I’m going to dispute the notion that gold is a good hedge against the apocalypse. Â In the event that the US economy melts down so far that buying gold was a good alternative to holding US dollars, then buying canned goods, ammunition, and medical supplies was an even better alternative to gold. Â The only scenario I can think of in which it makes sense to stockpile a lot of gold is one where you and your household goods are unexpectedly teleported into the sixteenth century. Â If you worry a lot about this, then by all means, stockpile gold. Â But you should also probably take the precaution of stockpiling antibiotics and how-to books on dentistry.
I currently have no gold holdings, largely because I’ve been worried about it being a bubble. Of course, I’ve been thinking that since 2005, which had I invested all my money in gold then, I would have doubled it. But I’m wary of buying at the top of a bubble. I would never have the courage to hold gold long term.
I’ve never understood the libertarian fascination with the gold standard. Currently our currency is worth money because the government says it is. Libertarians have long wanted money backed up by gold. But what backs up gold? It’s never seemed to be a good idea to have your money supply dependent on something you have to mine from the ground.
Gold may be a good hedge against inflation, perhaps, but my inclination will be to pump my current cash reserves into the primary asset that is my house if inflation takes off. I need a new kitchen, a new shower, a good bit of exterior work, new driveway, and a once over of the yard by a Â decent landscaper.
As for preparing for total meltdown? Well, I think I have enough guns and ammunition available for barter to take care of myself pretty well.