“America’s #1 Cryptocurrency”: The “Secret Currency” Pitched by Steve Sjuggerud and the Stansberry Folks

Checking in, again, on that "Secret Currency" and "better than Bitcoin" investment teased by True Wealth

By Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe, April 3, 2015

A sudden avalanche of folks have been asking about this pitch again, so I thought I’d re-share and update my thoughts on something I wrote in the Friday File for the Irregulars back in October of 2013 … so yes, this is getting a little old. Much of this is from that original note, or from my update back in January of 2014, though I’ve gone through and updated my thoughts (and some of the numbers) a little bit.

From my quick glance, the core of the spiel from the Stansberry folks hasn’t changed much for this “Secret Currency” since then, other than to call it the “#1 Cryptocurrency” now that that term has entered the popular lexicon (and indeed, the ad is not dramatically different than it was when I first covered similar ads of theirs five or six years ago).

The one thing that’s particularly different in the last year or two is that they use the curiosity about Bitcoin to catch your attention —

The ad back in 2013 started out as a “warning” about Bitcoin:

“Urgent Message for U.S. Investors:

“Do NOT buy Bitcoin until you watch this public message

“This is the true story of alternative currencies in America — the one you won’t hear anywhere else. The story only wealthy families know. Please take five minutes to watch this message and avoid making a very costly Bitcoin mistake.”

And then went on to compare Bitcoin to a host of past internet failures or value-destroyers like Webvan and Pets.com and Groupon, and then makes the argument that the “secret currency” does the same things Bitcoin does (provide some privacy, get away from the US dollar, etc.).

Which is sort of true — I have some experience with both this “secret currency” and with Bitcoin, I tinkered with Bitcoin myself for a to see how it worked and whether it might be a viable alternative to using credit cards, and I’m not all that impressed with how useful it might become at the moment… though I still have maybe half a bit coin sitting in a “wallet” somewhere.

This is how they introduce the ad now:

“America’s #1 Secret Cryptocurrency:

“This is the true story of alternative currencies in America — the one you won’t hear anywhere else. The story wealthy families know — and which could climb 300%+ over the next few years.

“Don’t buy Bitcoin, Litecoin, Euros, Swiss francs, Chinese Yuan, Gold, or Silver until you take 5 minutes to watch this message.”

What follows was published for the Irregulars as a little closing bonus in a Friday File about a year and a half ago, when Sjuggerud was pitching the “secret currency.” He’s still pitching the same thing, so the basic spiel is similar now.

[excerpted from Friday File, 10/11/2013]
I’ll close with a look at a teaser that many of you have asked about this week — it’s circulating pretty heavily these days, from Steve Sjuggerud, and similar teasers have tended to come up, in my experience, whenever the market is in a state of high uncertainty. That’s certainly the case today.

Sjuggerud has been pitching something similar to this for many years, though not so much lately until the last month or so — and a similar pitch has come up twice now, both in the ads that were signed by Steve’s brother that I covered last month (teasing, among other things, investments with exposure to the Australian dollar and the “perfect hedge” of buying a house with a mortgage) and, more recently, in a new wave of ads for this “Like Gold … Only Better” investment.

Sjuggerud’s brother called this “Rich Gold” and described it this way:

“It’s a secret many rich people are taking advantage of, but it’s basically ignored by the middle class.

“You see, most people think that all gold bullion is the same.

“But the truth is, there are two very different types of gold bullion.

“Regular bullion essentially just follows the price of gold. When gold goes up 10%, regular bullion goes up 10%. When the price of gold goes up 20%, regular bullion goes up 20%.

“But there’s a second type of gold (my contact called it ‘Rich Bullion’) that follows a very different pattern.

“‘Rich’ bullion has a tendency to absolutely skyrocket in value, many times higher than ordinary bullion, in times of financial distress.

“For example…

“From 1970 to 1972, the U.S. government’s debt increased by about $50 billion (source: U.S. Treasury Dept.). And the price of gold during that period went up 80%.

“But from 1972 to 1974, right after these increases, ‘Rich’ gold bullion shot up an incredible 348%….

[more examples, bla bla bla]

“… this type of gold could not only protect your money… It could make you 500% or more over the next few years.

“Keep in mind: These two types of gold bullion look very similar. Almost identical – except for one very important identifying difference.

“And this difference has made ‘Rich’ bullion a prized asset among a lot of wealthy investors throughout history.”

And the more recent ad that’s running this week has a more inflammatory headline:

“Outlawed for 41 years… Now LEGAL Again

“This Unique Gold Investment Launched the Largest Family Fortune the World has Ever Seen…

“And Could Return 665% in the Next few Years”

Sound familiar? Here’s a bit more:

“Without giving away the secret just yet, I can tell you the secret currency is — as you might suspect — a form of gold.

“But it’s not your typical gold investment. Not by a long shot…

“It has nothing to do with mining stocks, mutual funds, options, futures, or bullion.

“Instead, this is a kind of currency used for centuries by the richest families to profit on financial windfalls created by governments around the world….

“This investment is like gold, only better — with the potential for much higher returns….

“The last time the Salomon Brothers brokerage firm included the Secret Currency in its annual investment survey, this investment ranked No. 1 over the prior 20-year span, with an annual return of 17.3%. In other words, it was the single most profitable thing you could do with your money over the previous 20 years….

“I believe an investment in the Secret Currency today could potentially double your money in the next six months.

“A 5-times or 10-times return over the next few years wouldn’t be surprising. Remember: The last time the conditions were even close to this good (in 1987), investors made 665% profits. Of course, nothing in the investment world can be guaranteed, but we believe the Secret Currency is one of the best investments in the world right now, in terms of risks, safety, and potential rewards.

“I think it makes sense for every American to own at least a small stake, with a small percentage of your overall holdings.”

So what are they talking about? Well, it’s still … collectible gold coins. That’s distinguished from bullion gold coins, like the modern American Eagle coin, which are priced based on the gold value they contain plus a couple of percent for the convenience of having them in coin form — they’re not rare, and people don’t pay big premiums for them.

But some collectible coins are quite rare, and fortunes have been made (and kept) by gold coin enthusiasts throughout history, including the many families Sjuggerud’s ad name-drops to get your attention. These are the coins, generally the most widely held are pre-1933 US gold coins, that will always be worth at least what the bullion goes for (since they could be melted down) but are generally sold at steep premiums to the bullion price because of their scarcity and/or condition. Most of these coins didn’t spend time rattling around in pockets, so all the ones you see are likely to be in very good shape but the gradations in condition are critically important to their value to collectors — you’ll generally see the best of the coins given a “Mint State” number and encased in plastic with an authentication certificate from a coin grader (MS-70 is “perfect” and pretty much unheard of for gold coins of this age, but a MS-61 coin will often get a solid several-hundred-dollar premium per coin (over the melt value) — and a MS-65 US $20 gold coin from the 1920s or 30s, which will look pretty much perfect to a non-collector and which contains just under an ounce of gold, could easily be worth twice the melt value (or far more, if it’s a rare date).

Steve Sjuggerud has been recommending gold coins for about ten years, and I’ve written about those teasers for years as well, but this time around he isn’t terribly specific in the ads about exactly which coins he’s recommending — he has liked several different kinds of gold collectible coins in the past, to my knowledge they’ve all been pretty high-volume well-known US coins (meaning there’s a ready market for them, they’re not “liquid” like stocks or bullion are liquid, but they’re pretty easy to sell at decent prices).

Probably his most successful recommendation in this vein has been the graded (MS-64 or MS-65) pre-1933 US $20 St. Gaudens Double Eagle coin, which rode up dramatically with the price of gold over the past decade but has, like gold, come back down a bit. His argument is that gold collectibles will continue to hold value far better than the gold bullion that they contain if bullion prices stay flat or drop, and that they are likely to become substantially more valuable, at much higher premiums to melt value, if we have another currency crisis or, as the gold bugs like to say, a severe disruption like a gold confiscation plan from the government a’la FDR in 1933 (that’s not going to happen, by the way — there’s no need for a revaluation of gold like FDR spurred with his confiscation plan, because the currency is not backed by gold as it was then … we can revalue the currency every day by printing a few trillion more dollars, and we’re already doing that).

There are manias in the gold coin collecting world as there are in any other collectible, so sometimes these coins have been extraordinarily valuable — coin enthusiasts like to cite times when these Double Eagles in average condition were going for multiples of the gold price (I’ve heard $4,000 for the coins in 1989, when the gold value would have been less than a tenth that amount), so that’s the real value proposition: they can’t be worth less than bullion since you could always melt them down, but they can go up a lot faster than bullion if the collectors get excited.

But over the years some of Sjuggerud’s chatter about gold coins for his subscribers has gradually come out and become more “public” — so I’ll just let you check out his words from 2010 and decide for yourself. He has a free 2010 version of much the same recommendation up on his website here, with presumably a similar logic and plan to what he’s pitching now, and coincidentally the prices of both gold (around $1,300) and the MS-64 PCGS St. Gaudens (around $1,800), are relatively close to where they were then (gold’s at $1,200, the MS-64 PCGS St. Gaudens is about $1,550 — so you can see that the premium can certainly shrink over any given time period). Check it out and see if you like the logic of buying these kinds of coins.

Personally, I do hold some coins that have collectible value beyond their gold or silver content, but that’s been more or less an accident and I haven’t made myself an expert on this stuff and don’t plan to, so I don’t make big investments in collectibles — I’d urge you to make the study of such things a serious hobby if you plan to invest serious money into these kinds of assets, whether they’re classic cars or old musical instruments or Victorian bed pans or, yes, old or rare gold coins.


And back to the present — right now from Apmex or other big dealers it looks like the MS-64 St. Gaudens are offered for about $1,500 or so with gold at $1,200, so if you had bought in October 2013 and had to sell now you’d be looking at something like a $300 loss on the collectible coin versus a $100 loss on the bullion. Those numbers are not particularly accurate, either the prices I jotted down today or the ones I checked 18 months ago, but that’s the kind of leveraged action collectibles can sometimes provide when sentiment shifts about gold — the collectible coin market is obviously influenced by the bullion market, but it’s also influenced by supply and demand of specific coins, among other things, and is far smaller than the gold market with wider bid/ask spreads and a less consistent price from dealer to dealer.

I wouldn’t tell anyone to bet their portfolio on either gold coins or Bitcoin, but gold is embedded in human culture as a traditional store of value and has been for thousands of years, and it is shiny and physical, so that gives it the leg up over Bitcoin if you’re talking about a “hard asset” with a controlled or constrained supply (gold is constrained by the amount already produced and the mineable deposits found, historical gold coins by the amount actually minted, and Bitcoin by algorithm and controlled release over time). Bitcoin’s longer-term potential and the reason for most of the venture capital interest in the technology is not just the non-manipulatable supply that’s not controlled by governments (I wouldn’t be 100% sure about either of those things), but the possibility that it could radically revamp money transfer technology and make it faster and cheaper, undercutting bank and credit card networks.

So far, from what I can tell, Bitcoin is not particularly fast or cheap for any real world applications and it’s a terrible way to transfer money if it can fluctuate 5% in the time it takes to move from your bank account in dollars, into Bitcoin, to someone else’s bitcoin wallet, into their bank account in whatever their currency is … of course, if you just keep your money in Bitcoin then it’s notably faster but can still take many minutes to confirm a transfer, which rules it out as a means of purchasing goods even for those few merchants who are, either for ideological, experimental, or publicity-seeking purposes, accepting Bitcoin for the sale of actual goods.

But does that mean you should eschew Bitcoin for collectibles? Or buy collectible gold coins as a store of value? Your call. I’d rather depend on bullion as a store of value than on collectible coins or bitcoin, since the latter is so unproven and possibly ephemeral and the former requires more attention and expertise than I particularly want to give or build … but it does sure seem that collectible coins have sometimes been very lucrative investments, particularly when purchased for not much more than their melt value and at times of economic pessimism when they were unloved. I’m relieved that my ability to pay the mortgage next month does not depend on any of those three asset classes going up.

Have a favorite? Let us know with a comment below.

Related Gumshoe Articles

“Rich Bullion: Secret Currency” And Some Thoughts on Personal Holdings and Watchlist Picks

Friday File solution to a gold teaser, and thoughts on Third Point, Input Capital, Sandstorm Gold, East West Petroleum, Americas Petrogas

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Steve Sjuggerud’s “Safest Currency” and “Perfect Hedge”

What to do if the dollar's going to fall? Teaser solutions from True Wealth

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Share Your Thoughts

ShowHide Comments (113)
    1. David L
      Jan 15 2014, 01:30:16 pm

      I am not aware of the full details, but I have heard that the Chinese have mastered the art of counterfeiting rare US coins. This could certainly cause some heartburn for novice collectors.

      • 16 |
        Deborah G Flynn
        Jan 23 2015, 08:54:23 am

        The Chinese can master counterfeiting ANYTHING. Their only goal is to dominate through money. America has let them

    2. 16
      Laura Schulman
      Jan 15 2014, 01:40:43 pm

      The best place to buy collectible coins is not to buy them. A shoe box in Grandma’s attic would do just fine. Or a junk store, like the one where I found a box full of 25 silver bullion dollars, ranging from late 1800’s Morgans to my favorite 1921 Peace Dollars, VG Circulated. I paid $75 for the lot. I collect coins because I like ’em, not because I’m hoping they’ll make me a grubstake.

      • 16 |
        Deborah G Flynn
        Jan 23 2015, 08:57:01 am

        I buy a few silver bars for for my grandkids. and a few gold coins a year. I wouldn’t bet the farm on either but its a nice feel to see a box of shiney things .Just a small diversification and I only buy really when the price is way down. Silver is low now so is gold a few of each isn’t a bad idea. I’d rather get my 5-7% dividends

        • Lawrence
          Apr 3 2015, 01:09:36 pm

          Gold and silver prices are NOT low. Oh, I know….they are saying silver bullion and
          gold bullion prices are below the wholesale mining cost now……..it’s a lie.
          How many tons of ore must be moved and separated to collect 1 troy ounce of Gold?
          Depends on the mine…..but say it is 200 tons…..and the mining cost is $5/ton…..then the mining cost is $1000/ounce.
          Same thing with Silver……20 tons of ore for every ounce of silver…..except the price to move that ore is only $1/ton for silver (why, I dunno, rock is rock)…..then the mining cost is $20/ounce for Silver.

          But, the base price set by the US Government in the 1930s is $35/ounce for Gold and
          $1.65/ounce for Silver. And bullion CAN AND WILL fall back to those levels.

          You cannot EAT Gold and Silver bullion. Many local farmers will not accept gold or silver bullion in trade for FOOD. So, are you gonna starve to death behind your
          stacks of gold or silver bullion, Midas?

          ol’ Lawrence in west Texas

          • 3984 |
            Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe
            Apr 3 2015, 01:18:11 pm

            I don’t disagree with you on gold in a general sense — I don’t know why gold has had such perceived value as “money” for thousands of years instead of some other medium of exchange or store of value, but it has persisted despite the fact that I don’t understand why humans love it so.

            Bullion can go anywhere in price, like anything else, but that was, of course, not the value of gold (whatever that might be) but the value of the US$ that was being set by the government. It was the loss of the gold standard that gave gold the ability to increase in value in currency terms as (if) people valued it more than they valued the US$.

            Incidentally, $35 adjusted for inflation from 1935 is about $600 now. Don’t know if that means anything.

          • Al
            Apr 3 2015, 07:13:31 pm

            What’s harder to do, eat a bar of silver, a tractor or a bank deposit? They are all quite inedible as is but can be converted to real food.

          • joe
            Jul 8 2015, 12:04:27 am

            I buy Lead and Brass. I find farmers readily accept them and just about everyone else. It’s a great investment that never goes down in value no matter what the market is doing. If I want gold its easily obtained for trade at more than generous prices. Everyone loves doing business with you and are eager to meet all of your wants and needs. Best investment ever!

    3. Mark Wittkowski
      Jan 15 2014, 01:41:58 pm

      Hey I’m not against collectible gold coins. I own some! I own more bullion of course, but that won’t lends to your cute marketing idea of secret currency. 🙂

      That said though, you’re missing the boat or just not sharing the information with your subscribers you know you should. EVERYONE should own some bitcoin. With a fraction of the gains just in 2013 you’d be crazy not to. I get that at the moment it has a limited reach as a currency and mode of freely transferring value, but it already meets several niche market needs and is growing (yes a currency) like crazy around the world. Just ask Mr. Byrne, CEO of Overstock about that. But even if you don’t have family overseas, make many online purchases, involved in the technical side of the Internet, etc. owning bitcoin is a VERY GOOD idea right now and into the forseeable future. It’s technological advancements, network size and power, rapidly spreading usage base (retail, wholesale, and end-user), it’s Internet and world changing protocol, and a few other key elements place…it’s first mover Industry status is on firm ground, and until another currency or decentralized payment system can step in and compete on equal footing, Bitcoin and bitcoin are going nowhere. And, the value based on it’s deflationary design as the ecosystem keeps growing at a better than linear rate (not yet exponential) the price/value will continue to soar.

      I would just hate to see such a great platform, I’ve really enjoyed connecting to and reading, do a disservice to their viewer and client base.

      From several angles, 2014 is going to be a great year, but only for those of us wide awake and paying attention!

      • 30 |
        David Clumpner
        Jan 15 2014, 06:33:29 pm

        OR do as Bill Still recommends:
        Diversify into alternative ‘Crypto Currencies’ still in their infancies and
        MUCH cheaper such as Quarkcoin.
        Also, junk silver coins (pre 1965 US) are currently priced about 1/50th the price
        of gold. Thru the ages, the standard ratio has been about 1/16th.
        Doesn’t take a math genius to figure this one out.

          • 30 |
            David Clumpner
            Jan 16 2014, 03:45:44 am

            Yep, ‘Broken Clock Harry’ Dent sez gold will drop as low as $750.
            Of course he’s WAY over due on that prediction but he may prove
            out to be correct, at least for a period of time b4 hyper inflation
            could raise it’s ugly head.

        • Mark Wittkowski
          Jan 16 2014, 04:07:19 am

          There’s a couple with promise, but you just increase your risk a hundredfold until any of them show any promise of a real option that can compete. None have yet so Bitcoin is the strong bet with first mover advantage. It will happen no-doubt. The only question is which one(s) and will more than one survive in the space.

      • 86
        Jon O'Malley
        Jan 15 2014, 09:49:57 pm

        Wow Mark. With that level of confidence you really should go place some bets at the track. You seem to have knowledge into the future. FYI if gumshoe wrote like you I wouldn’t read his stuff. Nobody knows what’s going to happen to anything. That’s why I and many of us appreciate Travis. He takes the hype out and says it like it is. Which is usually with a good dose of healthy skepticism.

        • Mark Wittkowski
          Jan 16 2014, 04:25:01 am

          Yes, message received Jon. That’s the benefit of this not being one of my sites and reaching out on the limb a little further.

          You might have mistaken my strong tone to mean Bitcoin is a sure bet. It’s not. But, the technology protocol and the digital currency space is what I meant is going nowhere but into a major player in the fiat currency markets of the world. The genie is out of the bottle and the Internet and world economies and currencies will never be the same again.

          I then simply justify that Bitcoin/bitcoin has incredible and real first mover advantages right now, that will be hard to upend. It will happen, it always does. My only question is can it survive long-term in a space that will change dramatically in the coming years…decades. Who knows? But, for now it’s a mute point. I wouldn’t tell anyone to risk a large portion of their assets into any single medium…but some in bitcoin as a hedge or aggressive asset base investment, however you want to look at it, makes too much sense.

          My last point was simply, not having at least some bitcoin put away safe in cold storage, knowing what most know now, seems a little nuts is all. For now, “In Bitcoin We Trust.” And, oh…so much more than the central banks and governments of the world along with the elitist psychopaths controlling of them.

            • 30 |
              David Clumpner
              Jan 16 2014, 06:04:29 am

              This is another excellent site to bookmark”

              On Wednesday, January 15, 2014 9:07 AM, The Coinbase Blog wrote:

              The latest blog posts from The Coinbase Blog. Is this email not displaying correctly?
              View it in your browser.
              The Latest From Coinbase.com
              In This Issue:

              Security Updates On Coinbase

              Security Updates On Coinbase
              Jan 14, 2014 05:57 pm

              Providing secure storage of bitcoin is one of the most important products we offer at Coinbase. In that vein, we’d like to mention some new security features that we’ve added:
              Improved Offline Storage Of Bitcoin
              As you may have read previously, we keep most customer bitcoin disconnected from the internet in what we call “cold storage”. Over the past few months, we have spent time improving both the security of those coins and the percentage of coins held offline.
              First, we have implemented a key splitting scheme and geographically distributed the shared pieces to various safe deposit boxes and vaults around the world. This ensures that keyholders are never geographically located in the same place during the course of normal events, so there can’t be a single point of failure for compromise. It also ensures keys are protected against loss since the data is backed up with redundancy. For more on our cold storage security you can visit our security page.
              Second, we have been able to increase the overall percentage of bitcoin stored offline. While previously we were able to keep approximately 90% offline, we are now able to keep as high as 97% of funds offline. The exact amount changes on a day to day basis, but this additional layer of security is important to use as broadly as we can.
              Requiring Two Factor Authentication On Send (and other actions)
              Most of our users already have a phone added to their account, which gives them two factor authentication. This requires a verification code from your phone, in addition to your regular password, to sign in.
              Two factor authentication on sign in offers an important layer of protection, but doesn’t cover the case where someone might gain access to your computer after you’ve already signed in (say you walk away from your desk without locking the screen, or someone is able to capture your session token).
              So to solve this, we now require two factor authentication when you send more than a certain amount out of your account per day. For example, if you try and send more than $100 worth of bitcoin in a 24 hour period, you will now be asked to enter your two factor verification code. The exact threshold or amount may change over time, but this security feature should provide a nice additional layer of protection.

          • John Ng
            Jan 22 2014, 06:32:48 pm

            With the cost of Bitcoin as it is now, how do you justify it to be First Mover status? Have you read the article which said if one firm gained over 50% of the vote it will control the Bitcoin, er … I imagine in that scenario it would be much much worse than the situation now with Central Bank controlling everything now!

      • Mike Zorn
        Jan 18 2014, 04:36:03 pm

        How liquid are Bitcoins? How useful are they in trade? There are a few companies now that accept them as payment. What’s the value of a Bitcoin today, and how much has it fallen from its recent high?

        And who (or what) established the value?

        • Tim Kennedy
          Jan 20 2014, 03:03:02 pm

          And why is price higher in Mt.Gox.com VS. Bitcoin.com ?? Can I transfer my Bits from Bitcoin.com and sale higher @ Mt.Gox ??

        • Ron Puma
          Feb 3 2015, 04:55:51 am

          Bitcoins are the ultimate liquid asset. Coinbase is the best place to get them quickly. People trade them on exchanges and make a good deal of profit due to the predictable patterns etc. I mine them and loan them to people that do the trading via bitlendingclub.com. I don’t recommend mining to anyone but somehow I got into it at the right time and have stayed ahead of the curve. Still I would have done better to have simply bought them straight up. If you want to mine them let me know I will make you a great deal on some mining equipment but seriously, you are better off buying them from coinbase etc.
          Using them to buy items online like gold coins etc is a breeze especially if you have the wallet app on your phone

      • 590 |
        Apr 3 2015, 07:01:43 pm

        Now I have a collection of them I’d be happy to sell. Some are actually from 30 years ago when McDonalds had them as Happy Meal toys…really no kidding. And I have some rare ones that have the wrong tags…..now how is that for nuts.
        Anyone out there wanna trade some bit coins for Beanie Babies??
        Love it…laughing to myself!!

        • 668 |
          Apr 3 2015, 07:08:20 pm

          Hold on to them Beanie Babies Lulu! Ever watch Antique Roadshow? What seems useless now can be a great legacy for your grandchildren or great-grandchildren. I can imagine some appraiser explaining the Beanie Baby craze to a surprised and suddenly richer owner in 30 or 40 years…

    4. R. Kayea
      Jan 15 2014, 01:50:15 pm

      Many comments have been made about investing in Bitcoin but none have commented about how one can learn about or invest in this cyber space “money”. Would appreciate some educational infiormation about this “new currency”.

      • Dave
        Jan 15 2014, 04:49:15 pm

        I found out about it myself, just using Google. MtGox.com is the main site, but there is a process of setting up a ‘bitcoin wallet’ required as well. I found details of a bank account in Japan and transferred about 1000 dollars there and then purchased bitcoins through MtGox (after setting up an account with them). Since then I have withdrawn 1000 dollars and a further 2,000 dollars and still have 5 bitcoins left at currently about 900 dollars each. So it’s been a good investment for me and I think there may be more profit to come, but I can’t claim to understand it. The only thing I ‘get’ about bitcoins is that their supply is finite; therefore any increase in demand drives up the price.
        – Dave

        • 16 |
          Deborah G Flynn
          Jan 23 2015, 08:59:36 am

          I think its illegal to trade postage for money but I could be wrong. Someone said that a while back and the Postmaster told me to speculate on forever stamps is not legal.

        • Gary W
          Jan 15 2014, 08:19:29 pm

          That e-mail costs me about a dollar a day for maybe 5 mails that I really want. And the $1 will go up with inflation. Plus the government reads all my e-mails and they can get at me.

      • 590 |
        Apr 3 2015, 07:04:00 pm

        Oh my Gawd, Im laughing again, this is great. Ever time the post office ups the price of a stamp, there would be money to be made. How does one sell enough stamps to make it worth while? too funny. Thanks for the brilliance.

      • 750 |
        Apr 4 2015, 12:00:01 pm

        I did that LOL, but only because I’m cheap and a dinosaur. I refuse to do online banking but have traded in an online brokerage fo 16 years, go figure. I love the smell of paper bills in my mailbox.

    5. john
      Jan 15 2014, 02:12:13 pm

      “Junk store”? As in a pawn shop or 2nd hand store (i.e. goodwill)? They were found in a box accidentally and sold them to you for $75?

      • 16
        Laura Schulman
        Jan 15 2014, 03:04:30 pm

        Junk store. Used to have them all over here in Western North Carolina. This one was crammed top to bottom with all kinds of old stuff–chairs, chamber pots, cast iron cookware (I bought a whole bunch of that cause I like to cook with it), and you could barely walk in there. Old guy chewing tobacco behind a beat-up jewelry case, and in it was a Morgan dollar, pretty rough shape, but I bought it, and he says, “you like old coins?” and I say, “yeah,” and he gets out this little cardboard box full of silver bullion coins. So he wanted $100 for the box, I offered $75, he took it, and I scuttled off with my coins. Never even looked at them till I got them home. There was a small manilla envelope full of “war pennies” too–steel pennies. Wheat pennies too. You can’t get that kind of stuff anymore. This was in the late ’90’s and even then you had to go searching for these old junk stores. They’re all gone now.

    6. Mitch
      Jan 15 2014, 02:13:12 pm

      The forever stamp idea sounds good except if the postal service goes away in the future, what will be the value of those stamps? Postage rates will go to $0.00 and the stamps are valued @ the going rate = $0.00 ????

      • 30 |
        David Clumpner
        Jan 15 2014, 06:41:15 pm

        Good point Mitch!
        Don’t know about you but the last letter I mailed was a month ago.
        OTOH, I collect old stamps (philately), and when I buy them from other dealers, etc,
        the going price is around half of their orig value if they’r uncancelled.
        Much less if they’r cancelled or unless they’r scarce or rare.

    7. Ventureshadow
      Jan 15 2014, 02:46:26 pm

      Collectable items aren’t a currency. Numismatic value is not the basis for a currency. The risks of numismatic value are much higher than those of bullion, and this includes the costs of the coin dealers.

      The Chinese aren’t counterfeiting just collectable coins, they are also counterfeiting bullion coins. So if you buy bullion coins you need to buy them in a sealed package–and then never open the sealed package–and of course hope that what is in the sealed package is genuine.

      Who needs to add all this complexity to his life? Besides Sjuggerud.

      Should we trust Sjuggerud because he has a doctorate? I have two doctorates and I make plenty of mistakes. Some of these big mistakes involved following Sjuggerud’s advice. I mean Doctor Sjuggerud’s advice.

      • 30 |
        David Clumpner
        Jan 15 2014, 09:05:58 pm

        Great words of wisdom ‘Doc’ Ventureshadow!
        I agree with most everything u say except for ‘currency’.
        My perspective on currency:
        Fiat, the currency of the masses
        Gold, the currency of governments & elites
        Power/Control: the currency of the UEs (uber elites)

      • 30 |
        David Clumpner
        Jan 15 2014, 10:02:38 pm

        They may have some gold but their economy is on a roller coaster.
        It’s rumored that Argentina and perhaps Iceland, may officially
        sanction Bitcoin (&/or other Cryptos) as ‘currency’ in the next few months.
        We’ll see.

    8. 56 |
      Jan 15 2014, 05:01:54 pm

      Great input here, Travis! Good Questions regarding Sjuggerud. I have two problems with this gentleman,,First, he has the same name as a fifth grade teacher I Had, and I can’t get her image out of my mind when I hear Sjuggerud’s name. Next, he is associated with Stansberry who runs a Political Hack Shop from Floriduh, (home of the SE Mafia and nice beaches).
      If you followed the trades of that shop in 2013, you would have had an opportunity loss vs. the S&P of @30% Even IF you didn’t buy any of their recommendations. Their gold/metal trades were down @ 25% on the GLD, worse on silver. Anyone have a performance report on Stansberry?

      • William Douglas
        Jan 15 2014, 06:24:16 pm

        I stopped getting the Stansberry report a few months ago. I couldn’t take it anymore, the faceless monotone 90 minute videos, incessant pitches to upgrade to their Premium services and the arrogant invitations to go on Safari, or invest in pricey Central American exclusive island retreats etc. But what really scared me was the personal emails I received immediately after watching one of the videos. ” hello this is Carolyn( or whoever) from the marketing department of Stansberry research. We know you watched one of Porters videos last night regarding “whatever” and since we have your credit card on file would you like us to use it and sign you up for the Premium service. If you don’t please let us know right away otherwise we will go ahead and do it. ” To say that I freaked out would be an understatement. I could rant and rave ad nauseum . Folks stay away from Porter and his henchmen and all the blather. PS I love the Gumshoe and HIS incessant rumblings. I look forward to this newsletter every night. Thank you Travis

      • Advantages
        Apr 3 2015, 03:15:06 pm

        See, I know how to spell “advantages.”
        As for Stansberry, I have come to view him/them as in the same category as Fred Dent. That is not a compliment. Most “advisers” have no respect for their audiences’ time. They just ramble on and on. They give you no ability to move rapidly through the presentation, or to go forward or backward to any point in the presentation. When I get that kind of crap, I leave the page, despite being told that I am giving up advice that was going to make me rich. I just click on “Chuck you Farley.”

    9. vivian lewis
      Jan 16 2014, 05:56:01 am

      my late mother was a collector of US silver dollars which she used to make gifts to people on their silver anniversaries or for birthdays. since she worked at a bank she had access to the coins. so I have a bunch of slightly foxed US silver bucks in the safe and boy do they weigh a
      tonne. Then I got a $5 gold piece from a neighbor whose family had hidden it from the evil
      Franklin D Roosevelt in 1933, to wear in my shoe when I became a bride. My husband was
      given a gold sovereign, and we also own a Napoleon, a French gold coin. All are worn as they were used as currency before being collected by us.
      But my safe’s best goodies are currencies that looked gorgeous but are now worthless,
      German marks turned out as fast as they could be printed during the inflation of the 1920s which my father, then a mere stripling, collected. And Zimbabwe dollars I got from one of my writers. I also have a collection of defunct stock and bond certificates framed on my office wall to keep me humble.
      But of course as a lady I get to show off my gold which you can see on my website where I am pictured in bejeweled splendor. The best necklace is actually gold plated, my Phi Beta Kappa key from Harvard. Who could afford the real stuff even at $35 when a student?

      • Mike Zorn
        Jan 18 2014, 04:52:58 pm

        That’s a great story. The $5 gold piece is one of those “history markers” that remind us of what the country used to be like.

        I’d collect a few Reichsmarks or recent Zimbabwean banknotes just to the the denominations: 1 Trillion Reichsmarks, the 100 Trillion Zimbabwe dollar note.

        There’s a WSJ article from May 2011 about collectors snapping up those Zimbabwe notes.

        Many of those old (early or pre-1900) stock certificates were quite elaborate. Along with Confederate currency.

        PS: What is your website?

      • 56 |
        Mar 14 2014, 03:01:10 am

        Vivian – Great comments – you paint a wonderful historic picture of your life. Do you actually have a website? please reply so we can check it out!

    10. Ian
      Jan 16 2014, 03:01:10 pm

      Stanley Gibbons plc SGI.L or SGI.LSE is the worlds most respected stamp dealer, and they also trade rare coins. If you buy anything from them, and leave it with them, it is guaranteed genuine to you and any future buyer. Moreover the oddity stamps with misprints were all catalogued years ago so Chinese fakes cannot appear, they do not have the provenance. The whereabouts of all the genuine examples is known. Then again you could trade on other peoples’ fear and buy shares in Stanley Gibbons, which have been doing very well. Check out their website.

    11. Joan in Houston
      Jan 16 2014, 08:00:59 pm

      I am not a gold-bug, but I do have a certain fascination with coins. Occasionally I buy newly-minted coins from the Royal Canadian Mint, whose minting is the most attractive and fine, anywhere in the world. Their offerings do specify exactly how many of a certain item will be minted. If I live long enough, it is possible that other collectors will bid up the value of certain old things, in due course. Joan in Houston

    12. 30 |
      David Clumpner
      Jan 17 2014, 02:56:49 am

      Two Bitcoin ATMs now in Canada:
      HuffPost Article
      January 17, 2014

      Bitcoin — that real but seems not real — rather puzzling form of digital money now has its own Toronto ATM machine.

      The digital cryptocurrency, not regulated by any form of government or bank, is a new phenomenon. Although legal, some events tied to the new type of currency, like October’s FBI shutdown of the Silk Road shutdown — a marketplace for illegal drugs and other illicit goods — harmed the reputation of Bitcoin.

      But the money made of data blocks is still alive and well and is being accepted right here in Toronto at some locations.

      A Bitcoin ATM already opened in Vancouver in October and now the new ATM also has a home in Toronto, located at King Street West and Spadina Avenue at Bitcoin Decentral.

      The machine accepts cash in exchange for a number of Bitcoins.

      Bitcoin debit

      In the fall, Calgary-based Bitcoin company VirtEx announced a debit card for the currency that works on any ATM. VirtEx, which has offices in Toronto, is Canada’s largest Bitcoin exchange.

      It worked by accessing accounts on VirtEx, where Bitcoin is converted to Canadian currency on the exchange first and then available through ATMs.

      “We are going to get these cards out there fast, in the hands of a lot of people,” said Joseph David, the CEO of VirtEx.

      The company was marketing its debit cards to its 22,000 customers in Canada. He says the goal is giving people a choice when it comes to paying.

      David wants more merchants to accept Bitcoin, and has spoken to several small businesses in Toronto to push the idea.

      “Almost 80 per cent of the people I talked to didn’t know what it was,” he said. “I just tell them my customers use Bitcoin and they want to know where they can spend it.”

      Accepting Bitcoins

      One of the first local merchants to accept the crytpocurrency is the restaurant Smoke Bourbon BBQ House on Harbord Street.

      The restaurant has allowed its customers to pay via the digital currency for a month now using a terminal from CoinKite. The terminal resembles a portable debit machine used in most restaurants.

      About eight customers have paid with Bitcoin since the restaurant got the terminal.

      Other Toronto businesses have also started dealing in Bitcoin.

      Ark Army Surplus, a sports gun vendor, Coworking Space Toronto, an office rental firm, The Morpheus Clinic, a hypnosis clinic and Vapetropolis, a vapourizer seller, all currently accept Bitcoin.

    13. lucy
      Jan 17 2014, 10:02:09 am

      I was doing some research on the topic of ancient human civilizations and came across the latest findings of what may very well be the first civilization of humankind. It existed 200,000 years ago in South Africa and what really caught my eye about this ancient civilization was they were big into gold mining! Now, one has to sit up and take notice at that, that gold’s importance to humans goes that far back and what are the chances that today’s paper or digital money can dislodge something which is so deeply entrenched within our collective unconscious.

    14. blackjack
      Jan 17 2014, 10:07:22 pm

      Gold is the go
      but when you have the Morgans and the Sachs using it as a derivatives tool and selling 1000’s of times the 1 oz of gold then theres a problem
      so when they realise that they have created so much deficit and that they can never repay the physical gold to the buyers they crash the price – this was done recently were 24 billion dollars of gold was sold – but not one OZ physically moved anywhere. But the market got
      BUT they never sell 1 oz of gold
      It all done on computers and HST
      China India and a few other countries are buying the physical gold because they know that the paper gold will end the same way as FIAT currencies
      The CHinese have also been counter fitting the Krugerrand gold coins

      • 2224 |
        Apr 3 2015, 08:13:54 pm

        The eventual outcome will be all the worse by manipulating the price of gold to low levels.
        We are mortgaging the future to help the Asians acquire real assets

    15. Mike Zorn
      Jan 18 2014, 04:32:53 pm

      Investing n coins is a lot like investing in art. You have to become very knowledgeable about the subject. For example, as you point out, a coin graded MS70 is “perfect”. One graded MS69 is “almost perfect”. The difference is that an MS70 coin will sell for $1000; the same coin graded MS69 may sell for $100. Then there are the questions of who grades the coins (there seem to be two standard agencies now), what’s the reputation of the dealer, and how liquid is the market.

      I can buy a stock at the opening bell and sell it at noon. With coins, not so easy. US silver and gold coins are works of art, and markers of history. That’s why I buy a few. now and then.

    16. Donald Beach
      Jan 21 2014, 10:42:32 pm

      One small and very overlooked law originated by Rep Ron Paul might explain a perfectly wonderful use of Gold and especially Silver Eagle Proofs. The IRS taxes such coins at their melt value only when withdrawing them from a tax deferred account such as an IRA. Let’s say silver is $20 an ounce but the Silver Eagle proof is valued at $80….which would you rather pay taxes on including the 10% penalty tax if you should ever need to convert to a Roth IRA or withdraw from a Traditional or Inherited IRA? Hence the reason to convert an IRA into silver eagle proofs as they command a higher premium than the price at which they are taxed. This saves alot of money on taxes were the IRA simply bullion, stocks or cash. One other use is the $10,000 export limit at customs….the law counts the face value of the coins…not their melt value nor retail value…splendid. I do not sell precious metals and use banks, online brokerages but believe it prudent to have 10% to 30% of a portfolio of a currency that has indeed outlasted any and all fiat currencies since the dawn of human civilization..the precious metal haters are obeying the governments and banks who advise us to shun what they are stockpiling at the lowest prices they can manipulate by issuing paper ETFs to satisfy most investors. Remember, if all of your money is mere digits on a screen, it is open to governments and criminals the world over and anytime the banks are closed, the internet isn’t functioning…do you really, actually *have* any of that money? Like the guy who returned from an Alaska fishing trip to find his online brokerage account had been hacked from India…turning his $180,000 account into $200,000 debt on margin. Some of us prefer to have at least some of our hard earned money off the radar and under armed guard where it can only be taken from our cold dead hands, not by some spindly creep hiding behind a computer at the NSA, a Chinese cryptography center in the Ministry of Intelligence or in his moms’ basement.

    17. jim
      Jan 24 2014, 11:20:31 am

      You are correct, investing in coins is not the same as investing in stocks. I have been buying graded silver coins for many years. A good place to buy them is ebay but you need to be careful and only buy from top rated sellers with thousands of items sold and 98-100% approval ratings. The china and aussie coins have appreciated the most since they limit annual production of each coin therefore limiting the number of coins available. It is amazing to see what china panda coins graded ms70 are selling for. Coins i bought in 2004 for $60-70 are now worth $400+ and the price seems to go up each year when the new year comes around. I prefer first release or early strike coins, stick with the ms70 grade as the lower grades tend to go up and down in price depending on bullion prices which are falling.

    18. Andre Blanchet
      Jan 24 2014, 12:39:16 pm

      Coin dealers are the penny pinchers of the world, IMO! I like the Chinese pandas but it’s just not liquid enough for my investment budget! I need to be able to get in and get out! The coin market is too slow for my financial goals! Maybe when my finances are a bit more secure and I get a good deal from buying quantity but otherwise it’s another buy and wait for inflation!

      • jim
        Jan 24 2014, 03:27:11 pm

        Exactly-It is not like buying stocks or commodities, as Travis says it is a hobby. I have been collecting coins since the 60’s and really have never sold or liquidated any of my coins. There is also the storage problem. Where do you keep or hide them. But it is a hobby with substantial returns. My point is this, Buy and hold for the long-term, it truly is not a typical investment plan and should not be regarded as such. Dealers are known for taking advantage of sellers, so avoid them if possible and use ebay. I buy china and aussie graded coins each year and watch past year coins go up and up and up.

    19. Corey Chambers
      Feb 4 2014, 12:53:39 pm

      Stansberry continues to have a real problem with the truth. Stansberry says that his “secret currency” is “like gold.” That is not honest because it IS gold. And it is not at all secret. Stansberry says is not old fashioned, but that is obviously very untrue also because his “secret currency” is good old fashioned gold coins — very old fashioned indeed — with nothing secret about it, and nothing particularly safe about it either. Gold and gold coins have plummeted in value recently, as they have crashed many times before because gold really has no intrinsic value other than the imaginary value of people who like it. Gold is used by almost no industry today other than jewelry.

      In his weird brainwashing web pages, Stansberry talks about Bitcoin going down, while Bitcoin has in reality gone up more than 1,000% in the past year, and Bitcoin has increased an average of 2% per day for the last 4 years. The truth is that gold has crashed recently, while Bitcoin has shot up. Bitcoin is being used by more and more merchants, businesses, investors and consumers every day.

      Stansberry is trying very hard to steal the excitement and enthusiasm for Bitcoin, and flat out lie about his offering because gold coins are quite old fashioned and much less exciting than Bitcoin. Stansberry’s marketing is based on hype and distortion. Other gold coin peddlers simply tell the truth and say they are selling collectible coins. Collectible coins are a great part of an investment portfolio for anyone. But try taking a millions dollars of old gold coins on an airplane with you. Try hiding $1 million of old coins; not easy. Try paying for your store purchase or making an online purchase with old gold coins. Try using the old gold coins for anything new and exciting — not gonna work. That is why Stansberry is trying so hard to steal the thunder from the real exciting, secret currency. Bitcoin really is exciting: A value that has skyrocketed more than nearly anything else in the world. Bitcoin really is secret. You can hide $1 million in your wallet. You can even hide $1 million in your brain! You can buy millions of products and services with Bitcoin. If you bought $10,000 of Bitcoin a few years ago, then, CONGRATULATIONS!!! — you are $ millions richer today! That is real excitement. The future of Bitcoin gets even more exciting. With the world’s largest distributed calculation network, Bitcoin is based on the world’s most powerful ledger and the strongest encryption standard. This allows the technical Bitcoin protocol to become one of the most powerful tools in the future of finance, law, government, administration, and many other important areas. Bitcoin can destroy central banking. The earth-shaking revolution of digital money is only the beginning for Bitcoin.

      Do not rely on bogus Stansberry “research” when it comes to Bitcoin or anything else. Do your own REAL research. Find out why top bankers, investors and business mogals like billionaire businessman Sir Richard Branson are so excited about Bitcoin today.

      Corey Chambers, TheBitcoinBlogs.com

      • 30 |
        David Clumpner
        Feb 6 2014, 03:07:27 am

        Good comments Corey…
        And always keep in mind that Stansberry belongs to the James Dale Davidson empire.

        I do have to take issue tho with your statement, “gold really has no intrinsic value other than the imaginary value of people who like it. Gold is used by almost no industry today other than jewelry.”
        The “people who like it” just happen to be the most powerful people AND COUNTRIES in
        the WORLD such as China, Germany, Rothschilds, US, Russia, Oil Magnates, etc.
        China has the target of becoming the #ONE producer and amasser of gold w/i five yrs.
        Now why do u supposed they’d want to do that?
        Oh, and if u do a little more research, u’ll find there are perhaps a hundred or more
        uses for gold by industry and especially the hi tech industry. And there are more
        uses being discovered perhaps every week or month.
        All that being said, technically, gold is still a ‘fiat currency’, no matter what the
        gold bugs say. It only has the value that ‘people’ place on it so on that we can both
        About Bitcoin, it has also endured it’s crashes and bubbles and will continue to
        do so. It ran up near $1500 sev wks ago and is now back to around a thousand: A FIFTY PERCENT plummet!
        Re its security &/or anonymity? Absolutely fictitious as we’ve witnessed with the US/NSA confiscating millions and arresting several such as the ‘Silk Roaders’ and others.

        And what happens if/when the internet goes down? …POOF! Where are my Bitcoins??!!

        • Mark Wittkowski
          Feb 6 2014, 01:44:56 pm

          Just a quick reply to address this common attack, that if it did upfold would make nearly everything to do with money insignificant within the big picture. So, it’s really a non-issue…but here it goes anyway. It is funny how often it’s mentioned, without regard to the real impact of what they are actually saying as a “what if”.
          First, if it’s just control of the Internet that is feared, the Tor and similar dark webs (a few in development right now) would go underground and the powers-that-be would then have NO chance of any regulation or taxation. So, and I hate to even mention this, you’re throwing out there the possibility of the Internet or the grids going down or both? Well, either would change the world to the extent that I guess many people can’t comprehend.
          Just the Internet going off line alone, though even then there’s a few other possibilities as long as the grid is up, this would significantly impact money, the economy, money, banking, security, energy, on and on to the point that the value of bitcoin (even if everyone adopts cold storage for the bulk of their wealth that would be available when everything goes back online) would be the least of our worries here and abroad. The entire financial system and economy would come to a screeching halt, affecting just about every person on the planet, not to mention the misanthropic elitist sociopaths would be devastated, as well, with their cash funnels shut down instantly! The whole argument just doesn’t make any logical sense. That is of course unless there’s some sort of global catastrophe maybe a massive EMP then just forget about it… NO amount of money, not even gold, will matter much at that point as most can surmise I imagine.

        • 2224 |
          Apr 3 2015, 04:38:37 pm

          I’ll take a pass on the electronic currency, I want less dependence on faceless
          3rd party technocrats, not more.

          Gold is not a “fiat currency”. Gold has all the properties that define “MONEY”, which properties include several other things besides universal acceptance. By the way,
          many forms of “money” are not accepted universally…including dollars.
          The invention of the computer chip, the internet, and Keynesian economics have not changed this and never will.

    20. Rocketman
      Feb 16 2014, 11:35:40 am

      I wouldn’t put one single dollar into bitcoin or any of those other variations. For one thing don’t you think that every major government on the face of the earth and probably some of the smaller ones are working right now to crack the bitcoin code so they can access it anytime that they want to? Last week for example, hackers managed to corrupt the digital feed to a number of bitcoin outlets. Meaning that if you have your money in bitcoin and you go to the grocery store that takes them the transaction wouldn’t go through. What are you going to eat then huh?

      • 30 |
        David Clumpner
        Feb 17 2014, 01:11:26 am

        Good comments RM.
        And to underline it, Bitcoin hit a low today near $200.
        OTOH, don’t completely throw the baby out with the bathwater.
        There are now dozens of other cryptos and soon, probably HUNDREDS.
        Iceland and Canada on working on their own officially govt sanctioned ones
        soon to be introduced.
        No one can now ‘put the toothpaste back in the tube’ so stay on the sidelines
        to see how this all plays out.
        My thesis ~ The CIA/NSA &/or IMF/FR could well have dreamed this up themselves
        as a future template/protocol for some type of future global digital currency.
        * “Run it up the flagpole to see who salutes…”

    21. 4001 |
      frank archambeau
      frank archambeau
      Feb 17 2014, 08:04:40 am

      In my view much discussion of’ what if’ has no point Remember “Some Highly Improbable Things” happen. [ Often known by acronym] We use money as means of exchange because of difficulty in carrying goats & chickens to perhaps buy beans. If a goat keeps you from starving seems it would be greater worth than any coin. Coins are notoriously hard to digest.

    22. Annette Pratte
      Apr 9 2014, 12:08:10 am

      I saw bitcoins quoted at .19 cents. Are we talking about the same coin(s)?
      I plan to buy a few. I hope they go up, of course.

      • 3984 |
        Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe
        Apr 9 2014, 06:59:21 am

        1 bitcoin goes for about $450 at the moment, but there are lots of these alternative currencies jockeying for attention now.

    23. Capt Obvious
      May 16 2014, 05:28:42 pm

      Sadly, the problem with the information these people provide is that by the process of giving their secret info to their subscribers they in effect create competitors for themselves. Let me explain from my internet marketing experience. If these people do have a “great” money making why would they give that idea to you out of the kindness of their hearts? plus of course whatever FEE they are charging for the info. The problem with great money making ideas is SATURATION. As soon as the IDEA is out of the bag everyone and their uncle will jump on it and the potential for making money will become more difficult and if not impossible.

      Sadly also as soon as these great ideas become known to just a few will make them worthless.
      Just like the the California Gold rush and the Yukon and Alaska Gold Rushes. Yes people did become rich from finding gold but ONLY SOME and there was never any guarantees. But who really makes GUARANTEED MONEY during a gold rush? The people selling shovels, food,supplies,medicine etc etc etc.
      Plus what Stansberry is doing is nothing new. The US Gov plus other Governments and even corporations having been use such “scare tactics” tools to cause the general population to do what? CONSUME.
      It is a known fact that when people panic they CONSUME more and do impractical things like make wrong decisions they would not have done otherwise. The people in control have been doing for hundreds if not thousands of years. So what else is new?
      Sad part is the truth is “there’s always a sucker born every minute.”, and there’s an equal amount of scammers more than happy to separate the fool from his hard earned money.

    24. Tom Matthew
      Apr 3 2015, 12:57:35 pm

      Bitcoin. Quarkcoin, So much time to invent new ways to “keep score” of online transactions. Except for one simple fact … we already have such a method, and its called “money”. Geez folks, you are spending a lot of time trying to reinvent a mighty big system. All so you can evade taxes. I have an idea: pay your damn taxes and spend time thinking of great tangible assets to own.

    25. Kevin
      Apr 3 2015, 02:30:56 pm

      I have been collecting coins for quite a few years (longer than Steve S has been plugging them!) and even though the basis of what is being plugged is decent the realities are somewhat disconnected. Yes, there have been times that the demand for certain coins has far outstripped the supply driving prices way up but for the most part those are anomalies with some exceptions. Some coin collecting caveats that apply to purchasing a common item like MS-65 Saint Gauden’s:

      ‘One man’s MS-65 is another mans MS-64’. Let’s say you go to a dealer and buy a MS65 coin graded by one of the main grading services NCG. The coin is nothing spectacular, just an average one. The dealer who sold it will often represent it as a high end coin and charge a premium. When you go to sell it it will be described as a low end 65, maybe even a 64 and you will be paid accordingly. Often the same dealer will then take the coin and resell it as a high end 65.

      ‘Money is made on the buy side’. Like selling anything, it is easier to sell something if you bought it cheap enough to resell at a seemingly value price. And in the coin market an naive seller will often sell an item for less then the true market value. The dealers goal (and it is the goal of any business so not knocking them and there is inherent risk in buying commodities like gold) is to maximize profits while minimizing risk so the closer the dealer can get a coin to the melt value the better. You could buy a coin for say 1500..00 and immediately try to resell if and will get offers that will take a couple hundred out of your pocket.

      ‘What we need is a well managed promotion’. There have been times in the past that prices of a type of coin shave gone through the roof, but only temporarily;y. An example of this is back in the 80;s older commemorative coins called Classic Commemorative s became the next hottest thing…everyone was snatching them up as fast as possible and paying ridiculous prices for them. Although the coin market is fairly liquid all’s it is still fairly thin….a small group of dealers can start buying up items sending up prices and as everyone else jumps on board sell of what they have and leave the hapless collector holding the bag. Classic Commens have gone no where much in price for years.

      ‘These coins are rare at this grade level’. Are MS-65’s less common than MS-64’s? Sure…but no one can tell you really how many there are. Many coin collectors are secretive types and don’t let folks know what they have. Every once in a while a hoard of a certain type of coin will come to market and drive down prices. Also….there are a lot of un-graded coins out there that can be graded at one point which increases the supply. The major (NCG and PCGS) third party graders (TPG’s) have population reports but for many coins they are very inaccurate. Many times a MS 64 / borderline 65 coin is cracked out of the plastic and resubmitted over and over until it comes back in a 65 holder. So it is really a low end 65 borderline 64 worth 64 money that someone is going to pay 65 money for (see the first comment above).

      ‘There are no free lunches in coins’. Mostly true..for the most part if it sounds like you are really going to make out on it chances are you will not. Yes dealers do make mistakes and occasionally someone cherry picks a dealer for a huge windfall but these occurrences are few and very far in between and either you really have to know your stuff or you just got lucky.

      I could go on a bit however I’ll summarize everything with a ‘buyer beware’. The coin market contains a lot of sharks and if you are not knowledgeable the chances of you drawing the short straw are pretty decent. My advice is to collect coins for fun and because you like them. If you want to start investing in rare coins go get some books and learn about them, stay away from the commodity items like the MS-65 Saints, collect the keys in as high a grade as you can afford, and find a dealer you can trust. They are out there!!


    26. 2224 |
      Apr 3 2015, 04:27:05 pm

      I am all for holding some non-numismatic, physical gold coins as disaster and inflation hedge, but it is end-of-the world insurance, it is not an investment…as an investment, and you’ll get eaten alive by the spreads and commissions. It will always be accepted by someone, but you’ll probably pay more than the theoretical spot and get less than spot when you sell. Best to have some and sock it away and forget about it, and hope you never need to use the stuff, because if you do you we are all going to be in a pretty bad situation.
      I think silver may be more useful for everyday transactions in a crisis situation. I like junk silver and plain coins.
      I’ve got both and it gives peace of mind whether the spot is going up or down.

      The collectibles are probably OK if you love coins and want to really learn about them…but it’s not for me.

    27. 2224 |
      Apr 3 2015, 04:56:40 pm

      As an alternate currency the only one that I would get excited about would be a private gold-backed security, denominated in grams or ounces. You know, a gold reserve note like what the US dollar used to be. I’m kind of surprised no one has done this yet.

      We’d have a fully exchangible item backed by a universally accepted store of value.
      (You know, like the US dollar or pound sterling used to be).
      Apple or Sprott or a big miner or streamer, somebody with credibility with tons of cash or lots of gold, could issue them. For me the only real disadvantage to physical gold coins and bullion is that large denominations are difficult and risky to keep around the house.

      I suggest that those with faith in the dollar, euro, or other fiat currencies read The Big Reset. Sorry I don’t remember the name of the author, gave my copy to my kids.

      • 668 |
        Apr 3 2015, 07:37:21 pm

        One morning a couple of months ago I woke from a nice dream, wherein the world had settled upon a global digital currency backed by gold, one milligram being the basic unit (rather than the U.S. $1.00 as is the basic unit now, since the U.S. still issues the world’s reserve currency.) The gold stayed in vaults, and all transactions were digital which is what we’re moving towards anyway. No more currency wars between nations, no more currency market rigging, and lots of certainty for everyone rather than chaos. Just a dream – but a nice one. Today I found this recent comment today by Travis, which I think explains pretty well why it has little chance of coming true:


      • eschat
        Apr 3 2015, 08:42:34 pm

        Lot of very interesting information by most all of the above folks. I started buying some $1 Silver Eagle coins in the past; but aside from being beautiful to look at; I wonder if (as Frank says above “Some Highly Improbable Things” happen) am wondering where and how I could use those coins to purchase food, etc.? If our currency is disrupted/devalued am not sure what a 1ounce silver coin would be worth at the corner marketplace. One person commented about the possibility of a coin (or bullion) being counterfeited and that is scary. Have heard the best way to prove the authenticity is by drilling into the coin/bullion. That, too is scary. If I took the coin(s) back to the local Dealer where I purchased the coins, he may honor them as being real more so than the local grocery/retailer – but it seems there is no way to even guess what he would give me. Nor can I imagine what a bottle of water, loaf of bread, or a gallon of gas would cost me when using my coin(s) at a local store. No way of knowing if any stores would be open or if they would accept silver or gold. Suppose the same could be said about bit coin, etc… As for high grade or rare coins one would have to find someone interested in buying those. Might be near impossible, not to mention hoping to get a premium price. I am retired Post Office and have seen many very old stamps being used for postage. I asked them why and they said that it’s very hard to get even the face value from collectors. I did buy a couple books of the forever stamps, but our mail system is in trouble and I may outlive my forever stamps. I am not a “prepper”, but it seems the logical choice in a worst case scenario may be to start looking at some of the 25-30 year shelf-life food/water and seeds. As for just being able to keep or gain income on my savings/investments I find it hard to put faith in any of the items mentioned. I also compliment your posters on this site. Hard to find one who is just being a troll.
        Travis you are doing a great job and providing a wonderful service – Thanks!

        • 3984 |
          Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe
          Apr 3 2015, 08:59:21 pm

          I think the more rational “Armageddon” plan is the same as the natural disaster plan, fuel and food and whisky. Where hard billion may come into play is hyperinflation/persistent inflation/faster currency devaluation, not the complete breakdown of modern society.

    28. frank
      Apr 3 2015, 06:01:09 pm

      I want to say that the Stanberry folks are not the only ones making claims, Robert Williams of wall street is also promoting royal bank of Canada and others with a new currency being those points that we collect when we use credit cards, and that we can invest on them too because they are going up, and we could be millionaires,
      Travis please, when you have time please ceck a certain Joe schriefer , he works for agora financial and on January 21,ST/15 he was touting about a program called the ultimate retirement invented by Zachary sheith , saying that we can make money 100% garanteed with their information based on email upon options expiring, the cost $ 2.000.00 but it was on special at 50% off, thank you frank.

    29. Mike
      Apr 3 2015, 11:56:57 pm

      I found this site to be very informational ….I buy silver, gold and bitcoin. Yes, the Chinese are overtly and covertly buying as much gold as they can.


      When I was a child I remember an old saying….”He who has the gold, makes the rules.”
      Anyone else remember that? 🙂

    30. FRANK
      Apr 5 2015, 02:31:30 pm

      Hmmm… is that Bitcoin? or Bit-con? And how do you think 3-D printing will affect silver and gold coins, especially since gold and lead are similar in weight and density?

      Apr 7 2015, 02:46:19 pm

      In 1971, with U.S. debt holders increasing their demands for actual gold in exchange for
      paper dollars and U.S. gold holdings dwindling, President Nixon ended “Gold Backing” for the U.S. Dollar. He was able to do this because he pledged U.S. Military protection to the Dictators in control of the oil-producing Arab nations in exchange for pricing oil in U.S. dollars….that way the Dictators were protected from ouster by militant hordes, and U.S. dollars would become the “Worlds Reserve Currency” and in demand regardless of the increasing “Printing of Dollars” by the “Federal reserve” and what normally would have devalued the paper fiat currency. The actual “owners of the Central Bank, which is not a branch of U.S. Government, got away with this scam for decades…..creating counterfeit “money” out of paper and ink and charging U.S. Taxpayers “INTEREST” on this fictitious “debt”. Now however…since the U.S. has become the World’s major oil producer and causing “supply to overwhelm demand” ….the OPEC and non producing nations are losing billions because the U.S. dollars they were hoarding are diminishing due to the drop in the price of oil. Russia is almost bankrupt and Arab producers such as Saudi Arabia are fearing their angry masses once more. But…..they are not going to tolerate this situation much longer….THEY ARE CREATING A NEW WORLD RESERVE CURRENCY BASED ON THE CHINESE HUAN WHICH WILL BE USED TO PURCHASE OIL….THUS ELIMINATING THE U.S. DOLLAR AND RENDERING ALL HOARDED DOLLARS IN EUROPE AND ASIA AS VIRTUALLY WORTHLESS. THE RESULTING FLOOD OF DEVALUED PAPER BACK TO THE U.S. WILL RESULT IN DEPRESSION HERE AND RIOTS IN THE STREETS!!!!!!

    32. Dave in Sunny FL
      Apr 7 2015, 06:30:48 pm

      It’s a real trip to see the old and new comments run together on this article. The early comments from January 2014 about the ease of use of Mt. Gox sent me running to Wikipedia to confirm my recollection about the site’s implosion.

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