You should have some. In fact, if I had my way, our entire investment plan would revolve around tangible assests. To the average investor... that no doubt sounds like utter maddness. "There's no better long-term place for your money than the US Stock Market." So goes the saying.
Of course... the saying is wrong.
This is not to say that money cannot be made in the US StockMarket... I'm just saying, that you can't make it. See... there are a few people making a killing... and lots of people getting killed... and... if you don't invest for a living... If you don't recieve a salary and bonuses from some particular fund... then chances are... you're getting killed.
More and More, there are insiders who are admitting the game is rigged. Mark Cuban has written some excellent pieces on it. I submit though... that it is not nearly as complicated as most folks would have you believe.
See... there was a time when a stock's trading value wasn't as important as the dividends it paid. Generally, the stocks value was linked to speculation that those dividends would increase. This was a good time to be in stocks. It made sense. You owned stock... which represented ownership in the company... thusly the company sent you money. Over time... say over 20 years of hard work, you earn enough shares that the amount of money you recieve from the company is such that, combined with your pention, you may retire on it.
Thats not how we do things now. Stocks don't pay dividends anymore. The mention of such a thing is considered arcane. This is a drastic change. It shifts the whole game to the spacious world of "value". Now... Value is a great word, and normally is a positive one... in this case however, it is perilously linked to perception.
X is valuable... not because X does anything in particular... but because people think it may one day be more valuable.
Does that make sense to you? How did the first people who decided it was valuable, come to this conclusion?
Baseball Cards. The entire Stock Market is nothing more than the Adult Version of collecting and trading Baseball Cards.
A player gets a buzz around him... for what ever reason... and his card's value goes up. Stock is the same way.
This is critical. The only way a company can pay out dividends, is to actually make money. So when things were dividend based, performance and value were obviously, and clearly marked. Now? Performance and Stock Price have nothing to do with each other. The company's performance is less important than it's "Buzz".
Buzz is distributed.. like Mana from Heaven... by the few. They move in... make the purchase for pennies... then wait for the sheep to run along behind. By the time you hear of the "hot stock" around the water cooler... the money has already been made.
The game is rigged, and if you aint the one doin' the rigging, then you're getting hung.
Setting aside all of this... something even more sinister sits at the doorstep of the stock owner. That, is the fact that fortune 500 companies come and go every day. They just dispear. Global Crossing. Enron. Consolidated Frieghtways. They just disappear. When they go... what do you have? Nothing. You weren't allowed to sell your stock... and by the time you were allowed to sell it, it was worthless, and there wasn't a damned thing you could do about it.
But what about Gold? Or Silver? or Oil?
Well.. if the value of gold ever drops... what do I have? Well.. I've still got gold. It doesn't just disappear. Its a tangible asset. Its real. I can go pick it up and touch it. I can kiss it and call it Darlin'.
You can kiss your stocks good-bye... but that' about it.
Gold never just disappears. You've recieved something for your money. You can save it. You can horde it. If the bottom falls out.. so what? buy more! It will come back.
I offer two options... Speculators... Play in silver. It bounces around like a basketball. Watch it for a year or so.. and read up on it. You'll see the lows and highs. Pick your spot... buy in, and wait for a spike... then sell... then wait for another dip... and buy again. Fluxuation is not a bad thing. Fluxuation is how you make money. You want fluxation.
Gold on the other hand... don't play. It fluxuates way to slowly. Horde it. Build your treasure. Love it. Tend it. It shall grow and take care of you.... then one day... when all is black... and the stock market falls to its inevitable doom...
You will rule the...
Well... I will rule the world... but you can come along too.