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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

What should investors do to protect themselves?

[W]hat should average investors do right now to protect themselves? First and most obvious, they should rid themselves of dollar-denominated assets. For example, government and corporate bonds promising to make a fixed stream of dollar payments will all become virtually worthless if huge price inflation occurs. (In contrast, holding U.S. stocks is not a bad idea from the point of view of inflation; a stock entitles the owner to a portion of the revenue stream from a company’s sales, which themselves will rise along with prices in general.)

Second, investors should acquire an emergency stockpile of gold and silver. If and when dollar-prices begin shooting through the roof, there will be a lag for most workers: They will see the prices of milk, eggs, and gasoline increasing by the week, yet their paychecks will remain the same for months or longer. If the dollar crashes in the foreign exchange markets, gold and silver would see their prices (quoted in U.S. dollars) increase in the opposite direction.

We can’t know the timing of the impending monetary catastrophe, but it is coming. Smart investors will minimize their dependence on the dollar before it crashes. At this late date, no one should trust the government and media “experts” who assure us that the worst is over.
-- from "Killing the Currency" by Robert P. Murphy.

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