The Golden Hour


Ferfal,

I just received your book yesterday and have been devouring the
information. So far, I have a question:

People often talk about the “golden hour” when the meltdown begins, but
not everyone is aware of the implications. What did you do during this
time? Did you realize what was occuring? You mentioned that your
family had already withdrawn its savings from the banks. Did you use
that cash to run to the store to begin stocking up on food at that
point? Or, did you just buckle down? In retrospect, what do you recommend?

Thanks,

Kathryn

Hi Kathryn, thanks for buying my book. I hope you learn from it and find ways of applying it to your own situation and preparations.
As always, emails and questions are welcomed. It may take some time but I do my best to reply to every email. Please use the search function too. Sometimes a question has already been answered and it saves time. If a month or so has gone by without reply don´t hesitate in asking again in case I missed it during a particular email intensive week. Sorry guys but it happens sometimes. On occasions an email received is pertinent to a recently covered topic so I answer that or write about that subject so as to somewhat continue that line of thought further. All I can promise is that I’ll do my best to reply as soon as possible.
About your question, I know its something a lot of people think about, that golden hour when the majority of the population realizes that something has gone down and life as they once knew it may have changed forever.
Sometimes its less dramatic: A storm being announced and everyone hitting the supermarket at the same time, leaving them empty of the typical basic supplies in a matter of minutes. Or maybe its an evacuation, where everyone tries to leave town at the same time and people may end up caught in traffic for hour even days.
On the other hand events that may involve changes even more significant and long term may not have a “golden hour” per se. Banks freezing accounts, bank runs, sudden devaluation of the currency, those qualify as “golden hour” moments where a difference of a day or an hour may have mean the difference for you between losing your life savings (or %80 of them) or not.
Things like president’s speeches sometimes have this kind of effect as well.
The recent events in Egypt reminded me a lot of the De la Rua speeches. Oh! you just want to grab the guy by the neck and choke him! I saw that same infuriation when the protesters in Egypt mentioned their ex president’s speech, just like we felt back them. Makes you wonder how come they dont realize that what they are about to say is like throwing gasoline to a fire. No one advises these people? Maybe they are so drunk with power they think they are godlike.
When riots started I was home. I remember that morning well because I woke up hearing drums. It was a group of looters, about 20 yards from my home. The mass of people and the sound they made was pretty intimidating. “What on Earth do I do if they turn left and head my way?” Its impossible not to wonder that with looters so close, and later I learned that at different points of the city homes were indeed looted. Not as much as stores and supermarkets were, but it did happen and I dont remember seeing the media report that. What do I do? At that time I already had some firearms training and a good amount of guns, including a 9mm subrifle and a bunch of 40-round magazines. If people turn your way and try to break in can you open fire on them? Legally you’re allowed to defend your life from such an obvious attack, but thinking you may just do that in a matter of minutes, it makes you feel sick, as if your stomach is trying to go up your throat, when you drop in a rollercoaster. Am I going to mow them down in my front lawn, or will they all leave when I fire the first couple shots? Again, these considerations with looters already within sight, that changes things significantly.
This mob was heading to a supermarket a few blocks away and thankfully they didn’t go for the houses. That day I just stayed put and followed the events on TV.

Since my parents are accountants and my father had worked in banking for many yeas before, we already had an idea that things where getting ugly before they froze the accounts, My sister and I, we had some money in the bank and just before the accounts got frozen we went to close them with my mother. “Sorry, we dont have that kind of money in the bank right now” said the bank employee. It wasn‘t a lot of money, about 2000 bucks. “You dont have 2000 USD in the entire bank?” She said no. That same day we went down town to the main branch and closed the accounts. The following day banks closed their doors and “pesified” people’s savings in dollars, losing 75% of its value due to the new exchange rate. My folks weren´t stupid and they already had their money off shore, that account was just a bit of money my sister and I had.
We didn’t run to the store to get food. I didn’t had large quantities of food but had enough to get by. After that we just went and bought what we needed but there was a couple problems 1) The ever increasing inflation making everything (including food) more and more expensive each passing day 2) The constant threat of looters. At any time they could show up and ransack the place or peacefully demand food, you never knew, but it was a possibility of violence.

A few days after the rioting started military law and curfew were enacted with the loss of constitutional rights. You had to be home after 8PM , you couldn’t gather in groups of more than three, that kind of thing.
In retrospective I’d basically advice 3 things.
1)Have food, water and emergency supplies already in place. Specially food, water, fuel too if you need it to get around as its often the case in most US towns. You can never have enough food and you must overcome the idea that you’re “spending” money on food. Food is like air, you need it to live, you’re not spending money on it, its just not negotiable any more than you can put a price to air when it comes to using it to stay alive. Buy 6 to 12 months worth of food. Plan it right and you’re not spending money by buying it in advance, economically speaking you’re even saving money by buying at pre inflation prices.
2) In financial terms, the equivalent to my parents off shore account at that time would be having precious metals, silver and gold. You can give the bankers the finger as they freeze accounts, and your money is safe from devaluation too. Its in your hands as everything goes to hell and its price goes up directly as the economy collapses. In financial terms for socioeconomic collapse preparedness, precious metals is your best bet.
3) Sometimes few people will recommend it directly, but I cant recommend enough and always mention it: Have means of defending yourself. Have a Glock 9mm and learn how to use it. Have a powerful flashlight, some body armor. Add an AK 47 or some other long gun after that. Take a defensive shooting class so you know how to use this gear. Its not politically correct to recommend this but I couldn’t care less. I have no doubt that when things get ugly you want to be the guy with the gun and the knowledge to use it proficiently. Check the recent post regarding preparedness in Egypt. Dont be the guy with the kitchen knife or hatchet a weapon. Be the one with the gun, holster, spare mags, light and armor.
Take care Kathryn,

FerFAL


Comments

The Golden Hour — 4 Comments

  1. Great website! I hear a lot of people saying to buy gold and silver to protect your money, but where do you go to buy it? I assume that when buying jewlery or coins you pay more than what the gold itself is worth because you are paying for the craftsmenship of the jewlery or the collectability of coins. Any advice would be reatly appreciated!
    Jeff

    • Jeff this is a bit Adventurous but put an add on Craigslist in your area “buying silver coins paying spot. Carry a magnet since China is counterfeiting silver dollars. meet at a well populated parking lot carry a gun you’ll have more silver than you can carry.

  2. Whatever you do, dont buy Gold STOCKS!!! They ALL are worth less, and less and less for a variety of reasons(Just reading my Gabelli Gold fund report!)…And if physical gold owners did great lately, in a real “Shit hit the fan” situation, you cannot eat gold, you cannot shoot it, not practically, and people will assume your coins will be fake…when people worry about living through the day, they will barter USEFUL stuff, like knives, ammo, food, warm clothing, water cleaning apparatus…etc…NOT GOLD COINS!

  3. Jeff,

    If you live in the US you can buy coins at local coin shops (I’m sure they’re elsewhere too. You do pay a small premium over spot price, but as long as you ask for “non-numismatic” coins, it won’t be more than 3-10%. A great (cheap) way to buy silver is pre-1965 US dimes, quarters, & half dollars, which are all 90% silver by mass (0.713 troy oz per $1 face value) – my local shop sells this basically at spot.

    That same shop will buy precious metals back from me (for a less-than-10% fee), and they can recognize fakes or they wouldn’t have stayed in business for 30+ years. If you need to spend your gold coins, in a currency crisis for instance, you’ll trade them for widely accepted money at a coin shop (whether that’s USD, CHF, RMB, or whatever), and THEN spend the money in a grocery store. The grocery store doesn’t need to recognize that your 1964-US quarter is really worth $6.

    Ming makes some good and not-so-good points. If you have 3 days of food and water in your house, don’t buy gold – buy food and water. Gold and silver are for 1) preserving wealth through a crisis (which isn’t worth much if you’re starving), and 2) buying necessities during the crisis (so the better prepared you are, the less you’ll need to spend them).

    Buy precious metals AFTER you’ve stocked up on everything you think you’ll need, because they’ll still have value in the long run, and because your preparedness will never be perfect. There’s a good chance there will be _something_ you forgot to get beforehand, and precious metals will give you the purchasing power to get it regardless of how furiously the printing presses are running.

    FerFal covers all of this in detail in his book.

    Alec

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