DRIGGS, IDAHO – In 2018, I dropped my children, my job, my friends, my home, and my comfy life…
And off I went.
With a one-way plane ticket and a small pack on my back, I ventured into the world to find a cure for my depression and get my happiness back.
It was either that… or die of a broken spirit. It was a decision of pure necessity. Nothing else had worked. I had to do it.
This is the classic Joseph Campbell “Hero’s Journey.” It’s one of the most timeless story structures in all art and literature…
Fear-filled underdog gets the courage to face his demons, overcome them, and forge a path through “The Unknown” to resolve a conflict.
Along the way, he finds treasure, fights monsters and dragons, and gets help from magical strangers. The Hobbit, Star Wars, The Hunger Games, and The Karate Kid are all examples of this.
First, I faced my fear of leaving, of losing my income, of hurting my kids, of the demon guarding the gate. Then, I thrust myself into The Unknown to find a cure for my illness.
I’m being helped by magical strangers along the way. With some luck, I’ll find what I’m looking for…
Glasgow, Scotland, on the first leg of my journey
In the surfer’s paradise of Muizenberg, South Africa
On a sleeper train near the Romanian-Bulgarian border
Seeing the pyramids on camelback in Cairo, Egypt
Long Walk Down the Mountain
Along my journey, I’ve been keeping an eye on the financial world… and on one number in particular: the Dow-to-Gold ratio.
As longtime Postcards readers know, the Dow-to-Gold ratio tracks the Dow Jones index in terms of gold.
The Dow is the aggregated stock price of 30 of the largest, most iconic businesses in the world. Gold is an inert metal. It’s the investment equivalent of hiding your money under the floorboards.
By presenting these two as a ratio, I get a barometer.
The thing about this barometer is, unlike other price series in financial markets, it doesn’t bounce around much. Once it begins a trend, it tends to stay in that trend for many years.
And 20 years ago, the Dow-to-Gold ratio began its long walk down the mountain… back to a level below 5. (My friend and mentor Bill Bonner calls this its “rendezvous with destiny.”)
It should have completed this walk years ago… probably in 2011… but something unusual happened.
Like a stubborn child who refuses to eat his peas, the Federal Reserve delayed, stalled, and refused to let the ratio get to where it naturally wanted to go – below 5.
And so, for seven years, the ratio rose… until September 2018, that is, when market conditions turned… and the ratio started falling again.
The Dow-to-Gold ratio peaked around 22 in September 2018, as you can see in the chart above. Today, it’s at 16.8.
If I’m right about its rendezvous with destiny, we’re on the precipice of a much bigger decline…
– Tom Dyson
P.S. I bet nearly $1 million of my own money on the decline of the Dow-to-Gold ratio. And I put together a detailed, 27-page report to help you profit from this trend, too…
It shows you how to build the ideal precious metals portfolio to ride the Dow-to-Gold ratio lower – with specific percentages and the names of my favorite gold stocks. (Hint: It’s split among physical gold, physical silver, gold royalties, and highly leveraged gold mining stocks.)
In today’s mailbag, one reader thinks Tom is missing the point of bitcoin – after Tom said it’s “just an elegant score-keeping system that runs on autopilot”…
Reader comment: I enjoy your missives very much, and am glad to hear your kids are taking to the snow and skiing. It’s a great lifetime sport, in my opinion. Regarding your point that whatever replaces the U.S. dollar in the global financial system, it won’t be bitcoin, I actually agree. However, I don’t think bitcoin’s ultimate use is to replace the USD on a direct, one-for-one basis, as I think you imply.
So you miss the larger point of bitcoin, which is: It effectively competes with the USD on a sufficiently meaningful basis, which is all it needs to do to derive value. That is to say, it’s increasingly “valuable” because people increasingly use it as a store of value (complementary to gold, silver, real estate, etc.) in lieu of paper currencies.
Meanwhile, some share their own experiences with parenthood… and the loss of a parent…
Reader comment: Thank you so much for sharing your story about being a dad. I can easily see how without this epic trip with your kids and Kate, you would never have reconnected with them on a level you never knew possible. I am a father myself with grown adult kids and can identify how time can fly, and before you knew it, the children grew up and moved away.
Reader comment: “Grief never ends, but it changes. It’s a passage, not a place to stay. Grief is not a sign of weakness, nor a lack of faith. It is the price of love.”
Someone gave me the above saying about grief. It says everything in a few words. It really helped me when my mom died, and I have always remembered it. So sorry to hear of your mom’s passing.
And finally, others comment on the reader who called Tom a narcissist…
Reader comment: Perhaps the reason that you don’t like the word “narcissism” is that it is unflattering and implies that the person described by that word lacks empathy and concern for others. Ultimately, your behavior toward others will determine whether the moniker, narcissist, will be applied to you.
Best to avoid it by taking the time each day to focus on others and not on yourself all the time. You enjoy your readers praising your lifestyle and family structure, but it’s important to remember that most folks don’t have the mental, emotional, and financial ability to live as freely as you. Be grateful for what you have, and don’t forget to appreciate the millions of folks who contribute to your freedom.
Reader comment: It seems to me that a true narcissist could never question themselves in the way that you have. I appreciated all you wrote, and while some (like your reader using the label) might see it as self-justification, others, like me, will see it as a sharing of your creative process.
I think there are all sorts of ways to view the world and live in it, too, and your willingness and ability to bring new perspectives to those of us who can’t or wouldn’t travel like your family has seemed an act of generosity. The opposite of narcissism.
As long as your family is aligned with the goal, that is. My only caveat is that sooner or later, you will face a new unknown country that can be a wilderness at times, even with the best of maps: the teenage years of your children. You will then have to balance what you think is good for your family with their need to begin to learn to embrace the responsibility and freedom of self-determination.
How you handle their (possible, eventual) disagreement with the family plans will be a good way to sniff out any narcissistic tendencies. (I speak from experience. Nothing can be as humbling or freeing as being the parent of a teenager. They need training wheels and can also often have extremely good ideas and insights… especially into their parents’ character!)
Please continue sending your thoughts and questions to [email protected], and Tom will answer as many questions as he can in a future Friday mailbag edition.