DRIGGS, IDAHO – In 2018, Kate and I sold all our liquid assets and drained our bank accounts. I sold my car, all my furniture, and converted everything to physical gold and silver.
I’ve described our approach as the Henry David Thoreau of investment strategies…
In the 1840s, Thoreau lived in a cabin in the woods for two years. He wrote a famous book about this experience called Walden.
For us, it wasn’t an investment or a specific speculation to make money. We simply decided we didn’t want to live in the financial system anymore.
We decided to leave… to take a financial sabbatical… and go live in the “woods” for a while…
Rocky Mountain Bolthole
Greetings from our Rocky Mountain bolthole…
My family and I are a full-time traveling family. Since we left the financial system, we’ve been drifting from town to town, country to country, homeschooling our kids on the road and sleeping wherever we can.
We spent two years traveling around the world this way. But this year, we’ve mostly been in the U.S., traveling on backroads by day and camping at night.
We’d started to crave a little community and fellowship, so a few days ago, we checked into an Airbnb in Driggs, Idaho. We’ll be spending the winter here, playing board games together and learning how to ski.
Here we are…
With Kate and the kids in our mountain bolthole
Our Financial Cabin in the Woods
Back to our investment strategy…
In my eyes, the financial system had begun to resemble a giant and completely inappropriate experiment. I was seeing cracks everywhere… sudden air pockets in the stock market… irrational pricing… fragility.
I saw a total rejection of saving in favor of debt. I saw efforts to prop up the markets using unsound money and financial engineering. Things like quantitative easing (QE). And artificially lowered interest rates. And huge government deficits.
The economy seemed almost like it was begging to liquidate itself. And yet the feds kept pushing it up and talking it up.
And the most disconcerting part of it all: No one seemed to care! It felt like we were riding on the Titanic, speeding through an ice field…
The only thing we didn’t liquidate was our 401(k). I put it in a gold ETF.
Then, we went traveling around the world, doing our best to ignore the news headlines and movements in the stock market. (I struggled with this. My curiosity would always get the better of me.)
Today, as I write to you, we remain in our financial “cabin in the woods.” And as I study economics and watch the financial news, nothing has changed.
The feds are still “managing” the economy… with more financial engineering, more unsound money, bigger deficits, and more soothing words.
The system still looks to me like the Titanic speeding through an ice field… except it’s traveling even faster now.
We’re sticking with gold and silver.
– Tom Dyson
P.S. Last year, my mentor Bill Bonner published what could be his last – and most important – book…
I’ve known Bill for decades. And over the last 40 years, he’s been right about a lot of things. He was right about the Japanese stock market crash… the dot-com bust… and the collapse of the housing bubble in 2008, just to name a few. And in his last book, Win-Win or Lose – which came out just last year – he wrote, “Something always happens that the insiders can’t control… [like] lethal pandemics.”
In fact, many of the events Bill saw coming are now happening – faster than anyone could have anticipated. Go here to learn more about what he sees coming… and to get your own copy of what will most likely be Bill’s LAST book.
Kind words for Tom after he gave readers a brief update on their life in Driggs, Idaho…
Reader comment: What a beautiful photo of your kids playing in the yard with those mountains in the distance! So different from my view, which is subtropical, near Tampa. Your family togetherness warms my heart. As a former homeschooling mom, I can identify with Kate’s essential role in your family, and the results look great!
And thanks for the bitcoin primer. It has cleared up some confusion and made me more certain about stacking real coins instead. Enjoy your skiing!
Reader comment: I have wrestled with bitcoin for a couple of years now. Bought one coin once and made about 30% during the frenzy. I’ve stayed away since. You make some good points about it not being money, but I have a question for you. I get the nails, I get gold. But if bitcoin is a “leap of faith” as you say, how is that any different than a green piece of paper with a “20” on it? Talk about a leap of faith!
Reader comment: I’m reading what you’re saying about bitcoin. Are you saying this about all other cryptocurrencies as well, then, like Ethereum? Because Ethereum was “invented” one day as well. And I suspect a very small number of early hoarders control a very large percentage of the float as well.
Reader comment: I just don’t understand bitcoin. It isn’t a tangible asset; it is like someone made it up and said it has value so people now believe it. And because they believe in it, it has value. That’s kind of like how the government says our paper money has value because they say so. And it has been the means of “trading” value for over 100 years – during my lifetime.
But I think the American government (and maybe the world governments) will start using electronic money instead of printing paper money and making coins. And they will say it has value – equal to the value of the printed money – and because the government says so, it will have value. But based only on the governments’ say-so because it is not really backed by any tangible asset.
Reader comment: What constitutes real money? Aristotle nailed it when he said real money should be five things: durable, divisible, consistent, convenient, and scarce. Precious metals check off all these boxes. Some things never change.
Tom’s note: Thank you for your messages! Please keep writing us at [email protected].