LONDON, ENGLAND – I left my job almost two years ago. We sold all our things. My ex-wife and I hit the road with our three kids. We don’t have anywhere to live. Our kids don’t go to school.

We left “the matrix” in another important way, too. When we left America, we drained our bank accounts and retirement accounts of cash, and converted all our savings into gold and silver.

Why did we do this? We don’t want to be “in the system” anymore.

I’m not going to get into it now, but the system is unbalanced and unstable. One of these days, there’s going to be a collapse.

We’re going to sit on the sidelines, in precious metals, until it’s safe to return to the financial system. And when it finally is safe, we’ll sell all our gold and invest in stocks, where our money will stay – I hope – generating bigger and bigger dividends for the rest of our lives.

Ultimate Barometer

How will we know when it’s safe?

The ultimate barometer of systemic “health” is the Dow-to-Gold ratio.

The Dow is the aggregated stock price of 30 of the largest, most iconic businesses in the world.

Gold is an inert metal. It’s the investment equivalent of hiding your money under the floorboards.

By presenting these two as a ratio, I get a barometer.

I’ve looked through 100 years of stock market history. When the system has “reset” in the past, the ratio went below 5, depending on how bad things got.

When things were ripping, as they were in the late 1990s, for example, the ratio got as high as 41.

The thing about this barometer is, unlike other price series in financial markets, it doesn’t bounce around much. Once it begins a trend, it tends to stay in that trend for many years.

The charts below tell the whole story.


When we started our travels and arrived in Africa in November 2018, the barometer was above 22. Today, it’s at 18.5.

It’s falling again.

Rendezvous With Destiny

I believe this is the start of a longer trend… a signal that the system is going to break soon.

But while we wait for the Dow-to-Gold ratio’s “rendezvous with destiny,” as Bill Bonner calls it, we’ve been seeing the world.

We’re in London now, visiting my mother and taking a short break. We just finished our first circumnavigation of the world in December, visiting 29 countries over 18 months.

In a couple of weeks, we’ll fly back to the States and begin our new lives as a family. (Kate and I are getting re-married.)

I have no idea what these new lives will look like yet… where we’ll live, for example, or what we’ll do with our time.

We’ll see…

– Tom Dyson

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


Readers are inspired by the Dyson family’s travels… Tom’s story about depression… and his dedication to unplug from modern tech distractions

Reader comment: You, Kate, and your children are amazing! I could go on about how spoiled our American children are, how trapped we are in society’s box, the 9 to 5 grind, slave to the job/routine/what others think, on and on, but you guys are out there, in my opinion, truly living!

Thank you for sharing. Sending love and good vibrations to you and yours!

Reader comment: As someone who lives on two sides of the earth, I feel a special appreciation for your Asian adventures, your wanderlust, and your not fully fitting anywhere. My bones are about twice as old as yours and I will not be sleeping on floors or trains, but I get some pleasure from reading of your life.

While I cannot relate to your mental struggles of previous discussions, I could wonder if seeing and sharing some of the horrors of the Central American emigrants is not possibly a burden pretty hard to carry.

I think the best of friends (or family) can be the therapy we all need. I am lucky enough to have a great wife, and some long term friends and work I enjoy to keep me sane and grounded. The location grounding is not needed. I suspect you can be the same.

Reader comment: You have lived the life I would enjoy. Getting away from all the distractions of daily life and petty grievances of relatives. I taught banking in Russia during the Gorbachev years. I also spent time in Czechoslovakia before the split with Slovakia, as I had a great uncle in the government who was jailed with Havel and the other dissidents. It was great to hear their stories of resolve. Your postcards have inspired me.

Tom’s comment: Thanks for all the kind notes! Kate and I read every question and comment you send us – even if we aren’t able to answer right away. Please keep writing us at [email protected].