Survival Sam didn’t think it was a good idea to buy gold. However, I came across an argument for buying it, which I thought was pretty persuasive, and I tried to convince him of its merits.
It made sense to me, and, even though I’m not in a position to buy gold myself, I was thinking some of my readers might be, and they’d want to know why to buy gold.
Well, Sam was having none of it.
“Why not?” I asked.
“Time,” he said.
“What do you mean?”
“As I understand your reasoning,” Sam said, “a guy who bought an ounce of gold in 1973 for something like $42 an ounce could exchange that ounce of gold for whatever gold is selling for today.”
“That’s right, but he’d have a lot of dollars to buy a lot more than a meal or two at his favorite restaurant.”
“That brings us right back to the problem of time,” Sam said. “We don’t have 35 years to see what gold prices will do. We might see the end of the dollar soon. We might even see the end of this country altogether.”
“So you’re saying there’s no time to buy gold and make it useful as a medium of exchange.”
“Not unless you bought an ounce of gold today and were able to exchange it for $2,500 in a few months,” Sam said.
“Of course,” he continued, “you never know. That might happen., and I may be a fool for not buying gold. On the other hand, in six months or so, if I exchange the gold I have, then a coin dealer has my gold, and I’ve got a bag of essentially worthless paper dollars.”
“But you could buy things with your paper money later that you couldn’t buy with your ounce of gold,” I said.
“Perhaps,” Sam said. “But why deal with a third party by involving a coin dealer? Most of all, why wait to buy things then with paper that’s declining in value when you can do it now? Right this minute I can buy an awfully lot of potatoes, beans and rice for much less than the price of an ounce of gold. I don’t need an investment broker or coin dealer. I’d rather buy goods to help me and my family survive the next few months and beyond, while others are wondering where they’ll get their next paycheck or even their next meal.”
“Isn’t that short term thinking?”
“What if a short term is all we have?” Sam asked.
“You always look on the gloomy side of things. You’re just not willing to consider buying precious metals, are you?”
“I didn’t say that,” Sam replied. “I’ll buy metals. I’m a firm believer in buying lead.”
“Ammo,” Sam said. “We’ve talked before about having it on hand as a bartering item.”
“Oh, yes. I’d forgotten. So, go with food or lead for survival rather than gold, right?”
“There’s one thing that bothers me about the idea of bartering ammo, Sam.”
“What if some of that lead comes back my way because I’m on the wrong end of someone’s gun?”
“Then you’d better know who you’re dealing with when you barter. And remember, when it comes to making wise exchanges and investments, think survival.”