MAYO, FLORIDA – Greetings from rural Florida…

Today we packed up our camper, left Camp Outlaw, and drove 122 miles north. I found a new campground called Suwannee River Rendezvous Resort and Campground near Mayo, Florida.

My family and I broke quarantine three days ago. We struck out into America with a suitcase, some dried food, a camera, and an old pop-up camper.

imageOn the road again

We’re going to spend the next few months driving around America (and maybe Canada if we can cross the border). We’ll meet readers, see what state America is in amid this pandemic, and show our kids the most beautiful country in the world.

(Oh, and in the middle of it all, I’m also holding a special event along with my mentor, Bill Bonner. If you have as much conviction in our Dow-to-Gold strategy as I do, you won’t want to miss it…)

So far we’ve camped at two places… a state park on Florida’s east coast and a private property in central Florida.

In general, things look pretty normal to us. Only a few people are wearing masks. The roads are busy. And most businesses appear to be open.

Here at Suwannee River Rendezvous, there’s a lot of activity. The pool is packed with kids. There are dozens of RVs packed in neat rows up and down the property. Some children bike past. Some people walk a dog.

“It’s quite busy here,” I said to the receptionist when we checked in.

“This is normally a quiet weekend for us,” she said. “But I think people are tired of being at home.”

– Tom Dyson

P.S. This is an RV resort. It’s very clean, well-organized, and clearly popular. It’s got a pool, a hot tub, a playground, a pavilion, and lots of other stuff. There are lots of families here. Our kids have already made friends. I think we’ll stay here another night. Here are Penny (7) and Miles (10) playing with the Jenga blocks earlier…

imageThe kids at our latest campsite

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In today’s mailbag, readers ask Tom about investing in oil, bitcoin, gold miners and stocks… while another inquires about the Fed’s money-printing…

Reader comment: Love your Postcards. Are you saying to invest in the companies that own the oil storage tankers or the companies that build them, or both? Can you throw us a bone(s) as to any you invested in or… ? We all know you’re not necessarily here giving advice, just telling what you’ve done. Keep those postcards coming.

Tom’s response: Neither. I’m talking about ships that transport oil. I can’t discuss the individual names here. But at my event on Wednesday, May 20, I’m giving away a report with my favorite five tanker stocks… and an explanation of the whole thesis. You get the report – free – just for attending

Reader question: Have your feelings about bitcoin changed at all because of this COVID-19 crisis and the printing of lots of new money by governments around the world? I know you prefer gold to bitcoin, but it seems to me that both bitcoin and gold are going to soar as a result of the present situation, so I’m invested in both of them.

Some pundits say they expect bitcoin to grow more than gold over the next few years. What do you think? Thanks for your Postcards, which are always a pleasure to read.

Tom’s response: My feelings have not changed. I don’t own bitcoin. Don’t plan to. I don’t understand why bitcoin has value. There are hundreds of cryptocurrencies now, so its benefits aren’t unique, or even scarce. And it has major flaws – the consumption of electricity and the speed of transaction confirmation for example – that make it useless as money. Its network is valuable, but not enough to sustain a high price permanently…

There’s nothing else that does what gold does. Its attribute set is unique. And it doesn’t have imperfections.

Reader comment: Love reading your Postcards. If only I had your courage to just let go and fly free for a while. Alas, commitments hold me tethered…

Reader question: Coins and bars are very hard to come by right now, with very high markups and/or premiums. Is purchasing gold miners and gold stocks an acceptable alternative? Thanks for the Postcards.

Tom’s response: Miners are a completely different investment prospect from gold. Not an acceptable alternative. First of all, if you’re willing to hunt around, you can find gold bullion on sale for less than 3% premium and silver for less than 14%.

Second, the best alternative is to buy gold and silver through a professional vaulting company. They hold the metal for you and charge a small storage fee. Premiums to buy gold this way are less than 1%.

I do own a small amount of mining stocks, but it’s a completely different investment.

By the way, on May 20, you’ll find out how you can get access to my full Dow-to-Gold ratio strategy… including a list of my favorite gold miners. Don’t forget to save your spot here. Bill Bonner will be joining in on the call, too…

Reader question: I’ve been following you for quite a while now, and you keep talking about a Dow-to-Gold ratio. How do you calculate your Dow-to-Gold ratio?

Tom’s response: I take the closing price of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. And I take the most recent London gold fixing. And I divide the Dow by gold. For example, the Dow closed at 23,625 on Thursday evening. And gold was fixed at $1,732. So the Dow-to-Gold ratio was at 13.64.

Reader comment: I think I need a basic government economics course. When I hear that the Federal Reserve is printing money, are they really printing money onto paper, or just adding some made-up amount into the accounting books? I received my stimulus check deposited into my bank account. Can I exchange that for a pile of $20 bills? Did the Fed actually print enough paper money to cover it in case a lot of people decide to convert their checks into cash?

And what about coins? Coins use real metals and machinery to be produced. It seems your pocket change would be worth more than a piece of paper with money amounts printed on it. Is there a paper-to-coins ratio that the government uses when it decides to print money? It’s something that came into my head as I was letting the dog out at 2:30 a.m., and now I’m stuck thinking about it. Thanks, and good luck to you and the family.

Tom’s response: When you hear the people say the Fed is “printing money,” it’s a euphemism for increasing the money supply. They aren’t actually printing money. The Treasury manages the actual printing of currency. Only a small percentage of dollars in existence exist in paper form. Less than 9%.

And, as always, your messages are integral to these Postcards. Please keep writing us at [email protected].