Saturday, July 24, 2010

Vision {Guest Post}

I have only been on this planet for 54 years, but at no time have I been so acutely aware that things are not as they seem. Hard work and saving your money was an ideal to be revered. You worked for a company 20-30 years and they provided a living wage and a pension with healthcare in your retirement. To supplement that was something the government came up with call Social Security and Medicare.

Now what they didn’t mention what that this was nothing more than a redistribution of wealth from the earners to the elderly. At the time very few people lived beyond the age of 65. Now with modern medicine Medicare has unfunded liabilities in the billions as there are many aged people with Alzheimer’s are sitting in nursing homes and live to the age of 95.

Ergo the system is destined for collapse for the Fed will have to print money to keep the checks coming by 2042 and by some estimates as shown in the graph above even less.
Working hard for a company is not the norm any more. I worked for 20 years for my first company then 3.5 years before the next on closed and 3.5 before the next one drove all the good people out. I was saving all this time and as a result I am not and will never be homeless. I have no mortgage, no car payment and no installment debt as all. I pay off my credit card in full every month.
However, I cannot say that for many other Americans who thought that spending was a way of life. New cars, big boats, fancy vacations and McMansions that they could not afford. Also sending there children to high dollar universities or the children borrowing 50-100k for that diploma.

So what the hell does all that have to do with investing? It isn’t about investing it is about people and how we were money dumb and spending foolish.
Well the problem is they didn’t learn about money. They didn’t know where it came from or who controlled it. To them investing was leaving it all up to the company pension manager (if they were lucky enough to have one) or dumping money in a mutual funds in a 401k plan that they did not understand. So as everyone was tapping their home equity as if an ATM machine was attached to their home they never imagined the frightful reality that would soon hit them like a 2x4 to the head.

Soon they found that they had lost nearly half of their 401k money, the company they worked for was sold and gutted and the pensions they so took for granted were reduced or paid out in a lump sum. Then the IRS would take its 40% for early withdrawal and all of a sudden the "Golden Years" were not as attainable.

They now owed more than they could sell their house for and home prices plummeted and still are. Those ignorant enough to be in adjustable or interest only homes were faced with bankruptcy, foreclosure or simply walking away. Many chose the latter.
The whole mess went worldwide so Americans weren’t the only sheep that were sheered.
Now let’s get to investing. I started investing in precious metals in 2008 and have since done well. I cut my teeth on investing at the wrong time January 2009. I was gun-shy from the early losses as I really didn’t understand how to invest. I wasted hundreds in brokerage fees getting in and out of positions based on emotion. Then when the market changed direction in March, I got it all back. I bought a variety of companies, but I was focused on the mining industry. I learned how to do rudimentary charting and mostly did quick trades taking profits.

I started a little blog on June of 2009 and it has flourished with 150-200 readers per day and about 10-15 active commentators. All of whom have great insight into the market.
What have I learned from all this? That the markets are fickle and many manipulations go on behind the scenes and this I cannot control. When you decide to invest have a plan. One to get in and one to get out. Patience is a virtue, but don’t marry your investment. Keep an eye on the tape and get when the getting is good. Don’t worry about the high frequency traders with their fancy algorithms that make up most of the market. You don’t even come on their radar. They are looking to take down millions and are mostly competing against each other.
Don’t worry about the government officials as they are bought and paid for. The President is nothing more than a figurehead and has very little real power. He is kept in a cocoon and fed numbers that I am sure he does not understand any more than the previous one did. So I am not angry at the politicians. I just don’t see them as the real threat.
The real power is the To Big To Fail Banks. JP Morgan is at the top of the food chain. There are no sovereign countries, there are just peoples who are indebted to the banking cartels.

My advice to you dear reader is this. Get out of debt in any way you can. Save money and learn to invest as 1% on a CD at the bank will not cut it. Maybe buy a farm and live a simpler life. Learn to fix things, grow things and barter with neighbors. As it says in my email signature "The only free man is a debt free man."
Thank you for listening Queenbee
{This is a guest post from Queenbee @ the the fabulous blog.. and many thanks to Queen !}


  1. Sorry Queen.. on one part of your guest post I'm going to have to disagree. Your chart stated that Soc Sec was going to go negative in 2017. But according to Bruce Krasting's work, we've already arrived:

  2. Thank you for the invite and if Bruce is right we are in bigger trouble than I thought. I think 2040 was a number used during Bush II.

  3. Good post Queen

    The world still turns, the sun rises in the east.

    It is just our bad luck to be alive during this crisis period, but that does not have to be a crisis for each of us on a personal level. Life is still what you make of it.

    If you were living on a remote island with no internet or TV or radio or satellite dish - would you even know this crisis was ongoing? You might notice a few less ships passing by, maybe.

    Perspective is all in the eye of the beholder. Our problems may seem massive, but compared to past events throughout history, it's just an economic speed bump that will pass, as all things do.

  4. Question on being debt free and having a do you do both when you are just getting started?

    I plan on buying a small form (roughly 5 acres or so), and have saved money for the past 10 years....which is just about enough money to buy the place outright. However, my line of thinking is to put as little down as possible to get the place and then stretch my saved money out for several years for the payments. In the meantime, I would be working on earning additional money so I am not living off of savings alone.

    Under this scenario, is having a mortgage debt such a bad thing? I'd be using it to leverage myself into a position of maintaining my assets while incurring a modest interest rate.

  5. Hi Anon What are you leveraging? I don't understand your statements.

  6. nice post Queenie!

    Anon, if you're sure you can handle the payments go for it! A little real estate debt isn't bad when starting out and will protect the cash you have from currency depreciation. Just make sure you get a good rate and that those bastards never foreclose on you.

  7. Hi Queenbee, I'd be leveraging my purchasing power by maintaining my cash position. The other option would be to buy the land outright, but that would leave me with very little left for living expenses. It makes sense to me to accept the low interest rate expense in exchange for the flexibility of keeping my cash available for living while I build up other streams of income.

    Thanks Edgar, that is the plan!

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