CHISWICK, WEST LONDON – Greetings from my childhood home, and welcome to another Friday mailbag edition…
Our time here in London is coming to an end.
We’re heading back to the States soon to stay with my father in New York, and to spend time with Kate’s parents in Florida.
Then, we’re making a stop in Idaho, where we lived last winter, to get our belongings…
In this week’s mailbag edition, readers want to know more about the next leg of our journey… our decision to “do nothing” with my mother’s row house… and more.
Let’s dive in…
Reader comment: I’m so glad to see that you and your family will be spending time with your father! I’m sure he is really looking forward to seeing all of you and spending quality time together. This is going to be another great experience for the kids – and for you and Kate. Enjoy!
When we lived in Florida, my father would visit us from New York, but he’d never stay longer than a day or two.
“Why won’t you stay longer?” we’d ask him.
“I’d rather leave too soon and you wish I’d stay longer than stay too long and you wish I’d leave sooner,” he’d answer.
My father lives alone in a one-bedroom apartment in New York. We’re planning to stay with him for six weeks. I wonder how he’ll feel about the length of our visit when we leave?
Reader comment: The U.K. real estate market is fairly strong and desirable. Keeping the home will be a good long-term play, which you could lease and share the proceeds with your brother. My hunch is you won’t return there, but when you plant yourself and family somewhere new.
London property has been a good store of value for 2,000 years. I think it’ll continue to be, measured against stocks and bonds, at least.
I also think London property compliments a portfolio of gold and life insurance.
My entire investment strategy right now boils down to one mandate: how to preserve capital through the “Great Reset” that’s coming.
By that, I mean a loss in the dollar’s purchasing power and a reset – or “reckoning” – for stock market investors. (I wrote about this in more detail here.)
That said, I don’t want to be greedy. I don’t want to be perfect. We just want enough capital left over after the Reset to be able to live off the income indefinitely.
I think London property helps us accomplish this. That’s why, after a lot of back and forth, we’ve decided to “do nothing” and keep my mother’s home for now.
Reader comment: I am an 88-year-old lady now but I have followed you in all of your travels. I have especially enjoyed your travels in the United States. I love to travel. My husband and I wanted to go to all 50 states. When he died, we had been to 45. Since that time, I have been to the other three original states. I have driven all across Canada and my favorites were British Columbia and Vancouver. I have been all over South America and nearly all the Islands.
I still want to go to Alaska but I don’t have anyone to go with me. I offered to pay my daughter’s way but she said there were too many other places she would rather go. I hope you and your family make it there. I am so proud of you and what you are doing. I feel as if your family is a part of me. I don’t have much family – only one grandson who lives close by and his wife. They can’t have children as she had breast cancer so my line stops with him.
Thank you for your kind message.
My family has been to 39 states so far. Like you, we want to visit all 50 states, too.
If we ever decide to go to Alaska… and I hope we do… I’ll let you know and you can ride with us.
Reader comment: Sounds like you are giving your children an education in money, unlike 99% of the world. However, I’m wondering if there is a gap in your children’s education around bitcoin. Even if you don’t like it, you may find your children are captivated by it and will be extremely grateful you allowed their curiosity to go in that direction.
We talk about bitcoin, but at their stages of education, it’s more appropriate for us to talk about money as a general concept.
We do include bitcoin, gold, and paper currency as part of that conversation, though.
Reader comment: If you want to know how a smartphone wrecks your brain, try reading The New Media Epidemic by Jean-Claude Larchet. The scariest part for me is the neurological effect.
Thanks. I downloaded it and I am reading it.
My smartphone use definitely helped me wreck my brain. I can’t sit still anymore. I’ve become a fidget.
Now I’ve gotten rid of my smartphone, I must learn to sit still again, and to do it without any distractions. (I first wrote about this in the September 8 Postcard.)
I’ve been trying. It’s very uncomfortable and I still can’t last more than a few minutes. My hope is, with practice, I’ll get my cognitive patience back again…
This quote from Alain de Botton, a British philosopher, stood out to me:
It is one of the unexpected disasters of the modern age that our new unparalleled access to information has come at the price of our capacity to concentrate on anything much. The deep, immersive thinking which produced many of civilization’s most important achievements has come under unprecedented assault.
We are almost never far from a machine that guarantees us a mesmerizing and libidinous escape from reality. The feelings and thoughts which we have omitted to experience while looking at our screens are left to find their revenge in involuntary twitches and our ever-decreasing ability to fall asleep when we should.
Reader comment: I started reading your Postcards about a year and a half ago, and, earlier this year, actually signed up for your Portfolio because I thought it to be the best reasoned information, and you had skin in your plan. I put a little over 50% of my worth into your portfolio, split into the approximate proportions that you suggested. I have tracked the results.
You can imagine that, over time, these are all over the place. But, as of today, tankers are at +21.1% (although a few are negative), and gold kickers are at +2.6% (but have been negative at times, with one big winner and two big losers). Royalty stocks are at +27.9%, with one negative. Physical gold is at +18.3%, and is the largest holding in my portfolio. Silver is at -7.2%, and has been negative for most of the time that I have held it.
I had to look at this as a “whole” pie, or, I would have sold some of the negative items. Once you get this mindset, the rest is easy. I take a look every now and then. I don’t let individual fluctuations bother me. And I stick with the program. Some of the tankers can fluctuate quite wildly so I needed to just let it go and look at the whole picture.
This is the way I hoped Tom’s Portfolio subscribers would approach my strategy – as a whole pie and not as a collection of individual trades.
The main mandate, as I said above, is to preserve our capital as best we can while we get to the other side of this monstrous speculative bubble the feds have inflated.
Things will get much easier after that…
Reader comment: I have followed you for, I don’t know how long, many years. I am writing because I now need a place to buy gold and silver. I have forgotten who you recommend. Please let me know.
I recommend the coin businesses in the table below. I have personally bought gold from each of these gold sources over the years…
Gold Coin Dealer
David Hall Rare Coins
Asset Strategies International
Please note, I don’t receive any compensation or special discounts from these businesses.
They’re just offering the best gold coin deals I know about.
Reader question: Just wondering what your take is on the new tanker ETF BOAT?
I hadn’t heard of it before I read your email. Thanks for sharing this.
I looked into it this morning and I liked what I saw. It holds big positions in some of my favorite names. And it has big positions in some names I’d like to own but cannot because they don’t trade on U.S. exchanges.
The expense ratio is 0.69%, which is tolerable.
At 53% of its assets, it has a heavy exposure to the containership industry. As regular readers know, the containership business is in a bull market and I expect containership stocks to keep rising.
Reader question: I’m newly transplanted to Boise, Idaho. Can you recommend a precious metals dealer in the area? Many thanks and keep up the good work.
I’m sorry, I don’t know any good coin shops in Idaho.
Perhaps someone reading this message can recommend a good coin shop in Boise? If so, I’ll pass whatever I hear on to you…
If you live in or near Boise, and you know of any good coin shops, write us at [email protected].
And, as always, keep your questions and comments coming, too. I read every note you send us, and I’ll address as many as I can in future Friday mailbag editions.
– Tom Dyson