Land or Gold?
By: Jimmy Miller
Farmland: A Golden Opportunity?
A forest of oak and pine surrounds your private dreamscape. Beneath the native grasses and wildflowers, the valley’s soft black soil has the rich aroma of life. Deer come to taste the pristine stream and ducklings take refuge in the reeds. Everything is here to sustain life; all it needs is work and time to grow. For many of us, the path to this dream is through physical possession of precious metals. After making that first Bullion purchase, when we feel the weight of silver and gold in our hands and hear its distinctive chime, the realization sets in that we are holding real money for the first time in our lives. However, in the wake of silver’s recent descent back into the low 30’s many are starting to doubt some predictions made by professional economists, and ask if now is the time to move out of gold and silver, and into rural land.
Newbies to the bullion game, expecting quick gains, have lost enormously. Many are disillusioned by the recent drop in price and are starting to ask: Why did the so called experts fail to warn us that margin requirements could be increased? The question is valid, and the lesson is powerful. We should not trust any analyst. It is our responsibility to do our own research. However, we must remember the basic principles of gold and silver investing. We hold physical bullion to preserve our purchasing power in the event of a currency collapse, because metal cannot be printed into worthlessness.
Quantitative-easing to infinity
Although QE2 is coming to an end in June, we believe there will be more quantitative easing in the future because the alternative is bank failure and government default. As the printing presses pump more money into the economy over the next few years, we can be certain the dollar will lose value and more people will flood into silver and gold. While the recent plunge in precious metals and particularly silver has scared novices out of the market, the current price gives us the opportunity to continue buying below the all-time high. Long term investors are not worried about the price drop, but celebrate the opportunity to load up at bargain prices. While fundamentals remain strong in support of continued gains over the next few years, the recent dip in silver is a blunt reminder that the banksters still have the means to manipulate the paper price so we should expect a bumpy ride.
More volatility ahead
The volatility in precious metals and particularly silver is more than some can bear, and many are looking to transition into land. A Homestead is a wonderful investment because it has the potential to feed and shelter us. With solar panels and a well, we can say goodbye to utility bills forever. With gardening skills and farm animals, we can save money on groceries and eat healthier than ever. Land ownership, however, is not without its risks and drawbacks. Land cannot be kept secretly like silver and gold. We must pay property taxes and maintain the property or it can be taken by the government. We can also lose our parcel to imminent domain and in some cases to squatters.
Many affordable pieces of land are on the market, and it is possible to build a homestead inexpensively in some places. Unfortunately, for many of us, options are limited to areas nearby because of family or employment. When looking for cheap land, we must be careful when purchasing at county auctions or on e-bay. Many “bargains” may be unusable or inaccessible. Like any investment, it is important to do our homework before buying.
Farmland a bull market
Despite the continued decline in other sectors of real estate, Farmland is preforming well. As more Americans awaken to the state of our economy, more people will want to get out of the suburbs. Moving out to the country to build a homestead is already a growing trend. If you have enough money to buy flat buildable acreage with access to water, and zoning that allows for agriculture, now is a great time to start your farm. However, if you cannot afford a property that lives up to your expectations, hold on to your precious metals and keep stacking until you can afford what you truly desire.
It would not be prudent to spend all of your physical metal on land. Keep some silver and gold put away to protect yourself from currency collapse, and remember that it will take time, hard work and money to turn undeveloped terrain into an income producing asset. The rewards of land ownership may not instantly manifest. If you plant an orchard this week, it can take years to bear fruit. Those investing in land today, and making improvements that will increase the survivability of that land, are doing so because they recognize that time is as valuable as money. Buy land if you can, but if you are looking to have an investment just to hold, you are better off with precious metals. Land ownership carries the burden of maintenance, property tax and is illiquid when compared to precious metals. If however, you are buying your land to build a homestead or start a business in agriculture, it would be wise to start as soon as possible.
Could your next purchase be a farm in Costa Rica?
While trained to be a Chemist, My passions have led me to become a figurative artist and ukulele enthusiast. My thirst for knowledge gave me foresight into the failing economy long before most and I was thus able to make preparations while informing friends and neighbors. Prepping for a changing world, while staying informed has become a new focus in my life. I’ve started a garden, went solar and protected myself from inflation with silver. Through hard work and passion, I have lived my dreams. I take pride in my accomplishments and confront new challenges with enthusiasm.