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What are DPers views on 401ks?

I personally view them as a suckers bet at the moment.

The way I see it the stock market is in a huge propped up bubble that will come crashing down soon. Perhaps even before the dollar falls.

Another way I view look at it is that even if they do not collapse themselves, then the Government sure would try to get their hands on everyone's 401ks. It's a lose-lose-potential win in my opinion. I'd rather have metals and land.

What do experts like Peter Schiff believe? What do all of you think?


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To me...

I started my first 'big boy' job in May, and after a month with the company I was able to take part in the 401k... At 25 years of age, I know that *in theory* saving now would pay off big time when retirement comes. However, I've been in tune with Dr. Paul since 2006, so I wasn't so quick to jump in.

I admit that the company's match was a strong incentive... essentially doubling my money thrown into investments on the 1st 1%, and taking on 50% on the next 5%... I was close to dedicating 10% of my gross income to a 401k plan, hoping and wishing that things would just go well... Ultimately I chose NOT to, and I paid 0% in.

401k is another way for the federal government to come between people and their money.... not to mention separating people from KNOWLEDGE. See, how many millions of Americans have money in 401k's? Now how many of those same Americans KNOW anything about intricate finances/economics? A 401k plan is an excuse for people to 'set it and forget' with their money. It's the government's way of allowing people to become dependent on other's knowledge/skills, rather than their own knowledge/skills.

Now, this isn't to say that everyone needs to understand finances/economics as if they had a PhD in the subject. But as an example, I can tell you about my uncle and my aunt. He's been working in a factor for 40 years. It's nearly retirement time for him, he was planning on retiring in 2009. After the market mess, he and my aunt went to the broker who takes care of his 401k... The broker basically told my uncle that he HAD to work another 7 years to receive the sort of disbursements out of his 401k that he had expected to receive. So now he's working until 2016... That was all the broker could say to him.

The only real benefit of a 401k is if the company matches, as that IS a large help in growing funds. However, if you have to maintain a 'hands-off' approach, and just pick from a few different classes of portfolios, like "Conservative", "Aggressive," etc, then it's a joke. You're better off on your own, doing with your money what YOU want to. Do research. Look into your local real-estate market and see if there are any opportunities. Consider investing in collectibles. Consider simply stashing the money. Consider investing in dividend yielding companies whose products you support. Whatever you do, don't just hand your money over because it's what the government, or your employer, urges you to do.

I was able to get my 401k money in 2007

I had been hearing Peter Schiff and RP talking about the housing bubble and we were really tight on cash so I decided to yank my money and take the 10% penalty hit and had to pay taxes on it too but it turned out that I made the right decision. However, it was an absolute nightmare to get them to release the money. It took me nearly 60 days to finally convince them to give it to me.

They even made me write a hardship letter which I did and because we were living paycheck to paycheck and only had like $200 in the bank the letter worked. Our daughter had just started college and although our credit was good...our debt to equity ratio was not good.

What we did next was genious in my opinion but some of my friends have said it was abuse of the system. This was still right before TSHTF and we knew a realtor that was just begging us to refinance our home. We bought it in 2000 for 95k and because it was a 30 year note most of what we paid during those first several years was interest.

Anyway, we still owed I think about 60k. I told our realtor friend that if she could get my house appraised at 250k I would refinance it. The next day an appraiser came by the house...walked around it 1 time and said it looked like a 250k house to him. My wife and I had already decided that we would pay off my daughters car and my wife's car, pay off credit card bills, and pay off my wave runners and motorcycle. We would essentially be debt free other than the insane refi that we did. However, I was actually counting on the market to take a dump. I knew if it did there would be lots of foreclosures but there would also be the opportuinty to short sell the house which would not do our credit any good but it would not be a killer either like a foreclosure. I even had a wealthly friend of mine ready to buy our home and let us rent it from him.

Everything went like clock work. My friend paid 105k for the house and our mortgage payments dropped from $1250 a month to a much easier $800 a month rent payment. I really felt like we got over on Wells Fargo but the way they rushed us through the refi signing and didn't give a crap about our income or anything...I KNEW they were going to hold that refi for the mandatory 90 days and then pawn it off on some other investment bank.

What I didn't know at the time is our 250k refi would end up being tossed together with countless other mortgages 1/2 good 1/2 insane like mine and packaged up and sold as a trendy new collateralized debt obligation and/or an asset backed security.

Everything was great until the end of 2009 when out of no where I was laid off. I was making 65k a year. My wife was earning decent money so we were able to hang on until about 6 months later when SHE lost her job. She was a medical transcriptionist and the hospital she contracted work from forced the entire staff to start using electronic medical records. The doctors either had to use voice recognition software or type their own doctors notes in the room during the patient exam.

We ended up selling everything we owned, finally could no longer afford to rent the house we once owned and bounced around from place to place until I finally found a place to live where I could barter for my rent. We have NEVER been happier! Getting off the hamster wheel is undescribable! Being a slave to the system was sucking the life out of both of us.

If I ever DO start earning a decent income again...we have already decided that we LOVE the minimalist life style and will never end up with another mortgage. I'd love to build one of those really small houses on a 3 - 5 acre lot and become more self sufficent..but until TPTB stop papering over the massive holes in our sinking ship and let all the debt liquidate...this is the economy we are all going to be stuck with.

It's sad to know that Japan has allowed their economy to stagnat for nearly 25 years by doing exactly what bearded Ben is doing. If we do that, I'll be dead before things get moving in the right direction. BUT, I will go to my grave happier now even if nothing changes than I would have if I was still chained to all that debt.

So, my answer to your 401k is to CALL them and ask them what your options are. Don't tell them you are doing fine. Tell them you are up shit creek without a paddle and they MIGHT be willing to help. My guess is that new laws have been passed under the cover of darkness and you can't get your money out no matter what you do. In fact, at a job intereview several months ago I was told by the owner that all employees were REQUIRED to contribute to THEIR 401k plan. I said your kidding me right? In this rigged market why would I want to invest in stocks? He just said...hey, it's not our rule...it was dictated to them by the financial institution that managed their mutual funds. Ain't THAT some shit!

Yank it and do the silver thing the other dude commented about. I'm much more bullish on Silver too but in reality all you REALLY want to do is not have your savings destoryed by inflation or a currency collapse. If you come out the other side of this next "re-set" and didn't lose your ass....you've done good.

Oh yeah, if you DO buy precious metals...DON'T TELL ANYONE!

401k is one of the most highly taxed investment vehicle

401k is one of the most highly taxed investment vehicle you can put your money into.

Ron Paul talks some about that. Robert Kiyosaki explains it in great detail in Increase Your Financial IQ

Since 1971, from being money (backed by gold) the USD became currency. The etymology of the word currency is "condition of flowing". In 1699 John Locke extended it to "circulation of money."

Therefore parking currency in the bank is not ideal. Instead, it is best for the current to keep flowing. Especially when it is subject to the inflation tax, which consumes the purchasing power of the currency.

Of course parking your money in a savings account, mutual funds, 401k, etc is better than nothing, but the best thing for the average investor is to stop being average.


Explain how avoiding a 50% tax now, avoiding a 50% tax on growth now, and paying a 20% tax in the future is highly taxed.

If you think that, then pay the tax, and put the money in a Roth 401k where it is tax free forever. Tax-free forever is worse than not tax-free??? That makes absolutely no sense. On top of that you often get free money. So you get tax-free forever, and free money VERSUS no free money, and pay tax for the rest of your life.

Clearly this forum needs a lesson on 401ks.

No idea what you are trying to say elsewhere. I get Kiyosaki's lame points that everyone is aware of about high costs. He wasn't the first to say that. If he says something else and describes it in detail I'll be shocked b/c he usually says nothing at all.

What says our future tax

rate will remain at 20%?

The government is going to have to raise taxes to try to cover their butts and not default. Just like all the European countries are doing.

I wouldn't be surprised at all if we see tax rates like France has installed (75% on the top bracket) promoted here. And remember income tax rates in the USA used to top out at 90%. Capital gains taxes will have to go up to to try to save the gov't from it's debt burden.

We have been taught to believe that we are saving taxes and coming out ahead in the long run by putting money into a 401k or other tax deferred retirement account. Maybe for people who are near retirement now that is true. But in all likelihood most of us will wish we didn't contribute at all and paid our normal income tax rate and put the remaining after-tax pay into property and other physical goods.

Our family's journey from the Rocket City to the Redoubt: www.suburbiatosimplicity.com

didn't answer

Then you would put your money into the 401k in the Roth. As I said.

I partly agree with you on Kiyosaki

Kiyosaki himself never misses to boast with his illiteracy. He can barely spell and write. And still, he is richer than most people.

All I am saying is that if your money does not make more money and is subject to taxation - income and inflation - then you are the losing party. Just ask those retirees who thought they had it all figured out up until 2007 when they experienced a tremendous 401k drop.

The point that I am trying to make is that if one cannot invest and create passive non-taxable income for him/herself, like "the lame" Kiyosaki did, then perhaps it is a good idea to simply create a hedge for the money against the hidden tax of inflation.

Let's look at one example:

Back in 2002 I could buy 88 ounces of silver with the $400 contribution in 401k. Let's assume that for the last 10 years I had a few raises and now I am contributing $500 to my 401k and my employer matches it 100% to the total amount of $1000. Today, even with the $1000 that I have deposited in MY 401k account, I would only be able to buy 27 ounces of silver.

88 ounces of silver for $400 in 2002 VS 27 ounces of silver for $1000 in 2012.

The 88 ounces of silver bought in 2002 for $400 could equate to about $3000 today. This appears to be a hedge against inflation to me, unless you pull another talking point out of an HR rep hat and try to convince me that everyone could have had more than 600% ROI in 10 years from 401k.

And as I see from the comments here, some people who even try to withdraw their money from their 401k accounts, they are not even allowed to do it. So please explain to me, how is 401k good for me?

well said dreamer!

well said dreamer!

It depends on your investment options

With 401ks, you have investment choices limited by your employer. You also have restrictions on when you can get to your money. Those two things make it beneficial for Wall Street. On the other hand, you get to deposit money pre-tax, and you can get employer matching. Those two things mean your returns can potentially be much better than what you could get investing after tax money on your own. I think the investment options you have determine whether it is beneficial or not to invest in a 401k.

If you believe in a Peter Schiff-ian investment philosophy, you should invest in precious metals, mining stocks, natural resources stocks, and foreign/domestic stocks that are selling to other countries so that their fortunes are not tied to the purchasing power of the American consumer. Bonds and currency investments should not be in dollars. If your 401k allows you the flexibility to invest in those type of things, it could be a win-win. If all you can do in your 401k in buy the Dow Jones Industrials, S&P 500, and U.S. Treasuries, then it may not be so great.

We all want progress, but if you're on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive.

-C. S. Lewis

that makes no sense

This is the most general, inane post I've seen in a while. You really have to put something behind what you're saying and explain what you mean if you are looking for someone to respond to you with something that provides you with value, and so that they know what you mean.

What does it mean they are a 'suckers bet'? They are an account. They're not an investment. There is no bet.

What does it mean the stock market is a huge propped up bubble? If it's propped up, what makes it a bubble? If you know anything about the FED, they are devaluing. Inflating. What happens to the price of food when you inflate? And so what happens to the amount of money food producers receive? And so what happens to the value of the stock?

While there are pitches to have govt take over 401(k)s, I really think you need to think about that one for a few more seconds. You are really, truly suggesting they will take an asset that belongs to millions and millions of people, and there would be not be anarchy?

That is no different than them taking your car. If you truthfully think that can happen and there won't be every city in the country rioting and looting, from the ghettos to the nicest towns, you're in a different land than most of us.

All well thought out...but...

your logic stands on assumptions for which there is no evidence. Rioting and anarchy in the face of massive draconian force are easily quelled and all things government, as of late, show a distinct, non-theoretical preparation for push-back to something.

After all, the purchase of millions of hollow points for agencies that shouldn't be armed...or certainly not with hollow points...and the militarization of those that have traditionally been armed..bodes ill tidings in our future.

Further...see Argentina's history concerning retirement accounts. I'd guess that in the US, once again the markets will flow into troubled volatile waters the likes of which we haven't seen before...so volatile that, retirement accounts will receive a 50%-70% haircut before its done.

As this is, for those enacting it, a zero sum game, there will be winners and losers...but all winners will be stash their gains in the ownership of commodities which of course are the means of production for world markets. These commodities will then be put to work or utilized elsewhere. The 1% who enacted this highly planned debacle will again...not suffer a lick...they'll get richer (and hopefully so will I).

Joe Hamburger, in true American fashion, will be pleading with the government to do "something" about those Wall Street Vultures...vultures that will be defined and vilified..as directed...by the very Media they own...but most of them will be gone...with title to their commodities and as citizens of the world.

In will sweep the governmental "Munchian converters"...saving Joe Hamburger, and his previously perfectly happy cousin...by "quieting" the markets at their new low levels and by taking his retirement accounts and turning them into government annuities...or such...for the good of the Nation and for the good of the poor individual victim. No prosecution or investigation will be in evidence since we all know, the markets are random and unforeseeable....and given that a bastardized Galt's Gulch will exist in...oh I dunno...Dubai?...Paraguay?....Costa Rica/Honduras?

Metals will be up for confiscation and the use of them forbidden in legal commerce. This will in turn drive a massive black market in metals denominated goods and services thereby increasing the need for and power of a truly draconian police state.

Watch...for this is the true history governments in collapse...and there won't be crap you can do about it if you are still here at the time.

Conspiracy Theory? Not in my eyes.

Wha? .....hey....who stole my country?


There are two ways to steal wealth:

1) Inflation. This always works for the politician because they can blame everyone else in the world and people are too dumb to know.
2) Theft.

They will NEVER take outright someone's nest egg. You would have to be insane to think they can go up to retirees... who, yes, don't understand the inflation... whose butts they are kissing right now, and they are so fearful of saying the wrong thing about Medicare to... and tell them.. you know what... we're going to take your money and manage it...

You could at one point in time have seen it in govt annuities, as you say. When there was less information on them, when they were less prevalent, when it was someone else 'hoarding gold.' You don't understand the mindset of a retiree clearly. Savings is their lifeline. No politican starts a program that may cost them their jobs; they would leave a choice to keep their money.

You didn't comprehend a thing I wrote did you?

I am a trader. And I can tell you, not only are the markets not "random" they are readable to a very precise degree...if you know what to look for. But very few people know what to look for.

Nothing moves the markets but "Big Money" in collusion...which is how Congress Critters become so freakin' wealthy...and which is why you see what the financial people will call "the business cycle". Understanding this surface information, you might see that collusion of "Big Money" can inflate or deflate any sector of the market...at any time they please...thus the "cycling".

All of the money "lost" in 1987, 2000, 2007...and soon...was not lost. Big Money created a bubble and dumped their positions in equity sectors at the top of the rise...further shorting once they had emptied their hands and in initiating the fall.

But the Funds their minions and other lessers operate on your behalf...those were the entities buying for you in the wonderful bull market...and even more at the exuberant top. Those who are so large and cumbersome that any movement or decision once the trouble starts, is slow and ineffective...and draining.

When Big Money is ready, they short heavier into the markets, having set themselves into position befor the fall, they reap downside gains and cause alert bull-traders to start taking profit and unloading their positions. The fall begins to gain momentum.

The pedal is pushed down further by selling more and then "fire" is yelled in the theatre of CNBC and their ilk, wherein the connected funds begin unloading in increasing speed to get to cash first. Then the progression works its way down the food chain.

In the interim and multiple times, downside profit taking is initiated whereas Big Money begins to buy...just enough to slow then halt the drop...and in time to quell fears a little...wherein they get the attention of the market reading traders and lesser Funds (as well as the connected Funds who help stop the fall) buying a bit and the market seems to want to move up.

Buying What? Why the stocks Big Money and the connected Funds (the ones you can't buy into) just bought at the bottom..until their hands, then the connected Funds are empty again...wherein they load up their short position again, stop stepping on the gas pedal, roll down the window and scream "fire" again.

This process continues numerous times until "the market" has dropped to a predetermined level...and then Big Money and their minions step in and buy all of these equities at a FIRE SALE since there are NO buyers to be found.

My friend, money in the market does not disappear, it changes hands...then it disappears out of one sector and into another predetermined sector...which is at its bottom...or it's taken elsewhere in the form of cash or commodities.

When this process starts happening by massive daily lurches...what do you think happens to the people who actually watch their money? Call them the "educated" 401K owner...I'll tell you...they try and get to cash...dumping everything just to get off the field...or out of a house they see burning. The Funds do the same, only slowly as not to cause too great a burden on price, only they get paid either way.

If Big Money so desires, they can make this thing so painful and scary that far more people start "watching" their money and calling their broker or financial planner and demanding a flight to cash. Given what I've said, what do you think this does?

Now we have a government out of money, losing its reserve currency status, and unable to do anything to finance itself but print more money that the rest of the world won't take in payment for goods and services. if this doesn't settle down for a long period, and if the haircut is great enough...what do you think the public outcry will be? Especially in the face of rising prices resulting from Stock Market winners buying them up, and job lay-offs? And especially, what happens to uneducated retirees? They begin to clamor.


So how does the government save you? They make a "deal" with you, to take your retirement money and turn it into a government backed "tax-free" security, paid as an annuity or some other inane artifice. And you, Joe Hamburger will feel safe and sound...as they then spend YOUR retirement money...until they can't anymore because it's gone. And those in Washington who caused/allowed all of this will resign in disgust over their colleagues stupidity...retiring to a life of comfort ensured by Big Money in some far off, out of your clutches land. And a new band of thieves, proffered by the criminals, will come forth and promise to save you.

All politicians start "programs" based on their benefactors desires and the golden parachute that awaits them.

As to the minions...the tools and weapons of their murderous operations who no one would blame things on. Well lots of things...ever hear of "The Circuit"? Its a place where a person can give speeches for 60,000 0r 150,000 an engagement...to corporations...on subjects like "leadership"...."military might"....you name it they talk about it and get paid big bucks... in reward for their "playing days". There are quite a few generals walking around right now who have never held an MIC job since retiring that are far more wealthy than you'd believe. Not hard doing 4 speeches a week at $150,000 a pop...for as long as they want to keep talking. The same goes for political appointees and other big wigs you think want to "keep their jobs". They are the disgusted ones who parade around and point fingers at untouchables.

I understand the mindset of retirees perfectly...as they are the last fish left in the holey barrel after the gun smoke clears...and who have no power what-so-ever to affect this criminal paradigm. They have been led to understand that removing their cash from the paying field will "cost them"...trained like Pavlovs dogs to avoid taxes...and as oblivious as kindergardeners to the piranhas swimming in their kiddy pool and about to eat their legs off.

I'm sorry my friend you need to wake up now, before its too late. Or you can return to this post in a year and wished you were't so knowledgable.

Wha? .....hey....who stole my country?

Didn't Ireland

take money from people's retirement accounts to help offset their gov't deficits/debt in the last couple of years?

If people think it can't, or won't, happen here in the USA then I urge them to think again.

When the gov't gets broke enough... and desperate enough... they will come after both public and private retirement accounts.

In fact they already have. The gov't has already "borrowed" money against civil servants' retirement accounts. The same way they "borrowed" money from social security. I have little doubt that we will one day (probably not too far in the future) learn that the gov't has looted those civil servant pensions and they are no longer able to meet their future obligations... just like social security can't meet it's future obligations.

There is nothing to stop gov't from taking your retirement money if they really want to. Short of keeping it in your physical possession... or outright revolt maybe.

The gov't may try spinning it as a new "tax", or "fee", or something first. But if that doesn't work then they will go straight into your accounts and transfer money out without a second thought about it. Haven't we started to see things from the financial institutions re-iterating that retirement accounts are not insured and are not protected in any way. We have seen that financial institutions can, and do, pull from those to cover their liabilities elsewhere and if they lose their ass, and your money, in the process then you have little or no recourse whatsoever.

As for 401k's just being accounts. They are not. As we know they are not covered by any kind of deposit insurance. They come with the risk that they may gain or lose some or all of their value. They come with the risk that the financial institutions officers may plunder them at will with little or no remedy provided to those whose accounts they stole from. The come with the risk that even if the funds aren't stolen outright, that the gov't can impose the inflation tax on them at whatever rate they feel is necessary. Similarly, that the gov't can alter your personal income tax rate at any time to effectively collect as much of that retirement income as they deem fit.

As for stock rising with price inflation... if/when prices of goods and services skyrocket because of inflation, people will be forced to stop buying those things because their salaries won't keep up with the prices. The companies providing those goods and services will see their stocks sink because they will lose customers and revenue. There may be short lived stock gains (local peaks), but once reality sets in and people realize what's happening the market will crash. Try to imagine how a 90% stock market drop will affect your 401k.

It CAN happen here. All signs are pointing that it WILL happen here. Don't be caught by surprise when it does.

Our family's journey from the Rocket City to the Redoubt: www.suburbiatosimplicity.com

And Spain just did it

And Spain just did it yesterday

I no longer doubt the

I no longer doubt the Government's tenacity to do anything. It is not nearly out of the realm of possibility that they would confiscate 401(k)s. Anarchy is not a deterrent to these people. They are actively preparing for it with recent legislation/ammo buys ect.

Here's what happens to the price of food when you inflate, people can't afford it.

The stock market is so high because of policies such as QE3. The bottom line is the rich are benefiting and the middle class (or who used to be middle class) will suffer. The middle class are the ones who depend on their 401(k). The rich do not and they are in charge.

yes, we do have deterrents

If Wikipedia threatening to shut-down can make them change, there is no chance the theft of retirement money will happen.

You have step one right, step two wrong. Food prices sky rocket. Those who do not invest in stocks wont be able to afford food. Those that count on their employers to have pensions or relied on social safety nets. There's a difference in that scenario, which would be a manageable outcry, and outright theft of the largest asset most people have. You can control one with guns and politics. You can't take someone's nest egg. You certainly won't be able to once people see SS isn't working, and their 401(k) is growing in value. I'm surprised you all don't understand that.

A 401k is just a legal entity, not the actual investment

A 401k is just a legal entity. It's like forming a corporation or a trust. In fact, a 401k is just a trust with special rules -- rules determined by the government, and yes, trial balloons have already been floated to tax these supposedly "untaxable" trust account.

Argentina has already done it. No reason to think the current lawless US government won't, too.

The assets you put into the 401k trust depends on what you think about the assets -- stocks, bonds, precious metals, real estate, oil, currencies, derivatives, etc.

It is probably best to at least have some assets outside of government control if at all possible. Anyone with assets owned within a government created entity is going to be subject to the whims of that government. And yes, IRA's and 401k's are likely to be robbed by the government at someone point if things continue going the way they are now.

As far as the stock market goes, it's all about the FED printing money. When that stops, look out below. Until then, "irrational exuberance" can get even more irrational.

401K transfer

So, is there any way to transfer a 401k to a rollover IRA while still working for your current company, or do you have to leave to be able to have any flexibility (other than whatever options they give you, or withdrawing it and taking the 10% penalty)

no access

And this is the problem with 401ks. They are a lockbox for Wall Street. This is exactly what the poster should be writing to his COngressman about.


You won't have access to the money until you leave. Sometimes you have access to all or some of it, but this is an exception to the rule.

I have often pondered this question

In 2008/2009 I lost major value in my 401k. Over the past year or two the value has come back strong.
So the question is, where do you park the investments on this next down turn coming?

I also often hear rumblings and ideas floated in congress from time to time about confiscatory measures that will be necessary in the event of another financial calamity .

For this reason alone I'm not so sure commodities wouldn't be a better bet.....

Good luck.


For Freedom!
The World is my country, all mankind is my brethren, to do good is my religion.

The dollar however

which your 401k is valued in, has lost considerable value. The dollar amount of your 401k has increased but the value of the dollar itself has actually decreased.

That is the illusion. The FED prints money which causes Wall Street to have a temporary "rally" and go back up so that the amount that the dollar, what the 401k is valued in, has decreased from this money printing becomes overlooked because people have a false sense of newfound security to see a higher number on their 401k statement. But in essence, the 401k has essentially stayed the same in terms of purchasing power, which is the only thing that really matters. It has only increased by the amount the purchasing power of the dollar has decreased.

Get a ROTH IRA, all the

Get a ROTH IRA, all the proceeds are tax free! The market goes up and it goes down, and there is a huge down trend about to begin in a few months or less, but you can make money in either an up or down market if your super smart.

I get annoyed when...

I get annoyed when people say they're going to "invest" in gold and silver or in metals. Gold and silver are not investments; they're simply money or perhaps hedges...so rather than saving dollars you save gold or silver...but that doesn't mean they are an investment vehicle like a rental property or a small business which have cash flow. Gold and silver do not make you money; they protect your purchasing power of the money you already have.

Regarding 401K's, here's Schiff's viewpoint:

Will funding multi-trillion dollar liabilities such as social security and Medicare eventually become a politically charged issue for the tax-free status of a 401(K) or Roth IRA twenty years from now?

Peter: These obligations are impossible to fund. They will be repudiated, either honestly or more likely through inflation.

"Do you think a 401k or IRA are of practical value in a hyperinflationary environment?"

Peter: In such an environment they will be practically worthless.

Other view point from LewRockwell.com:

"A slave could own no property, but from early times it was customary to give the slave a peculium, a fund that he could administer as if it belonged to him. Technically, this sum belonged to the master, but to some extent it was treated as a separate estate with which the master did not interfere except for good reason."

More from LRC:

"In November of 2008 the Carolina Journal Online carried a piece titled: Dems 'Target Private Retirement Accounts' where 'leaders' in the U.S. House discussed confiscating 401(k)s, and IRAs and turning them into a GRA (Government Retirement Account)."

And more from LRC:

"Let me tell you what this is - it is an attempt to prevent the collapse of the Treasury market!

Forcing people into Treasuries as an 'annuity' is exactly what Social Security allegedly is. Except that Treasury stole the money that was collected in FICA taxes and spent it!

Guess what? They'll do that here too - you're going to 'invest' in Treasuries which of course are effectively a CALL option on the future taxing ability of the government."

I'm a serial entrepreneur and liberty activist from Texas!


When it comes to gold

I totally agree - gold is not an investment but a preserver of wealth. Gold maintains its purchasing power, so if you buy 100,000 US dollars worth of gold today, you will be able to purchase in 10 years with that gold whatever 100,000 USD will buy you in today's market - not less and probably not more, either, excluding, of course, a hyperinflation dollar collapse.

Silver, though, I think can be considered an investment because (1) it is highly undervalued in terms of supply and demand and will, logically, eventually have its day of reckoning and catch up to where it ought to be and (2) plays an important role as an industrial metal and, therefore, can move (in the absence of market manipulators) with industrial demand.

Consider if you had 100,000 USD in the 80s. At that time, 100,000 USD could have purchased, in cash, paid in full with no loans (1) a median size home (2) an entire house of furniture (3) a brand new car and (4) a trip to Europe.

In 2012, you could buy about 1/4th of that with 100,000 USD. So saving the 100,000 USD in dollars in a bank account would have been the same as throwing 75% of the cash out the window.

If you had converted the 100,000 USD into gold in the 80s, the gold would today be worth about 430,000 USD, which would purchase, in full, the things you could have purchased in full with 100,000 USD in the 80s. So it retained its purchasing power. You could buy the exact same thing today with it that it could have bought back then.

Now let us consider silver. If you had converted the 100,000 USD into silver back then, today it would be worth around 600,000-700,000 USD. Therefore, you would have increased your purchasing power by over 50%, rendering it an investment.

Nice post mr Webster

I liked the comparison

For Freedom!
The World is my country, all mankind is my brethren, to do good is my religion.

I make all kinds of money

I make all kinds of money investing in gold and silver! Buy low, sell high, pocket profits, repeat, it's not real easy, but it is profitable, it is an investment, and it makes much more than any rental property or small business with much less effort!

no, you're not 'investing' in

no, you're not 'investing' in gold and silver...you're running a wholesale/retail business. hopefully, you're filling out your schedule C correctly :)

“Let it not be said that no one cared, that no one objected once it’s realized that our liberties and wealth are in jeopardy.”
― Ron Paul

I get irritated when people

I get irritated when people call the dollar "money". It's nothing but a fiat currency.

“Let it not be said that no one cared, that no one objected once it’s realized that our liberties and wealth are in jeopardy.”
― Ron Paul