Something Feral

Digging up the flower-beds.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Caturday Night Special, Episode 0x3E

Funny because it's true; even Jim Rogers likes it:
I’m looking at all commodities, but some commodity prices are very depressed. Silver is 70% or so below its historical highs, coffee is 70% or so, as is sugar, while gold is only 10% off its all time high.
I'm sorely tempted to take his advice and start venturing into coffee thusly.


snizzlephritz said...

If coffee is up, why don't you just buy Starbucks stock? ;)

Triton said...

I think silver is the better bet. Like coffee, it is consumed regularly. Unlike coffee, it doesn't grow on trees.

Speaking of Jim Rogers, have you read his book Adventure Capitalist? It's about his road trip around the world. Pretty neat stuff, even if you're not into investing.

Something Feral said...

I just might... Commodities are looking slightly out of my reach for direct-investment for the time being, other than asserting my own negligible demand. That doesn't mean I can't leech-off indirectly, though.

Fear not, Triton, I have been chasing silver like I had a pack of werewolves on my heels. And funny you should mention Jim Roger's book, as I was just about to order Adventure Capitalist (following your previous recommendation), and Hot Commodities.

Oh, and speaking of, did you recommend Tradeking? I can't remember, and it seems like it has some reasonable rates.

Doom said...

The coffee idea is good, even if just for trading (since I rarely use, a can could be split out big time by me). I bookmarked that to my survival tab. You would be surprised what coffee might be worth if trading was interrupted for even a few months.

I found out how much cigarettes were valued on a submarine, buying the last pack for $17 (they went for 25 cents or less on the tender in port) during the last of month out of 3 months out to sea. Yeah, baby. I was king, since I shared once in a while.

Silver would have not sold at all. It depends on need. My guess is, if we had run out of coffee but for one can, it would have been even more valuable. Heck, the captain may have created a special coffee owner watch that was cake! *grins* I am thinking silver and gold and such would require some kind of large trading markets to be of any value. Or, maybe you have more of an idea on that?

Something Feral said...

I think on the submarine, creature-comforts command a premium since there exists no real means of production. However, I have considered squirreling-away various things like cigarettes, various alcohol products, chocolate, etc to supplement my own larder, just in case... Cigarettes would be the last, as my personal utility for the things is almost zero, but I have thought more than once about hot-housing tobacco.

Regarding silver, JWR at SurvivalBlog had a recent post about the viability of silver as a medium of exchange. Junk-silver: it's not just a good idea, it's also fun to pick and choose at the coin-shop. :)

Triton said...

Oh, and speaking of, did you recommend Tradeking?

I don't remember, but it's possible. At five bucks a trade, it's hard to beat.

I think on the submarine, creature-comforts command a premium since there exists no real means of production.

Yeah, a submarine is a small, completely isolated, tightly-controlled economy. I don't think any lessons can be extrapolated to the global economic scene.

There are good reasons why silver has been used as money far more frequently throughout history than coffee. Silver is malleable, and can be formed into any shape or size one desires. It is an element, so, outside of a nuclear reaction, can never be lost beyond recovery. Silver tarnishes, but it does not spoil like vegetable matter. The supply of silver is more stable than the supply of crops which are highly dependent on the weather. A 1000-year-old silver coin is just as good now as it was when it was new. I would not, however, want to drink 1000-year-old coffee.

Having said all that, it's entirely possible that coffee will outperform silver in the years ahead. Commodities are volatile things, and whatever happens, it will be a wild ride. I just happen to prefer lumps of metal I can put in a drawer or safe and forget about for several years.

Plus, gold and silver coins are much prettier to look at than beans. :)