Can somebody please help!

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castine's picture
castine
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Joined: Apr 14 2011
Posts: 8
Can somebody please help!

I have been recently widowed and am very frightened to find myself completely alone in this uncertain market to manage my finances.  I am anxiously trying to educate myself to become fully more aware.  I have hired an advisor but it appears he may not have my best interest in mind.  He has put me in 30 year munis and I understand that this may be a very risky investment.  I have joined this in hopes to better educate myself.  In looking over the threads I found that a member was given a list by Chris of some advisors that were in alignment with his theories of which I'm also completely in  agreement with.  I have met with Peter Schiff's advisor's but find some flaws with their strategy mainly his views on "decoupling" and investing in "foreign currencies".  Aren't all the economies linked and in trouble?  I would really appreciate any advice and would love to have the opportunity to speak with those advisors recommended by Chris. I just need some hand holding until I can stand on my feet.  Thank you.

earthwise's picture
earthwise
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 10 2009
Posts: 848
You've come to the right place

 

castine,

A sincere condolence on your loss. Please don't be frightened as you are not alone: you've got the CM community here. I'd bet my last dollar that in a short while you will start getting loads of very knowledgable, honest, and reliable information. There are a lot of really, really smart and generous people here who can offer good advice.  I, on the other hand, have an IQ  two points above a crash test dummy so the only advice I can offer that you can bank on would be to watch the whole Crash Course (if you haven't already), or better yet  buy Dr. Martenson's book to get a clear, insightful view of the world in which you find yourself. It's eye opening.

Once again, sorry for your loss and welcome to CM.com

bluestone's picture
bluestone
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Posts: 263
Castine My condolences to

Castine

My condolences to you for your loss as well.  It must be difficult to be alone from your loss but especially difficult during these challenging times.  i dont know if I can offer you advice, but at least I can offer an opinion.  First of all, this is a great place to start.  By watching the crash course and following the blogs, you'll quickly become far more knowledgeable than most financial advisors.  I also recommend buying an ipod and listening to Jim Puplava's financial sense newshour podcasts.  You can google it.  It is full of great interviews.  Dr. Martenson has consistently made several points clear.  #1 get out of debt or limit your debt as much as possible.   #2 you need a core of wealth protection in precious metals.  Dr. Martenson has recommended a minimum of 10% of your wealth in precious metals, but even suggests that he has gone up to 50%.  This includes physical metal which you can hold in your hand as well as second tier precious metals holding such as in allocated accounts.  Since your already involved with Europacific Capital (which my wife and I have invested in), you can consider a purchase of precious metals through the  Perth Mint in Australia.  I would consider allocated holdings only.   Europacific also sells bullion precious metals that you can take delivery on.  Also, please look to the top bar under taking action.  Dr. Martenson has a nice article on buying gold and silver.  

Bottom line, you have to do what you feel comfortable with.  But I do feel your taking the right steps.  Dr. Martenson repeatedly reminds us to trust your self and take responsibility for yourself.  I personally will never rely on a financial advisor again.  Although I respect Peter Schiff and have learned a lot from him, I believe that the Advisors in his investment group can be self serving too.  educate yourself and dont let any of these guys push you around.  

castine's picture
castine
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Joined: Apr 14 2011
Posts: 8
Thank you so much.  That

Thank you so much.  That was very helpful.

ao's picture
ao
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Posts: 2220
fee-only advisor
bluestone wrote:

Since your already involved with Europacific Capital (which my wife and I have invested in), you can consider a purchase of precious metals through the  Perth Mint in Australia.

bluestone,

I'd disagree with you here.  I just don't see Europacific Capital as having a great track record.  I'd say JAG's choice of Sitka Pacific Capital would be a better one, if one has the 250K minimum investment capital.  And I've posted about this before but I would not invest in the Perth Mint, either through certificates (which are expensive in a variety of ways) or other ways. 

Castine,

So much depends upon the type and amount of assets you have, your financial situation, your age, your risk tolerance, your goals, etc.  I would recommend a good fee-only advisor who knows how to invest in precious metals as well.  Here's an example of a fee-only advisor (which I would recommend over a fee based advisor) in our area who I trust who describes the characteristics of the fee-only business model on his web site..

http://www.dennisroubal.com/

I would run like the dickens from your advisor recommending the 30 year munis.

castine's picture
castine
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 14 2011
Posts: 8
Thank you bluestone, I have

Thank you bluestone,

I have heard something about Sitka.  I will begin immediately to research this further.  I think I will even give Dennis Roubal a call.  His website looks promising.  I live unfortunately in CA.  I am seriously thinking of relocating.  The vultures are beginning to circle already.  We are in big trouble here. Thanks again.  The support I have been given already has eased some of my fear.

castine's picture
castine
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Joined: Apr 14 2011
Posts: 8
ooops

Of course I want to thank bluestone, however,  my last post should have been directed to ao.  Thanks ao for your contribution.  Need more coffee...  

Poet's picture
Poet
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 21 2009
Posts: 1892
Risk, Unique Financial Situation, Diversification, First Things

Castine

First of all, my sincere condolences on your loss. Trying to learn and adapt financially at a time of great personal change can be challenging. I am glad you are reaching out and finding support.

As you have probably noticed, there are diverse opinions, recommendations - even disagreements - on what you should do. But I think the most important things for you to first consider are:

  • Your unique and evolving financial situation (including your age, health condition, sources of income, dependents you may still have to take care of, etc.)
  • Your hopes and aspirations (where do you see yourself in 5, 10, 15 years and beyond?)
  • Your tolerance for risk (does worrying about the potential for market loss keep your up at night?)
  • Your thoughts of what may transpire in the economy and in society (both short-term and long-term).

I would suggest holding off on taking any drastic actions until you give some thoughts to these above factors.

A good financial advisor is both 1. fee-only and doesn't get a commission for selling you specific products, 2. someone who would consider all of the above factors before making any recommendations or changes. and 3. preferably certified (such as Certified Financial Planner). I noticed you were asking around on another forum/thread here for an advisor recommended by Dr. Martenson: one who understands the economy, energy, and environmental issues (or debt, depletion, demographics) as outlined in his Crash Course series of video presentations. I think that is an excellent idea!

There are numerous books out on investing, but they each have their own ideas on the best ways to preserve and grow wealth - and many of the authors are not aware of the Crash Course concepts and the difficult and very volatile economic times that are a-coming. However, there are some timeless values to keep in mind:

  • Debt-Free: Be out of debt because debt is someone else investing in you to grow their savings at a percentage rate that is probably higher than a lot of things you can invest in and earn after taxes.
  • Diversification: As part of an investment strategy, I would advise against going 50% into precious metals just as much as I would advise against going solely into 30-year municipal bonds or being 100% all in cash. Having all your eggs in one basket (or only a couple of baskets) may be a great way to ride a huge wave that you think may be coming. But if the wave never comes, or if it crashes, you would be devastated. Hedging your bets for the right combination of stability and growth (based on your tolerance for risk and your needs for the future) is very important.
  • Conservation and Defense: Personally, I do think that at least 10% should be in precious metals (gold, silver). You should also at least consider a few solid dividend-paying resource/defensive stocks like coal, oil pipelines, and certain utilities that can generate steady or even rising income even as prices rise, because demand for them is not as likely to fall even in hard times.
  • Excessive Risk Advoidance: Personally I would tend not to invest in stocks that don't pay a solid dividends, not in companioes that have low margins of profit or excessive debt, not in companies that are need to rely on a U.S. economic recovery in order to do well, and (at this time) not in U.S. Treasury bonds or general state/municipal bonds.

But before all of the above, I would first encourage you to first watch the Crash Course video if you have not already done so. Then get started with reading the initial "What Should I Do?" series for steps to take on personal (non-financial resiliency), starting with the first ones on Water, Energy, Food, Health, and Wealth.

I hope this helps, Castine! Good luck!

Poet

 

joesxm2011's picture
joesxm2011
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 16 2011
Posts: 259
good starter book

If you want a good starter book, take a look at this one.

http://www.amazon.com/Four-Pillars-Investing-Building-Portfolio/dp/0071747052/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1303223671&sr=1-1

It was recommended to me by people on the Early Retirement Forum from which I learned a lot about investing.  However, they are not that interested in precious metals.  I find that puzzling since as CM points out it seems necessary to have some.

In any case, this is a good book to show you the basics of having an asset allocation strategy and a little bit about how markets work.  They recomend it as the starter book when people come to the forum asking for advice when they are just starting out wanting to learn.

Joe

bluestone's picture
bluestone
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 29 2008
Posts: 263
No to Perth Mint

AO

I only listed the Perth Mint as an option, but certainly would not recommend this as a primary or sole source of precious metal ownership.  I did a search on your name and Perth Mint, and read your comments on the soil in Australia and how unsustainable the society is.  Do you have other specific information on the Perth Mint that would make it a bad place to invest.  Although, we can predict long term trends, its incredibly hard to know what will happen in the short term.  Personally my family has invested in bullion (taken delivery), BMG in Canada, and the Perth Mint.  We're under no illusion that it all could vanish away someday.

I have read James Turk's criticisms of the Perth Mint, but in reality, I personally cannot tell if Perth Mint is honest or dishonest or if James Turk is honest or dishonest ,  Nick Barasheff or anyone else, or the government of Canada or the govt of Australia. 

For the record, I've heard Dmitry Orlov comment that it's a bad idea to own precious metals at all, because all it will do is get you killed.  In the back of my mind, I think he may be write. 

Brian

ao's picture
ao
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 4 2009
Posts: 2220
bluestone wrote: Do you
bluestone wrote:

Do you have other specific information on the Perth Mint that would make it a bad place to invest. 

For the record, I've heard Dmitry Orlov comment that it's a bad idea to own precious metals at all, because all it will do is get you killed.  In the back of my mind, I think he may be write. 

Brian,

I don't think you found the post where I wrote about the Perth Mint.  When I research a subject, I look into everything about it but down the line, unfortunately, I tend to forget the specific details as I move on to other things.  I just remember that it's a path I didn't want to go down.  IIRC, there were excessive expenses involved with the Perth Mint, but don't quote me on this.  I think there was an entrance fee, an exit fee, and maintenance fees (beyond the normal premium one pays for PMs) and I thought they were overly expensive for what was offered.  There is another middle man in the purchase process (Euro Pacific Capital) that needs to be paid.  Also, if one is investing in Perth Mint coins, those coins are not as good an investment as eagles or maple leaves, for example.  In addition, I didn't like the fact that it was so remotely located with a government that is not necessarily as respectful of foreign investors as the Swiss might be.

With regards to Orlov, I don't buy that argument at all.  If someone thought they could kill you or your family to get your precious metals, then yes, you might be more at risk.  But if they don't know about your precious metals and/or can't leverage your life for possession of your precious metals, then you're most likely safe.  Also, and this is a big also, your readiness and ability to repel aggressors and each family member's understanding of what could happen and how it should be addressed is of paramount importance.      

 

bluestone's picture
bluestone
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 29 2008
Posts: 263
AO thanks for your

AO

thanks for your thoughts.

I suppose we can agree that the Perth Mint is still better than 30 year muni bonds. 

When I first had my epiphany about precious metals, I got the "Messiah" syndrome and ran around telling people to buy precious metals (of course, I initially thought and Im sure everyone interpreted that as meaning paper assets).  That was when I was dumb and naive (well, maybe I'm still dumb and naive).  Since then I have been backpedaling a little, telling people I only own GLD and I'll probably sell most of it off to cash in on my profits. 

I would say that Orlov is half right.  The precious metals can save your life or they can get you killed.  Being willing and ready to deal with aggressors is important.  Philosophically I have no problem with that, but you're talking to a guy whose barely been in a few fist fights in his life.  That's something I still have to work on.

thanks

Brian

logBurner's picture
logBurner
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 26 2008
Posts: 58
Invest in your community

Castine,

Condolences! Financial advice is strangely based on financial investments. They need to do well. I would say it can take years to understand markets and even then you have no gaurantee. Invest in markets and you propagate the ponzi scheme that this site was set up to address. Invest in the people around you and you will create situations where people will help you out. Silver is a good investment but I find it inedible ;) Land is quite nice actually as you can grow crop! If you have surplus you may even be in a position to feed somebody that is in dire need - what kind of feeling would that give you? You could even employ somebody!

castine's picture
castine
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 14 2011
Posts: 8
Thank you, thank you!

Wow!  Thank you all so much for all the information and thoughtful comments.  I have been very busy following up on all the contributions and feel a little less anxious.  Thanks again.

M.E.'s picture
M.E.
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 21 2009
Posts: 81
I'm very sorry for your

I'm very sorry for your loss. If this happened to me, I would make an appt with Chris Martenson ASAP. Probably the best $500 worth of advice you'll ever get.

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