WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA – This is validating…
Kiril Sokoloff, a mental titan of investing and finance, appears to be using the same strategy as we are…
Two Years, 29 Countries, 150 Hotels
Over the past two years we’ve visited 29 countries on four continents and stayed in over 150 different hotels and Airbnbs.
We did a 35-day camping trip across America and visited seven national parks. We spent three months in Eastern Europe, staying in Airbnbs and riding around on the train.
We spent three months in Africa, volunteering. (We helped build a school in Rwanda.) We spent four months in India and traveled around by train.
We spent six weeks in Southeast Asia. Then two months in China. (We passed through Wuhan in November. The coronavirus epidemic started two weeks later…)
We’re currently in West Palm Beach, Florida, staying with Kate’s parents.
We’ve isolated ourselves from the outside world, not because we’re scared of catching the virus, but because we want to do our part “flattening the curve.”
When the lockdown lifts, we’ll fly away again. I’m dreaming about taking a long road trip around America, living in campgrounds, and taking photographs of small towns.
A One-of-a-Kind Education
We homeschool the kids wherever we go… so we carry a workbook for each child which they work through each day. These workbooks are mainly for reading and mathematics.
We also carry some arts and crafts materials, and we make the kids draw and write in their journals each day.
And then we watch videos on YouTube about all sorts of interesting things. We love TEDx a lot. And we always watch videos about the places we’re staying in… the history, the main cultural icons, the geography, politics, etc.
We also watch a lot of videos on history and science. Generally, we make the kids study for five to six hours a day, but it’s a lot of fun stuff. (I find myself getting sucked into it often, too.)
Today, for example, the kids learned about some different breeds of dogs.
While they do their school work, I study economics and write. I write these Postcards every day. And recently, I’ve started creating an in-depth research report on my Dow-to-Gold strategy. (More details to come.)
Some might say our homeschooling isn’t structured enough… and they may have a point.
But we feel that right now we’re on a sort of a field trip. Whenever we settle down somewhere, we can be a little more disciplined and structured with their education.
But for now, unstructured is totally okay. And the kids are learning so much.
In addition to what they learn from books and videos, we’ve seen the Great Pyramids of Egypt, the Taj Mahal, and the Great Wall of China. We’ve seen concentration camps, battlefields, monuments, temples, and lots and lots of museums.
Meanwhile, they’ve watched me deal with border crossing guards, taxi drivers, scam artists, beggars, accommodation and travel bookings, etc.
They’re getting an incredible education. I’m really proud of this. But the most important thing of all – more important than the homeschool, or the travel – is how this lifestyle connects us.
We feel like a little wolfpack, fending for ourselves, and having a great shared adventure together. It’s been an incredibly powerful tonic for healing our family and showing us how to re-order our priorities for the future.
Even in quarantine, we still do everything together. We go to bed together. We wake up together. We eat together. We relax together. We experience the loveliness and beauty of life together, wherever we are.
(It sounds cheesy, but for several years, I had a mental illness. I lost my fascination for life. This lifestyle changed that.)
I can’t speak for Kate and the kids. But for me, I’ve never felt happier and more engaged with life, even in the midst of this coronacrisis.
Our Financial Sabbatical
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.
In 2018, we sold all our liquid assets, drained our bank accounts, I sold my car, all my furniture, and converted everything to physical gold and silver.
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.
In my eyes, the whole 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.)
Nothing Has Changed
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.
They’re 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.
So we’re sticking with gold and silver.
Kiril Sokoloff – whom I mentioned at the start of today’s Postcard – writes the legendary 13D research report. He’s one of the most thoughtful, most experienced market strategists in the financial universe. He’s definitely one of my favorite big thinkers.
“I’m less and less inclined to speculate,” said Sokoloff last week, speaking on Real Vision. He continued:
I’m sticking with my original core strategy which I’ve been working on for three years… in gold and gold mining shares. And not playing around with other things and getting distracted.
It sounds like he is taking a similar investing approach to us…
– Tom Dyson
P.S. Bill Bonner just wrote an urgent briefing about the crisis we’re in… and what he sees coming. It’s a MUST read. Just go right here…
Tom talks about a massive infrastructure project that blew him away on an overnight train ride to Turkey two years ago… how it relates to the cracks in America’s financial system… and what it means now in the context of the coronavirus crisis.
It’s all in today’s exclusive Postcards Q&A video…
Meanwhile, readers thank Tom for the daily Postcards and ask about his Dow-to-Gold strategy…
Reader comment: I have been subscribing for several years and enjoy your refreshing balance/alternative to the media & “Goldman Sachs” perspective. Bill, you totally hit a home run by having Tom write these postcards!! They are a shorter, easier to understand synopsis and wonderful compliment to your longer letters. Grateful for both of you, but Tom’s Postcards are a TOTAL home run for which I am VERY grateful. Please do keep it up.
Reader comment: My husband refuses to believe we shouldn’t be getting in stocks. We did purchase some gold before it ran out. But he refuses to consider anything other than what Ameriprise advises! Help!!!
But surely their immune systems are well exercised, with all that dirt and poor hygiene, so perhaps the bug may well have only a minor effect on the masses? I enjoy reading your Postcards. I am reminded of the many years I spent working around the world in those countries. Many thanks for your insights to the mysterious world of finance!!
Reader question: In yesterday’s postcard you said that you just told Dan Denning that you believe in a year’s time that stocks around the world will be much higher than they are now. If you believe that, why are you sticking by your “gold only” portfolio? It makes no sense. Thanks.
Tom’s response: Because I believe gold will beat stocks over the long run. I’m not interested in trading and speculating in the meantime. And when I said stocks may rise, it’s not a prediction I have a lot of confidence in. Just a gut feeling from someone who’s watched markets for a long time.