Is Gold a Good Investment for Survival?
Some survivalists are mainly concerned about present-day crises such as earthquakes and civil unrest. Others want to be ready for EOD events. The usefulness of gold depends a lot on the situation.
Natural Disasters: Not So Much
In earthquakes and tsunamis, having an emergency stockpile of paper currency can be more valuable than gold. While your paper money may not buy as much, it’s likely to be the main way to obtain water, food and clothing. It’s hard to imagine small shavings of gold (currently worth over $1,500 per ounce) being practical for buying day-to-day essentials. Most store owners would still operate using currency.
Civil Wars: Maybe
In times of civil unrest, the value of currencies can tank, or a new government can implement a completely different currency. Is gold a good protection against this? It’s hard to say.
In theory, even if the dollar were replaced, and all USD became worthless, you would be able to convert gold to the new currency. However, there’s a catch: taxes. Selling gold right now is tricky because of enormous capital gains taxes. In the unlikely event a new government issued its own currency, how much would taxes be for converting your gold?
End of the World Events: A Must
If we’re talking about the end of the world, the advantages of gold start to shine. In a situation where a country’s entire monetary system has collapsed, having a stockpile of gold allows you to hold on to your wealth.
Unlike paper bills, electronic bank accounts or other types of fiat currency, gold has intrinsic value. It’s a rare and precious metal. Gold has to be mined, not printed, so inflation isn’t realistically an issue. No matter the payment system that arises after the collapse, having gold means you can eventually convert your wealth to any other medium.
Gold is spectacular for long-term wealth storage. For day-to-day financial needs, things get more hazy. Your food-growing skills may be more important for a while.
What Kind of Gold Should You Invest In?
Not all gold is reliable for survival. There are several types that you should AVOID if your goal is prepping:
Not gold stocks or ETFs: Exchange-traded-funds and gold stocks are practically worthless for EOD situations. First, how can you be sure that the person selling you the stock has ACTUAL gold and not just numbers on a spreadsheet?
Not remote vaults: Be careful with companies that promise to sell you gold and store it in their super-duper-secure vault. Even IF the company has real gold in the first place (it’s doubtful), the owner can just take your gold and run.
Not huge bars: Instead of storing one huge gold bar worth half a million dollars, it’s a better idea to have a variety of weights. That way you can carry smaller amounts or have several different stashes for your needs.
If you’re going to stockpile gold, ALWAYS buy the physical kind you can hold in your hand or bury in a hiding spot. Rounds, hand-poured gold or minted coins are fine. Just make sure they’re certified as genuine, high-quality and high-purity gold.