Let me say right up front that I do believe you should have some cash stashed for the coming events, but I also believe that if things get chaotic, cash will not have as much value as hard goods.
BY hard goods I,m talking about useful metals like iron, tin, copper,wood boards or ply wood and the like.
Considering the shape of the world economy today and most particularly here in America, and all the talk of the Amero or a world currency replacing our dollar, just doesn't lend it self, to the creditability of the paper currency, and that's aside from the fact that paper just doesn't hold up under the harsh conditions we may soon face.
In an earlier paper I listed some of the trade goods that would be of value in a chaotic society, I guess this amounts to an extension of that list. With the prices of metals dropping as they did most of the items in the following discussion are available free or at most a very modest price. Ill start at the top and work down from there.
First with gold hovering at around $900 an ounce it is already out of reach for most of us, but if you have the cash then by all means buy some gold, and I don't mean paper gold, or gold futures.
You should have learned from the stock market and mortgage markets, they are just a paper shuffling scam run by the banksters who let you dabble a little until the decide to take all.
Buy real gold, coins are available from 1/10 oz. up to the most familiar 1 oz, i strongly recommend some 1/10 oz. coins because if the country self destructs you don't want to give a $2000 Krugerrand away for a sack of potatoes. You may need fast access to your gold so a bank is probably not the place, since they will be closed with your gold in their vault. If you can afford to buy gold then you can also afford to have a hidden safe installed, or better yet install it your self, the guy you hire to install it, and his friends will know where to find you and the safe if the shtf. I'm sure you know not to buy jewelry so I won't even go there. Try to buy the gold as close to spot as you can, it is getting hard to find at less then 10% over spot but shop around it can be found at 3% to 4% over spot.
I suggested earlier, to stay away from jewelery, let me clarify that statement a little. Tough times are already here for many of us so if you know what you are doing buying jewelry at pawn prices isn't necessarily all bad, a plain gold wedding band for example could buy food or be used for barter for smaller items worth less than that 1/10 oz coin.
Silver has many more uses then gold, like medicine, industrial, and as primers for explosives so I would recommend a good portion of your precious metals budget be in silver. I have no inside info supporting this it just makes sense to me. It will allow you to purchase or trade in smaller increments, and if the world falls apart will be in higher demand than gold I believe, just a gut feeling.
Silver coins demand a premium price so I'm not too crazy about them as a survival tool when a one oz. silver bar will bring the same result as a silver dollar. You can buy the bar at spot +, the silver dollar is going to cost you spot +++ . I do though recommend a few rolls of silver dimes for the same reason as the 1/10 oz. gold coin, for smaller purchases or trades. If you attend yard sales keep your eye out for Sterling jewelry many times the person doing the yard sale is not aware Sterling is 90% + silver and can be bargained down to a very good price.
Copper will be in demand because it resists bacteria, and is very easy to work with without the use of heavy duty machinery, or machining tools. Copper can be melted in a camp fire and forged into many useful tools or weapons. Copper sheeting can easily be hammered in to pots and pans ,weapons and many other items. Copper tubing will be vvaluable in many different sizes for use in purification systems, water filters, and stills for producing alcohol, Alcohol will be a valuable commodity, for use as medicine, sterilisation, fuel, and of course to drink.
Lead in my opinion could replace gold or silver as a trade commodity, for obvious reasons.
Ammunition is already scarce and getting harder to find every day.
Steel will be an obvious asset for trade and use in making weapons, tools, and shields against assault. All forms of steel will be useful, sheet, plate, and angle.
Iron will Cary the same uses as steel but will be easier to work with if your tool chest is not as ample, iron can be welded with a 12 v battery and a coat hanger.
Iron pipe of various sizes will be valuable to repair and build water systems, wells, building material and many other uses.
CONDUIT OR TIN PIPE
Conduit will be useful in the above applications , plus crude but effective weapons can easily be made from conduit pipe.
tin sheeting will be useful as a building and building repair commodity.
Auto parts for repair of autos will have many obvious uses, plus some not so obvious, alternators can be used to generate small amounts of electricity, and batteries are a good source of both acid and lead, as well as storing small amounts of electricity in each battery. Batteries can easily be rebuilt and with several to store electricity can run a house or several other machines.
Bicycles will be very valuable both as transportation and to power generators, alternators and many other machines.
magnesium is very useful when mixed with iron oxide as a way to melt steel, or any thing else for that matter.
The many uses of aluminium is so useful I really don't even go into it at this point.
Hope you find this useful Jerico