments will seize or tax 401k type of benefits. Why? because they are owned by the middle class. The current trend is to pound on the middle class, not the very rich or the very poor
2. Social security will not be outright cancelled, it will have the retirement age bumped up considerably or somewhat neutered. Remember, if you take social security you are still in the gov't pocket, which they like. Social security could even be a UBI/yang bucks type of vehicle. However, the curve of contributions from poor to middle class will likely be steepened
3. Government pensions...they will seize/tax private IRA's and 401ks before they ever reduce their own.
4. If the government pensions go down, or the USD collapses etc. we will be in a venezuela combined with risk of foreign invasion type situation. Currency will be food, fuel, tools, medicine, guns.

If you are a believer in a rapid collapse type of scenario, then you should be investing in full prepper, if you are a believer in a slower collapse you should be avoiding 'middle class' type of investments like 401k's, college funds, mortgages. Those will be robbed by the socialists once they gain soft control and try to shore up welfare, social security and government pensions. Then, once welfare, social security and government pensions fail you are in full Venezuela and gold isn't going to help.

Especially in the USA, we are extremely unlikely to face a "rapid collapse" any time for the next decade.

However, a gradual worsening of everything is extremely likely, including government figuring out new and innovative ways to fleece the middle and upper middle class. Especially state and local governments, who cannot just print money like the federal government.

As for the 401k issue, they could either outright "merge" private 401k money with public pensions, or simply add a ridiculous surtax to any withdrawals that get diverted into state and local pension coffers. Governments can be extremely devious about using indirect, innocuous seeming tactics to separate people from their money. Near where I live, EZ PASS is mandatory, and during rush hour commutes it costs $20(!!) to drive on a 10 mile segment of road, just one way!
In other countries like Cyprus, they have even frozen bank deposits, and introduced super low weekly withdrawal limits, in order to fund a "bail in" of the bank.

A very safe place is probably a plain old stock brokerage account. Your wealth is protected from inflation, it's one of the very last things even a desperate government would come for, and it can be converted into hard cash quickly. The politically powerful super rich will also fight tooth and nail to ensure their own assets cannot be stripped in that manner
09-15-2019 11:55 AM
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bucky Offline
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Post: #61
RE: Stop 401k contributions or sell off gold (or "is the collapse coming?")
(09-15-2019 11:55 AM)jeffreyjerpp Wrote:  Governments can be extremely devious about using indirect, innocuous seeming tactics to separate people from their money. Near where I live, EZ PASS is mandatory, and during rush hour commutes it costs $20(!!) to drive on a 10 mile segment of road, just one way!
In other countries like Cyprus, they have even frozen bank deposits, and introduced super low weekly withdrawal limits, in order to fund a "bail in" of the bank.

<snipped>

The politically powerful super rich will also fight tooth and nail to ensure their own assets cannot be stripped in that manner

A few years ago in my state a referendum passed forbidding state and local governments from increasing taxes and introducing new taxes without voter approval through further referenda. Sounded great until we realized that now they just increase existing "fees" while also calling new taxes "fees" instead of "taxes."

Aye, about the politically powerful and super rich.

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09-15-2019 12:22 PM
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Swordfish1010 Offline
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Post: #62
RE: Stop 401k contributions or sell off gold (or "is the collapse coming?")
(09-15-2019 11:23 AM)scorpion Wrote:  There are certainly plenty of reasons to be concerned about the economy, but planning for the outright collapse of society is not a good investment strategy. First of all, living with that kind of doom mindset is incredibly toxic and is inevitably going to negatively affect your day to day mood and general happiness. Secondly, a societal collapse would be so catastrophic that you would very likely be screwed no matter how well you prepared. About the best you could do is live in a rural area, form a strong local network of like-minded friends and neighbors, have a modest supply of food, guns and ammo and maybe stockpile a bit of gold and silver. Anything beyond that is pure LARPing.

As for investments in particular, it's important to maintain a long-term outlook. Remember that inflation has been a constant for the past 100 years. Keep that in mind when people start talking about unsustainable debt crashing the economy. That horn has been blowing for decades but it hasn't mattered. The debt will be inflated away. You hear old-timers talk about when they used to buy a bottle of Coke for a nickel and your marvel at how cheap things were back then. When your grandchildren pay $25 for a can of coke they'll marvel at how you used to pay $1. The can of coke is the same, whether you pay 5c, $1 or $25. In other words, you remain the same height whether you are measured in inches, feet, centimeters or soup cans. The underlying economy can still be strong despite monetary inflation. The past several decades have proven that.

The takeaway is that if you refrain from investing in a highly inflationary environment you won't keep up and will lose out. That's the reality we're in now. Yes, there is always a risk with investing - but there's also a risk to NOT investing. Storing all your money in gold under your mattress is not a risk-free strategy by any means. And in fact, there is no risk-free strategy. You stand a risk of losing everything no matter what you do. It's best to come to terms with that, and invest primarily in non-monetary assets such as your personal skillset, your health, your friends and family, and a strong faith in God that will see you through regardless of what setbacks lie ahead. And then in the meanwhile, be prudent with your investing and hope for the best over the long-term with a diversified pool of investments. That's all you can do.

Believe it or not, this advice is pretty mainstream norm. Some people choose to be more proactive.
(This post was last modified: 09-15-2019 12:59 PM by Swordfish1010.)
09-15-2019 12:59 PM
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Post: #63
RE: Stop 401k contributions or sell off gold (or "is the collapse coming?")
(09-15-2019 12:59 PM)Swordfish1010 Wrote:  Believe it or not, this advice is pretty mainstream norm. Some people choose to be more proactive.

Yeah, it is mainstream norm. You know why? Because it's proven and it works. Investing in ownership shares of major American/global corporations (stocks) is a time-tested strategy for generating steady returns over a multi-decade time horizon. "Choosing to be more proactive" is something you're obviously free to do. But the fact is that most people who attempt to do so come out worse off than if they had simply bought a stock index fund.

Also, you're completely out of your mind if you think that cryptocurrency has fewer risks than stocks. The government can drive crypto prices to zero far more easily than they can stocks, and are much more likely to do so, especially if crypto threatens the hegemony of the dollar or a future world reserve currency. What is the market price of Bitcoin if the government criminalizes it and bans all conversion to USD? Conversely, people have been buying shares of corporations for centuries. The private purchase of public corporate shares is embedded into the structure of modern civilization. Further, the private ownership of stock is something that 99% of the uber-rich and wealthy movers and shakers participate in themselves. For the vast majority of them to advocate government seizure of stock is to pauperize themselves. Anyone talking about the government seizing privately owned stocks is talking crazy talk. It would fail catastrophically as a wealth-transfer mechanism, as stocks would crater immediately and collapse the value of the stolen portfolios, and would likely trigger armed revolt to boot. Increased taxes? Sure. But that applies to everything. Government takeover of privately owned stock accounts? Nope. Not gonna happen.

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09-15-2019 02:31 PM
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SlickyBoy Offline
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Post: #64
RE: Stop 401k contributions or sell off gold (or "is the collapse coming?")
Currencies have failed for centuries too, and *all* fiat currencies will, eventually, fail. James Rickards explains it in far more detail than I can in his aforementioned book, but the short answer is the US is closer than before. Indexes aren't even safe, in fact their sheer size makes it more hazardous to the overall market since fewer quants and active managers are indirectly in charge of billions from passive investors who think things will go on the way they have forever. Housing Crisis 2.0, only way bigger and no way for the Fed to print their way out of it, credibly.

Sure, Uncle Sam won't outright take over your IRA, but all such accounts are custodial, and therefore out of your absolute control. A fee here, an withdrawal restriction (or requirement to withrdaw) there, a tax added, or raised. I would not be so sanguine about their ability to lean on those when convenient - consider all the gig-economy class envy that would support such a measure. The middle class has been getting fucked forever, this wouldn't be a big leap.

I don't plan for my house to burn down, but I do buy insurance. During a monetary crisis - which doesn't mean the world permanently turns into Thunderdome - precious metals and gold in particular can be part of that overall strategy.

I'd add meaningful skills to your basket of goods, BTW.

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09-15-2019 09:44 PM
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Post: #65
RE: Stop 401k contributions or sell off gold (or "is the collapse coming?")
(09-15-2019 09:44 PM)SlickyBoy Wrote:  Currencies have failed for centuries too, and *all* fiat currencies will, eventually, fail. James Rickards explains it in far more detail than I can in his aforementioned book, but the short answer is the US is closer than before. Indexes aren't even safe, in fact their sheer size makes it more hazardous to the overall market since fewer quants and active managers are indirectly in charge of billions from passive investors who think things will go on the way they have forever. Housing Crisis 2.0, only way bigger and no way for the Fed to print their way out of it, credibly.

Sure, Uncle Sam won't outright take over your IRA, but all such accounts are custodial, and therefore out of your absolute control. A fee here, an withdrawal restriction (or requirement to withrdaw) there, a tax added, or raised. I would not be so sanguine about their ability to lean on those when convenient - consider all the gig-economy class envy that would support such a measure. The middle class has been getting fucked forever, this wouldn't be a big leap.

I don't plan for my house to burn down, but I do buy insurance. During a monetary crisis - which doesn't mean the world permanently turns into Thunderdome - precious metals and gold in particular can be part of that overall strategy.

I'd add meaningful skills to your basket of goods, BTW.

I enjoyed the "Aftermath" audio book. A lot of informative content, particularly about how things work behind the scenes. But Jim Rickards has been flat out wrong about everything for a decade now. Reality check- if you took his investing advice for the last decade, you lost out vs. an index fund very, very badly.

Yes, the USA is bankrupt. It doesn't matter, though. The Dollar is the world reserve currency, and the most plausible safe haven for the big money. In fact the dollar is likely to get so strong that it triggers the next crisis, because so many international contracts are denominated in dollars they'll go into default and burst the bond bubble. Then things will get interesting.....

Additionally, the shares in a brokerage account (retirement accounts are a different story) are going to be the absolute last thing a government touches for reasons already mentioned in this thread. In contrast private gold confiscation has already happened in the USA within the last century.

I like gold, and own both some silver coins and a lot of GDX (a gold mining ETF) in my portfolio. Like you said it is a plausible hedge and anyone smart will have exposure one way or another.

It is badly misguided, though, to not also be putting money in an index fund or blue chip stocks too. The S&P 500 and Dow Jones are going from strength to strength right now. If the monetary system resets, guess what? Shares of Wal Mart will still be valuable, and no one will give you trouble for owning them. Gold coins on the other hand might be illegal. Choose wisely.
09-16-2019 03:03 PM
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Post: #66
RE: Stop 401k contributions or sell off gold (or "is the collapse coming?")
Great stuff, jeffrey. Rickards even said the dollar was done on Friday September 30, 2016 and January 1, 2018. LOL

I considered these for a while and then realized they are almost all full of it, and why would I bet on them making a once in a lifetime call as opposed to just going with the trend (markets are going higher).

As you said, if it is a currency issue, we have actually remedied such a situation already when we needed to devalue.

What we have to worry about far more is institutional and social issues.

And the Dem Socialist that gets elected in 2024. That's when (obviously before that election) you SELL.

Get your passport ready!
09-16-2019 07:47 PM
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Post: #67
RE: Stop 401k contributions or sell off gold (or "is the collapse coming?")
(09-08-2019 11:53 PM)Graft Wrote:  One of the worst mistakes that I made in my life was overdosing on Schiff/zerohedge/Faber when I graduated college, avoided the stock market, collected gold, and worked low paying jobs in anticipation of "The Big Collapse."

I graduated with about $30k in savings from working college jobs and living at home. Had I put that into FANG stocks I would have a nest egg well into six figures and probably own a house right now.

A lot of these guys make technical sense but it's extremely obvious that they have no fucking idea when there is going to be a huge collapse, so they miss out on an entire epic bull run. A broken clock is right twice a day.

I am absolutely baffled by the surrealistic mindset of some folks on this thread. Does no one remember that in 2008 the economy of the entire world came to the brink of utter destruction? Only the intervention of the President of the United States, the head of the Fed, and unprecedented compliance of the heads of the top U.S. mega-banks staved off a worldwide financial catastrophe. Reading this thread, one would think that none of this happened. WTF!

Saying that real (Austrian School) economists have no merit (because the predicted financial collapse did not occur after heroic efforts to avert disaster) is like criticizing an astronomer for warning about a meteor strike after the meteor merely destroys your neighbors house while missing your own.

If you require a reminder about the severity of the 2008 financial crisis, which almost resulted in the largest financial collapse in world history, then watch this HBO documentary ("Panic: The Untold Story of the 2008 Financial Crisis"):





Almost none of the systemic problems that caused the 2008 financial crisis have been fixed. If you are long the stock market and you do not have a well thought out hedging strategy, then you are a fool. You can literally lose years of profits in less than a few weeks during a serious financial crisis.
(This post was last modified: 09-16-2019 11:34 PM by Tail Gunner.)
09-16-2019 11:24 PM
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Post: #68
RE: Stop 401k contributions or sell off gold (or "is the collapse coming?")
(09-16-2019 03:03 PM)jeffreyjerpp Wrote:  Additionally, the shares in a brokerage account (retirement accounts are a different story) are going to be the absolute last thing a government touches for reasons already mentioned in this thread.

Most investors do not realize that they do not own their shares, unless they use the Direct Registration System. If the brokerage firm goes bankrupt, you are left holding the bag with a general claim against the firm. So you have counter party risk, just like a bank account.

https://www.thebalance.com/what-is-the-d...cks-357536

No one worries about any of this stuff until after a crisis.
09-16-2019 11:42 PM
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RE: Stop 401k contributions or sell off gold (or "is the collapse coming?")
I'm 31 years old with $45k in my 401k. Currently catching up contributing 15% of my income, and with company match that comes out to $17k/year. Wondering if I should just cut back to 10% and use the extra funds to pay off low interest debt or buy gold. Any advice?

I see what people in this thread are saying regarding the financial collapse but at the same time, I'm paying more in taxes if I contribute less. That's my hangup. I just don't see a real possibility of total collapse, we are too big to fail.. just like 2008. We will always come out of it somehow.
(This post was last modified: 09-17-2019 12:17 AM by tugofpeace.)
09-17-2019 12:17 AM
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Leonard D Neubache Offline
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Post: #70
RE: Stop 401k contributions or sell off gold (or "is the collapse coming?")
Don't mistake your nation coming out of it with you coming out of it.

People say "oh, we survived 2008" but there were a lot of people who saw hundreds of thousands of dollars of investment wiped out almost overnight. A lot of them lost their jobs at the same time. For those hitting retirement right at that point or those already retired or on disability, you can only imagine what they'd think about the notion that America "survived the 2008 crisis". There's a good reason that those people have been ignored by the MSM entirely in favor of grander, overarching themes about the crisis and how it was handled. The powers that be like to promote the idea that America will always bounce back (it maintains investor confidence) and maybe that was true of the 30's and 2008 but that doesn't cover the individual stories of men ending up in soup lines and becoming functionally unemployable for a decade or straight up jumping out of Wall street windows.

Imagine you'd been busting your balls for a decade to rent out and pay down 5 houses when the value of all those properties suddenly halved. Now you're underwater on them all and you only have ten more years until retirement in a nation that's looking sketchier and sketchier by the year.

So, okay. Maybe there wont be a full-blown collapse but that still doesn't mean you'll survive the next crisis in tact. Recoveries don't take into consideration the fact that you have to make rent this week and the week after that. You can't pay this decades health care costs with what you expect to recover next decade.

Just something to think about.

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(This post was last modified: 09-17-2019 12:57 AM by Leonard D Neubache.)
09-17-2019 12:56 AM
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Cattle Rustler Offline
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Post: #71
RE: Stop 401k contributions or sell off gold (or "is the collapse coming?")
OP fears a "collapse". He's been worrying about for most of his life, "it's coming! It's coming!" doing a chicken little. Now he's worry about it coming in the next 10-20 years. What if it doesn't arrive? He's going to "worry about the next 10-20 years because it WILL happen then for sure".

Wow. What a miserable and pathetic way to live.

In the meantime he could have starved off the mental stress/anxiety and induced in some other hobbies that are more positive and productive. Or you know, invested in the market and made a shit ton of money. People predicted Obama would bring financial ruin "2009!" then nothing. "2012!", nada. And the same thing happen every year, people would claim the end was near despite being wrong every single fucking time.

Think about it, OP has been wrong for most of life...then keeps claiming "it's gunnah happenh muh boyz, I tell yah...it's cumminh!". Yet here we are debating things. Those guns don't matter if you can't repel a Warthog, F-22, Abrams tank, or a platoon.

There's no point in our opinions, there's at least 5 threads about "muh collapse" spanning multiple pages.

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(This post was last modified: 09-17-2019 01:35 AM by Cattle Rustler.)
09-17-2019 01:33 AM
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Post: #72
RE: Stop 401k contributions or sell off gold (or "is the collapse coming?")
(09-16-2019 03:03 PM)jeffreyjerpp Wrote:  I enjoyed the "Aftermath" audio book. A lot of informative content, particularly about how things work behind the scenes. But Jim Rickards has been flat out wrong about everything for a decade now. Reality check- if you took his investing advice for the last decade, you lost out vs. an index fund very, very badly.
This is also true if you bought real estate in many US markets over the same period as if the housing crunch never happened. I did, I profited. But looking back, that doesn't mean it was financial genius of me to do so - there were plenty of risks I did not fully understand. That's also true even with something as seemingly docile as an index fund, which too many people treat like high yield bank accounts.

I think it goes a bit far to say he's been "flat out wrong about everything," especially when compared to our own fed predictions.

Quote:Yes, the USA is bankrupt. It doesn't matter, though. The Dollar is the world reserve currency, and the most plausible safe haven for the big money. In fact the dollar is likely to get so strong that it triggers the next crisis, because so many international contracts are denominated in dollars they'll go into default and burst the bond bubble. Then things will get interesting.....
The Roman Denarius was the world reserve currency too, but at least that had a (steadily diminishing) amount of real silver in it. The dollar can be printed to satisfy debts, so in nominal terms, sure it doesn't matter that all it's made of is paper. But Rickards argues, correctly in my opinion, that it isn't money supply levels that matters so much as psychology, something that definitely has its limits.

(09-16-2019 03:03 PM)jeffreyjerpp Wrote:  I like gold, and own both some silver coins and a lot of GDX (a gold mining ETF) in my portfolio. Like you said it is a plausible hedge and anyone smart will have exposure one way or another.

Gold and gold mining stocks are very different animals. I do not consider the latter to be a hedge, or even a direct sympathy play. Spot gold prices can rise, but so can fuel and labor costs which make it more expensive to mine - ditto for any precious metal. Careful not to conflate the two products.

Quote:It is badly misguided, though, to not also be putting money in an index fund or blue chip stocks too. The S&P 500 and Dow Jones are going from strength to strength right now. If the monetary system resets, guess what? Shares of Wal Mart will still be valuable, and no one will give you trouble for owning them. Gold coins on the other hand might be illegal. Choose wisely.
It's easy to say that with hindsight bias. Yes, lots of people were along for the ride on the index train - good for them. The fact is while more and more money piles into passive investing, all of it is parasitic and performs no price discovery on its own, leaving that to a diminishing pool of active traders and managers who themselves are being augmented and sometimes replaced by artificial intelligence methods such as machine learning.

As for the individual equities, remember too, Circuit City also looked pretty good before the housing crunch. So did Lehman Brothers, Washington Mutual, Merryl Lynch, Bear Stearns.... if pros can't pick those right, good luck following a basket of individual stocks and keeping up with your day job. Following more than one or two gets time consuming, but too few and it runs the risk of too many eggs in the same basket. Beware.

Regardless, if the monetary system resets, whatever those WMT shares are worth gets reset right along with it. Given the stratospheric national debt, it is the epitome of blind hubris to think this will never happen because it's always been this way. Once an economy gets past 90% debt to income (GDP), things get dicey. We are at about 104%.

You should probably re-read Chapter 4 (No Bid) and see if you still feel the way you do about index funds and any ETF. The algorithms are giving you and plenty of others a false sense of security.
09-17-2019 05:41 AM
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Post: #73
RE: Stop 401k contributions or sell off gold (or "is the collapse coming?")
(09-15-2019 02:31 PM)scorpion Wrote:  
(09-15-2019 12:59 PM)Swordfish1010 Wrote:  Believe it or not, this advice is pretty mainstream norm. Some people choose to be more proactive.

Yeah, it is mainstream norm. You know why? Because it's proven and it works. Investing in ownership shares of major American/global corporations (stocks) is a time-tested strategy for generating steady returns over a multi-decade time horizon. "Choosing to be more proactive" is something you're obviously free to do. But the fact is that most people who attempt to do so come out worse off than if they had simply bought a stock index fund.

Also, you're completely out of your mind if you think that cryptocurrency has fewer risks than stocks. The government can drive crypto prices to zero far more easily than they can stocks, and are much more likely to do so, especially if crypto threatens the hegemony of the dollar or a future world reserve currency. What is the market price of Bitcoin if the government criminalizes it and bans all conversion to USD? Conversely, people have been buying shares of corporations for centuries. The private purchase of public corporate shares is embedded into the structure of modern civilization. Further, the private ownership of stock is something that 99% of the uber-rich and wealthy movers and shakers participate in themselves. For the vast majority of them to advocate government seizure of stock is to pauperize themselves. Anyone talking about the government seizing privately owned stocks is talking crazy talk. It would fail catastrophically as a wealth-transfer mechanism, as stocks would crater immediately and collapse the value of the stolen portfolios, and would likely trigger armed revolt to boot. Increased taxes? Sure. But that applies to everything. Government takeover of privately owned stock accounts? Nope. Not gonna happen.
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09-17-2019 09:40 AM
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Excalibur Offline
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Post: #74
RE: Stop 401k contributions or sell off gold (or "is the collapse coming?")
I used to watch the show “dooms day prepper”. I really liked it and started thinking of how I can prepare for the end of the world. But after 5 episodes in I had the epiphany - what are the richest, world changing scientists, entrepreneur doing right now? They are devoting their efforts into making the world a better place, getting rich, being optimistic, believing in a greater better future. Sure some super rich have secret doomsday bunkers, but that’s like 0.1% of their resources.

So I decided as fun as that show was, it was detrimental to my psyche. No one can predict the future. Given that uncertainty it’s better to live with optimism.

With that said, we still need to approach our personal finance with some sensibility and caution. Having emergency fund, dialing back on aggressive investment as you approach retirement, diversification are all general rule to follow.

@tugofpeace - at 31 you have a long investment horizon. Giving up employer match on your 401k makes zero sense. It’s 100% return on your investment. Why give that up to pay for your 3-4% debt. And how much gold are you gonna acquire that will make any significant impact on saving your butt in the event of a collapse. You are 31, hopefully with a marketable skill, and good health. Even if you lose all your savings you have enough time to make it all back.
09-17-2019 05:02 PM
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SlickyBoy Offline
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Post: #75
RE: Stop 401k contributions or sell off gold (or "is the collapse coming?")
(09-17-2019 05:02 PM)Excalibur Wrote:  Sure some super rich have secret doomsday bunkers, but that’s like 0.1% of their resources.
Even for those who do have bunkers, can they be assured that their pilots and guards will show up for work to take them there after the shit hits the fan? Rickards (yeah, I know keep going back to him) asked a bunch of super rich people with bunkers this exact question - they were all stumped. None of them had thought about ways to keep their loyal servants loyal, especially during a monetary collapse.

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09-17-2019 07:34 PM
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