You have questions.
Of course you do.
We spend most of our time talking about interesting, exotic investments. The sorts of things that can keep you safe from Wall Street carnage and add a little color to your life at the same time.
Personally, there are no “ordinary” investments that I’d rather cover. They just aren’t that captivating… or safe… and they don’t pay all that well, to boot.
There are exceptions. And when we find them, we’ll bring them to you.
But for the most part, investments like art, wine, collectibles and tax liens are safer than your average security — while earning returns that are just as high.
However, because these investments aren’t mentioned often outside these pages — and are rarely explained — of course you have questions.
We try to anticipate most of them. But there are always some we don’t get to.
That’s what today’s about.
These days are always fun. Diving into our inbox and tackling the most provocative reader questions we’ve received… I love it.
(If you’ve got a question about any of the alternative investments we cover — or any we don’t — feel free to drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Now, enough talk… Let’s get to the mailbag!
I understand that if the financial system in the USA should collapse, bonds are probably the first to go, if all the doomsayers are correct. As most all my investments are in bonds, I could be wiped out. I need to find a secure place to move my monies to do more than just get by. Would you agree?
Would you have any suggestions? My present broker keeps saying I am OK, but I am scared.
I have looked into the Canada retirement plan and corporate retirement plans and am not sure which way to go. So many companies may go under if things go the way I have heard.
A lot of brokers only want you to invest with them and could not care less if you go broke, as they have made their money. HELP.
— Ken J.
Hi, Ken. First, let me say I get exactly where you’re coming from.
The financial system is in worse shape than generally acknowledged. And if a major crisis hits, it’ll be a bigger setback than 2008’s.
To be clear — I don’t think we’re nearing collapse. Rather, I think we’ve got a very ugly recession coming up on us.
That said, if you’ve got your money in U.S. Treasury bonds, you’ve got one of the safest instruments already. Not great income earners, but solid wealth preservers.
Here’s why — as long as the government of the U.S. stands, it will honor those bonds. The reason is simple: The bonds are owed in dollars, and the U.S. can make as many dollars as it likes.
So I wouldn’t worry too much about your bonds going bad.
However, if we wound up in an ugly situation where the government was printing money hand over fist to meet obligations, we’d have a completely different problem on our hands. Namely, massive inflation.
In other words, you’d get your money back, but that money would be worth much less than you expected.
There is an easy solution, though. And that’s to put some of your wealth into hard assets — like art, stamps and gold.
If the financial system truly takes the darkest possible turn, the value of gold will go through the roof.
I’m not predicting anything that bad. But as the old maxim goes — Hope for the best, plan for the worst.
That’s one of the reasons we’ve partnered with Hard Assets Alliance — and negotiated a special offer for Unconventional Wealth readers. You can find out more here.
If the financial system is laid to waste, you’re going to want to own gold. Even if it doesn’t, gold is a great way to hedge against downturns and keep your wealth in a physical, unchangeable form.
I’ve recommended plenty of alternative investments through the years and I stand by all of them. But in a world of absolute ruin, gold is the best asset to have. It’s stood the test of time and will remain valuable long after bonds bite the dust.
If you’re deeply worried about America’s financial future, there’s no better place to stash a chunk of your money.
I see incredible potential in dropshipping. Do you know about, or could you point me in the direction of, Canadian dropshippers?
— Terry H.
Thanks for reaching out, Terry!
This is a great topic. And it’s one that comes up often, since a fair chunk of Unconventional Wealth readers don’t live in the U.S.
In many cases, that means I have to steer readers to a similar, if slightly inferior, international solution. But not this time.
Before getting into the specifics of Terry’s question, I’m going to give a quick summary of what dropshipping is…
Basically, dropshipping allows you to make money as a middleman.
Dropshipping companies will, in most cases, have producers of goods lined up. And they’ll have some sort of shipping solution.
Where do you come in? Simply put, you’re the marketer.
You can list goods for sale on Amazon or eBay — or even create your own stand-alone sales page.
In exchange, you and the dropshipping company split profits on anything sold.
In most cases, dropshipping is a cutthroat business with very thin profit margins. It’s so easy to get started, there’s plenty of competition.
But if you find a good niche — or a good place to market a product that others have missed — dropshipping can be extremely profitable. And it requires very little work after you’ve set up the initial sales page or pages. (Some dropshipping companies even help you with creating those sales pages.)
Now, here’s the great news for international readers…
You can dropship from anywhere in the world. What’s more, most American dropshipping companies will work with you wherever you are. Just make sure your favored dropshipper offers international shipping.
Shopify, for instance, is one of the larger dropshippers out there. They’ve got international shipping and make a point of saying they’re available in Canada.
There are plenty of others — you can compare them to find the one that offers the best terms for your situation.
So if this sort of minibusiness seems like a great way to create a new income stream, get out there and start dropshipping! The companies want to get as many partners as they can, so they make the process as simple as possible — no matter where you live.
Editor-in-chief, Unconventional Wealth
P.S. If you have a question about an unconventional asset, business or investment… our fluctuating markets and how you can protect yourself… or even a story about your best unconventional moves… you can always reach me at email@example.com.
Your message just might be featured in our next mailbag!
Ryan Cole is the editor-in-chief of Unconventional Wealth. He’s been covering the alternative investment space for nearly a decade and writing about finance and investment for almost 20 years.
Ryan has walked the walk for years, living a very unconventional life. He’s led snowmobile tours through the mountains of Colorado, settled in Japan for five...