Guest Post: Four Alternative Stores Of Value

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Simon Black of Sovereign Man blog,

One of the most successful con jobs in the history of the world has been the concept of unbacked paper currency… or fiat money.

Over the last 100-years or so, governments have been able to convince people that their pieces of paper, backed by nothing but promises, actually have ‘value’. This seems truly bizarre when you think about it. Governments tend to be untrusted, serial failures. Yet people readily accept their guarantees the world over.

The history of fiat money has proven to be an almost uninterrupted period of inflation, asset bubbles, booms, busts, bailouts, panics,and other crises… and thankfully, it is an experiment which seems to be quickly nearing its end.

As such, it’s high time for creative, thinking people to consider their options and start trading their pieces of paper for something of value.

We all know the familiar story about precious metals– gold and silver have a long-standing tradition as stores of value dating back thousands of years.

But did you know, for example, that in the early days of the United States, whiskey was both a store of value and a medium of exchange? At the time, the US had among the highest alcohol consumption per capita in the world… and people knew they could always trade whiskey for something else. As such, whiskey had significant value.

Now, today’s liquor fundamentals may not warrant rushing out to buy a home-brew distillery kit… or stocking up on Johnnie Walker. But there are a number of other alternative stores of value worthy of your consideration:

1) Ammunition and Firearms may be the new whiskey, especially in North America. FBI firearm checks have been going through the roof in the US over the last few years, and each one of these represents another buyer of weapons and ammo.

Consequently, both have handily withstood the effects of inflation. According to, for example, the price of Remington .223 rounds rose 224% from 1999 through 2011.

2) Watches. A single watch can be worth tens of thousands… even hundreds of thousands of dollars. Imagine putting $200,000 on your wrist and leaving the country– it’s an easy way to move wealth.

As with most collectibles, scarcity drives prices higher in the watch market. Most watches are like cars, they depreciate. But scarce models (of cars, or watches… like a Patek Philippe) hold value.

3) Rare coins. Gold and silver are excellent, traditional stores of value. But while millions of new ounces are pulled out of the ground year in, year out, there are only a certain amount of 1907-1933 St. Gauden $20 gold pieces in the world… and they can’t go back in time to make more of them.

4) Agricultural property. Few asset classes are as inflation-proof as high quality productive land… because, no matter what, it will always have value. Human beings will always need to eat.

Farmland prices around the world have been rising rapidly over the years and have hit all-time highs in places like the US and UK. But farmland in Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, and select other markets is still quite reasonable.

Like anything, you wouldn’t want to hold any of these assets without first educating yourself and becoming an informed owner. But given that the paper currency sitting in your bank account is depreciating rapidly… or at best, generating a tiny fraction of a percent in interest, it’s definitely worth looking into alternatives right away.

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lordbyroniv's picture

You forgot original comic book art!!!

WakeUpPeeeeeople's picture

When it gets to the point where a person needs to use gold or silver to purchase groceries or a tank of gas then ammo should be worth about 10X its weight in gold. Nothing in the 2ND Amendment about any right to own/buy ammo.

francis_sawyer's picture

I've been tricked!!!... I clicked to see more pictures of that hot chick with the camo & the automatic & found out I got snowed into an article by Simon Black...

Thomas's picture

Anything tangible is a good idea. The merits of precious metals is that they are the lead candidate for being the very last abstract form of wealth to be rendered worthless before we go road warrior. 

I had a pawn shop guy tell me machine guns go up quite rapidly. This was years ago and my wife probably wouldn't be thrilled, but I thought I would pass this nugget off to you crazy bastards.

When I go into prepper mode (which I occasionally do), some colleague will say, "Oh. I'll just come to your house." After I push back the bile, I usually say something tasteful like, "Bring your daughter."

hedgeless_horseman's picture

Naturally Cozy Feminine Napkins/Cloth Menstrual Pads are made with a super absorbent fabric that was designed specifically for reusable diapers. Even with the absorbent qualities of our fabric, the pads remain incredibly thin. The absorbent fabric is sandwiched between a water-proof layer and the highest quality soft, comfortable flannel, fastened with sturdy plastic snaps. The insert fabric is triple stitched to the flannel layer ensuring no bunching during washing or use. Napkins are double stitched at edges for a superior seam binding. Available in your choice of printed flannel or 100% organic cotton flannel.

Long feminine hygiene, and you could pretty much name your price in a SHTF scenario.

economics9698's picture

I cannot believe Thomas said that.  Flabbergasted.  

Dr Benway's picture

I cannot believe Simon Black just reached a new nadir of stupidity.


Recommending Piaget watches as a store of value when he expects economic collapse?! LOL.

The Alarmist's picture

Yeah, everyone knows that Rolex is the go-to in a SHTF situation.

TheMadNumismatist's picture

The key word is STORE of value, not liquid value.

I buy and sell gold and collectables all day long. Very few people walk in here expecting to get what they paid for a watch if it is only a few weeks/ years old. However, if that watch or collection is decades old then there is a very good chance they will walk it with more, in real terms, that what they paid.

Just last week, we bought framed signatures of Napoleon, Jefferson, Churchill and many others. The widows husband had purchased them in the 1980’s and had them framed. When they moved house they did not re hang them, just forget about them.

Needing money she brought them to us and walked put with a cheque for over $70,000. Not a bad store of value.

The problems occur when “traders” treat collectables the same as stock or shares and think they can jump in and out making a quick profit.

If you buy a Piaget for the pleasure or a coins for you unborn child, you really cannot go wrong. That is how to store money.

JPM Hater001's picture

So Funny story.

I have 2 girls 10 and 11 and so I bought 40 packs or so of the above for collapse (Ill probably have to help their friends too because no one but me seems to have a brain- I bought cardboard applicator tampoons for my wife's friends).

So at a swim party here this summer the kids were running around some of the boys found the storage in their closet...I told them she had a heavy flow...

Ok, I didnt but they did find the stock which embarrassed them.

Waterfallsparkles's picture

My Great Aunt used cotton balls.  Pads are a luxury.

The Alarmist's picture

There's a reason why you don't burn the entire leave pile each year.

RafterManFMJ's picture

Oh, I remember Great Aunt Stinky. I never could figure out why she insisted on sitting on a red cushion every few weeks.

BigInJapan's picture


No expiry date on tampons.


hannah's picture

"...I had a pawn shop guy tell me machine guns go up quite rapidly. "


i call bullshit...what is a 'machine gun'...? how many pawn shops actually have a real 'machine gun'. a machine gun isnt a converted full auto ar or ak.

i_fly_me's picture

Some pawn shops are FFLs ... they are almost always way too expensive.  That being said, his 'pawn shop guy' was correct, they have historically appreciated about %20 a year. 

They are never inexpensive but for decent relative prices, try here:

hannah's picture

fly - my comment is about 'machine guns'...not full auto ar types. they arent machine guns. a machine gun is a very large and heavy isnt something you see everyday. any FFL could have a machine gun but they are extremely rare.


regular preppers are not buying machine guns or tanks or rpg' least not in my neck of the woods.


* a BAR (browning) is a machine ar15 can be a full auto but it isnt a machine gun...and actually there are very few full auto's as a percentage.

TwoShortPlanks's picture

Traditionally, the difference between an Automatic Rifle and a Machine Gun is in operation. Auto Rifles (Rifles) fire from a Closed (and locked) Bolt position whereas Machine Guns fire from an Open Bolt position. A Rifle needs a hammer to strike a firing pin whereas a the Machine Gun can use a Breach Block in two parts, the rearward part acts as a hammer due to its forward inertia. There are differences in ammunition feed however, since many modern Machine Guns can use both link fed ammo and magazine fed ammo, this argument is mute.
Machine Guns are traditionally inaccurate so as to perform an 'Area Weapon' role with many rounds sent down range in a ' Cone of Fire'. Rifles are supposed to be accurate...Auto function mainly for instinctive shooting.

TwoShortPlanks's picture

So,to buy a Rifle or to buy a Machine Gun?
That's a subjective question based upon your belief in how much SHTF you expect.
General disorder...Hand Gun
Looting and high crime...Rifle & Hand Gun or Shotgun
Murder and extreme crime...Semi Auto Assault Rifle
Panic Mag Level Mayhem...Steyr Aug all the way
Zombieland...Spaz12 & Mag58, lots and lots of link

The Alarmist's picture

Machine guns are highly over-rated ... everything after the second shot is wasted.  

aerojet's picture

Transferable MGs went down pretty steeply for awhile in 2008.  These are glorified collectibles, nothing to see here.

Axenolith's picture

Hell, when I first got out to CA in the mid 90's one of the local gun shops had a de-miled M2 and a 30 cal for sale.  If I had $8K at the time that Ma Deuce would be in my living room...

Sockeye's picture

I had to log in just to give you an up vote!

Radical Marijuana's picture

Yeah, me too! I was lured in by that trick. But then, after all, a sexy babe weilding a death dealing machine is an excellent symbol for the fiat money system's reality. As many of my comments posted on Zero Hedge for about a month or so said, THE MONEY SYSTEM DEPENDS ON THE MURDER SYSTEM. A classic Kali image of a beautiful woman, armed to kill, is a quite appropriate image for what is behind the confidence trick of privatized fiat money! Such an image fuses the essence of production with destruction, just like many other ancient religions always did. Privatized fiat money is more than anything else a crazy cult that was able to become our state religion. A beautiful women with a machine gun is the kind of image we can understand, and immediately respond to on an instinctive level. The greater REALITY is global electronic fiat money frauds, backed by atomic bombs.

economics9698's picture

He forgot rubbers.  Everyone likes to fuck when tshtf.

Muddy1's picture

Rubbers????????????  I thought those were worn to keep your shoes dry when it rains?

krispkritter's picture

Don't try it...even Xtra large Trojans won't fit over size 9's...

Hugh G Rection's picture



In a collapse scenario I will be a whorder.  The man with a diversified stable of whores will do quite well for himself.

hedgeless_horseman's picture



Item 8

Gain, store, and maintain the knowledge, skills, and special equipment that would enable you to do at least one third-world job. If you are a dentist, doctor, farmer, cowboy, mechanic, miner, fisherman, lumberman, mason, blacksmith, whore house piano player, plumber, butcher, or similar, then you are already set. If you are a derivatives trader, banker, realtor, healthcare administrator, politician, actuarial, benefits coordinator, DMV clerk, compliance officer, or similar, then get cracking.

Hugh G Rection's picture

Cock will always be a buyers market

unrulian's picture

only if she'a good with her hands

rayduh4life's picture

Screw that!  Won't it be funny to see who all the kids look like after the shit settles down? 

DosZap's picture

In a word: Reload

Hey Tex,IF you ain't done all you need yet, get at it.That will be one of the first items taken away by the gestaporinos.

Unless you have an uber secret hide for it to all be set up, it is too heavy, along w/components,to wag anywhere.Good stuff weighs a ton.

So, assume the END is tommorrow, and make sure you have all that you will ever need, and more.Dessicant, and cans/mylar sealed, etc.

flacorps's picture

As an attorney, I would put forth that the Supreme Court would be acting extremely illogically and speciously if they were to rule that the right to keep and bear arms does not carry with it the right to have the ammunition that makes such arms useful as arms.

OTOH, this Supreme Court has behaved as though it is bought and paid for, and perhaps it is.

WakeUpPeeeeeople's picture

You may be right but then how many years would it take to sort out in the courts. In the meantime, duck and cover.

rayduh4life's picture

What does the Supreme Court and Logic have to do with each other?

redpill's picture

I've thought about stockpiling children so that I can always sell a few off in a pinch, but I'm out of closet space to keep them.

Skateboarder's picture

I think that's a pretty saturated market, not to mention some hiccups in the barrier to entry side of things...

MillionDollarBonus_'s picture

5) US Treasuries. The yield on the 30 year bond is at a phenomenal 2.93%. If you had bought 30 treasuries just over 30 years ago, you would have locked in a 15% yield and absolutely phenomenal capital gains. The ability to reinvest coupons in even more high-quality debt, makes this a first choice for savvy value investors.

6) Alternative energies. Wind farms and biofuels are the way of the future. If you’re looking to store value for the long term it helps to have a long term view of the energy market, and smart investors who position themselves for the carbon-free revolution will be richly rewarded.

7) High interest savings account. I realize that this isn’t a popular option with doomer libertarians and silverbug hillbillies, but this is a sensible and simple solution for the less sophisticated investors out there. If you’re worried about inflation, many institutions offer yields linked to the official inflation rate, so you can rest safe and sound knowing that your hard-earned purchasing power is safe.

Thomas's picture

One thing I can say with great confidence is that having kids is not--I repeat NOT--a decision you make based on economics.

Coke and Hookers's picture

What do you mean? Man is a rational being operating rationally within a micro economic system, which behaves rationally within an macro system which behaves rationally within realistic parameters.

It seems to me you don't understand economics.

FEDbuster's picture

I can't decide between the Rolex and the thirty year Tbond?  Which one do you think my neighbor would trade me a couple of chickens for?  Something to track time or something to wipe his ass with?  My guess is he wouldn't trade either item for chickens, but I might get a few eggs for the Rolex.

BandGap's picture

I peed myself.

And I think a few of us know that if this was posted elsewhere the advice would be seen as sound.

Mad Mohel's picture

Yeah in regard to number 6. I got a great investment opportunity for you, it's called Solyndra. Email me and I'll send you all the details.