Super-Rich Doomsday Preppers Ahead of The Times
The comments below are an edited and abridged synopsis of an article by Michael Kosares
“Survivalism, the practice of preparing for a crack-up of civilization, tends to evoke a certain picture: The woodsman in the tinfoil hat, the hysteric with the hoard of beans, the religious doomsayer. But in recent years, survivalism has expanded to more affluent quarters, taking root in Silicon Valley and New York City, among technology executives, hedge-fund managers, and others in their economic cohort.” Evan Osnos, 2017, The New Yorker.
Often, the gold owner is viewed as the woodsman in the tinfoil hat. But people like Steve Huffman (CEO of Reddit), Peter Thiel (PayPal founder) and a long list of other luminaries are preppers in one way or another. Many of this same group are likely to be gold and silver owners (‘likely’ because precious metals holders don’t generally advertise their ownership).
They take a place alongside a wide range of ordinary people who own precious metals. Gold ownership, in short, is a Main Street endeavor. One in seven (14%) pick gold or other precious metals as the best place to park money they don’t need immediately, making it the fourth most popular category. In 2020, 17% of US investors rated gold the best investment, regardless of age, gender, income or party ID. Today, even more investors would likely give precious metals a thumbs up, given what has occurred over the past year.
The well-to-do preppers were ahead of the times. Three years after Osnos’s article was published, many people have set up retreats in the countryside and small-town America. Some left the big cities permanently, and the flight to safety has echoed loudly in the precious metals markets. Global retail gold investment demand is at record levels for 2020, and The Silver Institute forecasted an eye-popping 26% increase in physical silver investment for 2021 based on current trends.