Preppers – the sort of people who build bunkers, stockpile supplies, and bear arms – aim to survive “SHTF” scenarios.
When war breaks out, when the power grid goes down, when the banks fail, when the U.S. dollar collapses, when social unrest spreads, when the stuff hits the fan… will you be prepared?
Risks are rising.
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists maintains a “Doomsday Clock.” For 2019, it “sets the Doomsday Clock at two minutes to midnight—the closest it has ever been to apocalypse.”
The Atomic Scientists are issuing “a stark warning to leaders and citizens around the world. The current international security situation—what we call the ‘new abnormal’—has extended over two years now. It’s a state as worrisome as the most dangerous times of the Cold War…”
If you don’t have an underground fallout shelter in your backyard… don’t worry. The likelihood of your neighborhood being the target of a nuclear attack is slim.
However, other SHTF scenarios are far more likely impact you or your finances at some point in the future. It could be something specific like an identity thief draining your investment accounts. Or it could be something systemic like a currency crisis.
First Things First
At the core of any practical prepping strategy is making sure your household has backup supplies of life essentials. At the top of the list is bottles of water. Also aim to keep a three-month backup supply of non-perishable foods.
From there, you’ll want to make sure you have at least two first aid kits, batteries, emergency tools and equipment, a portable power generator, firearms, and ammunition.
As for your finances, well, the ultimate SHTF money is gold and silver. The value of physical precious metals will hold up through whatever war, financial crisis or political chaos may come in the years ahead.
The Best Coins for SHTF
As an individual who is building up emergency reserves, you want to make sure the particular gold and silver bullion products you hold provide you with all the versatility and flexibility you may need during a SHTF scenario.
You might need to use some of your holdings directly for barter. You might need to make one very large purchase or several very small ones.
In a SHTF event, the melt value of your coins may be all that counts. Don’t expect to get any premium for “collectible” or “proof” coins in barter transactions.
For that and a whole host of other reasons, you shouldn’t buy those types of coins in the first place (unless you acquire them near their actual melt value). It makes more sense to hoard non-numismatic, widely recognized bullion coins and rounds in common sizes.
You’ll definitely want one-ouncers. You’ll want fractional sizes as well, in both gold and silver.
A bag of pre-1965 90% silver coins is a good way to get widely recognized fractional silver. These circulated dimes, quarters, and half dollars are great for small-time transactions and are often as cheap or cheaper to buy than pure silver products.
You can round out your emergency money metals stash with some copper bullion – rounds or copper pennies minted in 1982 or earlier. That way, you’ll never have to part with more silver than you need to in order to complete a transaction.
It’s Hard to Put a Price of Peace of Mind
Even if you think the chances are small that you’d ever need to use precious metals for barter, there’s no harm in acquiring the ability to do so.
You’ll have some hard assets to your name that will offer long-term inflation protection and can be sold into a highly liquid market for cash whenever you want to ring the register.
In the meantime, being prepared will give you peace of mind. You’ll feel more confident and rest easier knowing that you have a Plan B in place and some proper tools to put it into action in the event of a SHTF scenario.
Whether it’s a Fed-induced financial panic, or a terrorist attack that knocks out the power grid, or a cyber attack that cleans out the banking system, or something else entirely…. whether it happens tomorrow or far out in the future…it’s better to prepare decades too soon than a minute too late.
Stefan Gleason is President of Money Metals Exchange, a precious metals dealer recently named “Best in the USA” by an independent global ratings group. A graduate of the University of Florida, Gleason is a seasoned business leader, investor, political strategist, and grassroots activist. Gleason has frequently appeared on national television networks such as CNN, FoxNews, and CNBC and in hundreds of publications such as the Wall Street Journal, TheStreet.com, and Seeking Alpha.