Financial Survival Kit

What do you need to be prepared for the future financial turmoil? How can you survive?

Should I Buy Gold?

It seems like everyone is a gold bug these days, but is it the right thing for you?

What Are The Chances?

With all this "end of the world" hype going on, maybe we should consider the chances. What are the chances of a civilization threatening event?

How Much Insurance Do I Need?

Insurance is an extremely broad topic. Hopefully this generalization on the different types and amounts will help straighten things out a bit.

Iraqi Dinar: Scam or Scoop?

Some say it's an easy way to make a million bucks! But do you understand currency markets enough to take advantage?

The financial world we live in is just as wild, if not more, than the mountains and woods we walk through. We are told that the fundamentals of our economy are strong, but we can feel that something is wrong. My unique financial background and survival passion make Financial Survivalist and excellent place to learn and share.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

How To Register To Vote

How To Register To Vote

With the Presidential Elections coming up, I thought this was a good time to discuss voter registration. I believe our country is at a tipping point. I also believe it is our responsibility as citizens to do our research and vote for the person we think will make the best president.

"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free." -Ronald Reagan

Voter Registration is easier now than ever. Just google or bing "voter registration your state." Or you can go to I'm not a huge supporter of Rock The Vote. They have to many liberal and progressive connections. However, it is an easy way to register to vote.

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Thursday, March 22, 2012

World Wide Web Wednesday!

World Wide Web Wednesday!
The Road We've Traveled

Obama has released a documentary full of lies about himself. Only ignorant people will believe such blatant lies, but ignorance is a universal disease of which intelligent people are constantly trying to cure themselves. Below is a response to that propaganda. A video filled with truth and reality of the road down which Obama has led us.

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World Wide Web Wednesday!

World Wide Web Wednesday!
The Road We've Traveled

Obama has released a documentary about himself full of lies. Only ignorant people will believe such blatant lies, but ignorance is a universal disease of which smart people are constantly trying to cure themselves. Below is a response to that propaganda. A video filled with true and reality of the road down which Obama has led.

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Monday, March 19, 2012

Exchange Traded Funds VS Mutual Funds

The most common kind of private investing is in Mutual Funds (MFs) through an employer provided 401k. Unfortunately, most employer provided 401k plans have extremely limited investing options. These limitations and others, have caused many private investors to seek more investments options through IRA or other trading accounts.

One of the many investment options is ETFs or Exchange Traded Funds. But how do ETFs compare to Mutual Funds? Below are some unique characteristics of each.

Exchange Traded Funds
  • ability to sell short
  • ability trade on margin
  • ability to day trade
  • ie trades like a stock
  • minimal fees
Mutual Funds
  • tax liability possible even if money is only lost
  • no control over capital gains
  • fees up to 3% common
  • multiple restrictions on how MF can allocate funds: in what and how much they can invest
  • the price is not determined until the end of the trading day (no day trading)
Maybe this picture can help as well.
As you can see, ETFs have several advantages over Mutual Funds. As far as I can find, the only disadvantages of ETFs are shared by Mutual Funds.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

World Wide Web Wednesday!

World Wide Web Wednesday

Think about buying or selling gold? Silver? Platinum? Palladium? Coins? Bars? Try They are one of the nation's largest PM (precious metals) dealer. They always offer you a low fair price that will be difficult for you to beat. With extensive selection you are bound to find what you are looking for and your satisfaction is guaranteed.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

How to Save Money on Insurance

How To Tuesday
How to Save Money on Insurance

Insurance is a unilateral contract that transfers risk from you to the insurer. It's hard to know how much insurance is enough and which type is best. However, it is essential that you and your family do not maintain excessive risk. The following are some tips for several different types of insurance.


Insurer - the company issuing the insurance
Insured - the person buying the insurance
Deductible - the part of any claim that you are responsible to pay and must be paid first. The purpose is for the insurer to minimize risk of the insured filing small and common claims.
Premium - the cost of the insurance that the insured pays.


Higher deductibles mean lower premiums. If you have your Financial Survival Kit, specifically your emergency fund, this will allow you to pay higher deductibles. To know how high your deductible should be ask yourself a few questions.

1. If you had $500 in damages, would you file a claim? For example, you bump a car in the parking lot with your car. The small dent would cost $500 to fix. If you report the claim your premiums will be raised, so most people would just pay the $500. If you would pay it yourself, why would you have a $250 deductible? Raise it to whatever you would report to your insurance.

2. How much will it save you? If over 6-12 months you will save the same amount that you raise the deductible, then it might be smart to do that and add the saved money to your emergency fund.

Comprehensive Auto Insurance VS Liability Only

How much is your car worth?
How much will you save?

In this example we'll say the car is worth $4,000. If you can save $1000/year by doing liability only, then if you go for 4 years without an accident, you can save enough money to replace your car. Now your savings might not be that extreme, but chances are you won't total your car very often. Just figure out how much you can save and decide if it's worth the risk.

Health Insurance

If your job doesn't pay for your health insurance, then you do. Health issuance isn't so you don't have to pay for the doctor visit when you have a cold. Health insurance is to keep you from going bankrupt if you get cancer or need emergency brain surgery.

Get a high deductible policy with a $3,000-5,000 deductible. Then get a supplementary accidental policy, so that if you break your arm or need to go to the emergency room, you don't have to pay for that expensive bill. You can also use a Medical Savings Account to help pay for your medical costs with pre-tax money. BUT be careful because some MSA will take leftover money at the end of the year.

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Monday, March 12, 2012

Money Monday: The Fiat Bubble

The Fiat Money system is a currency system that is supported by nothing but a countries promise or law. Every dollar you hold in your hand or bank account, represents a dollar of US debt backed by nothing but the countries promise to pay back the debt. The big question is with what will they pay back the debt? More dollars backed by more debt?

As you see in the chart above, the world GDP stars to increase with the creation of industry, world trade and other innovations. However, as the world started to adopt a fiat money system the GDP really took off. All other increases in wold GDP pale in comparison to the advances made since the implementation of a world wide fiat currency system.

What is a Bubble? A price level that is much higher than warranted by actual fundamentals.
A good example a classic bubble is the tulip bubble featured in the chart above.

Federal Spending Bubble: $1 of ever $4 spent in the U.S. economy is direct spending by the Gov't.

Debt Bubble: $1 of every $3 spent by the Gov't is a borrowed dollar.

I believe we are in a Fiat Bubble. Our economy is artificial. We hardly export anything anymore, but we are not the only ones. The Fiat system has taken hold in many advanced economies. Our Fiat spending has also helped fuel growth in emerging markets. It cannot continue.

This has happened over the last 40-50 years and will take a few years to top out before it crashes. Bubbles always last longer than you think and crash faster than you can imagine. But when the bubble does finally pop, it will happen fast, and we will experience recession and depression like never before. I promise one thing, The Fed will do everything in their power to keep this system going. The crash will likely be triggered by high inflation caused by desperate attempts of the Fed to "save" us.

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Friday, March 9, 2012

Non-Fiction Friday: FDIC Fraud

FDIC Fraud

It's so crazy you'd think it is fiction. However, the FDIC is full of fraud and backed by facts. Note: this is not a book review.

What is FDIC?

The FDIC is the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. They are the ones that are supposedly keeping your savings account safe in the event that the bank goes bust.

Moral Hazard

Moral Hazard is when something makes the event against which it insures more likely. The FDIC insures our deposit accounts (checking, savings, etc) against bank failure. The banks pay a premium for this insurance (from our deposits) and transfers risk of failure from the bank and it's depositors to the FDIC.

Banks must take advantage of this "free" risk in order to maintain competitive edge. If they don't others will and they will fail. This means that because the banks transfer the risk of failure to the FDIC, they can and will be more risky in their investment and lending decisions, therefore increasing the likelihood of bank failure.

Under Funded

The FDIC is required by law to maintain cash reserves equal to or greater than 1.15% of it's liabilities (insured deposits). Durring the financial crisis this ratio fell to a low of .27%. That means for every $1 million of deposits insured by the FDIC, they had $2,700.

The biggest problem here is the fact that our financial systems is by design forcing us to put more and more deposits in the same place. That is, banks are getting bigger and bigger. As of 2009 Bank of America held more than 12% of national deposits. However, at the low, if a bank holding .27% of the nation's deposits failed, the FDIC would have gone bankrupt.

But wait! Would the Fed ever let the FDIC go bankrupt? No. Most premiums, paid by banks from deposits, are immediately invested in treasury bonds and spent by congress. The majority of the FDIC's assets are government debt. So, in the event that the FDIC ran out of money, the fed would just print more for them. Essentially, your deposits are protected by inflation. If they need to, they will just inflate your deposits back to you. It's all a perception play. They need you to think your money is safe.

Private Insurance Alternative

The answer to most big government problems is privatization. A private deposit insurance company could asses each individual bank's risk of default and charge an appropriate premium. Then depositors would know immediately how risky it is to deposit their money with that bank. If they decided to deposit money at that bank, they would also have the option to opt out of the deposit insurance.

This would allow prudently managed banks to thrive. They would also be able to pay higher interest rates, because of lower deposit insurance premiums. This system would reward wise management decisions. It would reduce the likelihood of a financial crisis or bank failure. It would actually do what the FDIC is suppose to do.

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Thursday, March 8, 2012

My Thoughts Thursday: True Financial Freedom

There are two ways to financial freedom: 1. Decide that money doesn't matter. 2. Earn enough money that money doesn't matter. Which one is best?

1. Decide That Money Doesn't Matter

I have seen people with this attitude. Thanks to debt, they seem to have everything; two nice cars, big house, pool, nice furniture, latest gadgets. Unfortunately, it doesn't last long. Eventually the payments catch up with them and they loose it all. Sometimes they end up working for the rest of their lives because they haven't saved a penny.

2. Earn Enough Money That Money Doesn't Matter

These are the people who work like a dwarf in a diamond mine. They spend 50-60 hours every week trying to succeed. Some of them make it to "success." Others waste away their lives and never make it there. Either way, only very few succeed before they are in the last part of their lives.

3. Both

I think the trick is a little of both. Money does matter, but it can't buy you happiness. Life is to short to spend it doing something you don't love. Find something you love and do that. Be happy with a lower standard of living and live within your means. Save your money and enjoy life.

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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

WWW Wednesday:

Do you have "unclaimed" money? Is it out there, being held by some institute until you claim it? You may have seen advertised services claiming they can find your "unclaimed" money for a nominal fee. However, the fee is not necessary. and are two FREE databases where you can search for you unclaimed money. I warn you, there is a lot of hype involved in this idea, and you will likely not find any money for yourself. But you never know.


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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

How to Install a Window Well

How To Tuesday
How to Install a Window Well

Step 1: Dig Hole.

This is key. The hole MUST be deep enough and wide enough in order to install your window well. KNOW YOUR WINDOW WELL SIZE. Give yourself at least 8-18" extra on each side. 18" would be better, but not always feasible.
 Dig your hole deep enough so that when the window is cut you can just drop the huge unmovable chunk of concrete in the bottom and leave it there. I would dig the entire hole at least an extra 12-18" past the bottom of the window.

In the middle of your hole, dig a smaller hole (24" wide) as deep as you can. Try to did past the footing of your house. This will allow water to drain below your house.

Step 2: Back Fill

Fill the drain hole with rocks and gravel until it is level with the rest of the hole. Go ahead and cut your window and drop the wall into to the window well. Install your window.
Step 3: Pre-fit Window Well

Place the window well in the hole. Use whatever you want to support the base of the window well, and raise it to the desired height. Make sure it is level side to side and front to back. Then mark the foundation through the holes where your bolts will be. You need a minimum of two bolts at the top and one towards the bottom.

Step 4: Set Anchors

Remove the window well and use a masonry bit and hammar drill to install anchors. It's pretty simple, but the type of anchor varies. If you have questions on how to install your specific type of anchor, ask the guy at the hardware store.

Step 5: Bolt the Window Well Down

Replace the window well. Slip it over the bolts/anchors and tighten nuts. This is the hard part, especially if you didn't dig your hole wide enough.

 Step 6: Back Fill

Fill the inside of the window well with rocks and gravel. Leave the top few inches for nice pea gravel. Fill in the outside of the window well with dirt.

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Monday, March 5, 2012

5 Essential Precious Metal Questions

Buy it. Sell it. Wear it. Own it. Melt it. Mine it. Eat it. Drink it. You can do almost anything with gold. Everyone has seen advertisements to buy or sell it. Anyone that is concerned about their financial future has likely asked themselves, "Should I Buy Gold?" However, Gold is not the only PM (precious metal) and more recently I have seen increasing advertisements for Silver, Platinum and Titanium.

5 Essential Precious Metal Questions

1. Should I Buy PMs?

This question could also be "Why should I buy PMs?" Just because everyone else is doing it? After all, it's gone up for 10 years in a row. So what! The stock market did too, right before the Dot com Bubble burst.

What would be your reason to buy PMs? Investment? Wealth creation? Wealth protection? Inflation hedge? By readying "Should I Buy Gold?" you will get a good idea if you should. I only recommend physical PM's for wealth protection. There are better ways to protect from inflation and economic collapse, and there are more secure investments.

2. Which One Should I Buy?

There are many PM's to choose from, but many have strong ties to industry because of our technological advances. That means when industry (ie economy) collapses, so will the price of those PM's. The PM with the weakest tie to industry is GOLD. GOLD also has a historical and sentimental history as store of wealth greater than any other. The best PM for wealth protection is GOLD.

3. How Should I Buy?

Physical, Mutual Funds, Exchange Traded Funds, Stocks, Sector Exposure, etc. The list goes on. I'll make it really simple for you; physical gold for wealth protection, ETF's for anything else.

4. Where I Should Buy It?

If buying physical gold I would recommend an online dealer like They are reliable and will give you a good price. If not buying physical gold, I would recommend ETF's through your brokerage.

5. When Should I Buy?

For wealth protection it doesn't matter too much. Buy on a dip in price. There will be a dip. There always is. For investment, speculation or a hedge on inflation, I cannot tell you. It depends so widely on your unique strategy. Therefore, the answer would be just as unique.

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Friday, March 2, 2012

Non-Fiction Friday: Robert Kiyosaki Real Book of Real Estate

Non-Fiction Friday
Robert Kiyosaki Real Book of Real Estate

This is a book that I cannot get through. I started reading this book several years ago, and every time I try to start again, I get bored and put it back on the shelf. Robert tries to connect you with several successful real-estate investors. However, it comes across more like him trying to make a book without writing anything, and sell it by putting his name on it.

There are some good tidbits about real estate in there, but for anyone that has read any of the real estate books I have recommended, they will be review. Every chapter is a different person writing their own story, and giving their own advice. Half of these people got lucky, and the other half are horrible writers. Either way, my diagnosis is that it's boring, and that's coming from someone that averages 3 non-fiction book a month, mostly FINANCE!

6/10 Stars

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Thursday, March 1, 2012

My Thoughts Thursday: Security Does NOT Equal Fear

My Thoughts Thursday
Security Does NOT Equal Fear

The other day I was knocking doors in Arizona and I ran into a Jamaican Guy who said he didn't believe in security. "Security means you're afraid," he said. He went on to explain that there are million things that can happen to you. By acting to stop or avoid all or one of them it is acting on fear of that thing.

I told him that if you prepare you will not fear. Preparing and protecting your family DOES NOT mean you are afraid. Preppers are some of the most secure people I know. I told him, "You could get hit by a car crossing the street, but that doesn't mean you don't look both ways before you cross." If you're afraid of the street, you avoid the street. If you are prepared, you learn how to cross the street and you face it.

Getting a security system is not an act of fear. It is an act of preparedness. Any step toward preparing for disaster adds to your security and peace of mind. It doesn't mean you're afraid. Just the opposite.

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