MISSOULA, MONTANA – This morning, the Bank of England announced it will soon transition to negative interest rates.
With multiple threats to the outlook looming, the BOE will begin “structured engagement” with U.K. bank regulators on how it might implement negative rates. Governor Andrew Bailey said last month the policy has become part of the central bank’s toolkit.
Japan, Switzerland, Europe, and New Zealand are already using negative interest rates. The U.S. has demurred on negative interest rates so far, but I wouldn’t be surprised…
Not the America You See on the News
Greetings from Missoula…
My family and I have spent the last four months exploring America’s Heartland… away from the coasts… away from the population centers… away from the riots and protests…
We’ve found that the America in these parts is nothing like the America you read about in the news or see on the television. For the most part, it seems prosperous… and friendly… and beautiful… much the same as it always has been, I imagine.
Even COVID-19 doesn’t seem to be having much of an effect… at least on the surface, on the path we’ve traveled.
People wear masks, but otherwise, life goes on pretty much the same as it always has. It’s like we’ve stayed one step ahead of COVID the whole way…
Our Guide to the Heartland
We’ve been “heart-surfing.” That’s Kate’s term for the unique style of travel we’ve been using where YOU (readers of these Postcards) write to us and invite us to stay with you in your barns, driveways, basements, spare bedrooms, etc.
Then you treat us as if we were family for a couple of days, and then we say goodbye, which makes us feel so sad, and we hit the road again… onto our next driveway…
I’m going to write a book about this experience. And in addition to including stories about all the people who have hosted us, I’m going to include all the tourist recommendations and advice we’ve received along the way from you.
Then, I’m going to give it away for free. It’s going to be a very unique, personal, crowd-sourced guide to a great American road trip through the Heartland.
(Oh… and then Kate, the kids, and I are going to spend the rest of our lives trying to “pay forward” the incredible kindness and generosity we’ve received from you.)
We’re currently in Missoula, Montana, being hosted by our new friends, Pete and Gingy. Here we are…
Pete and Gingy welcomed us into their home
The boys play a game with Gingy
The “Walden Pond” of Investment Strategies
In addition to the news from the Bank of England, today I also notice the Turkish lira has fallen to a new all-time low against the U.S. dollar…
We’re in a huge financial bubble. The greatest financial experiment in history. It’s going to end terribly.
The trade of the decade is to sell everything and put it under the mattress in gold. I literally want to get my money as far away as possible from the financial system. Running, not walking.
It’s the “Walden Pond” of investment strategies.
I see no way out of what’s coming. It’s inevitable. It’s destined. Inflation is coming. The dollar is going to tank. And the U.S. is going to face a choice:
Restore confidence in the dollar again by deflating the whole system… a terrible economic depression…
Or let the dollar go… which effectively means defaulting on the entire debt load.
The dollar will tank – not against other paper currencies, because they’re going to tank, too. But against gold and other real assets. I’ve been calling this a “global synchronized currency devaluation.”
The Turkish lira is at the sharp end of the knife.
Another way of putting this:
The dollar has been used as a substitute for gold (in the international monetary system) for the past 50 years.
But the U.S. abused its privilege of being the only country with the ability to print gold and now faces a choice: Restore the dollar to gold-worthy again… or go back to using actual gold.
Not sure how long all this takes to play out… but I’m sure of the final destination.
I don’t want our hard-earned capital tied up in any of this mess anymore. I don’t even want to try to anticipate the twists and turns as the great experiment comes undone.
I just want our savings to be as far away as possible… in gold.
– Tom Dyson
P.S. I recorded a message in a hotel room the other day. It’s about the huge mess we’ve gotten ourselves into economically. You can watch it here.
P.P.S. We’ve only got about two weeks left of our trip. It’s getting too cold to be camping outdoors. But then we start a new adventure… a new leg of our ultimate field trip. We’re going to live in a ski resort and learn how to ski and spend the winter playing in the snow. As a family from Florida, this is going to be a new experience for us…
A reader says Tom looks stressed in the Postcards photos…
Reader comment: Hi, I’ve been following your Postcards since your family was on the Great Wall of China. I read it every day now and really enjoy the vicarious thrill of your adventures. Have an observation I just can’t hold in anymore – the photos of your family are precious, but I cringe when I see the maniacal look in your eyes when you smile for the camera! Please – just relax!
Tom’s response: That IS relaxed! You should see me when I’m rattled…
(I read this message to my family just now and we all had a huge laugh about it.)
Meanwhile, one reader regrets missing the Dyson family in Missoula… one asks about buying gold… and another gives Tom a tip for getting through the U.S./Canada border…
Reader comment: Wish I would have known you would be staying in Missoula tonight. Would have been nice to say hello and get a first-hand account of your river trip. I’ve lived in Missoula since 1979 and have wanted to take that trip for a long time. Your picture on the web looks like the part on South Ave West. I stopped by there around 6 p.m., but no Dysons to be found.
Tom’s response: I’m sorry we missed you!
Reader comment: Looks like you guys have a good time, which is a very nice change to see. My family and I would like to purchase some gold. I’m wondering if you could direct us/recommend places we should buy from that are trusted/fair in your opinion?
Tom’s response: I’ve used Apmex many times. I’m a satisfied customer of theirs. (By the way, I put together a few other recommendations for anyone looking to buy physical gold here.)
Reader comment: Hi Tom. Really enjoy reading your Postcards. Good luck in entering Canada over the next couple of days. As you know, the border is closed to non-essential travel. However, if you can state you are entering Canada for essential business reasons (for example, you are researching ideas for your Canadian subscribers, and therefore, an “essential” business), you may get through. Of course, then there are employment and tax issues. But if you state no one in Canada is paying you for employment – that your income is strictly U.S.-based, that should take care of that problem.
Make sure you let them know you WILL self-isolate for the mandatory 14 days. That is a critical one as they have charged some U.S. tourists recently who didn’t do so. If you state you’re just here for tourism, I doubt you’ll get through… but the business angle might give you a more solid chance. Good luck on your entry!
Tom’s response: I’ll give this a shot!
Reader comment: Tom – You got married, and got divorced, and took a long time to straighten yourself out. Now things seem to be going well for you, and you’re making a lot of sense with what you write. You seem to have realized that the government is screwing up the money, the financial system, everything it touches. So… seeing as how you went through all that strife to get the government out of your relationship, why are you in such a hurry to bring it back in? Don’t. Have a ceremony, a big party for your family and friends. But for Pete’s sake, don’t bring the government into your marriage (Got the government involved in my relationship once… learned my lesson).
Tom’s response: Okay! Totally agree. Our marriage is none of the government’s business.
And yet more readers share their thoughts on homeschooling… traveling in the wintertime… and the situation with Tom’s ailing mother…
Reader comment: Tom, I am chiming in on the response from a reader who brought up the question that is so often posed, “How do they get socialized?” While homeschooling is not perfect, the outcome of homeschooling is so often youth and young adults who are open, confident, articulate, curious, readily engaging with others, adaptable, responsible, trustworthy and possessing a good work ethic. How’s that for socialization?
Reader comment: Dear Tom and family, be careful traveling up north too long; you may need snow tires on your vehicle! It can snow anytime now up in the mountains, so be careful! My family and I went to Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks in July a few years back and went through a mini snowstorm! If you are still going to Montana and Glacier, don’t dillydally too long or you will be stuck in snow! Going to the Sun road is an awesome road trip in Glacier, Montana. Don’t take the camper, though! Good luck on your travels and stay safe!
Reader comment: Hi Tom, In your postcard titled “The Surest One-Way Bet For Our Money,” you mentioned a homeless person living in a minivan with her dog, and said she’s the first homeless person you’ve seen. Yet you write in every second or third postcard that you and Kate sold everything and are traveling through the USA with a car and pop-up tent. Don’t you consider yourselves as “homeless”? If not, where is your “home”?
Reader comment: Hi Tom, I enjoy your work, applaud your conviction, and respect your priorities. I’m surprised it didn’t occur to me sooner given your interest in trains, but your recent mention of your rafting through Idaho’s wilderness as a family favorite reminded me of another amazing family outing (4-5 hours) in that area that I highly recommend you and your family experience.
My wife and I took our four kids (20, 15, 11, and 5) to Idaho this summer and we rode bicycles along the Hiawatha Trail. It was easily a “Top 3” family experience for us. We saw kids of all ages (and grandparents) equally enjoying themselves as well since the 15-foot-wide, well-groomed trail runs where a former train track used to be. It runs, therefore, at a very comfortable incline. The route actually includes multiple tunnels, the longest of which is 1.6 miles long, and multiple trestles. No development within sight of the trail, either, just state and national forest land as far as you can see!
Reader comment: Don’t wait too long to go see your mother. Our time with our parents is limited and fleeting. I lost both mother and dad a few years ago. I still miss them and wish for just one more conversation with them.
Reader comment: Hi Tom. Regarding your Mum, it is fantastic that your wisdom in putting your investments into gold has paid off so that you are able to support your Mum comfortably. It sounds as if she does not have much longer for this world and would really value your help in being able to sort her out. It would be really wonderful if you could bring your family across to the UK to do this. For us oldies, there is nothing better than being able to see our children and grandchildren, and also to enable the grandchildren to keep happy memories of their Granny.
Reader comment: London would be a big adventure. What you and your family are facing at this time is a fact of life. London and Europe would be an awesome adventure and rewarding time with family. Just be thankful for today’s technology, which allows you to work from anywhere.
Reader comment: Hi Tom and Kate. You two are really amazing and good people! You have my respect for considering moving to London to take care of your mom during her end-of-life journey. As my own family has been dealing with a similar challenge since last spring, I know not many people can make a similar decision to yours. Helping our parents during their end-of-life journey is one of the most noble things we can do in our life.
Tom’s note: Thank you for writing in! We read every message you send us, even if we don’t reply right away. Please keep them coming to [email protected].