In the past I've advocated that individuals - who although they might be on a tight budget, with little to invest - can still participate in the commodities pricing rise that is occurring as the dollar depreciates, driven by the heavy thumb of the FED on the printing press. Fiscal irresponsibility has cornered the administration like a post-Katrina handyman attempting to enact cosmetic patches on the stained sheetrock of flooded abodes. They're trying to paper over an ugly problem.
Unrestrained creation of excess liquidity will result, in time, in rising prices across the board. Inflation, which I've heard characterized so many times as "a hidden tax" will cause the average individual's standard of living to decline, and could have a particularly nasty effect on those subsisting on a fixed income, or that demographic who is already afflicted by poverty. How do you stay abreast of inflation? Precious metals will accomplish that goal, by preserving your purchasing power.
I feel that the base metals, nickel and copper, will function in that role as well. Of course, they would do so on a commensurately smaller basis. So it might not be worth the attention of well-capitalized investors to even consider positioning a small basis of their portfolio thusly. But it won't hurt for the little guys who want to save, to do it in a safer form than Federal Reserve Notes that aren't worth the paper they're printed on. Or having an account in a bank that could fail.
To those readers who are just stumbling across my columns, I'll repeat myself - to an extent - in an effort to save you the chore of reading previous articles to catch up. The intrinsic value of the copper in Lincoln Cents, produced by the United States Mint prior to 1982, is worth greater than twice face value - due to their fabrication from 95% copper - as can be discovered by a visit to Coinflation.com. In spite of a melt ban, there is already secondary market demand for them.
Simply examine your pocket change, and begin to stockpile the pre-1982's cents. Before you know it you'll begin to accumulate a significant little pile of these pennies. I'd suggest hanging onto them for now, as their worth is sure to rise even further. If and when you start to sort and save, even hoard, pennies yourself, you're sure to experience encounters similar to what happened to me. So sit down, Reginald, and let me tell you a story.
My pulse is racing and a fluttery sensation is affecting my mid-section. A miasma of dread is afflicting my thoughts, permeating my brain. I haven't gotten my fix today, and a sense of desperation is setting in. This need is intolerable, a yearning that can't be assuaged. I'm running out of banking sites that will sell me pennies.
The plan was to hit up my source banks for a once-a-month heist of $500 in pennies. I figured that, if I could place larger orders in fewer venues, then it would save me time and money on gas. So I cased a few joints. I didn't want to spend time in line waiting with the unknowing - akin to financial nincompoops, economic zombies - so I carefully observed the busiest hours and days of each bank so as to avert that possibility.
This day, I made my initial selection with the care of Michelangelo daubing swatches on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. As I approached this particular branch a frisson of fear forked along my spine, for not a week earlier the obese witch at a sister branch had declared "No, we can't order that much anymore, you'll have to start paying $4.25 a box!" I hoped that the news hadn't spread, but it was with trepidation that I waited for the light to flash green, then pushed open the glass door of the entry vestibule.
I was in luck, at least as far as lines went. There was no one in front of me and a personable young man in his twenties volunteered to assist me. "How can I help you today, Sir?" I hate when they call me that, don't they know that within this sagging flesh beats the heart of a virile athlete with the desires of a hedonistic rake? Or at least, that's what I'd like to think. We all age gracelessly, and I'm afraid to look too carefully in the mirror lest I be horrified.
"I'd like to order some pennies," I stated. "Oh, how many?" he returned. "Ummm," hesitant to speak, I ventured "uh, how about $500 worth?" He paused for a moment, eyeing me, trying to recall if my face was one of those he had recently seen posted on the FBI's ten-most-wanted list. Then he added "let me find out," and walked over to a teller near the vault.
From a distance I could see her gesticulating madly and was barely able to hear the occasional odd word of her vehement vigorously-voiced objection, so I was prepared when he came back. I made an abortive riposte to his attempt to speak before he even had a chance to open his mouth. "Is there a limit to how much I can order?" I questioned, having heard the harridan shriek "no, that's too much, we don't have room!"
He looked nonplussed, bewilderment creasing his face. "Let me ask my manager," he asked, and sidled up to where she was talking on the phone. She looked up at me at which point I gave the nubile, thirty-something nymphet my most heartwarming smile, with a salacious wink thrown in for good measure. She hung up and approached his carrel. "How can I help you," she intoned with false saccharine, "Sir?" A perfunctory smile plastered her lips.
"Uh, I just wanted to order some pennies and there seems to be a problem," I said. "I want to order $500, but if that's too much I'd be willing to settle for less. Could I get one box?" I quavered abjectly. She looked me directly in the eyes and probed, "why do you want so many pennies, Sir?" I stammered, "well, I'm a collector and I look for valuable coins in the rolls. There's alot of pennies that are worth more than face value." I didn't want to have to explain my industry to her and have her determine that I was a nut-job in addition to being obsessed.
"Sir, we'll have to charge you for the pennies, just like we do the merchants. Brinks charges us and we are just passing the charge along to the customer, after all, the bank has to make money." I wanted to scream "that's what the TARP was for you stupid cow," but just smiled as she asked "would you like to know what the charge will be?"
"No," I replied, I already knew the answer. I turned to leave while at least my dignity was still intact. I hadn't had to risk my reputation and face the scorn of the assembled onlookers by the confession I had avoided. I am a copper-keeper.
Buy Silver. Buy Gold. Save Copper. Start Now.