Why Preppers have it all wrong

globalintelhub's picture

Prepping has not only gone mainstream, it's infected even the billionaire culture as referenced recently on a ZH article:

When it comes to “prepping”, many among the elite take things to an entirely different level.  As you will see below, the elite are willing to pay big money for cutting edge home security measures, luxury bomb shelters and superyacht getaway submarines. Some of the things that the elite are demanding for their own protection go beyond even what we would see in a James Bond film, and serving the prepping needs of the elite has become a multi-billion dollar business.  Meanwhile, the media outlets that the elite own continue to mock the rest of us for getting prepared.  All the time we see headlines like this one that appeared in a major American news source: “Preppers: Meet the paranoid Americans awaiting the apocalypse“.  Well, if we are paranoid for setting aside some extra food and supplies for the future, what does that make the people that you will read about in this article?

Financial prepping has been the mantra of the 'hedge' fund community since it started to exist.  Instead of just blindly buying stocks and hoping the market always goes up, 'hedge funds' provided a 'hedge' in case the market actually didn't go straight up.  Of course, this is now just for lazy investors, now it's possible to buy options for almost any situation, and insurance companies will sell insurance for anything - even being abducted by aliens (over 30,000 policies sold in Europe according to Geico).

Description of the prepper & background

So let's take the average prepper, metaphorically speaking.  You have your safe house, stockpile of supplies, food, ammo, tools, toilet paper, shortwave radios and other electronics powered by cranks, etc. etc. etc. (depending on how deep your infection).

Financially speaking, you keep your savings in a combination of cash (US Dollars, Euros, and Swiss Francs), gold, silver, bitcoin, and bearer bonds.  If you are really savvy, you're holding the paper on several nearby farms in a fair deal whereby they pay down their principle in cash and interest & fees in milk, beef, and in the summer vegetables.

You own several properties in the names of charities you've setup just for this purpose... ok you get the idea.  Take it to the extreme.  The estute prepper has done all this and more - he's ready for anything!

The problem

Now the calamity comes - whether it be a global pandemic, alien invasion, terrorists, the United Nations with foreign troop invasion - take your pick.  It's really bad, but you survive - because you are ready for anything!  So now you've survived - NOW WHAT?  

Do you come out of your bunker after the smoke has cleared?  What will you do all day?  What will other survivors do?  Will you try to communicate with other preppers?  What if in the process of that communication - you discover that you are a little more prepared than they, and they trick you into a meet whereby they kidnap you and force you at gunpoint to give up your safe location and supplies?  

What if there is a secret group of 'anti-preppers' who are right now preparing for ways to steal from preppers, based on their security flaws and lack of planning?  

What if there is a group right now setup by the government, who is monitoring preppers, that within 24 hours of said 'calamity' will be taken into custody (or otherwise dealt with).

What is to stop the military from seizing your supplies, and forcing you to join their chain gang?  

The problem is that in order to really be 'prepared' - one must strive to be a stronger fighting force than the strongest army in the world (be it whatever you think in your opinion) because in a real crisis, the only currencies are 1) intelligence and 2) accelerated lead.  Accelerated lead is a quickly depleting resource whereas intelligence can grow and be self-replicating.  

Prepping generally speaking is a good thing, to use example of global pandemic - if everyone in the world is prepared and follows WHO guidelines, the pandemic will not exist!  Probably the same could be true with financial markets.

The point here is to realize that like with anything - the popularization of 'prepping' has warped the purity of the concept.  

The idea itself - very noble.  But in practicality, in reality, if there is an apocalypse, where are you going to go shopping with your gold and silver coins?  

Especially in America where we like to do things to extremes (like eating for example) - we've taken prepping to a new fangled art form.  But it's this 'new level' that is the snake oil - not the concept of prepping.

Just in case

Mossberg sells a package "Just in Case" that includes survival kit, shotgun, all neatly packaged in a waterproof tube (that also can double as a flotation device).  It's a great analogy for the prepping movement.  It's a great thing to have - JUST IN CASE.  99% of buyers of this will never use it.  


Financial Prepping

What can one do to financial prepare themselves?  This completely depends on the situation, and depends on the extent you want to prepare for.  As a general rule, you just want to be more prepared than your neighbor, but only a little.  That means - forget about the kevlar suit that can withstand 1,000F burns, or the bitcoin wallet that can only be opened with one time pad; each hidden in 2 secure locations in Europe.

Also, forget this naive idea about hoarding physical gold or cash - as if it will help you.  You're just painting a target on your back!  Where will you spend this cash?

Some reasonable prepping steps to be a 'pure prepper' 

  • Have a healthy options portfolio
  • Take the other side (even if you don't agree with it)
  • Invest in some really crazy ideas - if everyone you know says 'don't do it - it's crazy' - DO IT!
  • Invest and trade LOCALLY, at least a little.
  • Keep multiple accounts open with different TYPES of brokerage firms/banks - not only the same institution where your 401k is.  Not all of them will die.
  • Participate in some class action lawsuits for securities or similar cases - even if you won't get a big payout.  When the dollar bubble really pops, you'll have a friend who can help you get 20 cents on the dollar from Bank of America.
  • Make some foreign connections, who may not be in the same predicament as most in America
  • As much as possible, try to do things for yourself.  Having your deck resurfaced?  Do it yourself!  Do your own research - don't rely on a service (and certainly not your broker!)  
  • Educate yourself!  Learn a foreign language, or study that course in wreath making you've been putting off for so long.  Remember, although the world is a large place - the majority of nuclear fuel rods are made by hand by Samurais in Japan:

Although Japan Steel Works is a major corporation with 5,000 employees, it also maintains a samurai sword blacksmith, in a small shack on a hill above the factory in Muroran, where a single craftsman still hammers steel into broadswords, as the company has done since 1917.

Just remember.  For those who think the apocalypse is coming - there are just as many who believe it's already here.  Just ask some Detroit residents.  

Looks like the Zombies have already invaded and destroyed our cities.  


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SweetDougisaTwat's picture

and a radio with batteries that never die.

Who was that masked man's picture

And you need a radio.........  Why?

_SILENCER's picture

"portfolio" is not spoken in the Silencer dojo.

cpnscarlet's picture

This article reminds me of the old saying, "Opinions are like assholes..."

Or, to put it mildly..."Hey jerk, so what crystal ball tells you how this is EXACTLY going to play out?"

"An options portfolio"...ROFLAO  Here's my option - more PMs>> Au or Ag>>Maples or Eagles>>1 OZ or 1/2 OZ.

To paraphase Groucho - Those are my opitons, and if you don't like those, well, I have others.

atomicwasted's picture

Ah, you think your crystal ball is better and more infallible.

Perhaps you missed the part of the article where the author talks about "take the other side" and think about it.  

cpnscarlet's picture

You MAY (and I stress MAY) have a point, but NIRP and QE says history is on my side. So yes, I may not have a crystal ball either, but I have a rational basis for my actions. There is nothing logical at this point about 1) leveraging more, 2) printing more, or 3) moarring more - there is no other side to take.

Pliskin's picture

"My wife said if I was half a man I'd take her to the circus..."

The old ones are the best!

...and, kudos, you're spot on!

ToSoft4Truth's picture

Everyone has an opinion.  The ultimate prepper has overcome the idea of eating his/her neighbor.  It’s that first bite….    

shovelhead's picture

A good BBQ sauce is the key.

cowdiddly's picture

Most of you preppers are sorely misguided.

Depending on community? It breaks down. There will be people to trust and depend on and it will be super easy to tell the difference.

Take it from a vet. There will be absolutely zero shortage of guns, or lead to feed them when you need them. They will literally be laying around on the ground everywhere and all you do is bend over and pick them up by the thousands. The Bankers will always ensure you have them aplenty of the finest money can buy.  IN the end ,there is really only two things war or not war. everything else is a walk in the park or dodging a protesters rock.

Food storage goes bad. I would rather grow fresh or forage.

The very most important thing someone who wants to prepare for some unseen event is to brace your self for it, "your mind". Get right with whatever if any God you serve and prepare mentally for some things that are going to be hard to endure and even rationalize and get ready endure things like fear, uncertainty and hardship for what seems inordinate amounts of time.Both before and when its over

The rest in a chaotic situation food, guns, clothes all of it is usually lying around in abundance. Its the stong base, mental resolve, perseverance and endurance, willpower and mental resilience that most people end up lacking.

nofluer's picture


Another "Crazy Eddie."

(Brought to you in "Mote in God's Eye" by Niven & Pornelle)

cowdiddly's picture

Im the Crazy Eddie? LOL Your the ones storing 3 years worth of cans of beans and ammo waiting for some imaginary brain eating zombie hoards. Me Im just laughing at a bunch of ridiculous scared little people. Nothing I said above is outlandish in the least. Its preppers actions that border on absurd.

Yep by a shitgum, that's it. HA.

nofluer's picture

Sigh! Okay. I'll spell it out for youse. Crazy Eddie was the guy in the Motie society who thought that the problems could be solved if they society would just try DIFFERENT things than had already been tried (and failed). He was the guy who thought there MIGHT BE A SOLUTION that would work - while everyone else was giving up and driving their cultur to destruction. So a Crazy Eddie comment is a GOOD thing because there might be merit in the poster's suggestion... and maybe it should be tried.

The larger civilization, OTOH, considered Crazy Eddies" to be insane so they locked them up and never listened to them.

Buy and read the book (by Niven & Pornelle) "A Mote in God's Eye." Good stuff!

cowdiddly's picture

My Apology. Not familiar with the book. Crazy Eddie to me is a guy who sells used cars.

Pliskin's picture

You're absolutely right, 'Get your mind prepared'...I just killed two teenagers out on Highway 99 tonight, and tomorrow I will eat their livers with some flava beans....I'm all that!


Polymarkos's picture

You do not understand prepping and it is YOU who is misguided.

cowdiddly's picture

No Its you Ive already been there and back BUD.

SMC's picture

This writer is fishing in an empty pond.

ebworthen's picture

His first bulleted point to be a "pure prepper": "Have a healthy options portfolio"

Which makes the author part of the problem.

nofluer's picture

An options portfolio could be very useful when you are out in the woods trying to start a fire.

MoHillbilly's picture
MoHillbilly (not verified) ebworthen Nov 12, 2015 10:15 AM

No No You have it all wrong. When tshtf and you are out there in Idaho, just think of all the cool stuff you can buy with your Swiss Francs   LOL

Hannibal's picture

The only way to prep is to NOT be there, where there is confrontation. 


bigkahuna's picture

Im good with that unless it is on the block - then, Im gonna be there. Too old to run from my own neighborhood, not afraid of death either.

Rubbish's picture

My stack of Gold is much more than a storage of wealth, it is the middle finger rammed up the banksters ass.


Lock and Load


Gold Bitchez....I pick up pennies

Colonel Klink's picture

Apparently there's a banker who doesn't like his ass being rammed.  There's where they differ from our current president.

Sudden Debt's picture

What a load of bullshit!

Have a options portfolio?!?!?

That's the last thing I'd advice anybody!!

And the rest assumes that every prepper is a millionaire.

And prepping means being able to care for your own. That's not reflected in any "advise".

Prepping means being able to leave dodge when needed or stick it out for a short while.

XitSam's picture

Each prepper makes their own risk assessment. Based on that, they do what they can to mitigate the effects. 

What a stupid article.

logicalman's picture

I'm fit, know my local countryside pretty well and can shoot a bow.

I hope all of the above remain hobbies, but you never know.


Perimetr's picture

Lots of bad advice by someone who dimly grasps the subject of calamity.

fredquimby's picture

Preppers (read anyone still currently alive) have it wrong if they are living near the US coast it seems.....


........presumably purposefully released to counter the US' ICBM chest banging earlier this week....

So, that'll be check then. Your move Bazza.


Son of Captain Nemo's picture

Interesting fq

But why would Russia need a PR stunt with a nuclear torpedo when they have this which is already well advertised?!!!

Sure hope the U.S. Navy and Air Force can get those runaway blimps under control so that our "line of sight" doesn't get spoiled in the event we have an incoming 150 kiloton cannister that breaks lose and hits "anywhere" CONUS!...

By the way... How many of those "cannister(s)" does a Borei class sub carry?..

Bwa ha ha ha ha ha ha!...

GeezerGeek's picture

I remember a movie, I think it was "Operation Petticoat", wherein a submarine (a pink one, in fact) sank an enemy truck that was on a beach.

KennyW's picture

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

The same was in the beginning with God.

All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.

The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.

He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.

That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.

11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.

12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Raging Debate's picture

KennyW - This is a vision of origination. But what I want to know what do YOU really think it means? 

 Slamming people over the head with scripture they never read does just what exactly? I like reading Christ hecause he made it simple. He was a Jew but didnt quote specific Torah versus. He would just say 'its written' and describe a concept or analogy and why it was useful. I see none of that in what you posted even if your intent is good to teach,  your just going to annoy people. That isnt your goal is it? 

 What you laid out is a concept of origination. I get what was trying to be portrayed in relation to modern physics but I have had the luxury of time to do so. How many people have this time? 

 I liked Paul the best that advocated reason when early churches started to make religion out of something simple. That is, take care of your neighbor. We now know in science with proving the theory of six degrees of seperation you are your brothers keeper whether you want to do that or not. That is logic. Start there. Paul said you feed babes milk not solid food. But you have a lot of solid thinkers here that understand logic and reason. Take a que from Paul perhaps. Outside of Christ he is my favorite teacher in the bible. 

 Ceasar himself wanted to know what Christ was about. I bet Paul didnt pontificate the torah to Ceasar either. I bet Paul explained the benefits to the empire not just attempt conversion. 

 I liked Paul tol because he admitted he fought against his own human impulses. If I jad to choose between Paul and Aristotle for advice on how to try and live to improve society I take Paul. 

IronForge's picture


nofluer's picture

A "Crazy Eddie."

(Brought to you in "Mote in God's Eye" by Niven & Pornelle)

Creepy Lurker's picture

Plus one for the Motie reference.

wtf1369's picture

Cosmic boogeyman bullshit.

dreadnaught's picture

Damn! Theyve killed Kenny!   You Bastards!

udaman's picture

@kenny: you're an idiot

fredquimby's picture

the words are f*** off and spew your religious drivel elsewhere

messymerry's picture

Hey Fred,

Actually, word is that the Invisible Hairy White Guy in the Sky is getting very annoyed with all of us.  Apparently he is planning some serious down home old time smiting of the masses. 

Remember, he's omnipresent, omniscient, and very potent.  Best not to mess with him,,,


techpriest's picture

Judgement starts with His own people. When Joel Osteen and the related televangelists gets booted out of the mainstream then the spiritual fireworks might just be picking up.

I don't care about loud fools on the outside (they've been around for thousands of years), I'm more concerned about the widespread selling out for a few bucks internally.

X-defiler's picture

fredquimby, athiest like you are the reason why we have allowed satanists to take over. The problem with you is that you may not believe in anything but the people who are evil do believe in God and they are doing their best to make sure guys like you never defend the truth or acknowledge the existance of god. Your very reaction here is the result of the satnaist's hard work. You are being manipulated. You are so certain that the very thing that will save us doesn't exist. Its like needing a wrench to fix a problem but you don't believe in wrenchs so you look for a hammer to fix the problem and inturn never find a solution to your very problem. So, you cannot ever be on a any winning team because you are so confused about what it is and isn't. Hope its not too late by the time you figure it out. 

roddy6667's picture

There is no Magic Sky Daddy. Get over it. Your delusions should be kept to yourself. In fact, there's a pill for what you have. It's made by the nice folks who brought you Zyklon B.

1Inthebeginning's picture

Quantum mechanics = weird reality.  made by GOD.


Raging Debate's picture

1Inthebegginning - Or God may be subject to them, we just dont know. Here is a thought. Maybe he doesnt either.