Comments Subscribe to Personal Liberty News Feed Subscribe to Personal Liberty
 

When Gold Was a Lifesaver—Literally

November 13, 2009 by  

When Gold Was a Lifesaver—Literally

Gold protects wealth. This lesson isn’t new. But even I had to learn it the hard way.

Back in 1975 I was a senior officer with the world’s oldest and largest dealer in precious metals and foreign currencies, Deak-Perera. I learned this lesson firsthand and it forever taught me about the importance of the “barbaric relic”… gold!

Deak-Perera was one of the few financial institutions in the United States with a combined expertise in precious metals, foreign currencies and international banking. As a result of this knowledge the company was invited by the State Department in April 1975 to assist the South Vietnamese refugees that were pouring into the U.S. as Saigon fell. The company became the exclusive “moneychanger” for all five of the Vietnamese refugee camps.

You may recall that, as of Jan. 1, 1975, Americans could once again legally own gold bullion. It had been illegal to own gold since 1933, when President Roosevelt took the U.S. off the gold standard and ordered all privately held gold coins and bullion be surrendered to the government.

Unaccustomed as we were to handling displaced persons, it was nonetheless clear that even the most prominent of these refugees would be arriving at the camps with little more than the clothes on their backs and whatever valuables they could carry. And who knew just how valuable some of their belongings would be?

Only one thing was certain: They wouldn’t be drawing checks on their local banks. All banks in Vietnam had been taken over by the communists, along with the rest of the economy. At the time, the cruel joke was Vietnam was a true “cash-and-carry economy.” If you had the cash, you got to carry off anything you wanted.

A Day that Changed My Life

May 1975 found me at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., one of the five refugee camps. I will never forget my experience with two families in particular. The experience is burned into my mind forever.

A middle-aged man, trim and well-spoken, was wearing what had once been an expensively tailored suit. He obviously cared deeply for his bedraggled family. He had been a businessman in Vietnam. In fact, I was later to learn, he had been a very successful banker. But now all his family’s wealth was in the small dingy canvas bag that he was hanging onto for dear life.

Even through all the adversity he and his family had recently experienced, there was still a glimmer of hope in his eyes. Despite losing his job, his home and his country, he still wore a relieved expression whenever he gazed upon that canvas bag. It was his key to a new life in a new country. It was, quite literally, a golden anchor.

Gently, carefully, he poured the contents of the bag onto the table in front of me. There, gleaming in the sun, was an enormous collection of golden taels. For those of you who are not familiar with taels, they are a form of gold bullion indigenous to Southeast Asia. Each tael was 1.2 ounces (37.5 grams) of .9999 pure gold. They looked like tiny wafers—thin sheets of gold, delicately wrapped in paper.

It was Deak-Perera’s job to buy the gold taels from the refugees, and, with the proceeds, issue traveler’s checks.

A Lifetime of Savings, Now Worthless

Further back in line there was another refugee who was less fortunate than the banker carrying the golden taels. Much like the banker, he was a successful businessman before he and his family were uprooted by war.

He approached my table with two suitcases in hand. Like his countryman with the taels, he had worked very hard, saved extremely well and carried all his worldly wealth in those satchels.

But there was one major difference. His wealth was in the form of piasters, the currency of the Republic of Vietnam. These were paper promises of a government that no longer existed. I had to tell this man his piasters were worthless. They would not buy anything—not even a Coke or a pack of cigarettes—in his new country.

Can you imagine toiling and saving for a lifetime for two suitcases filled with worthless currency?

Sad to say, other formerly valuable pieces of paper were now worthless as well. One was the Military Payment Certificates (MPC), issued by the U.S. military. Each one carried the likeness of a famous Hollywood movie star. Now they would not buy admission to a show.

Other items, even valuable diamonds, jade and loose gems, were hard to exchange on the spot for a fair price. Only gold had an immediate market at a fair price.

Before that day I always knew that precious metals were an important asset. But, after looking into the eyes of these two men and their families, I knew firsthand the value of gold and other precious metals. Gold holds its value when nothing else will.

Does gold in 2010 offer the same peace of mind and protection to Americans that it has through 5,000 years of history? Absolutely!

As an American, there are many threats to your hard-earned wealth. The most insidious is not military in nature. It is the weakening of the U.S. dollar.

In the past year these mounting costs exceeded our government’s revenue by more than $1.4 trillion. Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve loaned or guaranteed another $2 trillion. How will this debt ever be repaid? The only politically acceptable solution is to print more money. But creating more dollars means, inevitably, that each one is worth less. The dollar is being devalued right in front of our eyes.

Get Ready for Fireworks in the Gold Market

My friend Doug Casey likes to say that the price of gold is not only going to the moon, it’s going to several planets beyond.

When this happens… when gold prices double from where they are now and continue rising… when the dollar falls into the abyss… which would you rather own? Which do you think will better protect your life’s work?

Would you rather be holding two suitcases full of worthless U.S. paper? Or a canvas sack full of gold?

I’m going to choose the latter. I hope you will, too.

If you’d like to know about the safest, most secure way I’ve found to own gold, let me tell you about the Perth Mint Certificate program.

It’s one I helped develop 12 years ago, and it comes with the most rock-solid guarantee you’ll find anywhere. In case you’re not familiar with it, the Perth Mint is wholly owned by the Government of Western Australia. It has been storing and dealing in precious metals for more than a century.

The Perth Mint is the only depository operating today that can offer you a comprehensive storage and trading program, with the unconditional written guarantee of one of Australia’s wealthiest states. In addition, all precious metals stored at the Perth Mint, including your metals lodged under this program, are insured (at the Perth Mint’s cost) by Lloyds of London.

When we designed this storage program, we wanted to make sure it was SAFE. That is, that it offered Security, Affordability, Flexibility and Exclusivity. The Perth Mint Certificate Program has our highest endorsement on all counts.

Purchasing gold or other precious metals through the Perth Mint Certificate Program requires an initial investment of $10,000 or more. Sale amounts or additional purchases must be for $5,000 or more. There is no additional cost for unallocated storage; the one-time administrative fee is a very reasonable $50 per certificate.

When you are ready to dispose of some or all of your holdings, the Perth Mint will arrange to purchase them back from you at the then-current market price. Or you can take delivery of your holdings at the Mint or via insured delivery to most any location in the world.

To learn more about how the Perth Mint Certificate Program can help you find a safe haven for some of your assets in an increasingly troubled world, please contact my company, Asset Strategies International. You may email us at info@assetstrategies.com, or call us at 1-800-831-0007 or 301-881-8600.

Please let us know how we can help you achieve your financial goals.

Live Strong,

Michael Checkan
President
Asset Strategies International

Special To Personal Liberty

You Sound Off! is written by our readers and appears the last Wednesday of each month. If you would like to submit an article or letter to the editor for consideration for You Sound Off!, send it to yousoundoff@personalliberty.com by the Friday before the last Wednesday of the month. To be considered, a submission should be 750 words or less and must include the writer's name, address and a telephone number. Only the writer's name will be published. Anonymous submissions will not be considered.

Facebook Conversations

Join the Discussion:
View Comments to “When Gold Was a Lifesaver—Literally”

Comment Policy: We encourage an open discussion with a wide range of viewpoints, even extreme ones, but we will not tolerate racism, profanity or slanderous comments toward the author(s) or comment participants. Make your case passionately, but civilly. Please don't stoop to name calling. We use filters for spam protection. If your comment does not appear, it is likely because it violates the above policy or contains links or language typical of spam. We reserve the right to remove comments at our discretion.

Is there news related to personal liberty happening in your area? Contact us at newstips@personalliberty.com

  • DaveH

    Touching story Michael.

  • DaveH
  • Johnny

    what about silver, from what i have been reading silver used to be 1/16th the price of gold now it is at 1/60th so is silver a good buy or pretty much anything but dollars (FRN’s)?

  • Carol Newman

    I am do not feel safe putting any of my hard earned coins into anyone else’s hands but my own. I have worked hard for the money I have saved and will not trust anyone but myself. I agree with you about precious metals. But I do not agree with handing them over an Australian either. Certificates are also paper that can become worthless.

  • John Myers

    As good of a story as I have ever read on the inherent value of the Midas metal.

    Excellent work Michael.

    John Myers

  • http://donthaveone Beberoni

    It keeps going up, I guess that would put quite a value on the heads of these cats running around with the gold all up in their grille, eh?

  • Andy A

    Just one question. If the dollar is about to become worthless, why do they want to take them in trade for gold ? Am I missing someyhing here ?

    • Larry Stanley

      Because some day you may get $3,000 of worthless paper for gold bought with $1,000 of useless paper

    • DaveH

      There are always opposing opinions and positions in any trading situation. The sellers obviously think it’s fairly priced. The buyers don’t.

  • Dorothy

    I agree with several of you people – I don’t want someone else
    handling my money, and I’m not sure the trade of paper for gold
    sounds all that secure. How do we maintain our life style we
    currently have if we have to invest it in gold and still only
    have a piece of paper “saying” we have gold savings?

  • insideknowledge

    What is the truth about the Perth Mint? Do they really hold all the gold and silver that is supposedly backing their certificates? Has their been a truly independent audit? Can anyone inform us about the real facts?

    • DaveH

      There was a firm in the Los Angeles area in the 80s that was holding gold for its clients. It turned out that they were using those peoples’ gold as collateral for real estate purchases that went sour. They ended up stiffing many of their customers.
      I’m with Dorothy on this one. Take physical possession.

  • Billy Hughes

    where can I purchase gold and how can I be sure that it is the real thing

    • http://www.boblivingstonletter.com/ Bob Livingston

      There are many choices for buying gold and silver coins, both locally and over the internet. You can find local dealers in your yellow pages directory. You can buy from Asset Strategies International (the author’s firm and someone I can vouch for), or you can buy from independent dealers or the U.S. Mint. The U.S. Mint website has a list of national dealers http://www.usmint.gov/bullionretailer. A google search will also turn them up. I recommend you buy American Gold Eagles or Buffaloes, Canadian Maple Leafs or African Krugerrands. Check with several places and compare prices, as some charge a higher premium than others.

      • Joe H.

        Bob,
        It’s funny, those piasters and MPC that are talked about as being worthless are now being bought by many collectors. Of course not anywhere near what they were once worth, but as they get scarce…..

      • Joe H.

        I have even bought coins from pawn shops, garage sales, even flea markets. I bought seven silver eagles from a woman at a garage sale!

  • Larry Stanley

    The hard stuff you can get from numerous sources right here in the good old USA. Hold the real deal not another piece of paper.

  • s c

    Most people won’t appreciate Checkan’s reference to gold as a ‘barbaric relic.’ This is the long-held mindset of big government losers and wealth redistribution brokers at the Fed. Soon, every American will learn exactly what ‘full faith and credit’ really means – and how and why our government sold us out many years ago.
    Do what you have must, people. Those who believe the Washington lie machine will never believe there is a first time for everything – including a willingly corrupt and treasonous, prostituted government.
    I’ll bet on gold, silver and things that retain their value. Paranoid, utopian progressives can and will bet on comrade obama. They truly deserve him.

    • BC in NC

      SC…I must concur! Those progressives from FDR forward have and will cost us our Constitutional Rights & Freedoms and in the end our Country! It is best to prepare for the worst and then hope for the best..that True American Patriots will finally come forth and bring our once great country back to greatness and deliver us from ruin! Gold and Silver…Keep it in your own possesion! And let our corrupt government outlaw the ownership of it and try to take it….see the second ammendment in action first hand. A Patriot in NC….

  • http://futuresbrokersreviews.info/what-is-a-futures-contract commodity futures brokers

    Good article.. Continue good work.. Mark from France

Bottom
close[X]

Sign Up For Personal Liberty Digest™!

PL Badge

Welcome to PersonalLiberty.com,
America's #1 Source for Libertarian News!

To join our group of freedom-loving individuals and to get alerts as well as late-breaking conservative news from Personal Liberty Digest™...

Privacy PolicyYou can opt out at any time. We protect your information like a mother hen. We will not sell or rent your email address to anyone for any reason.