No society, or its currency, lasts forever. The Roman Empire collapsed and took the Denarius with it. The fall of Germany led to the hyperinflation of the Weimar Republic. Be it next year or next decade, the United States dollar will collapse.
At this point, it’s a mathematical certainty. Either through our national debt and liabilities or the actions of our financial enemies, the global dominance of the US dollar will end.
When this time comes, you will need to be prepared by exchanging your dollars for more tangible goods.
The goal here is to preserve your overall value for when the dollar re-surges or to convert your dollars into something more exchangeable (barter).
Think of the stories of the Weimar Republic (exaggerated or not) where a citizen would bring a wheelbarrow full of cash to the grocery store. Soon after the wheelbarrow was stolen, and the cash was left.
When money loses value, history has taught us that any cash that isn’t turned into hard goods is soon worthless. Let’s look at the 15 things to own when the dollar meets its eventual end.
The king of dense value is gold. From biblical times to modern times, gold is one of the best stores of wealth. Collect 1 ounce and fractional coins.
When the time comes, it will be easier to hand over a single gold coin vs a stack of silver or a truckful of paper money. Gold options to purchase include:
- Paper gold certificates: Paper notes with 1/1000th of an ounce of gold foil
- Fractional gold coins: 1/10th to ½ ounce coins allowing you to purchase gold in smaller quantities
- 1 oz. gold coins: American gold eagles, Krugerrands, and Chinese gold pandas are the most recognizable
- Gold bars: If we could all be so lucky!
Silver has been just as popular throughout history as gold, but worth a fraction per ounce. Silver collectors around the world recognize that silver is easy to stack.
Purchasing an ounce of silver is much more affordable than an ounce of gold. As the dollar spirals out of control, the value of silver is near guaranteed to skyrocket.
Silver options to purchase include:
- Junk Silver: Traditionally known as Junk Silver, these coins are US dimes, quarters, half dollars minted before 1964 and contain 90% silver
- Fractional silver: 1/10th to ½ ounce coins and bars allowing you to purchase silver in smaller quantities
- 1 oz. silver coins: American Silver Eagles, Canadian Maple Leaves, British Britannia’s, and Australian kangaroos are cheap and easy to stack
- Silver bars: 5 ounce all the way up to 100 ounce and 1 kilogram bars will be a great store of larger volumes of wealth
3. Other Metals
Your safe doesn’t need to be stacked with only gold and silver. Other metals have value that may be useful in times of need.
Collecting all-copper pennies and true nickels is currently very easy and may be worth real money in the future.
All nickels are worth more in melt value (value of the base metal) than the face value of the coins. The same goes for pennies minted in 1981 or earlier.
While it’s illegal to melt them down currently, they may be exchangeable at a future date for much more than their face value. Metals to stock up on now are:
- 1981 and earlier pennies: Minted with 100% copper, they have a metal value above their face price
- All nickels: See pure copper pennies
- Platinum coins and bars: Less know than gold or silver, but just as valuable
4. Small Barter Items
Barter items are always good to have on hand. Even little items can be useful in times of scarcity. Your imagination is the only limit of the possibilities. Some ideas include:
- Entertainment: Even in the best of times we get bored, in the worst of times we need distractions, stock up on few boxes of books, board games, and stacks of DVDs
- Hygiene: Toothpaste to shampoo and everything in between is valuable to someone who hasn’t prepared and needs a washup
- Canned goods: Even the most common canned goods can provide variety to someone’s meal
- Batteries and chargers: the ability to keep a radio running or a game (to keep the kiddos occupied) may be all the difference to the bored and information starved
5. Large Barter Items
Where there is no money, barter rules. When you need to exchange for something big, you need to have something equally valuable.
Generators, communication (HAM radios), even clothing — specifically winter clothing (hit the Salvation Army, Goodwill, and other thrift stores for cheap stockpiles of bulk clothing).
Don’t stop there, Solar systems, heating and cooling systems, as well as water processing options will all gain value as the dollar collapses.
People will always want the convenience of electricity as well as the comforts that they have been used to.
As a result, they will pay or trade handsomely for those items. Soon, the paper you invested will grow in value several times over.
Large barter items to exchange for your cash include:
- Generators: The world runs on electricity and generators are the easiest method to replace grid power
- Solar arrays and components: Requires no fuel, however you need more than you think to run a household
- Clothing: Jackets, hats, long johns, and especially footwear, will wear out and replacements will become valuable
- Vehicle and engine parts: From small engines (chainsaws) to tractors and cars, have the ability to fix the main wear parts (carburetors, tires, breaks, etc.)
- Gasoline and other fuels: Propane cylinders (large and small) as well as gas will be scarce when society fails, make sure to rotate your stored gas
6. Foreign Investments
Foreign stocks, mutual funds, and bonds are sound investments during strong times. When the dollar collapses, investors will panic for safe havens for their investments.
Bonds are traditionally more stable than other investments however they tend to earn less than stocks and mutual funds.
In times of financial stress you are looking to preserve your value as gains will be few and far between.
Move your money into foreign bonds of historically stable countries such as Australia and New Zealand.
Protein is one of the hardest foods to store. Keeping it “on the hoof” is the best way to have a fresh supply.
From rabbits and chickens to goats and cows, livestock, if you have the room, is a worthwhile investment.
As things spiral out of control, purchasing a brace of rabbits or a small flock of chickens will return your investment many times over.
Remember, a single buck (male rabbit) and four does (female rabbits) will meet the protein needs of a family of four over the course of a year.
- Chickens and quail: Valuable for their meat and eggs, quail are especially easy and quiet to raise
- Rabbits: One of the most prolific sources of protein available for the homeowner
- Goats: Valuable for both their milk and meat are easy to raise as they will eat almost anything
- Horses: A good pair of working horses can get you around town and help around the homestead
- Cows: While it can take a few years to grow a cow to full size, a cow can mean hundreds of pounds of meat in the freezer
If you have the funds, then land makes a great investment. Especially if it is of high quality and able to host a garden. As the saying goes, they aren’t making any more land.
Be it for development, farming, or for an off-grid cabin, land is a great store of significant cash. Options for sourcing land include:
- Traditional real-estate transactions: A realtor will be the easiest way to find raw land
- Craigslist: For sale by owner may get you land at a discount
- Land lease: If access is what you are looking for, then a lease may be the best option for you
As the dollar collapses, societal collapse will go hand in hand with it. The means of securing your property and protecting will take top priority.
Further, if you can store extras of your favorite defensive tools, then consider storing enough to barter with to help ensure the security of your neighbors and neighborhood.
- Defensive tools: You know what works best
- Expendables: Cleaning and maintenance supplies
- Cameras\drones: Expand visualization beyond your immediate perimeter
- Trip wires and other perimeter alarms: It’s always best to know if something is coming from as far away as possible
10. Foreign Currency
The saying goes that when the US gets a cold, the world gets the flu. While this is largely true, there are safe havens.
Travelex has booths at most airports and will allow you to convert reasonable amounts of cash into foreign currencies (e.g., Swiss Franc).
Although the universe of cryptocurrencies is rapidly changing, Bitcoin and some of the other popular currencies are a great way to store money without having to keep it in your mattress.
Buyer beware, laws are evolving and it is possible to be locked out of your coin of choice or to have massive swings in value.
12. Tools and Supplies
Things will always break; therefore, we will always need the ability to fix them. When currency is dying, even a hammer will gain value if you’ve lost the ability to replace it.
Exchange your currency for hammers, drills, saws, nails, screws, anything that can be used to accomplish common repairs:
- Hammers: How many of your suburban neighbors actually have a hammer
- Saws: From hand saws to power saws have several of each to barter
- Drills: Even hand drills make the job easier
- Wrenches: That 10mm socket will not find itself
- Hand planes: When you have rough wood to work with, a planer is one of the few ways to solve the problem
- Nails/screws/nuts/bolts/glue: It’s almost impossible to do joinery without nuts, bolts, and nails
Without water, we are dead in three days, while our ability to function is diminished long before that.
From mechanical filters to chemical purification, filtration is a requirement to avoid a life-threatening illness. Items to stock up on include:
- Berkey water filter: The standard for purifying water in the home, any of the similar models will serve you well for tens of thousands of gallons
- Sawyer personal filter: When filtering on the road, a smaller filter is a requirement, stock up on them by the case for barter
- Pool shock: Calcium Hypochlorite must be the only ingredient, with a one-pound bag you can sanitize tens of thousands of gallons of water
14. Bulk Food
We can survive weeks without food, but who wants to? Additionally, it’s a good bet your neighbors aren’t prepared. If you can share with them, you can form a community.
Long-term storage foods (beans, rice, pasta, oats) are the best hedge against food insecurity. Stock up on calories and variety:
- Beans and rice: A large portion of the world lives on beans and rice, they’re one of the cheapest forms of calories to stack
- Pasta: Pasta, properly packaged, lasts for decades
- Wheat: Wheat can last almost forever, make sure to learn how to sprout it or purchase a grinder
- Freeze-dried: Expensive, but one of the best ways to add variety to a diet
- Proteins: Expensive and short-lived unless freeze-dried, if you’re canning your own, make sure to rotate them
15. Skills and Services
There are materials and then there’s mindset. Tools are useless without the knowledge to use them. Investing now in classes can be one of the best stores of wealth.
Spending a little money now to gain and master a skill may be the most valuable investment you ever make. Classes to take include:
- First aid and trauma medicine: The ability to save a life and manage traumatic injury may literally be the difference between life and death, additionally the knowledge gained will guide your selection and purchase of additional medical gear
- Foraging: Do you have the ability to extend your food stores with nature’s abundance, if not, maybe you should
- Animal husbandry: Rabbits may do their thing, but when you are depending on the next batch of kits, you will want to help them along to make every brood successful
- Gardening: Ever try to start a garden from scratch, it’s much more complicated than you can imagine
- Security skills: From armed combat to unarmed combat, these skills are non-trivial to master and perishable
- Food preservation: Can a vegetable or meat the wrong way and it may kill you, get the skills now