Monday, April 16, 2012

Goldline Executives Charged With Fraud/Why I Don't Buy Gold

If you traffic in some of the intellectual circles I do, sooner or later you're going to hear a whole bunch of crap about why you need to buy gold. You need to buy as much gold as you can, and you need to get started now.

Why?

Well, I guess if society collapses, you can somehow use gold to buy stuff. I'm not quite sure how. Will you be able to shave gold dust off of your bullion to pay for gas? Will Exxon and BP and Giant Foods roll out gold scales? I don't think so. So how exactly are you supposed to use gold to buy stuff if the economy collapses?

So why not just buy the stuff you need and skip the gold? That's what John T. Reed advises in his book "How To Protect Your Life Savings From Hyperinflation and Depression". Reed also documents from history how useless gold actually is during a financial collapse.

If you stock up on a bunch of gold, and the economy collapses, you'll need to buy stuff. If you try to cash out gold, you'll get hit with taxes and transaction fees. (Also, that link argues, most people who buy gold know little about valuation. They're like the people who fall for those real estate infomercials on late night TV). John T. Reed argues, and I agree, that you might as well just buy the stuff you'll need and skip the gold step. In his investigation of 2000 years of financial collapses, he shows that most last about 1-3 years. Keeping about a year or two worth of food and other vital supplies on hand should be enough to get you through most problems we're likely to face.

So what about the gold merchants?

ABC News reported that Goldline is under investigation. If you listened to Glenn Beck (I didn't), you probably heard him pitch for gold. Beck was paid by Goldline. I didn't listen to him, so I have no idea if he disclosed that. Goldline engaged in a bait and switch. People would call up looking to buy gold buillion, and Goldline would convince them to buy gold coins instead.

I called Goldline once. During a stint when I was listening to AM talk radio, the station I listened to had a Goldline pitchman doing a half hour show from 2:30 to 3:00 PM. He was offering a free special report on the "New World Order". I was interested, so I called the number to request my special report. I then started getting calls from somebody who said he was my personal representative about buying gold coins. At the time, Goldline would maintain your inventory for you. No thanks.

And the report didn't really tell me anything.

According to Reed, who read the diary "Blockade" about post World War I inflation in Austria, those who had gold ended up having their gold stolen. There is nothing in history to indicate that gold is a safe medium to store value for an economic collapse. It's better to just keep a year's worth of food and supplies on hand and minimize the need for things you can't stock up on, like gas.
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