Friday, January 28, 2011

What a year

This last year has flown by. Between everything going on with the news (has anyone else noticed that the world is on fire?), my job and the baby (who's already almost a year old! Didn't I just bring her home from the hospital?!) I'm still having trouble figuring out where the time is going. Maybe I'm just getting old. I hate to think about how fast it will go when I'm 50. Anyway, despite everything else that's been going on I've still been prepping. I also need to improve in some areas.

I admit that I need to spend a lot more time at the range. Ever since the price of ammo skyrocketed I pretty much quit going. A couple hundred rounds every few months just isn't enough to stay proficient. Have you noticed that I don't talk about guns much, anymore? I also need to work out more. I wake up. Go to work. Come home. I have the kid handed to me by the wife when I walk in because "she's been watching her all day". It's not an environment that's conducive to a regular workout schedule. I'm still eating well, though, so at least I'm not getting fat(ter).

So what have I been focusing on? Food is always the most important aspect of a preparedness plan as far as I'm concerned. I just make sure that the pantry is stocked, the spice rack is full and I'm always trying new recipes. I'm not really sure if I've got the venerable year's supply but I'm close enough that it doesn't concern me too much. I just make sure that I'm constantly adding to it. I always buy extra non perishables when I go to the store and then I make it a point to use them when I'm cooking.

I've also been working on my credit. Five years ago I thought that credit cards were the devil and that if you couldn't pay cash for it then you shouldn't buy it. Since then I've learned that if you're responsible with credit it's an extremely valuable tool that can help with preps and life in general immensely. It's not free. It can get you into trouble. It can also be extremely beneficial. Just don't abuse it.

All is well on the precious metals front (for me). In fact, I feel good enough about what I've got stashed that I'm going to start investing in *gasp* the stock market. I opened up a brokerage account that I'll be throwing a few bucks here and there into. There's no minimum balance and the price per trade is really good so I don't plan to lose too much. Ever since silver touched $30 I just decided to back off. While I'm fully convinced that silver will hit $100 easily if the economy does collapse I'm not sure that it will go much past $30 if the powers that be manage to reign things in. Either way, we'll have time to react if we keep watching things closely. Pay attention to the news and you should be able to predict what's going to happen in the precious metals markets.

So what are my plans for the near future? I've seen a few pieces of gear that I'd like to try out. I also need to get crackin on making more beer. I haven't done that in a few months. Keeping my job and taking care of my family are my top priorities, though. When I get the cash I want to buy a chunk of land in the boonies. Besides that I'm just going to keep doing what I've been doing. It's worked well enough so far.


irishdutchuncle said...

the years haven't started going by any more slowly so far. at age 54, i still don't have any land out in the boonies, so if you're really going to do it, don't wait too long.

enjoy this year with your daughter, because the "terrible two's" are coming...
if the weather isn't too brutal you could strap her onto your back, and do some walking.

Tracy said...

I second what IDU says about buying boonie land now. In fact, right now while the economy is down is a great time for buying land. Once you have it, you will be amazed at the difference it will make in your outlook on life. Especially once it's paid off.
As for the price of silver and gold, don't measure it in terms of dollars. It is the dollar that is fluctuating, not so much the metals (although demand does play a short-term part). Ditto for quality stocks.
That's another good thing about buying land on credit, though: you will be paying it back with money that is worth steadily less. When your favorite stocks and commodities are too high relative to the dollar, put that month's savings into an additional land payment instead.

Mark said...

Not to be a doomsayer or alarmist I would like to offer the following. I would like to qualify my comments here by saying that I am a financial advisor, active stock trader from the background of being both a Journeyman carpenter and carpenter. I am a "redneck" that covered it first with a blue collar then a white one. When considering the "time value of money" I agree with Tracy when she points out paying current debt obligations with future "cheaper money" however I would caution that although the American economy appears to be better, the underlying fundamentals do not support it. The appearance of stability is the work of the treasury printing presses, not production. When looking at unemployment, GDP, and the money supply we need to understand that all of the situations prior to 08 still exist. Consider that the only reason the US has not been forced to devalue the dollar as past irresponsible governments have had to do is because they are the world trade currency. As long as foreign governments have the confidence that the treasury bills they buy can be redeemed, the printing presses will run. The real reason why the music hasn't stopped in this global game of musical chairs is because every country in the world knows that when the music stops - all of them will be without a chair. Remember the phrase that was used in the 70s' about why no one would push the nuclear button? “Mutually Assured Destruction”. Anyway that is why I have to disagree with Tracy, now is not the time to buy! The market will collapse again, the dollar will collapse. Those with hard redeemable assets will have an incredible opportunity to buy. However, all of those Treasury bills will come back to US as foreign governments try to buy up everything they can by redeeming them at 10 cents on the dollar. Maybe worse. Although, as the US government will probably step in and restrict foreign ownership to prevent the entire country from being repossessed.

The Urban Survivalist said...

I agree with you Mark. I've recently opened a brokerage account. I'm just waiting for the next big crash to buy back in. The last crash didn't drive down the cost of the type of land that I'm looking for at all. I don't expect the next one to, either. I'll just have to make the money to buy it in other ways. No I'm not going to settle for 5 acres in the desert where it costs $10k to dig a well and growing a garden is next to impossible.

irishdutchuncle said...

Mark, fyi, Tracy is a he, not a she. Tracy: thanks for the second.

Urban: i wasn't suggesting 5 acres in the desert. that might be ok for "bison" but wouldn't work for me either. i was thinking more along the lines of a quarter acre in/near a small town, with a sale price of less than a new car. of course, YMMV. my intention is to buy shelter, not an "investment". at my age, playing in the stock market isn't an option any more.