CHISWICK, WEST LONDON – Greetings from my childhood home. It’s time for our Friday mailbag edition – the last one from this side of the Atlantic…

Below, readers want to know: Are collectible gold and silver coins – like the ones sold by the U.S. Mint – worth it?

Why is “Income for Life” one of the few investments I’m making today, other than gold? (Hint: It’s one of the best-kept retirement secrets.)

And finally, kind words for my brother Jo, who may soon lose his job over the COVID-19 vaccine. Let’s dive in…

Reader comment: I have been following your journeys for quite a while and really enjoy your Postcards, but I have to say that I particularly enjoyed this one, and I agree with Dusty! There are people all over the world who have gone out of their way to be kind to me and my family, and I am very grateful for them. In this case, I am grateful for Dusty’s emphasis on the positive. This world needs all of that that we can give.

Thank you for this kind message and thank you to everyone else who sent supportive messages to Dusty for the Postcard he wrote last week. I made sure he saw every one. You really encouraged him!

Reader question: In a recent Postcard, you mentioned whole-life insurance as one of your few investments other than gold. Can you expound a little on that?

Whole-life insurance is permanent life insurance, which means as long as you keep paying the premiums, the policy covers you for life.

I like to think of my life insurance as a bond which matures upon my death, and pays interest each year until then. I bought this bond using a payment plan. The annual payments are called “insurance premiums.”

The older I get, the closer to maturity the bond gets, and the closer I (or my heirs actually) get to the return of capital.

Its present market value is low now because I still have several decades of life expectancy ahead of me. But every day I get a little older, the present value increases.

This is the source of the compound investment growth of the policy. That, and the tax-free income the policy pays each year.

Whole-life insurance is the simplest, most vanilla type of permanent life insurance. It’s been around for centuries, and there aren’t any hidden fees or subtle complexities that cost the consumer. There is no indexing to the stock market or variable interest rates, or anything else like that.

And I only buy whole-life insurance from a mutual life insurance company. Mutual life insurance companies are owned by their policyholders, and therefore they pay bigger dividends.

Reader question: Wondering about your thoughts on buying gold and silver proof coins from the U.S. Mint as they are issued?

I’ll split your question into two parts.

First, proof coins are special coins issued by the Mint. (The Mint is a bureau of the U.S. Treasury Department.) They strike them at least twice to give them sharper detail and sharper edges. They are rarer. And more expensive than regular “uncirculated” coins the Mint issues.

I don’t have any particular interest in purchasing proof coins… But then I’ve never looked at gold coins as something I was trying to collect. I’m really just interested in the gold content (the higher the pure gold content, the better).

As for your second question about buying coins directly from the Mint, instead of buying them in the secondary market from a coin dealer…

Well, I’ve never bought from the Mint directly before, so I cannot speak with any authority. But my impression is the Mint is not that competitive with the secondary market in terms of price. And unless you must have the latest issue in mint condition for collectability reasons, it’s better to buy from a dealer in the open market.

Reader comment: I grew up reading one book after another. First it was the Hardy Boys and Danny Dunn books. Then medieval/fantasy/science fiction, and finally onto non-fiction. (I probably only read one fiction book per year now).

I found I couldn’t read longer works anymore, and that my thinking seemed shallow and disjointed. I finally figured out the cause – the internet. Reading all the short-form articles and videos made my brain grow soft. I made up my mind to start reading books again. One of those was The Great Reckoning, which led to Bill Bonner’s writing, then yours.

You can get your cognitive patience back again. Just keep working out the brain, and it will all come back within weeks. Are you doing all your reading on an e-reader? I would suggest using the ones that have e-ink technology. It is easier on the eyes, and more like reading a book printed on paper. I still enjoy the newsletters.

Thanks for writing in. Your experience matches my own. I’d really like my cognitive patience back again.

My mind is like a ping-pong ball these days. I read paperback books, and I read printouts of the research and newsletters I like.

I do have a Kindle with e-ink technology, but I still prefer reading on paper.

Reader comment: I’m behind your brother 100%! And so are many others in Alberta and the rest of Canada. There are constitutional lawyers and crowdfunding by organizations such as Rebel News that are taking up the challenge to keep our medical freedoms.

It won’t be easy and it won’t happen overnight, but in the end I’m sure those of us that wish to be responsible for our health and sovereignty will prevail!

Thanks for writing in! And thanks to everyone else who wrote in. (As always, please keep your questions and comments coming at [email protected].)

My brother feels very lonely in the position he’s taken. Everyone around him in Medicine Hat, Canada, is vaccinated. Your messages were reassuring.

– Tom Dyson

Like what you’re reading? Send your thoughts to [email protected].