One of the reasons I’m in the “money business” is because my family never had any — actually, that’s not true. My family used to have money, and lots of land.
Actually we were the All-American story. My great, great, great, (maybe a couple of more “greats” in there too) grandfather sold himself into indentured servitude by way of Scotland to come to America. Sometime in the 1760’s, I think. My dad could tell you all of the exact details, William Wallace — the whole thing. I digress…
For seven years we farmed & fixed stuff for rich guys & then bootstrapped ourselves into local politics, law school, medical school, and eventually the family fortune was tied up in oil fields in Texas. These oil fields kept the family comfortable for a couple of generations and then supposedly one of my not-so-great grandfathers & his brother started feuding over the money. They fought so vehemently that when the dust settled, all that was left were attorney bills — or so goes the story.
Since then, my dad’s side of the family has sort of been cursed when it comes to money — basically with any decision that can be made about money. I won’t bore you with all the gory details, but trust me, Hugo from Lost would run a close second to most of the members of my family when it comes to the tragedy of money.
And so, from a very early age I learned a few things. 1) most misfortune that’s centered around money is usually the result of poor planning, or greed. I know this because my family spent most of the 80’s buying extended warranties without ever doing the math. I also witnessed the salesman gladly selling the useless joke. 2) Since “the incident” the Bell family karma has been to pretty much be: too early, too late, too conservative, too aggressive, or too naive about all things money. And, they’re all still pretty greedy & selfish.
Growing up with Scottish pride, I learned about all the world-changing discoveries & inventions from Scots. But the more I’ve learned about my family, the more I’m thinking maybe we came from a different part of the island; The “rock-hurling-skirt-wearing-midgets-who-are-hairy-in-all-the-wrong-places–living-among-drunks-and-people-with-bad-teeth” side of the island.
Fortunately, it’s not all the family I’ve got.
As fate would have it, my uncle called me a couple of days ago, telling me that he heard something about March 21, 2012 — Something about the Federal Reserve “devaluing the US dollar 40% (on that day) along with the rest of the world’s currencies…” All on THAT day. And — he wants to put ALL of his portfolio into Gold, like right now.
I’m not sure what radio/internet news/commentary/stock-newsletter/insider god was sharing this date, but my uncle believes. I know there are some other believers too, I’ve seen the comments trolling on Business Insider.
There was no amount of ‘talking off the ledge’ on this one; I suggested maybe, just maybe, this was not such a great idea. He knew it was a gamble, but he liked his odds. He doesn’t trust Washington or the system. And who can blame him? Then something about the “coming gold standard…”
I said, “…It’s possible I suppose. But at that point, if that happens… I’m personally thinking we’re a bit more Mad Max, aren’t you?”
Here’s the deal — my uncle served our country in the Vietnam war (actually according to my dad, my family has fought in every single US war — except Iraq 2 and Afghanistan). My family & my uncle deserve my/our gratitude & respect. But they are also absolutely, certifiably, batshit crazy at times.
It’s okay, they know.
Fortunately he has a great pension, so even when he does “bet the farm” like this, he’ll be fine. He does still have the self-preservation part of his lizard brain, so he’ll sell if/when he needs to — I’m guess once things drop by about 50% this time around.
Although he rarely “trades”, he does make these “bet the farm” moves about once a year. And when he does, I’ve learned to note what he says because he’s usually in the ballpark of something, he just doesn’t know whether he’s coming or going. Personally, I usually do the opposite — more so with my dad’s moves.
Here’s examples of the last two “bet the farm” calls from these 3 years.
My Uncle bought Corning in 2005, I think. –I’d have to look a bit deeper. He was in the money– that I know — with like with 1/2 of his farm betting portfolio. It was a great trade. He rode that puppy hard. And the last thing I remember him sayin’ to me was… “gosh, maybe it’s goin’ to $100…
Last year, he called –ready to start lookin’. Missing pretty much all of 2009 & 2010. He’s been reading his Motley Fool email alerts, and wants an income/growth idea. I suggest maybe he look at Hawaiian Electric and The US Utilities index. Decent income, relatively defensive. He likes it. He loads the boat in his account.
From Bloomberg (emphasis mine):
Gold is poised for a 21 percent gain in 2012, extending its bull market to 12 consecutive years, as investors hoard record amounts and central banks expand reserves for the first time in a generation.
So, Here’s The Question:
Knowing what you know now, is my Uncle? (multiple choice)
a) too conservative
b) too early
c) too late
d) too aggressive
e) too naive
Who knows… really, I’m just sayin’
Trump Calls The Top On Gold – September 2011.
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