That's all that needs to be said. Otherwise you send your money to someone who is supposedly buying and holding PMs for you. All they are really buying is paper saying they own PMs. Although we haven't seen instances of fraud in the banking industry in nearly a week (scratch that, Stanford made the paper today), you should take physical possesion. You must of course understand that this can be a little difficult to accomplish. One practical way is with jewelery (usually pay a premium over spot gold or platinum prices for obvious reasons).
Lastly there are security concerns involved when you have large sums of money or metals. My advice is to invest in firearms. Solves two problems really. They are relatively liquid. They will not decrease in value in this political and economic climate. They can be used to procure food, they can be used to deter others from trying to procure the food that you have procurred. Most people who buy and sell firearms do not report the capital gains to the IRS (I'm just sayin').
When I was stationed overseas, all the senior officers in my unit who had been in Viet Nam and had family with them, kept gold either in the form of bullion or jewelery as a way to get their families safely out of country in the event of war. CIA operatives used to wear gold bracelets whose links were of a specific weight. Need to buy your way out of a situation where you don't want to have to shoot your way out? Clip off a link of the bracelet.
If this country slips into a full fledged depression, I think that the firearm would be more practical for putting food on the table (assuming you don't mind hunting and killing animals). I hope it doesn't come to that, but I don't lose much sleep about it.
Before anyone else makes the point that the government could confiscate firearms, I would make the point that until they come to take yours away they will only drive the price up. So you will need to time the market. Looking at this more practically, we cannot even control the population of the city of Chicago from possesing firearms illegally, who really thinks that it would work in places like Arizona, Wyoming, Montana, etc??:uzi:
This is not some pro-gun rant, just simply investment advice for uncertain economic times.
Own several firearms now. Use them every year to supplement the grocery bill. And defend if I have to. Can't take physical possesion of the gold in an Individual Retirement Account. To do so would trigger the tax consequences. Now I see on CNN this am that some broker dude gets busted for hoarding the stuff in his basement while sending out bogus coins and stuff. Ain't anyone honest anymore? Did my time in that SE aisian country also. Long time ago now.
Saw in the news this week that applications for firearm background checks were up 28% last month. Although all those apps do not necessarily translate into sales, the trend for firearms is way up. In November and December the numbers were very high (albeit those months tend to be strong because of hunting season and Christmas).
But at the end of the day, I wouldn't trade a pound of venison for a pound of dollar bills if my family was starving. The firearm has the ability to put food on the table and keep neer do wells away. Hopefully it does not come to that, in which case you can sell the firearm for much more than you paid for it. I Never had anyone 1099 me on a gun sale.
If you are so inclined, some firearms are real works of art created by craftsmen whose talent nowdays is poorly mimicked by CNC machines. There are many antique shotguns selling in the 20K to 30K range. IMHO you'd be foolish to take them afield, but as an investment you know what they say " It takes money to make money." I have seen the price of certain handguns increase over $200 recently.
buy the australian 10 yr bond, its paying 4.22% on the yield. Our currency is about 30% stronger than theirs. If US currency continues to strengthen against the AUS,(or doesnt weaken enough to allow you to convert in your favor to US currency by the time you retire) which is unlikely due to the strong possibility of hyperinflation, or at least a major reduction in value, then have a contingency plan to move to there, which isnt all that bad of a place.
This will probably be a good 3-5 year play, maybe even 2 years.. If this works, PM me in the future and buy me a black and tan.