From the Desk of John Rourke – August 21st, 2015

The stock market really took a tumble yesterday. Over 300 points. It has been predicted for some tie that the market is too high and a correction is due. I suspect that more is in the works although the market will likely bounce back today with investors taking advantage of lower prices.

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Loyal reader Kevin left a comment related to making a decision on whether or not to cash in his 401k to fund his survival supplies. No doubt Kevin is not alone in contemplating a similar action.

Of course this is deeply personal and there is a lot that needs to be taken into consideration. I am not financial advisor however I will provide my opinion.

The short answer is “no” – don’t do it. I prep with a philosophy that something “may” happen – not that it will happen. Will the economy collapse? I don’t know – and neither does anyone else. We all have opinions. Will there will a nuclear war? Some are 100% positive that there will be. Regardless – that is their opinion as well. I prep just in case. I invest in my 401k and I am sure Kevin does as well for a very likely retirement for himself when he gets older.

I have also thought of discontinuing my monthly contribution in my 401k. I have come close to stopping it all together especially when I truly consider what might happen in the future. I keep coming back to what if nothing happens and that money is needed when I get older?

My own personal decision has been to continue to add to my 401k at work AND prep as I can afford it. Something else I have done which aides in my prepping is every 5 years I take a loan out from my 401k. Many financial advisers would frown on such and action but it is my money and the interest goes back to me. It is a loan from myself. Doing this has allowed me to purchase many supplies I otherwise would not have been able to.

So – that is my opinion and it will not work or fit for everyone. Contributing to 401k is one variation of preparing for the future – just not one most “Doomsday Preppers” are concerned about.

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Next giveaway starts the 26th of August. A Sunwayman C22C high performance flashlight is up for grabs. Details to be announced on the 26th.


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EMP and solar storms have been getting more publicity lately. I have seen references all over mainstream websites and also included in TV shows. Here is a good article with some explanations on solar flares.

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Hope everyone has a great weekend.

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11 thoughts on “From the Desk of John Rourke – August 21st, 2015”

  1. It’s been about 5-years since I swallowed the red pill and became a prepper. My retirement preparations have languished because I pulled out most of the typical funds and went very heavy into precious metals and even shorting some positions expecting a crash at any minute. In hindsight, this was a mistake. There’s a lot of fear-mongering out there and all types of potential catastrophes out there, but I think Rourke nails it—-you are much more likely to reach retirement than to face an EMP, or a nuclear war, or a super-volcano, or SHTF….. Keep your wits about you, be smart, keep prepping, but don’t forget to ALSO prepare for the greater potential that nothing awful happens!

  2. I’ve contemplated the 401K “bail out” also. I’m like you, I’ve decided to let it ride, just in case. I’ve done loans before, despite being advised against it by fellow employees. However, when the market is down, I’ve actually made more by paying interest to myself than it would’ve made had I left it in the plan.

  3. Regarding taking out a loan on your 401(k)… just so you know everyone may not be able to do that. It’s up to the employer to determine whether loans will be allowed within the plan or not. So if you broach the subject with your employer and he/she says that’s not an option, the person you’re talking to is probably not lying to you to keep you from doing it. It’s just not allowed in the plan document. For what it’s worth…

  4. All my connections pulled against their 401K, but did it wisely. They either took a loan out against half it or took out half. And yes, you can do it period. Your company doesn’t have a say in this matter. It’s the bank that’s holding(virtually) your money that makes that decision. Taking half left some “just in case”, it’s still building, it also builds your credit, and it allowed them to get what they needed/wanted now. Kind of like an early retirement gift. Bought some land or a bunch of good prep stuff like a high end gear, tent, backpack, jeep, etc. This way they are investing in equipment they really can use right now for camping or the great outdoors. All of which can like I said, be used now for vacation now and will last well into the retirement age if nothing happens. Win/Win, duel purpose.

    Besides…Beyond the SHADOW of a doubt the economy is going to crash. It must reset at a minimum. There is no way we can ever pay back 17 Trillion dollars and climbing. Good luck with a 17 Trillion dollar debt run by the clowns in office now. Supposing some people do hang onto their whole 401K and go without now. Do you really think we are going to magically avoid the economy not resetting? Let’s say you make it to retirement, and when your in your retirement the economy tanks. Then what? This is not a fear tactic and I’m not saying running around with your head cut off now. This is…however reality. We really do have a 17 Trillion dollar debt we can never pay back. How do you suppose Greece got into their situation their in and now Puerto Rico. I am saying how wise is it to leave your money in a 401K even it makes to your retirement and then the economy does tank? What then? Would it have been better to pull against it now when you can, to get something while you can have it now before it’s gone?

    Or kind of like my computer equipment. Let’s look at it the other way. Hanging on to it “just in case” I can sale it off, because it’s a good investment. However, I literally based on the accelerated pace of things. Just tossed out $1000’s of dollars worth of equipment this weekend. Just threw them away. An investment into technology I could have sold off eventually, but it takes time to sale that kind of stuff. What good is it if I save all that computer stuff taking up room, wasting space I need to build up my base, but never sale it. I threw away Lenovo servers, Dell Servers, PC’s, laptops, and I’m talking quad core stuff. Not super old. I may list a few on ebay, but I’m not waiting. I’m not freaking out either, but again.. I’m not waiting. Things are speeding up so my priorities have changed.

    Also, personally, I would never invest in Gold, silver, etc. We had that discussion here once. IMO it takes waaay to much money I could use NOW to buy something like NVG and it’s something that can put your life at risk in a HTF situation. Besides, IMO a lot better things can be bought in larger quantities that will be better than gold in grid down situation. Stuff like Alcohol, iodine, asprin, dark chocolate, even toilet paper. And no one will risk their own life to jump you over it.

  5. I had a 401k then I got cancer. I had very good insurance, but the deductible would have put me in debt longer than most peoples .but I am alive because it had my 401k so you don’t know where it might go ,but its good to have.

  6. Well, down well over 500 points again, today.

    So, the question becomes, what if you borrow against the 401k and the market continues to collapse until your 401k doesn’t cover what you borrrowed? Or worse, it not only covers the borrowed amount, but you get laid off, too?

  7. My opinion is that today, there are too many uncertainities to make any wise stock market investment. I gradually turned from stocks and bonds (hey anyone what to buy some great iron rust city munis?) to commodities. Commodities were logical as my family were producers in both the food and energy sectors. The commodity market is high risk and I remember as an early investor sweating out whether I was actually going to take delivery on what amounted to a train load of eggs. Big margins, big risk, but offering huge gains. At some point the family turned toward rural real estate and the metals (rhodium and gold). We eventually ended up with several rural properties we planned to hold long term (for decades) and moved most other surplus resources into the metals of which, like the Great State of Texas, we took physical custody. These monies were distributed along the US national boarders with only a token for local emergency stored near our properties. As a mature investor with decades of market experience, I decided the uncertainty with all markets was such that this recourse was necessary.

    No one should risk anything on a market investment that they cannot loose without beating themselves up over after the loss. I suspect that encompasses 95% of all investors and virtually all of the population. The unknown risks are simply too great and the returns are too small.

    Now I’m not recommending transferring your 401k to Emergency Essentials. What everyone should seriously consider however is stocking supplies sufficient to weather at least two years and have the means to reasonably protect those supplies. The very best of all investments is education. Education has long been the very best transportable investment. It simply has no peer. The women in my life invested in medical knowledge which should only appreciate in value, more so in the face of a calamitous national event.

    Our wealth preservation strategy is one soundly based in historical success, commodity producing land in different regions, liquid portable monies, and education. No fixed fortification ever withstood determined attack. Education, mobility and distributed wealth producing assets are prime to familial wealth preservation over a period measured in centuries not years.

    In closing, remember the ENRON disaster? No matter how good your research, unless you were a fat cat insider or member of the accounting team, all indicators were ENRON was a good investment. Of course their bona fides were faked and those who trusted published data lost big.

    My thoughts,
    PR to

  8. What if it doesn’t cover the amount borrowed? Well, um..if the entire economy collapses. The dollar is absolutely useless, nothing but ink on special paper. That will be the result quickly after the amount borrowed is not covered. I guess repo companies are gonna have a lot of business for the Millions of people they need to track down and a lot dead employees trying to recover stuff. Not to mention IF they can find the people.


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