Latest Posts

Plunging Fuel Prices Will Not Last

Towards the end of June, the International Energy Agency (IEA) announced a plan to release 60 million barrels of oil to combat the high prices brought on by the Libyan crisis.  That’s about 2 million barrels a day since June 23.  It looks like prices have already hit bottom, and most think the cheap gasoline and diesel fuel will not last.  I think this could be a dress rehearsal for this time next year, just before the 2012 elections–but what do I know?  (more…)

What is Money?

I have consistently said since this site went on line that the only thing you can count on when it comes to the economy is inflation.  Economist John Williams of Shadowstats.com says inflation is now running at 11.2%.  To get that number, Williams computes the data the way Bureau of Labor Statistics did it in 1980 (or earlier.)  No accounting gimmicks–just a true measurement of the cost of living, not the cost of existence.  (more…)

They Just Take Turns Ripping Us Off

Many people think that there is a big difference between Democrats and Republicans, but I think there’s not much difference at all.  I have long said, the left and the right are really one body with two heads–they just take turns ripping us off.  Both parties are not all bad.  There are a few good eggs on both sides of the isle but only a few. Gerald Celente, founder of Trends Research, thinks much the same way as I do.  Celente is famous for making many spot on predictions about the future based on trends of today.  He is predicting that Congressman Ron Paul could win the Presidency in 2012.  (more…)

When Honest Americans are Cast as Criminals

There are those who feel some of the leadership of America has sold us down a river of ruin.  After all the bailouts, corruption and malfeasants that has brought a financial catastrophe to America, not a single financial elite has been indicted, let alone gone to jail.  Crimes have surely been committed, but it appears the U.S. Justice Department has turned its back on prosecuting anyone. (more…)

We Need Honest Money

Last year, I wrote a piece called We Don’t Have Honest Money.” It’s about how the Fed is debasing our currency.  I wrote, “It is said, when empires fall, one of the first signs of decline is a debasement of the currency.   Long before the Roman Empire fell, its leaders debased the currency.  The debasement was small at first, but over time, precious metals were watered down and coin sizes shrank.  For example, silver coins ended up having so little silver in them they became unpopular and shunned.  A debased Roman currency brought, what else, inflation.  Sound familiar?” (more…)

How Revolution in the Middle East Affects You

What is going on in the Middle East is breathtaking and frightening at the same time.  The unrest and outright middle east revolution is not going to be a pathway to peace and prosperity.   Libya is sliding into a bloody civil war.  The military is in control of Egypt.  Riots and protests are intensifying in other countries in the region.  Meanwhile, the price of oil is spiking because of fears of supply disruption. (more…)

The Worst 4 Letter Word of All–Debt

You can write volumes on what is actually wrong with the economy.  We have record foreclosures, the FDIC closing banks every weekend, high unemployment, enormous deficits, food banks running out of money, sour mortgage-backed securities and the list goes on and on.  You could tie almost every financial problem together with one little ugly four letter word—DEBT.  Even our money is debt because, for the most part, it is loaned into existence.   (more…)

How Do I Buy Gold and Silver?

How to Buy Gold and Silver

By Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog.com

I often get many questions about how to buy gold and silver:

  • How do you buy gold and silver?
  • Why should I buy gold and silver?
  • What kind of gold and silver should I buy?
  • What is the difference between numismatic and bullion coins?
  • Which of these should I buy?
  • Where can I buy gold and silver?

Including the following important questions:

  • Will the government confiscate my gold and silver?
  • Can the government make owning gold illegal?
  • How do I know if my gold and silver dealer is reputable?
  • Do buyers get some kind of confirmation that what they are buying from these shops is real and certified?

These are just some of the questions I will try to answer in this post.

Why You Should Own Gold and Silver
First off, why should you own precious metals?  Read this:

“In the absence of the gold standard, there is no way to protect savings from confiscation through inflation. There is no safe store of value. If there were, the government would have to make its holding illegal, as was done in the case of gold. If everyone decided, for example, to convert all his bank deposits to silver or copper or any other good, and thereafter declined to accept checks as payment for goods, bank deposits would lose their purchasing power and government-created bank credit would be worthless as a claim on goods. The financial policy of the welfare state requires that there be no way for the owners of wealth to protect themselves.

This is the shabby secret of the welfare statists’ tirades against gold. Deficit spending is simply a scheme for the “hidden” confiscation of wealth. Gold stands in the way of this insidious process. It stands as a protector of property rights. If one grasps this, one has no difficulty in understanding the statists’ antagonism toward the gold standard.”

Who do you think this was written by?  If you guessed former Fed Chief Alan Greenspan, you would be correct.  It is titled “Gold and Economic Freedom,” and it was originally published in 1966.  (Click here to read the entire Greenspan article.) After reading this, it is hard to believe he was the Chairman of the Federal Reserve for nearly 20 years.  Gold is the antithesis of the Federal Reserve Note.

Greenspan’s article is the time tested reason for owning gold.  For more current reasons, look no further than “The Seven “Ds” of the Developing Disaster,” written by gold expert Alf Field.  In short:

  • Deficits
  • Dollar
  • Devaluations
  • Debt
  • Demographics
  • Derivatives (this is the big one)
  • Devolution

The above are the reasons why Field says gold and silver are bound to rise over the long term.  (Click here to read the complete article from Field.)

Video Explanation for How and Why to Buy Gold and Silver

For an explanation on how and why to buy precious metals, we turn to world famous gold expert Jim Sinclair.  Below is a video interview posted on USAWatchdog.com in October of 2013.  Gold is simple form of wealth protection from a declining U.S. dollar.  Listen to one of the top gold experts in the world for why you should own physical precious metals.

How To Buy Gold and Silver
Now that you know the “why,” let’s get into the “how” of buying gold.  First of all, gold and silver are sold by the “Troy” ounce.  A “Troy” ounce weighs more than the ounce (avoirdupois) used to measure milk or meat.  A Troy ounce is 31.1 grams, which is more than the 28.35 gram ounces you come across in everyday life.  So, a  Troy ounce weighs about 10% more than a regular ounce.   Put simply, it is most common to buy and sell precious metals by the Troy ounce.

Gold and Silver Numismatic or Bullion?
When you are buying physical gold or silver, you can buy numismatic or just plain bullion.  Numismatic coins are for experienced coin collectors.  There are numismatic gold coins and silver coins.  The value is determined on things such as date it was issued, rarity, condition and even the mint where it was produced.

There is a great learning curve to be an investor in numismatic coins. You must also have a trusted and knowledgeable coin dealer to work with.  If you are a beginner or if you are just trying to protect your wealth and buying power of your money, then invest in bullion.  There are two main types of bullion products:  bars and coins.  I prefer gold eagle coins and silver eagle coins the best when buying bullion.  Let me explain why.

First, let’s just talk about bullion in coin form.  A coin is a universally recognized unit of weight, and many consider gold and silver coins to be money.  No, you cannot go to the supermarket with a gold or silver coin and buy groceries, but coins are the most liquid way to own bullion.  Unlike jewelry, you know the exact amount of gold or silver in the coin.  It is minted by a government, and that makes it very difficult to counterfeit.  These features make gold coins and silver coins easy to cash in and trade.

Gold Bars and Silver Bars
I don’t recommend gold bars or silver bars of any kind.  Bars can range from a few grams to 600 ounces.  Small bars do not carry the same prestige as a minted coin.  Multiple ounce bars cannot be broken up, and you are forced to sell the entire bar if you want to liquidate it.  Large bars are usually for extremely wealthy people investing large amounts of money.  The only advantage to buying gold or silver in bars is you pay smaller premiums (or commissions) per ounce.  Don’t get me wrong, gold and silver bars are valuable, but they are not as easy to sell or trade as coins.

Depending on the market and supply and demand, premiums (or commissions) can range from a few percent to 10 percent of the spot value of the quantity of gold sold.   (If the mint shuts down, or there is some severe shortage in bullion, or there is systemic financial failure, then all bets are off and the sky is the limit on bullion commissions.) The spot value is the raw market price of refined gold or silver. Premiums are charged in addition to spot gold prices and silver prices.  The price of gold and the price of silver can fluctuate every second of every business day on the open market.  Many experts say to worry less about the commission you pay and more about the product you are buying.

Advantages of Owning Coins vs Bars
Still another advantage for coins–multiple ounce bars cannot be broken up.  You are forced to sell the entire bar if you want to liquidate—it’s all or nothing.  With coins, you can sell small, medium or large quantities when you want to cash out.

Yet another advantage of coins over bars is their acceptability. Once again, coins are better than bars because bars (small or large) do not carry the same prestige as a minted coin.  Even when prices rise dramatically, coins will likely be accepted without question or assay.   An assay is a scientific measurement of the amount of gold in a coin or bar.

In short, base your purchase on the future sale of the gold price or silver price, not saving a few bucks on premiums (or commissions) when you buy.  Here’s another way to look at it.  If you decided to sell some of your gold at $10,000 per ounce, what do you think would be more desirable: a Gold Eagle or a stamped 1 ounce bar?  The Gold Eagle will win out every time.  That does not mean that a 1 ounce bar is not valuable—it is.  It is just not as valuable or sellable as a 1 ounce coin.  Think of the “sell” when you buy, and pay a little more for quality.  If you are buying gold or silver–buy coins. (If you are a beginner, I do not recommend proof coins because it’s easy for the beginner to pay too much for them.)

Which Gold Coins Should You Buy?
So, which coins should you buy?  Let’s start with gold.  You should try to buy only 1 ounce coins.  The reason is if you buy what are called fractional coins (1/10, 1/4, 1/2 Troy Ounce), you are charged a premium, or commission, on each coin.  So, for example, if you bought 10  1/10  ounce coins compared to a single 1 ounce coin, you would have  exactly the same amount of gold.  However, your commission charges on the 10  1/10 ounce coins would be many times higher than the single 1 ounce coin.  Buy 1 ounce coins whenever you can, and only buy fractional bullion coins if you can manage to get them for the same commission as a 1 ounce coin.

So, which gold 1 ounce coins should you buy?  The 4 most popular coins to own are the

  • U.S. Gold Eagle
  • U.S. Buffalo
  • Canadian Maple Leaf
  • South African Krugerrand.

These 4 coins are the most popular and most recognized in the world.

There are other fine gold coins that are minted throughout the world. For example in Australia, China, Mexico and Europe. They are simply less popular, but are very much still valuable.

Buying Silver
When it comes to silver, there are two main ways to buy it.  Once again, you can purchase bars or coins and, once again, coins win out.  I’ll give you the same reasons as discussed above when I talked about gold.  Bars do not carry the same prestige as coins, and you cannot break them up.  There are two types of bullion coins you can buy to accumulate silver–one ounce silver coins and “Junk” silver coins.  First, let’s talk about one ounce silver coins.   One ounce minted coins are made by several governments including the U.S.  Most governments do not mint fractional silver coins.  I do not recommend non-government minted coins, only officially government minted silver coins.

The 2 most popular and recognized silver 1 ounce coins in the world are the:

  • U.S. Silver Eagle
  • Canadian Silver Maple Leaf

There are other very high quality official government minted silver coins, but the Silver Eagle, Maple Leaf  are the 2 most popular and well known ones in the world.

Junk Silver
Then, there is “Junk” silver.  “Junk” silver is any U.S. dime, quarter or half-dollar minted on or before 1964.   1964 and earlier  dimes, quarters and half-dollars had 90% silver content.  “Junk” is sold by face value of the coin.

The most popular way to buy “Junk” silver is a 55 pound bag.  A 55 pound bag is $1,000 in face value of the coins, but that also equals 715 ounces of silver.  So, for example, a bag of dimes may have a face value of $1,000, but you pay the same as you would if you paid for 715 ounces of silver.  You always pay the spot price of silver plus a commission.  The advantage of buying “Junk” silver is you pay less commission per ounce than a 1 ounce silver coin, but you still have coins.  It is the cheapest way to buy quality silver coins officially minted by the government.

You can also buy “Junk” silver in much smaller increments.  Just remember that $1.50 in change equals about an ounce.  So, 15 dimes of “Junk” silver is an ounce and so on.  This way, you can always figure out how much you are paying per ounce when you buy “Junk” silver.  The most desirable “Junk” from best to least are half-dollars, quarters and dimes.  There are a few later years of coins after 1964 (mostly Kennedy half-dollars)  that had 40% silver, but those are extremely bulky and are the least desirable “Junk” silver coins.

Gold or Silver Exchange Traded Funds (ETF)
What about gold or silver Exchange Traded Funds (ETF)?  Are ETF’s as good as physical gold or silver? ETF’s are not just as good as physical gold or silver.  There have been questions about how much precious metals they actually hold.  Nothing is as safe as holding the physical metal in your possession.  If you are going to buy gold and silver mining stocks, you must do your homework.  You must also constantly keep track of the mining company.  Again, nothing is as good as physical gold or silver.

Jewelery vs Owning Gold and Silver Coins
Is jewelry the same as owning gold or silver coins?  No, because there is no uniformity in jewelry.  It does not have a uniform weight or metal content.  Jewelry has to be melted down.  When most people trade in their gold jewelry, they commonly get 50% or less of the actual gold weight.  That is why coins are the preferred way to own gold.  They are uniform in weight and content.

Will Gold and Silver Be Confiscated?
Will the government confiscate my gold and silver?   The government can make owning gold illegal, but it probably won’t.  The last time it was confiscated, we actually used gold as currency. The $20 gold piece was used right up until 1933.  FDR confiscated them because he stopped the use of the coin and raised the price of gold to $35 per ounce.  It was a move that was supposed to help The Great Depression economy.  We do not use gold as currency today, so a confiscation is a lot less likely.  You will be required to report the gain when you sell, and you will be required to pay taxes. Also, make sure you save your receipts, because you will only have to pay taxes on the gains, not on the total purchase price of your precious metal coins.

Where to Buy Gold and Silver Coins
So, where do you buy gold or silver coins?  You can buy online or you can buy in your own hometown.  Do your research no matter where you buy.  Ask for recommendations from your friends, and you can also check online Internet sites and forums you trust.  When it comes to checking coin prices with commissions or premiums included, you can check by (clicking here.)   This page will give you a total price with spot price of the coin and commission.   You can also check Discount Gold and Silver Trading by clicking the link at the bottom of this page.  Please feel free to check other online sellers out there.  If you pay prices  like these  for your gold or silver, you can be assured you are getting a fair price and are not being ripped-off.

Gold and Silver Storage
When it comes to storage, you can use a bank safety deposit box.  Just be sure to check your bank’s rating on a regular basis.  Two of the best places to check your bank are Bankrate.com (click here) and The Street.com. (Click here) If your bank’s rating starts to fall, you will probably want to move your precious metals.  You can also buy a safe.  If this is your preference, do your homework on what kind of safe to buy and picking a secure place to install it.

Delivery of Gold and Silver
Finally, when buying silver or gold coins, you should always take physical delivery.  Do not let third parties hold your precious metals on a permanent basis. Your property is best held by you.  Be sure you know and understand exactly what you are buying, and you will do just fine.  Good luck and good fortune with your gold or silver coin purchase.

Free Gold and Silver Report
This page is supported in part by our friends at Discount Gold and Silver Trading. In turn, they also created a free report on the “12 Things you Need to Know Before You Order Gold and Silver from Anyone”. To contact Discount Gold and Silver Trading for more information or to get your FREE report – CLICK HERE or on the below banner (both links go to another page on USAWatchdog.com).

masthead (2)

Fraud, It’s Much Bigger Than Goldman Sachs

By Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog.com 

Goldman Sachs was charged with fraud last week by the Securities and Exchange Commission.  The investment bank says the charges are “unfounded in law and fact.”  Regulators allege “Goldman wrongly permitted a client that was betting against the mortgage market to heavily influence which mortgage securities to include in an investment portfolio, while telling other investors that the securities were selected by an independent, objective third party,” SEC Enforcement Director Robert Khuzami said in a statement.  In other words

(more…)

Backdoor Tax Hike

By Brian Sussman

Guest Writer for Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog.com 

I love working in talk radio; the audience is so smart it’s scary.

President Obama’s 2010 budget had just been released, when, at the conclusion of a broadcast, a passionate caller named Madeline told me about the backdoor tax increase contained in our nation’s financial plan.    (more…)

“Where Should I Invest My Money?”

By Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog.comI was a featured guest on the nationwide overnight radio show “Coast to Coast AM” last week.  The show airs on more than 500 radio stations. “Coast to Coast AM” has a huge audience.  So, after my appearance, I was flooded with emails.  Many people who contacted me said they were “scared” of what is happening in the economy and wanted to know what to do with their money to keep it safe.  I want to share a couple of excerpts from the emails with you: (more…)

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Hard Right Turn

By Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog.com 

My wife and I were out to lunch with a friend of ours and she asked me,”When is the economy going to get better?”  If you saw Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke’s testimony in the Senate yesterday, the answer is 2010.  Of course that answer came with big caveats such as the 787 billion dollar stimulus package works to revive the economy.  Many say it will not work but I hope it does.  My answer to,”When is the economy going to get better?” is “It’s not going to get better; it is going to get different.”   Meaning, the economy will not return to what we have grown to consider “normal.”  There is going to be a new “normal.”  This is not a recession, a dip or a temporary very bad economic condition.  We are witnessing a “hard right turn” in a new direction on a global scale.  Many of the jobs lost in this downturn will be gone forever.  A couple of changing industries I can think of are financial services and the automotive sector.  The good news is that people are going to be forced to live within their means.  Almost everybody rich and poor will consume less and save more.  There is going to be a new age of frugality and that, as Martha Stewart says, “Is a good thing.” Thrift is the new black and this mindset is going to be in vogue for a generation or more!

Most people I come in contact with do not understand what is unfolding right in front of them.  You can’t really fault them because, after all, look at the recent conflicting message President Obama sent out.  He just signed the biggest spending bill in history and is now calling for the return of a Pay as you go Policy.  This bill was passed without budget cuts or increased taxes.  On top of that, the Treasury has a trillion dollar plan to “fix” the banking sector.  Where are we getting the money for all of this spending?  We are borrowing and printing it at the moment.  In Senate testimony yesterday, Chairman Bernanke was asked a simple question, “How much money will it take to fix the banks?” Bernanke said that the Senator would have to ask, “The Treasury or the FDIC.”  This was the answer from the man who is in charge of monetary policy for the United States.  In my opinion, he either does not know or is afraid to give a number.  My guess is the amount of money it will take to “fix” the banks will be many trillions of dollars and that is a down right scary repair.

I am not the only one who is concerned.  George Soros, renowned billionaire investor, recently said, “We witnessed the collapse of the financial system…It was placed on life support, and it’s still on life support. There’s no sign that we are anywhere near a bottom.”   I do not profess to be able to forecast the future but I do know that given the circumstances surrounding the biggest economic mess in history, one thing is for sure.  Forget about the economy you saw in the past, we are not going back there.  Everything in the future is going to change and that includes the value of our money.